Closing the Gap 10.18.18

By October 18, 2018Daily Devotional

Demonstrate an Open and Honest Life
Week 41 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 John 1:5-11 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Reflect:

1 John 1:9 has been called “spiritual breathing.”  When we sin we “exhale confession and inhale forgiveness.”  This truth does not imply “cheap grace” or that the confession of sin is a small, insignificant thing.  What it means is that we can and we should move through life keeping short accounts with God. We do not have to try and pay for sin by “feeling bad” or by hiding from God in shame until we believe we have “suffered adequately.”  We can move through life constantly “breathing” God’s grace. We cannot pay for our sins and we must not try. Repentance is the process whereby we see our sins as God does, then we turn around and go his direction. This process begins in our minds, but shows up ultimately in our actions.  Since God stands so ready to forgive, we should both stand ready to forgive one another and also to quickly and completely confess our sins to one another. This lifestyle of “spiritual breathing” can empower us to live more open and honest lives because we don’t have to hide from one another in shame.  We don’t have to pretend we are doing better than we actually are. As we comprehend that we are fully accepted and forgiven by God, then we can take greater risks to forgive and accept one another. A person whose foundational relationship is secure is able to venture out into other less secure relationships.  The foundational relationship for all of humanity is with God, who is the creator and Father of us all. In the gospel, that relationship has been restored and permanently secured. Now, from that secure foundation we can love, forgive, and live appropriately open lives with one another. This secure foundation doesn’t mean we will never suffer difficulty in relationships or that we cannot be hurt by others.  It does mean that we will increasingly be able to approach one another in ways that seek to give life rather than take it. This fact alone increases the overall health of our relationships. Our relationships can now reflect his abundance rather than merely our own need because he is continually meeting our deepest need.

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.

 

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Denise Hulse says:

    Please pray for my friend, Carol. She has been my closest friend and accountability partner for decades. I know the day that she received Christ, and the Holy Spirit, grace, and faith have been more obvious in her life than in hardly any other person I have ever known. Oh, how I wish she could hear and receive the words of today’s devotional. She believes that she has committed the unforgivable sin by not being willing to surrender her kids and grandkids to the Lord in a Bible study one day. She was told that sometimes God takes from us what are unwilling to surrender, and she believes that because she didn’t consciously surrender them that day that both she and they are going to be in hell for eternity. The enemy torments her constantly, and she is unable to do anything but the most basic things for herself. She sees flames whoever she looks, and the enemy tells her that that is what she, her husband, her son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids are going to be experiencing for eternity. She can’t bear to see her son and his wife aor her grandkids because she believes that she has ruined them for eternity. So she Won’t go out of town to see them, or allow them to come and see her. I am the only one that she has told these things to, and I believe that I had been making some headway in reaching her heart, to let her know that right now she is just Jesus’ little lost lamb, but that she is sealed for eternity in Christ. She has even left her house twice to meet with me (before that I went to her at home) and is able to take personal care of herself.

    But Monday I am heading into a pretty major surgery for my back (spinal fusion and laminectomy for severe scoliosis and stenosis). And although I am definitely not expecting to die under the knife, it will be almost 3 months recovery out of town (with my RN daughter and doctor son-in-law) before I am able to come back to Wichita and meet with her again. Please pray that while I am gone the Lord will be able to reach her heart to let her know that she is definitely loved by Him; and that she won’t slide back down into total depression and dysfunction.

    Sorry that this is so long, but as I have my quiet time this morning concern for her is the number one thing on my heart. Thank you for listening. And thank you for your prayers. Denise

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