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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: Elton McIntosh // The True Vine
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The True Vine
Howdy. I hope you guys are doing well. My name’s Elton McIntosh. I’m recording this in Dallas, but I have gone on several Mission Discovery trips to Jamaica to the Bahamas and, most importantly, to Guatemala. And I actually just wrapped up teaching for ten weeks at Kairos Christian School, which is Mission Discovery’s partner in Guatemala. But I wanted to share a quick message of encouragement, one of my favorite passages of Scripture, and also a story.
So in John 15, Jesus says this: “”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
So there’s a lot to be unpacked there, but before I go there, I want to share a quick story. So after I was wrapping up my time in Guatemala, I was supposed to go on a one-week father-son celebratory trip with my dad to Peru as a graduation kind of trip. I graduated in December.
And this was when all of this Corona craziness was picking up. So I was on my flight to Peru, and the scene was crazy. You know you’ve got people all around you wearing masks, you’ve got people wearing gloves, people keeping their distance from each other.
But, more than any of those visuals, I think what we can all resonate with is just the feeling of fear and uncertainty. It was in the air. So it was with that background that I boarded the flight and sat next to the window. About a little bit into the flight, I felt this prompting to talk to the person that was sitting next to me. They were actually in the aisle seat, so there’s nobody between us, and it was this elderly Peruvian woman. And I just felt like she had this gentle spirit and strength without even talking to her that I could sense.
And so I began talking to her and come to find out that she was not going to Peru for vacation she was going because her son had fallen really sick and she was going to go take care of them. So even amidst all of the warnings to the elderly. She had to go take care of her son who had a sickness as a kidney dialysis that had progressed and gotten really serious and she was going to go take care of him.
That’s what she was going to do. And as I talked to her I became more and more inspired from her story. And then she asked about my life and proceeded to speak into my life in a way that was really profound and to share strength and insight and wisdom and I just felt the sense of hope like the whole world was freaking out around us, but God ordained this moment right here with Selena. We got to pray and close out before the plane descended.
But as I was reflecting on that interaction, I was thinking – the same God who orchestrated that moment of hope is in control and sovereign over everything that’s happening right now. We can have hope in Him. We can have confidence in him. We can know that he is working; he’s not asleep at the wheel, and what should our response be to that. How can we act on that. And I think a lot of us feel that right now – what can we do?
How can we help out people around us? A lot of people are stepping up, helping their neighbors, donating to local organizations, doing grocery runs for older adults. These are all great things that we should continue to do. But there’s also just this feeling of helplessness that I’m sure a lot of us feel. And hear in the word, what Jesus says is don’t focus on doing good works. Focus on abiding in me. I am the vine you are the branches. It’s like a tree that focuses on bearing fruit rather than having roots that are strong and deep.
And so I want us to think about that. You know the roots provide strength. They provide nutrients, and they and they make us anchored. And so you know, in the same way, Jesus is our source of strength. He is the object of our hope, and he is who we look to.
And so I want to ask you today, where are you looking for your hope?
Where are you looking for strength? Are you just passively reacting to the voices of fear and despair and craziness that’s going on around you or are you actively abiding in the vine. When you’ve got some time take a few minutes to get into the Word today. If you want, John 15 is a great place to start.
Take some time to pray to the Father because there are voices that are going to speak into our lives.
It’s just whether we’re going to listen to the voices around us or if we’re gonna listen to the voice of the author and the sustainer of life. So I am praying for you. God bless you. I hope you have a great day. Thank you very much.