Sacrifices

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 11:1-36

As I read the first two verses of Nehemiah 11, the fact that living for God requires us to move out of our comfort zone and make sacrifices came across loud and clear.

"And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem" (vs. 2).

I like it when my life feels comfortable--when all things are in order, I have a routine, I know what to expect and I have a sense of being in control. (Can you relate?) But what I've discovered over the years is that NOT remaining "comfortable" is a good thing because it's when I move out of my comfort zone that my relationship with God is enhanced on a number of levels. Moving out of this zone of comfort and making sacrifices: heightens my awareness of God; reinforces my reliance on God as provider and director of my life; increases and intensifies my communication with God.

Earlier this week, someone messaged me this wise phrase that really drives home this point. "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone." If we want to live fully for God, sacrifices and making changes and moves have to be a part of the equation of our life.

In what area(s) might God be asking you to make some moves or sacrifices in order to serve Him more fully? Identify one thing (a possession, a habit, an opinion or mindset, a physical location) that if you gave it up (sacrificed it) would benefit your relationship with God and your service to Him. Tami

Mighty God

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Today's reading: Psalm 76:1-12

Psalm 76 is a song of thanksgiving that recognizes and praises God for His strength and power. The psalmist, through his praise, shows us quite a bit about God and the mighty works of protection He has shown to His people by giving them victory over their enemies.

What did you notice or learn about God from this psalm? Is it your practice to thank and praise God for how He goes before and protects you? Tami

All Authority

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Today's reading: Psalm 75:1-10

In Psalm 75, the psalmist recognizes and praises God as being over and above and in control of all things. That message was particularly clear in the words of verse 7:

"But it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another."

How often do you give intentional thought to the fact that God is all powerful and has authority over all things? What impact does knowing that God is in control have on your relationship with Him and trust in Him? How does it factor in to your daily life and decisions? Tami

God First

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 10:1-39

Nehemiah 10 provides us with the details of the covenant the Israelites entered into with God. The people commit "to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his rules and his statutes" (vs. 29). A primary emphasis of fulfilling this covenant was giving back to the Lord through a variety of offerings, giving of firstfruits and tithing.

Reading about the details of this covenant was good for me today because it prompted me to do some self-assessing about my own spiritual condition and my actions and words as I follow and serve God. If our goal is to grow spiritually and serve God more fully, it's to our benefit to occasionally pause, do some self-assessing and then take corrective action.

Think about following God fully and giving Him your best offerings and firstfruits. On a perfect day/week/month, what would that look like in your life? In what area(s) do you need to make adjustments so that you are following and serving God to the fullest? Tami

Right With God

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 9:1-38

Nehemiah 9 gives us a glimpse of the Israelites observing a time of fasting and confessing to God. In addition to the humble, submitted posture and approach of the people, I was drawn to the picture of worship that was displayed throughout this chapter. The people set aside a day to come together to recognize God and to confess and spend time in fellowship with Him. The day begins with the reading of God's Law, followed by a time of confessing, worship and a looking back and recalling of God's constant goodness, love and provision, as well as a remembering of the Israelite's history with God through both obedient and disobedient times. The Israelites then conclude this special time with the signing of a covenant in which they pledge to wholeheartedly follow and serve God

How often do you look back and think about how God has walked alongside you through ups and downs, and not abandoned you even when you've been disobedient? Why is it important for us to remember how God has worked in our past, and to have a conversation with Him about it? What stood out to you most about the Israelite's day of confessing and worshipping, and why? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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