Seasons

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Today's reading: Genesis 16:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-8

Although Abram and Sarai desired to have children, Sarai was barren. So after years of trying to conceive, Sarai, instead of continuing to prayerfully present her situation and her desire for a child to God, gives in to the temptation to take matters into her own hands. Now let me interject here. If you feel like pointing your finger or shaking your head at Sarai--hold off. Because honestly, haven't we all done this at some point or another? I certainly have. When circumstances aren't moving along like we think they should, our sinful nature rises up and urges us to push God aside and take control, seductively whispering "You know what's best for you." But when we give in to this temptation and run ahead of God, it's always to our detriment.

I am thankful for how our Powered by 4 schedule has landed us on this passage today (it's not a coincidence), because I've been hearing that seductive whisper and needed a reminder about not running ahead of God. You see, my husband and I have been in a period of transition for the past three years. And while we certainly know that God is in control and what we've experienced (and continue to experience) is part of His plan, I'm eager to close the chapter of the last three years and move fully into a new season. Yet, for whatever reason, God is taking His time in wrapping up that season and moving us forward. Thankfully, God has given me some amazing friends who are walking alongside me, keeping me grounded so that my eyes remain on God and His perfect timing.

How would you describe the season you're experiencing right now? What helps wait you patiently when you're ready to move but God hasn't yet fully cleared the way? What did you learn or see from this passage and Sarai's and Abram's example? Tami

Believe and Trust

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Today's reading: Genesis 15:1-21

Genesis 15 lets us see the personal dialogue between God and Abram when God tells Abram that He is protecting him and that He [God] will reward Abram for choosing to follow after God and live rightly. This entire chapter highlights and emphasizes the personal nature of God and His desire for us to be in relationship with Him.

Abram was committed to serving God. It was his regular practice to look and listen for God's instruction and guidance. So when God speaks to him through a vision, he responds by talking openly with God, asking Him what He is planning. Even though what God tells Abram seems inconceivable to Abram given his circumstances, verse 6 tells us that Abram "believed the LORD, and he [the LORD] counted it to him as righteousness." What an incredible example of taking God at His word and trusting Him fully!

Thank you, God, for Abram's example. Please help me respond like Abram to Your instruction and direction.

In what area or circumstance do you need to trust God today? Do you talk openly with God when you pray? What impact does speaking candidly with God have on your relationship with Him? What did this chapter show you about God? 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? How do the words of verse 5 (above) encourage and motivate you to praise God today? Tami

Blessing God

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Today's reading: Psalm 134:1-3

Only three short verses in Psalm 134 with one call to action--bless the Lord.

What does "blessing the Lord" mean for you? In other words, what are things you do that "bless" the Lord? How will you bless God this weekend (be specific)? Tami

Public Honoring

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Today's reading: Genesis 14:17-24

After Abram and his neighbors track down and defeat the kings who had taken the residents and possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, the king of Sodom reaches out to Abram to thank and honor him. Melchizedek king of Salem also comes to recognize and offer a blessing to Abram. (Verse 18 tells us that Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. See Hebrews 7 for more explanation on Melchizedek).

Abram and his friends were heroes! And, spirits were undoubtedly high after the defeat of the enemy kings. I can only imagine the extreme exhilaration and feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction they must have been experiencing. Yet, when the spotlight is turned on Abram, he doesn't bask in it. Rather, he immediately directs everyone's attention to God by verbally proclaiming Him as sovereign God over all, declining to accept the king of Sodom's offer to take the spoils of the victory and offering a tithe to Melchizedek as a priest of God Most High.

How often do you speak of God and honor Him in public? When you are blessed by God--through an accomplishment, receiving praise, getting an unexpected gift--do you thank God and offer verbal praise in front of others? What are the benefits of publically honoring God? 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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