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God’s Grace Is So Amazing!

“…Loving like Jesus means loving people while they sin and not loving them more when they celebrate victory over some specific sin. But let me be clear about one more thing: even the most spiritual among us will never love exactly like Jesus in this life.

And when we fail badly to love well, God does not love us less. He is then glorified as the God whose grace is so amazing that it is always provided, whether we love well or not. But the more we celebrate His grace that loves us at our worst, the more we will long to battle for the better love we receive from Jesus.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 38

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there someone from whom you are withholding love, based on their behavior?
• What would it look like for you to love that person as Jesus does – not denying their sin but responding to their sin in ways that reveal God’s heart for them?
• How has your own experience of God’s grace toward you fueled your desire to love others as He does?

How We Relate

“Our desire to experience God’s presence is satisfied most fully when we express God’s character most clearly by how we relate.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 17

Questions for Reflection:
Is your desire to experience God focused more on how you feel or on how His life is expressed through you to others?

A Different Kind of Happiness

A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love by Dr. Larry Crabb is now available!

A Different Kind of HappinessEverywhere we look, we see evidence that love is in short supply. Terror and corruption, school shootings and troubled marriages, impatient online sniping and character assassination–all point to the fact that we do not know how to love one another as Jesus commanded and modeled. We put our own interests, comfort, and happiness first, despite the fact that the greatest happiness comes through sacrificial love.

A Different Kind of Happiness shows you a love that is deeper than being nice and serving others. It’s a love that relates to others in such a way that they feel heard, seen, and valued. A love that sacrifices and suffers and keeps loving, even when doing so is costly. This kind of love, says Dr. Larry Crabb, is the kind of love shown to us by our Creator and Redeemer–and it’s the kind worth fighting for in all of our relationships…

For more information, visit Baker Publishing Group, Amazon, CBD, or most anywhere Christian books are sold.

A Vicious Enemy

“Every battle confronts an enemy. The enemy we encounter on the narrow road is our devil-inspired, world-shaped tendency to arrange for our well-being at the expense of others, often by the way we relate. Relational sin, often unrecognized and usually subtle, is a vicious enemy; perhaps it’s our worst.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 16-17

Questions for Reflection:
• If you were asked about the greatest area of conflict in your life, do you typically think of your tendency to arrange for your own welfare at the expense of others?
• In relationships where you’re currently experiencing tensions, do you see any ways in which the conflict you’re experiencing is being fed by a demand for others to cater to your own comfort?
• What hope becomes available with the realization that your relational sin is a greater enemy than your difficult circumstances or another person’s failure?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you today both the subtlety of your relational sin and the grace and freedom Jesus provided at the cross.

It’s What We Were Meant To Do

“Real love sacrifices what we most value for the sake of another, even for someone who treats us badly. Real love suffers what we most fear if it serves the well-being of another, including someone we have reason to fear. To the degree that we glimpse real love, and in its pure form it’s visible only in Jesus, our shortfall becomes evident. But it is when we glimpse the beauty of this divine love that a desire to really love comes alive in our souls. It’s what we were meant to do.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 13

Questions for Reflection:
• How often does the well-being of others, rather than your own needs or fears or desire for praise, truly motivate the sacrifices that you make?
• Take some time today to read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days and allow His perfect love to stir within you a desire to love as He does.

Pouring The Life Of God From One Soul Into Another

“There is a better love! It’s the love Jesus put on display. By definition, love is relational, not merely doing good things for others but intimately relating to others so that they feel heard, seen, valued, and accepted at their worst, with a vision for who they could become. By Christian definition, loving is relating in a way that quite literally pours the life of God from one soul into another.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 13

Questions for Reflection:
• When you think of people whom you love, do you generally think of their benefit to you, a feeling you have toward them, or a willingness to serve their best interest?
• Do you envision your love toward them as an opportunity to “pour the life of God from [your] soul into another”?
• How might your interactions with others be changed if you began to relate to them from a vision of the kind of love Jesus displayed?

Getting You To The Party

“I wrote Job to reveal who I AM, not who you imagine Me to be. I permit suffering but never more, always less, than I experience. Gaze on Calvary. Look at My Son. We are committed to your well-being, to your eternal joy, to getting you to the party. We suffered then in ways you will never experience, and We suffer with you now until the party begins, until the banquet is ready.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 87

Questions for Reflection:
• In whatever kind of suffering you may be currently experiencing, have you considered where God is in the midst of it and how your suffering impacts His heart?
• Is pain shaping your view of God right now or is your view of your pain being shaped by the cross?
• In the midst of your present struggle, ask the Holy Spirit to remove false images that you have of God and to deepen and clarify your vision of His heart.

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