Mission Devotional - June 22, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019

"Belonging"

Opening Prayer: Lord God, please remind us this day that before we can fruitfully belong to each other, we first must belong to you. That is the only way that true community can ever take place. Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 133:1-3

Journal: What is your level of belonging these days? How does it manifest itself? How do you try to satisfy your need to belong? How is God inviting you to belong more deeply to him? How is God calling you to help others in their quest for belonging? How is your spiritual community helping people belong?

Reflection:For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” We all have a deep need to belong. It is how we were made. It is woven into our DNA. It is part of what it means to be made in the image of the Triune God. When we truly belong, we experience life the way it was intended to be. And when, for some reason, we feel like we do not belong, it makes us the worst version of ourselves - needy, clingy, demanding, insecure, fearful, etc.

But before we can ever truly belong to one another, we must first belong to God. If our need to belong is not first met in him, then we will angrily move toward one another, demanding from each other what we were never intended to fully give. But if we are able, by God’s grace, to find our sense of belonging first in him, then we can experience the beauty and the blessing of community spoken of in Psalm 133; the kind of community in which God bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Then we can finally move beyond ourselves and consider how to help make others feel like they belong as well. Then we can start to consider how we can invite them to belong more deeply to Jesus. And how we can invite them to more deeply belong to one another. Then we can dream about how we can create spaces of belonging, both within us and among us, so that people are draw to our community like moths to a flame. For only then will our life together be like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard - fragrant, rich, healing soothing. For only then will our community be like the dew of Hermon falling on Mount Zion. For only then will our community be something worth belonging to.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Central America

Paul and Dori Pittman currently serve as area directors for United World Mission's Latin America region. Paul is also project coordinator of UWM's Cuba Partnership Project. Pray today for the Pittman family as they are in a season of change. Sam and Sarah have moved to the U.S. for college and Paul and Dori are also living in Lake City, Florida for a year on homestay.

Beatriz and Gustavo Fuentes lead the work of Young Life in Mozambique. Beatriz first encountered Young Life in Brazil and became a Christian through that encounter. The Fuentes moved to Beira, Mozambique in 2010 and began building relationships with teenagers there to introduce them to Jesus. Pray today for the Fuentes and the students they are reaching through Young Life.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, thank you that, ultimately, I belong to you. And because I belong to you, I can freely belong to others. Help me, O Lord, to be a part of your desire to bring others into the full knowledge of that belonging - first to you and then to each other. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.