Closing the Gap 12.12.18

By December 12, 2018Daily Devotional

Advent Season

Week 49 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:

Is. 9:1-7 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Reflect:

The prophets did a lot of foretelling of future events but much of what they said was directed at their present day.  We are told enough about the future to know that it is secure, but not so much that we can attempt to live there. We trust the future to the Lord but we honor the Lord with our lives in the present.  Often, perhaps too often, prophecy has been misused as a way of not fully engaging the present time. It has become a source of intellectual curiosity and a mental diversion rather than its intended motivation to live fully in the present time with confidence.  The actual present can be hard, or dull, or unhappy and an imagined future can be easier, more exciting, and much better. Be careful that the imagined future is more than wishful thinking. Not that it is wrong or unhelpful to dream of a better day. But if we live perpetually dreaming of a future that we believe will be better but is not really promised by God then we do not live resilient, faith-filled lives in the present.  The future we dream of may or may not come if God has not promised it to us. By all means dream, plan, and work for whatever “better” future you hope for.  But if your future hope does not lead to full engagement in the present then it is off track.  “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) Since this is so, God intends for us to fully engage today and to rejoice in the various aspects that make today, today.  Of course not every part of today seems good to us.  Perhaps much, or all of today seems bad. But this day will not have the final say in our lives. Choose to fix your thoughts on the future God has promised to you.  Let those thoughts shape your feelings and actions today. This is not wishful thinking this is wise living. Ultimate truth must shape today’s choices.

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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