KICKSTART DEVOTIONAL

Every Weekday at 11 AM CST on Facebook Live

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On every Mission Discovery trip, we begin the morning together in God's word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.

Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.

Join us every weekday as we explore God's word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today's Kickstart Devotional.

 

Video: Pastor Jack Dunbar // Let Your Light Shine

 

 

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Let Your Light Shine

 

Let Your Light Shine

Well, hello, Mission Discovery. My name is Pastor Jack Dunbar. I'm coming to you from the Pacific Northwest, specifically from Spokane, Washington. Our church is called Pacific Keep Church, and I was asked by my good friend Nathan to lead this morning kickoff for Mission Discovery, and I could not be more excited to be here.

I've served on a number of Mission Discovery trips. I've been to Jamaica with Mission Discovery, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve and glad that I get to be here with you sharing this message of encouragement for our morning. As is Mission Discovery's sort of practice, I'll be reading some scripture, sharing just a few thoughts on it to get us started for the day and then I will be praying for us all as we go out into the world to do good work that God has before us.

All right. Let's get started. So, I was recently speaking with a friend of mine. He's a church historian and he was he was speaking some truth about what's going on with this current pandemic.

There is a temptation to panic. There is a temptation to fear. But more than anything else, there is a temptation to shy away from God and to put our lamp under a basket. Because when we fear and when we panic then we blame others.

This is the classic sin from the Garden of Eden. When we blame others, we point the finger away from ourselves and we completely miss the opportunity to be the Church. So I encourage you right now, be encouraged to be the Church. Let's not shy away. Let's not put our lamp under a basket. Let's let it shine for the world to see.

And my church historian friend, the reason that I mentioned him, is that he brought this up as a consistent response to crisis from the Church.

Consistently, the Church has risen to face crises head on. The bubonic plague is an example. There were plagues in Rome that really helped move the Church from a very small entity to a large global network of believers who are doing the good work of God.

And he said the difference between shying away, putting our lamp under a basket, and letting it shine for the world, and being salt and light and being a witness to the world and doing the good works that God has in store for us as it testifies in Ephesians - the difference between hiding and shining are foundational texts.

It's important for us to return to some of these foundational texts that testify to what Jesus did when he was with us. In times of crises it is easy for us to get distracted. We get distracted by our fears. We get distracted by our anxieties. We get distracted by our canceled or disrupted plans. We get distracted by blame and by scapegoating or challenging or putting others down or making enemies out of people, when really we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

One of those foundational texts that my friend suggested has been really helpful for me in facing this pandemic that we're all experiencing right now.

Romans 8:1-11

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Come on Mission Discovery! Come on let's get kickstarted for this. Let's get excited about this today. Let's take that basket off of our lamp and let's let it shine because sin - no more! Death - no more! Pandemic - be gone right? All of this stuff is behind us. God covers all of the sin and brokenness in our lives and makes something out of it. Think about Joseph. Joseph's life was totally crushed but Jesus rose up an amazing example with his life.

He worked through this man living in him and walking with him through all of his setbacks. Joseph became a testimony to how we can live through the crisis by being sacrificial and by following in the way of Jesus by putting our sin and judgment and guilt aside and by not heaping that on other's heads but on actually clearing it away by living out of that Spirit and walking by the Spirit and letting the things of the flesh just fall away.

There have been pandemics before and they've passed. There have been apocalyptic events in history and those have passed. Natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina.

I mean these are things that Mission Discovery has been involved in. The collapse of Haiti. And all of it passes away except for the love of God. Except for the steadfastness of Christ. Except for the power of the Spirit embodying believers and forcing them into pandemics to love the world. We are free from the law of sin and death. The law was weakened by flesh but the Spirit of God lives in you so here a couple more encouragements here.

If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you. Come on. So then brothers and sisters we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh. But if you live according to the flesh you're going to die. Spiritual death. We can become distracted like I mentioned. We can scapegoat. We can blame others.

We can play the blame game and we can curl up and we can die in our basket. Or we can shine for the world because if you live according to the flesh you're going to die, shrivel away, be hidden under a basket. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all those led by God Spirit are God's sons and daughters for you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. No.

Instead you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out Abba Father. The Spirit himself testifies together with our Spirit that we are God's children. And if children also heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we suffer with them so that we may also be glorified with him. Come on! Co-workers with Christ. Inheritors of all of the good things of God's eternal riches. We get to live in his house in the kingdom of God in heaven and we get to share that with the world.

There is nothing that can get us down. There is no power of flesh or sin or death. No virus that can ever squash what God did and does for the world through us - through his life-giving Spirit. Nothing can ever stop that. Nothing can stop your prayers. Nothing can stop your service. Nothing can stop that. Not the forces of darkness in this world - the natural evil of things like natural disasters and pandemics.

Mission discovery if anybody knows it, it's you! That natural disaster can't hide believers. It can't hide the good works of God. No. We go to those things don't we. We go into them willingly, gladly to sacrifice our own lives for the good of the world, for the good of others. Because the Spirit is not tainted by sin or death. No. And I want to give us one more encouragement from Romans 8. And this is really powerful for us right now.

Paul says:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

The fall let us on a dangerous trajectory in human history, natural disasters, the pain of the environment that is ravaging human beings by viruses like Covid 19. All of this natural evil in the world are but creation's groaning for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. Do you hear the challenge?

Whenever there is a tsunami, whenever there is an earthquake, whenever some dictator rises up and tries to squash other people, you know what fills the gaps and restores humanity?

The Spirit of God

And, that Spirit lives in each and every one of you. Come on! Hallelujah right? We all get to live into the Spirit of God. This is an opportunity to reveal the sons and daughters of God.

This is an opportunity to rise up against the groans of creation which suffers along with us, which suffers along with Christ, and Christ died to redeem all things. All things will be made new revelation attest to this. And we have the opportunity to step into it. This is a foundational text out of Romans 8. Here's a kickoff for you.

The Spirit of God lives in you. Sin and death - no more. Done away with at the cross of Christ and so was whatever pain, whatever violence, whatever challenge is thrown against us. We just turn the other cheek. We put our hand on the plow and we keep moving. We keep moving until that beautiful day when Christ comes again and all things are redeemed. We work for redemption. We're redeemeders right.

Us ,the Church. Believers. People who harbor the Spirit of God carry it into the world and share it. We fight against those labor pains and we help move peace, Shalom, and Kingdom into the world. We are the rebuilders. Mission Discovery, we are rebuilding.

We are rebuilding right now. Building the Kingdom of God soul by soul, person by person, village by village, house by house. Whatever it is we build, we build it together in hope. It's the hallmark of the Christian faith. Hope. You have an amazing hope, and that hope lives in you - the Spirit of God.

Let's pray together. God thank you for the gift of your Spirit. Thank you for the life death and resurrection of Jesus that defeated death and sin once for all on the cross. Thank you for the redemption of our souls. Thank you that we have a resistance to the flesh. Thank you Lord that we have the ability to live into a different kind of life starting today. Today is an opportunity for God's sons and daughters to be revealed. Help us Lord to be the light to the world.

Let us take that basket over that lamp and let's remove it. Let your light shine. Let that light shine and be revealed as a son or daughter of God. A co-heir with Christ, an adopted child. One loved by the father. As we reach out, the Father gives us a big hug and he sends us out into the world to share that hug with every other person we meet.

Let's get this going. Get kick-started. Let's share the Spirit. Come on. Thanks.
 

 

 

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