Today's reading: John 15:1-27

Immediately after instructing the disciples to love one another, Jesus turns the discussion to hatred and persecution--something that the disciples are going to encounter as they follow after and deliver the salvation message of Jesus to the world. What Jesus tells the disciples is also true for us as Christ followers today.

Our choice to follow Christ and live according to God's principles and standards sets us apart from a world filled with people who don't yet have a relationship with God and whose focus is on themselves--accomplishments, possessions, comfort, status, money, etc. That being the case, our differing beliefs and actions will likely lead us to encounter varying degrees of opposition and persecution. Thus Jesus's command to the disciples to love one another. Jesus knows how hard it is to stand alone when under attack or being challenged about spiritual choices. But when we have friendships and are connected with other Christ followers (as part of a church body or belonging to a study or life group, for example), it strengthens us and allows us to stand strong for Christ together.

How has being involved in church or being a member of a small group (life group, community group, Bible study group, etc.) helped you stand firm as a Christian? What encouragement did you draw from Jesus's words to the disciples in John 15? Tami

Living and Active

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Today's reading: Psalm 135:1-21

Psalm 135 is a song of praise to the one and only sovereign God. What I particularly like about this song is the contrast the psalmist provides between the gods of the world--man-made gods who do not speak, hear, see or breathe--and our God, who is living and active and makes the clouds rise, makes lightning for the rains, brings forth the wind and who watches over, provides for and moves on behalf of His children.

What's one thing you learned or noticed about God from this psalm? How does the message of this psalm, and particularly the words of verse 5, encourage and motivate you to praise God today? Tami

Good, Great & Living

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Today's reading: Psalm 135:1-21

Psalm 135 calls us to praise God for who He is--the one and only living God who is good, great and over and above all things.

"For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods" (vs. 5).

What stood out to you most about God's greatness from this psalm? How would you describe God being a good, great and living God to someone who doesn't have a relationship with Christ? Tami

Loving Others

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Today's reading: John 15:12

Keeping it super short today. One of the final instructions Jesus gives to and emphasizes with His disciples is to love people like He loves them.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

On a scale from 1-10, how well would you say you're doing in living out this commandment, and why? To whom can/will you show love to as you go about this day? Will you join with me in being extra intentional about offering love to every person we encounter today and this weekend? Tami

Abide

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Today's reading: John 15:1-11

Ten times in John 15:1-11 Jesus uses the word "abide" as He talks with His disciples about their relationship with Him and what living a healthy, godly life requires and looks like. According to dictionary.com, the word "abide" (used as a verb like it is by Jesus in John 15) means:

  1. to remain, continue or stay;
  2. to have one's abode, dwell or reside; or
  3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude or relationship.

When I think about Jesus's command in verse 4 to "abide in me," what comes to mind is an interactive and dynamic relationship that requires me to be an active participant. The primary way I can have and maintain that kind of abiding relationship is to spend time with God in His Word, the Bible--taking it in, considering and praying about what I've read and then putting into practice what God has revealed to me and impressed on my heart.

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me" (vs. 4).

What does this passage convey about the importance of regular interaction with God through His Word and prayer? How have you experienced abiding in Christ? How would you describe the experience of abiding to someone else? 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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