Devotionals & Prayer

July 17
Jim the Servant

by Robby Mitchell

​“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a servant to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Corinthians 9:19

Last semester was difficult, harder than usual, which I believe many people in Young Life would echo.  Being stuck in the mud is part of a relationship with Jesus.  He tells us firmly yet so gently that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)  It’s when we’re stuck that God’s power is made great. Thankfully, God’s designed this phenomenon to be played out by his people, unto His people.  

I would like to introduce you to Jim Lisenby, who is on my committee in Lewisville/Flower Mound. More than a committee member, Jim Lisenby is my friend. When I was stuck in the mud this spring, Jim “made himself a servant” to me in many ways. Before Jim’s dog Holly passed on, we spent several days a week walking Holly and enjoying our final moments with her.  Then, we’d watch “Fargo” and “Better Call Saul,” our weekly TV Shows. Jim listened to me, sat with me, cried with me, and heck, sometimes didn’t say anything of significance (except trying to tackle the pending conspiracy theories of our shows.)

Through months of time with Jim, I began to see some of my open wounds mend and joy arrive back into its rightful place in my heart. Eventually I took those first steps out of the mud. I never thought shorts walks and TV shows with a 50-something-year-old would be God’s method of healing for me, but God’s modus operandi tends to differ than mine.

Jim came to my level, where I was, and revealed God’s unwavering love for me. What a privilege it is to have an eternal friend in good ole Jim-Bob.  Jim made himself a servant to win me back to Christ’s embrace.

As Young Life leaders, we have a special opportunity to do the same and be as Paul describes himself in 1 Corinthians 9:22. “…to the weak I became weak, to win the weak.” Paul continues by saying that “[he has] become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)

Where are our friends in college, high school, and middle school stuck? How can we become like them in order that God may save them? What about yourself - who’s your Jim?  And who do you need to be Jim to in your life?

If we’re looking for a model to imitate, Jesus became the Incarnate Word, becoming like us, so that we may know Him!

Robby Mitchell is the area director for Young Life in Lewisville/Flower Mound. His go-to hobbies include hot yoga, ultimate Frisbee, hardwood ballin' and utilizing everything as a drum. 


July 10
Hope Even for Dead Dogs

​by Tim Rubio

Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” 2 Samuel 9:8 (Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13 here.)

You know the feeling you get when you find cash in a pocket you didn’t know was there? Or maybe when you uncover something to reveal something precious you thought was lost a long time ago?  It’s awesome! 

But there is a feeling of despair when something is lost.  A dream unfulfilled.  A goal dashed with no hope.  Maybe a broken promise.  How damaging that feels.

Imagine having an inheritance of riches and royalty. Being a part of a lineage of kings and majesty, but never knowing it was yours. Such was the case for Mephibosheth.  As the grandson of disgraced King Saul, he felt as though he had to look over his shoulder because his demise might be imminent.  And if he ever forgot that sense, his constant reminder was his feet that were paralyzed.  They were damaged as a child when he was dropped by a servant of King Saul as she fled for their lives (2 Samuel 4:4).  Mephibosheth lived in exile for 15 years, on the watch for the new king who would surely destroy him as he did his grandfather.

Isn’t it funny, almost embarrassing at times, when God’s plan is revealed to us and we’re forced to review how we questioned it along the way?  King David, wanting to honor his beloved friend Jonathon (Mephibosheth’s dad), asks a servant, “Is there anyone left from the family of Saul that I can show godly kindness too?” (2 Samuel 9:3).  

Someone knew there was one.  Someone knew where he lived. Someone knew he was hiding.  Someone was going to be bring him to the feet of the king. 

We know where kids are.  We know where they live.  We know that many are hiding.  Hiding from their past.  Hiding from God, as if He’s on the hunt to snuff them out.  Many kids are looking at their brokenness, reminders of their failure in life, their past, their failed inheritance and their unfulfilled dreams. 

“Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?” Mephibosheth asks (2 Samuel 9:8).  The NKJV uses the term “a dead dog [like me].”

King David doesn’t answer that question.  He simply appoints Mephiboseth to the king’s household, to dine with him for the rest of his life.  David places him in his rightful place. He gives him his once forgotten inheritance, fulfilling a promise and restoring his dashed dreams. 

Do you feel like a dream you once had is lost?  Like a promise in life is broken? A goal is unreached? Have you ever felt like Mephibosheth?

Thank God our Savior loves us that much, giving hope even for dead dogs.  

Tim Rubio​ is on staff in Carrollton and also leads the region’s Latino Initiative.  He is married to Marisela, who was his college sweetheart in San Jose, California.  They have 3 children, Anthony (13), Izabella (11), and Julian (6). Tim is an insufferable and myopic Cowboys fan and also loves throwing a no-look or around the back pass, when a regular bounce pass will suffice.



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