Mission Devotional - November 21, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Spiritual Disciplines

Opening Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to constantly make time and space for you. For if we will make the time and the space, you will be faithful to show up in it. Thanks for that. Amen.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Journal: What things bring your spiritual to life on a regular basis? How, where, and when will you make those things an intentional part of your life?

Reflection: Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God - no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. (1 Timothy 4:7-8, The Message)

Spiritual disciplines are not just things to do, but things to do that help us to be. They are not an end in themselves, but intended to make time and space for God to make us come alive inside. In that old familiar story in Luke 10:38-42 about Mary and Martha, we are told that Mary sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he said. Those are spiritual disciplines. Sitting and listening are things we can do that actually help us to be more and more who God intended us to be. And in that classic Psalm about God as our Shepherd, we are told that he makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside quiet waters. Again, spiritual disciplines. Lying down in green pastures and being led beside quiet waters have a particular effect on our souls - they restore them. So pay careful attention to the things that create life within you, and figure out how to intentionally make those things a part of your daily rhythm. Not for the purpose of duty and obligation, but so your soul and spirit will be alive and vibrant - open and receptive to God's voice and God's movement within you.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Asia

E is part of a team that has translated the New Testament for a large South Asian language group. Beyond this goal of translating the New Testament is the larger goal of seeing the scriptures systematically read and studied by individuals and groups. Pray today for the printing and binding of the New Testament in the MT language and for E as she continues her translation work in another language.

Safe Families for Children is an innovative collaboration between area churches, volunteers and child care professionals designed to support at-risk children and parents in need. Pray today for Janet Cockrum and her leadership for this ministry. For more information, contact Janet at jcockrum@bethany.org.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to never think of the spiritual disciplines as a duty to perform, but help us to see them as a person to engage - You! May we make time and space to be with you today. Amen.