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Mission Devotional - September 16, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you came to earth and walked among us. Thank you that you still come to us each day through the power of your Spirit. May we always follow your example and go to those in our world who are so desperately in need of your touch and your love. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 10:1-12

Journal: What does going look like in your life? What do you think God wants it to look like? Who is he sending you to these days?

Reflection: Nowhere in Scripture do we get a better view into what Jesus desires ministry to look like than in Luke 10 and Matthew 10. They are the chapters in which Jesus gives instructions to his disciples before he sends them out to be his hands and his feet in the world. And you don't have to go very far in either passage before you run into a crucial word - Go! Jesus, from his very first words on the subject of ministry, wants us to make no mistake about the fact that ministry is something we must go to do. That is because this going is the very essence of the incarnation itself. It is what he did. God came to us, in our world, on our turf, in our form, speaking our language, to show us how deeply we are loved. Why then should we think that the ministry he calls each of us to would be any different? Ministry is always about going, and if we are not going then we are not doing ministry according to Jesus' model. It is the essence of the life Jesus lived and the essence of the life he calls us to. He tells us to come first to him, and then go to others (Matthew 9:1-2).

"Do not make them come to you. Go to them! I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Go! Walk your community, build relationships with those you come across, love them with my love, meet them where they are, care for their needs, and speak to them about my love and my Kingdom. Go! Proclaim in word and in deed the reality of my presence and my love. Go! Be an agent of peace, an agent of healing, and agent of wholeness. Go!"

We cannot just stay put and hope that somehow the lost and the broken will come to us. Rarely, if ever, will they do that. We must go to them; walking our own neighborhoods and communities, engaging people along the way, trying to get to really know them and love them, and being willing to be known in return. We must know their names and learn their stories. We must hear their struggles and share their pains. We must offer them the healing and the hope of the gospel. We must speak the message, "The kingdom of God has come near to you." And we must flesh out that reality in our lives, because the Spirit of the King lives in each of us.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

John and Kathy Lesondak are church planters who work across denominational lines in Slovakia to encourage and enable pastors in their work. The Lesondaks utilize various opportunities to engage with local residents, including the "Mami Klub" (Mommy Club) for young mothers and a men's Bible Study for both seekers and believers. Pray today that all their talents would be put to work for Christ's sake.

Volta a Biblia is a Bible Training College equipping church leaders in Macia, Mozambique. Pray today for the faculty of the college as they prepare and teach the students.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, show me where you want me to go today, and give me the courage and the faith to go there. Amen.