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Mission Devotional - November 2, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Lord, help me to love you this day with all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind and all of my strength. And after I do that, O God, help me to love my neighbor as myself. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 22:34-40

Journal: Who or what is your first love right now? How will you love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind today?

Reflection: First and second. The order is important. If we get it backwards everything goes haywire, but maybe not at first. Most often it is a slow, subtle slide. When we are not putting the first love first we start expecting and demanding way more out of the people and things in our world than they were ever intended - or are able - to give. Then, instead of loving them, we start extorting love out of them. We become demanding and controlling and manipulative, and that is not love. They are actually the warning signs that we have our affections out of order. For the second love can be only a reflection of the first.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Heath and Angela Many have been serving at Tenwek Hospital, a Christian mission hospital in rural Kenya, as medical missionaries in their respective fields (surgery and obstetrics/gynecology). Pray today for this family who has returned to Knoxville for a home stay. Heath has begun a one-year fellowship at University of Tennessee in Surgical Critical Care.

InterVarsity's vision is to see students transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed. They live this out by inviting unreached students into life transforming encounters with Jesus Christ and training and developing them as disciples and leaders. Pray today for the staff and volunteers as they host small group Bible studies to introduce cultural Christians and the unchurched to Jesus.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, my God, help me to love you first: before my loved ones, before my friends, before my job, before my ministry, before my achievements, before my circumstances, before my comfort, before my needs, and before myself. For only then can I love the way you designed me to love. Amen.