Mission Devotional - July 16, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to love like you love. And help us to know that the way we do that is to pay careful attention to the way you have loved us. O how you love us! Thank you. Amen.

Scripture: John 14:34-35

Journal: What arises within you when you first read these verses? Why? What is the first thing that God wishes would rise within you? How has God loved you lately? What does that have to do with these verses?

Reflection: I don't know about you, but most often, when I read these verses, the first thing that arises are a list of oughts and shoulds that primarily focus on how poorly I love. But today was different. Today God gave me a sweet invitation. Today God said, "Stop focusing on yourself and instead focus on me. After all, the sentence begins, 'As I have loved you.' Why not focus on my love, and how I have loved you? I have loved you fully. I have loved you completely. I have loved you unconditionally. I have pursued you. I have embraced you. I have romanced you. I have drawn near to you. I have whispered my affections in your ear. I have listened to you. I have guided you. I have protected you. I have provided for you. I have been present to you. I have comforted you. I have even given my life for you. Let my love overwhelm and overcome you. Let my love completely capture you. Then all of the rest will take care of its self."

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

T works with the SEED Company (an affiliate organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators) in their mission to promote and accelerate Bible translation that is being done by indigenous churches and organizations in their home countries. He has just completed his second year with this mission and is now watching over 12 translation projects that represent 35 languages, many of which are just receiving the first Scripture in their own language. Pray today for T as he travels extensively and for his wife L as she has the tough job of staying behind.

We support a family that is serving at a sanatorium for chest diseases, focusing on bringing holistic healing for body and soul to the semi-nomadic people of the area by providing high quality healthcare for them. Our supported worker serves in the Mobile Dental Clinic that was donated to the Annoor Sanatorium to further the outreach and care to Bedouin in remote areas. This clinic is housed in a 25-foot straight truck with two dental operatories, each with x-ray capability, a compressor and vacuum suction. The clinic is a great resource to meet the felt needs of the poor in places where it is hard or impossible to receive any kind of dental care. This is another way Annoor is demonstrating the love of God to those who are in need. When not on the road, the clinic operates adjacent to the hospital serving the needs of in-patients. Pray today for all who are serving at Annoor.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to love like you love. I am far too selective about the who and the how of my love, often thinking that I actually have a choice about who I will love and how I will love them. Your love for me does not give me that option. You call me to love like you love - unconditionally, extravagantly, and indiscriminately. Help me, this day, to love those that I have a hard time loving. And I know that I can't possibly do that on my own, I'm going to need your help. Lord, have mercy. Help me to love as you love. Amen.