Mission Devotional - September 1, 2018

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Eyes

Opening Prayer: I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

Scripture: Psalm 123:1-4

Journal: What are your eyes focused on these days? What impact is it having on your life or heart? How might you fix your eyes of God instead?

Reflection: In the spiritual life, where we fix our eyes is everything. If we allow our eyes - and thus, our hearts - to be consumed by our own surroundings and struggles and circumstances, we are in for one wild ride. But if we are able, by God’s grace and strength, to fix our eyes on the bigger picture, and not on whatever trouble we may be experiencing at the moment - if we are able to take out eyes off of ourselves and fix them on Jesus - then everything changes. Oh, the circumstances themselves may not change much, but the spirit we have in the midst of those circumstances, and our quality of life as a result, will change immensely. I guess that’s why the scriptures talk so much about it: I lift my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. (Psalm 123:1) So we fix our eyes not on what is see, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrew 12:2-3)

It is really not that complicated - in theory at least. But it is a little more difficult in practice. For when my eyes are consumed with myself, and my little life and my little world, I find that I am filled with insecurity, anxiety, and fear. It is a downward spiral that is incredibly difficult to break free from. I don’t know about you, but I have the tendency get stuck inside myself at times. But when I am finally able to fix my eyes on God instead, something beautiful happens within me. Somehow he gives me the ability to climb out of the dark pit of self and come into the light of love. It is an invitation that is always open to me. “Look at me,” says my God, “and you will be able to experience the joy and the life and the peace that I desire for you, rather than trying so hard to provide it for yourself.” I pray that he will give us all the grace to do that more and more.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Africa

Tim and Barbie K. are working to translate the Bible into the Makori language, currently working in Acts and Galatians. Barbie is also guest house manager and Regional Director, having responsibility for more than 20 missionaries in the area. Their main goal is to see a Makori church effectively using its own Bible translation. Pray today for Tim and Barbie who have just returned to Africa from a home assignment in the U.S.

PALM (Preparing Arab-World Leaders for Ministry) is Arab World Media’s discipleship and theological training ministry. It provides high quality leadership and discipleship training materials in Arabic, Kabyle and French. It is an excellent way to meet the need for training in leadership and ministry among Muslim background believers throughout North Africa, Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. Pray today for the fighting in the Middle East, that it will bring before God the people, who are either fleeing for their lives, or feel trapped and helpless. Ask for the Father’s will to be done, and for His angels to hover over the region, protecting the innocent.

Closing Prayer: O God, sometimes I get stuck inside myself, consumed with my own life. When I do this my life is filled with insecurity, anxiety, and fear. But you want more for me. Fix my eyes on you, O Lord. Let love conquer insecurity, let peace replace anxiety, and let trust overcome fear. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.