The Upper Room – Daily Devotional

Today's Reading

Matthew 19:23

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. - Matthew 19:29 (NRSV)

In the summer of 2011, I was in Singapore for what I thought would be a short trip to renew my visa before returning to my mission field in northern India. I was excited to email my sponsoring church and report on my first few months’ work, but I was distraught to learn they would not be sending the funds necessary for me to continue missionary service. I came to the painful conclusion that my missionary dreams in India were over.

I had left a trunk in India filled with everything I owned. Now, all my earthly possessions fit in a school bag. I quit mission work and went to Korea, feeling dejected. I was just trying to serve God. Why didn’t God provide?

From today’s scripture, we learn that serving God can come with the loss of comfort, security, and even future prospects. At the same time, I have learned much from my many and varied experiences. I have gained friends and family; I’ve lived in several countries without ever lacking shelter, food, or the sweet fellowship of God’s people.

When we make sacrifices for God, we gain more than we can imagine, both in this life and most certainly in the life to come.

Today's Prayer
Dear God, give us courage to risk our own comfort so that we can lead others to know the joy that you alone can give. Amen.

Thought for the Day
Making sacrifices allows me to serve God more fully.

Prayer Focus
International missionaries