Closing the Gap 3.7.18

Week 9 Day 3

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 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Reflect:

How do we really learn anything from someone who is perfect other than we are not?  How does considering Jesus and his triumphant victory on the cross help us not grow weary and lose heart?  We are not Jesus, we are not perfect.  We do grow weary, and we do lose heart.  Some have resisted sin to the point of losing their lives.  But those who are yet alive have not. Is all this encouragement only available for martyrs and Jesus?  What about normal, average, weary, and disheartened believers?  Is this a rebuke without encouragement?  It seems to be written to encourage, but how can it be?  Consider Jesus, fix your eyes on him.  What do you see when you see him?  You see a man who was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.  You see a man who wept over a dead friend.  You see a man who begged his Father for another way, yet yielded to his Father’s best way.  You see a man so stressed by coming events that he sweat blood and longed for the encouragement of his friends.  Jesus is perfect, but he was tempted just like you are.  The reason you are to consider him in your own struggle is that his victory over sin can be yours.  There is no reason why you must give in to sin.  There is no reason why you cannot experience his strength and be of stout heart. The whole point of him being tempted in every way as we are yet without sin is to reveal to us that we do not have to give in.  Adam and Eve did not have to sin; they chose to.  You do not have to sin.  You may think this is make-believe talk.  You may believe that sin is so strong that it cannot be beaten.  This would be true except for the gospel.  You must begin to believe more and more each day that you do not have to sin.  Because you do not have to sin.  I am not suggesting you will reach sinless perfection in this life. You will not.  I am suggesting that you can close the gap each and every day.  You do not have to move backward, ever.  You can, if you will, move forward. Consider him, today, now.

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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