Mission Devotional - April 8, 2016

"If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?"

Today's Devotional Reading

Luke 23:31
Among other interpretations of this suggestive question, the following is full of teaching: "If the innocent substitute for sinners, suffer thus, what will be done when the sinner himself - the dry tree - shall fall into the hands of an angry God?" When God saw Jesus in the sinner's place, he did not spare him; and when he finds the unregenerate without Christ, he will not spare them. O sinner, Jesus was led away by his enemies: so shall you be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you. Jesus was deserted of God; and if he, who was only imputedly a sinner, was deserted, how much more shall you be? "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" what an awful shriek! But what shall be your cry when you shall say, "O God! O God! why hast thou forsaken me?" and the answer shall come back, "Because ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." If God spared not his own Son, how much less will he spare you! What whips of burning wire will be yours when conscience shall smite you with all its terrors. Ye richest, ye merriest, ye most self-righteous sinners - who would stand in your place when God shall say, "Awake, O sword, against the man that rejected me; smite him, and let him feel the smart for ever?" Jesus was spit upon: sinner, what shame will be yours! We cannot sum up in one word all the mass of sorrows which met upon the head of Jesus who died for us, therefore it is impossible for us to tell you what streams, what oceans of grief must roll over your spirit if you die as you now are. You may die so, you may die now. By the agonies of Christ, by his wounds and by his blood, do not bring upon yourselves the wrath to come! Trust in the Son of God, and you shall never die. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening: Daily Readings

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Andy and Bev Warren serve with an MTW team that is involved in HIV/AIDS work and church planting through the Ethiopia Aids Care and Treatment (ACT) Project. The project targets slum communities in Addis Ababa which contain the neediest people in the community - large percentages of women with small children. In recent years the project has served more than 500 AIDS-affected families, reaching more than 1,200 people. Pray today for Andy and Bev to have wisdom as they explore expanding into new communities and focusing on church planting. Find out more about the Ethiopia ACT Project by going here. The Warrens were our guests at the recent Global Mission Conference. Pray today for the Warren family as they continue to mourn the loss of Andy's mother in February.

The focus of Navigators International at UT Knoxville is the over 1,000 international students at the University of Tennessee who come from 100+ nations. Spouses and family networks back home multiply the potential for the gospel to spread. Navigator's mission is to advance the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom to the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost. Pray today for the leaders of this ministry and the students as they wrap up the spring semester.