February 2011 Archives

Fruitful Evidence

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John 3:1-8; Galatians 5:22-25

The moment we receive Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. Once that happens, our lives should change. How should we look? Well Paul really lays it out for us in Galatians 5:22-23. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

So what fruitful evidence do you see in your life? What can you do to improve on any areas that aren't as strong as others? Tami W.

P.S. Today we're beginning a brand new 2-week series on Back to the Bible all about the Holy Spirit. Join us on air or on the web for further study.

Crying Out

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Psalm 88:1-18

Psalm 88 is not a "feel good" psalm for me. The author is distressed and hurting and when we get to the final verse, he's still there. Now if you're like me, you want (maybe even expect?) to see things righted by the time we get to the end of the chapter, kind of like how we like movies to have a happy ending. But Psalm 88 isn't a movie. It's real life, and as we know, hard circumstances take time to work through.

So what does Psalm 88 show us about communicating with God in and through tough times--when we are hurting, afraid, discouraged, feeling hopeless? Tami W.

Special City

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Psalm 87:1-7

One message came through loud and clear from Psalm 87--Jerusalem or Zion is special in the eyes of God. And what's special to God should be important to me as well.

So what can we learn about Jerusalem from Psalm 87? How can we use or draw on Psalm 87 when we get to other passages that talk about or take place in or around Jerusalem? Tami W.

2 Timothy 4:1-22

Timothy gets a serious charge in 2 Timothy 4. Paul instructs him to "teach the Word" because the time is coming when people will no longer want to hear the truth but will instead want to do whatever they want and get approval for it (vs. 2-4). Has this time arrived or what???

It's not always easy to be confronted with God's Truth. It's convicting and corrective. But knowing and following the Truth is a must. It is the Christian life.

So how do we keep from giving in to that "itching ear syndrome" when our actions or what we're thinking don't line up with God's Word? Tami W.

Lover of???

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2 Timothy 3:1-17

Paul gives us quite a list of attitudes and behaviors in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that are not pleasing to God. I didn't see one thing in this list that isn't rampant today. Watch some television, go to the movies, surf the net and you'll find them all. Now I'd love to say that as Christians we no longer have to concern ourselves with these behaviors, but that's just not the case. We aren't immune to any of the sinful things on Paul's list and they can and will creep in and take us out of the game if we're not careful.

So how do we stay a strong "lover of God"? How do we guard against slipping into these ungodly attitudes and behaviors? Tami W.

Useful

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2 Timothy 2:14-26

Paul charges Timothy (and us) to present ourselves to God as an approved worker. Then a few verses later he gives us the example of a useful vessel. Paul points out how our composition may differ (gold, silver, wood or clay) but lets us know that's ok because what's really important is that we are useful to God with whatever makeup we've been given.

Think about your unique makeup and how God has gifted you. What does being a useful vessel for God mean and look like for you. How do you plan to get there? Tami W.

Good Soldier

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2 Timothy 1:15-2:13

Paul uses a common example in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 to explain how we should be operating and navigating our life as a follower of Christ. He charges Timothy with being a good soldier for Christ, with the reminder that a soldier's goal is to please the one who enlisted him. So true.

So what does being a soldier for Christ mean to you? What can we do to make sure we keep our focus on pleasing Him? Tami W.

No Backing Down

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2 Timothy 1:1-14

We'll be spending this week in 2 Timothy lining up with Dr. Kroll's brand new radio series titled 2 Timothy: Paul's Encouraging Words. (Join us if you can!) As we start 2 Timothy Paul is giving instructions to Timothy and encouraging him to be bold for the Lord. In verse 8 Paul hits him head on with these words, "Do not be ashamed about the testimony of our Lord. . ." A good challenge for Timothy, and for us today.

So what does being bold for the Lord look like or mean for you? What can/will you do this week to take your boldness for Christ to the next level? Tami W.

Rock & Refuge

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2 Samuel 22:26-51

Today we're looking at the second half of David's song to the Lord found in 2 Samuel 22:26-51. And what I notice is how David is describing way after way that God has sustained and helped him. Now it's always a good exercise to write down or verbalize what God has done for us (the big, the medium and especially those little things because we have a tendency to overlook them).

So how has God been your rock and strong refuge? How is He sustaining you today? Think about it. Then, write it down and send us your thoughts. Tami W.

The Lord is my...

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2 Samuel 22:1-25

David is praising the Lord in 2 Samuel 22:1-4. In his song David recognizes the Lord as his God, rock, deliverer, fortress, shield, stronghold, refuge and Savior. As I read these verses I asked myself What words would I use to describe the Lord? So I decided to fill in the blank to "The Lord is my _________."

Here's what I wrote. The Lord is my helper, strength and the one who understands every single unique thing about me and still totally loves me. Thank you, Lord!

Now it's your turn. Fill in the blank to "The Lord is my ______________." Some of your choices might be the same as David's, which is fine, or you may have others. Think about it for a couple of minutes and then write away! Tami W.

Keep the Charge!

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1 Kings 2:1-10

From his deathbed, David reminds Solomon of the importance of always following the Lord. He commands Solomon to "Keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping His statutes, His commandments, His rules, and His testimonies..." (vs. 2). Good advice for Solomon and also for us today.

So how can we put 1 Kings 2:2 into practice? What will you do to "keep the charge of the LORD your God" this weekend? Tami W.

Give It Over

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2 Samuel 15:1-37

When someone has gone out of their way to hurt you, what's typically your first reaction? For me, I want to fight back. I don't like it when people say or do mean things to me and deep down, I want justice. But just because I'm hurt and feel like lashing out doesn't mean I should. And, boy, did I see that with David here in 2 Samuel 15:1-37.

David's son, Absalom, has allowed pride and envy to take over. He wants to be king so he attempts to overthrow David. It's a pretty ugly scenario. But instead of trying to take things into his own hands with a fight back mentality, we see David humble and submitting all that's going on around him to the Lord. These words from David kind of say it all. "Carry the ark of the Lord back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place" (vs. 25).

So what will you (or do you already) put into practice from David's actions and responses? What is it going to take for us to turn over all of our circumstances to the Lord? Tami W.

Everywhere You Look

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2 Samuel 13:1-39

Every time I read the story of Amnon and Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1-39, I get angry and then sad. From start to finish, this is a sin-filled story. It starts with Jonadab (with a friend like this, who needs enemies?) then on to Amnon, and finally Absalom.

So what does this account show us about sin--about its influence? Its reach? Its draw? How will you use what you learned about sin from 2 Samuel 13:1-39 to help you combat it? Tami W.

2 Samuel 11:1-27

I'm guessing we're all familiar with the account of David and Bathsheba and David's mongo (gigantic) error in judgment. There were a number of things I noticed from this story that I can definitely use and learn from. First that no one is immune to temptation and giving in to sin. David, the man after God's own heart, fell hard. Second, is how attractive sin can seem to us in the spur of the moment. And third, that even one unchecked sin can lead to another and another and so on...until we stand up and deal with it. Even though I've read 2 Samuel 11:1-27 many times, this look at David's lowest point was a good reminder of just how dangerous sin is.

We're all tempted every day and sometimes numerous times a day. That's just life. So what can you and I do to be proactive in dealing with temptation so that we don't take the next step and fall into sin? Tami W.

Extravagant Kindness

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2 Samuel 9:1-13

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The account of Mephibosheth is one of my favorites. It really reveals what a kind and tender heart David has. David inquires about anyone still living from the line of Saul. He finds out that there is someone and that person is Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. So David has Mephibosheth brought to him and then proceeds to show him extravagant kindness by restoring to him all the land of Saul and having him eat at David's table from then forward. Pretty cool!

So what did you see from 2 Samuel 9:1-13 about helping others and reaching out to someone in need? Who can you show "above and beyond" kindness and love to today (Valentine's Day) and beyond? Tami W.

Sad Chapter

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1 Samuel 31:1-13; 2 Samuel 1:17-27

Saul and his sons are killed in battle in 1 Samuel 31. When David receives the news, he tears his clothes, and then he and his men mourn, weep and fast. Not the response most people would expect after the awful way Saul treated David. David acts with honor, once again recognizing Saul as God's anointed at this time.

I found these passages heavy emotionally, yet good because they got me thinking about: dealing with and respecting others both before and after death; accepting and working through transitions; and the need to be in tune with God's plan and timing. So any thoughts on those? Or maybe you got something different from these passages? Tami W.

A Different David

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1 Samuel 25:1-42

Yesterday I was praising David for how he restrained himself when he had the opportunity to get revenge against Saul. But as we see here in 1 Samuel 25:1-42, circumstances can change things. David sends his men to ask Nabal, a wealthy herdsman, for provisions for he and his men. You see David's troop had been in this area for awhile and had actually been acting as protectors to Nabal's herdsman and their flocks. Nabal refuses David's request very rudely, and when David finds out, he and 400 of his men strap on their swords and head out to kill Nabal to avenge the wrong done to them. No restraint this time.

So I asked myself What's the difference here? What's caused this poor reaction in David? I went back and read some of the passage and what struck me was how anger played a key role. David was totally caught off guard by Nabal's rudeness. When his men relayed what had happened, he immediately got angry and things went downhill from there. Now the Bible doesn't tell us that getting angry is a sin, but we are told to not sin in our anger. David missed that mark here and we can too. (Believe me, I speak from experience.)

Getting angry is just part of life. So what can we do so that we don't respond like David the next time unexpected responses or circumstances make us angry? Tami W.

Sweet Revenge?

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1 Samuel 24:1-22

David is presented with the perfect opportunity to get revenge by killing Saul in 1 Samuel 24. Yet, he doesn't do it.

David and his men are hiding in a cave from Saul when Saul actually enters the cave to go to the bathroom. David's men urge David to kill Saul, reminding him of the Lord's words that He would give David his enemy into his hand. (vs. 4). David wavers but then stops, telling his men that he will not harm Saul because Saul is "the Lord's anointed." Then, instead of killing Saul, David follows him outside the cave, recognizes him as king, tells Saul that he will not harm him and even swears to Saul that he will not cut off Saul's family or family name. Pretty remarkable considering everything that had happened up to this point.

So what did 1 Samuel 24 show you about revenge? How can we use this passage to help us deal with people who have treated us poorly or unfairly? Tami W.

Voice of Reason

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1 Samuel 19:1-7; 20:1-42

Again today Saul is not thinking clearly. He is blinded by jealousy and acting sinfully. As we begin 1 Samuel 19 he informs his servants and his son Jonathan (who is David's best friend, by the way) that they should kill David. Now keep in mind that Saul is not only Jonathan's father, he is also the king. Even so, Jonathan speaks up and confronts Saul about his sinful intent. "Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned again you, and because his deeds have brought good to you" (vs. 4). Saul listens to Jonathan and changes course with regard to killing David, albeit only briefly.

So what does 1 Samuel 19:1-7 show us about the importance of having godly friends and relationships? How can we use this passage to help us deal with things like conflict, adversity or sinful behavior with regard to ourselves and how we interact with others? Tami W.

Clouded

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1 Samuel 18:1-30

David's difficulties with Saul begin today in 1 Samuel 18:1-30. People begin recognizing and praising David for his military successes and Saul can't handle it. He gets angry and jealous. But instead of dealing with his jealousy, Saul allows it to overtake him. And as time goes on, Saul's thinking and actions become more and more clouded.

So how do we guard against letting jealousy slip in and distort our judgment? What can we do if we're caught up with jealousy to put it aside and get back on the right track? Tami W.

Fresh Eyes

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1 Samuel 17:1-54

As I read the account of David and Goliath it really hit me how I/we can allow ourselves to become almost paralyzed by hard circumstances and fear when we focus on what's going on in our lives instead of focusing on the One who is in control of all that's going on.

That's exactly what we see here in 1 Samuel 17. Saul and his army have been at war with the Philistines for over a month. They are scared and Goliath's antics are adding to their fear and stress. They don't know what to do. Then, young David arrives during one of Goliath's taunting outbursts and his response is a 180 from Saul and the army. David is angered and indignant that Goliath would dare "defy the armies of the living God" and he wants to take action. He clearly has a different focus. These 6 words from David say it all. "For the battle is the Lord's..." (vs. 47).

Life is a challenge. So how do we keep those all important words "For the battle is the Lord's" at the forefront as we take on life's challenges each and every day? Tami W.

Look Inside

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1 Samuel 16:1-13

Today we start a two week trek of reading and learning about the life of David. We're looking at 1 Samuel 16:1-13 where God has directed Samuel to the family of Jesse, David's father, to anoint one of his sons the next king. Samuel doesn't know that David is the one God has chosen; he only knows it's one of Jesse's sons. So when the first son, who apparently had "the look" of a king in Samuel's opinion, came out, Samuel was ready to act. But God stopped him saying, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (vs. 6-7). As things end up, the most unlikely candidate, David, is who God had chosen to be the next king.

So how do we develop discerning eyes like the Lord so that we can see people like God does? Tami W.

P.S. Today on Back to the Bible we're starting a two weeks series, David: Pleasing the Heart of God. I invite you to join Dr. Kroll and me for the daily studies.

Oh, to Serve

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Psalm 100:1-5

One of the first things we see in Psalm 100 is that we're to "Serve the Lord with gladness!" I totally agree but unfortunately I don't always hit that mark. There are just some days when I don't feel like serving with gladness. And every time that happens it's because my focus has shifted off of the Lord and onto me and my circumstances--Something happens that I wasn't anticipating and I let myself get overloaded, overwhelmed and consumed with life.

So what can we do to help us be more consistent in serving the Lord with gladness? Tami W.

Exalt & Worship!

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Psalm 99:1-9

Three times in the nine short verses of Psalm 99 we're told that God is holy, and accompanying this declaration is the command to praise His name, (vs. 3), exalt the Lord and worship at his footstool (vs. 5) and to exalt the Lord and worship at his holy mountain (vs. 9). Pretty clear message.

So what are you going to do with the recurring instruction to both exalt the Lord and to worship Him? How will you put this into practice this weekend? Tami W.

Extraordinary Life

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Genesis 24:61-25:10

We come to the end of Abraham's life today in Genesis 25. I was drawn to verse 8. "Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people." This basically says to me that Abraham had a good life--living for the Lord. It made me think I want a life like that too (although maybe not 175 years). :)

We've been looking at Abraham for several weeks now so I thought a look back as we say goodbye to Abraham would be good. So what did God show you through Abraham's life story? Have you experienced any changes in you or put something into practice as a result? Tami W.

Model Servant

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Genesis 24:15-60

Focused. Determined. On Track. Those are just a few of the ways I would describe Abraham's servant who I found pretty amazing, by the way. We're not even told this man's name, yet the example of serving he provides is one of the best. This man definitely gave me something to think about regarding my own service.

We're all called to serve the Lord. So how can we use the example provided by Abraham's servant to improve on our service? Was there anything specific this man did that you would like to model? If so, how do you plan to do that? Tami W.

Strong with Age

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Genesis 24:1-14

I love everything about Abraham that I see in Genesis 24:1-14. He's an old man and he's still dead on with the Lord. Without any sign of wavering he sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac because he continues to take God at his word. The servant questions Abraham about his task and there's not even a hint of doubt in Abraham's response. "The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there" (vs 7).

So what does Abraham show us about trust and faith here in Genesis 24:1-14? Tami W.

P.S. Have you had any "no waver" faith situations like Abraham? I've had some (needing to sell a house, unexpected job loss, health problems) and just thinking back on them can be such a source of strength when challenges come my way. So if you're up for it, tell us about one of your faith experiences as an encouragement today.

Genesis 23:1-20

We hit a sad chapter today in Genesis 23. Sarah dies and Abraham is mourning and taking care of all the burial arrangements. But even though there is sadness, this account is very tender. There's no doubt Abraham loved Sarah with all his heart. And I was so appreciative of his example of honoring her even after her death. As I was reading, my mom came to mind. It was just about a year and a half ago that she died and I went through much the same process as Abraham here. Although it was hard, I'm so glad that that my siblings and I could recognize and honor my mom after her death.

So what can we draw out of Genesis 23 that might help us when we're faced with the loss of someone we love? How might we follow in Abraham's footsteps in this area? 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 February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2011 is the previous archive.

March 2011 is the next archive.

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