Mission Devotional - September 27, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Shame

Opening Prayer: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you, O Lord, will ever be put to shame. (Psalm 25:1-3, NIV)

Scripture: Psalm 25:1-3

Journal: How are shame and self-contempt affecting your life these days? How do you fight them? How successful has that been? How do the words of this ancient prayer offer you help and hope?

Reflection: Make no mistake about it, the battle against shame and self-contempt is never-ending. Their continual assault on our hearts and souls will never stop, at least this side of heaven. Because shame and self-contempt are two of the main weapons the enemy uses to triumph over those of us who struggle through life on a regular basis. The reason they are so effective is that, to a large degree, they are unrecognized. Somehow the enemy has convinced us that the voices we hear, telling us how miserable and worthless we are, come from ourselves rather than from him. What a brilliant strategy - to turn us against ourselves. Which then leads to further shame and self-contempt. It is a never-ending downward spiral.

That’s why I find so much comfort in the first few verses of Psalm 25. The words of this ancient prayer give me hope that this battle can - and will - be won. They also give me help in the fighting of this battle. The words of Psalm 25 give me weapons to use when I feel overwhelmed, beaten up, and defeated. They empower me when it feels like I am at the mercy of forces far greater and more powerful than I.

All I have to do is use them - by praying them. All I have to do is recognize the strategy of the enemy, lift my soul to the Lord, and trust in him rather than trusting in myself, or the world around me to tell me who I am and what I am worth. To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. In you I trust, O my God. When I lift my soul to the Lord, and trust only in my God, then shame and self-contempt begin to lose their grip on me. Then I am free to be the person that God created me to be. Thanks be to God!

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Asia

J and F live and work in one of the poorest and most heavily populated states in a country in Asia. They are seeking to make a difference in this state in both physical and spiritual realms. They have been operating a micro-finance business that is creating self-sustaining means of support for churches and church plants as well as continuing to provide funds for the installation of hand pumps to provide clean water to needy areas of the state. Pray today for J and F as they get settled back in Asia after a lot of summer travel and as they work on their strategy for the coming year.

Bethany Christian Services is a global organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. They manifest the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services such as adoption, family support, foster care, pregnancy counseling, refuge services and infertility. Pray today for the staff as they work with families to facilitate adoptions.

Closing Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to lift our souls to you. Help us, this day, to walk in the truth of your love rather than the lies of the enemy. Amen.