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Mission Devotional - July 9, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you don't offer us just any peace, but you offer us your peace. Help us to fully receive it this day; that we might live fully and completely in you - untroubled and unafraid. Amen.

Scripture: John 14:27

Journal: To what degree are you enjoying God's peace these days? What keeps you from it? How are you troubled or afraid? Will you receive his peace today?

Reflection: So often in my life I feel like I am at the mercy of circumstances - anxious and afraid. It is so easy to get swept away in a whirlwind of fear and anxiety. But when I stop playing the victim, and fully realize the offer that Jesus makes me, I realize that I do have the power and wherewithal to choose to live differently - in Christ. He offers me his peace. Not just any peace, but his peace. It is his gift to me. All I have to do is receive it.

Therein lies the problem. I don't always do that. I allow myself to get overwhelmed and overcome by what is around or within me and it is just a downward spiral from there. I think that's because, although I know in my head that Jesus offers me his peace, I have failed to receive it. Receiving involves more than just knowing in my head, it involves taking hold of that truth in my heart and making it my own. We do not truly receive any gift until we take hold of it and make it our own. And when I truly begin to do that with his peace, in prayer, anxiety and fear and insecurity seem to loosen their grip on me and I am able to breathe.

"My peace I give to you," says Jesus. "Therefore, do not let your hearts be troubled. You have another option. When your heart is troubled it is because you let it be. Receive my peace and your troubled heart can finally come to rest. Do not be afraid. Do not let your fears define you, but be defined by my love and my peace. That is who you are. Therefore, do not be swayed or blown about by fear, insecurity, or comparison. Don't allow people or things or circumstances to threaten or determine your worth. Live in my deep affection. Receive my peace this day. Take hold of it. Make it your own. Be free."

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

J & F live and work in one of the poorest and most heavily populated states in a country in Asia. They are seeking to make a difference in this state in both physical and spiritual realms. They have launched a micro-finance business that is creating self-sustaining means of support for churches and church plants as well as continuing to provide funds for the installation of hand pumps to provide clean water to needy areas of the state. Pray today for several people who are currently considering joining this work that they will clearly discern God's will.

Wycliffe Associates (India, Kenya, Nepal) accelerates Bible translation around the world by empowering national translators and equipping the local church to translate God's Word into every language by 2025. Wycliffe Bible Translators (China) has Bible translators located in China translating the Bible into local dialects.

Closing Prayer: Jesus, you offer me your peace this day. Help me to fully receive it and live in it today. Amen.