Good Morning Everyone,
I got up early this morning preparing to go on mission in South Asia. We will be ministering and serving children and their families in from a small village in Caintu, Philippines which is a suburb of Manila. The children who live here are some of the most beautiful children in the entire world as well as the most curious and rambunctious… they are exceedingly intelligent, fun-loving children with loads of energy that will need focus and which will consume us for 7 short days.
Our small team, five in total, 2 men and 3 ladies, will unite with all our brothers and sisters at New Hope Christian Fellowship of Manila to host Vacation Bible School. While praying and thinking about the trip, God brought a scripture to my heart as a signature verse for this mission. This passage is one that is exceedingly special to me. It is Ephesians 3: 14-21.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”.
I love verse 15 which acknowledges the whole family of God; those who have died and gone to heaven, those who are still carrying-on here on earth; those that are Jews, those who are Gentiles, those in Asia, those in America and every other place around the globe; we are all part of the family and share the same inheritance … one family, … “one body, one spirit…one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4: 4-6).
Our family origin comes from God. He choose us to be spiritually born into His family (Ephesians 1: 11). He initiated fellowship with each of us, while yet sinners and far from him-rejecting him, He loved us (Romans 5: 8). And by His grace, he has cleansed us from sin (Acts 15: 9), and gave us a new name, His name and identity (Revelation 2: 17). Each member in our family derives their being and their holiness from God, and therefore his name is called upon us. Christ gives the name Christ Follower to all the real members of his Church upon earth; and to all the spirits of men (saved since his advent, and through his blood) in heaven. We are all the sons and daughters of God Almighty.
Now as a family member who has been adopted and given the family name, a prayer begins beseeching God that every member of the family would receive spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings, and the most earnestly to be sought and prayed for by every one of us, both for ourselves and for our friends.
This scripture prayer is appropriate while on mission. It is reminiscent of the prayer prayed by Solomon as he worshiped God and asked Him to bless and dedicate the temple in Jerusalem in 2 Chronicles 6: 12-42. Oh that God would dedicate us to His holy calling.
On our knees, we say, “LORD God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth. You keep your promise of mercy to your servants, who obey you wholeheartedly [and] yet have regard to the prayer of your servants and to this plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place” (2 Chronicles 6: 14; 19-20). Father, thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for living in us and how you will work through us. You are mighty and righteous. There is none like you, Father. We are excited and wait in anticipation as we watch you show your glory…lavishing your lovingkindness on the children of Caintu. In your gracious and holy name, Amen.