May 23 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to live a life of such deep union with you that it simply pours forth from every part of our lives. That is what true witness is all about. Amen.
Scripture: Colossians 4:2-6
Journal: How are your prayer and your gratitude and your attentiveness and your witness all tied together? What does a life full given to God and to his service look like?
Reflection: Ministry is the least important thing. You cannot not minister if you are in communion with God and live in community. A lot of people are always concerned about:” How can I help people? Or help the youth come to Christ? Or preach well?” But these are basically non-issues. If you are burning with the love of Jesus, don’t worry: everyone will know. They will say,” I want to get close to this person who is so full of God.” (from an interview with Henri J.M. Nouwen in Christianity Today, October 3, 1994)
God wants not only to be God for us, but also to be God with us. That happens in Jesus, the Emmanuel who walks with us, talks with us, and dies with us. In sending Jesus to us, God wants to convince us of the unshakable fidelity of the divine love. Still there is more. When Jesus leaves he says to us, “I will not leave you alone, but will send you the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit of Jesus is God within us. Here the fullness of God’s faithfulness is revealed. Through Jesus, God gives us the divine Spirit so that we can live a God-like life. The Spirit is the breath of God. It is the intimacy between Jesus and his Father. It is the divine communion. It is God’s love active within us.
This divine faithfulness is the core of our witness. By our words, but most of all by our lives, we are to reveal God’s faithfulness to the world. (Here and Now by Henri J.M. Nouwen)
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Josh and Jenny M. are working with the RAK Church Plant in the United Arab Emirates. The RAK Evangelical Church has now been formally constituted as a church with about 40 members. They continue raising funds for the building on the land the Lord has provided. By God’s grace, they have now raised almost half the needed funds and have had architectural drawings made. Depending on the amount of funds received, they hope to break ground on the building this year. Pray for their patience as they continue to raise funds.
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 Thabiti and his family as well as the other staff of the church.
Closing Prayer: We beseech Thee, O Lord, let our hearts be graciously enlightened by Thy holy radiance, that we may serve Thee without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; that so we may escape the darkness of this world, and by Thy guidance attain the land of eternal brightness; through Thy mercy, O blessed Lord, Who doest live and govern all things, world without end. Amen. - Sarum Breviary