Devotion to the Task Unfinished

The Task Unfinished is first and foremost a call to prayer. As Dr Patrick Fung reflects on The Task Unfinished:

We not only pray that East Asia’s peoples may hear the good news of Jesus in all its fullness, but we also need to pray for ourselves that our lives and character reflect the good news of Jesus Christ. We need to pursue holiness for ‘without holiness, no one will see the Lord.’ (Hebrews 12:14)

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Here is the first of the five devotionals

In his hymn “Facing a Task Unfinished,” Frank Houghton wrote:

“We, who rejoice to know Thee,
renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee,
to go and make Thee known.”

But what kind of renewal are we seeking? The prophet Habakkuk prayed to God with a strong appeal to ask God to bring renewal,

“Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them know; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2

A Renewed Confidence in God’s Sovereignty

First, let us seek renewal of our confidence in God’s sovereignty, “Lord, I have heard of your fame.” Like Habakkuk, we stand in awe of all his deeds. As a community of God’s servants, we stand in awe of what God has done in the past 150 years through the China Inland Mission and OMF today. God has brought his Church into being among many of East Asia’s peoples. We acknowledge his sovereign rule and his sovereign timing, his provision, his help and his leading, even in the midst of trials and suffering.

Renewal in our Fear of God

Second, we seek renewal in our fear of him, “I stand in awe.” We ask for renewal, within the church and among the peoples of the world. We are seeking spiritual breakthrough among the nations that we may all fear him and worship the Lord as Christ’s followers. Like Habakkuk, we ask God in fervent prayer, “Renew [your deeds] in our day” that all may glorify him.

A Renewed Experience of God’s Mercy

Third, we seek renewal in experiencing God’s mercy, “in wrath, remember mercy.” We grieve for those who do not know Christ. We ask God for mercy for spiritual breakthrough in places of darkness. We repent of our complacency. We ask God to renew us again that God may lead us in the “Unfinished Task” of sharing the good news of Jesus in all its fullness with East Asia’s peoples.

Just as Habakkuk declares, may all the peoples praise God as his glory covers the heavens (3:3) and his judgment covers the earth. (3:6)

We bear the torch that flaming,
fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming,
that Jesus died and rose;
Ours is the same commission,
the same glad message ours;
Fired by the same ambition,
to Thee we yield our powers.

Today, we want to echo in our prayers the same aspirations which are in this song. Indeed, we have the same commission, that is, to proclaim Jesus who died and rose.

Consider these as you spend time in prayer:

Are you:

  • Fired by the same ambition, to see his name known among the peoples of the earth?
  • Seeking God for spiritual breakthrough in places of darkness, that people will receive the light?
  • Seeking God for spiritual breakthrough in our own lives, that we may fully yield ourselves to him?
  • Waiting upon God with an expectant heart that he will do amazing things among us? – for when God acts, the earth trembles before him.

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