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What Has Had Most Of Your Attention This Week?

“Either we live to store up things for ourselves, or we live to become rich toward God. We cannot do both. No one can live the Old Way and the New Way at the same time.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off, Chapter 13, “The Pressures’s Off,” pg 127

Questions for Reflection:
• What has had most of your attention this week?
• Since Jesus indicated that our hearts belong to what we treasure most, what have your thoughts, decisions and personal interactions revealed about your priorities?
• Does your view of others reflect His heart?
• Spend some time today asking the Holy Spirit to give you a clearer vision of your opportunity to live for eternal treasure.

We Open The Door

“From relational prayer flows true petitionary prayer. Out of both come worship and praise, and confession and lament. As we own our faults and struggle with pain, we open the door, not to fewer temptations and more pleasant circumstances but to knowing God better, to receiving His tender mercies and limitless compassion. We get to know Him better.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Chapter 10, “A New Paradigm for Prayer,” pg 70

Questions for Reflection:
• What’s your current dialogue with God like?
• Is it flowing from authentic relating with God or driven by pressure to perform, need, habit, or some other dynamic?
• Take some time to quiet your heart today and to offer whatever is most genuinely rising within you, whether it be worship and praise, anger and confusion, confession and lament, or thirst for more of Him.

Don’t Pretend About Anything

“Christians are not to pretend about anything. Whether we lust, worry, covet, resent, or hate, we are to acknowledge the reality of who we are at any given moment. Fully admitting to ourselves and to God that we are angry, or whatever, and permitting our bodies to feel the physical concomitants of strong emotion is not sin. To do otherwise is foolish.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Encouragement: The Unexpected Power of Building Others Up, Chapter 7, “When Do We Tell Somebody Else How We Feel?” pg 75

Questions for Reflection:
• What internal struggle do you have the most difficult time being honest about with God?
• What would you have to let go of to offer Him that truth?
• Does that resistance come because of what the truth means about you or about your need of Him?
• As you offer yourself without pretense to Him, what has He offered of Himself to you?

Pretending We Are Not Angry Is No Solution

“Just before the apostle Paul instructs us to watch how we speak, he tells us to ‘speak truth’ to each other and to deal with anger quickly in a way that promotes reconciliation (Ephesians 4:25-26). A person feeling anger is on the edge of the precipice on sin. When we are angry, it is easy to sin by dumping our emotions on others without concern for their impact. But to avoid the sin of unchecked expression by pretending to ourselves that we are not angry is no solution.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Encouragement: The Unexpected Power of Building Others Up, Chapter 7, “When Do We Tell Somebody Else How We Feel?” pg 75

Questions for Reflection:
• When angry, are you more prone to dump your emotions unchecked or stuff/deny them?
• Why? What internal process justifies that preferred course of action in your mind?
• When you are wrestling with anger that cannot be easily resolved, how do you both deal honestly with God and others?
• What does it look like to open yourself to the possibility of ultimate reconciliation, if genuinely available, while also committing to deal realistically with the situation?

Now We Can See God

“In Hebrews 1:3, we’re told that Jesus is the ‘exact representation’ of His Father. So if we want to know who the Father is, what He’s like, we can look at Jesus. We’re supposed to. The visible Son is a mirror image of the invisible Father. One great advantage of the incarnation (God in human form) is that now we can see God. Just look at Jesus.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, THE PAPA PRAYER, “Who Has God Shown Himself to Be?” pg 111

Questions for Reflection:
• What has been the primary source that shaped your view of God?
• How well does your perception of God match what Scripture tells us about Jesus?
• Spend some time today reading the Gospels and asking the Holy Spirit to help you see Jesus more truly as He is.

Civil War

“The battle to become relationally feminine or masculine is engaged when relational sin is recognized and war is declared, civil war: on one side is the flesh obsessed with its own demands, and on the other side is the renewed human spirit that desires to enjoy God by revealing His relational nature to others.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, FULLY ALIVE, “Relational Sin,” pg 140

Questions for Reflection:
• How aware are you that your battle with sin is mostly deeply revealed in how you relate to others rather than simply in the external conflict or behavioral temptations that you experience?
• Spend some time today asking God to make you more aware of your desire to enjoy Him by loving as He does, rather than focusing on the struggle you feel over your self-centered desires or the ways you’ve failed to love well.

Bring His Heavenly Kingdom Of Relational Beauty To Earth

“As men and women, we are designed and called to build God-like community by releasing into others what is most alive in us as new creatures in Christ. That community will develop to the degree that our overriding purpose as we relate to others is to please and reveal God, and to thus bring His heavenly kingdom of relational beauty to earth.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, FULLY ALIVE, Part 3, “Identifying Our Relational Sin: The Opportunity for Life-Releasing Brokenness,” pg 129

Questions for Reflection:
• When you think about what is needed to build a church community, is your focus on the types of programs, teaching, or services a group offers or on knowing Jesus and relating to others as He does?
• What is most alive within you today, that you can offer to those around you?