Mission Devotional - January 13, 2017

Opening Prayer: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you.

Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Journal: What do you truly believe about how and why God made you? What do you truly believe was in God's heart as he formed and made you? For what purpose did he breathe you into being? Are you accomplishing his purposes with your life? If not, why not?

Reflection: O God, what was in your mind when you formed me and dreamt me into being, before the foundations of the earth? What was your divine intention for me and for my life? What were your grand plans for me? What mission did you have for me that only I could accomplish? How did you mold and make and form me to be a unique expression of your love, care, and creativity? And was there a smile on your face and joy in your heart as you breathed me into being?

For what, O God, have I been consecrated and appointed? To whom did you intend to send me, and what words did you specifically put in my mouth to deliver? O Lord, forgive me when I fall short of your grand design. Forgive me when I think too little of myself - and too little of you - to think that you could possibly have made me for some grand purpose when you formed me. Forgive me when I let fear or inadequacy stop me from fulfilling the mission for which I was sent. And forgive me when I allow the busyness and chaos of everyday life to distort or distract me from that mission.

Lord God, I belong to you. I am the work of your strong and loving hands. You made me to be a unique and beautiful expression of yourself in the world. Give me the strength and the courage to be that.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

L and E serve in a Creative Access country. L is working to make evangelical literature available to the nations so that people can come to Christ. Pray today for all of the small groups and book clubs that L and E are using to connect with people in their country. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel.

Heart for Lebanon is a faith-based holistic ministry that uses relief in many cases, but not exclusively, as the first step in the process of transforming an individual and their community. They seek to unconditionally serve those who have been marginalized and rejected in Lebanon, including refugees from Syria. Pray today for the staff of this ministry that they may have the stamina needed to carry out their mission this month.

Closing Prayer: "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations - that's what I had in mind for you.

Don't say, 'I'm only a boy.' I'll tell you where to go and you'll go there. I'll tell you what to say and you'll say it. Don't be afraid of a soul. I'll be right there, looking after you.

Look! I've just put my words in your mouth - hand-delivered! See what I've done? I've given you a job to do among nations and governments - a red-letter day! Your job is to pull up and tear down, take apart and demolish, and then start over, building and planting." (The Message)