Mission Devotional - July 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for praying for us. Thank you for carrying us in your heart. Thank you for loving us enough to intercede on our behalf. Thank you that we are yours. Amen.

Scripture: John 17:1-11

Journal: What most captures your heart today from this prayer of Jesus? Why? How does the phrase "They are yours" strike you? What does it do within you? Why?

Reflection: At times I have a tendency to operate as if everything were up to me. To be quite honest, it is a frightening way of living life, and can easily leave me overwhelmed and worn out. But the prayer of Jesus today, in John 17, reminds me that all is not, in fact, up to me. God is the one to whom all things and all people ultimately belong. He is in control, and therefore I do not have to be. Thus, when I begin to treat the people around me as if they were totally my responsibility, or as if they were somehow my possession to manipulate affirmation or significance out of, then I have taken a terribly wrong turn. They belong to God, not to me, and I must always treat them as such. When I do that, there is freedom. Freedom to let God be God. Freedom to let me be myself. And freedom to love instead of manipulate.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

A. and B. are serving in a Creative Access country. Their family is building friendships and seeing them mature as A. continues to teach at a local university and serve the teachers and students there. Pray today for this family as they return to the field this summer after a home stay in the U.S.

Arab Baptist Theological Seminary's mission is serve the church in their region as it realizes its Biblical mission of having Christ acknowledged as Lord by offering specialized learning resources and equipping faithful men and women for effective service. Pray today for the students who have just graduated as they begin to serve in their local areas.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to fully trust you with our lives and the lives of all those around us that are dear to us. They are yours, and we are glad. Amen.