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-Nine: Love Appreciates

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 14, 2018

Day Thirty-Nine: Love Appreciates

1 Thessalonians 4:9, “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,”

You give love when you show appreciation to the people in your life. The word appreciation means something that is gaining or increasing in value. A house can either appreciate, increase in value or depreciate, decrease in value. Depending on how something is cared for, will depend on how valuable it becomes to you.

When you appreciate your spouse, children, friends, family and the people God has placed in your life, they will begin to increase in value. Failing to give appreciation will lose their value in your eyes.

When we take people for granted we will not give proper appreciation. This will cause us to miss the gift of God in them. Everyone has value. God is at work and has placed treasure inside them. Our love of appreciation brings out the treasure in their life and we will be blessed by their gift.

God desires us to be people who raise the value of others. Everyone needs affirmation and encouragement. From my observation, I believe there is a shortage of this kind of appreciation. We must not be afraid or too prideful to give a compliment, and tell someone they are appreciated. This kind of love raises people’s value. Not only will you please God by blessing them with your encouragement, they will truly have a deeper value in your heart as well.

Love appreciates. Your love raises the value of others.

heart wooden hands
https://davidshannonwooten.com/love-appreciates/

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-Seven: Sometimes Love Is What You Don’t Say

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 12, 2018

Day Thirty-Seven: Sometimes Love Is What You Don’t Say

Proverbs 15:4, “Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.”

We should always be truthful, but never at the cost of being rude or inconsiderate of other people’s feelings. Rudeness is selfish and prideful. Being overly critical and blunt will wound the soul and possibly crush someone’s spirit.

man couple people woman boxing

One characteristic of love is expressing words. The words we choose will either encourage or discourage. Build up or teardown. Heal or crush.

Charlotte Mortimer shared her experience in a class project about writing words of love. “The teacher in our adult-education creative-writing class told us to write ‘I love you’ in 25 words or less, without using the words ‘I love you.’ She gave us 15 minutes. A woman in the class spent about ten minutes looking at the ceiling and wriggling in her seat. The last five minutes she wrote frantically, and later read us the results:

‘Why, I’ve seen lots worse haridos than that, honey.’

‘These cookies are hardly burned at all.

‘Cuddle up-I’ll get your feet warm.’”

(Charlotte Mortimer, in February 1990 Reader’s Digest.)

Please allow me to be honest. After reading this list, I believe my wife, Bonnie could rewrite several sentences that I have rudely stated to her in 25 years of marriage. I’m reminded that “love is not rude” (1 Corinthians 13:5). However, I have seen the error of my ways. I realize that love can be expressed by choosing the right words.

Love speaks louder, because love speaks life.

Choosing to be blunt may come more natural for some than others. This is where we rely on the new life and the new creation that God places within us when we receive Jesus Christ. The new nature has come and the old nature is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes, it does take effort. We pause before we speak. We demonstrate love by articulating in a way that is kind, thoughtful and encouraging. The Bible tells us we have the ability to speak life. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

People who love are “life-givers”. Love speaks louder, because love speaks life. Your kind words are actions of love.

tulips on board


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-Three: Love Made Perfect

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – January 8, 2018

Day Thirty-Three: Love Made Perfect

1 John 4:17, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”

This verse is one major reason why we long to keep our relationship and love for God strong. It is packed with spiritual truth and principles. Reading God’s Word, praying, seeking God through fasting, faithful to worship, serving in ministry, giving to God’s ministry, taking inventory of our attitude and behaviors to ensure we are producing the fruit of the Spirit; all of these things are only a few examples of living in God. Living in God is to not only have a desire to be in God’s presence, but to love the things and people He loves.

Hear God’s heartbeat of love.

First observation from this scripture; we realize our love can grow into perfection. If you feel like you are not able to love like Christ would love, make an effort to come closer to God. If you sense you are being tempted to live a selfish life, come closer to the heart of God. We cannot afford to let our love be exhausted or limited. This will require us to draw from God’s love.

The closer you draw near to God the more you can hear and feel His heartbeat. God’s heart overflows with love. Spend time with Him and you will be a better lover.

Man standing with bible


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-Two: Love Broke Through

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 7, 2018

Day Thirty-Two: Love Broke Through

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

I love Toby Mac’s song,

When Love Broke Thru”. His lyrics resonate with me,

Verse 2,

“I did all that I could to undo me
But You loved me enough to pursue me
Yeah, You drew me out of the shadows
Made me believe that I mattered, to You, You”

Chorus:

“When love broke through
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin’ through the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I’m hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke through
And it all began with You
When love broke through”

(If you would like you can watch and listen here)

Love pursues.

What is so awesome about God is, He IS love. He is the very essence of love. His love looks like pursuing people. Love pursues. Love finds what is lost. Love goes after the broken and offers healing. Love makes people feel like they are valuable and that they matter.

Jesus illustrated this “love pursuit” with the woman who lost a coin (Luke 15:8-10). She has nine more, so what’s the big deal? How many coins do you find on the street that people dropped and didn’t bother to pick it up? But to this woman every coin mattered to her. She would not stop the pursuit until she found the lost coin.

Love breaks through.

Every person matters to God. He will not stop His pursuit until they are found, restored and healed. People need breakthroughs. Breakthroughs can be traced back to actions of love.

Think about the breakthroughs you have experienced in life. Someone was willing to pursue you and share Christ with you. Someone loved you enough to pray with you until you experienced a breakthrough. Someone opened their heart and met a need in your life. God pursues because He loves. And He moves the heart of His people to do the same. When we love, we pursue and love breaks through.


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: First Love

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 5, 2018

Day Thirty: First Love

 1 John 4:19, We love because he FIRST loved us.

We didn’t love God first. We are FIRST loved by God. Our first step to knowing true love is to allow God to love us. We receive His love by accepting His “love gift”, Jesus Christ His Son. Any other effort to fill our hearts will fall short.

A paraphrased quote from one of Blaise Pascal’s writings illustrates the point, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can cross sunnever be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” (Actual quote found on page 75 of Blaise Pascal’s Pensees, New York; Penguin Books, 1966).

When our relationship with God is strong we are more confident in His love for us. The more we rely on God’s love we are less to feel insecure about ourselves. This is SO important, not because we need to feel better about ourselves, but because we need to be free to show other people the love that God has given to us.

Ravi Zacharias said, “The love of God shows us that God alone bridges the distance between him and us, enabling us to see this world through Calvary.” When we are confident in God’s love toward us, we can see the people in our life as God sees them. God wants us to see the people in our life through the eyes of His love.

Loving God first.

  • How we love others will demonstrate how we love God. (1 John 4:20)
  • Loving God first will eliminate insecurities, jealousy or other selfish feelings that inhibit us from showing God’s love.

 You will be free to give compliments, celebrate others on to their success, show kindness to people who are rude to you, always speak well of people, never repeat someones weakness to others.

  • When you love God first you will love others best.

God will fill you with His love. This will allow you to love people from His love in you. You cannot give people what you do not possess.

Your spouse, your children, your friends, your students, your team, your coworkers, and your community need you to put priority on loving God first.

We can help people find God’s love through our acts of love. First love God and BE the love to others.

heart hands 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 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-Four: God Never Waste Tears

40 days of prayer devotion

Day Twenty-Four: God Never Waste Tears

by David Shannon Wooten – January 30, 2018

Psalm 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. 

Every one of us can relate to tears associated with pain, disappointment, bad news, tragedy, loss and a broken heart. As we direct our tears in an effort to call out to our Heavenly Father, they are translated into a powerful prayer. Every mom and dad know how the tears of their children grip their heart. Compelling them to respond. We come running to see what we can do to help. Our Heavenly Father knows the sound and language of tears and they have His attention.

Your tears have a voice.

Crying

Each tear has its own voice and identity. We can be confident that our Heavenly Father will not let one tear be wasted. But with careful response He attentively collects and records them. He is promising that each tear will be remembered and a response will follow. God never does anything without a purpose. He will answer by bringing comfort, healing, restoration and resolution.

Someone said, “Tears are prayers too, they travel to God when we can’t speak.” You may be going through a season where you are not able to articulate the prayer. But your tears have a strong voice and God is listening.

Open your heart with your tears.

Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.” God loves when we open our heart and when we are transparent with Him. Maybe that’s why God loves our tears when we cry in faith, believing He is able and will answer.

If we must shed tears, let them be tears of faith that translate in to prayers. Knowing that God never wastes tears. He will answer.

Direct your tears as a prayer of faith.

Your tears directed to God demonstrate:

  • Confidence He sees what you are going through.
  • You believe He hears you.
  • He has the ability to do something about the situation.
  • He will bring something good out of the situation. (Romans 8:28

(To read Bold Prayers Out of Pain click this link)

In exchange for your tears.

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Jeremiah 31:13,  I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.

Tears are never wasted


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