Mission Devotional - August 24, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

God Directed

Opening Prayer: Father, you alone know what lies before me this day, grant that in every hour of it I may stay close to you. Let me today embark on no undertaking that is not in line with your will for my life, nor shrink from any sacrifice which your will may demand. Suggest, direct, control every movement of my mind; for my Lord Christ’s sake. Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie)

Scripture: Mark 1:35-39

Journal: Who or what determines what you do on a daily basis? What would it look like if God determined that?

Reflection:Jesus is up till the wee hours healing; the whole town gathered at his doorstep. And yet, early the next morning, while it is still dark, he sneaks away to a solitary place to pray. And somehow, during that time of prayer, his direction is set for the day ahead.

So even as his disciples come to him, imploring him to come back because “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus responds with clarity: “Let us go somewhere else, to the nearby villages - so I can preach there also. That is why I came.”

Somehow, in his time with the Father, he is reminded of who he is and why he came. He is guided by something far bigger than whim and opinion and circumstance. And so, in spite of enormous pressure for him to return to Capernaum, he heads elsewhere.

And the lesson that follows is so important for us to understand. The lesson is that prayer comes first. It is prayer that helps to remind us of who we are. And it is who we are that helps us to know why we are here. And it is why we are here that is meant to determine what we are to do. The order is significant: prayer, who, why, what. When we get this out of order we operate at the mercy of opinion, pressure, and circumstance, not the Spirit. For if we are not clear about our who and our why, we will never be clear about our what.

Maybe the reason we do not really know who we are is because he have not really learned how to pray. God is dying to tell us, if we will just listen.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: North Africa & Middle East

Mike and Stephanie worked with a project called LEARN (Leadership Education and Resource Network) based in Beirut, Lebanon. The project's aim is to provide high quality, interactive Biblical training via Internet to Arabic-speakers wherever they are found. Pray today for Mike and Stephanie who have returned to the U.S. as they make decisions for their next mission.

The Knoxville Leadership Foundation or KLF focuses on five important components of community life to ensure overall health within the city: family, youth, housing, racial reconciliation, and economic development. Chris Martin is the founder and president. Pray today for all the KnoxWorx job clubs, including the one that meets at CSPC on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Closing Prayer: O God, help my what to always be determined by you - not me, not others, not needs, not circumstances. Guide me this day. Remind me of who I am and of why I am here. I pray this in your name and for your glory. Amen.