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 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 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

Day Two: Hearing God Will Increase Your Faith

Day Two: Hearing God Will Increase Your Faith

by David Shannon Wooten – January 8, 2018

What we hear has the potential of not only affecting our mood or feelings, but it can eventually affect our heart. Certain messages, songs, news or information can drain our faith and leave us with doubts and fears. This is not the case when we hear from our Heavenly Father. God lifts our faith to new levels. When we hear from God we are inspired to have hope and believe.

“The predominate voice in your life will determine the level of your faith.”

The Bible tells us that faith is like a mustard seed. Small but powerful enough to move mountains. God wants to speak to you and sow seeds of faith in your life. When God speaks, He sows seeds. What is growing in your life as a result from hearing God?

Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


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

Only One Word Has This Much Power

Have you ever faced certain situations and you didn’t know what to say? You didn’t have any words of wisdom, answers or a solution. Maybe you were going through something so devastating you were left in shock. Maybe the situation didn’t turn out the way you were expecting and you began to speak negatively over your life.

Words are meaningful and powerful. The right words can comfort, unlock wisdom and provide solutions. The nature of our words can sometimes be inconsistent. But God’s Word always has the power to create.

Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The Bible is not just words about God; it is words that God has spoken. It is the printed voice of God. His Word still speaks to every person today, regardless of age or nationality. His Word still has authority over every circumstance.

When God wanted to create cosmos out of chaos, He spoke His Word. When God wanted to create a world, He spoke His Word. When God wanted to change someone’s life, He gave them a promise wrapped in His Word. Consider the multifaceted power of God’s Word.

God’s Word...

  • Always accomplishes its task. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
  •  Purifies, protects and breaks stubborn strongholds. “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
  • Produces life. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63)
  • Brings comfort. “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:50)
  • Produces joy and a happy heart. “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart …” (Jeremiah 15:16)
  • Will provide nourishmen “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
  • Will keep you alive. But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)
  • Rescues and provides healing. “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” (Psalms 107:20)
  • Washes and cleanses. “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,” (Ephesians 5:26)

When you bring God’s Word into your mind, heart and believe it to the point of it becoming the standard for your life, it will transform your life.

When circumstances look tough and you don’t have the words to say; God wants you to adopt His Word as your words.

There are three practices that help me keep God’s Word in front of me.

  1. Printing scriptures on a piece of paper that speak to a current situation that is going on in my life. God may be impressing on my heart and mind certain scriptures in His Word. That is God trying to encourage me. I don’t take that lightly. I will print those scripture and post them around my house, office, car, etc.
  2. I try to memorize and quote certain scriptures that I feel are promises over my life. I commit them to memory and quote them frequently. When I’m tempted to speak negatively, I make a choice to not speak my feelings, but to speak God’s promise.
  3. When I pray about certain circumstances, I will not just pray my feelings, but I also pray God’s Word. I believe praying God’s Word is the highest form of faith. It’s hard for doubt and fear to settle in my heart, when I’m praying God’s Word.

God’s Word is alive and active! When you don’t have the right words to say, speak God’s Word.

Signs You May be STUCK in Your Past

1. You are consistently talking about your past.

We can get stuck rehearsing who hurt us, how we have failed, what we are lacking, how we are rejected, who is not supporting us, how we don’t have the right skills, talent or education.

Rehearsing the “curse” will not reverse the “curse”. It just keeps it connected and alive.

2. You refuse to formulate a good plan for your great future. 

God states that He has a good plan for our future in Jeremiah 29:11. Why do we delay in formulating a good plan to move forward? If God has a great plan for our future, then shouldn’t we be planning with God?

Don’t plan on failing, plan on succeeding. That’s what God is planning for you.

3. Your passion has died for your future.

Do you have more stories about your past than dreams for your future?

When you have passion for your future, you dream. God wants you to dream about your future. In fact, your expectation and thoughts give God something to work with. Your expectations and thoughts fuel your faith for your future. Look at 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, God says, “Whatever you think or dream about for your future, I will exceed your expectations.”

God does not want us stuck in our past. Spending more energy, thoughts and passion on your past means less energy and passion toward your future.

“You can’t have great success in your future if you stay stuck thinking about a failed past.”

It is HIGHLY important for your relationships that you do not get stuck in your past failures.

“How you see yourself will be how you see others.”

Judges 6:12-16 shares with us that God was trying to call Gideon for a greater purpose, but Gideon was stuck about his past. He was very upset about how things were going the last several years. Gideon’s perspective was that things was so bad in his past, he basically called God out and said that God had abandoned him. Gideon had low self-esteem, he seen himself as the weakest and least person in his family and nation. But that’s not what God seen.

God said…  “Gideon, you are a mighty warrior.”

Gideon said…  “I am the least in my family and nation.”

 God said… “Go in the STRENGTH you have.”

Gideon said… “I come from a weak family.”

 God said… “I am sending you.”

Gideon said… “God has abandoned me.”

Arguing with God about what your past and what you don’t have will not bring the breakthrough sooner. It only delays what God is desiring to bring into your life.

Four things God taught Gideon that will help us get UNSTUCK:

  1. Your family history is not your destiny.
  2. Stop thinking like a victim, and start believing you are a victor.
  3. Speak at a higher level of faith when it comes to your future. God doesn’t address Gideon’s low perspective by arguing. God simply declares a higher Truth over Gideon.
  4. Don’t let anyone else hold the pen while writing your story. (A quote by Harley Davidson.)

You may not feel hope for your future but God does. God wants to do something new in you. Remember God specializes in CREATING. He is a God who saves us from disaster, delivers us from evil, opens closed doors, transforms us into a new creation.

Consider His word which declares we are not captive or bound to our past…

Isaiah 43:18-19, ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

I declare your God is bigger than your past. You are not stuck, but are free to reach forward to the greater things God has prepared for you!