Closing the Gap 9.24.18

By September 24, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 38 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:

Matt. 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Reflect:

Jesus began his “Great Commission” with a declaration of his authority.  This is important to note because what he is telling his people to do is going to be widely misunderstood and disagreed with.  This was true then, it is also true today. He is instructing his friends to go and tell people to obey Jesus and to follow him with their lives.  What this means is that all other beliefs that have shaped their lives were wrong. He didn’t say, “Go tell everyone who doesn’t follow me how wrong they are.”  He told them to proclaim the good news of the gospel. But clearly many who heard this good news were going to hear it as the bad news of “you are wrong!” Now you can see why Jesus started with his absolute authority.  “All authority, everywhere has been given me,” he declared. Absolute authority has been given by God the Father to God the Son. When a source of legitimate authority makes a declaration that falls under that authority’s jurisdiction or scope of power, then that declaration is true and legitimate.  Jesus’ scope of power is all heaven and earth. That covers everything and everywhere. His commission to go and make disciples has legitimacy because of who he is. Other human founders of religions have made bold claims, but they lacked the legitimacy to make those claims. They had not been given all authority; they had simply tried to assume authority on themselves.  These religious founders did not demonstrate by the quality and power of their lives that they had absolute authority, but Jesus did. They did not rise from the dead. They are still in the graves, so their claims to authority over ultimate matters of life and death are not valid. The starting point for making the good news known to others is the absolute authority of Jesus to make truth claims that apply to everyone, everywhere.  Think about the authority of Jesus, consider what the implications of his authority are for your life today. What are the implications of his authority for those you interact with today, and what are the implications for ignoring his legitimate authority? Since he knows what is real, what is valuable, and what is lasting… what, then, are the implications for those who disregard him? What are the benefits of those who obey him?

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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