KICKSTART DEVOTIONAL

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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.

 

Video: Renee Garrett // Your Spiritual Greenhouse

 

 

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Be a Spiritual Greenhouse

 

 

Your Spiritual Greenhouse

Mission Discovery Mission Trips with Renee Garrett

Renee Garrett is a long time volunteer with Mission Discovery.  She has been going on mission trips with us for almost twenty years.  She has been on multiple trips to Honduras and Guatemala.  She has been blessed by these trips and wanted to share some of her spiritual insights with you today. 

Good morning. My name is Renee Garrett and I'm here in Bangor Maine. I've been part of Mission Discovery since 2001, which for me is just hard to believe.  It's been a wonderful relationship. We've taken groups from our church to Honduras with Jimmy Rivera over a number of years. And then when that closed up we ended up going to Guatemala for a number of times. In fact we were just there this past summer with Nathan Walters.

And each time the trips are always God blessed, wonderful, spiritual experiences that grow our team, grow our church and it has had a lasting impact on a lot of lives. So we're very grateful to Mission Discovery

I'd like to begin this morning with Psalms 1 versus 1 - 3.  

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but those whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditate on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season. And whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers.”

I'm here in my greenhouse. And in Maine it is important for us to kind of help the season get started. We still snow on Maundy Thursday so we're just not able to get seeds into the ground very early. But a greenhouse helps us to get started by providing a very protected place where a plant can grow in safety for a time before we actually put it outside. 

So I talked to Jimmy this last week and I was talking with him about the COVID virus and tornadoes and all kinds of things. And at the conclusion of our conversation he asked if I'd be willing to do a devotional and I said Sure I'd love to.

I walked away from that conversation. Asking Lord, what will I talk about? What can I say? Greenhouse kept coming into my mind and I thought greenhouse. What does COVID 19 and greenhouse have to do with each other?  Or what does COVID 19, greenhouse and tornadoes and all kinds of disasters. Why did they have to do with each other? The more I thought about it, first it was a good question.

But second of all, I realized that there is a very important connection and it starts with Easter. Because Easter we celebrate resurrection. We celebrate victory over the grave. We celebrate the new life that Christ offers to all of us. But the only way to get there is through the cross. There's no way around it. 

And Jesus said as much when he said in Luke chapter 9 verse 23.  

“If anyone wants to become my follower let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it and those who will lose their life for my sake will save it.” 

Well I know most of us are confined to our homes except for that necessary grocery store trip or maybe a trip to the doctor and we're kind of stuck with the people we live with or we're stuck alone all by ourselves. And I thought, what would happen, if we thought of our confined space and the people were with the people we're not with.

What if we thought of all of this, as a spiritual Greenhouse?  A place where our spirit can really practice what Jesus has told us what we need to do. That we need to deny ourselves to take up our cross daily. And to show love toward our neighbor who happens to be living in the room next door. Kind of makes me shiver a little bit to think about it but at the same time I realize that there's power here.

If you listen to what St. Paul wrote to the Philippians he said. 

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ. If any comfort from his love if any common sharing in the spirit if any tenderness and compassion then make my joy complete by being like minded having the same love being one in the spirit and of one mind do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit rather in humility value others above yourselves not looking to your own interests but each of you for the interest of others and in your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

He also gave instructions about how that life in the greenhouse ought to be lived. And he said this in Colossians Chapter 3 versus 12 and following: 

“Therefore as God's chosen people holy and duly loved clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. There with each other and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance against someone forgive as the Lord forgave you and over all these virtues, put on love. Which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms and hymns and songs from the spirit singing to God with gratitude in your hearts and whatever you do whether in word or deed do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him. On Easter Sunday morning our pastor quoted a child who responded to the question “Do you know what the empty tomb means?”

And the little fellow answered. “Yeah, it means Jesus is on the loose.” Don't you love it. Jesus is on the loose. He's liable to show up anywhere especially in our spiritual greenhouses. And trust me Jesus is an expert gardener. He knows exactly what we need in order to grow more into his likeness. He just wants us to open the door to let him in.

So my question for you to ponder this morning is how would your sense of confinement to your home be changed. If you thought of it as your Spiritual Greenhouse, a place for you to practice. What Jesus asked his followers to do every day by denying themselves taking up their cross and following him. Thanks be to God that we are getting this opportunity and I hope he will help us to use it well.