Good morning and a most blessed Thursday to you.
I am so excited about this first devotion that we're going to have together in 2023. I was listening to a podcast recently that talked about a study that was done by the University of Chicago psychologist. The participants in the study were instructed to talk to strangers on their morning commute on mass transit, and then report the results. The participants predicted that half of the strangers would turn them down and not really be interested in having a conversation with a stranger. But it turned out that not a single one of those conversations was rejected. Their efforts were very well received. People welcomed the chance to have those conversations, even with a stranger.
Throughout Scripture when God would engage in conversation with someone; like with Jacob in a dream, or with Abraham, or Moses, they would often reply saying, “Here am I”. One of the most familiar instances of this is in the prophet Isaiah in chapter 6, where Isaiah is brought to the throne throne room of God.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’
I think that those words are both the most exciting and scary words in Scripture. What is so cool is that there is no hesitation, even though Isaiah does not know what he is signing up for. He doesn’t know the extent of God’s will and the entire job description. The same is true for us. We are presented every single day with divine opportunities to share God's Word, and to serve our families, and the people around us. Every single day we are given an opportunity for mission and witness. Mission to be the hands and feet of God. Witness being that verbal messenger of the Word of God. And like the participants in that University of Chicago study, we are sometimes fearful that we will be rejected. And yet, the outcome of the study was that not a single one of those participants was rejected. And that was for just a secular, meaningless meaningless conversation.
We are called and sent by God to be his missionaries, to make disciples this side of heaven. The Lord calls us every single day. We have the opportunity to respond as the people of the Old Testament and the New Testament responded saying, “Here I am. Send me.” It's really scary, but it's also really exciting to think that God wants to use us to serve Him to expand His Kingdom, and to glorify Him. God’s calling is God’s enabling. Our mission is backed by the power of the Almighty and Sovereign Lord. We cannot fail, because our mission is commanded and empowered by God Himself. That is so exciting! I cannot wait to see where he will send us this year, and to whom he will send us to serve. We get to be His hands and feet, and the verbal messengers of the goodness, grace, mercy, and the love of God.
Will you please join me in prayer, asking for God to lead us and guide us?
Let's pray. Lord, we thank you so much. We thank you for the call that you have placed upon every single one of our lives. We don't know where that call will lead necessarily, or to whom you will send us. But we know that you in your grace and mercy have empowered us, and called us to work alongside you. Lord, we ask that you would give us the strength and the courage to answer saying, “Here am I. Send me.” We ask that you would open our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts to those divine opportunities and appointments that you give us. May your spirit of strength place your Word upon our lips. Give us the physical strength and ability to serve as your hands and feet. Continue to use us to glorify you, and expand your Kingdom, that we may rejoice with all the beloved saints of all time with you in the great marriage feast. Lord, we lift all of this to you, knowing that our new year, and our lives are blessed by you. We pray this in the name of Jesus.
I look forward to hearing where God is calling you in 2023, and to worshiping with you praising the name of the Sovereign, Almighty, wonderful Lord this Sunday.
Until then, God bless!