Today's reading: Genesis 24:1-10

After Sarah's death, Abraham sets his sights on finding a suitable wife for Isaac. His plan is to send his servant back to his homeland so that he can secure a wife from among his relatives. My favorite part of this passage is the exchange between Abraham and his servant when the servant suggests that perhaps he won't be able to find a wife who will be willing to return with him to Isaac. Without batting an eye, Abraham confidently declares to his servant that God "will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there" (vs. 7).

Abraham and God had a long and rich history. And through it all God had provided for and protected Abraham and his family in ways Abraham would have never have imagined. So it's no wonder that when it came time for Isaac to take a wife, everything Abraham planned was based on what God had told and promised Abraham. He had complete confidence that God would continue steady by his side.

How does remembering and/or seeing what God has done in your life and the lives of others help you stay the course as you move forward? On a scale of 1-10 how confident/trusting are you in God, and why? Tami

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Reputation

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Today's reading: Genesis 23:1-20

After giving birth to Isaac and then training, teaching and raising him to manhood, Sarah dies at the ripe old age of 127. Because Abraham is in a foreign country, he must secure land on which to bury Sarah. So he approaches the Hittites to finding a suitable piece of property, and is met with an outpouring of friendship and love by those whom he has lived among for many years. The interaction between Abraham and the Hittites is beautiful, and immediately results in Abraham securing the exact place he had selected for Sarah to be buried. The Hittites respect and admire Abraham for how he has conducted himself in the years he's lived, worked and raised his family in their country. Abraham was truly a living testimony for God, and his upright living was evident to and noticed by the Hittites.

What does being a "living testimony for God" mean for you personally? Do you have a reputation for being upright--doing what's right, helping people, speaking kind words, responding wisely? What does this account reveal about the value of our reputation? Tami

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Testing

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Today's reading: Genesis 22:1-24

Genesis 22 contains one of the most significant accounts in the Old Testament. In it, we find the recorded story of God's testing Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his cherished and only son, Isaac. This chapter is rich with lessons and foreshadows God's plan of salvation through Jesus' sacrifice for our sins which would take place hundreds of years later.

There's no doubt that Abraham was a godly man. Even so, God still tested Abraham by asking him to give up the one thing he treasured most--his only son Isaac. I can only imagine the horrific feeling that must have come over Abraham when God instructed him to sacrifice Isaac. My heart aches just by reading this account, and I'm fairly certain Abraham's heart was breaking inside of him. Yet he responded obediently, loading up his donkey the very next morning to do as he was charged. The verse that impacted me most in this chapter was verse 8 where Abraham's response to Isaac's questioning about the whereabouts of the lamb to be sacrificed reveals Abraham's absolute trust in God as being sovereign and having the ultimate and best plan.

What is the one earthly thing that you cherish the most? Is it a person, something you own, your image, your job title, something else? If God asked you to give up that most treasured thing, how do you think you would respond, and why? How does (how has) going through testing, impact (impacted) your spiritual life? Tami

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:25-34; Proverbs 16:23

Of all the chapters of Genesis dealing with Abraham, the final few verses of Genesis 21 are the most revealing about his people skills, and contain a valuable lesson for us about conflict resolution. In verses 24-35 Abraham confronts king Abimelech about a well Abimelech's servants have wrongfully seized. The exchange that follows demonstrates how wise and skilled Abraham was at relating with others and resolving conflict. Here are some of the things I noticed:

  • Abraham controlled his emotions. He was calm and chose a moderate approach when he confronted Abimelech.
  • Abraham didn't beat around the bush. He was direct and got right to the point.
  • He didn't point an accusing finger at Abimelech, but instead presented him with the facts of the wrong doing which allowed Abimelech to respond well.
  • Abraham was thorough in his resolution of the issue. He verbally confirmed in front of all parties that the well was his, a new name was given to the well which served to commemorate the covenant made, and he made sure there was a tangible element and reminder of the covenant by the giving of sheep and oxen and the special setting apart of seven ewes.

Most of us don't like confrontation, and we try to avoid it at almost any cost. But when we put our heads in the sand or try to ignore people problems, nothing is solved and our relationships are weakened and damaged. So the exchange between Abraham and Abimelech is an important one for us to take note of. It's refreshing and puts before us an excellent example of how to deal with conflict in a positive and good way.

How would you explain the benefits of confrontation to someone after reading this passage? What stood out to you about the exchange between Abraham and Abimelech, and why? How will you use or draw on Abraham's example the next time you encounter conflict in one of your relationships? Tami

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Song of Praise

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Today's reading: Psalm 144:1-15

Psalm 144 is a beautifully penned song or poem of praise from David to God. David begins his song by praising God for who He is to David--his rock, steadfast love, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, shield, person in who he takes refuge. Then David moves on to recognize God's authority, control and power using examples from nature. Next we see David calling out and asking God to act on his behalf. And to conclude the song, David's final verses ask God to provide for and bless His children.

So if you wrote a song of praise to God this weekend, what would you say? What are some of the words you'd use to describe who God is to you? What's one phrase you'd use that would recognize His power, authority and control? How, and in what areas, would you ask for God's blessing? Tami

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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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