Mission Devotional - December 19, 2015

Opening Prayer: O God, anchor our souls in the hope that your promises are all true. Helps us to find peace and comfort in the faithfulness of your character, in spite of our circumstances. Hold us fast when the storms of life are blowing us around so much that we are afraid that at any moment we might crash upon the rocks of life. Be our strength and our shield, O God, our shelter from the storm. Through Jesus we pray. Amen.

Scripture: Hebrews 6:13-20

Journal: What is state of your soul these days? How are you being tossed about? What is anchoring your soul?

Reflection: Anchor - a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; a mainstay. The Greek word is agkyra, which is used four times in the entire New Testament; once here in Hebrew 6:19, and the other three times in Acts 27. The three instances in the book of Acts all refer to a literal anchor on a ship; that which provides safety, stability, and security. The anchor is the thing that keeps you from crashing into the rocks, or keeps you from getting tossed about by the sea, or keeps you docked securely in the harbor. It doesn't offer to change the circumstances, but offers to help you in the midst of them.

Here in Hebrews the word is used metaphorically to describe the effect God desires for hope to have on our souls. Hope (in God's promises) is meant to be an anchor for our souls, to keep them safe and secure in the midst of the storms and chaos of life. The promise is not that the seas will be smooth, or that the storms will stop, or even that everything will turn out alright. The promise is that even if the circumstances never improve, his promises will be an anchor for our souls. The only thing about an anchor is that in order for it to work, it has to be used. An anchor does no good sitting inside the ship, it must be tossed into the sea. Nor does hope in God's promises do us any good if they are never tossed into the raging sea of our fear and doubt and anxiety. Once we rely on, and trust in, his promises - which remind us of his heart and his character - as our soul's anchor, then, and only then, will we find that "the rope holds."

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Martyn and Elissa live in a Creative Access country as "Tent Makers." Martyn's work gives him unparalleled access to the local population. Pray today for growth of Martyn's business so that it can better support them and so that it can open more doors for ministry.

At The Restoration House (TRH), they are working to help restore single mothers and their children back to God's good intent for their lives. Through transformational housing, team mentoring, and service planning, TRH is helping single mother families end cycles of poverty and distress. Pray today for all of the families that TRH is reaching during the Christmas season.

Closing Prayer: Disturb us, Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push back the future in strength, courage, hope, and love. This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ. - Sir Francis Drake