Mission Devotional - August 1, 2016

Opening Prayer: Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight, to hate what is offensive to you. Do not allow me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of my ears; but to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and above all things, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Your will. - Thomas Á Kempis

Scripture: Joel 2:12-14

Journal: How is the Lord calling you to return to him today? How is he rending your heart? What is the old he is trying to tear away? What is the new he is trying to make room for? What is he trying to do within you?

Reflection: Only the inner rending, the tearing of the heart, brings this joy. It lets out our sins, and lets in the clean air of God's spring, the sunlight of the days that advance toward Easter. Rending of garments lets in nothing but the cold. The rending of heart which is spoken of in the lesson from Joel is that "tearing away" from ourselves and our vetustas - the "oldness" of the old man, wearied with the boredom and drudgery of an indifferent existence, that we may turn to God and taste His mercy, in the liberty of His sons. (Seasons of Celebration by Thomas Merton)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Bobby and Teresa LaDage are working with Redeemer City to City (the church planting arm of Redeemer Church in NYC) envisioning, equipping, and mentoring church planters and their wives in order to see gospel-centered churches reach the major cities of Eastern and Central Europe. Pray today for Bobby and Teresa to continue to listen to God while pursuing their personal vision, "to intimately know him and to passionately make him known."

The CSPC Adoption Ministry is a group of individuals and families who have a heart for adoption and foster care and for providing support for other individuals and families starting or going through the adoption/foster care process. Pray today for couples who need the support of other adoptive parents to be reached by this ministry.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, help me always to know that whatever tearing away you are doing in my life these day is always for the purpose of making way for the new that you are trying to bring about. Thank you. Amen.