Heart of Missions – Day Two

Heart of Missions

Day Two:  A Word in Season

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

–Psalm 119:105

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

–Psalm 25:4-5

 

Have you ever tried to find something you needed in the dark?  Not a McDonald’s toy or a pen cap—something you actually need.  Getting down on your hands and knees, you fumble over the surface trying to remember exactly where you dropped it.   Like a digital recording, you reverse and replay the scene multiple times in your head, with hands down on the grass or pavement.  You cover every square inch of ground in a specified radius.  If only you could find that tiny contact lens, the new hearing aid of a family member, or the only pacifier left in the house. It seems your recently mobile toddler just learned how to play hide-and-seek with her toys.  The only problem is, the game isn’t so fun at bedtime when she needs that pacifier to go to sleep.  Fear strikes—maybe you won’t be able to get her to sleep at all without that tiny, coveted piece of plastic!

More likely than not, we all experience a less drastic version of this little hide-and-seek game at least once a week.  I confess, I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit looking for a set of car keys buried in the bottom of my purse.  Whether it’s the back of your daughter’s earring gone missing, a game piece rolled under the couch, or your favorite pen lost behind the desk—what’s the first thing you do?  Turn on the light, right?  Always.

With the light on, we can focus our vision on the task at hand.  I have even gone so far as to pick up a small desk lamp and shine it underneath the furniture to locate an item right when it falls.  My husband has a flashlight app on his phone to do the same.  Can we do the same thing with our life today?  Maybe everything is going just right in your life right now.  Praise God—He is so faithful.  Maybe for some, your life just feels like it’s missing something.  Maybe you already know what it is, or maybe you can’t lay a finger on it.  You know it was roughly in this specific time period, and you have a general radius in your mind about when something started feeling…

Not.  Quite.  Right.

Maybe today, fear strikes, and you are wondering what on earth you were thinking booking a flight halfway around the world to do missions.  Fear is trying to take over in the place where joy should be. Let’s shine the Word of God into those areas of our life today.  When we fill up with the Word of God, our apprehensions are gone because God is Love, and “perfect love casts out fear”!  We can fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God today and dispel the darkness while delighting in Him.

Psalm 119:47-48 says:

“And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.  My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.”

Take some time to read the Psalms today.  Here are a few to get you started:  Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 24, Psalm 63, Psalm 91, Psalm 95, Psalm 100.  If you have a lot of time throughout the day, you could start reading Psalm 119—it’s divided into sections, and it is full of encouragement about the goodness of God and His word for us each day.

Let’s pray and ask God to show us where to shine the light of Jesus in our lives.  Sometimes, the only thing missing is a close communion with Him.  We get busy, crunched for time, and we miss out on those moments of spending time with God each day.  He loves us so much, and He is the friend you can always pick back up with no matter how long it’s been.  Pray and ask God to fill those places with His love and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  Take time each day to read His word, and thank God for loving us.  Pray for another person in your life today for God to build them up and strengthen their life in the Lord.  Now let’s pray together:

Prayer Focus:

“Dear Lord, I pray that You would prepare my heart to serve.  Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  I delight in Your Word, and Your perfect love casts out fear.”

 

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Heart of Missions: Intro.

This summer, we are launching a group of church members into the mission field–adults & teens, some of them are members of my family.  For months, I prayerfully considered the question, “What is my part?”  Even if you are not the one taking a plane to a foreign country or the inner city, it’s possible to be a part of the project.  You can participate with the work of prayer.  I am so thankful with the answer that God has given me this year.  I hope it blesses you also.  Here is my charge to the mission working churches in 2016:

Heart of Missions

“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”

–Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message–from Bible Gateway.com)

 

For anyone who has ever expected a child, you know that feeling?  There’s a delightful anticipation for every member of the family.  That is for sure!  Whether you are the one having a baby, or it’s your sister, sister-in-law, aunt, parent, or friend—it doesn’t really matter.  Does it?  Everyone has a claim on the tiny little bundle wrapped in a hospital blanket well before the “labor day” arrives.

It doesn’t even matter if the baby is born in a hospital or adopted from half way around the world.  You wa-ai-t for that child.  You read every book there is to read on the subject of parenting, teaching, and caring for that teeny, adorable person.  You also get down to business on the task of preparing a room for that baby to live in.  There is painting and decorating, furniture buying, and baby registry making.  When you are all finished, ready for your son, daughter, sibling, niece, nephew, cousin, or friend—then what?

Then the gift buying starts.  Most women know that when there’s nothing left to do—there is always shopping!  (All you men have done your part.  J  We know who built that bookshelf, assembled the crib and changing table, and started a college savings account while the recipient was in utero.)  So, shopping, ladies?  Yes, we do.  We may be in Walmart when the onesies and sleepers draw us away from our grocery list.  There is just so much love.  We don’t even know what to do with it.

Is anyone excited yet?  I know I am.

***

Well, I have news for you.  We are expecting, Church!  We all are.  We are sending out a mission team to go and welcome untold numbers of new lives into the Body of Christ.  Jesus is in the business of adopting life.  (Romans 8:14-16)  He is the Resurrected Life (John 14:6), and He is the Sustainer of life (Acts 17:28) all over the world.  In just a few short weeks, we will be able to witness with our own eyes:  lives changed, people made whole, needs met, souls brought to Jesus, and new brothers and sisters of all ages welcomed into our “Royal Family”—the Family of the King of Kings.  Could anything be better?

Whether you are a mission-trip taker, a family member staying home, a pastor, teacher or leader, a next-door neighbor, or a friend—let’s claim this one as our very own.  Don’t you want to?  Aren’t you thrilled for those little lives and big lives coming to the Kingdom?  God’s heavenly plans are always so much larger than our own.  I know He is up to something this year, for this team,

on this trip,

in this church,

in this city!

Can you even imagine what it is?  It’s going to be good!  So what are we going to do?  Let’s all get together and give a gift.  Make it the Best.  Gift.  Ever.  All the plane tickets are bought, the passports picked up, the bake sales finished, the car washes done—forget shopping.  We are going to make place for these new lives coming to Christ.  We are going to pray God’s strength and protection on this team going out to serve.  We are going to get with God on what He is doing—bigger than what we expected, more amazing than what we thought, and we are going to…

Prepare Him Room.

 

Heart of Missions – Day One

Loving Your Mission Team One Day At A Time

Prepare

Heart of Missions

 

Day One:  My Heart.

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you…”

—1 Chronicles 28:9 (NKJV)

“Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly.”

—1 Chronicles 29:9 (NKJV)

 

I believe that God began this journey in you because you have a loyal heart.  Maybe you’ve never thought about that before—I never had before I read it in God’s Word.  Here’s what that looks like:  A heart that loves God and desires to serve Him will always do more than what’s asked of him—willingly giving the most, not the least.  It sounds like a lot, but that’s what you’re doing by being part of this journey—giving God more.  A “heart for missions” may not mean that you are physically able to travel and go to the inner city or a foreign country to reach the lost for Jesus.  The beauty of this is that you have a part too.  God’s story has a place for every person—He lovingly weaves each one of us as a thread in His beautiful tapestry.

I love the picture of this in 1 Chronicles 28 & 29.  When David desired to build the temple of the Lord, he asked God.  God told him that Solomon would build the temple—his own son.  Can’t you see the joy of the father-king?  His hands weren’t going to build, but the Bible says in 1 Chron. 23 that David made abundant preparations for God’s house.  Everything from “cedar trees in abundance” right down to the iron “nails of the doors” and “joints of the gates”.  David knew his son was young and inexperienced, and he chose to set him up for victory—storing all the gold, silver, and building materials needed for this task.  What was he doing?  He was preparing a place for the Lord even though he wasn’t the one going to build.

Can you find yourself in this story?  Whether you are a David or you are a Solomon, God has a task for you today.  The materials are gathered, bags are being packed.  What is your part?  A loyal heart.  A heart totally committed to God and what He is doing in this mission trip.  I love that Scripture above that says, “the Lord searches all hearts…”  He really meets us where we are, doesn’t He?  He knows that heart desire and He says, “If you seek Him, He will be found by you…”  I want to be found by God, don’t you?

Prayer Focus:

            Let’s seek Him today:  If you are a David—a support member for this mission trip:  Pray for your mission team today, build them up, and thank God for giving them a loyal heart for this journey.  Consider writing a note or sending a text message—tell your team that you appreciate them.  Let’s rejoice with our mission team this week!

If you are a Solomon—preparing to do the work and take this trip:  Pray for your leaders—thank God that they have set you up for victory.  They had a dream for this journey, and thank God that you get to be a part of it.  Pray for the people coming into your path—that you would be a blessing poured out into their lives.

Now let’s all pray this prayer together.  Whatever it means for you—God knows our hearts today, and He has a plan for good things. :

“Dear Lord, I pray that You would prepare my heart to serve…”