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Mission Devotional - February 20, 2016

Opening Prayer: I feel your love as you hold me to your sacred heart, my beloved Jesus, my God, my Master, but I feel, too, the need I have of your tenderness, and your caress because of my infinite weakness. - Charles de Foucauld

Scripture: Mark 12:29-31

Journal: What is your response to the Scriptures today? What comes alive in you? What is disrupted within you? What will it look like for you to love Him today?

Reflection: Before anything, love Me. Just love Me, it's as simple as that. In fact, that is the one thing I really want from you, your love. And I want all of it. I want you to love me with everything you've got; all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Every bit of you. And I want you to love me for Me, not for the sake of anyone, or anything else. I must be the end, and not just a means to some other end. So love me because that's what I made you to do. And when you do what I have made you to do, you will know joy and fullness like you have never known it before. Then, and only then, will you be able to truly love others; for then you will be free from needing them to come through for you in some strangely dependent way. This freedom from needing them will allow you to truly love them, rather than to try and manipulate love out of them. For this second love can only be a reflection of the first.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Manuel and Annabella Valverde are involved in church planting and leadership training in Guatemala. Dr. Valverde started the Francisco Lacueva Theological Seminary (STFL) in 2012 and they now have 14 students. Pray today for the students in the seminary and the churches where they serve.

Since 1996, the Mission of Hope has ministered to the people of various counties in Kentucky and Tennessee from which 80% of the residents no longer have jobs in the coal mining industry. In their first event in 1996 they were able to assist 150 children. This past Christmas, because of the generosity of so many people, the Mission of Hope was able to help more than 18,000 children and their families with food, clothes, toys and hygiene items. Pray today for Mission of Hope as they continue to reach out to the children of Appalachia.

Closing Prayer: Almighty God, my Father, I call upon you and request of you that your love may be found in me your servant. I know not how to love as I ought; but you who are Love can reveal it unto me. Show me the way to Love. Amen. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)