Mission Devotional - September 17, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Must

Opening Prayer: Compel us, Lord Jesus, by your great love; that we might follow you with glad and joyful hearts, wherever you may lead. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 9:21-25

Journal: How are these verses taking shape in your life these days? How do you think Jesus wants them to take shape in your life? What does that look like?

Reflection: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

There is a must in the life of faith that is not fraught with guilt, not stuffed with ought and should. Instead, it is born out of affection and delight. It is get to rather than have to. It is pull rather than push. It is not begrudging and coercive and forced, but a genuine expression of a heart that has been captured by love, the fruit of intimate union. Thus, it cannot be quashed, contained, or subdued, but flows from our inner being like a river toward the sea. It propels us into life with energy and vitality that mere duty cannot provide. It does not beat us down or wear us out, but, by its very nature, reorders, renews, and transforms.

Somehow we must learn how to move from one must to the other. The state of our lives, and our ministries, depend on it. For our must will incarnate itself in one form or another. It can take the shape of joy and peace and gratitude, or it can take the form of gloom and sadness and despair. Which do you think Jesus would prefer?

O Lord Jesus, help us live our lives like you did, by the must of love.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Europe

Vitaly and Oksana Voinov live in Moscow, Russia. Vitaly is working with the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) in Russia/CIS as IBT's director. IBT has been serving the non-Slavic peoples of the former Soviet Union for four decades by translating the Holy Scriptures - Bibles, New Testaments, individual Bible books, and illustrated Children's Bibles. Pray today for the Voinov children and their parents as they begin a new school year.

YOKE mentors middle school children by building friendships with Christian adults through clubs, camps, and Kid Time (hanging out with kids in their world). Currently YOKE reaches out to nearly 20,000 students at 26 middle schools located in Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, and Knox counties. Pray today for the Yoke volunteers as they connect with middle schoolers this semester.

Closing Prayer: O Lord Jesus, help us live our lives like you did, by the must of love.