Mission Devotional - November 4, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Opening Prayer: O Lord, help us to not lose heart when times get hard, but instead help us to cling tightly to you. By your Spirit guard us, protect us, and renew us. Help us to realize that these light and momentary struggles are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all comparison. Help us, O Lord, when things look bleak, to always keep our eyes firmly fixed on you - the unseen God - rather than on the visible circumstances around us. In the name and power of Jesus we pray. Amen. (Journey to the Cross by Jim Branch)

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Journal: How is God using brokenness in your life these days? How are you being broken? What is the fruit of it? How might he use it in the lives of others?

Reflection: I've been thinking a lot about the idea of brokenness for the past few weeks, and its value and necessity in the life of faith. None of us wants it, few if any would ever invite it, but no one can deny the unseen value of brokenness when it comes to the process of transformation. I know that personally the most broken times in my life have been the times when God has done some of his best and deepest and most lasting work within me. Brokenness simply does something in us (and then through us) that nothing else can do. In fact, 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that brokenness is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all comparison.

Brokenness shatters our sense of independence. It strips us of our need for control. It empties us of all pride and arrogance and agenda. And it makes us more and more like Jesus, who although he was a son, learned obedience through what he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8) But one of the main things that brokenness does is that it makes us into people who can be humbly and fruitfully given. We are not broken just for the sake of being broken. We are broken to be grown and then given. As my friend Robert once said, "We cannot be multiplied enough to be given, we can only be broken enough to be given." So brokenness has both a purpose and an intent. So if you are in the midst of being broken during this season where brokenness plays a prominent role, don't run away from it. Embrace it. God is making you into the one he dreamt you to be. Brokenness is not the end, just a means to a glorious end.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Joe and Cindy Platillero proclaim the transforming presence of Jesus Christ through Biblical teaching and practical training to all who come through their doors. Their main ministry is through the Torchbearer Center where they have camps, conferences, and a small Bible School during the winter. Pray today for Spanish youth to truly seek Christ with their lives which feels impossible in this aggressively secular society.

Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Cru, is ministering to college athletes at the University of Tennessee. Rachel and Jason Stankus and Teg and Mikkel Tegelaar minister to and through the athletic department and are trusting God to build a spiritual movement that impacts the campus, community and world for Christ. Pray today for Jason and Rachel and for Teg and Mikkel as they continue to build relationships with student athletes.

Closing Prayer: Lord, when I am tempted to look around me, and let what I can see determine how I live my life, turn my eyes toward you and allow me to see the depths of your love and affection. Let the things that are unseen be the things that determine who I am and what I do. Let my hope be built on things that are eternal. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen. (Journey to the Cross by Jim Branch)