Mission Devotional - August 22, 2018
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Opening Prayer: Lord God, help me to hear your voice and to believe the truth of it the way your Son Jesus did in the desert. Do not allow the voice of the enemy to deceive or discourage me, but help me to trust in you. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 3:17-4:11
Journal: What voices are dominant in your life right now? What are they saying? Are they true? What does God’s Word say to you? How will you be guided by the truth instead of being infected by the lies?
Reflection: It seems like a significant part of living the life of faith involves trying to figure out which voices to listen to. It can be really confusing. There are so many different voices vying for our attention these days, both within us and around us. At times it can be really hard to figure out which ones are telling the truth. The problem is that often the voices in our lives that are most dominant and prevalent are the very ones that are least reliable.
Therefore, it is imperative that we figure out how to give space for the good voices (truth) to take root and shape within us, while minimizing the space and the impact of the bad (lies). But telling the lies from the truth can be difficult. Sometimes the differences are very subtle, and their arguments very convincing. We can easily get sucked into believing some things are true simply because it feels like or seems like they are. But looks (and feelings) can be deceiving. We need much more than that. We need something more substantial, something more solid and stable.
That is where the Word comes in. And that is where the practice of immersing ourselves in the Word of Truth comes in. If we are continually immersing ourselves in the truth, then it will be a lot easier to recognize the lies when they come a long, no matter how convincing they are.
Jesus is a perfect example of this. On the glorious day of his baptism he hears the voice of his Father speaking the beautiful truth of who he is: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well-pleased.” And immediately after that he is led into the desert to be confronted with the other voices, voices that are trying to get him to believe something very different from that. Voices that are trying to get him to doubt the truth of who he is. “If you are the Son of God,” they whisper, “then prove it.”
But Jesus is not swayed by the lies. Why? Because we knew the truth. Just listen to the way he answers each of the three temptations. He answers each with the words: “It is written.” Jesus was so familiar with the Voice of Truth that he was easily able to differentiate it from the subtle lies of the enemy. And if we are to have any hope of being victorious in that same battle, we must do the same. We must immerse ourselves in the Word of Truth so that we can be able to identify and overcome the lies of the enemy. For if we “abide in his word, we are truly his disciples, and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.” (John 8:32) Let’s not delay, our freedom is at stake.
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Global Partner Focus: North Africa & Middle East
T works with the SEED Company (an affiliate organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators) in their mission to promote and accelerate Bible translation by indigenous churches and organizations in their home countries. T watches over 12 translation projects that represent 35 languages, many of which are just receiving the first Scripture in their own language. Pray today that all of the translation teams will be protected from anti-Christian groups in the areas where they are working.
Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries (KnoxCAM) is an outreach ministry directed by Dr. Jill Lagerberg. It uses the talents of singers, instrumentalists, dancers and handbell ringers. They minister primarily to prisons and the inner city. They perform up to 10 concerts each year, telling stories of God’s unfailing mercy and providence through fully integrated music dramas. Pray today for KnoxCAM as they begin preparations for their fall performing season.
Closing Prayer: God, I must confess that sometimes it is easy to believe the lies because they are so loud and so prevalent within and around me. But help me to listen to your voice instead - the Voice of Truth. And help that truth to set me free. Amen.