Closing the Gap 10.3.18

By October 3, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 39 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:

Acts 1:8-11 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Reflect:

Is evangelism religious bigotry?  To tell someone they “need” Jesus is to indirectly tell them that if they believe something other than the gospel is true, then they are wrong.  The fact is, all people believe that what they believe is true. Otherwise, they would believe something else. If they believe their belief is true, then by default they must believe other beliefs are not true.  But what of those who are more “generous” in their beliefs? What of those who believe that all beliefs are equally valid; don’t they escape the “trap” of religious bigotry? Not really. If they believe all beliefs are equally valid, then the first problem they have is what to do with the fact that many beliefs are mutually exclusive.  To be mutually exclusive means that you cannot hold them all to be true at the same time. The other problem is that if you believe all beliefs are equally valid, then what do you do with the belief that says there is only one valid belief? The dilemma here is that the view that all beliefs are valid cannot accept the opposing view that all beliefs are not valid.  Therefore, no one is truly completely inclusive in their beliefs. Something is ultimately true and other beliefs that are at odds with this truth are wrong. You can be mean and bigoted whether you are right or wrong about something, but to believe you are right and others are wrong does not automatically make you mean and bigoted. Followers of Christ are to approach all people with kindness and gentleness.  They are to listen and seek to understand, not merely talk and seek to be understood. They are to accept and love people where they are and pray and encourage them to become who God wants them to be. If you seek to make Christ known to those who do not know him, you may well be misunderstood and criticized. You may be accused of being mean-spirited and judgmental. Just be sure that you are not mean and judgmental.  Make sure the accusations are false. Love God. Love people. Love God and people by making God’s love known to people. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).

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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