Closing the Gap 7.18.18

Week 28 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:

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:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin” (Heb. 4:15).  When Jesus, our high priest, was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he countered the temptations with truth. Temptations are lies. How do they lie? They offer what they cannot deliver.  They offer freedom to do as you please and then to have liberty from unhappiness or discontentment. Instead, they deliver bondage and loss of liberty. They offer fulfillment and opportunity to truly be satisfied.  Then they deliver disappointment and lasting dissatisfaction. Jesus countered the enemy’s lies with truth. Truth exposes the false advertisement of the temptation to sin. In culture at large, resisting temptation is seen as a form of suppression of what is natural.  In a way, this is true since sin has become “natural.” But many things that are natural must be suppressed, if we are to live as free people. It is “natural” to strike back when people hurt you. It is “natural” to put yourself first at all costs. It is “natural” to let physical pleasure drive the course of our lives.  All these natural things, if allowed to run their course, will lead us into pure bondage and far from true liberty. The truth of God is a spotlight on the dark deceit of temptations. Jesus knew this and deployed God’s truth expertly. Contrast Jesus’ approach to that of our first parents, Adam and Eve. When Satan cast doubt in Eve’s mind by asking, “Did God really say?” her response was confused.  She added to what God had said rather than simply repeating what he had said and confidently exposing Satan’s lie. Satan then took the gap left open by her confusion and directly contradicted God’s word. “‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman” (Gen. 3:4). She believed the serpent rather than God and the rest is “history.” But it is not just history, it is contemporary reality. All over the world today people will believe the lie and trade liberty for bondage. Will you see the lie, believe the truth, and live in the liberty of God?  You should pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” with a heart and a mind ready to believe truth and to see temptation as the lie that it is. Temptations on the surface look appealing, but they never deliver on what they promise. Pray now for the day ahead: “Lead us in to truth and deliver us to the Holy One.”

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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