Mission Devotional - November 22, 2018
Thankgiving Day - November 22, 2018
Opening Prayer: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3, ESV)
Scripture: Psalm 23:5
Journal: What is your cup doing these days? What is the state of your soul? How, and to where, is the Good Shepherd trying to lead you?
Reflection: Those who are wise will see their lives as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then pours forth the overflow without loss to itself. They know that a curse is on those who allow their own property to degenerate. And if you think my opinion worthless then listen to the one who is wiser than I. "Fools," said Solomon, "come out with all their feelings at once but the wise subdue and restrain them." Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare. So urgent is the charity of those through whom the streams of heavenly doctrine flow to us that they want to pour it forth before they have been filled. They are more ready to speak than to listen, impatient to teach what they have not grasped, and full of presumption to govern others while they know not how to govern themselves.
I am convinced that no degree of charity that leads to salvation may be preferred to that suggested by the Wise One, "Have pity on your own soul, pleasing God." Listen to what a prudent and vigilant charity advises. "This does not mean that to give relief to others you ought to make things difficult for yourselves. It is a question of balancing."
The reservoir resembles the fountain that runs to form a stream or spreads to form a pool only when its own waters are brimming over. The reservoir is not ashamed to be no more lavish than the spring that fills it. He who is the primal Fountain of Life, full in himself and filled with himself, gushed forth and danced into the secret places of the heavens about him, to fill them all with his favors. And having endowed these remotest heights and recesses, he burst upon our earth, saving humans and beasts through his munificence, multiplying his mercies everywhere. When he had first filled up the secret places, his teeming mercies billowed over. They poured upon the earth and drenched it, to multiply its riches. You must imitate this process. First be filled and then control the outpouring. The charity that is benign and prudent does not flow outward until it abounds within. (On the Song of Songs by Bernard of Clairvaux)
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Global Partner Focus: North Africa & the Middle East
Isik Abla hosts a satellite TV program called "Light for the Heart" on the Kanal Hayat Turkish-language channel. She also hosts a live call-in program that is simulcast on the Turkish and Farsi channels throughout the Middle East and Europe. These TV programs deliver the message of love, healing, and freedom through Christ Jesus, reflecting on Isik's own life experience. Pray today for a plan to translate her TV programs into the Indonesian language due to the great demand and interest from Indonesian seekers.
Samaritan Ministry is a faith-based AIDS Service Organization led by Wayne Smith at Central Baptist Church of Bearden in Knoxville. They seek to serve people, primarily in East Tennessee, who are living with HIV/AIDS through direct support and by way of their significant network of service providers. Pray today for the staff of this ministry and the people they are serving.
Closing Prayer: You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5, ESV)