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Mission Devotional - August 29, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, be the treasure of our hearts, even as we are the treasure of yours. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 6:19-21

Journal: What is your treasure right now? Who or what has your heart? How is that playing out in your life?

Reflection: On the surface they look pretty similar I sure, which is undoubtedly how the name was derived. But upon closer examination, particularly in the hands of an expert, one proves to be immensely valuable, while the other is completely worthless. How can two things that look so similar be so completely different in both substance and content? Therein lies the mystery.

Treasure can be a tricky thing, just ask any prospector. What looks like treasure can actually be fool's gold. It takes a trained eye to see the difference, to know the qualities of each. And, as Jesus shows us here, the same is true in the spiritual life. So often we can get tricked into thinking that the shiny things of this world are far more valuable, or satisfying, or lasting, than they really are. And so we invest an enormous amount of time and energy in those things (success, achievement, acclaim, affirmation, financial security, etc.) only to find out in the end that they were of no lasting value - fool's gold. Jesus knows us all too well. He knows that whatever (or whoever) it is that we treasure will be the thing that we pursue with our whole hearts. It is just how we're wired.

Therefore it becomes pretty important that we take time regularly to examine, and reflect upon, what our treasure really is at any given moment. To ask ourselves where the majority of our time and energy is being invested. And then to ask ourselves if that person, or that thing, is indeed treasure, or just some cheap imitation.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Phil has been serving in Eurasia for over 10 years. His focus has been the Tatar people, a largely Muslim people group. Phil has worked with others in launching a local organization that provides language instruction with the goal of helping to equip believers to bring the light of the gospel to the least-reached in their own language. Pray today for continued open doors and safety given the present tenuous political situation in the part of the world where Phil is serving.

The Knoxville Leadership Foundation or KLF focuses on five important components of community life to ensure overall health within the city: family, youth, housing, racial reconciliation, and economic development. Chris Martin is the founder and president. Pray today for the residents of Flenniken Landing, a 48-unit permanent supportive housing development in South Knoxville.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are eternal treasure. May we invest all of our time and energy and efforts in pursuing you and your kingdom, rather than the fleeting and temporary things of this world. Amen.