Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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Wednesday September 11
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After 18 years of marriage, I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to love my husband. Trials, children, and the hand of God had significantly affected change in our relationship in countless ways. But gentle promptings from the Lord to pick up a particular book on love continued to interrupt my daily activities. Noticing the book when it first hit the market, I knew it would be a great resource for others. Now, God was calling me to lay down my pride and see not only what He had done in my life but also what He still desired to do.
Transformation isn’t always easy, especially when it involves our hearts. Relationships, whether with God, our spouse, or anyone else, are a journey—not a destination. Though we grow stronger through the things God is doing in us, circumstances in life will invariably bring stressors or adjustments that require us to submit humbly to God’s continued work (Romans 8:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). God often uses our closest relationships to bring about the transformation in us that will be the witness of Jesus’ love to an unbelieving world (John 13:35; Colossians 4:5).
From hidden behaviors of the heart to our self-preservationist actions, God calls us to “put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him” (3:10). True change, however, requires humility—a relinquishing of our rights that we might embrace His (Psalm 25:9; Proverbs 10:12).
As our worth and purpose become more hidden with Jesus (Colossians 3:3), the less we need to prove we’re right, the more we want His Word to come alive in us, and the more we truly love. —Regina Franklin
Colossians 3:10-19, 4:5-6
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (3:14).
Read John 15:12-17 and consider what it means to look to Jesus as our example of how to respond in our relationships with others.
What happens if we don’t view our relationship with God and others through the lens of growth and change? What specific “new nature” behaviors are you choosing to put on?
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