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The Battle God Calls Us To Enter

“The core battle in everyone’s life is to relate well to God, to worship him, enjoy him, experience his presence, hear his voice, trust him in everything, always call him good, obey every command (even the hard ones), and hope in him when he seems to disappear. That’s the battle the community of God is called to enter in each other’s lives.

When we see that battle as the most important one, it changes our approach to dealing with the lesser but still difficult skirmishes in our life….”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Connecting, Page 150-151

Questions for Reflection:
• Where do you see God at work in your life right now?
• What is giving you hope in your struggles?
• When does fear or anger of despair cloud your vision of Him?
•How might sharing that battle – not simply seeking solutions for the circumstances that have stirred your awareness of struggle – with others help you draw near to God?

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Wonderful Blessings Or Heartbreaking Trials

“I want to live a cross-shaped life, a life that frees me from working to bolster my self-esteem through other people’s approval….I want to welcome whatever comes my way, whether wonderful blessings or heartbreaking trials, as ‘an opportunity for great joy,’ the opportunity to display the love of Jesus that advances others’ well-being at any cost to my own (see James 1:2). I want to live the abundant life of loving like Jesus, the truly good life, available to me and to you through the death of Jesus.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 187

Questions for Reflection:
• Whose approval do you often seek to bolster your own self-esteem?
• In what way would living to display the love of Jesus change how you relate to that person?

What Would Happen?

“What could happen if I risked believing that the happiness I most long for is really available in Jesus, not in earthbound blessings that come my way but in the heaven-sent life He gives? What would happen if I staked my entire hope of happiness on God’s love and on the opportunity to love like Jesus? Have I been building the house of my life on sand when Jesus supplied a rock, a solid foundation that will keep my life from collapsing?”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 184

Questions for Reflection:
• Take some time to sit quietly before the Lord.
• In the past week, what circumstances have left you stressed, angry or afraid?
• What do those struggles teach you about the areas in which you still resist a deeper abandonment to the life Jesus provides?
• What invitation to trust and follow Jesus is being offered in your relationships today?

Receive The Crown Of Life God Has Promised

“When grasped, the prospect of living as a coheir with My Son, in both the already and the not-yet eternal kingdom, will energize you to press on, to reveal My character and My plan by the way you live and relate, and to love Me and others at any cost to you, whether you are joyfully encouraged or despairingly discouraged….

‘Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him’ (James 1:12).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 323

Questions for Reflection:
• How does the call to live as a coheir with Jesus provide hope in hard times?
• What clarity is being offered here about how to avoid a wasted life?

He Acts To Restore Whatever Good Was Lost

“In His infinite patience, God never stops calling men to remember who He is, how He relates, and what He teaches, and then to move toward others, to relate with one uncompromised purpose: to reveal what they remember. Men who hear God’s call and then remember and move become masculine men. All others do not.

When God remembers, He moves – always. He acts to restore whatever good was lost, and He provides for the well-being of His people.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Fully Alive, Page 76

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there anything about which you no longer believe God is at work on your behalf?
• What happens in your heart as you consider that God’s nature is to remember His covenant with His people and to act on our behalf?
• What opportunities does today hold for you to remember God’s nature and move to respond to those around you with His life?

Available To You Through His Tortured Death

“Celebrate My Son’s death and resurrection as the means through which My Spirit pours His life into you. You can now love like Him while you cross the bridge of sighs. Walk in the truth of My Son’s difficult but purposeful and joyfully loving life, a life made available to you through His tortured death.””

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 349-350

Questions for Reflection:
• How does Jesus’ death and resurrection change your life, practically, not theoretically?
• What is the impact of His Spirit’s life within you on how you face “the bridge of sighs”?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to expose any barriers you have to living as one freed to love well and to give you a new vision of what He longs to do in and through you.
• Take hope today in the knowledge that, regardless of your circumstances, you have the power to love those around you, because of the new life you share with Christ.

You Endure Nothing That He Didn’t Endure

“‘Father, what then am I to do when I feel terrible, when emptiness fills me, when loneliness suffocates my hope, when severe fatigue immobilizes both my body and mind?’

‘Gaze on My incarnate Son. Watch Him live. Watch Him die. Watch Him live again. You endure nothing that He didn’t endure. He remained faithful to My truth that is alive in you.'”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 349

Questions for Reflection:
• What burdens your heart today?
• Pour out that heartache to the Lord, and then spend some time focusing on the Gospel accounts of Jesus.
• In what ways are you being offered the opportunity to share in His sufferings?