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To Reveal His Holy Love

“God is free to do whatever He wishes. In His loving wisdom, He sovereignly chooses to advance the story He is telling in any way He sees fit. Sometimes His pure ways make no sense to our impure minds. But we are always the benefactors as He realizes His ultimate purpose to glorify Himself, to reveal His holy love in all His activity.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “What Does It Mean to Say God Is Sovereign?,” pg 204

Questions for Reflection:
• What discrepancies were there between your plans for the holidays and their reality?
•Amid human frailty and failure, how can trusting that God is always acting in love offer you peace when life doesn’t match your hopes?

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Divine Love On Display

“Adam’s failure did not surprise God. Neither does mine. He knew both were coming. And He was prepared with a plan to put divine love on display for all to see. God knows the future and has a beginning-to-the-end plan that unfolds in all that happens.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, “What Does It Mean to Say God is Sovereign?” pg 204

Questions for Reflection:
• As Advent reminds us of God’s answer, expressed in Jesus, to our problem of selfishness and our need for salvation, what failure of your own or of someone else is He inviting you to entrust to His redemptive plan?
• What opportunities can you embrace today to join Him in putting His divine love on display?
• Since God is never caught off-guard by human sin and is always at work to redeem, what circumstance or relational conflict is He asking you to entrust to Him so that you can experience His rest?

“I Will Never Stop Doing You Good”

“The name of Jesus does not belong at the top of my list of cherished friends. It belongs on a page by itself.

No name compares with His. He is never a best friend among others. In all things, He stands apart, high and lifted up above every other friend and above every other source of pleasure. When He said, ‘I will never stop doing you good,’ He meant it. He delights in doing His people good (Jeremiah 32:40-41).”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, “A Dream Come True,” pg 171

Questions for Reflection:
• Take some time today to consider what Jesus’ coming meant for Him, in order for Him to share His life with us.
• In what ways can you share His life with others, by delighting in doing them good?

Joy Depends On Future Hope

“If you could see right now what is happening in the unseen world, you would be filled with hope….

The hope I provide anchors a weary, empty, troubled soul in My plan. Beneath the difficult feelings, hope encourages by giving you reason to persevere with the joy of anticipation. Happiness depends on present blessing, which I do not guarantee. Joy depends on future hope, which I do guarantee.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, 66 Love Letters, “Zechariah,” pg 183

Questions for Reflection:
• What circumstances in your life do you need to look at with the perspective that there is a greater hope and glory at work than you can currently see?
• In this busy season, how are you preserving times of stillness to let the hope God has provided for us in Jesus anchor your heart?
• In what ways can this season of Advent become a gift you offer back to Jesus?

At Our Moment Of Worst Pain

“Solid ground beneath the pain of shattered dreams is the revelation of a mystery; it is the realization that it’s more difficult for Christ to restrain Himself from making all our dreams come true than for us to watch them shatter. At our moment of worst pain, Jesus’ pain is worse.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, Chapter 12, “His Passion Restrained,” pg 116

Questions for Reflection:
• What impact does the truth that you really are not alone in your pain have on your heart?
• How might companionship in suffering change your experience?
• As we approach the Advent season, take some time to consider the ways that Jesus has shared our heartache so that we can enter His joy.

Dissolving Our Spirit Of Entitlement

“Relational prayer is the condition for power in petitionary prayer. Why? Relational prayer changes what we most fervently ask for, and it dissolves our spirit of entitlement when we request anything. James said that when we ask with wrong motives, even for good things, we will not get them. I think he is warning us to check out whether the ultimate object of our petitionary prayer is our satisfaction. If it is, then we’re not at home with Christ.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Papa Prayer, Chapter 8, “Stay at Home with Christ,” pg 60

Questions for Reflection:
• What’s been the focus of your recent prayers?
• Do you wish anything were different about your conversations with God?
• Do you think there’s any change about the way that you approach Him that He’d enjoy?
• What is the cost when you don’t value being at home with Christ?

“At Home” With Him

“Our Lord invited us to make ourselves ‘at home’ with Him, to remain in Him (John 15:7 MSG). The closest picture I can form of that is sitting with my wife on the back deck on a warm, summer evening or in two comfortable chairs in front of our fireplace on a snowy, January night. The thought of asking her for something is not on my mind. Enjoying her is. The point is being together.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Papa Prayer, Chapter 8, “Stay at Home with Christ,” pg 60

Questions for Reflection:
• What typically motivates your conversations with God?
• When is the last time you spent time with God for no other purpose than to enjoy being with Him?
• Make space today simply to be present with God.