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Mission Devotional - December 29, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

Opening Prayer: How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. (Psalm 84:1-4)

Scripture: Psalm 84:1-12

Journal: What is occupying most of your inner space these days? What is the effect on your soul? What would it look like to allow God to occupy that space?

Reflection: Exterior retirement is not sufficient to engage and satisfy a heart which would really withdraw itself from creatures to be occupied on itself alone, but interior retirement is likewise necessary, which is a spirit of recollection and prayer. A soul which is separated from all amusements of the senses seeks and finds in God that pure satisfaction which it can never meet within creatures.

A respectful and frequent remembrance of the presence of God occupies the mind, and an ardent desire of pleasing Him and becoming worthy of His love engages the heart. It is absorbed in Him alone. All things else dwindle into nothing. It buries itself in its dear solitude and dies to itself and all things in God. It breathes only His love. It forgets all but to remember only Him. Penetrated with grief for its infidelities it mourns incessantly in His presence. It sighs continually for the pleasure of seeing and possessing Him. It nourishes itself with reading good books and with the exercise of prayer. It is never tired of treating with God on the affairs of salvation. At least it humbly supports the irksomeness it may experience and with a view of honoring His sovereign dominion by the complete destruction of sin itself, it renounces all desire of finding any other satisfaction than that of pleasing Him. (The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Eric and Beth Yodis are facilitating church planting in eastern Ukraine. Eric and Beth returned to the Ukraine last year to help with church planting in Kiev. Pray today for winter and holiday outreaches coming up in December and January throughout Ukraine.

Cedar Springs supports Old North Abbey, an Anglican church plant in North Knoxville that serves its community through various efforts, including Abbey Fields, a neighborhood farm. Pray today for this congregation as they serve and love their neighbors.

Closing Prayer: Dwell in His house, O my soul, find your strength in Him. Set your heart on pilgrimage and trust in him at all times. For this is life.