Closing the Gap 11.16.18

By November 16, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 45 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:

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:

If each person should give what he has decided to give and if God loves a cheerful giver, then can I give a meager sum if that is what I decide to give and what I can cheerfully give?  If God has given you a meager sum of grace in your heart, if your love for Christ is meager, and if you are okay with having a meager amount of joy in the gospel, then yes, give a meager amount.  But if God has blessed you immeasurably, if he has put the love of Christ in your heart, and if you want to increase your joy in the gospel, then give generously by faith and watch your heart become more cheerful.  This is no “sales job” here, because Paul is not selling anything. Instead, this is a “tells job,” as Paul is simply telling the truth of how the world actually works. God blesses cheerful and generous givers. How this blessing will manifest is going to be different from person to person and situation to situation, but whether it will manifest is not in doubt.  Paul is not saying, “If you cannot give cheerfully, then don’t give at all.” He is saying, “Learn to have a heart that can and does give cheerfully.” Will you trust God with your money? If you will not, then you cannot trust him with your life. If you want to experience the life God has for you, it will require that you give your life away. You can experience abundant life, but it is found in daily dying to self.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done” (Matt. 16:24-27).

Dying to self is the pathway to the fullness of life.  “Yes, Lord, what good is it to gain the world and lose the soul?  It is a terrible thing to contemplate and a more terrible thing to experience.  Deliver us from all that would take our hearts away from you. Deliver to all the good of the life you have purchased for us.  We were bought with a great price, all we have, all we are…is yours.”

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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