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The Unmistakable Fruit Of Deep Repentance

“Forgiveness and involvement, the two elements in substantial change, are the unmistakable fruit of deep repentance.  When I  abandon my commitment to self-protection, seeing in it the rebellious pride that is really there, then I am able to forgive those who have interfered with the goal of self-protection and involve myself with those who may hurt me in the future. What I am calling ‘deep repentance,’ the kind that can support forgiveness and involvement, requires both the exposure of my pain and my commitment to self-protection and also a decisive willingness to abandon myself to obedient trust.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 168

Questions for Reflection:
• Have you thought about forgiveness as fruit of repentance for your own sin, rather than simply a Biblical response to someone else’s sin?
• What would “overcoming evil with good” look like in a current conflict that you are facing, regardless of the other person’s choices?

Listen In: Building Faith and Friendship Through Conversations That Matter

We’re excited to inform you that Listen In: Building Faith and Friendship Through Conversations That Matter, a new book by Rachael Crabb, Sonya Reeder and Diana Calvin (Foreword by Larry Crabb) is NOW AVAILABLE.

How can we use words to connect with each other in ways that can do deep and lasting good? How do we have conversations that matter?

Rachael Crabb and two of her friends in ministry, Sonya Reeder and Diana Calvin, take up this question in a creative and informative way, providing model dialogues with one another exploring the deep issues of their lives. You will be intrigued and informed by learning from their journeys, but most importantly you will learn how you can start similar conversations with your friends.

For more information, or to order the book, visit https://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=4316

 

With The Hope That Evil Will Be Destroyed

“With the hope that evil will be destroyed, wait eagerly and actively for the day of the Great Gathering.  It could happen at any moment.  On that day and not before, all My Son’s relational longings – and yours – will be fully and forever satisfied.

With all this in mind, interpret what happens now – the evil you see, the suffering you endure, the goodness and blessings you enjoy – in light of what will happen then.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 288

Questions for Reflection:
• Both in response to recent tragedies in the news and in the private challenges of your own life, is your heart currently most aware of hope or despair?
• How does fixing your heart on the cross, resurrection and Jesus’ promised return shape your interpretation of the present burdens that feel hopeless?
• With the reminder of all that God has promised for our eternal future, what step is He calling you to take today to wait actively for what only He can accomplish on your behalf?

Celebrate the Privilege

“If My life is in you, and it is, you are capable of loving well even when the cost is great. Don’t measure the risk. Instead, celebrate the privilege.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 355

Questions for Reflection:
• In what relationships are you currently measuring risks instead of embracing the opportunity to love others well?
• What would genuine repentance involve, if you make the shift toward loving others instead of protecting yourself?

Replace Self-Protective Manipulation With Vulnerable Obedience

“A civil war unknown before conversion breaks out afterward: the flesh and the Spirit do battle. Flesh (human beings living according to their own ideas about how to find life) stands in absolute contrast to spirit (human beings entirely dependent on God for life). The work of repentance is (1) to identify those interactions with life in which protection from personal pain is a higher priority than obedience to God, and (2) to replace self-protective manipulation with vulnerable obedience.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 166

Questions for Reflection:
• Think of someone with whom you are experiencing conflict. In what ways has protecting yourself from pain been the primary motivation for your words or actions?
• Bring your fears and hurt before the Lord, and ask Him to give you His perspective on the conflict.
• Is there any greater vision that you desire for this situation more than winning an argument, justifying your choices, being liked or avoiding pain?

A Deeper Awareness of the Value We Have In His Plan

“It is through deep repentance – abandoning manipulative styles of relating in favor of risky involvement with others – that God is enjoyed and people are loved. Forgiveness of those who hurt and movement in whatever direction obedience requires are built on the foundation of repentance. The result is a deeper awareness of Christ’s love for us and the value we have in his plan for touching others.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 168-169

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways have you confessed your sin against others but avoided the deeper repentance of abandoning manipulative styles of relating and loving others in ways that were not defined by self-protection?
• Have you ever thought of repentance and forgiving others as a way to enjoy God?
• Take a moment to hear the Spirit’s invitation to surrender selfish patterns of relating and to enter a deeper awareness of his heart for you and those whose lives you touch.

The Unbearable Ache

“My power is sufficient to keep you from falling off the narrow road. But on that road you will feel, more acutely sometimes than others, the unbearable ache of repeated failure to love, of always falling short of My glory. That ache either will be transformed by My Spirit into a consuming awareness of grace and into the joys of passionate hope, or it will seduce you into accepting a revised version of My story that promises to provide now the relief I promise later.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 359

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are you attempting to escape the pain of your own failure or of life’s disappointment?
• How might offering the pain to God, instead of numbing it, open the door to His presence and renewed hope?
• Take some time today to invite Him into an area of failure that you’ve avoided facing, and allow His grace to speak into that part of your life.

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