Mission Devotional - January 27, 2017

Opening Prayer:
I ask you, Lord Jesus,
to develop in me, your lover
an immeasurable urge towards you,
an affection that is unbounded,
longing that is unrestrained,
fervor that throws discretion to the winds!
The more worthwhile our love for you,
all the more pressing does it become.
Reason cannot hold it in check,
fear does not make it tremble,
wise judgment does not temper it.
(The Fire of Love by Richard Rolle)

Scripture: Romans 12:11

Journal: What do the words zeal and fervor do within you? Do they describe your spiritual life? Do they describe anything in your life? How would you describe your spiritual life right now? How do you increase your spiritual zeal and fervor?

Reflection: To kindle in his heart such a divine love, to unite with God in an inseparable union of love, it is necessary for a man to pray often, raising the mind to Him. For as a flame increases when it is constantly fed, so prayer, made often, with the mind dwelling ever more deeply in God, arouses divine love in the heart. And the heart, set on fire, will warm all the inner man, will enlighten and teach him, revealing to him all its unknown and hidden wisdom, and making him like a flaming seraph, always standing before God within his spirit, always looking at Him within his mind, and drawing from this vision the sweetness of spiritual joy. (The Inner Closet of the Heart by St. Dimitri of Rostov, from The Art of Prayer, Igumen Chariton of Valamo)

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. The Lesondaks utilize various opportunities to engage with local residents, including classes in pottery and sewing. Pray today for an intern that is needed to continue this ministry when the Lesondaks go on home leave in the Spring.

The Knoxville Leadership Foundation or KLF focuses on five important components of community life to ensure overall health within the city: family, youth, housing, racial reconciliation, and economic development. Chris Martin is the founder and president. Pray today for all of the KnoxWorx job clubs, including the one that meets at CSPC on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Closing Prayer:
O living flame of love
That tenderly wounds my soul
In its deepest center! Since
Now you are not oppressive,
Now Consummate! If it be your will:
Tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
That tastes of eternal life
And pays every debt!
In killing you changed death into life.
O lamps of fire!
In whose splendors
The deep caverns of feeling,
Once obscure and blind,
Now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
Both warmth and light to their beloved.

How gently and lovingly
You wake in my heart,
Where in secret you dwell alone;
And in your sweet breathing,
Filled with good and glory,
How tenderly you swell my heart with love.
- John of the Cross