Aware and Productive

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Today's reading: Psalm 39:1-13

David's request for God to make him aware of the brevity of life is a good one (vs. 4). I say that because for a lot of years, I didn't give much thought to how long I would live, or more importantly, how I was serving God with the time I had left. At some point (around ten or so years ago) when I committed to consistently spending time in the Word and my relationship with God took on a healthy growth pattern, my thinking in this area shifted. For that I am thankful because as I write today, my top priority is serving God fully with the amount of time He has allotted to me. My goal is to live each day to the fullest as a representative of Christ.

How often do you think about the time you have left on earth and how you are using that time to serve God? Where would you rank yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to being productive for God with your time? What can you start doing this week to increase that number? Tami

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God's Word-Out Loud

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Today's reading: Joshua 8:30-35

After securing victory over Ai, Joshua builds an alter for a peace and burnt offering where the Israelites renew their commitment to God. Joshua then reads to the entire assembly--Israelites of all ages and those who had joined them along their journey--every single word of God's commandments that had been given to them through Moses.

Why is it important to renew our commitment to God from time to time? Based on this account, how essential is it for us to know and understand God's instructions to us in the Bible, and to regularly spend time with God in His Word? How does reading Scripture out loud benefit, impact and/or help us? Tami

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Round Two

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Today's reading: Joshua 8:1-29

Round two with the city of Ai brings a very different outcome than the first time the Israelites attacked. With God now at the helm and Israel's focus completely on Him, Ai is thoroughly defeated. And not only are the Israelites victorious, God also gives them the livestock and spoils of the city as plunder for themselves (vs. 2). What a contrast between this attack--with God directing and leading--and the first attack where Joshua and the people moved without seeking God's input and direction and were relying on their own strength.

What does the second attack of Ai show about God's forgiving nature, His great love for us as His children, His incredible provision when we choose to wholeheartedly follow Him? What impact does having a "clean slate" with God (no unconfessed sin) have on our attitude, motivation and service? Tami

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Difficult Lessons

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Today's reading: Joshua 7:1-26

Despite Joshua's explicit command to "not take any of the things set apart for destruction" (Joshua 6:18), certain people violated his directive. Unaware of this disobedience, Joshua sends men to Ai to spy out the land. Upon return, the men report that only a few thousand men are needed to take the city. Without consulting God, Joshua deploys 3,000 warriors, but instead of victory, Israel suffers an embarrassing defeat. The Israelites were then "paralyzed with fear" and "their courage melted away" (vs. 5). A distressed and doubting Joshua complains to God only to discover that the defeat was the result of sin connected with Jericho. God then commands Joshua to resolve the situation in what seems like a harsh manner as we read this passage with our grace-filled understanding of today.

What does this passage reveal about the temptation that money and possessions present? What are some ways we can guard against and combat the powerful pull of money? Is it your habit to consult God before making important decisions? When or in what type of situations are you most likely to take action without inquiring of God? What does this account show about God's desire for us to be fully committed to Him, living rightly and with a pure heart? What does it show about consequences when we sin? How does consistently being in God's Word help us keep our focus on God and proper living? Tami

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Unconventional Ways

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Today's reading: Joshua 6:1-27

After crossing the Jordan and observing Passover in Canaan, God speaks to Joshua about attacking and taking possession of the city of Jericho. The Lord tells Joshua point blank that He has given (past tense) the city and all its inhabitants into the hand of Israel. He then conveys the details of His plan of attack to Joshua. The battle plan is extremely unusual, to say the least, but Joshua and the Israelites follow it precisely. At the end of the seven--day march, Jericho is no more and the Israelites are in possession and control of the land.

Why do you think God chose the process of marching around Jericho for seven days before giving victory to Israel? Why was it important to specifically follow God's detailed process? How can (and have) shortcuts hurt you? What does the unconventional attack on Jericho reveal about God's way of teaching, growing and leading us? How willing are you to wait on God's timing? Think of a time when you chose to be patient and wait on God. What was the outcome? How did you see God move and provide? Do you find it difficult to take action when God's plan doesn't seem to make sense to you? 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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