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Mission Devotional - July 18, 2016

Opening Prayer: Jesus, you want so much more for us. You long for us to be pure and holy. Help us to raise the standard in our lives, whatever that may look like. Whatever that may cause us to cut off or pluck out. Nothing is too much if it helps us to be more like you. Amen.

Scripture: Mark 9:42-50

Journal: What does this passage do within you? How does it disturb you? What feathers does it ruffle? What areas of your life need to be "cut off" or "plucked out?" Why do you tolerate them?

Reflection: You don't have to look far to see how important purity is to Jesus. It is important enough to cut off, or pluck out, something vital in order to preserve the purity of the whole. And maybe preserving this purity is the whole idea; thus the connection with salt. The question then becomes: If purity is so important to Jesus, why is it not equally important to us? We tend to operate under a whole different paradigm. We tend to tolerate far too much. Maybe it's time for us to raise the bar. Maybe it's time that purity become as important to us as it is to Jesus. What would that look like? What do we tolerate in our own lives that Jesus simply would not tolerate? How does Jesus want us to raise the standards of our own lives?

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

L. and E. serve in a Creative Access country. L. is working to make evangelical literature available to the nations so that people can come to Christ. Pray today for new believers. The biggest struggle is for them to read God's word daily and get connected to a local fellowship. Pray also today for L. and E. as they return to their country this month and have to immediately move to a new apartment.

Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Cru, is ministering to college athletes at the University of Tennessee. Rachel and Jason Stankus minister to and through the athletic department at the University of Tennessee and are trusting God to build a spiritual movement that impacts the campus, community and world for Christ. Pray today for Jason & Rachel as they prepare to direct a basketball mission trip to New Zealand this month.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us not to tolerate things and habits and patterns that keep us from being wholly yours. Give us the courage to fully walk with you, whatever that may look like. Amen.