Mission Devotional - January 8, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Lord my God, teach my heart this day where and how to see you, and where and how to find you. - St. Anselm

Scripture: Luke 2:41-52

Journal: How do you feel like Mary and Joseph these days? How have you been looking everywhere for Jesus? Where did you find him?

Reflection: As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God - to give God "elbow room." We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come? Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. All of a sudden God meets the life - "When it was the good pleasure of God…"

Keep your life so constant in its contact with God that His surprising power may break out on the right hand and on the left. Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as He likes. (My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Isik Abla hosts a satellite TV program called "Light for the Heart" on the Kanal Hayat Turkish-language channel. She also hosts a live call-in program that is simulcast on the Turkish and Farsi channels throughout the Middle East and Europe. These TV programs deliver the message of love, healing, and freedom through Christ Jesus, reflecting on Isik's own life experience. Pray today for Isik and the "Light for the Heart" program to be used by God to reach many with the gospel.

Bridges International serves the needs of international students adjusting to living and studying at the University of Tennessee. Pray today for the international students on campus that they may understand the love of Jesus as they begin a new semester.

Closing Prayer: O infinite God, the brightness of whose face is often shrouded from my mortal gaze, I thank Thee that Thou didst send Thy Son Jesus Christ to be a light in a dark world. O Christ, Thou Light of Light, I thank Thee that in Thy most holy life Thou didst pierce the eternal mystery as with a great shaft of heavenly light, so that in seeing Thee we see Him whom no man hath seen at any time.

And if still I cannot find Thee, O God, then let me search my heart and know whether it is not rather I who am blind than Thou who art obscure, and I who am fleeing from Thee rather than Thou from me; and let me confess these my sins before Thee and seek Thy pardon in Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie)