Mission Devotional - August 9, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to come before you rightly this day, with the attitude and the spirit you desire me to have. Help me not to live with a sense of entitlement, but always with a sense of desperation and dependence. Have mercy on me. Amen.

Scripture: Mark 10:46-52

Journal: In your life right now do you feel more like James and John or more like Bartimaeus? Why? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Reflection: It's a striking contrast. On the one hand you have the brothers, James and John, who come to Jesus and ask, "Will you do for us whatever we ask of you?" And on the other hand you have Bartimaeus, who simply cries out, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me." The brothers thinking they deserve something, the beggar realizing that he deserves nothing. The brothers jockeying for position, the beggar firmly set in the lowest position possible. The brothers filled with a sense of entitlement, the beggar filled with desperation. The brothers asking a favor, the beggar pleading for mercy. And yet, Jesus meets them both with the exact same question: "What do you want me to do for you?"

It makes me wonder if, in addition to a miracle, Jesus' interaction with the blind man was also a teachable moment for his ambitious disciples, attempting to give them a living example of the truth he was just trying to teach them about being the last and the least. To show them that how they ask is almost as important as what they ask. To allow them to see that, like Bartimaeus, they really couldn't see at all, otherwise they would have been begging for mercy as well. Maybe Jesus was showing them what it looks like to come rightly before the throne of God with a request. Or maybe he was trying to show them that the thing they should have been asking for was also to be able to see again. Who knows?

The one thing we do know is that the question he asks James and John, as well as Bartimaeus, is the question he asks each of us this day. What will our answer be?

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

F. & S. are working alongside Arab believers toward the goal of seeing churches planted for those who do not have a church. Their main focus is to work with, mobilize, resource and train nationals for this purpose. Pray today for local believers they work with to open their hearts and eyes to serve others in the region. Pray that F. & S. would be able to walk alongside to encourage and resource them as they lift their eyes to the harvest.

The Garbage City Alliance is a ministry to the Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt. Rebecca Atollah, the wife of Ramez Atollah, the leader of the Bible Society of Egypt, is a key worker at the St. Simon Coptic Orthodox Church in the Mokattam garbage village. Over the last twenty-five years she has helped with church planting and providing Christian education among the lowest of the low, Egypt's untouchables. Pray today for Rebecca and her work with the Garbage City Alliance.

Closing Prayer: Rabbi, let me recover my sight. Amen.