Closing the Gap 11.21.18

By November 21, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 46 Day 3

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:

Prov. 13:18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

Prov. 15:10 Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die.

Prov. 15:32 He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

Reflect:

These are dire warnings for those who ignore correction.  So, is this correction from the Lord or from other people?  Most likely the answer is both. Of course, God can and does correct and instruct directly and through the Bible, but very often he also speaks to us through others.  To ignore correction and direction in whatever form it takes is to “despise yourself.” Why is this so? Because of our insecurity and pride we tend to see correction as a threat to our well-being.  We would rather be happily wrong, than unhappily right in our thinking and living. The problem is that happily wrong will soon become unhappily wrong and unhappily right will eventually lead to a good place, if we stay the course.  To ignore direction and correction is to despise yourself because it is failing to heed God’s loving attempts to redirect you off a bad path. Very often, failing to heed repeated warnings leads to irrevocable damage. There is a very stern warning along these lines in the book of Proverbs:  “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed — without remedy” (Pr. 29:1). When the end of the opportunity comes, it is too late to make a difference in the outcome. Of course, as long as we breathe we can repent and turn to God or return to him. However, God’s gracious forgiveness does not undo all of the consequences that may have come into our lives as a result of not heeding correction.  Perhaps you feel you are nowhere near being this hard-hearted or hardheaded. You would never remain this obstinate after many attempts by God and others to correct you. Hopefully, that is true for you and so the warning given here is not for you. But be careful, even if you are not in danger of some dire consequence, we are often in danger of missing many small opportunities and blessings and escaping many small problems because of our pride and self-trust.  Ask God to help you hear from him and others. Ask him for clarity in your understanding and courage in your actions. It is his kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Is he offering you kindness in the form of a correction now? Will you receive his kindness?

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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