Closing the Gap 9.19.18

By September 19, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 37 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:

2 Thess. 1:8-9 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.

Reflect:

The exclusivity of the claims of Christ can be troubling for some and infuriating for others.  Who is Jesus to believe that he is the only way? Who are Christians to believe that many sincere people are wrong? However, everyone is exclusive in their view of truth.  Those who believe there is no absolute in terms of religious truth are absolute in that belief. That is, they would believe the person who does believe in absolutes is wrong.  If they believe they are right (no absolutes) and others are wrong, then what do you have but a person who is absolute in their disbelief of absolutes. The fact is everyone believes something is true and something is not true.  Those who believe Jesus is not the only way believe that He and his followers are wrong. They believe they are right about Jesus being wrong. It is important as you consider verses such as the one for today and struggle with the exclusive and harsh nature of its claims that you keep in mind that either this verse is true or it is not.  It is not important how you or anyone else “feels” about it. However, it is very important that we believe what is real and align our lives with that reality. If this verse is not real, then we should disregard it along with all the rest of Scripture that makes gospel truth claims. If this verse is real, then it has very real bearing on our beliefs and behaviors today.  So, we are not left with the choice of not having to choose. We are not able to “keep our options” open and just accept all views of reality as equally valid or equally invalid. We have to decide because the stakes are just too high. What will you believe about Jesus? Is he who he said he was? Is he a reliable source for understanding what is ultimately real? How does he “stack up” against others who propose to speak about what is real?  You would do well to trust Jesus; he is unique in all of human history. To live with perpetually “open options” is not wise and generous. In fact, it is unwise and ruinous. It’s not really even possible. You have to decide everyday how you will live and those decisions require conclusions about what is and is not true. In the real world, you will either live as if the gospel is true and real or you will live as if it is not. You cannot live as if the gospel is both true and not true. Decide, and then go live decided.  

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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