Mission Devotional - August 5, 2018
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Opening Prayer: Forgive us, O God, for we have sinned against you, both corporately and individually. Give us the courage to stand where we are and fully admit - and confess - our failures and our shortcomings and our refusals to love. For until we do that, we will never be able to move forward in our lives with you. Lord, have mercy on us! Amen.
Scripture: Nehemiah 9:1-3
Journal: What role does confession play in your life with God? How and when do you practice it? How does this passage speak to that?
Reflection: There are no two ways about it, confession is essential in our lives with God. And a significant part of confession, it seems, is the willingness to stand where we are. The people of Israel gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God. They spent significant time in confession, and worshipped the Lord their God. All of this was essential in them moving forward in their journey. They didn’t live in the past, or try to skip over where they were by jumping ahead to the future. They simply stood where they were, confessed their sin, and worshipped their God. They didn’t hide, or avoid, or escape, or rationalize. They owned where they were and confessed, in order to be able to move forward. There’s a great chance that we will never be able to move forward in our lives with God until we have fully confessed - both corporately and individually - as well. But are we willing?
“We may trust God with our past as heartily as with our future. It will not hurt us so long as we do not try to hide things, so long as we are ready to bow our heads in hearty shame where it is fit we should be ashamed. For to be ashamed is a holy and blessed thing.” - George MacDonald
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Global Partner Focus: Central America
Manuel and Annabella Valverde are involved in church planting and leadership training in Guatemala. Manuel started the Francisco Lacueva Theological Seminary (STFL) in 2012 and they now have 14 students. Pray today for a mission project that Iglesia Bíblica de Guatemala (the Valverde’s church) is supporting in a backwoods area in Quiché, Guatemala.
Gateways2Life seeks to meet the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the refugees and outcasts through training, education, supply of material needs, relationship development, trauma counseling and community integration. Their current projects are in Lesvos and Athens, Greece; Hamburg, Germany; and Northeast Italy. Pray today for the staff of this ministry as they share assistance and the gospel with refugees in Europe.
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.