Mission Devotional - September 25, 2016

Opening Prayer: Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts that cannot be dragged down by false loves; give us courageous hearts that cannot be worn down by trouble; give us righteous hearts that cannot be sidetracked by unholy or unworthy goals. Give to us also, our Lord and God, understanding to know You, diligence to look for you, wisdom to recognize You, and a faithfulness that will bring us to see You face to face. - Thomas Á Kempis

Scripture: Matthew 11:20-24

Journal: What would Jesus say "woe to you" about in your life these days? Where does he long for change to happen within you? What does the word repent mean for you these days?

Reflection: It is impossible to overstate the importance of change in the spiritual life. Life with Christ is a life in which we are constantly being changed more and more into his image every day. And wherever we are not seeing that change, we need to take note, and take stock. That's why Jesus so often used the word repent. It is a word that means to change one's mind, which also changes one's heart and one's direction. Life in relationship with Christ is a life of constantly following him, moving his direction instead of our own. Therefore, a constant turning is necessary. Our job is to pay close enough attention to our lives and to his voice so that we can recognize where and when and how that turning needs to occur. Or, in other words, to realize where we have stopped following him and have started following ourselves. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum failed to notice that, and thus, failed to turn. May we not do the same, lest we too hear the words "Woe to you!"

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Paul and Dori Pittman currently serve as area directors for United World Mission's Latin America region. Paul is also project coordinator of UWM's Cuba Partnership Project. Pray today for UWM's Cuba Partnership Projects that God will raise up partner churches in the U.S. and Canada who will catch the vision to reach Cuba for Christ. Pray also for Paul and Dori who have trips to Cuba planned for October and November.

YOKE mentors middle school children by building friendships with Christian adults through clubs, camps, and Kid Time (hanging out with kids in their world). Currently YOKE reaches out to nearly 20,000 students at 26 middle schools located in Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, and Knox counties. Pray today for the Yoke volunteers as they connect with middle schoolers this semester.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, show me where I am still unchanged, like Chorazin and Bethsaida, and need to turn back to you. Show me what true repentance looks like in my life today. Amen.