Mission Devotional - January 27, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for setting us free. We realize that it is a freedom that came at a high cost. Thank you for being willing to go there. Thank you for loving us enough to give your life in order to secure our freedom. Amen.

Scripture: Galatians 5:1

Journal: What does it look like to stand firm in the freedom Christ has secured for you? How will you do that today? What way(s) are you most likely to submit once again to the yoke of slavery today? How will you resist that urge? Write Jesus a letter thanking him for your freedom.

Reflection: We must learn to realize that the love of God seeks us in every situation, and seeks our good. His inscrutable love seeks our awakening. True, since this awakening implies a kind of death to our exterior self, we will dread His coming in proportion as we are identified with this exterior self and attached to it. But when we understand the dialectic of life and death we will learn to take the risks implied by faith, to make the choices that deliver us from our routine self and open to us the door of a new being, a new reality.

The mind that is the prisoner of conventional ideas, and the will that is the captive of its own desire cannot accept the seeds of an unfamiliar truth and a supernatural desire. For how can I receive the seeds of freedom if I am in love with slavery and how can I cherish the desire of God if I am filled with another and an opposite desire? God cannot plant His liberty in me because I am a prisoner and I do not even desire to be free. I love my captivity and I imprison myself in the desire for the things that I hate, and I have hardened my heart against true love. I must learn therefore to let go of the familiar and the usual and consent to what is new and unknown to me. I must learn to "leave myself" in order to find myself by yielding to the love of God. (Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

FISH is a food distribution ministry which is sponsored by many churches and food banks in the Knoxville city area. CSPC stocks the food pantry once a year, takes calls for food and also distributes the food once per month. CSPC members Keith and Shelley Percic are the CSPC contacts for this ministry. Pray today about how you and your family can help with FISH.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us how much we are loved. Help us to actually believe that it's true and to live out of the freedom of that love. Amen.