This is just a portion of the devotion that Austin wrote for the mission trip he is currently on.... they return tomorrow night.
Congratulations! You've made it through the trip, and everyone on the bus is probably grumpy and dog-dead tired. Well, snap out of it! There's still two more devotions to do!
Read Colossians 4: 2-6. This is Paul's closing letter to the church of Colosse, and as you're reading it or as you read it, you should be feeling some deja-vu right? Isn't this what we did on mission trip? Spread the mystery of Christ at every available opportunity? Some of you are probably thinking, "Oh yeah, we did." Well, guess what? It's not over yet. It's never over. That verse sums up our missions as Christians: to proclaim the mystery of Christ. Whether you realize it or not, that mission isn't supposed to be carried out just on trips like this. It's meant 24/7, 365.
The first part of that verse tells you to devote yourself to prayer. Well, what kind of prayer? Anything and everything. I'm sure that you met plenty of people this week that brought a smile to your face. Pray for these people; even if you don't know the names, God knows, so just specific, like "I want to pray for the guy I met at the YMCA Tuesday." It's important that we bring everything before God: requests, concerns, praise, hurts, anything and everything. Prayer is how we talk to God. So, if we like talking to our friends, family, girlfriend/boyfriend, then we should enjoy talking with God too. Right now, take a few minutes to pray for everything that happened during the trip; who you met, what happened, any annoying obstacles, or anything else from the trip that's on your mind.
You probably don't know how much of an impact you've made on these people this week. We took time and money and body odor to help these people out and get to know them. A song I enjoy listening to starts out like this: "Nobody knows who I really am; I've never felt this empty before, and if I ever need someone to come along, who's gonna comfort me and keep me strong?". You talked to a lot of people this week about Christ, some who maybe have never heard the name "Jesus". These people probably have felt the way the song talks about more than once. We might not be the ones to be there and keep them strong, but we did introduce them to someone who can: God. Use how you've talked and acted this week whenever you can; make it your 'default' attitude. As Christians, we are called to be light upon His word. Well, we can be that light everywhere: at school, at work, everywhere! Paul says, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity." You have more opportunities around you than you realize. We just have to get out of the box to see them. Right now, think about and write down 3 persons or 3 ways you, in your daily life, can make the most of every opportunity to spread the word of God. Share those 3 things you wrote down with a friend, and make commitments to fulfill those 3 things. Hold each other accountable for them. Start practicing now, in your conversing with friends on this bus, to "be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone". When we get back, be sure to thank everyone that paid your way or know you. Be sure to hug them, shake their hand, whatever, but tell them how much they mean to you. And be sure to get plenty of sleep, because on Monday, guess what we get help out with? VBS at our church back home! ............
Austin's mom challenges you with his words to:
1) Right now.... think about and write down 3 persons or 3 ways you, in your daily life, can make the most of every opportunity to spread the word of God.
2) Share those 3 things you wrote down with a friend and make commitments to fulfill those 3 things.
3) Ask your friend to hold you accountable for them.
4 hours ago