Conviction > Opinion
A man once said, ‘An opinion you carry, but a conviction carries you.’ A conviction is something that you believe that changes the way you live. As you are heavy-hearted and burdened this week let these feelings, memories and truths transcend the momentary futileness of opinion and become deep-rooted, long-lasting convictions. Do not fall victim to the mission trip turnover; hitting a high spiritually but never truly changing or deepening what you believe. Allow God to work, mold, break and recreate His convictions in your heart.
What are some convictions(firm beliefs) that are taking hold in your heart this week?
Like cutting off one’s feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool. Proverbs 26:6
The week has been intense, the workload heavy and the spirituality evident. Stay the course. Don’t let the urgency of the Gospel fade to fatigue, indifference or misunderstanding. Don’t let the message of the gospel be amputated by foolishness. Things are happening all around us competing for our attention; trying to suck away our spiritual bandwidth. DO NOT let your focus on the gospel be cut off at your feet. We came for a purpose. We are here with purpose and we will leave with purpose. Stay the course.
How will you keep your priority on the Gospel today?
What is competing the most for your attention? Ask God to help you overcome that distraction.
In your own words, write out why the gospel is so important to you and to the people we will meet.
Here is a quote that is really resonating with me and our team this week;
Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is-where life & death, sin & grace, Heaven & Hell converge. – RC Shannon
It is hard to put into words the greatness of God and how incredible the display of that greatness has been this week. We landed late Saturday and popped up early Sunday to attend church here in Jinja. We were tired and jet lagged but we went… And I am so glad that we did. We worshipped together with a people that we could hardly understand and have very little in common with on the surface. But in reality we have everything in common in our hope in Jesus Christ. It was a beautiful preview to what it will be like on the day that every tribe, tongue and nation is worshipping together in one accord in the throne room of God!
Yesterday our team went to Serving His Children (@servingHis) and began a project to repair a road so that their team can pass more safely and with greater urgency as they transport children who are severely malnourished. This ministry is a place where children who are malnourished can come with a family member, get healthy, get educated on nutrition and be exposed to the gospel. The ministry embodies the reality of being a place where life and death converge. This week alone, three babies have died as a result if malnutrition. This ministry is a light in a dark place and an incredible testimony of the truth that the greater the call that God places on our lives, the higher the cost to act upon it. I encourage you to check out this ministry’s website HERE
Today the guys on our team went back to complete the work as the remainder of our team went to pack and deliver enough food for 200 families for the next two weeks!!
Tonight we gathered to simply worship God- the perfect way to end a challenging day. The truth is here we are confronted moment by moment with the truth that life is not guaranteed; that eternity hangs in the balance and that it is only the hope of Jesus that fully heals any of us. I envy being here. I envy the urgency and the perspective that exists within this context. Many insignificant and trivial things fade away in the shadow of the gloriousness of the gospel.
Stop With The Pity
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39
Too often we fall victim to pity. We pity that Jesus had to die on a cross. We pity the brutality of his death. We pity and feel sorry for those who have given their lives for him. But I would submit that Jesus did not die for our pity. Jesus didn’t die so that we could feel sorry for him because he’s pitiful. Jesus died so that we would worship Him because he’s so powerful. We can feel sorry for people and not feel called to submit our lives to them. We can feel sorry for someone and actually think lower of them. Jesus didn’t die to evoke our pity. He died to consume our lives. As we are challenged by what we see and the brokenness around us let us default not to pity but to worship of the eternal King Jesus.
Serving as Servants
How will you reveal Christ to people today? How will you meet someone in the midst of their struggle and point them to Jesus? How will you serve a child, paint a wall or pull a weed and make it about the Gospel? How will you serve those you are serving with? What we do on this earth matters. What you do today matters.
Read Matthew 25:21-46 and reflect on the eternality of our mission.
Born and Raised
This mission trip is a serious step in your development as a young Christian. I cannot overstate this. You are in Africa. You are on mission, and you are being shaped by God, our Creator. Let’s think on that: God molded you, birthed you, placed you in your family, set your experiences and has led you here. You have been born according to God’s purposes and are in the very midst of being raised for His purposes. Titus 3:5 says, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
But know this; God has done all this for HIS glory in your life. You are bought with a price and you are on mission at His command. How will you develop for His glory this week?
The One Thing You Should be Afraid Of
One of the most prominent commands in the entire Bible is ‘fear not.’ Yet we are so often captured by fear — fear of not being loved, fear of harm or sickness, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown. Nevertheless, the command remains, Fear Not.
But I don’t think we have a fear issue; I believe we have a faith issue.
Faith in God is not the absence of fear; Faith in God is knowing the presence of Christ is bigger than anything we may face.
We are not called to be fearful. Actually just the opposite – look at 2 Timothy 1:7 –
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
But let’s be honest with ourselves, being fearless is much easier said than done. As this week begins, I challenge you to think not about fear but rather faith. Let our moments of fear be God’s moments of hope. Truly, the only thing we should fear is not trusting God in these moments of opportunity. Fear being out of God’s will. Let faith replace fear. Let faith trump fear. Let faith OUTLAST fear. Let your FAITH overcome your fear because our God can! What are you afraid of? Write out the ways that faith can overcome those fears.
Today (and tomorrow) we will travel. It will be fun, tiring, smelly. It will be a long time! But it will be exciting because we know that at our destination we will find a people in desperate need of the hope of Jesus Christ. As we travel, ask God to prepare your heart and mind. Write out your expectations and hopes for the trip. Be specific. Write down your prayers of what you hope God accomplishes through you on this trip. Write verses of significant to you. Write worship song lyrics. Spend time meeting with God – it’s a long plane ride.
Here is a verse to kick you off …
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12