Closing the Gap 11.12.18

By November 12, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 45 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:

2 Cor. 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Reflect:

We often get anxious, angry, or defensive when we are pushed to give attention in an area in which we are struggling.  We tend to enjoy it when we read or hear about important life issues that we are currently doing well in, but not so much if we feel we are failing in those areas.  Praying, sharing the gospel, diet, exercise, forgiveness, and money, these are examples of areas in which we can feel “pushed.” Instead of anxiety, anger, or defensiveness, when we are challenged to do better or do something other than what we are doing, it would be good and wise to take a calm and honest look at the issue.  If the anxiety or anger is unwarranted, because we are not actually falling short, then disregard it. You ultimately answer to God and if he is “okay” with what you are doing or not doing, then that is all that matters. If the issue is legitimate and you are actually falling short in an important area of faith and life, then anxiety and anger are unwarranted once again.  What we want is to obey God, to know his pleasure, and to bring him pleasure. If, in his mercy, he helps us see how we can better align our will with his and our lives with his, then we have to change our thinking and our feeling and embrace his good for us. Anxiety, anger, and defensive postures are warning lights. They are not the real issue, but they do indicate that there is an issue.  So, when it comes to the stewardship of your money, how are you doing? Are you generous, obedient, and joyful in your giving? If so, then rejoice in the freedom you know in this area. If you are not, why not? It is never a matter of can you afford to give, of course you can. Is God not able to make you abound so that will have all you need? Giving money is not, at its root, about money. It is about confidence in God.  What do you feel as you read about the opportunity and responsibility to give generously and cheerfully? Anxiety, anger, defensiveness? Joy, freedom, peace? Maybe somewhere in between? If you want clarity, wisdom, and freedom on this or on any issue, the place to start is with a settled “yes!” “Lord, the answer is ‘yes’ to whatever you want, now help me understand what it is you want.” From that starting point, you are positioned to move more fully and freely into the center of his will for your life.  Wherever do you want to live?

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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