Closing the Gap 11.30.18

By November 30, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 47 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:

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:

Ideally, in the act of communion you engage all of who you are as a person.  You use your mind to remember what Christ has done. Your emotions are activated as you are drawn towards Christ and others in the act of remembering.  With your body you touch and taste and smell and see the elements. And you do all of this in community as a choice made to proclaim the reality of the gospel and the relationship with God which it has opened up for you.  I say “ideally” because it is possible to simply go through the motions. It is possible to turn the celebration of the Lord’s sacrifice into a meaningless ritual, void of the powerful impact that it could make in our lives.  The Lord died once, but his death is to be celebrated over and over. The reality of the transformation brought by his death comes into our lives in an instant at the moment of our conversion. But it is the active practice of remembering and engaging the transformation reality that turns the potential of becoming like Christ into the actual experience of Christlikeness.  Communion is but one of many means God has given us to close the gap on becoming like Christ. These are means and not the end. The end is to grow in Christlikeness and the many means are ways or paths for you to journey on to that great end. In the celebration of communion, as in other useful means, it is important to fully engage realities, not merely perform rituals. The reality of his death on the cross and all that his death has brought to us should be engaged in in communion.  The reality of peace with God spilling over into peace with one another should be engaged in our lives together in communion. The reality of God’s self-revelation in his word given to us should be engaged as we read, study, and think deeply about the Bible. In these means and many more, we engage the reality of God – not mere religious ritual – in order to become different at our very core. We “do” these things because “doing” is a powerful ally in becoming. However, it is important that that we remember why we do what we do.  It is not to impress, or to earn, but to celebrate and to become like our Savior.

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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