Mission Devotional - October 23, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Opening Prayer: Thank you, O God, that you delight in me and invite me to delight in you. How different my life would be if I actually did that each day. Help me, O Lord, to believe that it is true and to experience the reality of your delight today, that I may, in turn, pass that along to everyone that crosses my path. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 62:1-5

Journal: Do you truly believe you are delighted in by God? Why, or why not? What helps you to believe, and live as if, you are delighted in by God?

Reflection: "No longer will they call you Deserted, but you will be called Hephzibah (My Delight is in Her), for the Lord will take delight in you. As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."

O Lord, do you really delight in me? Could it possibly be true? I have lived as Deserted, Unlovable, and Not Enough for far too long. Those names are planted so deeply within me that I can't seem to uproot them. But you can. For you bestow a new name on me. You call me by a different name. In fact, you call me Hephzibah; My Delight is in Her. For you take great delight in me and long for me to know your delight, to be your delight, and to live out of your joy and delight each day. That is what will make me the best version of myself; the me you intended me to be.

But all too often I live out of my shame rather than out of your delight. Shame not being "I have done something wrong," but "I am something wrong." My shame tells me that I am unlovable, that I can never be anyone or anything of real value, that I stink. And unfortunately, I listen to my shame. In fact, often I believe my shame more than I believe you. And I live out of my shame instead of living out of your delight. When I live out of my shame it really gets ugly, for I become the worst possible version of myself. And thus, my interactions with others become needy and insecure and clingy and defensive, which has a terrible impact on my relationships. The worst in me calls out the worst in those around me. It is a death spiral of dysfunction. But when I am able to live in (from a place of) your delight, I am free. Free from needing people so much that I can actually begin to love them. Then your delight in me brings out your delight in them. And they, like me, become the best version of themselves.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

John and Kathy Lesondak are church planters who work across denominational lines in Slovakia to encourage and enable pastors in their work. The Lesondaks utilize various opportunities to engage with local residents, including classes in pottery and sewing. They are in the U.S. now on home assignment until Spring 2018, but ask that you pray that they would have the grace and wisdom to help their national partners to develop and implement their plans for a Slovak-led church planting movement.

Worldwide Discipleship Association has a mission to serve the church worldwide by developing Christ-like character in people and equipping them to disciple others according to the pattern Jesus used to train his disciples. Carroll and Shirley Coakley, members of Cedar Springs and the Global Mission Group, are part of this organization's international staff and serve on short-term mission teams to Myanmar. Pray today for the volunteers serving with this ministry.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, my God, help me to know the depths of your delight this day; that I may become an expression of that delight in the world. Amen.