Mission Devotional - December 6, 2015

Opening Prayer: Lord, help me to be watchful for your presence in my life and your movement in my world. Help me to not get distracted by the obligations, demands, and activities of this day, but help me to be attentive and alert to you and your greater purposes for my life. Amen. (Watch and Wait by Jim Branch)

Scripture: Psalm 130:1-8

Journal: How does a watchman wait for the morning? What is unique about that kind of waiting? Where in your life are you waiting for God? How does this Psalm speak into that?

Reflection: I don't know about you, but I hate waiting. And I guess the biggest reason why I hate it is because I've never been very good at it. I've always been one of those "let's get this show on the road" type of people. Waiting demands both an attitude and a posture that are the opposite of my normal default mode. In fact, waiting almost completely takes the ball out of my hands. It asks me to let go of my agenda and my control, and to surrender them both to God. And that is a really difficult thing to do.

But maybe the biggest reason that I hate waiting is because, deep down, I am really afraid that whatever, or whoever, I am waiting on will never appear. I mean, what if I just wait forever and nothing ever happens, or no one ever comes? It is a frightening thought.

That is where this Psalm speaks so deeply to my heart and soul. Because the type of waiting that Psalm 130 is talking about - and the type of waiting that the season of Advent calls us to - is the type of waiting where we can rest assured that there will be an arrival. It is not a question of if, but a question of when and where and how. That's why we have to pay very careful attention. That's why we have to be like watchmen.

The image of a watchman waiting for the morning is so helpful during this time and this season. A watchman waits for the morning because he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the morning will indeed come. All he has to do is wait. That's why I said that waiting almost takes the ball completely out of my hands. Because we still determine how we will wait. For once the watchman has dealt with the fact that he cannot hasten the morning's arrival, nor can he delay it (thank goodness), only then can he settle down in trust and begin to truly wait for its coming, being both attentive and expectant. So these beautiful words from this Psalm, and the amazing image it contains, are so helpful because they do not just tell us that we must wait, but they tell us how we must wait. Thanks be to God. (Watch and Wait by Jim Branch)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Steve Hoke works with national church denominations and mission organizations in 25 countries and North America in the area of leader development and strategic life coaching. Pray today for Steve for renewed energy and focus as he continues daily, weekly and monthly coaching and supervising calls with CRM's staff and team leaders around the world.

The Málaga Media Center is a ministry catalyst creating and establishing new reproducing churches by communicating Biblical truth through media and partnership. It is located in Málaga, Spain. Pray today for the leaders of this organization.

Closing Prayer: Help, God - the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy. If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that's why you're worshiped. I pray to God - my life a prayer - and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. O Israel, wait and watch for God - with God's arrival comes love, with God's arrival comes generous redemption. No doubt about it - he'll redeem Israel, buy back Israel from captivity to sin. (Psalm 130, The Message)