Join us in prayer and daily devotions in partnership with our 12 Team Nicaragua members!
PRIORITIES: REFLECTING ON OUR OWN CULTURE
Daily Scripture (Read Mark 8:31-37)
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? ” Mark 8:36-37
Daily Devotional—Priorities: Reflecting On Our Own Culture
My sister recently returned from working on Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone, Africa. She returned with a commitment to live minimally. Yet every time she turned around, there was another expense! She reviewed her possessions. She thought she had everything she owned in just several boxes. Then she remembered there was another room full of her stuff. How could anyone live simply in this country? She tried to fit everything she needed to live for two months here into two suitcases. How perplexing! She concluded it’s much harder to live without stuff in our culture for several reasons. First, there were four seasons and the gear that goes with that. Then there was the individualism that prevented living in community and sharing everything as she did in Africa which was compounded by cold weather and the need to have warm houses. And, without poverty driving us, this culture was less likely to share. Finally, even though things were expensive here, she reasoned that people in Canada were paid a decent wage compared to Africa and that was good and necessary. These are a few reflections of someone returning from a poor country and trying to set new priorities.
Mark 8: 36,37 reminds us how to live, especially in terms of setting good priorities in regards to finances. What does it benefit us if we gain the whole world but lose our soul? Prior to these verses, Jesus is predicting his death and Peter is rejecting this truth. Peter cannot fathom the cost of following Christ and the suffering that is to come for Christ and himself. Jesus is warning Peter, take care of your soul.
Look out for the things that rob you of life. Living in North America, we have little time for quiet reflection with the Lord. We work hard and spend hard yet may not be critical of how we spend our time and money. Our culture promotes busyness and acquiring stuff. We can become consumed with what we don’t have and become burdened with too much stuff we thought we needed. Let’s ask God today if there is anything He wants us to release and get rid of in order to live with more freedom. Are there any material desires He wants us to let go of as well? Consider how we can live more simply in the coming year and keep our priorities more in line with the kingdom of heaven and the needs of the world.
For The Team:
- Back home in Ontario, what things rob you of life? What things are a distraction?
- Are there any material desires God wants you to let go of? Consider how you can live more simply in the coming year and keep your priorities more in line with the kingdom of heaven and the needs of the world.
- How is this mission trip reshaping your view of material things?
- Pray that the team members will experience a greater freedom from consumerism because of the simplicity of the Nicaraguan culture.
- Pray that each team member will discover a deeper perspective on their life from this trip.
- Pray that we, in Nicaragua and back home in Ontario, will be open to whatever God is whispering to us.
Many of us are missing something in life because we are after the second best. I put before you what I have found to be the best—one who is worthy of all our devotion—Jesus Christ. He is the Saviour for the young and the old. Lord, here I am.
Eric Liddell, Olympic gold medalist & missionary to China