Closing the Gap 12.17.18

By December 17, 2018Daily Devotional

Advent Season

Week 50 Day 1

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:

Luke 2:1-16 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Reflect:

Hope is a powerful thing.  It is a thought based on a thing, event, or person.  It is an emotion and it is deeper than a thought and it drives action when “reason” says “give up!”  Hope drives people to accomplish what might seem impossible. Hopelessness drives people to give up on what is entirely possible.  “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”(Proverbs 13:12)  When the “Living Hope” was born in Bethlehem it was with much heavenly fanfare but with little human attention.  What gets “heaven’s” attention and what gets “earth’s” attention are often two very different things. Jesus said that what is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. What people tend to seen as valuable is what they have placed their hopes in.  One reason God finds what people value as detestable is because of his love for men and women. He knows that misplaced values lead to misplaced hopes.  A misplaced hope leads to misplaced lives.  Something that is misplaced is lost. Lostness is a component of having misplaced, or wrong hopes.  Jesus came to earth in ways that most humans would deem strange. When the Savior of the world would come his coming would be the most important event in history.    Thus the wise men went looking for him in a palace not a stable. They searched for the Savior in line with their own ideas of what is valuable. Christ came to set our values straight in order that we would set our hopes straight.  He came not be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Hope is powerful but it must be well placed. It has the power to drive action and to propel our very lives. But in the end if the hope was not in Christ then the hope drove life to a dead end.  Value what is valuable, hope for what is certain. Close the gap on faith and love today by examining closely what you holding on to most closely and dearly in your heart.

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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