Closing the Gap 6.26.18

Week 25 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:

Matt. 6:9-13 This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Reflect:

The kingdom of God is not political, but it changes the hearts of politicians.  It is not a military, but it changes the minds of generals. It is not a public policy organization, but it changes the morals of all who enter it.  We enter the kingdom by faith in the gospel of Jesus. When we enter the kingdom, we find that, in fact, the kingdom has entered into us. It grows inside us like a tiny bit of yeast in a lump of dough, taking over more and more “inner” ground in our hearts until it permeates us thoroughly and, in ever-increasing ways, directs the course of our lives.  In the gospel of Mark, a religious teacher asked Jesus to tell him which was the most important commandment.

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

The teacher then replied to Jesus, “Well said… these things are more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  Jesus, THE teacher, then replied “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). We do not know if that religious teacher ever did enter the kingdom, but he was standing on the border looking in when he acknowledged that the kingdom of God is not merely external and ceremonial.  This kingdom is love that begins internally and reveals itself externally in our relationships. When we pray for his Kingdom to come, we are praying that our lives would be more and more dominated by love for God and love for others. Do not despair if you believe you are not growing in these areas.  Pray, from your heart, right now: “Your kingdom come!” Then go into your day, taking what he brings into your life as his answer to that prayer. You can move through your day trusting God to manage things for your good. When his kingdom comes, he is in charge not you. You can live with gratitude and not grumbling because the king is in charge, and all that you face today is the reality of his kingdom coming more fully into your life.

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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