August Devotion: Love Triumphs

by Rob Kilpatrick

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NIV)

With the recent events in Norway still in our papers and on our screens there are sombre reflections to be made. Clearly the killer is a self-deluded, very angry, very bitter, expression of broken humanity. Unfortunately he’s not the first, nor the last, to break into our consciousness in a dramatic and rather frightening fashion.  All of this happening in a nation known for its tolerance and generally peaceable modis operandi. Such hate is obvious and spectacular and disconcerting. But it’s not all that happened in the world this week.

This week in the world hundreds of thousands of children looked after aging parents with love tenderness and respect, giving them dignity and, warmth and motivation for life. This week around the world hundreds of thousands of babies were born into loving homes and to adoring parents. This week around the world millions of neighbours helped neighbours, millions of young people went out of their way to affirm a lonely or depressed friend, multitudes of grandchildren made grandparents laugh, people fell in love for the first time and laughed and felt warm and tender inside, the poor gave sacrificially to help others who were poor and people in service industries went way, way beyond the call of duty to care for and comfort those they were paid to serve.  In fact, love was everywhere around!

Recently in a little chapel in Cyprus I sat in an Orthodox service conducted by a friend of mine. I’ve come to treasure many useful insights from the Orthodox branch of the Church. One of the phrases of the liturgy was “Love is God” Now I’ve heard the phrase before as preachers have tried to describe the character of God and the kind of ‘congruence’ that there is in John’s bold proclamation that God is love. But it really struck me powerfully in that service. Where do I see God at work? Where I see love in action! It’s really what Jesus said to John’s disciples when they came and asked him “Are you the One”? The evidence offered by Jesus was not around sound doctrine, not around powerful worship or sacrificial tithing. It was about the very physical and social expressions of love.

Tell John:

  • The blind see,
  • The lame walk,
  • Lepers are cleansed,
  • The deaf hear,
  • The dead are raised,
  • The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.

"Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!"  (Luke 11:4-7, Message Version)

There are many tears to shed this week. Not just for the murdered young of Norway but the brutalized in Burma, the 'starving to death' in Ethiopia and Sudan, those who live or die in fear, in loneliness, in hopelessness and utter desolation. But love will win and love wins every time we show God’s love to a hurting world, every time we choose forgiveness over self righteousness, every time we seek reconciliation over winning and every time we offer a cup of water in the name of the greatest lover of humanity of all time, Jesus. I want to be found on the side of love.

Strategic Framework

Promoting Integral Mission

One of the outcomes of the Review of the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission was to re challenge ourselves as to what real impact we were having at “grassroots level” with regards to promoting and living out integral mission.

• Please pray for wisdom as we consider together how to support our network in applying integral mission is all we do.
• Latin America: 4 integral mission conversations are being planned and implemented over the next 4 months and will be focusing on working with indigenous people groups. Please pray for the LA Regional Coordination Group members who will be leading these gatherings. Pray for a breakthrough and mobilisation for more and more people to engage in integral mission.

Enhancing Capacity

Asia Mobilising For Integral Mission

Regional consultations for 2011:

o Africa: 15th to 19th November in Zambia: Please continue to pray for guidance as we deliberate whether can run this consultation.

o Asia: 17th to 21st October in Sri Lanka: please pray for numbers of registrations to increase. We are hoping for a minimum of 100 participants.

5th Triennial: 10th to 14th September 2012: please pray for ongoing preparations.


Finances: over the last month we have launched an appeal and shared information with the network about our financial limitations to continue with our regional coordinators (Sundar, Ruth and Ben) as well as with Greg Manning our HIV Project Officer. A number of people have responded with understanding and support – thank you. However, we are still unable to meet the need to cover their salaries. Please pray for us as we decide this month how to proceed.

Global Prayer

Somalia / North Kenya / Ethiopia:  Please pray for this deepening crisis. As the news unfolds and we seethe loss and devastation faced by so many families we cry out to God for mercy. Many of those affected have never heard of Jesus. Being able to stand together and help these families will be a demonstration of love. Please pray for:

o Micah Network members working in these countries to continue to mobilise and reach out to those affected

o For an increased cooperation between organisations so as to cover gaps arising

o For access and security so that the food, water, health and shelter needs can reach those in need

Norway: The pain being felt throughout Norway and in particular with the families directly affected from the murders committed by Anders Behring Breivik. The funerals were being held throughout the last few days. Please pray for:

o The families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, that as they mourn they will find conform from God. Especially pray that Christians would be able to find ways to be present and supportive.

o Anders Behring Breivik and his family. Whatever drove him to commit such terrible crimes would be exposed and that God would touch his and his family’s life with truth and love. We pray that others harbouring such hate would be challenged and changed!

News Alert!

New Bible Commentary: Over 130 evangelical authors from all over Latin America are contributing to a one-volume Bible commentary in Spanish and Portuguese to be launched during the Fifth Latin American Congress on Evangelization (CLADE V, its acronym in Spanish) that will be held in July 2012. One of the main objectives is to show the contextual relevance of Scripture to Latin America, with an emphasis on the integral nature of the mission of God in this region of the world and elsewhere. Please pray for the authors, especially for Milton Acosta (Old Testament editor), Rosalee Velloso (New Testament editor), René Padilla (General editor), and for the administrative team formed by Ian Darke and Gilbet Montero.

Pray for René who is in San José, Costa Rica, spending the next three weeks working on this project.

Micah Network Values: Unity

Pray through the Micah Network work values:

We rejoice in the richness of our diversity. We thank God for the profound joy of fellowship and interdependence in Christ that transcends the divisions of race, culture, gender, economics, geography and history. Such joy is at the heart of  Jesus’ vision for his disciples and a profound sign of the character and love of God (John 17:20-32). We acknowledge the seriousness of the call to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4:2) in our fellowship for the sake of the Gospel.

Grace and Peace!