Mission Devotional - September 22, 2016

Opening Prayer: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. (Psalm 22:1-5)

Scripture: Matthew 27:45-54

Journal: Where in your life are you crying My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? How does the cry of Jesus from the cross speak to you today?

Reflection:

not my hands, my hands
not my feet, my feet
not my friends, my friends
but my god, my god

this shows the true agony
of that horrific moment
when you lord jesus
cried out in the dark

it was not the physical pain
that finally made you scream
it wasn't the flogging
or the thorns
or even the nails

nor was it the emotional pain
that caused you to wail
it wasn't the denial
or the betrayal
or even the abandonment of friends

it was the spiritual pain
that finally broke your heart
for all of the sin
and all of the pain
and all of the suffering
of all of the world
was placed upon you
and for the very first time
you were separated completely
from divine love

and god himself mourned
the loss of his beloved son
and tore his heavenly robes
in grief and sadness
as the curtain of the temple
was torn in two
from top to bottom

the sun hid its face
the earth shook its head
and trembled at the sight
the rocks split in half
the tombs gave up their dead
and the centurion looked on
in amazement

for lord jesus
your cry from the cross
is also the cry of our hearts
in our darkest moments
we too scream out
my god, my god
why have you forsaken me

so from the cross
you not only said,
"i get it."
i know the depths
of your sorrow
but you also said,
"i'll take it"
i'll take all of your sin
and all of your pain
and all of your suffering
and all of your brokenness
as well as that of all people
from all ages
on myself

for by my wounds
you are healed
*inspired by the sermons of Timothy Keller

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Pete and Ruth Mitchell are church planters in Marseille under the auspices of Mission to the World (MTW) and in collaboration with the Eglise Réformée Evangélique de France (French Reformed Evangelical Church). Pete's role is that of team leader. The Mitchells are living Toulouse planting a new church. Pete recently presented plans for the church plant in West Toulouse to the National Evangelism Committee of the French denomination UNEPREF. Pray for their efforts to establish a core group needed for the new church plant.

In community with the local church, World Relief envisions the most vulnerable people transformed economically, socially, and spiritually. World Relief is on the ground in South Sudan working with families internally displaced by the current violence. Pray today for their continued work with refugees.

Closing Prayer: My God, my God, many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet - I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. (Psalm 22:12-24)