Week Six of our devotional was written by Chet Marshall who is a long- time partner with MBF through the Langhorne Presbyterian Church and is also on the missions committee. We are honored that he was able to share with us more than once. With this being Holy week it is fitting that we have the opportunity to sit with God and talk about suffering. May you be especially blessed at this time, looking forward to the resurrection of our Lord. 


BIBLE VERSE

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35


LENTEN THOUGHT

To have pity on a person does not require action. To participate with the sufferings of a person requires action. Jesus walks with us in our suffering. 


We recently celebrated the 70th birthday of a wonderful Christian woman. But as the party went on it was clear we were not just celebrating her birthday, but also the person she is.  When her father developed Alzheimers she showed compassion and unconditional love even when he became difficult. When he passed she and her husband built a new house with a separate living space for her mom and severely disabled brother— another act of compassion and unconditional love. She cared for her mom and sat with her for hours even when she was totally ravaged by dementia. After her mom’s passing, she continued the responsibility of caring for her disabled brother. She emulates Jesus when he commanded us to love one another. She displays true Christian compassion through her actions.


CHALLENGE

Do you just have pity or concern for someone, or do you take action and “suffer with” them? Has God given you the opportunity to understand the difference? During your quiet time as you focus on this hard subject, ask God to show you where you could act in compassion. Ask God to open your eyes in new ways to the people around you and how you can make a difference in their lives. 


PRAYER

Heavenly Father, as we focus this week on the suffering Jesus had to endure so that we could know you more, please soften our hearts to the people who are suffering around us. We ask you to draw us deeper into mission and help us understand the importance of compassion. Thank you for your son. Amen. 

Week Five of our devotional was written by Reverend Jim Ewing, Associate Pastor of MBF partner, Community Presbyterian Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina. May you be blessed by what he shares. 


BIBLE VERSE

 "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8


LENTEN THOUGHT

Jesus was a model of walking alongside someone with humility and hearts were transformed for the kingdom.


Over the last ten years I have had the privilege to work closely with the Mission program at our church. During those years the programs that I have enjoyed most have been the ones where we serve in community with others. Whether in Haiti, Kenya, or even locally, the time spent with others opens us up to the work of the Holy Spirit in other contexts. The challenge, however, comes with the posture we take when serving with others. When we take a posture of pride, then we are serving as if we know what is best for the other. However, if we take a posture of humility, just as God did in Christ, then we find a partner in the other and our souls are richer for it.


While traveling in a foreign land with MBF you very quickly find the posture of humility because the context of a third world is so different than ours. Yet the partners you meet through MBF are gracious, compassionate, and inquisitive. The partners I have met are interested in collaborating and sharing in faith and knowledge for the benefit of those they care for.


CHALLENGE

From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday we enter into a time of humility. In the church we call that period of time, Lent. As you travel through this season, may you be mindful of God’s call for us to adapt a posture of humility so that we may serve and glorify Christ who invites us every day into community with God and one another.


PRAYER

Lord thank you for the Holy Spirit that lovingly convicts us and calls us to walk alongside one another with humility and grace. Help us seek you this week when we feel pride rising up. Show us how to submit each moment of the day to you and walk in the freedom that you have given us. Amen. 


Week Four of our devotional was written by Dori Donnell, MBF Media Content Administrator and follower of Jesus since the age of three. We hope her words bless you. 


BIBLE VERSES

 "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways."1 Corinthians 13:11


"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." Matthew 28:19


LENTEN THOUGHT

Like Jesus, our lives should be marked as people who invest in the lives of others.


When I was a child I loved going to Sunday School. I still remember Miss Peggy, my favorite teacher. It takes just a moment of recalling her gentle demeanor and I am transported to that small room with the flannel board, taking turns with the character pieces backed by felt, being taught how to love people as Jesus did- being invested in. Fast forward to the awkward teen years and I can remember the mission trips, vacation bible school and the volunteering I did in Sunday School myself, because of Miss Peggy's influence on me. I did not always understand it, but it was a piece of the pattern that started when I was very young. She and many others after her modeled what my best life in Christ could look like.


Now as a grown woman with my own adult children looking at the chaos of the world around us, I am reminded of the mandate Jesus gave to his disciples and to us. Go and make disciples of all nations. So how do we do that? Chances are you already are. As a child, it did not register that the people speaking into my life were making me a disciple in as much as our paths crossed. They gave me tools that I would understand better later in life. They planted seeds that moved me to seek God deeply. So any time you encourage and build up a young person, you are planting disciple-making seeds that someone else will nourish and that God will bless. 


CHALLENGE

Many people spoke into my life and I am sure you have a 'Miss Peggy' on your list of encouragers as well. This week as you reflect on those who encouraged and walked with you, think about a child or young adult who could really use that same kind of compassion. Then pray and ask God how to reach him or her. Become a part of their list. 



PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you that your great love is so contagious. Thank you that it is easy to share it with others because you love us unconditionally. We ask that as we go through our week you would draw our hearts to the kingdom work you have for the young people around us. We ask that you would give us words to encourage and lives to invest in. Thank you for trusting us with this very important work of the church. Help us move past what is comfortable and move into what you have for us all. Amen. 

Week Three of our devotional was written by Associate Pastor Dr. Mark Durrett, of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, a trusted partner of MBF for over forty years. We are thankful for his desire to share.


BIBLE VERSE

 “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” Psalm 92:12-14


LENTEN THOUGHT

I was working my way through old presbytery newsletters, from the 1988 creation of Trinity Presbytery in central South Carolina. I came across an article detailing the then-recent trip of Francis Burriss, Pastor of Lake Murray Presbyterian Church, who had gone to a conference out in Texas, hosted by the Medical Benevolence Foundation. There he and other participants had been shown photographs of hospitals in Africa and he’d thought to himself, “I’d love for my church to become a mission partner of one of these hospitals, but I think I should go over there first and see how things really are for these hospitals and the people they serve.” Francis admitted that his hunch was that the photos really made the situation look much direr than it really was for the people in the actual locations.


Of course, the upshot of Francis’ trip and his visit to three of these African hospitals was to discover “things in fact were not as bad as the photos made it seem, they were much worse!” As I read these words I could hear the voice of Pastor turned Missionary Francis Burriss, who came home to start a partnership between his church and the MBF-supported hospital in Mwandi, Zambia. I thought also about my own congregation, Eastminster in Columbia SC, still a member of Trinity Presbytery, and of our own efforts to find a mission partner in Haiti following the devastating earthquake of almost a decade ago now. We also sent two members of our congregation to explore the situation on the ground there and to find a willing and worthy partner for us to work with. Their efforts brought them eventually around to MBF as the one mission agency which was completely transparent about their own financial records, even as others were raking in funding for Haiti that mysteriously never ended up helping the hurting people of Haiti. We knew, as a congregation, that we had had a longstanding relationship with MBF through the years, but what we didn’t know, or rather discovered afresh was that they were still serving and helping with the same steadfast love and devotion that had brought us together the first time.


CHALLENGE

This week ask God what you can do to enlarge your influence beyond the people around you. The world is hurting and in deep need of God's compassion in some of the remotest places. Look up different organizations and find one that speaks to your heart. Then ask God how he wants to use you in this organization. Who knows what new doors he will show you. 



PRAYER

Heavenly Father, how we thank you and praise you for your steadfast love, ever new and ever living, always ready to meet us where we are and guide us in the pathways of service. Thank you for the brothers and sisters with whom you have bound us together in love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

It's a new day. Do you know what God is asking you to do today? Even better, do you know what you get to do today? We would love to hear about anything you feel God is speaking to you through the weekly devotional. Email us here.


Week Two of our devotional was written by Chet Marshall who is a long- time partner with MBF through the Langhorne Presbyterian Church and is also on the missions committee. We are thankful for his willingness to share through very personal experiences and know that it will bless you. 

 

BIBLE VERSE

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35


LENTEN THOUGHT

com· pas· sion  (noun) - to suffer with

In 2004 I took my first mission trip to Guatemala. Our team set up medical clinics in small highland villages that had no doctors. There was lots of suffering among the patients we saw. The doctors were able to help some of those who suffered so much; for others no treatment was possible. It was difficult to see such suffering.


I returned to Guatemala in the next year and again saw so much suffering. After two years of coming home depressed, I decided that the next trip I would not get emotionally involved or show compassion to the patients. It was just too draining spiritually and physically. I would just count pills to fill the prescriptions and stay aloof.


The next trip I was doing great. Keeping my head down, just doing my job, when one of the doctors asked me how much of a strong pain medicine we had. When I told him, he said he was sending over a patient with stomach cancer who did not have long to live. Later as I handed the medicine to the elderly lady she took my hand, smiled, thanked me and said, “God bless you.” I started to lose it emotionally and had to leave the building. After a good cry, I composed myself and went back to work. This time making eye contact with every patient, touching their hand and saying God loves you. Lesson learned: You can’t be a Christian and not be compassionate.


CHALLENGE

This week spend time in reflection on how and when you show Christian compassion. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you little things that you can change in your routine, and try them out! See what happens as you allow God to lead you through your day. 


PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for allowing me to participate in your redemptive work in the world. As I prepare for a new day, help me see the world through Your eyes and look for opportunities where Your compassion is needed. Also in the places where You want me to act, please give me the courage, grace, and strength to be obedient and reflect Your love for others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Our first devotional is brought to you by James Menephee, MBF Director of Marketing. He also serves as a local pastor in the Houston area.


BIBLE VERSE

“A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him.”

Luke 10:33-34 (CEB)

 

LENTEN THOUGHT

"People may excite in themselves a glow of compassion, not by toasting their feet at the fire, and saying: "Lord, teach me compassion," but by going and seeking an object that requires compassion."

- Henry Ward Beecher

 

As we take this time during the Lenten season to reflect on Jesus’ life, death, and bodily resurrection, we can put ourselves in the place of the Samaritan to reflect God’s compassion.  First, the text tells us “…he saw him…”    In John 5:17, Jesus explains, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” How many opportunities do we miss in our fast-paced lives because we are not seeing where God is at work and how He may want to use us in the lives of others? This is a perfect season to slow our pace and look for how the Father is active in our surroundings.

 

Secondly, the Samaritan “…went to Him…”  This life of a follower of Jesus is a life of both faith and action. (John 2:14)  The Samaritan’s movement to compassion reflected the heart of God; his works reflected the salvation of God.  When we put our compassion into action, we are demonstrating God’s love for humanity and His desire to restore, renew, and rescue us from darkness.

 

CHALLENGE

Immediately after waking, ask God to reveal to you where He is at work in your surroundings (work, home, grocery store, etc...) and if there is any way He wants you to demonstrate His heart of compassion to others.

 

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for allowing me to participate in your redemptive work in the world. As I prepare for a new day, help me see the world through Your eyes and look for opportunities where Your compassion is needed. Also in the places where You want me to act, please give me the courage, grace, and strength to be obedient and reflect Your love for others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

We are to be ambassadors - representatives of God working on earth. Whether through ministry programming or Saline Training—an intensive workshop that creates an understanding of sharing the Gospel in a respectful and compassionate manner while treating the patient with quality care—we help our international partners by equipping them to hand out literal hope. We want to give you the opportunity to bless someone with the love of Jesus. 


  • YOur gift of $150 could bring new bibles and prayer books to a mission hospital for services. 


  • For $300 you could help our partners develop materials for their spiritual ministry programs that reach out to the community and nurture relationships. 


  • A gift of $1,000.00 can send a team from a partner mission hospital to a saline training.