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Opportunity To Think Like God

“Difficulties and distress present a one-of-a-kind opportunity to think like God and, guided by right thinking, to then live the abundant life of loving like Jesus. We must keep in mind that Jesus believed he was giving us good news.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Tremble and Trust (The Response of a Discerning Soul)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• How does hardship provide a unique opportunity for living the abundant life Jesus promised?
• Spend some time today reading the Gospels, focusing on what abundant living looked like for Jesus.
• In what ways does your thinking need to adjust in order to view loving well in every situation as abundant living?

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Changing The Way We Think

“The work God has in mind to do in us depends on renewing our minds, changing the way we think. God thinks one way about what it means to live an abundant life. We think another way. Until our thoughts line up with His, relational formation will remain elusive.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Tremble and Trust (The Response of a Discerning Soul)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• When you think of Jesus’ promise that He came to give abundant life, what kind of expectations does that raise in your mind?
• As you look at other statements He made regarding the lives of His followers, how do your expectations line up with His Word?
• In what ways are you being called to “renew your mind” so that you can value the kind of abundant life that Jesus was describing instead of distorting His promise?

Paul Lost His Life To Save It

“I hear Paul telling me this: sin is never necessary to pursue your deepest well-being. It can, however, be effective in quickly but artificially promoting your sense of well-being. Paul was in jail, awaiting execution. He could have renounced Jesus, avoided martyrdom, and been released from prison to enjoy a pleasant evening with friends. But his soul would have shriveled. Instead, Paul quite literally lost his life to save it, to live congruently with his deepest desire to love Jesus. For Paul, that was life.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Tremble and Trust (The Response of a Discerning Soul)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• In what self-serving ways do you artificially promote your sense of well-being and how does that impact your relationships?
• What reasoning stands in the way of relinquishing temporary relief in order to gain deeper love and life?
• Share honestly with God today the ways you’re selfishly managing life, and ask Him to give you a clearer vision of Who He is and of the life He’s longing to offer you.

Visible Only To The Eyes Of Faith

“The smaller story of our lives, the story we can watch unfold around us and in us, has many chapters, some pleasant, some hard. But in every moment, God’s Larger Story, visible only to the eyes of faith, is unfolding. We tremble in our smaller story as we trust that God is telling a Larger Story, one that eternity will prove was good.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Tremble and Trust (The Response of a Discerning Soul)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• As you look back at previous chapters in your personal story, what glimpses of God’s Larger Story can you see now that weren’t visible to you at the time?
• Take some time today to consider similarities between the lives of those in Scripture who walked with God by faith and your circumstances that currently don’t make sense to you.
• What questions regarding your story are you willing to offer up to God today by faith, trusting that He is ultimately working for your good and to further His redemptive work in creation?

Ask My Spirit To Meet You Where You Are

“Rehearse all that you know of My story, continually, and always enter more deeply into its plot by reviewing these conversations. And ask My Spirit to meet you where you are, whether nursing a grudge over an offensive comment or singing a hymn with joyful passion, and to do in you and through you what He most longs to do. You may not feel Him working or experience My Presence, but He is always providing the power to keep you walking this narrow road, and when you slip off, to get back on.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 362 (“Jude”)

Questions for Reflection:
• What’s been the focus of your attention lately?
• As we remember what Jesus did for us at the cross and celebrate His resurrection, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see with new eyes both the difference and the hope that Jesus’ life and death and shared life with us offers.

In The Midst Of Severe Trials And Acute Sorrow

“Keep this in mind: God does have a wonderful plan for our life in heaven – wonderful because, with unmitigated delight, we will enjoy everything He then has in store for us. And He has a wonderful plan for our life now, on earth – wonderful because, with deep gratitude, we can value everything He is doing in us and through us in the midst of severe trials and acute sorrow.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Distort and Deny (The Counterfeit Gospel)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• What’s your current instinctive response to the truth that God is always working for your good?
• Is that response based on how your circumstances feel, what you believe He’ll do to improve your life, or something you know about His heart toward you?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see and give thanks for God’s kindness toward you today.

But Could He Relate?

“If we’re to live together in a kind of relationally loving community that requires the Spirit’s deep and ongoing work in our individual souls, we must not only assign priority to soul formation over ministry activities but also understand that soul formation is relational formation. And nowhere is relational formation, learning to love like Jesus, more clearly connected and powerfully displayed than in one-on-one, soul-to-soul conversations. Jonah could prophesy. He could preach. But could he relate?”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “Resist and Run (When Doing Wrong Feels Right)” Coming Soon!! To be released in July, 2018!

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways do you think you may be like Jonah?
• Is there any conflict taking place amid your ministry activities that spotlights opportunities for relational growth?
• Are there any changes the Holy Spirit is calling you to make to give priority to relational formation?