Mission Devotional - January 21, 2017

Opening Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, when I try to do life on my own. Somehow I've convinced myself that it is possible to manufacture fruit, when the only way for fruit to really grow is for me to remain in the Vine. You, O Jesus, are the source of all life. Help me to live my life in you, this day and every day. Amen.

Scripture: John 15:1-5

Journal: How does the image of the vine and the branches speak to your life today? Are you abiding in him? If not, what are you abiding in?

Reflection: "For apart from me you can do nothing." I know Jesus said it, but do we really believe it? What's more do we really live like it? We act, for the most part, like the direct opposite is true. We act as if apart from us God can do nothing. We have eliminated the abiding altogether. We have taken away its necessity, much to our own demise. Somehow we have come to believe that we can bring God's kingdom and rule into existence on our own. Somehow we have come to believe that we are responsible for the redemption of the universe. When all God needs is an open and willing - and abiding - heart. "Oh but nothing will get done," we say (maybe out loud and maybe just in our hearts). "If we don't do it, no one will." And we disconnect from the Vine and charge off on our own, trying to change the world in our own strength. But the world doesn't change, and then we wonder why. The why has to do with the lack of abiding. The spiritual reality is that it all starts with abiding in Christ. Abiding in him is how the real fruit of the kingdom is grown.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

J & M are serving in Asia using the platform of micro finance lending to engage in church planting with holistic development. They have sought to be deeply immersed in the language and culture and continue their work with a micro-finance company. Pray for safety and for some health concerns for J & M and their family. Pray also for the micro finance lending company's future path.

Keymedia uses television, radio, the Internet and printed literature as well as local missionaries, in their Arabic and Muslim target countries, for the key purpose of planting churches and discipling local believers to take the gospel to their nation's people. Pray today for those who are planting churches as a result of this organization.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, remind me this day that unless I abide in you, I can do nothing. Nothing of eternal value will be accomplished in my life apart from your life-giving power. Amen.