Closing the Gap 9.10.18

By September 10, 2018September 17th, 2018Daily Devotional

Life retreats to the roots as the dying leaves descend into the fall. Yet the vine is not dead, it cannot be, and so the branches will live once again.

Week 36 Day 1

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:

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Reflect:

The Lord spoke through Jeremiah and told his people who were living their lives as captives of their enemies, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).  They would be in dire circumstances, but God would be found by them if they would seek him. It is a great comfort to know that those who seek God will find God. However, there is an important qualification given in Jeremiah.  You must be an authentic seeker who seeks “with all your heart.” Nicodemus appeared to be an authentic seeker. He would later defend Jesus before other religious leaders and bring expensive burial supplies to Jesus’ tomb. In his encounter with Jesus, Nicodemus was simultaneously drawn to Jesus and confused by him.  He could see that Jesus was clearly from God, but he was puzzled by what exactly Jesus was all about. Here was Nicodemus, a man who was trained in “religious” matters, but he was unable to pinpoint exactly who Jesus really was. He was a seeker who came to Jesus at night. We don’t know if this was because he was afraid of what his peers might think or just because it was when access to Jesus was more readily available.  In any case, it was not just a matter of him having a spur-of-the-moment question for Jesus. He was intentional in going to the Lord to try and find out who he really was. You have seekers all around you. In many cases, the fact that they are seeking will not be readily apparent to you or even to them. They may know they are empty and feel their need, but not even know that they are really searching for God. You may look at their lives and see people who are hard, who have things together, or who seem disinterested, but you cannot judge based on externals.  Many people who are close to the kingdom on the “inside” look far away from it on the “outside.” Think for a moment about the people God has placed in your life. Who have you written off as being unreachable, uninterested? Do you need to ask God to open your eyes to what might really be happening in their lives? Seek the seeker. Pray for eyes to see them as they truly are. God is seeking them and they are seeking him. Even if they don’t always know that he is what they are searching for.

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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