Mission Devotional - January 20, 2016

Opening Prayer: God unto whom all hearts are open and unto whom every will speaks, and from whom no secret thing is hidden, I pray You to cleanse the intent of my heart with the ineffable gift of Your grace, that I might perfectly love You, and worthily praise You. Amen. (The Cloud of Unknowing)

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:3-11

Journal: What part(s) of 2 Peter 1:3-11 speak to something deep within you today? Why? What words or images seem significant to you right now? Why? What is it about the list of qualities that captures your attention? Are you able to identify some of those things within you? Where do the words ineffective or unfruitful describe your spiritual life these days?

Reflection: The truth is that we've got everything we need. We are not missing anything that would keep us from being able to pursue a life of godliness. We have no excuse. Yet we have so many, it seems. I'm too busy. I don't have time. Life is too crazy and hectic. I have too many demands and expectations on me at work, or at home. The list goes on and on. Yet, Peter tells us clearly that we've got everything we need, we just need to make every effort. Maybe that's the part we're missing. I mean we make every effort to satisfy our bosses or clients. We make every effort to get our kids to soccer games and baseball practices. We make every effort to get - or to keep - all of our ducks neatly in a row. But do we make every effort in our own spiritual lives? Seems like we've gotten it a little backwards, haven't we?

Maybe what Peter is proposing here is that we try to keep the first things first; that we take a step back and see what is getting the majority of our efforts. And then try and determine if the recipients of those efforts are actually worthy of them or not. Are we giving God our best efforts or are we giving him our leftovers? For, if we are giving him merely our leftovers, then it is not very likely that we will ever be able to fully participate in the divine nature and experience all of the fullness for which God made us. I don't know about you, but I want all of what God wants for me. I do not want to settle for a spiritual life that is ineffective and unfruitful in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. What about you?

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mark and Annemarie Dye are passionate about building Christian leaders to mobilize and equip the African Church for mission in the world. Pray today for the Dyes while they are in the U.S. for a 5-month home ministry stay.

The CSPC Special Needs Ministry reaches out to families touched by a disability and offers support to those who are constant caregivers. Opportunities for respite care are given to these families by loving, trained volunteers who offer their services several times a year through a program called Buddy Blast. This involves a variety of activities such as play time in the gym, movies, crafts and games. Pray today for Knoxville families who are touched by a disability and for the volunteers at CSPC who lovingly reach out to them. If you would like to volunteer, contact Lynda Elder at lyndaelder@comcast.net.

Closing Prayer: Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)