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  • Why Community Is Not Optional - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - November 9
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    Why Community Is Not Optional
    By Jen Ferguson

    "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV

    It's hard to be real and vulnerable with our problems — problems with our marriage, our children, our habits. We fear judgments. We fear being called out, singled out, potentially lambasted and shamed if we were truly real about our thoughts and behaviors.

    I understand. We had those same fears and we did the wrong thing. We kept it all to ourselves until we nearly imploded. See, shame and problems tend to thrive in the darkness. It's only when they are exposed to light that healing actually begins.

    Sometimes, we can fall into the trap that says, "Jesus knows what I'm going through. I'll just talk to Him about it and ask Him to heal me/us." First, it is always good to talk to Jesus about our struggles — whether they are individual or marital. Talking to Jesus and sharing our hearts does expose our sins, our heartbreaks, and the darkness that creeps into our souls to light. Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

    But sharing with Jesus does not always complete the fullness of our healing. God created us to be relational beings and as such, we reach a point where it's difficult to grow spiritually unless we are also growing relationally. Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." We need people in our lives who will help us become the best version of ourselves, who can make us aware of our blind spots, who can encourage us when we aren't sure how to cope. We need continual exposure to the perspective of others because it can be so easy to get lost in our own heads and our own view of the truth.

     
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    10 Beautiful Things God Is Doing through Your Suffering
     
    Michelle Lazurek

    At birth, I weighed two pounds, 12 ounces and came six weeks early. Yet I survived, and today, I battle chronic illness. After I became a Christian, I realized that God gives me pain for a purpose. Here are 10 amazing ways God is at work in your suffering, even today: 

     
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    The 2 Marks of a Truly Wicked Person
     
    James Johnston

    Psalm 10 may have been written long ago, but the marks of true wickedness haven't changed a bit.

     
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