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Entering Into Someone Else’s Battle

“Connecting begins when we enter into someone else’s battle to experience God with the empathy of a fellow struggler and the faith to know it can happen. So much ‘connecting’ centers on our problems in the hope that someone can make them go away. True connecting centers on the spirit within us, that awakened capacity to experience God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 151

Questions for Reflection:
•Is there someone that you are longing to connect with in their struggles?
• What has hindered that in the past?
• How might your engaging that person as a fellow struggler, believing that God longs to reveal Himself in and to you both, change the way you relate?

So That’s What Life Is All About!

“If you focus more on the smaller story of your life from your natural birth to your natural death, you will misunderstand everything that matters. You’ll mistake your joys and sorrows for the fullness of real joy that lies ahead and real sorrows that you’ll never experience….

But when you hear the Master Storyteller tell His story, a shift happens in the center of your heart. You pause in the middle of terrific blessings or terrible trials, or maybe just everyday life, and you say, ‘So that’s what life is all about!'”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Real Church, Page 164-165

Questions for Reflection:
• In the midst of dealing with today’s responsibilities and routines, which story holds your focus?
• Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the ways He’s at work and the opportunities you have to share His story with your life.

A Dinner Party That Will Never End!

“If you believe the Bible and have a basic grasp of its story line, you know that the real story of life began a long time ago, at a family gathering, a family council. The plot unfolded during a family split, two splits really: the first in Eden and the second on Calvary. And you know the story will climax not when you move into your new house or marry off your kids or celebrate fifty years of a great marriage or look back on a lonely life lived sacrificially for others, but at another family gathering in another world, this one a dinner party where the family will be much larger and where the satisfaction you longed for but never fully experienced in this world will begin and never end.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Real Church, Page 164

Questions for Reflection:
• What story are you most focused on telling with your life today?
• Does it offer indestructible life to those around you?

Can We Enjoy God More Than Anyone Or Anything Else?

“If we believe there’s more pleasure in something other than God, then our obedience will never rise above required duty, our prayers will never aim higher than using God, and our joy will always leave an emptiness that drives us to further self-centered efforts to find the fullness we demand.

So the question we must squarely face is this: Does knowing God really provide the pleasure our souls were designed to enjoy? Can we enjoy God more than anyone or anything else?”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 175

Questions for Reflection:
• How would you honestly answer the above questions?
• What other indulgences may diminishing your awareness of your desire for Him?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to work in you today so that increasingly, your obedience will be your privilege, your prayers will seek to draw near to God and further His kingdom, and your joy will be in giving pleasure to the heart of God.

The Life Of Christ Poured Into Us

“Until we experience the life of Christ poured into us, perhaps directly by our tender Father through His Spirit, often through His Word or a song, not frequently enough by our brothers and sisters, until then we don’t understand joy.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 161

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways this week can you pour the life of Christ into those around you?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to the opportunities He provides to offer grace to those around you.

Only A Worshipping Community

“…I would affirm, strongly, that only a worshipping community will ever become a connecting community. We must meet God before we can share Him with others. A group of people who first connect with God and then pour into each other the passions that gush out of that encounter becomes a spiritual community.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 164

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways do you currently foster worship in your own life and in your church community?
• Take some time to seek the Lord today about the kind of worship that He desires.

The Point Of Church Is Journeying Together To God

“We are wrong to define only the Sunday morning event as church, and to treat small groups as an option, as an add-on that some might want to do in addition to ‘going to church.’ I prefer to think of the preaching/worship service as an important time in itself, as an opportunity to encounter God, but also as preparation for spiritual community, as a prelude to journeying more closely together in the right direction. Both define church.

The point of church is journeying together to God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 165

Questions for Reflection:
• Is your tendency to think of church as programs that you attend or as relationships in which you help one another embrace truths that deepen your love for God and others?
• Is anything currently hindering you from “journeying together to God”?
• Are there any deliberate changes that the Holy Spirit’s asking you – to make to your priorities or schedule or relationships -so that you can strength your involvement in spiritual community?