Mission Devotional - January 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: Grow, dear friends; but grow, I beseech you, in God's way, which is the only effectual way. See to it that you are planted in grace, and then let the divine Husbandman cultivate you in His own way and by His own means. (The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith)

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-21

Journal: Where are you needing to press on in your life with God right now? What do you think the next step in growing toward maturity looks like for you? How will you begin to move that direction?

Reflection: Now if you are to convey that spiritual certitude, it is plain that you must yourselves be spiritually alive. And to be spiritually alive means to be growing and changing; not to settle down among a series of systematized beliefs and duties, but to endure and go on enduring the strains, conflicts and difficulties incident to development. "The soul," says Baron von Hugel, "is a Force or an Energy: and Holiness is the growth of that energy in love, in full Being, in creative, spiritual Personality." One chief object of personal religion is the promoting of that growth of the soul: the wise feeding and training of it. However busy we may be, however mature and efficient we may seem, that growth, if we are real Christians, must go on. Even the greatest spiritual teachers, such as St. Paul and St. Augustine, could never afford to relax the tension of their own spiritual lives; they never seem to stand still, are never afraid of conflict and change. Their souls too were growing entities, with a potential capacity for love, adoration and creative service: in other words for holiness. (The House of the Soul and Concerning the Inner Life by Evelyn Underhill)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

L. and E. serve in a Creative Access country. L. is working to make evangelical literature available to the nations so that people can come to Christ. Pray today for new believers. The biggest struggle is for them to read God's word daily and get connected to a local fellowship. Pray also for eyes to be opened to the truth and for strength for L. and E. as they meet and share with them.

Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, is a campus organization that seeks to share the gospel with students through relationships, small group studies and larger events like retreats and mission trips. John Strange leads Cru at the University of Kentucky. Pray today for the staff of Cru and the students involved in their ministry as they begin this new semester.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, every single day the choice is before us to either believe that you are who you say you are and to follow you, or to be filled with doubt and despair and follow our own plans, schemes, and devices. Lord Jesus, give us the grace, the strength, and the wisdom to choose you, this day and every day. Amen.