Mission Devotional - April 4, 2016

"Do not judge or you will be judged. ...
With the measure you use it will be measured to you."

Today's Devotional Reading

Matthew 7:1-2
It seems odd that an unchanging God would use a different measure to judge people according to their judgement of others. But Jesus here says just that. God treats us how we treat others. We see this later in Mathew 18 - the parable of the unforgiving servant. Jesus says "This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart."

God judges us according to our actions, according to the way we treat others. We have defined discipleship as "growing in love for God and others." As we grow to forgive more, judge less, we are reflecting God's love for us to others - He transforms us and we show that to others by how we treat them. The measure God will use will be one of mercy and Grace, but it's His mercy and Grace that Grows in us to enable us to love (judging others with grace, forgiving others) - growing in love for other. Our actions motivated by love are not "works" of self righteousness; they are actions reflecting His Grace at work in our lives. Matthew 7:1-2 reminds us that growth in love for God and others is essential, not optional, to our life in Christ. - Mark Steimer, CSPC Pastor for Middle School

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Mostafa and Mona Sharkawy's main area of work is the U.K., serving among Arab Muslims. Their goals are to see Arabic churches arise from Muslim background believers, to see new generations of leaders from Muslim believers, and to teach and prepare them for future ministry. Pray today for their work on a steering committee for a new ministry, "Joining the Family," which aims to support English-speaking churches in the U.K. on how to help new BMBs (Believers from a Muslim Background).

The Love Kitchen serves Knoxville's homeless, helpless, hopeless, hungry, and homebound by providing food and clothing. Many CSPC members volunteer there every week preparing and distributing meals. Pray today for all of the people who will receive meals from The Love Kitchen this week that they may know the love of God for them because of this ministry.