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Mission Devotional - February 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to realize that it makes your heart glad when we give you all we have to give - no matter what that might be. Give us the strength and the courage to give you all of our love, all of our affection, all of our attention, all of our possessions, as well as all of our time and energy. You gave it to us, the least we could do is give it all back to you. Amen.

Scripture: Mark 12:41-44

Journal: What is God asking of you today? How is he asking you to be like the widow?

Reflection: Turn and look at the pattern of life of the normal, ordinarily resourceful human being. As I look at my life, I see a wide variety of scattered loyalties, scattered and splintered devotions. Some basis of order, of integration, does govern my experience, but it is likely to be a secondary principle, rather than a primary one. A man's principle of integration around which the details of his life move in constellations, may be his work, his vocation. Or it may be something less significant, his golf, his neurosis. Every human being has a series of little centers of integration in his life that express themselves perhaps in simple habits, simple etiquettes with reference to things that are of no basic or perhaps no ultimate consequence. Have you ever seen someone whose whole life became disorganized for the day because the breakfast coffee was cold? That's what I mean.

Instead of all this absorption with detail, Jesus insists upon an absolute loyalty to God. The questions which he raises about our pattern of life are these: "Do you dare yield the 'nerve center' of your consent to what you believe is the will of God, as your basic principle of integration, rather than to some secondary something, important as that is to you-vocation, family, business, anxiety, money, position, class, race? Do you dare shift the center of focus of your being away from these significant loyalties, that have defined the character of your living, and embrace what, deep within you, you know to be the ultimate devotion of your life?" Your life is the lung through which your loyalties breathe. If you are not willing to yield complete loyalty to the will of God, if you prefer to give first place to your secondary loyalties, you may try to establish a way of relating yourself to Jesus that will not disturb the pattern of your living. On the other hand, if you do accept Jesus' way for you then there is introduced at once into your life a principle that at first reduces to complete chaos the whole network of your relations. That is what Jesus says. Do you wonder that he can find no place to be at home in our whole world? Do you wonder? (The Growing Edge by Howard Thurman)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

M. is living in an area in Southeast Asia where the Tai Lue, an unreached people group, live. She is trusting that God will open doors for the gospel and empower local brothers and sisters to make disciples among them. Pray today for God's help in raising up local leaders with the vision of initiating a movement of rapidly reproducing Tai Lue churches. M. and husband G. will be our guests at the 2016 Global Mission Conference. Pray for a safe journey for them to Knoxville.

Cedar Springs adopted Lonsdale Elementary in 2003. Lonsdale, with more than 400 students PreK through 5th grade, only serves the Lonsdale area. Over the years, the racial make-up of the school, whose students are 100% free lunch qualified, has changed to primarily Hispanic and African-American children. Pray today for the children that attend Lonsdale Elementary and their teachers.

Closing Prayer: All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give. I will ever love and trust him, in his presence freely give. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee my blessed savior, I surrender all. - Judson W. Van de Venter