Mission Devotional - January 25, 2016

Opening Prayer: Set me free, Lord Jesus, from all of my misguided ways of being and seeing. Break the chains that bind me, and destroy my patterns of sin and darkness and death. Set me free, Lord Jesus, for when you do, I will be free indeed. Amen.

Scripture: John 8:34-36

Journal: What things do you feel like a slave to these days? What chains are binding you? What do you typically do about those? Do you really want to be free? Because if you do, Christ promises that we will, indeed, free you. How will you move toward freedom in Christ today?

Reflection: I have been spending a good bit of time the past several weeks thinking about freedom and what it really means and how it really happens. Jesus was very clear in telling us that if we want to be truly free, it will only come through him. In fact, a little later in John's gospel, Jesus tells us that he is the truth; as well as the way and the life. So he is not only the truth, but he is the way to truth as well. Therefore, the only way to truth, and thus the only way to freedom, is through relationship with him. And, as we talked about yesterday, if we are not free it is because we are believing something that is not true.

My guess is that we even need to consider our definition of the word freedom to begin with. Maybe our very definition of freedom is not true. How would you define it? If you look up the word free in dictionary it is defined as personal liberty. But I'm not at all sure that this is a true definition. At least it wouldn't seem to be true, given the definition Jesus offers. One of the biggest lies that we tend to believe is that freedom means getting to do whatever we want to. And if we are not able to do whatever we want, then we must not be free. But in reality, freedom does not have to do with being able to do whatever we want, it has to do with being who we were created and intended to be. When we are being the person that God made us to be, then, and only then, is there any possibility that we can actually be free.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Steve Hoke works with national church denominations and mission organizations in 25 countries and North America in the area of leader development and strategic life coaching. Pray today for Steve for renewed energy and focus as he continues daily, weekly and monthly coaching and supervising calls with CRM's staff and team leaders around the world.

Family Promise of Knoxville serves families that come into their program "situationally" homeless - something has happened in their lives (job loss, medical conditions, financial problems, or other tough circumstances) to cause them to be homeless. It is not a choice they have made consciously or easily. This organization has created an interfaith network involving 16 "host" congregations and 26 "support" congregations. Pray for the homeless families that Family Promise will reach this month.

Closing Prayer: Father of all humanity, you call your children to walk in the light of Christ. Free us from darkness and keep us forever in the radiance of your truth, until we come at last to live with you on high. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reins with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. (The Little Book of Hours)