Closing the Gap 8.30.18

By August 30, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 34 “The next generation” 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:

2 Tim. 2:1-7 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Reflect:

There are three analogies here that help us understand what a life of investment in others looks like: a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.  A soldier avoids civilian entanglements because his controlling ambition is to please his commanding officer. The soldier does what civilians do.  He eats, sleeps, washes clothes, and enjoys when possible some entertainment. However, unlike his civilian counterparts, he doesn’t live for any of these.  He lives with a singleness of mind and purpose to please his commander. The athlete also has a controlling goal, which is to win the race. However, no matter how much he trains if he does not stay within the boundaries of the rules of the race, he will be disqualified and fail in his ultimate quest.  Therefore, he does not run to obey rules, but he cannot run if he does not stay within the rules of the race. Finally, the farmer whose ultimate goal is a harvest. The few seeds that are sown will hopefully become many seeds in the harvest. The farmer cannot make the seeds grow. Only God in his providence does that. Then does the farmer just pray for seeds to grow and leave it at that?  No, he prepares the soil, plants the seed, waters and weeds, and then watches and waits. He has machinery to keep in working condition and multiple other things to attend to that do not directly look like they are a part of the harvest, but they are. So you must be part soldier, part athlete, and part farmer.  You must live with a singleness of purpose that can be described in different ways.  You live to please God and not for secondary things. You live your life towards a final goal.  You train for that purpose. You also desire and expect a harvest, a multiplied return on your investment.  You have been given the opportunity to have a multi-generational impact. This doesn’t mean your goal is to “change the world.”  It is not. Your goal is to be found faithful. Your ambition is to please God, to run faithfully the race he has marked out for you, and to do whatever you do with all of your might because you are working for the Lord and, thus, your labor is never in vain.  To impact others towards the King and the Kingdom, begin with your own life by making it your ambition to be found faithful. Make this your controlling goal. When you do, others will be drawn to your life. Then through your life they will be drawn to Jesus.

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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