Mission Devotional - August 15, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you are always willing to leave the ninety-nine in order to find the one who is lost, and each of us is lost in some way shape or form. O how we long to be found by you. Find us this day. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7

Journal: How are you feeling lost in life right now? What would it look like for Jesus to come looking for you? How do you long to be found?

Reflection: And when he has found his lost sheep, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying, "Rejoice with me. For I have found my sheep that was lost." Luke 15:5-6

If you live long enough, and are completely honest with yourself, you come to the realization that being lost doesn't just have to do with salvation; there are a multitude of other ways to get lost in this life. In fact, it happened to me just the other day, as those dark and familiar voices from deep in my heart arose and started telling me that all too familiar story about how I am inadequate, unworthy, and unlovable. The next thing I knew I was filled with fear, insecurity, and anxiety. I was desperate and disoriented. I was lost. I'm not really even sure how it started, and to be quite honest it really doesn't take very much to put me in this state, but before I knew it I was in a very dark place. Thank goodness for the One who constantly comes to find me when I have once again wondered down this dark and lonely path. The One who takes hold of me, lays me on his shoulders, reminds me of his unfailing love and affection, and carries me home rejoicing. Because I'm pretty sure that I could never have found my way back on my own.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Mostafa and Mona Sharkawy's main area of work is the U.K., serving among Arab Muslims. Their goals are to see Arabic churches arise from Muslim background believers, to see new generations of leaders from Muslim believers, and to teach and prepare them for future ministry. Pray today for the Sharkawys and the people they are reaching as they all deal with the new issues facing immigrants with the UK's exit from the European Union.

Homes of Love creates families for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children in Southeast Asia and Africa by identifying, training and supporting in-country Christian parents who will raise these children as their own. With access to education, healthcare, and a loving family, Homes of Love children escape the dangers of poverty, abuse, neglect, and sexual exploitation and are freed to pursue healthy, vibrant futures. Pray today that God will provide loving parents for new homes.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to never be like the Pharisees, who thought that being lost was something that only happens to other people. We all need you, O Good Shepherd, to come looking for us each day. Lord, have mercy on us all. Amen.