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Mission Devotional - January 24, 2016

Opening Prayer: Father, my life, in so many ways and at so many places, seems shackled and bound. Help me to find freedom and liberty in you this day. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)

Scripture: John 8:31-32

Journal: Are you free? Why or why not? What most often keeps you from experiencing freedom in your life? How do these verses on John speak to that? How can the truth set you free today?

Reflection: Years ago, I was sitting with two high school friends at a local restaurant talking about life and faith and how we can live more authentically and intimately with Jesus. We were looking at these verses in John 8, about truth and freedom, when one of the guys had a bit of an epiphany. He looked up from his bible, turned to us, and said, "So what you are telling me is that if I am not free it is because I'm believing something that's not true?" And we all stopped for a minute, reflecting on what he had just said.

"That's exactly what I'm saying," I responded. "As a matter of fact I couldn't have said it any better myself." Somehow in his own beautifully simple way, he had taken a profound theological truth and made it incredibly practical. So much so that I still remember it to this day. In fact, whenever I am feeling particularly tied up or bound by something that I can't quite put my finger on I will ask myself, "Since I am not feeling free at this moment, what am I believing that is not true?" Because the truth always sets us free. (Being with Jesus by Jim Branch)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Bruce and Laura Harris run SEND International's camp and conference ministry in the mountains of western Tokyo. In this ministry, their goal is to glorify God by serving the church of Jesus Christ through camping programs of evangelism and Biblical education. Pray today for Bruce and Laura as they begin a new year of ministry.

Volunteers provide weekly English classes at CSPC for those who need to improve their language skills. Classes meet on Thursdays in the morning and in the evening. There is an optional Bible study held after the morning classes. The ESL students and teachers hold holiday parties, go on outings and picnics, and do other fun things together. Pray today for volunteers and leaders who are teaching ESL as they begin this new semester.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to really believe the truth, about who you are and about who we are in you, and let that truth set us free. Amen.