Closing the Gap 4.17.18

Week 15 “Encourage One Another”

Day 2

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:

Heb. 3:12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Reflect:

It is obvious that to be “encouraged” is the opposite of to be “discouraged.”  But, what is not obvious, is that hardness is often a consequence of long-term discouragement.  When your heart is discouraged, it has become low on, or empty of, courage. Not courage as a “lack of fear,” but courage as “the presence of hope.”  Discouragement opens the door to the lies of sin. “Why keep trying this? It’s not working.” Or, “Look at you. What difference is there in your life than someone who doesn’t claim to know Christ?  Except maybe they are doing better than you are.” Or even, “You deserve a break, indulge that habit; give into that temptation.” When we listen to and obey the lies of sin, then our hearts become hard.  Hardened to encouragement. Hardened to the help of others. Hardened to the Holy Spirit. Hardened to hope. See to it that it doesn’t happen to you or to your friends. This must not happen and it is your responsibility to see to it that it does not. You must pour courage into your friends and they must pour courage into you for as long as it is called Today.  When would today not be called today? When “The Day” has come, the day of the Lord’s final salvation when all is made new. When “today” has become “the Day,” courage will flow without end like a river into our hearts. But today, see to it, brothers and sisters, that you stay encouraged.

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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