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Today's reading: Acts 11:19-30

The details about the early church are so informative. Acts is truly full of examples and lessons that we would be wise to take note of and follow as modern day Christians. I've read Acts many times, but this time around God has strongly impressed on my heart the ways in which these early Christians worked together and functioned as a body of believers.

As we reach the conclusion of Acts 11, we are now well beyond Peter's dynamic message on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and the scattering of the original group of Christ-followers from Jerusalem after Stephen's stoning (Acts 7). Acts 11:19-30 focuses on the church in Antioch, and what we see is a strong, closely connected group. This group, who were first called Christians (vs. 26), were committed to encouraging one another through their words as well as financially helping other believers who were in need. And most importantly, teaching (instruction, coaching, training) about God's Word and following and serving God--was front and center.

Why is coming alongside and offering encouragement and support to other Christ-followers so vital? Is this something you do on a regular basis? How has someone encouraged you spiritually? Will you join me and commit to encouraging at least two brothers or sisters in Christ this week? Tami

Conflict Resolved

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Today's reading: Acts 11:1-18

As I opened my Bible and began reading Acts 11, I had to smile. You see I just returned from a conference where we spent the better part of two days learning about different approaches and methods of resolving conflict. And in Acts 11:1-18, Peter is certainly faced with a conflict upon his return to the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders are upset with Peter and his companions for, what they viewed as, an unlawful engaging with Gentiles (Cornelius and his friends). What could have escalated into a full blown dispute, was resolved fairly quickly and amicably because both parties chose to actively listen to the other and engage in discussion. The recorded interaction puts before us a good and healthy example of conflict resolution.

What lesson(s) about resolving conflict did you see or learn from the exchange between Peter and the Jewish leaders? In your experience, how does/can our tone of voice impact an active conflict? Tami

Pain for Good

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Today's reading: Psalm 118:1-29

The opening verse of Psalm 118 issues the command to "give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!" As part of the psalmist's giving thanks, he recalls the "deeds of the Lord" which interestingly include his being severely disciplined. As I look back over my life, I can clearly see how God has used discipline to teach and grow me spiritually. Those experiences were painful, but good came from each of them. So like the psalmist, I can proclaim "You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" (vs. 28-29).

Take a few minutes to recall how God has taught and grown you spiritually. Then follow the lead of the psalmist and tell God thank you for his steadfast love in all situations. Tami

Praise God!

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Today's reading: Psalm 117:1-2

Only two short verses in Psalm 117 with the command for ALL to praise the Lord.

What's one example of how you publicly praised the Lord this past week? When you pray, do you offer words of praise to God? Tami

Gospel Expansion

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Today's reading: Acts 10:24-48

Prior to Peter's encounter with Cornelius, the apostles' preaching about Jesus had only been directed toward the Jews. So Peter's communicating the Gospel message to Cornelius and his friends (all non-Jews) was a significant shift from the norm. And what an incredible change, because from this point forward, the preaching of the Gospel message is now being delivered far and wide to all people. As a non-Jew, I love this passage reading about the immediate impact it had on Cornelius and his friends. I am grateful for how the salvation message has transformed the lives of millions of people since Cornelius, and continues with each passing day.

What did God impress on your heart from Acts 10 and the account of Cornelius? What do Peter's words in verse 43, "that everyone who believes in [Jesus] receives forgiveness of sins through his name," show you about God and His love for you? 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 below to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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