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Mission Devotional - December 8, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Lord, how I long to be my truest, most authentic self; the one you dreamt into being, the one made in your image, the one whom you said was "very good." Help me, O God, to be more and more that person each day, regardless of the situation or the circumstance. Help me to be totally content, secure, at peace, and at home with being that one; the one whom you made both fearfully and wonderfully. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 12:1-3

Journal: Where in your life are you faking it? Where are you acting or playing a role? Where are you afraid to be the one God made you to be?

Reflection: During this season of Advent we are constantly encouraged to watch and wait, to pay attention and be on our guard. In this case Jesus is telling us something else we need to watch out for. Beware of hypocrisy. Because pretending, acting, or faking it will kill any true spiritual life that is growing in your soul. Jesus knew this all too well, thus the strong warning.

"In this life with me there can be no acting or falseness. There can be no hiding, or covering, or preforming, or pretending. There can be no trying to make others believe certain things to be true about you. You must be real. You must be genuine. Love, in order to truly be love, must be sincere. Do not let this yeast of the Pharisees infect your heart and soul. Do not doubt or reject the truth and the beauty of who you are in me. In my love there is no need to fear rejection. In my love there is no need to be anything other than who and what you were intended to be - my beloved son or daughter."

Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. (Ephesians 1:4, The Message)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

J & M are serving in Asia using the platform of micro finance lending to engage in church planting with holistic development. They have sought to be deeply immersed in the language and culture and continue their work with a micro-finance company. Pray for safety and security for J & M and their family. Pray also for a dear friend of theirs who recently lost a family member.

Worldwide Discipleship Association has a mission to serve the church worldwide by developing Christ-like character in people and equipping them to disciple others according to the pattern Jesus used to train his disciples. Cedar Springs and Global Mission Group members Carroll and Shirley Coakley are part of this organization's international staff and serve on short-term mission teams to Myanmar. Pray today for all of the volunteers serving with this ministry.

Closing Prayer: O God, you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18)