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I Want You To Become More Like God

“There is a difference between seeing someone as your project and having a vision for how the Spirit is shaping their new identity. In the first, the energy is self-oriented: I want you to become this for me. In the second, the passion is love for God and the other: I want you to become more like God so He will be clearly revealed to people who know you, and so you will be happy.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 138

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there anyone to whom you need to apologize because you’ve been demanding change from them for selfish reasons?
• What shifts take place in your heart when you focus on looking for the Spirit’s work in another, instead of being driven by a need to change them?

God Delights In What We Will Become

“Until we realize that there are no legitimate longings in our souls beyond his power and intention to satisfy, all change is cosmetic. But as we grasp how tenderly committed he is to our well-being, we feel more inclined to obey. Good urges become stronger.

And God delights in the whole process. He delights in our status as forgiven children welcomed to the dining table, and he delights in what we will become as we eat more of the food he provides.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 14

Questions for Reflection:
• Consider an area of struggle you’ve been facing this week.
• In what part of that challenge do you experience the greatest difficulty trusting God’s compassionate devotion to your well-being?
• Bring that area of doubt before the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what the Father longs to provide for you and to bring to life in you.

He Does Whatever It Takes

“God doesn’t fix us or pressure us. He does whatever it takes to reveal himself to us. That may include probing deeply into our messy hearts or insisting we do something we really don’t want to do. But the core purpose is always the same, not to repair or exhort us, but to draw us into a fuller appreciation of his beauty, to dazzle us with the sunrises of his nature, to awe us with the Grand Canyons of his character, to entice us with the endless fields of fragrant flowers blooming in his heart.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 10

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there any difficult that God is asking you to do that you’ve been resisting or rationalizing your avoidance of?
• How might your response to Him change if you view that hard thing as an invitation to become like Him and to deepen your closeness with Him instead of simply seeing it as a demand?

Do You Believe You Bring Him Pleasure?

“The most powerful thing we can do to help someone change is to offer them a rich taste of God’s incredible goodness in the New Covenant. He looks at us with eyes of delight, with eyes that see a goodness beneath the mess, with a heart that beats wildly with excitement over who we are and who we will become. And sometimes he exposes what we are convinced would make him turn away in disgust in order to amaze us with his grace.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 10

Questions for Reflection:
• When you think of your relationship with God, do you experience Him as someone who sees you with delight?
• Is that sense of His pleasure or lack of believing you bring Him pleasure tied to your behavior or to your relationship with Him?
• If your relationship with Him is based on His love for you through Jesus rather than your performance, what difficult truths about your heart is He inviting you to bring honestly to Him today so that you can experience His grace?

Your Perception Of God

“God’s method is neither to merely issue commands from the general’s tent (do what’s right) nor to improve the functioning of diseased organs (fix what’s wrong). Instead, he becomes so intimately a part of us that we want to resist whatever he doesn’t like and release the good things he has aroused within us.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 10

Questions for Reflection:
• Do you tend to relate more to God as receiving orders from a commander or as a patient whose problems are being treated by a doctor?
• How does your perception of God shape your relationships with others?
• Can you think of times when you were more aware of God drawing your heart toward Himself and His goodness than you were of being pressured to change?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to enlarge your understanding of what it means to share the life of God through Jesus.

The Real Battle—Between My Flesh And Spirit

“…Since the devil’s power has been stripped and since I have been born again out of this world’s kingdom into heaven’s, that means the real battle now is within me, between my own urge to grasp after whatever seems necessary and the desire to give, to love others like Jesus does – a desire Your Spirit has put in me. That gives a whole new meaning to spiritual warfare. I must still resist the devil and not conform myself to this world, but the real battle is going on in me, between my flesh and spirit. I want to win that battle.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 210

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas during this past week have you been most aware of the battle between getting your own way and the willingness to love others well, even at your own expense?
• As you think of ways in which you’ve been self-centered this week, what were the hidden beliefs that fueled your choices?
• What thought processes moved you during the times you did love well?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to help you celebrate His grace both for the times you failed and the times you loved well, to make amends where needed and to deepen your desire to honor Him.

The King Has Come; My Kingdom Is Near!

“My Son is here. The King has come. My kingdom is near. Repent! That was John’s message. My Son confirmed it.

Change your mind about everything. Only then will you be able to dance to My music in a world where hell’s noise is easier to hear and where it can sound like music. Only then will you hear the music of heaven that will one day be the only sound heard across the world, the day when everyone who loves My Son as I do will dance forever at My party.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 204

Questions for Reflection:
• As you prepare your heart to honor our Savior’s birth, have you been sensing the Holy Spirit’s call to repent – to change your mind – about some habit, attitude, circumstances or relational dynamic?
• In what ways is God inviting you this week to leave old patterns and dance to His music in the midst of hell’s noise?
• May you offer Him the gift of an open, responsive heart and celebrate the hope of His eternal party that is coming!

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