Mission Devotional - January 16, 2017

Opening Prayer:
Dear Potter,
The lump of clay that I am
keeps crying for some form
day by day
I yearn for you to mold me.

This is a trust-song, Lord
I am in your hands like clay
I am ready to be transformed:

I expect
to be molded
I expect
to be beautiful
I expect
to be loved.

And if by chance
someone should drop me
as your apprentices sometimes do,

I expect
to be hurt.

I'm just trying to say
I have surrendered
to your dream for me
I am in your hands
like clay.

(Seasons of Your Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr)

Scripture: Isaiah 64:8

Journal: What does it mean that God is your Father? What does it mean that God is the potter and you are the clay? How do those two fit together for you? How is God forming and molding you these days?

Reflection: God is the potter and we are the clay. It is so easy to get that backwards. We live in a world where we are the movers and the shakers. We are the ones who make things happen. We are the ones who determine the shape and the content of our days. We are the ones who mold and form our lives, as well as the lives of those around us. It's just what we do.

So when Isaiah reminds us that we are not the potters, but God is, it throws us for a little bit of a loop. I mean, we all know how to be potters, right? But few if any of us know how to be clay, or even like the idea. What does clay do? It sits there. Its job is to be acted upon. Its job is to be open and receptive to the hands of the potter. Its job is to yield and surrender to whatever it is to become. Its job is to be supple and pliable and moldable. In a word, its job is to be dependent. And few of us like the idea of total dependency, of absolute surrender, of complete receptivity. But such is life with God. We are the work of his hands, he is not the work of ours.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Michael and Kim Essenburg are serving at Okinawa Christian School (OCS), a school for missionary children and children of business and professional people that is located in Okinawa, Japan. Pray today for the Essenburgs who have just returned from a December home stay. They ask that you pray for a full staff at their school. They need an elementary principal, elementary teachers, secondary teachers (English, science), and a college/career specialist.

InterVarsity's vision is to see students transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed. They live this out by inviting unreached students into life transforming encounters with Jesus Christ and training and developing them as disciples and leaders. Pray today for the staff and volunteers as they host small group Bible studies to introduce cultural Christians and the unchurched to Jesus.

Closing Prayer: Help me always to remember, O God, that you are the potter and I am the clay. I am the work of your hands, you are not the work of mine. Amen.