Mission Devotional - February 18, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, when you call us to follow you, you do not give us the discretion to pick and choose when that is convenient or comfortable. In fact, you often lead us to places that we would rather not go. Give us the strength and the faith and courage to follow you, all the way, wherever you may lead us. Amen.

Scripture: John 21:17-19

Journal: Where is God leading you to a place you would rather not go these days?

Reflection: Feed my sheep. Stretch out your hands. Follow me. That is what our lives are to be about: minister, surrender, and follow. That's it. It's not very complicated. But obviously we do complicate it. Maybe that's because our regular default mode is not to minister, surrender, and follow, but to feed ourselves, desperately try to control our world, and set our own agenda. We are not much for that whole led to where you do not want to go thing. But I guess that's where we have to be reminded that this life is not about us, but about him. It was a lesson the first disciples had to learn over and over again. And it is the simple truth that Jesus was trying to teach Simon Peter in John 21, "You only truly love me when this is what your life looks like. Otherwise, you are just loving yourself in a clever disguise."

Hymn for the Day

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 their work on a steering committee for a new ministry, "Joining the Family," which aims to support English-speaking churches in the U.K. on how to help new BMBs (Believers from a Muslim Background).

The Love Kitchen serves Knoxville's homeless, helpless, hopeless, hungry, and homebound by providing food and clothing. Many CSPC members volunteer there every week preparing and distributing meals. Pray today for all of the people who will receive meals from The Love Kitchen this week that they may know the love of God for them because of this ministry.

Closing Prayer: Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me. - Ignatius of Loyola