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Mission Devotional - January 29, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, deliver us from those things in our lives from which we just can't break free. We simply don't have the power, but you do! Give us your divine power to destroy the strongholds in our lives, for apart from you we have no hope of victory. Amen.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Journal: What destructive patterns have created strongholds in your life? Do you really want freedom from them? Do you believe that Jesus offers you divine power to destroy those strongholds? Will you let him fight for you? Will you surrender these areas completely to him and let him destroy them? Tell him that.

Reflection: Freedom never comes cheaply. It always costs something, and most often something significant. Battles are waged over freedom. Why would we expect the life of the Spirit to be any different? If we truly want to live lives of freedom it will require some bloodshed, most likely our own. We are going to have to muster all of our courage and go down to the places within us where the most heroic battles are fought. We are going to have to face some opponents that are not pretty to look at, mostly because they are us. We are going to have to face our own inner reality and be willing to fight our own inner ugliness with all that is within us. We are going to have to allow the Spirit to destroy things in us that run so deep that their excision will feel like our death. And in many ways it will be, for until those things die completely they will not stop breathing their foul-smelling stench within us. We are going to have to allow the Spirit of God, with the weapons of the Spirit, to wage a full on attack of the sinful patterns and habits that run to our core, and put them to death once and for all. Only then will we ever have any hope that these strongholds will be destroyed. And only then will we be truly free.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Darlene Johnson has been a member of MTW's church-planting team in Nagoya, Japan, since 2000. She teaches conversational English and evangelistic Bible studies and is involved in choral and instrumental music ministry. Pray today for the growth of a new church plant, Nozomi (Hope) Chapel, getting started in a café in downtown Nagoya.

Free Medical Clinic of America was founded by CSPC member, Dr. Tom Kim, to provide medical care for the working uninsured. The clinic is built upon the words from Christ about serving the least, the lonely, and the lost. Pray for Dr. Kim and the other medical volunteers that help to meet the medical needs of our community.

Closing Prayer: Deliver us when we draw near to you, O God, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind: grant that with steadfast hearts and kindled affections, we may worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Amen. (Venite by Robert Benson)