Closing the Gap 10.11.18

By October 11, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 40 Day 4

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 Pet. 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:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25).  It is always good for husbands to be challenged to love their wives, but the application of that verse for today is that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  If we love Christ, we will love the church. Many see the church as irrelevant or mostly so in regard to a “personal” relationship with Christ. The Bible, and therefore God himself, would not agree with that assessment.  The church was and is and will be God’s plan for his people to live in relationship with him. By “personal” relationship, if one means that each person must choose individually to follow Christ, then that is correct. However, often it means that my relationship with God is entirely “my own business” and it has little or nothing to do with others.  It is this kind of thinking that Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 12. He uses the analogy of a physical body to describe how the church, a spiritual body, is made up of individual parts. Each part needs the others. An unattached physical arm, or eye, or leg, is a horrific thought, a tragedy. Likewise, an unattached and uncommitted member of Christ’s body, the church, is a tragic and horrific thing.  It simply ought not to be. Peter, of course, agrees with Paul on this matter. The only way each individual can use their gifts to serve one another is to live in connected relationship in a local body. Of course, the “Church” is made up of all Christ followers of all time periods and in every place. However, for the most part, in order to use your gifts to serve one another you must live in the same time and place with them.  In your physical body, your arm doesn’t live in jealousy of your leg and your eye doesn’t hold a grudge against your ears. Your body is many parts, but they form a single whole and they work together for the common good. When this is not true, there is disease and dysfunction in the body. Lay aside jealousy and pettiness. The people who are busy using their gifts to serve others are the very people who are enjoying the most meaningful and satisfying lives.  What might be keeping you from consistently enjoying this kind of life?

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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