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Mission Devotional - July 11, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to abide in you this day, that I might be the expression of your love and your grace and your truth that you desire me to be. Because only when I abide in you is it possible for me to bear the fruit of your life in me. That is the life I was created to live. All for your glory. Amen.

Scripture: John 15:1-9

Journal: What do these verses say about the kind of relationship God wants with us? What does it mean to abide in Jesus this day? What other things are you tempted to abide in instead? What does it mean to abide in Jesus?

Reflection: Thomas Merton once said that "Some people live for God, some people live with God, and some people live in God." What an incredible statement! And terribly convicting as well. Don't get me wrong, living for God and living with God are great things, but they seem to stop far short of what God's deepest desire for us is - to live in him. That seems to be what Jesus is getting at here in John 15: "Abide in me." He does not say, "Abide for me," or even "Abide with me," as great as those things would be, but he says "Abide in me." Jesus wants more for us than a distant, nodding acquaintance. He wants intimate union. He wants his heart to beat in us. He wants his mind to think in us. He wants his love to consume us, from the inside out. That's how fruit is going to grow. It does not work from the outside in. We cannot staple fruit onto the vine and hope that it will grow there. It must come from the life of the vine living in the branches. So today, let's not settle for living for God, or living with God. Let's live in God, the way he designed us to.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Jeff and Ellen work among unreached people groups in two restricted access countries of Southeast Asia catalyzing Church Planting Movements. Pray today for many teams that are going into difficult areas to share the gospel with the TL people. One team was held by the police for a few days before being released. Pray for the safety of all.

Young Life Europe is an organization that pursues and befriends teenagers to introduce them to Jesus. Jim & Barbara McNamee are taking on new roles with Young Life Europe as Regional Developers. They have been asked to develop a new area for YL - the Basque Country. They will also be working as Life and Ministry Coaches for YL staff across the region. Pray today for Jim and Barbara and their extended family.

Closing Prayer: Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. - The Message