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Mission Devotional - November 30, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Opening Prayer: Grant, O Infinite God, that I may ever cling fast to Jesus Christ, my Lord. Let His heart reveal to me how You are disposed toward me. I shall look upon His heart when I desire to know who You are. The eye of my mind is blinded whenever it looks only at Your Infinity, in which You are totally present in each and every aspect at once. Then I am surrounded by the darkness of Your unboundedness, which is harsher than all my earthly night. But instead I shall gaze upon His human heart, O God of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then I shall be sure that You love me. (Prayers For A Lifetime by Karl Rahner)

Scripture: Romans 12:14

Journal: What does it mean to you that you are blessed by God? How does that affect your life? Are the words that come out of your mouth each day more blessings or curses? Why? What does it mean to bless and do not curse? How will you do that today? How will you offer words of life and blessing? To whom?

Reflection: To bless, in Latin (benedicere), means "to speak well of." Therefore, to live a life of blessing means to allow the voice of God to speak deeply to our hearts and souls, to receive those words of blessing in the depths of our being, and then to be a blessing to (or to bless) those who come across our paths. That is the way this life is supposed to work. We are blessed in order to be a blessing. But in our haste to be a blessing, we cannot fail to listen deeply and to fully receive the words of life and blessing for ourselves. Otherwise, we will never have anything of depth and substance - and even authenticity - to pass along. If I do not, first, truly believe that I am God's beloved, then I will never be able to give words of life and blessing to those in my world who so desperately need it. I will be far too needy myself. And when I am needy, I cannot truly give anything of value because I am so anxiously trying to grasp some sort of blessing for myself. The life of love and compassion has turned into one of comparison and competition. And in that case, I cannot bless, I can only curse. And clearly, I am told by Paul - even with my enemies - to bless and do not curse. O God, help me to be so convinced of my worth and value in your eyes, that I am able to freely and lovingly bless those in my life and world - both friend and enemy - rather than curse.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Steve Hoke works with national church denominations and mission organizations in 25 countries and North America in the area of leader development and strategic life coaching. Pray today for the dozens of gifted and passionate men and women that CRM needs to lead mission teams to catalyze and launch disciple making movements in difficult places of the world. Pray also for reduced pain for Eloise who fractured a vertebrae in a fall in late August. She is hoping to begin physical therapy.

The Garbage City Alliance is a ministry to the Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt. Rebecca Atollah, the wife of Ramez Atollah, the leader of the Bible Society of Egypt, is a key worker at the St. Simon Coptic Orthodox Church in the Mokattam garbage village. Over the last 25+ years she has helped with church planting and providing Christian education among the lowest of the low, Egypt's untouchables. Pray today for Rebecca and her work with the Garbage City Alliance.

Closing Prayer: O Lord Jesus, you have blessed us in order that we might be a blessing. Never let us forget that. Amen.