Closing the Gap 10.26.18

By October 26, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 42 Day 5

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:

The Lord’s demand that we maintain clear relationships is not a burden; it is an opportunity and a privilege.  Ongoing strife, unconfessed and unforgiven sin, broken relationships…these things are a burden and a curse. When Jesus told the worshipper to stop his worship and go make things right with his brother, this was Jesus inviting the worshipper to experience life as it has been designed.  It was Jesus inviting the worshipper into the Lord’s quality of life. The Triune God had lived in unbroken fellowship since eternity past. The only time Jesus would experience anything resembling disunity would be when he bore our sins on the cross. There on the cross, in a way that is a mystery, God the Father turned his face away from God the Son.  On the cross Jesus cried, “Why have you forsaken me?” This cry of despair was not a real question in that Jesus did not know why. It was a cry of pain, the pain of bearing our sin leading to relational separation he had not previously experienced. Jesus knew why God had to forsake him, but the pain of that experience was great indeed. Jesus bore our sins and willingly experienced the loss of fellowship with God the Father.  He did this for us. We, on the other hand, experience the loss of fellowship with one another because of our sins and it need not be and it should not be. The gospel transforms our relationship with God and with one another. We do not have to experience separation from God and we do not have to experience separation from one another. There is simply no good reason for two Christ followers to live in ongoing disunity. So Jesus said, “Stop…I’ll be ready for your worship when you return, now go to your friend, your brother, your sister, your son, your daughter, your parent.  Make things right with them and then come back to me and we will truly enjoy our relationship.” This is not Jesus laying a heavy burden on us; this is part of the gospel removing a heavy burden from us. Maintain clear relationships with others to whatever extent you possibly can. This is a benefit of the gospel gift that is yours to experience. Jesus experienced separation so that you can experience unity both with God and with one another. Do not despise this great gift; enjoy it.

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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