Mission Devotional - October 4, 2018
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Opening Prayer: I feel your love as you hold me to your sacred heart, my beloved Jesus, my God, my Master, but I feel, too, the need I have of your tenderness, and your caress because of my infinite weakness. - Charles de Foucauld
Scripture: Song of Solomon 1:2
Journal: What is God’s invitation to you today? How is he drawing you into more and more intimacy with himself?
Reflection: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth - for your love is more delightful than wine."
"You have seen the way we must follow, the order of procedure. First, we cast ourselves at his feet, we 'kneel before the Lord, our maker,' deploring the evil we have done. Then we reach out for the hand that will lift us up, that will steady our trembling knees. And finally, when we shall have obtained these favors through many prayers and tears, we humbly dare to raise our eyes to his mouth, so divinely beautiful, not merely to gaze upon, but - I say with fear and trembling - to receive his kiss; for Christ the Lord is a Spirit before our face. And we who are joined to him in a holy kiss become, at his good pleasure, one spirit with him." (On the Song of Songs by Bernard of Clairvaux)
Through the centuries the saints and the poets who came before us understood something about God that most of us are only beginning to discover: At his core, God is a lover. For we were created out of the overflow of Divine Love, in order to experience the very love that God had within himself - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And even after we had turned away and pursued other lovers, God did not give up on us, but came to earth in pursuit of his beloved. Even to the point of giving himself, in the person of Jesus, so that he might redeem us, win back our hearts, and be reunited with us in love once again. In order that we might live all of our days on earth in loving union with him and spend eternity basking in the warmth of his Great Affection. For what God wants more than anything is loving union with us - his beloved. And he will stop at nothing in order to make that a possibility.
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Global Partner Focus: Asia
M is living in Asia working with an unreached people group. She is trusting that God will open doors for the gospel and empower local brothers and sisters to make disciples among them. Pray today for God to provide opportunities to share the gospel with the TL people by helping them with their social issues.
Cedar Springs partners with Redeemer City to City to plant churches in urban areas around the world. Pray for all the church planters that are supported throughout the world, especially those in Europe who have opportunities to build relationships with refugees from the Middle East who have settled there.
O living flame of love
That tenderly wounds my soul
In its deepest center! Since
Now you are not oppressive,
Now Consummate! If it be your will:
Tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!
O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand!
O delicate touch
That tastes of eternal life
And pays every debt!
In killing you changed death into life.
O lamps of fire!
In whose splendors
The deep caverns of feeling,
Once obscure and blind,
Now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
Both warmth and light to their beloved.
How gently and lovingly
You wake in my heart,
Where in secret you dwell alone;
And in your sweet breathing,
Filled with good and glory,
How tenderly you swell my heart with love.
- John of the Cross