Mission Devotional - February 10, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."

Today's Devotional Reading

Isaiah 44:22

Attentively observe the instructive similitude: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah's face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain? Let our joyful eye dwell upon the notable act of divine mercy- "blotting out." God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and for ever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary's summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was for ever put away, was completely and effectually performed.

Practically let us obey the gracious command, "return unto me." Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us! - Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening - Daily Readings

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Andy and Bev Warren serve with an MTW team that is involved in HIV/AIDS work and church planting through the Ethiopia Aids Care and Treatment (ACT) Project. The project targets slum communities in Addis Ababa which contain the neediest people in the community - large percentages of women with small children. In recent years, the project has served more than 500 AIDS-affected families, reaching more than 1,200 people. In the last few months, the government of Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency because of increasing protests. Pray today for a new family sponsorship program, Family to Family. It is a way for a family in the U.S. to connect with one of their project families.

The Cedar Springs Refugee Ministry, under the leadership of Almaz Gemechu, assists with resettling international refugees who arrive in Knoxville. There are many opportunities for volunteers to help with this mission. Pray today for Almaz and all the volunteers with the Refugee Ministry. To see an ongoing list of opportunities to serve, go here.