Mission Devotional - October 21, 2015

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, it so easy in this life to be hindered and entangled by things that don’t ultimately matter, by things that don’t ultimately lead to life. Help us therefore, Lord Jesus to run with endurance and wisdom the race you have set before us and to keep our eyes fixed on you, the author and perfecter of our faith. Amen.

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3

Journal: What things are hindering you or weighing you down these days? What things have wrapped themselves around you or entangled you as you try to follow Jesus? How will you fix your eyes on Jesus in a way that helps you overcome these obstacles and run the race he has set before you?

Reflection: Years ago I had a friend who made the Olympic Team in the 100-meter hurdles. I mean this guy could run - and still can, although he is now in his early fifties. Once I asked him how he was able to run the hurdles so fast and, seemingly, so effortlessly. He talked about practice, preparation, and working hard at it, but he also talked about how the movements became so familiar and natural to him over time. He was actually able to knock a quarter that had been placed on the top of each hurdle off of the hurdle with his leg without touching the hurdle itself. Is that not amazing? I told him that if I tried that, I would kill myself hitting the hurdle. He said, “You can’t focus on the hurdle, you have to focus on the finish line. If you focus on the hurdle, you hit the hurdle.” To this day I remember that little piece of wisdom because it is not only true on the track, but also in life. If we are consumed by the hurdles, we will never get over them; they will only seem to grow larger and larger. We must keep our eyes focused on the good part - that which is excellent, i.e., on the finish line - on Jesus (see Hebrews 12:1-2). (Becoming by Jim Branch)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Michael and Diana Johnson serve with People International. As International Director, Michael provides broad vision and leadership for the mission. Pray today for a continuing relief effort by People International to those who are seeking safety from Islamic militants in the Kurdish area of Northern Iraq. 

Arab World Media clearly presents Jesus Christ to the Arab world audiences. This is done by recording scriptures, Bible stories, sermons, and Arabic Christian music for broadcast by partner agencies for outreach and for the encouragement of Arab world believers. Pray today for the work of the Holy Spirit as hearts are prepared to encounter the gospel.

Closing Prayer: Lord I so want to make all of me ready and attentive and available to you. Please help me to clarify and purify my intentions. I have so many contradictory desires. I get preoccupied with things that don’t really matter or last. 

I know that if I give you my heart whatever I do will follow my new heart. In all that I am today, all that I try to do, all my encounters, reflections, even the frustrations and failings and especially in this time of prayer, in all of this, may I place my life in your hands. Lord I am yours, make of me what you will. - Ignatius of Loyola