Day Forty: A Revival of Love

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 15, 2018

Day Forty: A Revival of Love

1 Peter 3:8-10: “Finally, be all of one mind, be loving toward one another, be gracious, and be kind. Do not repay evil for evil, or curse for curse, but on the contrary, bless, knowing that to this you are called, so that you may receive a blessing. For ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.'”

There are a lot of great people in the world. I have been so blessed to have met some of the most caring, loving people over the years. People who have prayed for me when I was going through struggles. Some have given their support when others would not.  People who gave out of love or appreciation.

I have also met some really mean people who probably were acting out of their own hurt, insecurities or maybe they just didn’t have a real change of heart and perspective on life. We see things in the news about evil acts of hatred, racism, injustices, bullying, political division and many other acts that are the opposite of love.

The power of love.

The only thing that will bring healing and attract people to Christ’s Salvation is when we demonstrate His love. Jesus said our love will stand out to the people around. John 13:35, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

There is a common theme throughout God’s Word that instructs us to bless others. I really do love this because it gives us purpose. We are to be people who bless. The scripture in 1 Peter 3:8-10 declares that it is our calling. A calling to bless, a calling to love. A calling from God means we are empowered by His Spirit to love.

Awakened love.

A revival of love means God’s love can be awakened in us to a new level. We can see people as God sees people. The Holy Spirit will give us creativity and words of knowledge on how to show God’s love to people. When God’s love is revived within us, we begin to be sensitive to people’s needs around us.

Our acts of love will draw people to Christ more than our opinions or voicing our differences.

Completing the writing of a 40-days of prayer devotion has been a first for me. I knew it was going to be a commitment to write a devotion every day for 40 days straight. It was enjoyable sharing and we accomplished it! I want to thank my office administrator Amanda Wipperman for helping me give our Newspring congregation the opportunity to connect to these devotions. I pray these 40 days have been a blessing to you and God has spoke amazing things to your heart. Blessings!

water ocean sunset sunrise beach


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Day Thirty-Eight: Give Love and Never Run Out

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 13, 2018

Day Thirty-Eight: Give Love and Never Run Out

“That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it … The only way to get love is to be lovable … The more you give love away, the more you get.” These are the words from the famous Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet claims to be agnostic, but chooses to live out a Biblical principle of giving. This principle works because God created it and it works in every area of our life. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). When we give our time, talent or treasure to others, God gives back to us in return.

God is a personal and relational God. His desire for us is to give love in the form of giving, care, friendship, words of affirmation, time, prayer and honor. “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT).

The only way to receive is to first give.

Remember the story of Job? Job was going through one of the most devastating times in his life. Job’s breakthrough didn’t come when he prayed for himself. His breakthrough came when he took the time to pray for his friends. “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 NIV). When our eyes are only on our self and our only concern is what we need we will continue to be in a state of need and in lack. The only way to truly receive is to first give.

A person who freely gives love away will find no shortage of being loved in return.

Heart Door Candle


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Day Thirty-Four: The Love Test

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 9, 2018

Day Thirty-Four: The Love Test

Matthew 5:43-45a; 46; 48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

One true test of how perfect our love is, is how we treat the people who despise us. Jack Hyles said, “You will never really love until you love someone who hates you.” It can be really difficult to love someone who has hurt you. Physically, emotionally or even verbally. How we handle the hurt can be a test in itself. But how we treat the person who has hurt us is a total different test. This is a test to evaluate the perfection or integrity of our love.

The test of love.

Rick Warren said, “God teaches us to love, by putting some unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving to you.”  It is really easy to love people who have a sweet attitude or someone who is friendly and outgoing. But what about a person who has a hateful disposition? Someone who is bitter and mean-spirited? God may be placing people in your life for a reason. Consider that your love may need to be perfected. Practicing love in unloving situations will perfect your love. Also consider that these are the people who God wants them to experience His love through you. You may be a key to their breakthrough by your response of love toward them.

How to love your enemy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who suffered and was killed in Nazi Germany,  shared his thoughts on Matthew 5:44, “is the supreme demand in all of Scripture, to pray for your enemies.” He said, “By prayer, we go to our enemy’s side and we stand with him and plead for him to God.” You and I probably will not be “BFF’s” or “besties” with our enemies. But two things we can do to show the love of God:

#1. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t retaliate, hate in return or talk about them behind their back. Love speaks louder than hatefulness or revenge.

#2. Pray for them. This is what Jesus is commanding us to do, so our love will be perfect. This is loving like God loves.

The bonus for the reward (Matthew 5:46).

Jesus asked the question. “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” To take your love to an even higher level, let’s add a #3. Like on a test, you have a “bonus” question. This is the bonus for your reward:

#3.  Act of Love. For the one who has hurt you, do something nice in return. Give them a gift card or buy them a gift.

God loved us and gave us something we didn’t deserve. This is loving like God loves.

heart leaf sun


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Day Thirty-One: Love Is The Better Way

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 6, 2018

Day Thirty-One: Love Is The Better Way

Galatians 5:6b, “…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

WE ARE A BETTER VERSION OF OURSELF WHEN WE LOVE.

To illustrate this principle, let’s think about anger. Anger appears to be opposite of love. Everyone experiences some level of anger. Anger is a justified human emotion. However, we are instructed in the Bible, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26).

God doesn’t expect us to never be angry. He does want us to consider how we express our anger. Is it possible to be angry and still love? We can. We just need to carefully choose the right reaction to our emotion of anger.

Keep this in mind, people are not getting the best out of you when you are doing the opposite of love.

  • My anger should motivate me to resolve the situation as quickly as I can and not let it linger for days.
  • Anger should not lead me to seek revenge or hurt someone or personally attack them with my words.
  • Anger should not be permitted to destroy my relationships.
  • I can be angry and still communicate a course of action that brings resolution.

No matter if it’s anger, any other emotion or situation, the better version of you is when you act in love.

WE BRING THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE WHEN WE LOVE.

Someone didn’t give up on you. They believed in you. Someone cared enough to help, correct, encourage and instruct you. Someone demonstrated an action of love and it impacted your life. The action of love always brings positive results.

When you love you bring the best out of people by…

  • seeing the good in them that they may not be able to see.
  • speaking the right words to help their perspective or change their emotion.
  • helping discover solutions to their problems.

When love goes up, everything goes up. Love is always the better way.

Hot air balloon


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Day Twenty-Eight: What Do You See?

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 3, 2018

Day Twenty-Eight: What Do You See?

 Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

July 4, 1951, Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. Her
desire was to be the first woman to swim the 21 miles from the island to the California coast. Florence was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. She set her focus on a new challenge. Challenging it was. She faced bone chilling waters, sharks and dense fog. The fog was so thick she could barely see the boat in front of her. She wanted out, but her mom and trainer kept encouraging her to keep going. The intense cold water, the tormenting thoughts of sharks swimming with her and not being able to see how much further she had to go, Florence stopped ½ mile short. After she was out of the water and realized how close she was to accomplishing her goal, Florence stated, “If I could have seen land. I would have kept on going.”

Florence didn’t let that defeat stop her. In 1952 she crushed her goal by swimming the 21 miles from Catalina Island to California coast. AND broke the men’s record by 2 hours!

 

 

What do you keep in front of your eyes?

“If I could have SEEN land.” What we constantly keep in front of our eyes will have our attention.

When we keep our eyes on the negative things people say or do, it will try to “stick” to our heart and affect our attitude.

Psalm 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

When God opens our eyes to not only see what is in the natural, but what is going on in the supernatural, it will change our perspective.

2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

When the Holy Spirit opens our eyes with understanding, our hearts and thoughts will be flooded with confidence and incredible faith.

Ephesians 1:18, I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called–his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Holy Spirit shine your light.

The key for you to reach your goals, increase your faith and receive what God has for you, is to keep your eyes, mind and heart on the right thing. May the Holy Spirit shine His light on what He desires you to see.

Lantern shine the light on what to see


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-Six: Detours and Delays part 1

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 1, 2018

Day Twenty-Six: Detours and Delays part 1

Habakkuk 2:3 (TLB), “ But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient!They will not be overdue a single day!” 

Road Closed Detour Delays

Detours and delays can be very frustrating. For six months I was forced to drive 10 miles out of my way because of a detour. The Ohio Department of Transportation was tearing down a bridge near my house. That extra 10 miles added another 15 minutes to my travel schedule. For the first few weeks I enjoyed the new scenery. Admiring houses and yards I’ve never seen, barns, fields and flowers that were not on my normal route. But after 3 weeks, I didn’t see scenery. I was so frustrated with extra mileage and time wasted, all I seen was red. I was so done with this detour.

After the construction as I was driving over this nice brand-new bridge, it hit me. That old bridge was wearing down. It was rusted, pot holes, concrete sides were crumbling. While I was enduring the detour, someone was working on this new bridge that would serve me and my family well. This new bridge was wider, it was safer and it would last for many years.

A detour means construction is happening.

It’s inevitable, you will experience detours and delays in your life. Your plans will unexpectedly change. The answer to your prayer will appear to be delayed. You must know that detours & delays mean construction is happening somewhere. God is developing you and constructing your future at Construction housethe same time. When you experience a detour or a delay, know that God is working on your future. Instead of a construction sign saying, “Men at Work”, It’s a sign that says, “God at Work”. He is setting things up for you.

God will not place you in a future that you are not prepared for. And He will not send you to a place that is not prepared for you.

A delay does not mean you’re denied.

Every person in history who accomplished great things had two things in common.  #1 They experienced delays. #2 They didn’t let that stop them. They didn’t give up.

  • WINSTON CHURCHILL failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62.
  • The first time JERRY SEINFELD went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd. Eventually, he became a famous comic with one of the most-loved sitcoms ever.
  • DR. SEUSS’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.

A delay does not mean you’re denied. A detour does not mean God is not able to get you to the breakthrough. You may not enjoy the detour or delay, but you will LOVE what God has been constructing for you when you arrive.

Don’t stop. Keep your trust in God. Keep praying. Continually speak God’s Word over your life and situations. Maintain the right spirit and attitude.

Detour and delay does not mean denied


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-Five: Don’t Forfeit The Reward

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – January 31, 2018

Day Twenty-Five: Don’t Forfeit The Reward

Galatians 6:9, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Don’t stay weary.

Satan has only one passion, to wear you down so you will quit. He will useeverything he can to discourage and distract you. Your enemy eagerly desires for you to lose heart and lose faith. It’s his strategy. Thoughts and voices of giving up do not come from the people who love you and want to see you succeed. Thoughts like, “what you are doing is not effective”, “it’s not working”, “it’s not making a difference”, do not come from God.

God may redirect your focus. He may reorder your steps, but God will never burden you down to where you feel like giving up and quitting. And He most definitely will not make you feel insignificant.

Don’t fear, resist doubt and refuse to worry are consistent lessons throughout the Bible. Allowing the fear, doubt and worry to have conversations in your head will only lead to weariness, burn out and quitting.

Don’t stop doing good.

Doing good may be difficult, a sacrifice and an inconvenience, but it will always produce good results. When we feel like the task is getting difficult and we are tempted to give up, we must put the situation in proper perspective. Lance Armstrong said, “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.” Enduring the struggle is seasonal before the reward comes. But if you give up it’s forever. You forfeit the reward.

Don’t give up on…

  • consistent prayer. Prayer will bring God’s instruction to your breakthrough.
  • applying the Word of God. Daily reading God’s Word will increase your faith and replace the wrong thoughts that bring weariness.
  • persistent worship. Worship will bring you into the presence of God. Satan and darkness will not hang out long in God’s presence.
  • trying to resolve the problem. God is using you to solve problems. God will lead you to the solution.
  • seeking the open door. God will open the door, but you have to be prepared and available to walk through it.

“The only way your reward will not come is if you decide to quit.”

Your time will come.

Keep sowing good seed. Keep being kind, show love, keep sharing Christ, keep teaching, keep coaching, keep parenting the right way, keep pursuing the dream God has placed within you. Your time will come. God is a rewarder. You will reap a good harvest from your good seed.

(Click here for devotion on “Your Coming Out With a Reward)


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-One: Don’t Allow Pressure To Change You

40 days of prayer devotion

Day Twenty-One: Don’t Allow Pressure To Change You

by David Shannon Wooten – January 27, 2018

Psalm 62:6, Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

The story, whether truth or just legend illustrates a good point. During the French Revolution the populace was enraged with the tyranny from royalty. King Louis XVI and the queen was escorted to the guillotine in the public square and was beheaded.

A violent mob demanded the same for the prince. The 6-year-old prince was terrified, as the enraged mob screamed, “Kill all royalty! Death to the prince!”

Someone in the crowd shouted, “Don’t kill him. You will only send his soul to heaven. That’s too good for royalty! Turn him over to Meg, the old witch. She’ll teach him to steal, to lie, to be profane. He’ll roam the streets as a corrupt beggar, and when he dies his soul will go to hell. That’s what royalty deserves!”

They turned the prince over to old Meg the witch. Trying to corrupt his heart and mind, she tried to teach him to be profane. But every time the old witch demanded he speak profanity, the prince would clench his fists and stomp his feet and declare, “I will not say it! I will not say those words! I was born to be a king and I will not talk and think that way! I’m a king and I will think, talk and act like a king!”

Don’t allow the enemy to strip you.

Your enemy will do his best to strip you of your identity in Christ. He will pressure you to think opposite of what God thinks about you and His purpose for you. He will use situations, feelings, critics, failures, whatever he can to get you to forget what God has declared about you.

Your identity is set.

Christ has settled who we are in Ephesians 1:1-10. We didn’t accomplish these things. This is Christ’s wonderful gifts to us through Salvation:

  • He has blessed you (V. 3).
  • He chose you (V. 4). – He chose you before you were born.
  • He predestined you (V. 5). – He has a good plan for your life.
  • He has freely given to you (v. 6). – You cannot earn grace.
  • He has redeemed you (V. 7) –  Your penalty of your sin is paid in full.
  • He has lavished on you wisdom and understanding (V. 8). – You are fully equipped for abundant life.
  • He made known to you the mystery of His will (V. 9) – His will for your life is not hidden from you.

Pressure to change. 

Pressure from situations can help shape you to be more like Christ. The pressure can deepen you faith and understanding of who God is as you stay steadfast on His Word. But be aware that satan desires to use the pressure for the total opposite purpose. If there is to be any change in your faith and identity from pressure, the result should be stronger faith and moving you closer to Christ. Not the opposite.

Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Don’t allow the pressure of situations change your mind about what God has declared over you. Clinch your fists, lock your focus in to God’s Words. He is your ROCK!

Don't allow the pressure to change you.


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

by David Shannon Wooten – January 25, 2018

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

It is impossible to live without trouble or pain. Disappointments are inevitable. Pressure from situations can cause confusion. And there is a real spiritual enemy that desires to hunt you down and destroy your faith and purpose in God.

But God never leaves you without hope. He will not allow pressure to crush you. When your enemy is all up in your face, God is right there in his face. The battle may cause you to fall flat to the ground. You may be limping through your season, but God promises you that you will not be destroyed.

Don’t let the pressure take you out.

The Apostle Paul exemplifies how to go through stuff that knocks you down, but not allow it take you out.

  1. He doesn’t focus on his ability, but he puts confidence in the power of the risen Christ who is in him (verse 7). This is not only his focus, it is a declaration that comes out of his mouth.
  2. He protects his heart from getting weary (Verse 16). When we begin to lose heart, we become unfocused. Weariness will cause us to focus on the wrong things.
  3. He is determined to keep the right perspective (verse 17 &18). Paul clearly conveys wise perspective that these troubles are creating an eternal reward. He sees these troubles as a temporary nuisance because he sees the bigger picture. Our troubled seasons are a drop in the bucket compared to our entire lifetime. And our lifetime on this earth will be even less than the drop compared to eternity. What matters most is not a comfortable or a trouble-free life; it’s what was accomplished for eternity.

You are a Champion.

Paul understood what an athlete or a solider had to endure to be a champion.

  • Champions will focus on developing character not resumes. God cannot promote us beyond our character. Nothing develops our character more, than going through trouble and straining to keep the right focus and attitude.
  • Champions make decisions that create a desired future; not decisions that create a desired present.
  • Champions focus on HOW they go through hard-times rather than getting through hard-times.
  • Champions get up, not give up. Proverbs 24:16

You will get knocked down, but you don’t have to stay down. Get Up! Keep on! Embrace the power of your risen Christ who is in you.


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Day Ten: Grow Exactly What You Want In Your Heart

Day Ten: Grow Exactly What You Want In Your Heart

by David Shannon Wooten – January 16, 2018

Ephesians 3:17, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

It takes some level of discipline to keep our bodies healthy. Saying “no” and resisting our desires to over-eat or eating too much of the wrong kind of food will help us watch our weight and keep our bodies healthy. Making discipline choices about exercise will help keep our heart, muscles and joints healthy. Living by a budget, not spending more than we earn and sacrificing to pay off debt will eventually reduce stress and position us for a better future. We may not always like making disciplined decisions, but we do enjoy the results.

Our spiritual life requires the same kind of discipline. If we are going to have faith to believe God and resist the negative thoughts from satan, then we will have to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer. A regular routine of reading God’s Word and deciding to apply it to your life will not only produce the right things in your heart, it will produce incredible things in your life.

Consistent prayer, receiving wisdom and direction from God’s Word and making disciplined decisions will help us take control of what we allow to grow in our heart.


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media