Closing the Gap 11.29.18

By November 29, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 47 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:

1 Cor. 11:17-26 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Reflect:

It is tragic to even consider the fact that a celebration of the Lord’s sacrifice could do more harm than good, but that is what Paul said was happening.  The goodness of God in Christ displayed in a cross-death was submerged to human posturing, jealousy, and pettiness. How absurd…how could this happen? The cross of Christ as a reality brought us peace with God and with one another.  Too soon after the death of Christ the cross as a celebration of peace had become another chance for pride and division. By the time Paul penned this letter, the cross as a historical, spiritual reality had already become (for some at least) a cultural artifact.  It had been drained of its power to transform their lives. It is both frightening and enlightening to realize how quickly this happened. We all “leak” perspective. It drains from us like water from a bucket with a hole in the bottom. We would like to seal the leak and be able to remain full of perspective, but it is not going to happen.  Then what hope do we have? We have the hope of a continual infusion of perspective from God through the Holy Spirit. The fact that we “leak” can help us remain dependent on God. We cannot simply become full and then go away on our own and live lives independently of God. We need him day by day, and hour by hour, to pour living water into our hearts.  His grace empowers us to live thankful lives and his grace enlightens our minds to remain grateful for what he has done for us. This grace is his gift, but like all gifts it must be received. In this case, it is a gift that is to be continually received into our lives. The most crucial component of living continually in this “grace-gift” is to practice with our minds and our mouths the discipline of giving thanks.  When we become independent, or begin to fill entitled, or like we have somehow been cheated by God, then we shut off the flow of grace into our lives. God has not stopped offering it; we have stopped receiving it. To “give” thanks mean to give something back to someone who has given something to you. This is not “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” because God needs nothing from us. This is about giving thanks to the one who needs nothing from us, but wants much for us.  He wants us to be continually full of his life and, therefore, our giving him thanks is part of living in the flow of perspective that keeps us grateful and joyful.

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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