Closing the Gap 3.1.18

Week 8 Day 4

Pray:

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.

Read:

Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Reflect:

How do you explain the list of people in this chapter that has been called the “hall of faith”?   Gideon was faithless, so God had to prove himself several times.  Barak was a coward.  Samson was a carnal, brutal man. Jepththah was a rash and foolish man.  David was a murderous adulterer.  In fact, there is no one in the Bible, apart from Jesus, who was consistently “heroic.”  This chapter has been misnamed; it should be the “hall of faithless people who saw God be faithful.”  It’s not that their lives did not contain demonstrations of faith; it’s that their lives demonstrated inconsistent faith, but God demonstrated consistent faithfulness.   It is “through faith” they experienced the legendary things we read about all these years later.  But the point of this passage, of the Bible, of life itself is God.  He is the faithful one.  The point is never the greatness of a person’s faith but the greatness of God, the one who makes human faith more than wishful thinking.  Be encouraged by the failure of the people God used.  Their failures are not our excuse to continue to live in failure. But their failure removes our excuse that because of our failure God cannot use us.

Failure is not fatal for you.  Do not have faith in faith.  That often means we try to “feel” like we believe.  Do not have faith in yourself.  That often means we believe that outcomes depend mostly or entirely on “how much faith we can muster up.”  Your faith is to be in the faithful God.  Because it is about him and not you,  a very small amount of genuine faith is plenty.  Do not accept sin in your life. But do not believe that God cannot use you because of your failure.  He does not delight in our sin.  But he does delight in showing his greatness in our weakness.  Close the gap on where you are now and where God wants you to be.  Sure, he gets glory from using broken vessels.  But he gets great delight in seeing his broken vessels becoming increasingly whole and more fully his.

Pray:

(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.

 

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