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A Dinner Party That Will Never End!

“If you believe the Bible and have a basic grasp of its story line, you know that the real story of life began a long time ago, at a family gathering, a family council. The plot unfolded during a family split, two splits really: the first in Eden and the second on Calvary. And you know the story will climax not when you move into your new house or marry off your kids or celebrate fifty years of a great marriage or look back on a lonely life lived sacrificially for others, but at another family gathering in another world, this one a dinner party where the family will be much larger and where the satisfaction you longed for but never fully experienced in this world will begin and never end.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Real Church, Page 164

Questions for Reflection:
• What story are you most focused on telling with your life today?
• Does it offer indestructible life to those around you?

Can We Enjoy God More Than Anyone Or Anything Else?

“If we believe there’s more pleasure in something other than God, then our obedience will never rise above required duty, our prayers will never aim higher than using God, and our joy will always leave an emptiness that drives us to further self-centered efforts to find the fullness we demand.

So the question we must squarely face is this: Does knowing God really provide the pleasure our souls were designed to enjoy? Can we enjoy God more than anyone or anything else?”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Page 175

Questions for Reflection:
• How would you honestly answer the above questions?
• What other indulgences may diminishing your awareness of your desire for Him?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to work in you today so that increasingly, your obedience will be your privilege, your prayers will seek to draw near to God and further His kingdom, and your joy will be in giving pleasure to the heart of God.

The Life Of Christ Poured Into Us

“Until we experience the life of Christ poured into us, perhaps directly by our tender Father through His Spirit, often through His Word or a song, not frequently enough by our brothers and sisters, until then we don’t understand joy.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 161

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways this week can you pour the life of Christ into those around you?
• Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to the opportunities He provides to offer grace to those around you.

Only A Worshipping Community

“…I would affirm, strongly, that only a worshipping community will ever become a connecting community. We must meet God before we can share Him with others. A group of people who first connect with God and then pour into each other the passions that gush out of that encounter becomes a spiritual community.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 164

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways do you currently foster worship in your own life and in your church community?
• Take some time to seek the Lord today about the kind of worship that He desires.

The Point Of Church Is Journeying Together To God

“We are wrong to define only the Sunday morning event as church, and to treat small groups as an option, as an add-on that some might want to do in addition to ‘going to church.’ I prefer to think of the preaching/worship service as an important time in itself, as an opportunity to encounter God, but also as preparation for spiritual community, as a prelude to journeying more closely together in the right direction. Both define church.

The point of church is journeying together to God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, Page 165

Questions for Reflection:
• Is your tendency to think of church as programs that you attend or as relationships in which you help one another embrace truths that deepen your love for God and others?
• Is anything currently hindering you from “journeying together to God”?
• Are there any deliberate changes that the Holy Spirit’s asking you – to make to your priorities or schedule or relationships -so that you can strength your involvement in spiritual community?

I’ve Invited You To My Party

“Always keep My party in the forefront of your mind. I’ve invited you to My party. I’ve equipped you to love. I’ve anchored you in hope. You’ll face terrific opposition as you live to tell My story. Keep My story alive in your mind, and I’ll keep you dancing on the narrow road. Keep moving. My plan will soon come to a spectacular climax.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 394

Questions for Reflection:
• As a new year begins, are there specific ways that God is calling you to adjust your life and schedule to keep His coming party at the forefront of your mind?
• If you are having to make life changes that you hadn’t anticipated or wanted, what opportunities are you being offered within them to renew your focus on the coming joy He’s preparing?

Willing To Persevere Through Anything

“My Son is the perfect Person I had in mind for all people to be. He is the perfect Person whose image you will become. The more clearly you see perfect maturity in Him, the more you’ll be drawn to that goal, the less divided you’ll be, and the more willing you’ll become to persevere through anything in order to be formed like My Son.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, Page 219

Questions for Reflection:
• When you think of Jesus as the perfect Person, does that stir in you hope or pressure today?
• Take some time to read the Gospels today, noting how Jesus’ perfect, obedient life was lived out of trusting intimacy with His Father, not self-motivated effort.
• Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your hope today and rejoice that the work Jesus did in opening the way for us to become children of God makes it possible for us to grow in intimate trust in our heavenly Father.