Mission Devotional - January 9, 2016

Opening Prayer: Almighty God, send the light of thy Son into our lives anew today. Let your presence touch our minds and hearts with your mercy, grace, and truth. Direct our thought, speech, and steps to the end that we may walk in your way today and always. In the name of Christ. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck)

Scripture: Psalm 27:7-14

Journal: What does God's face look like to you? What is the look in his eyes for you?

Reflection: Several years ago I was leading a retreat for some college folks who were deeply involved in a ministry of which I was a part. The design and intent of the retreat was to create some space and some solitude in order for these dear folks to hear from God and to be renewed, refreshed, restored, or whatever they might need most from him at that point in their journey.

Not too far into our time together I could tell that one student in particular was really struggling. And since we were in silence, instead of trying to interfere or intervene in whatever God was doing deep within her heart and soul, all I could really do was watch and pray. Near the end of our time together, as we broke the silence with communion and some reflection, she was able to tell the group exactly what the nature of the struggle had been.

Seeking his face had been the theme of our time of solitude; and it seems it had been something much more elusive than she had anticipated it would be. Try as she might, she was simply having no success focusing her gaze on the face of God. That was until late in the retreat when, in her frustration, she cried out to him in her helplessness and he showed up. "He simply said to me, 'Look at my eyes. See what great love and affection my eyes hold for you.' And once I focused on his eyes, everything changed." Maybe we would be wise to do the same.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Jeff and Ellen work among unreached people groups in two restricted access countries of Southeast Asia catalyzing Church Planting Movements. Pray today for a church planting movement to sweep through these groups and flow over into others and for the many other unreached people groups of Southeast Asia. Jeff and Ellen are helping others engage new groups and Jeff coaches missionaries in fruitful practices as well as training nationals and ex-pats in church planting principles.

Campus Renewal Ministries is a National Christian Ministry devoted to seeing transformation on college campuses for God's glory. They have been around for over 15 years and work with colleges all across America. Pray today for their leaders to have a renewed vision for ministry on UT's campus as they begin this new semester.

Closing Prayer: Let me see your face, O God, that I might know the look of love with which you look at me, and give that same look to whoever you bring across my path each day. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.