Mission Devotional - June 29, 2019

Saturday, June 29, 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: Asia

J & F live and work in one of the poorest and most heavily populated states in a country in Asia. They are seeking to make a difference in this state in both physical and spiritual realms. They have been operating a micro-finance business that is creating self-sustaining means of support for churches and church plants as well as continuing to provide funds for the installation of hand pumps to provide clean water to needy areas of the state. Pray today for J & F while they are in the U.S. during June helping J's parents prepare for downsizing their home.

Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Cru, is ministering to college athletes at the University of Tennessee. Rachel and Jason Stankus and Teg and Mikkel Tegelaar minister to and through the athletic department and are trusting God to build a spiritual movement that impacts the campus, community and world for Christ. Pray today for the 8 students serving in summer mission projects.

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.