Mission Devotional - January 8, 2017

Opening Prayer: Lord God, forgive me when I allow my circumstances to determine the way I live my life, rather than simply being faithful to who you have called me to be, regardless of the circumstances. Give me the strength and the courage and the wisdom to rise above my circumstances this day, whatever they may be, and to be faithful and true to being the man you have called me to be. Amen.

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-21

Journal: How are your circumstances affecting the way you live your life these days? How can you live this day in such a way that God alone determines the condition of your heart and soul?

Reflection: All too often I have a tendency to allow my circumstances to determine my life, rather than allowing my life to determine how I handle my circumstances. It leaves me with a constant sense that life is living me, rather than me living life. I don't think it has to be that way. As a matter of fact, I don't think it was intended to be that way. I think God wants the quality of his life within us to determine how we live our lives, regardless of our circumstances. Being comes before doing. In other words, who we are should determine what we do.

A good friend of mine once said, "I think I've been asking the wrong question most of my life. I've been asking, 'God, what do you want me to do?' When I should have been asking, 'God, who do you want me to be, and what can I do that helps me to be that?'"

Daniel must've understood that idea as well. He did not allow his circumstances, or his geography, to determine his life. But he determined to be God's man, wherever the journey may lead. Regardless of where he was - be it in Judah or in Babylon - his role was to be faithful to who God had called him to be. Maybe today I can do the same.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

After more than 20 years of church planting in Japan, God led Ron and Amy Barber to a new challenge of equipping the next generation of church planters. Their new ministry at IGSL in the Philippines prepares students for ministry in cross-cultural contexts around the world. Pray today for the Barbers and their work in the Philippines.

The Garbage City Alliance is a ministry to the Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt. Rebecca Atollah, the wife of Ramez Atollah, the leader of the Bible Society of Egypt, is a key worker at the St. Simon Coptic Orthodox Church in the Mokattam garbage village. Over the last twenty-five years she has helped with church planting and providing Christian education among the lowest of the low, Egypt's untouchables. Pray today for Rebecca and her work with the Garbage City Alliance.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, I belong to you. Help me to live like it this day. Amen.