Mission Devotional - October 19, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Opening Prayer: Have mercy on us, O Lord, according to your unfailing love; that we might have mercy on those in our lives and in our world. Amen.

Scripture: Mark 3:1-6

Journal: Where does accusation live within you? What effect does it have on your heart and soul? What would it look like to have mercy instead?

Reflection:
Looking for a reason to accuse is not a healthy place from which to live life. In fact, the spirit it produces within us is toxic. Yet it is so easy to get drawn into that particular way of seeing, or of being, especially in this day and age. Jesus, however, proposes another way. Instead of looking for a reason to accuse, he wants us to look for an opportunity to show mercy. After all, it was Jesus who said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." (Matthew 5:7) I wonder where that leaves those who criticize and accuse.

My guess is that if I was somehow able to use the energy I normally expend on accusation and criticism in a much more positive way - on showing grace and mercy - then the world would be a much better place. It would certainly be much more kind.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Michael and Diana Johnson have been serving with People International. As International Director, Michael provided broad vision and leadership for the mission. As they near retirement from People International, they have begun a new work with CSPC that involves recruiting churches to partner with the work with refugees in Europe. Pray today for 11 key leaders who the Johnsons met with in Vienna this last July to learn how to best develop the spiritual leaders of the numerous new refugee churches in Europe.

Wears Valley Ranch offers a Christian home, education, and counseling to children from families in crisis. Their vision is to see each child inspired to follow Christ, healed from the past, and equipped to reach their full potential. Pray today for the staff of WVR as they model Christ's love and salvation to the residents.

Closing Prayer: Forgive me, O Lord, when my stubborn and insecure heart causes me to seek ways to accuse and criticize rather than to show mercy and grace. For when I seek to harm rather than to love, to attack rather than to engage, to tear down rather than to build up, I have ceased to be merciful. And thus, I have ceased to be like you. Amen.