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Mission Devotional - February 11, 2016

Opening Prayer: O God, Lover of our souls, forgive us when we turn away and chase after people and things that were never intended to fully satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. Forgive us, O Lord, and bring us back once again to your arms of mercy and affection. Amen.

Scripture: Hosea 2:1-19

Journal: What other lovers do you chase after rather than God? How is that working for you?

Reflection: Hosea 2 is such a challenging, convicting, and passionately tender chapter. It calls me to recognize the ways I have left the Lover of My Soul, and have chased after lovers that can never even begin to satisfy the deepest longings of my heart. It calls me to name them: affirmation, success, achievement, significance, security, recognition, esteem - and on and on and on. And it invites me to recognize them and call them the cheap hookers that they really are. It urges me to repent, to turn, to stop chasing after these sorry substitutes and turn back to the One who knows me like no other and loves me like no other. It asks me to leave their flimsy, glittering arms and return the arms of him who can hold me like no other, who made me uniquely and wonderfully for deep intimacy with himself. It forces me to answer the question, "Are you chasing lovers, or are you chasing me?"

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Lucky & Sonnet Mnisi are South African and serve in Mozambique. Lucky has pastored the Reformed Church in Mucatine, and has helped plant other churches in Gaza Province, including Chake. Lucky is a discipler of young men and has a mentoring role among those he serves. Lucky and Sonnet and their family are now living in Chokwe where Lucky pastors a church they planted. Pray today for their church family to grow in faith and learn to reach out to others in the community.

Keymedia uses television, radio, the Internet and printed literature as well as local missionaries, in their Arabic and Muslim target countries, for the key purpose of planting churches and discipling local believers to take the gospel to their nation's people. Pray today for those who are planting churches as a result of this organization.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, my God, what false lovers do I continually chase after for my food and my water; for my security and my significance; for my value and my worth; for affirmation and identity? Help me to recognize the fact that when I chase after these lovers, I have left you, my One True Love. Allure me now, O Lover-God, betroth me to yourself. Ravish me with your passionate love and capture my heart completely. Make it wholly yours, that I may chase only after you all the days of my life. Amen.