Mission Devotional - November 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Opening Prayer: Lord God, unless you build the house, all of our labor is in vain. Therefore, let us not go charging ahead with our own plans and our own designs, building our lives in whatever manner we see fit. But help us to always look to you as the master builder, for you alone can build something that is eternal. Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 127:1-3

Journal: What does it mean to let God build your house? How will you do that? What might he need to demolish in order to build according to his design?

Reflection: So now the house is in place, shiny and bright. I have applause and esteem. They congratulate me for my flexibility and leadership and enthusiasm and what I've done and am doing. But this house of mine is somehow askew: it's my house, not the Lord's house. "In vain do the builders build." And yet I know in my heart that each step was taken because it was right and seemed to be the Lord's way. Yes, it was, but he had something else in mind for it.

Then another image rose spontaneously as I walked along. It was the Lord as an artillery captain who came in front of my fine house dragging his cannon and proceeded deliberately and systematically to shoot the whole damn thing apart. Story by story, wall by wall, brick by brick he gunned down the house that took me twenty-five years to build until only rubble was left, pieces of masonry on the ground, and I'm standing there with the debris of my life at my feet looking at the ruins.

The strange thing was this big wide grin on the Lord's face as he gunned it apart in high glee. It's as though he said to me: now watch the top story while I blow it apart. There! Now watch the second story: there it goes! Isn't that great? Now watch the back wall: hooray! Now the side walls, now finally the front and it's all gone. Isn't that marvelous! And he turned to me with joy and warmth and smiled on me with much encouragement. (A Traveler toward the Dawn by John Eagan)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

F and S are working alongside Arab believers toward the goal of seeing churches planted for those who do not have a church. Their focus is to mobilize, resource and train nationals for this purpose. Pray today for F as he finishes up work on a doctorate of ministry degree and for S as she runs a preschool reaching families with young children.

Al Massira is an online course for groups to use that presents the Christian faith through a chronological overview of the Bible. It centers the Christian faith in its original Middle Eastern context and includes a variety of integrated activities: viewing the films, open discussion, prayer, food and companionship. Pray today for those just starting the course, that they will find Jesus through it and begin a new life with him.

Closing Prayer: Build the house, O God, whatever that may mean, that we might not labor in vain. Amen.