Once in a while, you stumble on someone’s blog and their story pulls you in right away. You know you found someone special, and you want to linger and stay a while. That’s what Courtney Westlake’s online space, Blessed by Breena, is like. Her story brought tears to my eyes and a deep reassurance that God doesn’t waste anything—He makes beautiful things out of our brokenness.
Take some time this weekend and get to know Courtney and her family. You’ll be glad you did.
Fun Breakfast Idea
If you’re looking to mix-up your breakfast rotation, here’s an idea from our guest to fill you up.
One of my favorite breakfasts is Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – and I recently modified a healthy version that I am loving!
(Asheritah’s note: You know I just HAD to follow up and ask her for the healthy version, right? So here’s what Courtney replied:
“I took Lisa Leake’s recipe from 100 Days of Real Food and I do 3 cups of whole wheat flour, about 1/4 cup chocolate chips (because my kids really love them!) and I bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. This makes around 18 muffins for me, and I freeze them and just pull them out each morning to warm in the microwave!” Sounds like I know what I’m making this weekend! )
Snack on the Go
In a rush? The short devotional from our guest is a “spiritual snack” to keep you going until you find time to sit down and feast on Scripture.
The verse that has been calling out to me lately is 1 John 3:18:
Let us not love in word or talk but in Deed and Truth.
I use this as a daily reminder that my actions to live out Christ’s love mean far more than what I say I believe.
FEAST at the Table
If you have more time to linger at the breakfast table, open your Bible with me and let’s dig into God’s Word using the FEAST method.
Focus on God: As you open your Bible, ask God to help you encounter the Living Word of God in the pages of Scripture.
Engage the text: Read 1 John 3:11-20. Write down your observations. This letter is written by the apostle John, author of the Gospel of John and Revelation. According to John 13:23, what do we know about John? If you have a study Bible, read the notes on the author (if not, you can find notes here). How does knowing who wrote this passage inform the way we engage and interpret the text? Love is a main theme in this epistle. Count how many times it appears in today’s passage, then list what we learn about sincere love from the text. According to verse 16, how do believers know what love is? How does Jesus’ example propel believers to sincere love? According to Jesus’ words recorded in John 13:35, what is the significance of love in the believer’s life? What does that love look like (see verses 17-18)? How do actions relate to feelings in the believer’s life? What provides the assurance of salvation in a believer’s life if there is any doubt? If you’d like to go deeper, check a few cross-references and write down what these additional passages add to your understanding of Christian love.
Assess the main idea: Write out the main idea of this passage in a single sentence. Make it precise, concise, and memorable.
Spark transformation: How does God’s love move you to show love to others in your own life? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who He wants to love through you today, and then make a specific plan how you will love them.
Turn to God in worship: Later in his epistle, the apostle John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:16), further expounding on the central truth that Jesus lived out love for all the world to see (verse 16 of today’s passage). How did God show love toward the world? How did Jesus show love? In what ways has God shown love to you specifically? Sing out some of your favorite praise songs and hymns about God’s love today as an offering of praise to Him.
(Some of my favorites are How Deep the Father’s Love by Selah, Wonderful Cross by Michael W Smith, Behold What Manner of Love by Maranatha Praise, How He Loves Us by David Crowder Band, Glorious Day by Casting Crowns, Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath, and Love Me by JJ Heller.)
What are some of your favorite hymns and praise songs about God’s love? Share with us in the comments below.