Closing the Gap 10.8.18

By October 8, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 40 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:

1 Peter 4:10-11 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Reflect:

When a child receives a gift, he is not prone to want to share it.  Perhaps when he has grown tired of it or if it is replaced with another gift that is more interesting, he might let other children have access to the gift.  But the child normally sees a gift as being entirely for his own pleasure, not for the enjoyment of others. As we mature (if we mature?), we come to see the reality that our enjoyment of gifts is multiplied when we share them with others.  As we put childish ways behind us we learn to use whatever gifts we receive to serve others, not self. God gives his people spiritual gifts and these gifts are sources of great joy for the recipient, but only as they are used to serve others.  We are really conduits or pipelines of God’s gifts. His grace flows into us in the form of certain capabilities and opportunities and then it flows through us to others as they are blessed by our expression of his gifts. If our hearts turn into reservoirs rather than pipelines, we are not able to “hoard” more joy and satisfaction.  His life “in” us is meant to be his life “through” us. If we shut off the outflow, then we are also shutting off the inflow. This is part of what Paul meant in his prayer for Philemon: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Phm. 1:6). It was to be Philemon’s sharing of the gift of faith that would lead to a fuller understanding and enjoyment of all that was his in Christ.  The principle is clear; you have been gifted by God to serve others. When you serve others you are in a real sense “serving self”, because your own joy and life satisfaction is multiplied. Selfishness is a universally failed method for personal happiness; it has never worked and it will never work. Serving others is a universally successful method for personal happiness. How much more so when your service is a conduit of the grace of God to others!

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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