On every Mission Discovery mission 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.
Fulfill Your Purpose
Mission Discovery Mission Trips with John McLendon
John McLendon has been in ministry for over forty years. He is the Senior pastor at Godwhy Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee and has an encouraging message for you today.
Hello. My name’s John McLendon and I’m the lead pastor at Godwhy Church in Hendersonville Tennessee. And I’ve had the privilege of being involved with Mission Discovery for twenty nine years. We’ve had the privilege in two different churches of sponsoring Jimmy Rivera who is now the director of Mission Discovery and being a part of multiple projects. So I love Mission Discovery. Now this morning I’m going to be sharing the devotion about the book of Philippians.
Now I love the book of Philippians because it is so encouraging. Passages like,
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”
or Philippians 4:19 “My God will meet all of your needs according to the glorious riches which are in Christ Jesus.”
Now one of the other unbelievably powerful things about the book of Philippians, this unbelievably encouraging book, is that it is written by Paul while he’s in a Roman prison chained. Now, think about, one of the most encouraging books you read and the guy that wrote it is in jail. Not the most encouraging place. Now, as Paul begins to share, one of the things that he says is he doesn’t even know if he’s going to live or die.
In Philippians 1:20 it says “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my body. Whether by life or by death. For to me, to live as Christ and to die, is gain.”
So not only is he in prison but he knows he may die. Now we are in some really un nerving circumstances at certain points right now with the COVID virus, with other things that are going on. There are a lot of things that we can’t control and some people are walking in a lot of fear because there’s so much uncertainty. Now, what does Paul say to the Philippians in the middle of his uncertainty and uncertain times as well as theirs? Well he encourages them to do three things in their life.
Number one, watch your thoughts. What are you letting obsess your thoughts? Now, I use this illustration with my congregation all the time. Which is, I can’t stop the birds from flying over my head but I can stop them from making a nest in my hair. And when I used that about thoughts, I go, we may have all kind of random thoughts fly through our head. They may come from fear, anxiety or greed, or lost or something.
But we can control what we’re going to focus on what we are going to allow to take root in our life. We have control over that. Now from Second Corinthians one of the other books Paul wrote. He said “Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” Here in Philippians he says it this way. “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure or lovely or admirable, if there’s anything excellent or praise worthy,
think about those things. Focus on those things.” Now the second thing that Paul tells us to do is to begin to rejoice. Even though our circumstances haven’t changed. In Philippians 4: 4-8, he says “Rejoice in the Lord always.” I’ll say it again because sometimes it doesn’t sound right. My circumstances haven’t changed. I’m still walking in a hard place, he says rejoice.
And why. Because God is here. God is in this with us. So he says, “think about what you’re thinking about.” And second of all, “begin to rejoice because God is in this with us. We are not alone. We are not abandoned.” And then number three, “Pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything. But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God and a miracle happens.”
That’s my little add-in. Because the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your heart and guard your mind in Christ Jesus. Nothing has to change but it will guard our heart and our mind. So it’s not about our circumstances. In fact in Philippians 4:11, he says “I have learned the secret of being content, whatever the circumstances are. I know what it is to be a need. I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry. Whether in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” And that is the truth. It was about his purpose in fact Paul looked at his circumstance and situation and said, Wow there’s an opportunity here that I wouldn’t have if this circumstance hadn’t come up in Philippians 1:12 because I want you to know brothers and sisters that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.
His purpose, as a result it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. He goes, Hey just think about it right now. I get to share with the palace guards how many people get that opportunity. This situation is giving me a new opportunity to do what God has called me to do. So what about our situation with the COVID lockdown? What is changing so that we can have different opportunities?
We’re spending more time with our family. Are we taking advantage of that? There are a lot of people who are experiencing loneliness and need people to reach out to them or to serve. Am I taking this opportunity to see God fulfill purpose in me. Just look at Mission Discovery. Their normal call is to go into the third world, get people hands on opportunities to do projects, to earn the right to share the gospel. And yet now the countries are closed and the airlines are down.
They can’t get over and do what they have always done. So they’re now doing these devotions to go, we still have the ability to fulfill our purpose. And we have new opportunities as a result of this challenge. So question, what unique opportunity is provided to you right now as a result of the situation you’re walking through? So let’s pray. Father, I thank you that you are in this with us. That we don’t have to have anxiety and fear we can cast that on you.
Lord, we ask that you would lead us, guide us, control our thoughts as we yield them to you. Give us the ability to rejoice as we pray. Give us that peace that transcends understanding. Do a miracle in, this day as we follow you in Jesus name. Amen.