January 2011 Archives

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Genesis 22:1-19

Abraham is given this unfathomable test from God to sacrifice his only son. The son whom he and Sarah had asked God for for so many years. The son that was truly a miracle baby. So how did he respond? Perfectly--with complete trust, complete faith and complete obedience. We would do well to follow in Abraham's example from Genesis 22:1-19.

What did you learn from Abraham's actions and responses? What are some things you could put into practice going forward? Tami W.

Joyful, Joyful

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Psalm 98:1-9

If you're needing a "joyful" shot in the arm today, then Psalm 98 is sure to supply. As with so many psalms, it's about singing and praising the Lord. I particularly like verse 8 where the psalmist gives us the unusual description of the rivers clapping their hands and the hills singing for joy together. That got me thinking If the rivers and hills can be that exuberant, what does that tell me about my joy in the Lord? I think I've got some work to do!!

So what can we do to make sure we're all about being joyful in the Lord this week? How are we going to experience joy? How can we display it, share it, and even receive it? Tami W.

He Reigns

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Psalm 97:1-12

Psalm 97 starts out with these words, "The Lord reigns" and the subtitle in my Bible (maybe yours too?) for this chapter also reads "The Lord Reigns." So we know right away what this entire chapter is about and we see a number of examples and descriptions of the Lord's strength, power, might and rule.

Psalm 97 prompted me to spend a little time thinking about the Lord reigning and what that means and looks like for me. Here are some of my thoughts: There's no doubt that the Lord is in control of my life. He's God and I am not. But the Lord reigning means so much more. First off, I want the Lord to reign in my life. But for that to be the case, I must recognize Him for who He is, willingly submit and then strive to follow and serve Him fully each day. That's a tall order and there are plenty of days I fall short. Maybe that's why we have new days--to give us a fresh start. There is nothing more peaceful, more satisfying, more confirming than to look back at the end of day and know that, today the Lord reigned in me.

So what does the Lord reigning mean to you and your life? Any examples you want to share? Tami W.

They Are Watching

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Genesis 21:22-34

Abimelech is back on the scene today, but this time he is seeking a treaty with Abraham. Why? Abimelech tells Abraham that "God is with you in all you do.'' You see Abimelech has been watching Abraham and he's seen and taken note that Abraham believes in and follows God and that Abraham is being blessed by God. What a great example and reminder that as Christ-followers people are watching, noticing and, yes, assessing what we do and how we live.

So think about your life, maybe a typical week. What are you doing that lets others know that 'God is with you and in all you do'? What might you do to make that statement even stronger? Tami W.

Real Life God

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Genesis 21:1-21

We've been looking at faith a lot these past few weeks, and Genesis 21:1-21 touches on it again. However, the faithfulness of God was the message that hit me front and center from today's passage. We're looking into the lives of a number of people and each one is in a different place emotionally and spiritually. Now, here's what struck me--God was faithful to each person right where they were at, circumstances and all. (God is so good!)

So what does Genesis 21:1-21 show us about God's character and His faithfulness? How might you draw on and use what you saw with these people and their circumstances for your own life today? Tami W.

Again???

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Genesis 20:1-18

Well, Abraham does it again. Just like he did in Egypt (Genesis 12) Abraham tries to pass Sarah off, not as his wife, but as his sister. The first attempt backfired and the second is going to backfire as well. Hmmm...imagine that!

So what does this passage show us about getting off course in our walk with God? What does it reveal about God and how He works with and through people? Tami W.

Nuggets...

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Romans 4:1-25

We're getting yet another look at Abraham and the importance of faith today, only this time from Romans. No matter how much I read or hear about faith, I still find myself wondering about it--how to get more of it, how to strengthen it, sometimes why I've faltered with it. So I'm glad our passage was Romans 4:1-25 today because it really spoke to me in a fresh way about faith. I was particularly struck by verses 20-22 where I found a number of "nuggets" to draw on and put into practice. "No distrust made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."

So how did Romans 4 impact you today? What nuggets about faith did you uncover? Tami W.

Galatians 4:21-5:6

More from Paul today on the law and having faith in Christ. Now there are a number of points to consider and look at here in Galatians 4:21-5:6, but it was the point Paul made in the very last verse that really jumped off the page at me. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love" (Gal. 5:6).

So what does faith working through love mean to you? Based on the verses in Galatians 5, what is it we should be striving for? Tami W.

An Added Twist

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Psalm 96:1-13

Yesterday we were told to sing to the Lord (Psalm 95). We see that again here in Psalm 96 but with an added directive--to sing a new song to the Lord. Now that tells me that God welcomes and even expects us to be fresh and creative in our praise and celebration of Him. And if we're wondering what information, words, tone, etc. that our new song might include, we can get good start from just reading the rest of Psalm 96 for some examples.

So what are some new ways or new things you can do--publicly or privately--to celebrate the Lord? What is your new song going to look like? Tami W.

Psalm 95:1-11

"Oh Come, let us sing to the Lord..." (Psalm 95:1). I'm a singer and musician so those words really resonate with me. Of course I'm going to sing to the Lord. But what if you're not a singer? Maybe you can't really sing on tune and singing where someone might hear you is a little intimidating. No problem because although Psalm 95 starts by telling us to sing to the Lord, it then expands on that to say (twice) "make a joyful noise" to the Lord (vs. 1 & 2). I lead worship at my church, and one of my favorite things is seeing and hearing all the voices (on tune, kind of on tune and not on tune) raised in praise to the Lord. It's simply beautiful.

So how are you doing in the "make a joyful noise" department? What reasons do you have to sing to the Lord this weekend? Tami W.

Faith

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Galatians 3:5-22

Well we're reading all about faith today and, once again, whose name should show up but...Abraham? He really does give us a stellar example of faith--having faith in God and living by it. I love the last few words of verse 9 where Abraham is referred to as "the man of faith."

Based on what we see here in Galatians 3:5-22, how would you explain to someone being "blessed by faith" or "hearing with faith" versus works of the law? If someone was thinking of you today, would they say you were a man/woman of faith? Tami W.

No Escaping...Faith

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Hebrews 11:1-22

We get a wonderful description of faith right off in Hebrews 11. Then, we're shown (maybe I should say reminded of) story after story of ordinary people who had extraordinary faith. Did you notice the significant contributor Abraham is in this chapter? And Sarah is there as well.

So what did you see about faith from Hebrews 11:1-22? How can we use Hebrews 11 to boost our faith today? Tami W.

Different Attitudes

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Genesis 18:1-15

Abraham and Sarah entertain heavenly visitors in Genesis 18:1-15. Abraham is...well like he always is...respectful and reverent. Sarah, on the other hand, isn't quite that. When she overhears the Lord say "'I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son,'" her response is sarcastic, even a little skeptical. Quite a contrast between Abraham and Sarah here, don't you think?

So when circumstances are tough or just don't seem to make sense, what can we do to help us respond more like Abraham and less like Sarah? Tami W.

A Sweet Read

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Genesis 17:1-27

Genesis 17 gives us the privilege of seeing a wonderful conversation between God and Abram (soon to be Abraham). The entire passage showed me a lot about Abraham (as well as God), and it really highlighted for me a depth of relationship. Abraham was reverent and respectful and most certainly recognized God as God. Yet at the same time, he was comfortable with God and open and genuine in his responses. Abraham also acted immediately once God told him what He wanted him to do. As I looked back over this chapter and considered what I had read and saw, my main thought was I want to make sure I'm like Abraham when it comes to my relationship with God.

So what did you learn from Abraham that you could start practicing today? Did Genesis 17 reveal anything to you about your relationship with God? Tami W.

Hand It Over

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Genesis 16:1-16

Sarai takes matters into her own hands in Genesis 16. Poor judgment on her part, and as we see, it leads to problems all around. Now as I was reading, I found myself kind of looking down my nose at Sarai thinking Oh please, what's up with you? Well, that only lasted a few seconds before I felt convicted. You see if the truth be told, there have been plenty of times when I've taken matters into my owns hands just like Sarai. I want things to happen when I want--according to what's convenient for me, and if I allow myself to dwell on that, I somehow convince myself that God's plan--His timing--is surely in alignment with mine. (Yeah... right.)

So how do we guard against letting our desire for immediate action interfere with us fully submitting and following God's plans and timetable? Tami W.

Cheer My Soul

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Psalm 94:12-23

I appreciate how Psalm 94:12-23 openly recognizes that the Christian life is not a cake walk. Life is....life, and it can be tough. But as a follower of Christ, our circumstances don't have to dictate our lives because God is in control and He is our helper and our consoler. That means that we can have joy regardless of what's going on in, and around, our lives. "When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul" (vs. 19).

Think about how the Lord has helped and consoled you in the past and take a moment to thank Him. Then, let's consider this: how do we make sure we're fully relying on God as the controller of all things, and also leaning on Him to be our helper, comforter and consoler? Tami W.

No Secrets

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Psalm 94:1-11

Have you ever noticed how when life's not going our way, many times we have this tendency to focus, more than usual, on us and our circumstances? We seem to zero in on how we've been wronged or hurt and we want whatever our situation is to get taken care of. That's kind of the feel I got from the psalmist as he starts out in Psalm 94...but as he lets off some steam, his attitude and mindset change. And by the time we get to verse 8 the focus shifts. The psalmist is now looking at and directing our attention toward God, reminding us of His greatness, control and sovereignty. I love these words, "He who teaches man knowledge--the Lord--knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath" (vs.10-11).

So what do verses 8-11 tell us about God? How can we draw on and use these verses the next time we're in a tough situation? Tami W.

P.S. There's still time to share your story of how the Bible has benefited you. Just go to our Facebook page...you'll see where to share (might have to scroll down a bit). It doesn't have to be deep...or long...just give us your take on it.

BELIEVE

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Genesis 15:1-21

God comes to Abram in Genesis 15 and promises him that Abram will have a son to be his heir and that Abram's offspring will be as numerous as the stars. Now that's quite an amazing promise considering Abram's circumstances. But that doesn't make one bit of difference to Abram. Verse 6 says "And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness." I love this verse because it is such a picture of complete trust and faith.

So here are a couple of questions for us to consider: Do we, like Abram, believe what the Lord tells and promises us? Why or why not? And if not, what do we need to do to get there? Tami W.

P.S. Head over to our Facebook page and join the conversation we've having about the benefits you've experienced from reading God's Word. A few of our P4 team members have already chimed in. Now it's your turn.

Go Getter!

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Genesis 14:1-24

Lot gets into some trouble today in Genesis 14. He and all his family and possessions are taken captive and are being taken to another country as prisoners of war. Abram isn't part of this war, but when he gets word of what has happened, he gathers his forces and literally comes to the rescue. Verse 14 tells us that Abram and his men "went in pursuit" and then in verse 16 we see that Abram brings back Lot, his possessions and the women and children. We could all use a relative or friend like Abram.

So how can we make sure we're looking for and helping our family (and friends) when trouble comes their way? What might you do (even today) to be a support to your spouse, children, parents, etc. both before and in the middle of difficult times? Tami W.

Nobody Likes It

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Genesis 13:1-18

Nobody likes conflict, but it always happens, and it just seems to be most prevalent in and around family matters. So today Abram is faced with conflict and I love the example he gives us for handling it--He deals with the conflict straight up. No hedging. No anger. He simply addresses Lot with the facts of the situation and voices his desire for a win-win outcome.

So how might you draw on Abram's example the next time conflict surfaces? Was there anything else in Genesis 13 that stood out to you today?
Tami W.

Faulty Thinking

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Genesis 12:10-20

Every time I read Genesis 12:10-20 about Abram and Sarai's journey to Egypt, I kind of scratch my head. Just a few verses earlier Abram is so tuned in to God and now, here he is really off course. Abram is fearful of what might happen as he and his family come into Egypt. I can understand that... So he sought the Lord and turned it over to Him, right? Not hardly. Instead of consulting God about the situation and seeking His protection, Abram relies on his own thinking--which is, by the way, faulty. And Sarai seems to be right there with him in this thinking.

Well as much as I don't want to admit it, I react like Abram and Sarai...oh...plenty often. (I'm guessing you do to?) So, what can we do to help make sure God is the first place we turn when we encounter fearful, unpleasant, or overwhelming situations? How might we help someone else if we see them reacting like Abram or Sarai here? Tami W.

Hello Abram

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Genesis 12:1-9

We're starting a 4-week radio series today on Back to the Bible about Abram or Abraham (Dr. Kroll and I would love to have you join us for day one and the rest of the series.) As we get to know Abram in Genesis 12, we see him listening and responding to the call and direction from God to leave his country and his family and go to a new land. Not necessarily an easy or fun assignment, but Abram obeyed. What a great example for us.

So what did you learn from Abram that you can put into practice when you hear God calling you? Tami W.

VERY Trustworthy

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Psalm 93:1-5

These words of Psalm 93:5 hit me front and center today. "Your decrees are very trustworthy." They summed up what I was already thinking which was...if the world is established and shall never be moved, and the Lord's throne is established from of old and He is from everlasting...then how could I not trust Him fully with the details of my life? Now I was thinking this because I am a control freak and it is a struggle for me to let go and turn things over--completely--to God. This is foolish behavior on my part and I know that, so being reminded of the Lord's trustworthiness, His sovereignty and control, were just what I needed today.

So how did Psalm 93 speak to you? How might you use it to help you this week? Tami W.

Thank You!

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Psalm 92:1-15

I love the opening verses of Psalm 92. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord...For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work..." I have to say AMEN to that! Now I try, everyday, to make sure I give thanks to the Lord. Even so, I know I could do better.

So would you join me in a little exercise? Take a couple of minutes and think about what you're thankful for today--and I mean everything--not just the big things. Then, complete this statement.

I love you Lord. Thank you for ___________________________.

I'll start us off with a few of mine. I love you Lord. Thank you for: my loving husband, my church and pastor, for making it possible for me to talk to my sister in Africa today, for the beautiful orchids that are blooming in my window and reminding me of you, for the opportunities you put before me to be involved in telling others about you. Tami W.

Forever Hope

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Titus 1:1-3

Did you notice our reading today, Titus 1:1-3, isn't even a full sentence? No worries because this partial sentence is full of good news and encouragement. We're looking at the opening of Paul's letter to Titus. Right up front Paul tells us that as followers of Christ, we have hope of eternal life in the present, and we know this because God has given us this promise.

So what can and should we be doing with this incredible promise? How can we use these verses to encourage ourselves and others today? Tami W.

Inevitable Death?

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Titus 2:11-15

Have you ever heard someone say that there are two things you can never escape--death and taxes? As far as taxes are concerned, that statement is pretty accurate, but as for death...well, that may not be the case. In Titus 2:11-15 Paul tells us about the blessed hope all Christ-followers have--the hope that we may not have to experience death should Christ return for believers while we are living. What a wonderful possibility. But then Paul lets us know that while we wait for this blessed hope (maybe even pray for it), we should still be living fully for Christ, being "zealous for good works" (vs. 14).

So what's your plan to accomplish being "zealous for good works" going forward? How can we use and draw upon this blessed hope as a motivator to godly living in the here and now? Tami W.

Resurrection Hope

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1 Corinthians 15:20-28

We're back at 1 Corinthians 15 today considering resurrection hope. Paul has reminded the Corinthians (and us) that Christ did, in fact, raise from the dead. Then he goes on in verses 20-24 to tell us that as believers, we too, will be resurrected when Christ returns. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ" (vs. 22-23).

So what does knowing that we will follow Jesus in resurrection mean for you? How can we take this hope and use it as a motivator this week? Tami W.

No Doubt About It

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1 Corinthians 15:1-21

I love Paul. He just tells it like it is. He's bold and kind of in your face, but his words and message are clear. Today in 1 Corninthians 15:1-21 Paul is speaking to the church in Corinth, reminding and reinforcing to them the truth about Jesus' death and resurrection and the hope we have as a result.

"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (vs. 20-22).

So how can we draw on 1 Corinthians 15:1-21 to give us hope knowing that at some point in the future we, too, will face death? Tami W.

P.S. Dr. Kroll's study today on Back to the Bible is Jesus Christ Gives Us Dying Hope. If you didn't catch the program, check it out.

Living Hope

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1 Peter 1:3-9

Powerful words from Peter today all about the living hope we have right now, in the present, as followers of Christ. I've been a Christian a long time (asked Jesus into my heart when I was 8). I know what it means for me to be saved. But sometimes I need a little reminder and I got a wonderful one when I reached verse 4 and these words, "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you..." Absolutely awesome!

So if you're like me and haven't given a lot of thought to our living hope as of late, I encourage you to take a few minutes and do that today. Then let's consider these things together: What does having a living hope mean for us? How we can make the most of knowing that we have that imperishable, undefiled and unfading inheritance Peter tells us about? Tami W.

P.S. This week's studies on Back to the Bible are all about Hope for the New Year. So why don't you join Dr. Kroll and me for this uplifting and encouraging week of messages?

A Shot in the Arm

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Psalm 91:1-16

If I had to describe Psalm 91 in one word it would be...encouraging. The entire Psalm basically lays out the benefits of having a relationship with God. Now there was something for me to consider in every verse, but I found the last three verses, 14-16, particularly moving. What a vivid picture of God's love and of His desire to be in relationship with us. Thank you, God.

What encouragement did you find in Psalm 91? How might you use and draw upon this Psalm in the coming weeks? Tami W.

Precious Time...

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Psalm 90:1-17

Happy New Year

Happy New Year all you P4ers out there! Can you believe it's already 2011? How time flies. Well, speaking of time, did you notice how often time is referenced and mentioned in Psalm 90? It's pretty much everywhere:

  • Verse 1--God has "been our dwelling place in all generations."
  • Verse 2--God is "from everlasting to everlasting."
  • Verse 4--"for a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."
  • Verse 10--"The years of our life are seventy; or even by reason of strength eighty...they are soon gone, and we fly away."
But the verse that really grabbed me was verse 12, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

Take another read through Psalm 90. What do these words tell us about the time we have here on earth? What might putting verse 12 into action look like for us? 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 January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

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