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Mission Devotional - February 3, 2016

Opening Prayer: O God of peoples, nations and history; you who became incarnate in the midst of economic, social and political injustice; you who call us to incarnate the reality of your kingdom in the midst of the world's destructive values, structures and dynamics; we confess that we would much rather limit our relationship with you to the comfortable confines of our own insulated world. We are prone to withdraw and create islands of security within which we can live in some degree of peace and comfort without having to see the pain and anguish of the world outside. We are tempted to limit our spirituality to the narrow boundaries of our self-circumscribed world. O God of justice and mercy, help us to see that to be conformed to the image of Christ is to be thrust out into the world as agents of your redeeming, healing, liberating, transforming grace. Help us to see that our growth toward wholeness in Christ cannot move toward its fruition apart from our life in the world. Guide us in our consideration of this reality and help us to be open and responsive to what you are saying to us. (Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland)

Scripture: Mark 10:35-45

Journal: What do the verses today do within you? Where do they cause to come alive? And where do they disturb or disrupt you? What are the words of Mark 10 calling you to today?

Reflection: A Christian leader is not a leader because he announced a new idea and tries to convince others of its worth; he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential. Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about. It is this service which gives eyes to see the flower breaking through the cracks in the street, ears to hear a word of forgiveness muted by hatred and hostility, and hands to feel new life under the cover of death and destruction.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

John and Kathy Lesondak are church planters who work across denominational lines in Slovakia to encourage and enable pastors in their work. John founded the Kosice Fine Arts Center in 2013. Pray today for John and Kathy that all their talents would increase and be put to work for Christ's sake.

Habitat for Humanity builds and sells single-family homes to qualified low and very-low income families by developing partnerships with businesses, organizations, churches, foundations and individuals who help build the homes. Pray today for this organization as they prepare for homes to be built in 2016.

Closing Prayer: God of our creation and re-creation, you who are constantly at work to shape me in the wholeness of Christ, you know the hardness of the structures of my being that resist your shaping touch. You know the deep inner rigidities of my being that reject your changing grace. By your grace soften my hardness and rigidity; help me to become pliable in your hands. Even as I pray this, may there be a melting of my innate resistance to your transforming love. Amen. (Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.)