Thursday, September 15, 2016

Outreach Lessons Part 2: Devotion

  During Outreach Phase of DTS we went to 3 places.  In each place God taught me a new lesson.  When I look back however I see how all 3 lessons relate in some way. 

God allowed me to use these lessons as messages to the people we ministered to on outreach.  I think it is important for believers to allow the testimony of their life to be shared with others.  As we grow closer to God in our personal experiences we can encourage others to do the same by sharing our experience with them.  As I read through the book of Acts on outreach I believe this is an important part in the Christian life.   

So now I want to share these same lessons with you.  This is the second lesson, during the second part of outreach, in Pattaya, Thailand. The first lesson was on the importance of abiding in Jesus so I can produce fruit that is good (John 15:1-17).  The second lesson was how we abide through DEVOTION. 

Jesus had a habit of spending time with God.  The bible tells us that he “went off alone often.”  (You can read about this is Luke 5:16, Matthew 14:13-23, and John 6:15).  Jesus was super busy healing people, comforting people, feeding people, preaching and discipling.  Even when he tried to be alone with God people looked for him and found him (Matt 14:13).  He would take care of them and then go off to be alone after he finished the work (Matt 14:22-23)

If spending time with God was so important to Jesus it should be just as important to me.  If Jesus made time to spend with God in his busy schedule, so should I.  Jesus didn’t make excuses-HE MADE TIME. 

Jesus was devoted to his relationship with God, not just the work of God.  How often I have neglected my relationship with God because I was too busy doing His work.  I have learned during DTS that while God does care about the work that needs to be done on earth He cares so much more about my relationship with Him.  That is His biggest concern. 

As we see with in the story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10, Jesus praised Mary for her desire to sit as his feet when Martha complained she wasn’t helping prepare the meal.  Was Martha’s choice to serve him insignificant?  Absolutely not, it was important!  But God desires for us to sit at His feet and grow in our understanding and relationship with Him before we go out serving Him and the people He puts in our life.

So devotion means spending time alone with God.  During that time I can pray, read the bible, worship Him through music or journaling, thanking Him, and most importantly, listen to what He has to say.  Give Him time to speak with me as I sit quietly waiting on His still, small voice.  Often I spend more time complaining and asking God for things but not enough time listening.   

I learned that abiding in Jesus means being devoted to God. As we are devoted to Him and abide in Jesus’ love, he nourishes us.  Through that nourishment we get from the vine, we are able to produce “good fruit” when serving Him and doing the work He has called us to.

To read more about the outreach in Pattaya, click here

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