Mission Devotional - April 28, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

"All the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted."

Today's Devotional Reading

Ezekiel 3:7

Are there no exceptions? No, not one. Even the favored race are thus described. Are the best so bad? - then what must the worst be? Come, my heart, consider how far thou hast a share in this universal accusation, and while considering, be ready to take shame unto thyself wherein thou mayst have been guilty. The first charge is impudence, or hardness of forehead, a want of holy shame, an unhallowed boldness in evil. Before my conversion, I could sin and feel no compunction, hear of my guilt and yet remain unhumbled, and even confess my iniquity and manifest no inward humiliation on account of it. For a sinner to go to God's house and pretend to pray to him and praise him argues a brazen-facedness of the worst kind! Alas! since the day of my new birth I have doubted my Lord to his face, murmured unblushingly in his presence, worshipped before him in a slovenly manner, and sinned without bewailing myself concerning it. If my forehead were not as an adamant, harder than flint, I should have far more holy fear, and a far deeper contrition of spirit. Woe is me, I am one of the impudent house of Israel. The second charge is hardheartedness, and I must not venture to plead innocent here. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new and fleshy heart, much of my former obduracy remains. I am not affected by the death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the chastisement of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O that my heart would melt at the recital of my Savior's sufferings and death. Would to God I were rid of this nether millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the name of the Lord, the disease is not incurable, the Savior's precious blood is the universal solvent, and me, even me, it will effectually soften, till my heart melts as wax before the fire. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening - Daily Readings

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Europe

Pastor of the First Greek Evangelical Church, a historic Presbyterian church in the center of Athens, Giotis Kantartzis leads a church planting movement called "Polis" (or, "city" in Ancient Greek). Giotis' church is largely responsible for a significant amount of outreach to the thousands of refugees who have landed in Greece. He spearheaded the Houses of Hope project in which several apartments were purchased and converted into refugee housing (with up to two families per apartment). Pray today for new church planting initiatives in an area of Athens called "Neos Kosmos."

Core Leadership is a ministry of spiritual formation and leadership development. Its mission is to help strengthen and encourage the life of leaders, in the Knoxville area and beyond, by the means of spiritual nurture and leadership development. Jim Branch is the director of Core Leadership and is actively involved in the lives of people all over the city of Knoxville and beyond, as well as being active in the Powell community, where he lives. Pray today for Jim and his family.