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Last week I was preparing for the sixth of seven pre-trip meetings for a Kenya mission team that I'm a member of. We have a devotion for every meeting, and this week’s devotion was centered on living sacrificially. It really stressed how important it is for a member of a mission team to put others before ourselves, to approach them with an attitude of a servant, and to be humble.
I’ve done this devotion before, and yet there I was, really digging into what I was reading. I was intently underlining quotes like I was discovering them for the first time. I began to think about the difference that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, could make in a world if we lived and loved like He does.
In this devotional, the author, Larry Ragan, says, “When we regard others as more important than ourselves, we willingly give up gratifying and glorifying ourselves. We become less concerned with personal gain and more concerned with the needs of others.”
I sat there reading this idea, having read it before, and yet found it so profound. What would our trip be like if we could genuinely act like that; if we could believe in our hearts that others should come before us. We would truly be servants! Wow.
My favorite quote from Mr. Ragan came a little later in the devotional, though. After giving examples of people who sacrificed personally for the betterment of their mission teams, he stated that the examples showed how “complaining and resentment are replaced with acceptance and understanding.”
What a novel concept! I want to do that! Replace my complaining and any resentments with acceptance and understanding! What if I could do this on the trip? What if my whole team could do this on the trip? What if we could do it every day?
Why not? I have been able to, over time, do this more consistently. This is who I want to be. This is who we are called to be. Let’s get started on that. How do you think that would look in your life? What are your obstacles to getting started? Or if you're practiced in living sacrificially, how has it affected you and the people in your life? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please pray for the Kenya team, whose trip is from May 20-31. Pray that the trip would bless them, and more importantly, others. And most importantly, that it would bring glory to God.
You can follow the Kenya trip, and all our mission trips, on The Mission Blog. See you there!