March 7 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart, and give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, wisdom and understanding, Lord, that I may carry out your holy and true command. Amen. - St. Francis of Assisi 

Scripture Reading for the Day: Mark 8:31-33

Journal: How does operating by your agenda get you in trouble sometimes? In what areas of life is it most tempting to charge ahead before getting direction from God? What would it look like for you to have in mind the things of God, ratherthan having in mind the things of men? Are you willing to get behind Jesus?

Reflection: I don’t know about you, but it is easy for me at times to get ahead of myself. To move and act and live life before I have really reflected and thought and prayed about the life I most want to live - or the life that God most wants to live in me.    

And it is also easy in this life of faith to get ahead of God at times as well. It is easy for us to charge ahead with our plans and schemes and agendas - even for the kingdom, mind you - without really listening and seeking and getting direction from God. 

 I’m glad to see that I am not alone. Peter had the same problem. So much so that when Jesus told him what was to come, he adamantly disagreed with him - even rebuked him - because those plans did not agree with his own. That’s where the “Get behind me, Satan!” part comes in. Peter had charged ahead when the place he needed to be was firmly behind - behind Jesus. And Jesus reminded him of that, quite boldly I might add. 

It is just so easy to charge ahead sometimes; to follow our own plans for how we think things should work, or things should go, or things should be. There is obviously a great danger when that happens. For when we charge ahead, we actually become a stumbling block to Jesus rather than a follower. For ours is not to charge ahead, ours is just to follow closely behind. What will that look like today?

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself 

R. and G. are serving at a sanitorium for chest diseases and a children’s home, focusing on bringing holistic healthcare to the semi-nomadic people of an area in the Middle East. R. is a dentist and G. is a teacher and artist. Pray today for this family while they are guests at our Global Mission Conference. Meet them and find out how you can pray for their family.

Al Hayat Airtime programming has captured the attention of Muslim men and women around the world since its launch in 2003. Through innovative programming, Al Hayat has become a powerful force against the deceptions of Islam. Pray today for the leaders of this organization.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, my God, forgive me when I have in mind the things of men rather than the things of God. Help me to be willing to embrace your direction and your will in all that I do, rather than my own. Amen.