Mission Devotional - September 15, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you are making all things new. Forgive me when I try to settle for bits and pieces of the new, while trying to hold on to a lot of the old. Help me not to let the old things, and the old ways of being, get in the way of the new you want to do in and through me. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 9:14-17

Journal: Where is the old getting in the way of the new that God wants to create in you these days? How are you holding onto the old? How do you need to let go of it in order to receive the new?

Reflection: We have a terrible time letting go; especially letting go of old ways of thinking and of being. Old patterns and habits do not die easily. Why is that? Why are we always so reluctant to let go of the old things in our lives and our hearts? Is it because they have become so ingrained in us that they are almost second nature; that their disposal would feel like our death? Or is it because we have somehow become so comfortable with them and accustomed to them that they are like old, dysfunctional friends that we rely upon to meet some deep and distorted need in our hearts and souls?

Whatever the case, their effect is that there is no room in our souls to receive the new. Old and new - even old and new ways of thinking and being - cannot exist side by side. That's the whole point Jesus is trying to make. "It's a new day. The bridegroom is among you, and now within you. Stop holding on to the old ways like a pair of worn out blue jeans. I've got new things I want to do, both within you and among you. But when you keep holding on to the old, it is like trying to put new wine in old wineskins, it simply doesn't work. You can't put new life in an old, worn out container. Therefore, get rid of the old altogether, because I am making all things new. (Revelation 21:5) Not just some things, not just the things you will let me make new, but all things. So let go of the old. Throw it out. Make room within you and among you for the new."

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Bobby and Teresa LaDage are working with Redeemer City to City (the church planting arm of Redeemer Church in NYC) envisioning, equipping, and mentoring church planters and their wives in order to see gospel-centered churches reach the major cities of Eastern and Central Europe. Recently they have also been asked to become European Regional Leaders for United World Mission. Pray today for Bobby and Teresa as they learn to balance both of these roles.

Thrive Lonsdale is led by CSPC member Clayton Wood. This organization challenges inner-city youth with the love of Jesus Christ to serve others and reconcile by creatively meeting their spiritual, educational, and recreational needs through Bible study, tutoring, mentoring and outings. Pray today for all of the youth reached by this ministry that they might have a safe and rewarding fall semester.

Closing Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are continually making me a new creation by the power of your Spirit within me. May I always be open and receptive to that process. For your kingdom and your glory I pray. Amen.