The Immersion Devotions will be drawing attention to Bible passages relating to God’s mission. One obviously need not go overseas to have a mission. Our daily life of discipleship is full of mission opportunities; as Jesus said to the original disciples: open your eyes and look (at the fields. They are ripe for harvest! John 4:35).There are plenty of people among us that God would love to see encounter ‘missionaries’ – God’s people on a mission – people like you. Here’s the first, very foundational to understanding Jesus:
The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
“I once was lost, but now am found” claims the famous hymn Amazing Grace, but you were only “found” because you were sought after. Question of the Day: Like Christ, do you have an awareness of – do your eyes see -- those who may be lost?
Lord, give me a heart for those who are still lost; give me eyes to look at people like you see them, to love who you love…
We step into this week celebrating You, Father, who loves all prodigals;
We celebrate You, Jesus, who came to seek and save what was lost;
We celebrate You, Holy Spirit, who helps gather us back to the Father;
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
How good it is to know that Jesus cares at the time I am overcome with feeling harassed and helpless. Question: Like Christ, are you compassionate person, viewing others with a heart of compassion?
Lord, give me a heart of compassion for people I encounter, even when I am tired…
Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Here we see a glimpse of the heart of God in Jesus, always desiring to gather us to Himself – What a beautiful thought that God desires to gather you to Himself. And yet how heart-breaking that his people refuse his call. Question: Like Christ spoke of others, are you sometimes unwilling to respond to God’s call to come near?
Lord, give me sensitive ears to hear your calling and a willing heart to heed it...
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
That God is patient with me is wonderful and gracious; That God is patient with others, wanting them also to be saved also, does not always seem so wonderful and gracious (usually because my heart is not like God’s at that moment!). Question: Are you patient with others, even when they are slow to catch on?
Lord, realizing that there is a spiritual benefit for others, help me to be more patient with people.
Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
The desire of Paul’s heart for his fellow Israelites, many of whom saw him as an enemy, was that they come to know Jesus; he prayed for just such an occurrence. He wanted to disciple everyone God would give him access to. Question: Like Paul, is your desire for others (especially those ‘out to get you’) to be saved, to get connected to God in life?
Lord, melt my heart even for my enemies...
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Speaking of enemies like yesterday’s IMMersion, look at what God does here in John 3:16 and compare it with Romans 5:8 where we are told that God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we are yet sinners (enemies of God), Christ his Son died for us! That is loving an enemy – dying so that they can live! Question: When is the last time you viewed someone who irritates you as a person beloved by God – one Jesus died to save?
God, I may not have to die for any who oppose me, but help me to be gracious and loving to them.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
Most Christians readily agree that Jesus was sent into this world with a God-ordained purpose. As his disciples, we should be as readily agreeable to the realization that we too are sent into the world with a purpose. Question: In your opinion, how are you living out God’s purpose for you?
Lord God, as your disciple, let my purpose become known to me and drive me in how I live my life day-to-day.