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Will We Find God?

“We will not find God by detaching ourselves from the ugly, painful realities of the world around us or within us. When we refuse to own all that is happening in our lives, when we never ‘tell our stories’ to one another, our pursuit of God is reduced to an organized set of activities energized only by the proud passion of discipline.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Finding God, Pages 161-162

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways have you been avoiding rather than engaging the pain in your own heart or in the lives of others lately?
• What do you fear might happen if you stopped trying to manage your brokenness or that of another?
• Take some time today to sit quietly before the Lord and tell Him your heart’s true story, where you are at this moment.
• Invite Him to meet you where you are now, not where you wish you were, and ask Him to give you a clearer vision of Who He is.

Only Holiness Brings Joy

“Know this: holiness and only holiness brings joy. No problem in your life, whether difficult problems such as disadvantages and loss or agreeable problems such as wealth, can stop My plan. Faith and hope together release love. And love is holiness….no matter how dark the world around you, no matter how difficult the world inside you, My plan overcomes all obstacles to holiness.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 36

Questions for Reflection:
• What disadvantages in your circumstances (a dead-end job, an abusive childhood, academic struggles, racism) have seemed more important to overcome than the battle with self-centeredness in your own heart?
• What shattered dreams have brought such overwhelming pain into your life that it’s difficult to trust God’s goodness and yield to His work to make you like Jesus?
• What material or relational blessings do you enjoy make it easy for you to give with a non-sacrificial generosity that can disguise devotion to your own self-interest?
• Where are you turning a blind eye to others’s needs, needs that would take you beyond your comfort zone, should you choose to respond relationally?

The Happy Ending Is Only For The Holy

“My plan has a happy ending, a wonderful finale far better than you can imagine, but the happy ending is only for the holy. I am committed to your holiness at any cost to Me, required by My nature, and at any cost to you, required by yours, and on whatever timetable is necessary.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 34

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are you experiencing conflict that reveals your commitment to self-interest above loving as self-sacrificially as Jesus does?
• Do you sense the Spirit of God exposing self-protection that you have justified to yourself and which is a quiet refusal to surrender to dependence on Him?
• In what ways has your current challenge stirred anger or despair, revealing the idols of your heart?
• Do you believe that God truly is always at work for your greatest joy?
What would repentance that embraces His joy look like today?

I Am Determined To Reverse Your Values

“No matter what happens in your life, I can reach into your heart with the power to form you into someone who values Me above everyone and everything else.  I am determined to reverse your values.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 34

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways today do you feel pressured, exhausted or wounded by your circumstances?
• What self-centered demands are being surfaced in your heart as a result of those challenges?
• How might the Holy Spirit be stirring new life and a deeper desire for Himself through the difficulties you wish you could change?
• Invite the Lord to reveal Himself and His desires for you today, in the midst of your current situation.

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?

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