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Mission Devotional - November 24, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I celebrate Thanksgiving Day today, don't let me get so consumed with my own life, and my own needs and desires, that I miss those who need your attention, your affection, and your tender care. Give me a heart of compassion this day (of all days) for the poor and the broken who are sitting at my gates. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31

Journal: Who is Lazarus in your life right now? How aware are you of those sitting at your gate? How is God calling you to respond to them?

Reflection: It is easy to get so caught up in the gravitational pull of our everyday lives and routines that we miss seeing those in need sitting right at our gates. We walk right by them every day, but fail to really see them because our minds and our hearts are so consumed with our own needs and wants that we fail to notice. Or, even if we do notice, we fail to respond because of all of the other things on our plates.

Jesus, however, calls us to a very different way of being. He calls us to walk with great care and attentiveness to those in need; Lazarus is simply a metaphor for that. In fact, the name Lazarus means whom God helps. Therefore, God calls us to a life that is not totally consumed with self, but one that is open and attentive and responsive to those in need; whomever they may be and whatever they may look like. For if we fail to notice the needy and the broken and the outcast at our gates, we - in a very real sense - fail to notice Jesus.

Who is Lazarus for you today?

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Sybil Baloyi lives in Mozambique and runs a preschool for orphaned and vulnerable children. Pray today for the vision that Sybil and her team have to add one new grade every year to the Hlauleka Christian Primary School through grade seven and for good health and stamina for Sybil.

As a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America, RUF holds to the core beliefs of historic Christianity which motivate a heart for God and love for the university. CSPC supports RUF on two college campuses - UT Knoxville and Carson Newman. Pray today for the staff of RUF as they connect with students on both campuses this semester.

Closing Prayer: Help me to see, Lord Jesus. Give me eyes to see those in need; and give me the heart, the courage, and the wisdom to respond to them in whatever way you direct. Amen.