Mission Devotional - December 21, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Opening Prayer: Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:2-3)

Scripture: Isaiah 55:2-3

Journal: What voices are loudest within you these days? Do they give life to your soul of deplete your soul? How will you listen and hear that your soul may live?

Reflection: I am full of voices. So full in fact that it is often hard to discern one voice from another. The voices of my anxieties, insecurities, and fears are loud and demand constant attention. And to be honest, when I listen to them they completely drain and deplete my soul.

God's voice, on the other hand, is quiet and soft and nonintrusive. It, by design, can only be heard when my soul is still and silent and at rest. Which can make hearing it a bit of a challenge. But when I am finally at a place, and in a space, where I can come to stillness and hear his voice, it has the direct opposite effect on my soul. God's voice produces life within me, and peace. It nourishes and nurtures, it guides and directs, it creates joy and delight.

My challenge, then, is to listen, listen to him and not allow the more obvious voices to overwhelm and control me. My job is to give ear, come to him, and hear. It is a process that will not just happen on its own. It will not just fall on my head. It means that I must be intentional. I must make time and space to quiet all of the voices that negate life, and to listen the still, soft voice of God that nourishes and creates it. The only question is: "How will I do that today?"

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Chris and Donna Roberts have been living in Müllheim, Germany for almost a year working with Young Life's German-speaking ministries. Chris is an Area Developer for Young Life's new service learning initiative in which he will help develop and implement a curriculum for service learning that uses Young Life methodology to reach German-speaking teenagers. Pray today for a project this month to provide a meal at a day home for the homeless.

Cedar Springs adopted Lonsdale Elementary in 2003. Lonsdale, with more than 400 students PreK through 5th grade, only serves the Lonsdale area. Over the years, the racial make-up of the school, whose students are 100% free lunch qualified, has changed to primarily Hispanic and African-American children. Pray today for all the children that attend Lonsdale Elementary, their families, and their teachers as they enter the holiday break.

Closing Prayer: Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, "Speak, for thy servant heareth." Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen. (The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer)