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-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-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 Thirty-Five: Love Is Patient

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 10, 2018

Day Thirty-Five: Love is Patient

Colossians 3:12-13, Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Exercising patience does not come easy for most people. I admit, I can get impatient at times. Long lines, slow or stopped traffic, aggravated by someone’s wrong behavior or experiencing one delay after another while trying to finish a project.

There is a strong connection in showing love to the people around us who need our patience. For relationships to grow we must learn how to “bear” one another. Learn how to tolerate each other’s differences and shortcomings. This is not easy. But if we think about how God is patient with us, then maybe we will be in a better mindset to be patient with others.

2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

God displays His love for us by being patient with us when we have failed, made mistakes and didn’t display the right attitude. He desires for us to show others the same kind of love.

Love by giving patience when…

  • you have to spend extra time helping your children with homework or a school project. (And they are showing visible signs that they are not motivated to learn.)
  • a person is having a bad day and they are rude to you.
  • someone is aggravating you because of their quirkiness, loud mouth, silence or annoying habits.
  • you are going through trials, misunderstood or being persecuted.

May we depend on the Holy Spirit who is the one that produces true LOVE in our life (Galatians 5:22). Patience is the fruit He produces in our life. As we keep the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, “love suffers long and is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), this will be our attitude, behavior and our act of love.

clock old clock


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-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-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