Day Thirty-Six: Love Gives

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 11, 2018

Day Thirty-Six: Love Gives

2 Corinthians 9:7, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

Everything we have is a result of our Heavenly Father giving to us. God has given us health, time, skills, abilities, knowledge, jobs, finances, wealth, resources, a network of connections, friendships. This is by far not an exhaustive list. If you pause for a moment, your mind will be flooded with things that God has given you.

tomatoes giving

God desires for us to be good stewards of everything He has given us. We are more like God when we give. When we are “givers” we are showing God’s love. By giving we keep selfishness and self-centeredness out of our life. “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give! (Proverbs 21:26)

Your love inspires you to give.

Giving cheerfully brings joy to God’s heart. When you love to give, you bring a smile to God’s face.

Corinthians 9:7

Giving is an act of worship. “God you have given me everything. Here is  a small expression of my gratefulness and attitude toward You.”

Psalm 116:12, “What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?”

1 Chronicles 16:29,“Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.”

Giving demonstrates God’s Salvation God gives sacrificially and your giving is a demonstration of God’s Salvation to the people you are influencing. You impact people’s life by your giving.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Giving reveals God’s heart. You are a reflection of God. Someone said, “You are the only Jesus that most people will see”. We are inspired to give because our Heavenly Father has blessed us. Giving allows people to see the heart of God. When people see your generosity it inspires people to greatness. Stinginess never inspires.

James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

What do we give?

praying crying helping

We give…

  • our time to volunteer.
  • love to the people in our life.
  • money to support needs, worship God, help ministry efforts, spread the gospel, support God’s Kingdom.
  • skill to accomplish God’s mission and make things better.
  • our words to comfort, affirm and encourage.
  • our companionship to those who are lonely and need a friend.

The blessing that comes with giving.

God will bless you for your love of giving.

  • Proverbs 22:9 “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
  • Proverbs 28:27, “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.”
  • Malachi 3:9-11 – God will open the heavens and protect your investments as a result of your giving.

You bring glory to God when your love gives. Your love speaks louder when you give. 

field sunset sunrise


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-Nine: This Is Unstoppable Love

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 4, 2018

Day Twenty-Nine: This Is Unstoppable Love

Romans 5:8, But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

The purest form of giving out of love is giving without expecting anything in return. Giving when it’s not deserved. Giving something that really means a lot to you. I’m sure you have given under similar circumstances. You gave something, because you simply loved. Have you ever not given, because you didn’t think the person would appreciate it? I’ll be honest, I have refrained from giving for that exact reason.

The real definition and standard for love.

God wants us to experience forgiveness and eternal life, He doesn’t just tell uslove stones He loves us. He “showed” His love by giving us His Son, Jesus. This is the kind of GREAT love God is demonstrating to you…

  1. God gave “while we were still sinners”. He gave you Jesus when you were not worthy.
  2. God gave without expecting anything in return. He didn’t wait until He knew for sure you would appreciate and receive Jesus.
  3. God gave His most valuable gift to you. His only Son, Jesus.

God has defined and set the standard for the purest form of love. This is the level of love that is unstoppable in its power to transform the individual heart and humanity. This kind of love spreads like wild fire that can cover families, communities, cities and countries.

When God’s love is accepted and received, Christ comes in to our heart and begins to reset the definition and standard of love in our own life. Because of Christ in us, we are able to give love like God loves.

What if everyone gave love…

  • whether people were worthy of our love or not?
  • even if people did not appreciate or accept our demonstration of love?
  • sacrificially? Gifts that mean something to us.

Unstoppable love started with God. His desire is to see His kind of love cover the entire world. This is the whole point of God sending His Son. He loved the world and wants to reach all humanity with His love. This will only happen as we demonstrate the love that has been given to us. We will be able to love at a higher level when we truly are confident of how God loves us. (1 John 4:9-20)

Heart beach ocean sunset


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-Seven: Detours and Delays part 2

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 2, 2018

Day Twenty-Seven: Detours and Delays part 2

Genesis 50:20, You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Most of the time detours and delays come at a surprise. We normally don’t anticipate problems. They catch us off guard and always have the potential to discourage us. These setbacks can kill our faith and dreams. But if we keep our trust in God and include a “God-Perspective”, we will not lose hope.

Joseph had twice as many detours and delays than good days.Broken Heart

Consider Joseph how God gave him a dream but immediately he experienced a setback. God was showing Joseph that he would bless him, he would become a great leader and have great influence. But when Joseph shared his dream with his brothers, they hated him. Talking about starting out on the wrong foot. It’s a bad day when you share how God wants to bless you and people hate you in return.

The journey for Joseph to reach his dream was not an easy one. He faced several detours and delays before he ever fulfilled the dream. In fact, he had twice as many detours and delays than breakthroughs.

  • Sold into slavery (detour & delay).
  • Living in a strange country far from home (detour & delay).
  • Given favor in Potiphar’s house (breakthrough)
  • Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife (detour & delay).
  • Thrown into prison (detour & delay).
  • Put in charge of all the prisoners (breakthrough).
  • Forgotten by the cupbearer (detour & delay).
  • Remained in prison two more years (detour & delay).
  • Became second in command in Egypt (breakthrough).

In the natural it appears Joseph is moving away from his dream. But as Joseph stated in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Joseph had twice as many “bad days” as he did good. But he maintained his faith, because he had a “God-Perspective”.

Don’t waste your time adding up the days you are detoured or delayed. God uses a different formula to bring you to your breakthrough.

God will use your detours and delays to bring you to a good place.

In yesterday’s devotion, Detours and Delay’s Part 1, I listed a few people who accomplished great things, but did so by pushing through the bad days. To further illustrate this very important principle, here are a few more to add to our list:

THOMAS EDISON’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked.

R.H. MACY had a history of failing at businesses, including a dud Macy’s in NYC. But Macy kept up the hard work and ended up with the biggest department store in the world.

STEVEN SPIELBERG was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director.

WALT DISNEY was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most children wouldn’t be the same without his ideas.

As you go through the bad days of detours and delays, keep the “God-Perspective”. Your enemy will want to use these setbacks to stop you. His goal is to distract you, weary you and drain your faith. Trust God with your detours and delays. He will bring you to a good place. 

Detours and delays. God knows how to get you to your breakthrough



 

 


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: Can You See Beyond?

40 days of prayer devotion

Day Twenty: Can You See Beyond?

by David Shannon Wooten – January 26, 2018

Genesis 13:14-15 – The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15All the land that you see I will give to you

“That will never happen!” “That is not possible.” You have heard this statement. I’ve been guilty of saying it myself. How about you? This is a statement of unbelief and can be a real big problem when God is asking us to believe Him for a breakthrough.

Here are a few breakthroughs in history that people said would never happen:

That is not possible!

  1. The Light Bulb:  … good enough for our transatlantic friends … but lightbulb unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men.  (British Parliamentary Committee, referring to Edison’s light bulb, 1878.) Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure. (Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison’s light bulb, 1880.)
  2. A/C (Alternating Current) – Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever. (Thomas Edison, 1889.)
  3. Personal Computer: We have reached the limits of what is possible with computers. (John Von Neumann, 1949)
  4. Microchip: But what… is it good for? (An engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip in 1968.)
  5. Data Transmission: Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail. (Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General under Eisenhower, 1959.) Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition. (Dennis Gabor, Hungarian-British physicist, 1962.)
  6. Online Shopping: Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop – Emailbecause women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds. (TIME, 1966.)
  7. AutomobileThe ordinary “horseless carriage” is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle. (Literary Digest, 1899.)

Can you see beyond?

God wants you to see beyond your current situation. Vision always begins and is stirred from seeing something outside the context of our current reality. God does not want to be constrained by reality. He’s looking for people who will believe that He is able to do the impossible. God placed Abraham in a context and asked him to see and believe beyond it. He will ask the same from you and me.

Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Can you see, ask, imagine what God wants to do in your life right now? Is it immeasurably MORE? Can you see beyond?

God wants you to see beyond


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

Eighteen: You’re Coming Out With A Reward

Day Eighteen: You’re Coming Out With A Reward

by David Shannon Wooten – January 24, 2018

Job 23:10-11 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.

What Job was experiencing was beyond a bad “hair” day. He was going through one of the worst seasons of his life. His body was covered in boils, sitting in a garbage heap and he lost everything. Even his “friends” were so critical of his situation. Job is on his knees in prayer, needing encouragement and instead of a pat on the back, the best his friends could do was give him a kick in the mouth.

Through all of this Job eventually comes out of his trial with a reward. God restored to him double of what he had lost (Job 42:10). Job’s statement of faith gives us insight to Job’s ability to not only survive through this horrific season of suffering, but come out with an incredible blessing. Prayerfully look at the principle and key to Job’s breakthrough.

Job’s Statement of Faith

  1. “God knows exactly what I’m going through”. God is never surprised. He knows everything. God has redeemed your past. He is actively involved in your present. He is setting up your future.
  2. “God is testing me”. My suffering, my trial is a test. I’m not in the devil’s hands, I’m in God’s hands. I refuse to give the devil glory. He is not in control of this trial. God is in control.
  3. “God WILL bring me out and WILL reward me”. He always rewards after the test. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Gold does not become valuable until it is mined out of the ground and placed in the furnace for the process of removing impurities. God knows how to dig deep to bring the value out of us. He knows how to remove what may be hindering us for the next level of blessing.

Job places high value on his faithfulness to continually follow and believe God, regardless of his suffering and loss (verse 11). He knew God would restore and reward. Let your statement of faith declare, your worst test will become your biggest blessing.


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 Seventeen: Bold Prayers Out Of Pain

Day Seventeen: Bold Prayers Out of Pain

by David Shannon Wooten – January 23, 2018

1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

I don’t believe Jabez prayed this bold prayer with the intent of being someone who desired to be self-indulgent and hoard his riches. Verse 9 informs us that Jabez was an honorable man. In fact, he was more honorable than his brothers. God believed that Jabez would honor Him, so He granted his prayer.

Maybe it was the pain and brokenness that Jabez experienced in his past, which fueled his passion to see God do more with his future. Pain and brokenness has a way of either paralyzing us or breaking us out of our comfort zone so we can believe God to do more with our life.

Don’t let a setback, pain, brokenness or failure paralyze your faith or keep you stuck. God wants you to believe Him for more. He wants you to ask Him to fulfill and reach your ultimate potential and purpose. You were created for God’s Glory. Don’t settle for less. If we are going to cry out from the pain, then let us cry out to God with a bold prayer.

Your Bold Prayer

You can use Jabez’s prayer as a pattern for your prayer.

Father I pray…

  • All of Your blessings will come in to my life. Everything You have purposed and designed for me, I welcome and receive them.
  • You will expand the gifts and abilities You have given to me. Let me reach my ultimate potential. Expand my influence for Your Glory. Accomplish your perfect will in my life. Hold nothing back.
  • Let me never move out from among Your Hand of blessing and protection.
  • Keep me from temptation and deliver me from evil. Protect me from the thief who desires to strip your blessings and joy. Allow me to experience the joy of your blessings and the abundant life You give.


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 Fifteen: The Voice You Give Ear To Will Lead You

Day Fifteen: The Voice You Give Ear To Will Lead You

By David Shannon Wooten – January 21, 2018

John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The voices we choose to listen to has the potential to lead us. Voices can affect our feelings. Voices can change our mind. They can break our focus. Voices can sow a seed of hurt or bitterness. Voices can sway our beliefs. In a subtle way, they can lead us down the wrong path.

Jesus illustrates the importance of tuning our ear to His voice. His voice will always lead us to the right things for our life. The illustration Jesus used in John 10, is the same description in Psalm 23. The Shepherd leads His flock in a very personal way. “He calls his own sheep by name…” (John 10:3). Jesus’ passion is to personally speak to us and lead us. His voice will lead us through doors that He has opened for us. We can be assured there will be good things beyond the doors He opens for us.

Jesus will lead you through the door of blessing.

  • “He leads me beside peaceful streams”. (Psalm 23:2b)
  • “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”. (Psalm 23:3b)
  • Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you”. (Psalm 25:4-5)
  • “You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger”. (Psalm 31:3)
  • “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground”. (Psalm 143:10)

The most important voice in your life is the voice of your Shepherd. His voice will shape your mind, heart and influence your emotions. The voice of darkness will lead you to disaster. Jesus will always lead us to a life full of blessings. Jesus has already opened the right doors for you. Listen and let Him lead you to the blessings He has prepared for 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 Seven: The Place God Prepares For You

Day Seven: The Place God Prepares For You

by David Shannon Wooten – January 13, 2018

Your Heavenly Father claims you as His child. He declares it to the world. You are His. To clarify His love for you He uses the example of how a shepherd cares for his sheep. The shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures so they are fed; always protected and always provided for.

Psalm 100:3, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Don’t ever doubt God’s care for you. He does not abandon His people. This year you may go through some dry seasons, but you never have to doubt that God will leave you in a barren place for a long period of time. In fact, the place that “feels” like barren to us, God is still providing. His promise to you…

There will be more green pastures in your life than barren places. Not only has God prepared some green bountiful places for you this year, Jesus promises to lead you there.

John 10:3-4, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”

Rejoice in His abundance. He is a good Father. He is a good Shepherd that knows how to lead his people.

“We are His people who live in His pasture. God never lets his pasture get barren. He knows how to care for 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 Six: You Are Planted Not Buried

Day Six: You Are Planted Not Buried

by David Shannon Wooten – January 12, 2018

God’s growth plan has a mixture of seasons that consist of darkness, sunshine, rain, cold and warm days. You don’t have to be confused about the season when you know you are in God’s care. I remember going through a dark season and thoughts from the enemy flooded my mind. I thought I had seen my best days. Fear came over me about my health and future. I thought I would forever be stuck in certain situations and would never see a breakthrough.  God reminded me that the dark season was just a growing season for me. God was helping  my “roots of faith” to grow deeper and stronger. He assured me, that I wasn’t going to face devastation with these overwhelming feelings of being buried. God reminded me, He planted me and that new life would soon come. I began to say to myself,

“My enemy told me this season of darkness would bury me. God told me I’m not buried, I’m actually planted. This season will pass and life will come again”.

God wants to remind you that He has you in His hand. He is the “Author and Finisher” of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). The good work He began in you, He will complete (Philippians 1:6). A season of life and fruitfulness will soon come again (John 10:10).

John 12:24, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”


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