Closing the Gap 5.24.18

Week 20: “Accept One Another”

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:

Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Reflect:

There is an old parable of a man who put his ladder against a wall, then spent his entire life climbing that ladder.  Finally, at the end of his life he realized he had put the ladder against the wrong wall. Many people are guessing as to what life is all about and hoping that what they value will actually prove to be valuable in the end.  But, humans are terrible guessers and there are no do-overs. These two facts make it vitally important that we actually get it right in terms of what we trade our lives for. You don’t have to be a prophet in order to make accurate predictions of the future, but you do have to be a historian.  What has happened in the past is a great way of understanding what is likely to occur in the future. But, even then, is it a guarantee? Yes and no. No, it is not a guarantee in terms of absolute confidence that past outcomes will repeat themselves in the future. However, you do have a guarantee that who God was in the past, he will also be in the future.  He does not change. He does not grow or get smarter or stronger or better. He is perfect in every way. You can look in the Bible and see how God has interacted with people and you can see the outcomes of their ways of life. From those interactions, you can learn both negative and positive lessons for your own life. You can escape the negative and embrace the positive without having to go through all of the pain of learning either lesson from personal experience.  Personal experience is an important teacher, but learning from the experience of others can be even better. So, in looking into the Scriptures what do you find that tells you what you should give your life for? Of course, there are many things, but the one thing that stands out is that Christ did not live merely to please himself. He lived for the glory of his father and for the good of others. His life was and is one of abiding joy. If you chase happiness, it will surely flee from you.  If you pursue the glory of God by accepting and loving others, then happiness will chase you and, over and over again, it will find you.

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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