Good morning. A warm welcome back to our Monday Thought of the Week. These devotions that I have been sharing with you each week are some of the lessons that God is teaching me as I walk with Him. I hope they can be an encouragement to you in your own walk with God.
In your daily interaction with God, you may also experience similar lessons in your life. Good experiences are for us to treasure. Tough experiences are for us to learn from and bad experiences are to mould us to grow in God and glow for God.
The Opening Prayer
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind. As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer of the Week
Second Sunday in Lent
God of all times and places, in Jesus Christ, who was lifted up on the cross, you opened for us the path to eternal life: grant that we, being born again of water and the Spirit, may joyfully serve you in newness of life and faithfully walk in your holy ways; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This morning our Bible Reading is taken from Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
David Livingstone’s Secret
Today I want to share a spiritual secret. This secret was the key to the extraordinary service of David Livingstone, one of the greatest missionaries in the Church’s history
Livingstone committed himself to living for Christ. Consider this prayer from his diary: “Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any ties but the tie that binds me to Thy service and Thy heart.”
And so it happened that God took Livingstone to task. “Send me anywhere…” Livingstone had learned of the villages in Africa where no missionary had ever gone before, and he felt led to go there. “Lay any burden on me…” Once in Africa, Livingstone encountered numerous trials. First, a lion attacked him, crushing his shoulder. Then, while crossing one of the vast plains of Africa, one of his children died. To add to that, when his children reached school age, he had to send them and his wife back to Scotland. The loneliness weighed heavily upon him. But Livingstone was undaunted, and he went deeper and deeper into Africa all alone.
“Sever any ties…” When Livingstone went back to Scotland, he found that his beloved father had died. Later Livingstone returned to Africa, and though his wife joined him in this venture, she passed away soon after her arrival. But Livingstone pressed on despite all this. Livingstone tramped across Africa for thirty-three years. Because of his faithfulness to the Lord, two million people heard the gospel, and the light of Christ came into Africa. Livingstone set his heart on Christ and committed himself wholly to the Lord.
What was Livingstone’s secret to maintaining his commitment despite all his struggles? Christ’s presence! In the midst of all of his hardships and toils, he knew Christ remained with him, for He had said, “I am with you always.” Today let Livingstone’s example encourage you. No matter how hectic your life may get, remember that Jesus Christ is with you wherever you go, whatever you do.
The Morning Collect
Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the love of the Father,
the tenderness of the Son,
and the presence of the Spirit,
gladden your heart
and bring peace to your soul,
this day and all days.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Once again, thank you for sharing this short time with me. As we follow Him each day, may we experience His presence wherever we go, whatever we do.
I am taking two weeks of leave from tomorrow. Looking forward to be with you again in a fortnight’s time. In the meantime, do good. Love outrageously. Enjoy life. Praise God. Amen. Goodbye.
 James Kennedy, New Every Morning, October 23