This series focuses on praying for our Native American brothers and sisters, particularly those living on reservations.
[These devotions come from Jesus Culture's "Faith for Your City" Devotion Series with some alterations]
Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.
Read: Luke 9 & Jeremiah 29
Work for the good of the cities where I have made you go as prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf, because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too.
Long ago, a king sent troops to arrest Elijah, so he replied to the captain, "If I am a man of God... may fire come down from heaven and kill you and your men!" (2 Kings 1:10) Then, fire fell from heaven and killed them all.
Two of Jesus' disciples, James and John, obviously knew this story. So, when the people in a Samaritan village wanted Jesus to leave, James and John asked Jesus, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" (Luke 9:54)
But Jesus sharply criticized their attitude toward the village and its people.
We need to learn from Jesus how to keep a loving attitude toward a group of people even when that group rejects us.
We need to be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and be prepared to follow it
Jesus says, "wherever people don't welcome you, leave that town..." (Luke 9:5). Some groups will not welcome you. In fact, many groups will not welcome you. Centuries of Christians have put them in the position they are currently in. For many, they have only seen the greed and condemnation of men who call themselves Christians, instead of the grace and hope that comes from Jesus.
In some cases, we are not the one who is called to a particular group. But it is by God's leading that we must decipher whether it is right for us to shake off the dust of that town or to continue.
If it is time for your to move on and leave that community for someone else, do not worry. There are millions of Native American men, women, and children hungry for the Good News of Jesus Christ.
But if you feel the call to stay, Pray and Love.
When the Israelites found themselves deported to Babylon, they were unsure how to act in this new land with their enemies. But God used the Jeremiah to explain that He wanted them to make the most of their time in the foreign land.
God called His people to "build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them." (Jeremiah 29:5) God wanted His people to "work for the good of the cities I have put you in... Pray to me on their behalf, because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too." (Jeremiah 29:7)
God does not promise that mission work will be easy. (Actually, Jesus say the opposite: you will be hated.) But He does promise that He will work all things for the good of His Kingdom and those who follow Him.
Sometimes, we may feel like "prisoners" in our mission and not want to serve or cooperate with our neighbors. But God is calling us to bless those around us, especially those who need to see God's grace and mercy so that those blessings can overflow into the whole of the community.
The attitude of blessing is only possible with God's strength. It is a gift that points people to Him as we transform reservations in His name.
Jesus, I choose to bless and have hope for [my reservation/city]. Fill my heart with compassion for the lost and broken Native peoples. Help me to see the way You love them. Lead me and use me to bless those who need it most - so much that the storehouses would not be able to contain it. Use these blessings to draw people to Yourself to see that You are the true giver of all things.