Today's reading: John 10:22-42

As we come to the middle of John 10, Jesus has yet another encounter with a group of Jews in the temple. These men don't want to accept Jesus because He isn't lining up with their expectations. He isn't saying and doing things like they want. He's professing, teaching and modeling a different way to live. Simply put, Jesus is "rocking" their comfortable world and they don't like it. So although they absolutely see the incredible supernatural things Jesus is doing in their presence, they choose to cling to their prejudices and doubts, and thus we see these men challenging and verbally attacking Jesus with the hope of getting Him to say something that would lead to His demise.

Jesus knows what's going on, and responds to their calculated inquiries in His typical manner--graciously speaking truth. Yet, many in the crowd were angered and wanted to stone Jesus and have Him arrested. But not everyone had that response. Jesus's actions and the truth He spoke reached and changed many hearts.

"And many came to him. And they said, 'John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.' And many believed in him there" (vs. 41-42).

Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are His ambassadors--we are called to tell others about Jesus's free offer of salvation. But as we saw in this passage, not everyone we encounter will be open to or excited about our message. Some may be downright adversarial and even ugly to us. But as we graciously deliver God's message of life-giving truth, some will receive it and make a decision to follow Christ. So we must faithfully press on!

Why is keeping our composure and responding graciously so important as we engage in conversation with others about Jesus? Would you join me in asking God to help us view every person we encounter (even those behaving poorly) with His love this Christmas season? And then... let's ask God to help us be bold in delivering His message of love and hope to them. Tami

Surrounded and Strong

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Today's reading: Psalm 125:1-5

The first two verses of Psalm 125 are powerful! How awesome it is to know that God has us surrounded. And as a result, we can stand on solid ground and not be moved or shaken regardless of our circumstances or what is taking place around us. Thank you, God!

"Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore" (Psalm 125:1-2).

What encouragement and hope do you draw from these verses? What's an example of how God has "surrounded" you in and through a difficult circumstance? Is there something (a situation or area of your life) you need to turn over to God today so that you can stand strong with God's strength and not be moved? Tami

Our Help

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Today's reading: Psalm 124:1-8

In Psalm 124 David looks back and recalls how God has been Israel's helper. He then turns to praising God for what He has done and what He will continue to do.

"Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth" (vs. 8).

Why is it important to regularly look back at what God has done and thank Him for it? When you've done this, how has it impacted you and your relationship with God? Take a few minutes to recall how God has been your help. Write it down and then thank God for being your helper. Tami

Good Shepherd

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Today's reading: John 10:1-21, Psalm 23:1-6

Using the metaphor of a shepherd and his flock of sheep (an image that would be very familiar to those around Him) Jesus delivers the message that He is the Savior whom they have been waiting for.

"'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep... I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture... I came that they may have life and have it abundantly'" (vs. 7, 9-10).

What a powerful depiction and explanation of who Jesus is and the loving relationship He has with those who choose to follow Him, as well as His desire for all people to have a personal relationship with Him. Thank you, Jesus!

"'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd'" (vs.11, 14-16).

What does Jesus being "the good shepherd" mean to you? What's one example of how you've experienced Jesus being your shepherd (as described in John 10 and/or Psalm 23)? What does this passage convey about God's care for and interest in you? Tami

Your Story

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Today's reading: John 9:1-41

Jesus's healing of the blind man in John 9 was a great reminder for me that one of the best ways for me to share Christ with others is by telling my story. In other words, how having a personal relationship with Jesus changed my life when I first made the decision to follow Christ, and how my life continues to be impacted since making that pivotal decision--how God has watched over, protected, guided, comforted, taught and grown me through difficult circumstances, how I have seen Him work in my family, etc.

The blind man who encountered Jesus was changed forever--first physically and then spiritually. And he was vocal about his experience, telling his story to those around him. What stands out to me most about this account is the power of this man's story. Despite being confronted and interrogated by the religious leaders who wielded much authority, this man was able to calmly and confidently communicate his story. And no matter how hard they pressed against him (and they pressed hard), the Jewish leaders cannot negate or discredit this man's experience with Jesus. The details of what happened are factual, and because of that, this man is able to bodly and confidently relay the truth of his life-changing experience to all those around him--even with those who are opposed to Jesus. The same is true for us.

What is your story? How did encountering Jesus in a personal way change your life (physically and spiritually)? How is your relationship with Jesus (since making the decision to receive Christ as your Savior) continuing to impact your life? The way you answer these questions is your story, and it's a great way to introduce and share Jesus with others. So take some time today to think about your story (not just when and how you were saved, but how God continues to work and move in your life) so you're prepared to boldly and confidently share your experiences with others. Then, get out there and start talking. Who can/will you share your story with in the coming week? 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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