Mission Devotional - January 3, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Christ, visible expression of the invisible God, thank you for leaving the glory of heaven and coming to earth that we might see with our own eyes the face of God and hear with our own ears the voice of God. And that we might truly come to know the heart of God through you. Amen. (Watch and Wait by Jim Branch)

Scripture: Colossians 1:15-20

Journal: When you think of God, what do you think about? When you think of Jesus, what comes to mind? How do you think of them differently? Why is that? What does this passage say about that? What is it about Jesus that most captures your heart these days?

Reflection: At Trafalgar Square in the city of London stands a statue of Lord Nelson. Resting atop a tall pillar, it towers too high for passersby to distinguish his features. For this reason, about forty years ago a new statue - an exact replica of the original - was erected at eye level so everyone could see him. God also transcends our ability to see; the eyes of our understanding cannot discern divine features. But we have set before us an exact representation, "the image of the invisible God." To know God we must look only at Jesus. (The Trivialization of God by Donald W. McCullough)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Vitaly and Oksana Voinov live in Moscow, Russia. Vitaly is working with the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) in Russia/CIS as IBT's director. IBT has been serving the non-Slavic peoples of the former Soviet Union for four decades by translating the Holy Scriptures - Bibles, New Testaments, individual Bible books, and illustrated Children's Bibles. Pray today for IBT's publishing department as they work to juggle several Bible printing projects and as they enter a new year of work.

Thabiti Anyabwile is the planter/pastor of Anacostia Bible Church, a new church plant in the heart of Washington, D.C. It's in the Anacostia neighborhood, a place with high crime, bad schools and no gospel centered churches. It is an exciting mission field of great promise and greater reward for those who love Jesus. Pray today for this church as they begin a new year of ministry.

Closing Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you are so much bigger than the little boxes we try to put you in. Thank you that you are so much more than our minds can conceive, or even imagine. Thank you that we can never get to the end of you, there is always more to know, always more to love. Expand our picture of you today, and every day, Lord Jesus. Amen. (Watch and Wait by Jim Branch)