Mission Devotional - May 23, 2016

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

Today's Devotional Reading

Psalm 138:8
Most manifestly the confidence which the Psalmist here expressed was a divine confidence. He did not say, "I have grace enough to perfect that which concerneth me - my faith is so steady that it will not stagger - my love is so warm that it will never grow cold - my resolution is so firm that nothing can move it; no, his dependence was on the Lord alone. If we indulge in any confidence which is not grounded on the Rock of ages, our confidence is worse than a dream, it will fall upon us, and cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion. All that Nature spins time will unravel, to the eternal confusion of all who are clothed therein. The Psalmist was wise, he rested upon nothing short of the Lord's work. It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is he who has carried it on; and if he does not finish it, it never will be complete. If there be one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence, the Lord who began will perfect. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do. Unbelief insinuates - "You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your heart, you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that beset you, you will be certainly allured by them and led astray." Ah! yes, we should indeed perish if left to our own strength. If we had alone to navigate our frail vessels over so rough a sea, we might well give up the voyage in despair; but, thanks be to God, he will perfect that which concerneth us, and bring us to the desired haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in him alone, and never too much concerned to have such a trust.- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening: Daily Readings

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Andy and Bev Warren serve with an MTW team that is involved in HIV/AIDS work and church planting through the Ethiopia Aids Care and Treatment (ACT) Project. The project targets slum communities in Addis Ababa which contain the neediest people in the community - large percentages of women with small children. In recent years the project has served more than 500 AIDS-affected families, reaching more than 1,200 people. Pray today for Andy and Bev to have wisdom as they explore expanding into new communities and focusing on church planting. Find out more about the Ethiopia ACT Project here. The Warrens were our guests at the recent Global Mission Conference. Pray today for the Warrens and their work.

FOCUS (Following Our Choices Unto Success) works in the Knox County Jail and Detention Facility, Taft Youth Center, and the four men's prisons of East Tennessee. The FOCUS work "Behind the Walls" includes evangelistic events, weekly support groups, discipleship classes, life-skills classes and one-on-one counseling. Pray for the work of FOCUS today.