Mission Devotional - November 23, 2015

Opening Prayer: Lord, I am yours; I do yield myself up entirely to you, and I believe that you do take me. I leave myself with you. Work in me all the good pleasure of your will, and I will only lie still in your hands and trust you. Amen. (The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith)

Scripture: Mark 10:17-31

Journal: Where do you find yourself in this story? Where is God asking you to release something that is significant to you and follow him? What is your response?

Reflection: It's a really good question actually. One that each and every one of us, if we're completely honest, has had run through our minds a time or two. What do I have to do to get to heaven? What's it really going to take to get me in?

Maybe the rich young man was looking for a minimum requirement, or maybe he was hoping for a response that indicated he (being healthy, wealthy, and wise) was already in, I'm not sure. But I do know that he did not get the answer he expected. I really believe that deep in his own heart and soul he was thinking that surely he, of all people, was going to be okay. I mean if he wasn't in, who was? Even the disciples were thinking that. But the ways, and the words, of God are never so predictable.

Jesus looks deeply into the young man's heart and quickly puts his finger and on the real issue. He immediately identifies the main area of belief that needs to be brought to light and dealt with before faith could become a real possibility for this young, wealthy, and powerful man.

"What's it going to take? Everything! Everything you've got. I want it all." And that is what Jesus requires of each of us as well. Simply put, there's no such thing as coming to Jesus half way. It's all or nothing. There is no minimum investment, no minimum requirement. He wants all of us - all of our heart, all our life, all of our attention, and all of our affection. He wants to be our treasure, not one of many treasures.

He calls us, as he did the rich young ruler, to leave everything behind and come and follow him. This rich man walked away sad, unwilling to allow Jesus to be his all. What is about you? (Reflections by Jim Branch)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

George and Kathy Cail live in North Carolina where George works in the curriculum department of a ministry called TEN3 (Transformational Education Network - Discipling to the Third Generation). Pray for George and Kathy as they consider a return to Burkina Faso (the country in West Africa where they lived and ministered for 20 years).

IFES (Middle East) is reaching college students in the Middle East with the gospel through a ministry based in Dubai. Pray today for the leaders of IFES that they may boldly continue their work with the students.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, be my all. You will settle for nothing less. Help me let go of everything that might pull, hinder, or distract me from giving my full affection to you. Amen.