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Mission Devotional - September 18, 2016

Opening Prayer: Loving Father, teach me to love and care for those that need you today. Those who are passed over and do not feel love unless I love them for you. May Christ's love for others be felt through me today. In your name and by your power I pray these things. Amen. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)

Scripture: Matthew 9:32-38

Journal: What is your first response when you see people that are harassed and helpless? What would it look like to have compassion on them? Who are the harassed and helpless ones in your life that God is calling you to show compassion to this day?

Reflection: The gospel of Matthew tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. The word Matthew uses here is splagchnizomai, which means to be moved from the deepest parts of your being. That is what goes on in the heart of Jesus when he sees people in need, he is moved so deeply that he simply must do something to alleviate their suffering. That, I think, is the difference between pity and compassion. Pity is just a feeling, whereas compassion is a feeling that spurs us to action. And that is what Jesus asks of us, not to stop at a mere feeling, but to be moved all the way to action. (The Blue Book by Jim Branch)

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Heath and Angela Many have been serving for 2 years 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.

Wears Valley Ranch offers a Christian home, education, and counseling to children from families in crisis. Their vision is to see each child inspired to follow Christ, healed from the past, and equipped to reach their full potential. Pray today for all of the residents that they may know Christ's love and salvation through this ministry.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me your heart of compassion for all those that I come across today. Amen.