June 2009 Archives

June 30th

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Ephesians 3

There's a song called "Your Love is Deep" that talks about God's love and describes it as being deep, high, long and wide. In Ephesians 3:18-19, Paul prays that we would fully understand the love of Christ. That we would "comprehend...the breadth and length and height and depth" of God's love.

Is that how you see and understand the love of God? Or, maybe you have other words to describe his love. What would some of those be and why? Tami W.

June 29th

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Good day fellow citizens!! Hello my brothers and sisters in Christ! Our reading to kick off this Monday (Ephesians 2:11-22) is all about being one in Christ. Paul really lays out beautifully exactly what that means and really brings it together in verses 19-21. "You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone." What a privilege we have.

After reading this passage I asked myself these questions. Here they are for you too. Am I taking full advantage of this privilege? How am I functioning in this family? And, How can I make the most of this? Tami W.

June 28th

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Ephesians 1:15-2:10

How often do you contemplate the enormity of God? If you're anything like me, you do realize it, but you don't necessary stop and think about it that often. Well as I read Ephesians 1 both yesterday and today (Saturday and Sunday), that's what I saw over and over. Doesn't it just blow your mind that before the foundation of the world, you and I and our relationship with Him were on His mind?

How do we get a good grasp on just how good, powerful, all knowing and loving God is? And, how can we keep that at the forefront as we navigate the day? Tami W.

June 27th

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Today we're reading Ephesians 1:1-14.

Do you feel lavished upon today? Hopefully you do. But if not, take a look at Ephesians 1:7-8. Here's what Paul tells us, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us." I found these two verses to be a good reminder of our incredible, awesome, LOVING God, not to mention a reminder of how blessed I am to be his child.

So back to my first question. Do you feel lavished upon today? How so? What does being lavished upon mean to you? Tami W.

June 26th

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John 11:1-44

Martha. Martha. I want to be like Martha. I know what you're thinking. Really, you want to be like complaining Martha? (see Luke 10:38-42) Well, not the complaining side but definitely the "confident in the Lord" side of Martha. We see that in John 11 and boy, does she ever shine! Lazarus, Martha's brother, has just died. Now if you've ever experienced the death of a loved one, you know how difficult it can be. Yet, Martha doesn't lose hope. She is confident in Jesus. Here she is in a less than optimal situation but accepting it as being part of God's plan even though she doesn't understand it all. (Go Martha!!)

So how did Martha come across to you in this passage? Anything you want to put into practice based on her responses? Tami W.

June 25th

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Our reading today...John 10:22-42.

No snatching, kidnapping, stealing or taking us away. We are God's. Our passage today (Thursday) is all about Jesus and God being one. And right in the middle of that are two incredible verses. Which ones you ask? Verses 28 and 29. Jesus tells us point blank that he gives us eternal life and that no one will snatch us out of his hand. (That's pretty awesome.) But, then Jesus goes even further telling us that no one can snatch us out of the Father's hand either.

So what do you make of these two verses? And what do they mean for you personally? Tami W.

June 24th

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There's only one way--Jesus. Ask someone if they are going to heaven and you typically get one answer--yes. Ask why they think they're going to heaven and hang on, because you'll have answers all over the board. That's a "deadly" problem. Jesus makes it clear in John 10:1-21 that He is the only way to heaven. ("I am the door. If anyone enters by me he will be saved" (verse 9). "So there will be one flock, one shepherd." (verse 16).

Now you're probably thinking Ok, Tami, why are you telling me this? You're preaching to the choir. Maybe so, but here's the thing. We need to be able to communicate to others what we believe and why. We have to be able to respond to the argument that Christianity can't be right because it's exclusive and intolerant. Do you see how John 10:1-21 can help us do that? Or, are there any others scriptures that you look to when you're wanting to explain God's plan of salvation? How do you see yourself using these verses and others as you move forward? Tami W.

June 23rd

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It wasn't about sin. John 9 lays out the story of a blind man that was healed by Jesus. The disciples ask Jesus who sinned, the blind man or his parents because they assumed the blindness was a result of sin. But Jesus sets them straight. He tells them that neither the man nor his parents sinned but that the blindness happened so that the work of God might be displayed (verse 3). These words immediately brought to mind my husband (Jeff) and his battle with cancer just a few years ago. Going through that situation was horrible. Those were some of the most difficult months of our lives. Even so, Jeff has said time and time again how fortunate he was to get cancer because of how God worked in his life and then through that situation to allow him to share Christ and give glory to God.

So if you're in a difficult situation today--health, finances, relationship, whatever--please know that God is good, He is at work and that you can use that situation to display Him to other people. I know, it's not easy. But remember, God is there with you. And, if you need some extra support today, send us a prayer request and let us and other P4 members pray for you. Tami W.

P.S. Have you had any experiences where you were able to display the work of God in your life? If you're up for sharing, it would be encouraging to hear about it.

June 22nd

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In your face! We think of Jesus as being gentle and soft spoken, even a little meek. Why is that because he's anything but that in John 8:31-59? In fact, I'd say he was downright offensive. So what went through your mind when you read this scripture? And what can we learn and do with it? I know, this one's kind of hard. So think about it and send in your comments (or questions if you have some). Tami W.

P.S. Just a little reminder that Dr. Kroll is teaching in John on Back to the Bible. We'd love for you to join in our personal Bible study time as well.

June 21st

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Ok, this time I really mean it. I've told you quite a few times that a particular Psalm is one of my favorites. But Psalm 63 is truly at the top. I never get tired of reading it. So here's what I'm asking you to do with Psalm 63. Try reading it out loud. (I occasionally use this Psalm during our worship time at church and I love hearing it.) Once you've read it, pray it. Then, share what came out of your experience with us. I think you're gonna like this!! Tami W.

June 20th

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Proverbs 8:22-36

Wisdom Part II. Proverbs 8 is all about wisdom and last Saturday we looked at the front end of this chapter. Well, now we're on to the last verses and again, it's all about wisdom. Apparently, wisdom is pretty important. :)

So what did you learn about wisdom here in round 2 of Proverbs 8? Anything new? Or maybe something became clearer? Tami W.

June 19th

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Oh how we love to point fingers! As we see in John 8:1-30, pointing out the sin of others took place in the Bible, and it hasn't stopped ever since. Some of it is well-intended--we just really want people to escape the pain that follows sin. But, some of it is done, well, to make ourselves look better. But, Jesus had a better way of dealing with sin and the people who did the finger pointing.

With a few clever words, Jesus not only showed mercy to this woman and her sin but revealed the sinful hearts of her persecutors as well. He had a lesson for both sides. And it was the perfect mix of firmness and love. How amazing!

So, have you ever been shown this same kind of grace--by God or a friend or family member? If so, let me know what effect it had on you. Have you had the opportunity to extend the same kind of grace to others? Hope to hear from you. Tami W.

June 18th

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Nicodemus was right on!! As I read John 7:25-53, I found myself getting a little annoyed at the different people and the way they responded to Jesus or about him. They had questions, opinions and comments but no one bothered to look for an accurate answer. That's why when I finally got to Nicodemus, I wanted to shout "Amen!" ("'Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?'" Verse 51, ESV). But as I thought about this passage I realized that really, it's not too difficult to act like those people. So many times we take what someone else says about God or the Bible and simply accept it or count it as true (a teacher, self professed Bible expert, even someone who hates the Bible and wants to argue about it, etc). We have free access to all the answers right in God's Word. We just need to take the time to open it up and read it.

So with all that said, I want to tell you "thanks" for being part of Powered by 4 because you're already taking steps that those people in John 7 didn't bother with. And if your Bible reading is great, not so great, a struggle, or hit and miss, let me encourage you to stick with it. And just so you know, I've been struggling with my reading the last couple of weeks but reading and interacting with you each day is truly an encourager for me. So let's keep on keeping on together. Tami W.

June 17th

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Give the glory to God. We hear that phrase over and over as Christians and we really see it by Jesus' actions here in John 7:1-24. Jesus, knowing full well who he was and what he had come to do was so very humble in how he handled himself. I love what he says in verse 18. "The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true and in him there is no falsehood." Jesus was bold here, yet still humble.

So how do we stay on track when it comes to giving the glory to God? It sounds easy. It's certainly my desire as I start out each day. But then, before I know it, something happens and that "all about me" attitude can creep right in. You know what I mean, right? So let's help each other out here. Any thoughts? How about something that works (or has worked) for you? Tami W.

June 16th

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Jesus is offensive. What? In John 6:60-71 we see that Jesus' words offended some of the people who claimed to be his followers. When they heard his message of eternal life, they rejected it. They didn't believe. Well, by my observation, not much has changed today. Jesus' message is still seen as offensive and being rejected by many people. Has this been your experience as well? And, how should we handle that when we believe that eternal life comes through Jesus and Jesus alone? Tami W.

P.S. Any personal experiences you want to share?

June 15th

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Jesus tells us, "I am the bread of life." That's what this passage is all about. If you take even a quick look at these verses, "bread" is by far one of the key words. For those of us who are Christians, Jesus is saying He is our bread of life. And did you notice in verse 27, Jesus urges the people to chase after "food that endures." There's definitely a theme here.

Okay, I'd love to get your thoughts on Jesus as your Bread of Life. Think about it. Send me a blog. Tami W.

June 14th

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I felt like God was speaking directly to me as I read Psalm 62. So I read it again just to make sure I really got the message. Here it is--God and God alone should be everything for me. Why do I say that? Well, look at these phrases from our text: God alone is my rock and salvation; God is my fortress; my hope is in Him; my victory and honor come from God alone; He is my refuge; I am to trust Him at all times.

Psalm 62 delivered a powerful punch to me (thank you, Lord). Did it have a similar effect on you? Or maybe God spoke to you differently through these verses? Tami W.

June 13th

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It's more valuable than rubies, and it's important to God. Do you possess it? Proverbs 8:1-21 is all about wisdom. In fact, it lays out kind of like a mini message on it. So I have two questions for you today. First, did you learn anything new about wisdom as you read Proverbs 8:1-21? And second, based on this passage, how important is it for us to possess wisdom as a Christian? Have fun thinking!! Tami W.

June 12th

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And the people were amazed... ...As I read John 6:1-21 about how Jesus fed 5,000 people from 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and then that there were 12 baskets left over, it made me think about my tithing experience. Now I know this sounds weird, but hang on. Several years ago, my husband and I made the commitment to start tithing first. In other words, no matter what our obligations were, we would give to God first and then pay bills with what was left. This was hard for us because we had always paid our bills first and then given what we had left as our tithe. Funny thing happened. When we started saying "God, you're the most important, and we want to be obedient to put you first," even though the totals didn't add up on paper, we were NEVER short. I can't explain it, and I don't even want to. I just know that God saw our faithfulness and responded.

So do you have any loaves and fishes stories in your life? I'd love to hear them 'cause I know they're out there. So how about encouraging us today? Tami W.

June 11th

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Wow! What a loaded passage! In John 5:18-47, Jesus is telling his Jewish audience all kinds of information about him, his relationship to the Father, what he's here for...just to name a few. As I read, I started to get overwhelmed trying to process it all. Then, I started thinking about how all this information was received and processed when Jesus was delivering it verbally and in person. Think about it. At a minimum, it must have been mind boggling.

So what did you get out of this reading? Was it clear? Anything you didn't understand? This isn't the easiest passage, so let's talk about it. And, if you have questions about what you're reading, send them over. We'd be happy to answer and, of course, encourage you to keep reading, learning and living out God's Word! Tami W.

June 10th

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John 4:46-5:18

Does it ever make sense to put the cart before the horse? The story of healing at Bethesda caught my attention. Jesus met two needs, but did you notice the sequence of those events--physical first, then spiritual?

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, right? So why would Jesus address the physical need first? Tami W.

June 9th

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The woman at the well is probably one of the most familiar stories in the New Testament. I don't know how many sermons I've heard on John 4:1-45, so as I read over it, I looked for something maybe a little out of the ordinary to think about, and I landed on verses 23-24. In these verses Jesus tells the woman that "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth." Then He goes on to say, "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." Now I've seen that phrasing "worshiping in spirit and truth" other places too.

So what exactly is worshiping in spirit and truth? What does, or should, it look like in our lives? Tami W.

P.S. I'd love to see your thoughts on this. Even if you're not sure, think about it and send in a comment. That's what Powered by 4 is here for--to help all of us grow together. And part of growing is thinking about, maybe in a different way, what you're reading in your Bible and then discussing it. So no matter where you're at--a regular blogger or you've never commented--give it a try!

June 8th

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John 3:22-36

It's not about me (or you)---It's all about Jesus! Isn't it cool how John the Baptist is so eager to point all attention to Jesus when he could have easily accepted a lot of praise from those watching him baptize? He knew his place and did all he could to raise Jesus up to his proper place. Not always the easiest thing to do because our human nature kicks in.

So what are some things we can do to be a modern day John, if you will---to pave the way for Jesus to be highlighted rather than us? Tami W.

P.S. Any examples you might want to share where you modeled John's behavior? Or maybe where you didn't if you're up for it?

June 7th

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Psalm 61

This Psalm really hit the mark for me this weekend. I'm in one of those overwhelming situations and God has truly been and continues to be my rock. My sweet, precious mom was just diagnosed with liver cancer, and for the last two weeks my mom (and me) have been living at the hospital and now at a hospice facility. It is so comforting to look back and see God's faithfulness in the past and to know that right now He is by our side, in control, and He alone is our shelter and rock.

How has God been faithful to you? And if you need it today, go ahead and cry out to Him. Tell Him what's on your heart, and take shelter under His wings. Tami W.

P.S. We'd love to pray for you. If you have a request, let us know. And, I'd sure appreciate prayer for my mom and family, too.

June 6th

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Good advice and warnings from Proverbs 7. The first three verses are key. We're instructed to treasure God's commands within us. So how exactly do we do that? Any practical examples of how we can "bind" them on our fingers and "write" them on our hearts? Tami W.

June 5th

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John 3:1-21

Born again. Saved. Believer. Those words all make perfect sense to us as Christians. But those words we're so familiar with (and that we love) can be confusing and even a turn off to people who aren't Christians. Nicodemus didn't understand when Jesus told him he needed to be born again, and things are pretty much the same way today. That's why it's so important for us to be able to articulate to others what it means for us to have a personal relationship with Christ (i.e. be saved, born again, a Believer). So do you have a concise, people friendly response ready? Because we really do need one.

Would you take a few minutes and write something down and then share it? Seeing how others communicate about having a relationship with Jesus can be a huge help. Everyone takes in and processes information differently, so having a couple of explanations or examples can be invaluable. Ok, think about it, write it down and send it in. Tami W.

June 4th

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Jesus, on a rampage? Oh yeah. Try and imagine the scene from John 2:13-25. I mean, seriously, close your eyes and put yourself in the Temple when Jesus literally goes off with a whip he made from cords. Wouldn't one of your first thoughts be that this person, Jesus, was a lunatic? Or worse? His actions were anything but common place. I think that's one of the reasons why I like this story so much. I also like it because of what it reveals to me on a number of levels.

What do Jesus' actions and words tell you about him? What do they show you about how you live out the Christian life?

Tami W.

June 3rd

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It's a familiar story--water turned into wine. Every time I read this passage (John 2:1-12) I think, Why was this Jesus' first miracle? And why this specific act? Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding just hits me as being a little odd. No one was healed. No crowds were fed. No one was raised from the dead. It was just a beverage for a wedding celebration. Hmmm. So what thoughts or ideas might you have about the why, when, how or where of this miracle (because I'd love to ponder them)?

More importantly, though, what can we draw from this passage, and the miracle laid out within it, that we can use in our lives today? Tami W.

June 2nd

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John 1:28-51

Jesus was a recruiting genius! As we continue reading in John 1, it's kind of amazing how Jesus recruits his first disciples. He didn't have to go out and convince anyone to join him. Jesus was just... well, Jesus...and that was enough. How refreshing.

So how do you think you would have responded? Could you have been one of Jesus' first disciples? Are you one now? Tami W.

June 1st

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We're reading John 1:1-29 today.

What an introduction! We're starting John today, and the first 5 verses give us quite the introduction to Jesus. Now I know we have 29 verses to read, but I'm only going to focus on the first 5 because they're so good. Verse 1 tells us this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The next four verses then provide more details and explanation.

What do you see and understand about Jesus from these verses? Anything you may not have noticed before? Tami W.

P.S. Dr. Kroll is starting an extended radio series on John today (Monday, June 1) on Back to the Bible. That means as we read through John on Powered by 4, we'll also be learning about John from Dr. Kroll on Back to the Bible (which is pretty cool). So how about joining us?

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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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2009 is the previous archive.

July 2009 is the next archive.

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