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Mission Devotional - August 16, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, allow me, this day, to be salt and light. Give me the grace and the wisdom to accentuate and illuminate you the way you desire me to. For your kingdom and your glory. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-16

Journal: What does it mean to you to be salt and light this day? What habits, needs, or patterns tend to get in the way of that?

Reflection: Being salt and light seems like a delicate balance. A balance between being and doing. A balance between drawing attention to God versus drawing attention to ourselves. And a balance between trying too hard versus not trying hard enough. It can be difficult to find that fruitful middle ground.

When we try too hard, for example, we can have a tendency to overpower people. After all, too much salt can destroy a perfectly good meal, and too much light can be blinding. They both must be applied in the right amounts. They both must realize their role in the process. When salt or light become the point, rather than something that accentuates or illuminates the point (Jesus), then they have become a hindrance rather than a help. Be honest, we have all experienced that before, either in ourselves or others. And it ends up driving people away from the kingdom rather than drawing them toward it.

The problem begins when salt loses its desire to just be salt, and instead wants to become the whole meal. Or when light loses its interest in just being light and wants to become the city it is meant to illuminate. When we start wanting to be seen or noticed, rather than simply wanting to accentuate or illuminate God, the whole process goes haywire. We get in the way of what God is trying to do, rather than enabling it. So, may we all, each and every one of us, only desire that people taste and see Jesus. For when they do, then, and only then, will they be able to "taste and see that the Lord is good."

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

The Hope Center was established in 1996 to address the unmet needs of patients infected with HIV in Knox and the surrounding 20 counties. Pray today for these patients and their families.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, may people taste and see you in my life this day and know that you are good. Amen.