April 2010 Archives

Speak Up

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1 Kings 2:1-12

Living out our Christian life, our example, is so important, but sometimes we need to take it one step further by speaking to someone or maybe even writing something. Today we see David doing this very thing as he boldly instructs and reminds Solomon of the importance of following God and His Word at all times.

So where are your opportunities to proclaim, and be a proponent for, God and His Word? And when the opportunity presents itself, what are some things you might say? Tami W.

2 Samuel 15:1-17

David really had some difficult times in his life, and this is one of the worst. His own son turns on him through conspiracy and a military coup. I'm so glad God shares these parts of David's life with us though. This incident shows us that even when we're following God wholeheartedly, bad things and tough circumstances will come into our lives. It also shows us that there will be times when, even though God is in control, we have to take defensive or protecting action.

So when you think about it, there's really a fine balance between taking action while we wait and rely on God, and not taking action because we're relying on and expecting God to act. So how can we discern whether or not we should take action? And if we do decide to act, how can we make sure we don't overstep and try and take control from God? Tami W.

Choose Wisely

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2 Samuel 13:1-39

Whenever I read the account of Amnon and Tamar, a couple of emotions seem to surface--sadness for sure (my heart goes out to Tamar), but also anger because this terrible situation could have been avoided. Amnon didn't have to give in to temptation. And in fact, he hadn't until his "friend" and cousin, Jonadab, entered the picture. Jonadab was rotten to the core and he didn't hesitate to push and lead Amnon right down the path to full blown sin.

This story certainly highlights the importance of making wise choices when it comes to selecting our friends and who we look to or seek out for advice and direction. And that's true, by the way, whether we're 14 or 40 or 84.

So how do we make sure we're making wise choices? What qualities should we be looking for in our friends and other relationships? And on the flip side, what can we do to make sure that we're being a positive influence or role model to others? Tami W.

Two Fold Lesson

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2 Samuel 11:1-27

When you read the story of David and Bathsheba do you find yourself thinking David, what are you doing??? Just stop. But he doesn't because even though David was a man after God's own heart, he wasn't sinless and, of course, neither are we.

David and Bathsheba are like a self-contained lesson on giving in to temptation and the consequences that follow. Now we tend to focus on the sexual temptation in this story, and it's certainly there. But did you notice how David was tempted by, and gave in to, his power as well? David sent for and took Bathsheba; he pulled Uriah out of battle to return to Jerusalem, and he ordered Joab to place Uriah at the front of the battle so Uriah would be killed. So David caved to temptation on several fronts.

So what can we do to be more tuned in to the things that tempt us? And then when we find temptation before us, what are some things we can do, right then, to keep from acting on it and falling into sin? Tami W.

Are We There Yet?

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2 Samuel 5:1-10; 9:1-13

Again today I'm struck by how David was so in tune with God. David is finally made king over Israel in 2 Samuel 5 and we see that he is thirty years old when that happens. That's a pretty long time from when he was first anointed by God to be the next king. But time didn't faze David. He was content to just keep on living by and following God's timetable--no matter what.

So how do we get to that place of being "content" with God's timing--regardless of _________ (you fill in the blank)? Tami W.

On Exhibit

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2 Samuel 1:1-27

David responds admirably once again in 2 Samuel 1. Saul has been killed in battle which clears the way for David to be the next king. So how would you expect David to react to the news of Saul's death? Well, by worldly standards perhaps rejoicing, gloating, celebration. We see just the opposite here because David is living by God's standards. He honors Saul and his sons, and as we see, even composes a beautiful song of tribute that was taught to the people of Judah.

This story is a great reminder that our actions and responses are important as well as visible to people every day. So as a Christian how can we keep at the forefront that everything we do is on display and then use it to help us respond to whatever life brings our way? Tami W.

Another Look

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Psalm 57

I love it when there are two different scriptures that cover the same event. That's what we have today. Yesterday we read 1 Samuel 24, the incident between Saul and David in the cave, and today we're at Psalm 57 which gives us another look at this event through the eyes of David.

So as I read Psalm 57 I kept thinking, How can David cry out to God about the horrible things that are happening to him in one breath and then exuberantly praise God in the next? My conclusion? David is taking God at His word.

So how can we draw on what we see here in Psalm 57 to help us take God at his Word? Tami W.

Running Ahead

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1 Samuel 24:1-22

David's restraint in 1 Samuel 24 is remarkable. He has already been chosen (anointed) by God to be the next king and he's fully aware of that fact. Yet, he doesn't take any action to help move along the transition from Saul to him--even when a "perfect opportunity" seems to present itself (pretty amazing considering how Saul has been hunting David down to kill him). Instead, David is content to wait on God and His timing.

So how do we get in sync with God's timing and then have the patience and discipline to act in accordance with it? Tami W.

Be a Jonathan

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1 Samuel 18:1-5; 19:1-7; 20:1-23

Jonathan is the person of the day. He was a true friend for sure, but what really stood out to me was how he was so tuned in to Saul's sinful intent and how he calmly, boldly yet lovingly called Saul to task about it. That can be super tough to do, in any situation, let alone a family situation.

So when we see a departure from what we know is right in God's eyes, how can we address the issue with courage and boldness (and don't forget love) like Jonathan? Tami W.

1 Samuel 18:6-30

1 Samuel 18:6-30 really contrasts the sinful thoughts and actions of Saul with the godly attitude and responses of David. There's a lot there for us to draw on.

None of us are strangers to people treating us poorly. It's part of life whether it's a run in with a grumpy store clerk or someone intentionally setting out to hurt us (like Saul). When that happens we have a choice to make, and our first inclination may not be the best response. So how can we make sure we respond in a godly manner (like David) by showing love and kindness as we respond and react to others? Tami W.

Big hairy giants?

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1 Samuel 17:1-54

Drama. Excitement. And, the good guy wins! That's the story of David and Goliath, and whether you're a kid or an adult, you're going to enjoy it. It's pretty amazing and packed full of lessons. So as I turned to 1 Samuel 17 to read this very familiar story (again) I was already thinking about and wondering what God would show me.

Right off the bat we're introduced to Goliath. He's huge. He's fierce. He's downright intimidating! (The Israelites "were dismayed and greatly afraid" (verse 11).) That got me thinking about things that come up in my life that scare me, that I don't quite know how to deal with. Things like financial challenges, health issues, tensions in relationships, challenges at work--you fill in the blank.

So is there something, or maybe someone, out there that's a Goliath for you today? Whatever our situation, how can we be more like David and draw confidence from, and rely upon, the Lord to help us take charge and deal with it? Tami W.

1 Samuel 16:1-13

For the next two weeks we'll be looking at the life of David on Back to the Bible with a new series called "David: Pleasing the Heart of God." So today we start at the very beginning, when God selects David as the next king. Samuel is a key player in the formal process of anointing David. Yet oddly enough, Samuel totally misses the mark. He thinks David's oldest brother is the person God has chosen to replace Saul, but quickly learns otherwise.

So what does Samuel getting off track suggest about us? What are some things we can do practically to help us keep our hearts and decisions in alignment with God as we prepare to take action? Tami W.

P.S. If it's your desire to please the heart of God like David, I invite you to join Dr. Kroll and me for the new series "David: Pleasing the Heart of God." It's excellent.

To all generations

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Psalm 119:81-96

I found our two segments of Psalm 119, KAPH and LAMEDH, touching because I could really identify with the psalmist. Here he is in the middle of some difficult times, pouring out his heart out to God. But he doesn't lose sight of, or his hope in, God. Did you notice verse 87 "but I have not forsaken your precepts." And then almost immediately after this we see him recognizing how God's faithfulness endures to all generations (verse 90). That is so true. God has been faithful to me and my husband. He was faithful to my dad and my mom. I see His faithfulness right now with my nieces and nephews. Yes, God is faithful and good.

So how has knowing God is faithful to all generations helped you in the past? And how can we take full advantage of this awesome promise as we move forward? Tami W.

Psalm 119:65-80

Did you notice how affliction (hardship, suffering, difficulty) is woven throughout Psalm 119:65-80? It's pretty clear from this passage that we're going to experience affliction. (Gulp) But then we see that those times of suffering and difficulty can actually be good for us. "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes." (verse 71). This is tough because no one likes suffering or hard times. Yet, as I look back over my life, those times of affliction have taught me so much about trusting God, patience and loving others--just to name a few.

So what lessons have you learned through affliction? Any thoughts on why, many times, it takes us being afflicted is to really learn God's Word and what He has for us? Tami W.

Big and small

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Psalm 119:49-64

Psalm 119 delivers a clear and bold message that God's Word needs to be the center of our lives. Literally line after line lays out the value of God's Word and how living according to God's law is right and good. But we also find some smaller nuggets tucked in between all this great information. Look at verse 63, for example. "I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts." This verse indicates that we aren't meant to be stand alone Christians. In other words, God expects us to have friendships, fellowship, relationships with other Christ-followers.

So what can we do this week to make sure we're involved, and connecting in a meaningful way, with other Christians? Tami W.

The right focus

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Psalm 119:25-48

Two verses caught my attention today. "Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways" Psalm 119-36-37. Wanna know why? Because if there are two things that will take my focus off of God and His Word, it's me (focusing on myself) and materials things that I think I need. Now the Psalmist is asking God to help with him in these areas, but it's not all on God. We need to do our part too.

So how do we do that? How can we ensure we're focusing on God rather than ourselves and our perceived wants? Tami W.

Treasure hunt

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Proverbs 2:1-8

Solomon tells us again today that we should be looking for God's wisdom. And not just casually looking for it, but seeking it actively, like we would hidden treasure. Now that brought to mind backyard childhood treasure hunts, but also ways I seek for things I value in the here and now. I'm not so sure that I always seek out God's wisdom with that kind of intensity.

So let's all do a treasure hunt this week for wisdom. What will your hunt look like? What tactics and approaches might you take? Tami W.

Proverbs 1:1-7

Solomon is credited as being the wisest man in Israel's history. And his wisdom came directly from God. In these first few verses Solomon point blank tells us that the purpose of Proverbs is to know and understand wisdom. But really when you think about it, isn't that the case with the entire Bible? Wisdom and understanding are right before us for the taking.

So how can we focus more on taking in God's wisdom as we read our Bible? Tami W.

Psalm 119:1-24

Proverbs: The Pursuit of God's Wisdom

Wow!!! I love Psalm 119:1-24! It's rich, filled with statement after statement laying out the importance of God's Word. It's an awesome passage to read anytime, but it's particularly helpful in instructing us about our attitude toward the Bible as well as our approach to reading it and putting it into practice each and every day.

I found these two verses especially motivating. "Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!" (verse 5) and "With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!" (verse 10). AMEN!!!

So what spoke to you out of Psalm 119:1-24? Any fresh or new perspectives on God's Word and how vital it is for us? Tami W.

P.S. Getting Guidance from God's Word is our series this week on Back to the Bible. Dr. Kroll has much to show us about the only book God ever wrote. I invite you to join us and take part in this important study.

Powerful prayer

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Luke 11:1-13

Today we see probably the most well known prayer in the Bible, the Lord's prayer. But it was Jesus' words after the prayer that I found most helpful. What a wonderful reminder that God wants us to talk with Him. He wants us to come boldly before him with our prayers. "For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened to you" (verse 10).

So would you join me in considering and answering these questions today? Are we coming boldly before the Lord? If not, what's holding us back? What needs to happen for that to change? Tami W.

God with us

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Psalm 139:1-24

I don't know how many times someone has told me (or I've told someone else) that God is always with us and that He knows everything about us. It's a message we all need to hear and was it ever clear in Psalm 139. But here's the thing, sometimes because I'm familiar with it and heard this so many times, I take God's presence and his understanding and knowledge of me for granted. I basically short change myself when I allow that to happen. Not good.

So how can we make sure we're taking full advantage of God knowing us and being with us at all times? And if we're not there, what are some actions we can take to change that? Tami W.

James 4:4-10

James pretty boldly tells us to submit and humble ourselves before the Lord (verses 7 and 11). That got me thinking about what it really means to be humble. I came up with quite a number of examples and the realization that humbleness starts in our hearts but needs to work its way out into our actions.

So what does humbling yourself before God mean for you? And what might it look like, practically? Tami W.

Our Goal? LOVE

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1 John 4:7-21

The word, actually the topic, of the day is love. John really brings home in 1 John 4:7-21 God's absolute and amazing love for us and the importance of us accepting that love and passing it on to others. Numerous times we see the command to love. Now that sounds easy enough, right? Well....Ok, I'm totally with John here but loving people can be difficult because none of us are perfect.

So how can we start with and then keep an attitude of love each day? And when we find ourselves in a situation where our inclination isn't love, what can we do--right then--to change that and put love into practice? Tami W.

A song from God

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Psalm 42:6-11

These words of Psalm 42:8 caught my attention today, "By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me." Now I love the first part of this verse. I find it reassuring. But the "at night his song is with me" part got me thinking and I really liked where I ended up.

So what are your thoughts on his song being with us at night? What does it mean for you personally? Tami W.

Psalm 42:1-6

One thing I get from Psalm 42 is that even as a Christian we're going to have those times when we're down, we're stressed, even depressed. Just look at verse 5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you in turmoil within me?" As I considered what to blog about today, I read our six verses a number of times. I didn't see it at first, but then I realized that Psalm 42 really provides us with a number of instructions for how we can rely on God and get through our hard times.

Right away we see that we should desire and thirst for the living God (verses 1 and 2); two different times we read about remembering God's goodness (verses 4 and 6); we see that we can pour out our soul to God (verse 4); and in verse 5 we see very plainly that we should "Hope in God." I came away thinking I can praise God and be thankful even and especially when I'm experiencing hard times.

So what did you get from Psalm 42:1-6? How did these six short verses speak to you today? Tami W.

Psalm 84:1-12

There was one word on my mind as I finished Psalm 84--passion. I was struck by the fervent way the psalmist described his desire to be in the Lord's presence. So much so that we're told his "soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord" (verse 2) and that even one day in the courts of the Lord is better than thousands elsewhere (verse 10). Good illustrations.

So how would you describe your passion for the Lord? Tami W.

Hope indeed

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empty tomb

Matthew 28:1-20

Well today is Easter Sunday and Matthew 28:1-20 was a wonderful passage for me. I never get tired of reading how the women found that EMPTY tomb. And then there's verse 5: "But the angel said to the women 'do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.'" Don't you just want to shout AMEN to that?

So what does "he is not here, for he has risen, as he said" mean for you? Tami W.

Matthew 27:15-66

Sinful behavior is abundant in Matthew 27:15-66. We see example after example of the people ridiculing, belittling, mocking, disparaging--rejecting--Jesus. As I read I could almost feel the hatred and distaste. It was a powerful reminder to me of how lost our world is and how much we all need Christ.

With that in mind, would you take a minute and think about the people you have contact with each week--family, friends, co-workers, neighbors? How many of them need Christ? Now I realize this may be bold and a little scary, but would you step out and invite one (or more) of these people to church this weekend? It could change their life forever. Tami W.

P.S. I'd still love to hear about your Easter traditions, so please share away!

Isaiah 53:2-6; Ephesians 2:4-9

What perfect passages today as Easter is fast approaching and as I'm in Israel with 200 or so people on our annual Back to the Bible Israel tour. As I read in Isaiah, my heart was heavy just thinking about what Jesus endured so that we could have salvation. But that heaviness turned to thankfulness and gratefulness as I finished in Ephesians.

As we celebrate Easter this weekend, what are some ways we can show our love, our thankfulness, our gratefulness to Christ--both publicly and privately? Tami W.

P.S. Our BttB Israel group will be having an Easter Sunrise Service on the Mount of Olives (How cool is that?). Are you planning anything special this Easter or maybe you have an ongoing Easter tradition?

Before vs. After

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John 21: 1-19

The fishing scenario today in John 21 got me thinking about how I operate sometimes. I'm guessing you'll be able to relate. Here's my scenario. I start pursuing a goal or task for the Lord and I work and work at it but this task isn't as successful as I hoped it would be. So I try harder and, of course, ponder what the problem is. And then, it hits me. I realize that even though I've been working hard for the Lord, I haven't really sought after His direction and guidance. And then when I do, it makes all the difference in the world.

So have you had any of these "fishing" experiences? How can we do a better job of seeking the Lord's direction before we jump in to a task? Tami W.

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 April 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2010 is the previous archive.

May 2010 is the next archive.

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