Closing the Gap 10.25.18

By October 25, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 42 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:

Matt. 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Reflect:

Divorce is common.  Broken relationships are common.  Division and separation are common.  What is common is not what should be the norm.  People living in long-term harmonious relationships is uncommon, but it should be normative.  We were designed to live in community and ongoing harmony, but sin has reordered relationships where disharmony has become normal.  The gospel is God’s intrusion into the disorder of what has become normative in order to bring back the order of his original, intended norm.  How can we say what should be normative? Some believe that whatever is, is right. But, if anyone is honest, they know that the psalmist was right when he wrote, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”(Psalm 133:1)  Of course, it is good and pleasing to see two people living in harmony. There is nothing pleasant or good about people who are at odds with one another. There can be no doubt that when two people purpose to live in unity, they can and they will.  If one remains undetermined, then there is no guarantee of peace and harmony. But when both sides of a relationship are equally committed to the good of the relationship, then that relationship will be good and pleasant for them, for others, and for God himself.  This is not naïve thinking, this is simple fact. What is uncommon and, therefore, rarely good and pleasant for many, should still be the bottom line norm in relationships for those who claim the name of Christ. You may believe you have good reason to hold a grudge or to not forgive.  But if it is at all possible to regain a relationship, then you must do so because you have better reason to do it. You belong to Jesus; your life’s purpose is to bring him glory and joy. It is good and pleasant for him when you live in unity with others. What is good and pleasant for him would be the same for us if our hearts were properly ordered.  If you trust him enough to obey him by doing all you can to live in unity with others, then you will see him prove himself faithful. You will enjoy what he enjoys and you will experience in your life what is ultimately most valuable.

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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