OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: TUESDAY 10TH JULY 2018
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THEME: THERE SHOULD BE NO GAP.
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Matthew 26:58
READ: Matthew 26:56-58
56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
God is Spirit, and so He does not have physical attributes or possess a form like that of a physical body. For this reason, a “closeness” of “gap” between mankind and God in the real sense of these words is practically untenable. The existence of closeness or space between man and God is therefore used as a spiritual term to express the level of relationship that exists between us and God. The Bible speaks of a gap or space between God and man in terms of a break in fellowship between God and man in terms of a break in fellowship between them, otherwise described as backsliding, falling away or staying away from God or godliness (Ezekiel 22:30). It portrays rebellion, betrayal, faithlessness or apostasy. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the Bible teaches that a falling away will precede the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Confirming this, the Spirit of God further spoke on people falling away from the faith in 1Timothy 4:1:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
The apostasy spoken of here by the Holy Spirit includes giving attention to doctrinal deception, moral insensitivity and departing from the truth in God’s word. The world is obviously in the last days, as we can see these prophecies being fulfilled more than ever before.
Several things can create a gap between God and man: hardship, temptation, lust, doubt, complacency and self-indulgence. Once a gap is allowed to develop, a more devastating outcome will follow. The gap that existed between peter and Jesus Christ after His arrest eventually led to Peter’s denial of the Master. To maintain a healthy fellowship or relationship with the Lord, we must follow Him closely rather than from afar off. As soon as a gap developed between Peter and Jesus, his status changed from being a member of Christ’s inner circle to being a mere spectator who could only observe things from afar off. Peter lost the privilege of direct communication with Jesus, and he could no longer ask questions or receive directions from the Master. What a terrible loss this was! Thankfully, God is able to heal His backsliding children (Hosea 14:4). He is also able to keep them from falling away (Jude 1:1). However, some people argue that although a Christian may stray, he or she can never totally fall away, and so once saved, a person is forever saved. This is a lie of the devil as we have seen in our devotional for the first two days of the month. Romans 6:1 tell us that if e continue in sin, grace is rendered ineffective. BE WARNED! Maintain a close and healthy relationship with Jesus always.
Father, please grant me grace never to stray from You in Jesus’ Name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 2 Chronicle 14-15
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 15: NEARER MY GOD TO THEE.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
There let me see the sight, an open Heaven;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!