Mission Devotional - January 22, 2017

Opening Prayer: Set a fire down in my soul, that I can't contain, that I can't control. I want more of you God, I want more of you God. Set a fire down in my soul, that I can't contain, that I can't control. I want more of you God, I want more of you God. I want more. (Set a Fire by Will Reagan and United Pursuit, © 2010 United Pursuit Music, CCLI# 74901)

Scripture: Luke 3:7-17

Journal: What does the word repentance mean to you? Where do you sense the need for it in your life? What in your life needs to be chopped down or burned away? How do you long for Jesus to ignite his fire in you?

Reflection: When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: "Brood of snakes! What do you think you're doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God's judgment? It's your life that must change, not your skin. And don't think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as 'father.' Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there - children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it's deadwood, it goes on the fire."

The crowd asked him, "Then what are we supposed to do?"
"If you have two coats, give one away," he said. "Do the same with your food."
Tax men also came to be baptized and said, "Teacher, what should we do?"
He told them, "No more extortion - collect only what is required by law."
Soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He told them, "No shakedowns, no blackmail - and be content with your rations."

The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, "Could this John be the Messiah?"

But John intervened: "I'm baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house - make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." (The Message)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Darlene Johnson has been a member of MTW's church-planting team in Nagoya, Japan, since 2000. She teaches conversational English and evangelistic Bible studies and is involved in choral and instrumental music ministry. Pray today for Darlene who is in the U.S. for several months of home leave that this time away from Japan might bring rest and renewal.

Knoxville Internationals Network (KIN) began in 2010 when a group of believers involved in ministry among internationals in Knoxville gathered to discuss how they could work together to make a difference in our city. As a result, KIN was born and launched a series of community meetings to raise awareness of the needs among internationals and to give ministries, churches, non-profits and other organizations a forum to connect and share information and resources. Pray today for their director Carol Waldo.

Closing Prayer: Ignite a fire within me, O Lord, that burns away all that is not you. Transform me, that I might be changed, more and more, into the person you created me to be. Give me the power, the courage, and the grace to truly repent, whatever that may look like. Make me more like you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.