Closing the Gap 12.26.18

By December 26, 2018December 27th, 2018Daily Devotional

Advent Season

Week 51 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:

Rev. 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Reflect:

If you have believed the gospel your future is bright.  It is a future void of death, grief, and pain. Your future is an inheritance that cannot be lost or taken because God protects it.  However, now for a “little while” you will likely suffer the grief of various trials. These trials are part of God’s refinement process that is directly connected to your bright future.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:3-7)  Now, about that phrase a “little while.” Peter either had a different perspective on time or he was exaggerating. The trials that you are enduring certainly do not feel like a “little while.” For some they are life long struggles. Peter was not exaggerating; he did in fact have a different perspective. He had trained his mind to see the current struggle from the perspective of the promised end. It is true that Peter is unique; he had a front row seat to the earthly life of the Lord. It is also true that Peter gained this perspective in the same way that you can. He set his mind on the promises and power of God and over time this shaped his perspective into what it became. He is not making light of present trials he is making much of future glory.  Lest you think he was alone in this perspective Paul said much the same thing,  “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17)  Paul might seem to be diminishing or even belittling the terrible struggles that people endure but he was not. Like Peter he was making much of the future, he was not denying the weight of the present. Compared to the weight of glory, the present struggles are lightweights.  Maybe you are not there yet in your perspective. Don’t worry; just keep closing the gap. You can but if you will. It is not easy work to get a great perspective but it is good work. And if you are willing, God is happy to help you.

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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