Week 8 Day 2
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
What if pain avoidance is of higher value to me than faith development? If growing in faith is so painful, why not opt of growth? There is certainly a way to opt out of growth, but there isn’t a way to opt out of pain. “No pain, no gain” is true in many cases. But what is also true, and often not taken into account in our choices, is there can be “Pain, with no gain.” Abraham could have refused to offer his son as a sacrifice because he was afraid of the pain. Abraham could have said “no” and he would have escaped the pain of that terrible and wonderful day. But he likely would have lived for many days (as many parents do) in fear of losing his son. He may very well have believed that it was his responsibility to “help God” keep his promise. He could have lived a controlling, unhappy, fretful life and passed that fear on to his son. You can sometimes decide to forgo some of the pain of trusting God. The pain of asking someone to forgive you. The pain of dying to pride. The pain of putting someone first who you don’t even like or the pain of blessing someone who is cursing you. You can forgo all this pain by simply doing life in your own way, on your own terms. But what pain will you experience in your life as you live this way? What gain will you miss out on? When you go to measure the potential costs of radical obedience to God, do not fail to measure the costs of disobedience and the vast benefits of obedience. Remember Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it shame. Close the gap today. What faith choice is in front of you right now? What are the potential costs involved in making that choice? What are the costs of not making it? What is God offering you by giving you this faith choice to make? Do you see his invitation to gain through this pain? Will you take his invitation?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.