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Mission Devotional - February 2, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive us when our ambition is to become greatest, first, or best; for when we strive after those things we have ceased striving after you. You call us to a much different life, to a much more noble ambition. You call us to become lowest, least, and last. Help us to see that your values are much different from that of the world we live in. And help us to follow you. Amen.

Scripture: Mark 9:33-37

Journal: Where in your life are you trying to become the greatest? What would it mean to try to become the least? What does that look like? How will you be servant of all today?

Reflection: I've been thinking a lot lately about the spiritual value of being last, and how it creates some of the most fertile soil possible for the life of God's Spirit to grow within us. It is the soil of humility, and dependence, and trust. In fact, it is soil that is so fertile that fruit just seems to spring abundantly into being from within it. So much so that it is a wonder I still resist it at almost every turn. Why is that? It would seem that, because of its fecundity, I would want to dwell in the soil of last as often and as long as possible; but of course the reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, my default mode is to run away from it rather than embrace it; even though the chief fruit of being last is something that my heart most deeply desires - freedom. Freedom grows abundantly in the soil of being last, if we are willing to take up its invitation to do a wonderful work within us, rather than allow it to be a source of angst, or insecurity, or fear, or competition. Being last, when embraced, brings about freedom; both freedom from and freedom to. Freedom from having to prove myself. Freedom from trying to make a name for myself. Freedom from jockeying for position. Freedom from having to matter. Freedom from having to be the point. Which results in freedom to love God. Freedom to belong only to Him. Freedom to serve Him completely. Freedom to genuinely love people without needing anything from them in return. So not only does being last produce significant fruit within me, it also is incredibly fruitful for the Kingdom. Therefore, maybe being last is not something to simply embrace, but something to actually pursue.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Bobby and Teresa LaDage are working with Redeemer City to City (the church planting arm of Redeemer Church in NYC) envisioning, equipping, and mentoring church planters and their wives in order to see gospel-centered churches reach the major cities of Eastern and Central Europe. Pray today for more men and women to get excited about starting new churches during a country-wide "churching" conference in Poland next month.

Gospel Wave Media is a satellite and Internet ministry that produces, records and broadcasts Christian television programs to Central Asia. Pray today for Shohrat and his team as they share the truth of the gospel with Muslims.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have told us that in order to become great in your Kingdom, we must become servant of all. Help us to do that today. Amen.