Closing the Gap 11.22.18

By November 22, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 46 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:

Eph. 4:14-15 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

Reflect:

The contrast here is between heresy and the truth of the gospel.  Paul is casting a vision for living as spiritual adults who are not blown around by clever sounding words that are, in fact, wrong.  It is love that speaks the truth to lies, because lies that are lived out lead to lives that are ruined. James wrote: “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).  Here again is the loving proclamation of the truth of the gospel that turns sinful men and woman from error. The result is that they are saved from spiritual death and all of their sins are forgiven. The fact that speaking the truth of the gospel to people is an act of love can be missed, and often is, because by and large people do not like to be told that what they are believing or doing is wrong.  Let’s turn our attention now to the truth “teller.” Whether it is telling the truth of the gospel to a person who has never been born again or reminding a believer of the truth of the gospel as a corrective to their rebellion, it can take courage to speak the truth in love. We do not sell the gospel, but to non-believers and believers alike, we must tell the gospel. We must do so from a “mindset” and from a “heart” of love.  We must understand that whether people feel loved by our “truth-telling” or not, telling the truth is an act of love. As we tell the truth, we must do all we can to make the truth appealing and “realistic” to others. This involves many important factors, but chief among them is authenticity on our part. Truth does not depend on our ability to defend it or live it. Truth stands by itself whether any human lives it or believes it.  However, although truth is inherently beautiful in itself, it can be seen as less so when spoken through the lips of person whose life does not align with it. Of course, this alignment need not be perfect, but it must be authentic. Speak the truth in love to others, for God’s glory and for their good. Speak the truth in love to others from a life that is determined to live and to die resolutely headed in the direction of the Lord Jesus who is the Truth.  Never mind that you fail. Do not let failure silence you. Let the needs of others drive you to continually mess up, fess up, and move on in your walk with others. People need to hear the truth from authentic lips. If not from you, then from who?

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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