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Mission Devotional - November 1, 2016

Opening Prayer: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:10-11)

Scripture: Matthew 22:1-14

Journal: What does this parable do in you? Who can you relate to most? Why? Why the big deal over the wedding clothes?

Reflection: "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!" the book of Revelation tells us. And an incredible invitation it is! So incredible, in fact, that it is actually hard to get our minds around it. And not only have we been invited to this - the party of all parties - but God himself has even given us clothes to wear. He has provided us with his very own robes of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10); fine linen, bright and clean that has been given to us to wear. (Revelation 19:8)

A number of years ago, when I was working for Young Life, I was in the high school cafeteria with a few of our Young Life leaders visiting our friends as they ate lunch. We would typically meet there a couple of times a week and spread out all over the cafeteria hanging out with kids during their break. On this particular day I overheard a commotion a few tables away and looked up to see that one of the kids who came regularly to our Young Life club on Thursday nights had somehow managed to dump her entire tray on food into her lap. I don't really remember what they were having for lunch that day, but I do remember that it was a total mess. A tray full of food was all over her pants and she was on the verge of tears.

Quickly her Young Life leader, in a moment of grace and wisdom, sprang into action. She grabbed her friend and whisked her off to the restroom as she said, "Quick, let's go change pants. You take mine and I'll wear yours." Which is exactly what they did. Within minutes the teenage girl emerged from the restroom looking like nothing had ever happened, while her Young Life leader came out wearing the pants that were completely covered in mess and grime.
It is exactly what God did for us in Christ. Maybe that's why he gets so upset with the man in the story who refused to wear the wedding clothes that were provided for him. After all, those clothes came at an enormous price.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Josh and Jenny M. are working with the RAK Church Plant in the United Arab Emirates. The RAK Evangelical Church has now been formally constituted as a church with about 40 members. Construction continues for the church building. To find out more, go to the Reclamation Stories blog and watch a video.

Hope Resource Center is a multi-faceted Christian ministry addressing such matters as sexual purity and health, unplanned pregnancy, post-abortion stress and abstinence education. Pray today for all of the young women who will come to this ministry this month.

Closing Prayer: I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara. For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations. (The Message)