Closing the Gap 4.12.18

Week 14 “Carry one another’s burdens”

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:

Gal. 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.

Reflect:

Trust is earned over time through authentic love expressed and experienced in real life situations.  When trust is present, good things can happen very quickly. Words do not have to be perfect because the heart behind the words is seen as good. When trust is present, misunderstandings can happen yet grace is given.  Trust gives the benefit of the doubt. When trust is absent, everything good slows down. When trust is absent, every word and facial expression is scrutinized and held in suspicion. When trust is absent, misunderstanding is the norm, even good intentions are misjudged and rejected.  Do you trust the people God has put in your life to the point that, if they must restore you when you are caught in a sin, you will listen to them? What if their words are not perfect? What if their perception of the circumstances is not completely accurate? What if their timing is way off?  Will you demand perfection from them? Or will you accept the liberty that God is offering you through them? Has someone tried to help you recently and you rejected them because they didn’t get everything just right? Were they partially right? Was there a single pearl in the basket of shells?  If so, will you cast off that pearl because of the shells? Perhaps God has given you help in shouldering your burdens, but you have treated God’s provision as less than the gift of grace that it is. The wise love correction, and they will take it from less than perfect sources. Maybe you have a burden to help someone caught in sin.  Have you done the work to earn their trust? If not, then do not assume that you have the privilege of speaking truth to them. They may allow you to have a voice in their life, but remember that trust is earned; it is never forced on someone. Start closing the gap today between the level of trust you have with others and where it could be.  Be gentle with people. Act humbly towards them. Carry their burdens. Learn the joy of living in relationships of trust.

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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