February 2013 Archives

Hurry Up and Wait

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Isaiah 40:28-31

Patience and waiting are difficult things for me. You see I'm a MAJOR type A and that means I'm usually doing or working on accomplishing something. So as I read Isaiah 40:28-31, a smile came to my face because I was reminded--once again--that waiting on the Lord is the wise way to operate through life. I came away with this: If the Lord is truly the everlasting God (and he is), then I (we) certainly don't need to be in such a hurry.

So what are some of the benefits of waiting on the Lord? How can we use Isaiah 40:28-31 to help us slow down (chill out) and wait on the Lord? Tami W.

Do Our Part

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Psalm 5:1-12

I don't know how many times I've asked God to direct my path and lead me in His ways. So David's petition to "Lead me in your righteousness" really resonated with me today. But here's the thing. Asking God to lead us is wonderful, but it requires action on our part, too. You see God speaks (communicates) to us through His Word. So it's when we read our Bible that we hear from God--that's how we learn about Him and His righteousness.

So how did God speak to you from Psalm 5 today? What did you learn about His righteousness? Tami W.

Unextinguishable

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John 1:1-16

John 1 tells us a lot about Jesus, particularly those first five verses. So I spent a few extra minutes today just going back and reading this chapter again, looking specifically for information about Jesus. I'm glad I took the extra time because it was definitely encouraging, particularly verse 5. It really spoke to me. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."

So what did John 1 show you about Jesus today? Was there a particular verse or phrase that stood out to you? Tami W.

H2-OH!

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Psalm 63:1-8

Some of us don't drink enough water. Don't like the taste, too busy to think about it. Besides, if you're like me, you have your coffee and Diet Pepsi, right? Problem is, that stuff doesn't give the human body what it needs. So, many times, even without realizing it, we're actually thirsting for water!

Maybe the same applies to spiritual thirst. Are you recognizing spiritual thirst the way David did in Psalm 63? Or are you trying to fill the needs of your soul with the wrong stuff? Hey, if you have some insight to help identify those things we fill up on, rather than real living water, please share! And if you have encouragement about how God's living water is nourishing you -- let us hear it! Tami W.

(By the way, your spiritual thirst has a source. Learn more with today's Back to the Bible study -- part of a week-long series called How to Find God in the Bible.)

Attitude of Praise

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Psalm 67

Make this your day for praising. Psalm 67 is filled with praising God. How fitting with it being Sunday, a day we typically think about and equate with praising. But here's the thing. While singing or reading scripture at church is certainly praising (and I love doing both), there six other days of the week for praising, not to mention plenty of other ways for us to praise the Lord.

So let's help each other get more involved and creative with our praising. What are some ways that you praise God through the week? Is there specific activity or place you go that brings praise to your lips or gives you an attitude of praise? Tami W.

P.S. One thing that helps me praise God is working in my flower garden. (Of course right now, it's covered in several inches of snow!) But during the spring & summer, as I spend time planting and tending it, I am constantly amazed at God's workmanship and beauty. Before I know it, I'm praising Him right there with all my heart. Can't wait for warmer weather!

Astounding Actions

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Psalm 66

Psalm 66 basically starts off marveling about God's awesome deeds. And then when we get to verse 5 we see that God "is awesome in his deeds towards the children of man." So that thought--that God does awesome deeds for us and specifically for me--stuck in my mind as I read on. Then I hit verse 16 "let me tell you what he has done for me." That got me thinking about and remembering what some of those incredible deeds were. There were plenty--like giving me my husband and sustaining our marriage, bringing me to Back to the Bible for my work, and guiding me to an incredible church where I can participate and use my gifting--just to name a few biggies.

So what are some of the awesome deeds God has done on your behalf? Think about it. Then how about living out verse 16 and telling us about some of your experiences? You'll be glad you did. Tami W.

Persistent Pursuit

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Jonah 1:1-2:10

I'm so thankful that God isn't fickle like Jonah (or us for that matter)--that He doesn't show us love and favor one day and then change His mind and treat us differently the next. God never changes, and that is so evident from Jonah's story. All through this book we see God's continual love and pursuit of Jonah, independent of Jonah's heart, his attitude, his mood or demeanor. (Again, thank you, Lord!)

So what can we do to be more consistent (less fickle) in responding to God's love and the tasks He has for us? Tami W.

Pity Party

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Psalm 73:1-28

Have you ever been where Asaph was in Psalm 73--envious of the people of the world and their perceived prosperity? It's pretty easy to let your mind go there, especially when you've been diligent in serving and following the Lord yet you're struggling. You just can't seem to make ends meet financially, one thing after the other seems to go wrong, you or a loved one gets a bad report from the doctor--you get the drift.

So the next time we're tempted to give in and have a pity party, what can we do to take our eyes off of us and our situation and focus them instead on God and His provision and protection?
Tami W.

People=Struggles

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2 Timothy 4:6-18

People are...people (human) and we see that pretty clearly from 2 Timothy 4:8-16 today. Some will stand strong with us in God's work, some will work with us for a season and still others will desert or even oppose us. Yet, we're all part of the Body and called to work together for Christ.

So how can we use 2 Timothy 4:8-16 to help us keep on keeping on with people--other brothers and sisters in Christ--as we do the work God has for us? Tami W.

Dark But Impressive

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2 Samuel 15:1-37

It's hard for me to even imagine the emotions David must have been feeling as he was forced to leave his home and city because of Absalom's conspiracy to be king. This is most certainly one of David's darkest days, yet his response was exceptional. It spoke volumes to me about his relationship with the Lord. Look at verses 24-26. In the middle of an awful situation, we don't see David losing his cool. He isn't panicked or flustered. Instead we see composure and complete trust and submission to the Lord. "'But if he [the Lord] says, "I have no pleasure in you," behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him'" (verse 26).

I want to be more like David when that unexpected chaos comes into my life--and it always does. So how do we get there? How do we develop absolute trust and submission to God? Tami W.

Chain Reaction

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Genesis 16:1-16

Have you ever noticed how what may seem right in our eyes, can get us into trouble? That's the situation I saw as I read Genesis 16 today. Sarai and Abraham (good people by the way) didn't seek the Lord in some key decisions. So one bad decision (Sarai giving Hagar to Abraham) led to more poor decisions and sinful behavior. Now it's not too hard to point fingers here, but if we're honest, we operate just like this all too often.

So how can we get better, be more diligent, in seeking God's will for the decisions we make in our lives? And if we find ourselves in the middle of a chain of poor decisions, what action do we take to get back on track? Tami W.

P.S. Did you know that "God loves you even when..."? That's the title of our series this week on Back to the Bible. So why don't you join Dr. Kroll and me for these encouraging studies. I think you'll like them.

Our God

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Psalm 65

There's no doubt--God is our provider. What an awesome picture Psalm 65 paints of God. The more I read, the more I was impacted with the message that God is the maker and owner of everything and that He alone provides for me. I particularly liked verse 9 with God taking care of the earth, watering it and making it rich and abundant. And then the words "the river of God is full of water." I was comforted and my heart was calmed by this Psalm.

So how did Psalm 65 strike you? Did God impress something on your heart as your read? Tami W.

Psalm 64

Our tongues are powerful weapons. As I read Psalm 64, I couldn't help but notice how the tongue (our speech) seemed to be a key focus. Verse 3 talks about tongues being like swords and how deadly words can be. And in verse 5, again we see talking about evil things. Then finally in verse 8, we see that God turns the tongues of the evil against themselves to bring them to ruin.

So after reading Psalm 64, how important is it that we watch our tongues? Any thoughts on how we should conduct ourselves when others are using their tongues against us? Tami W.

Important Bodies

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Ephesians 5:15-21; 1 Corinthians 6:17-20

How often do you think about your body as not being your own and being a temple to the Holy Spirit? (1 Corinthians 6:19). I'm guessing not that frequently, if you're anything like me. So I was glad that Paul brought these things to my attention today. You see, Paul's message here in 1 Corinthians 6:17-20 is really something we need to realize and think about as we live out our lives in bodies that belong to the Lord.

So how can we keep a "temple" mindset from day to day? And how should we be taking care of and maintaining our "temple"? Tami W.

Join the Bandwagon

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Romans 15:14-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

I found myself kind of sitting on the edge of my chair as I read Romans 15:14-21. Paul's words conveyed total, almost over the top, enthusiasm for the Lord and his job of sharing the message of Christ. I loved it. Paul's words really connected with me. Listen to this: "In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me..." (verses 17-18).

Now I want to join that bandwagon. How about you? So how do we get and maintain enthusiasm like Paul when it comes to serving the Lord and spreading the gospel message? Tami W.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! If you haven't done so already, be sure to tell someone you love them today!

Not of This World

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1 Corinthians 2:6-16; John 14:23-27

Earthly wisdom vs. spiritual wisdom is really laid out for us in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, and they are most certainly not the same. We all have access to earthly wisdom, but only those of us who have accepted Christ as Savior have access to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

The more I read this morning, it really hit me what a priceless gift the Holy Spirit is. Did you notice verse 12? "That we have received ...the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God." And then there is verse 16 where we're told that "we have the mind of Christ." Did you catch that? We have the mind of Christ. WOW!

So what does having the mind of Christ mean for you? What can we do to utilize this wisdom? Tami W.

Put a Stake through It

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Romans 8:13-17; 26-27

As is typical, I read a couple of different versions of our passage and I found myself really liking the language of the ESV (English Standard Version) in verse 13 where it tells us that we can "put to death" our flesh, our sinful acts, our "deeds of the body" if we live according to the Spirit. Those words--put to death--triggered a pretty good image.

So what kind of action will it take for us to live according to the Spirit and stop being controlled by that old sinful nature? Tami W.

Spirit of Truth

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John 16:7-15

Have you ever thought that if only Jesus were here with us today we'd be able to see things more clearly or maybe understand something better? I know I have. But Jesus makes it clear in John 16 that his returning to the Father was necessary and a good thing for us because if he didn't go away the Holy Spirit (our "Helper") would not come to us. (vs.7). And then Jesus says this: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth." Now there's a promise I want to grab onto.

So how do we make the most of the Holy Spirit living in us and guiding us in our lives? Any examples of the Holy Spirit being your "Helper"? Tami W.

P.S. Today starts week two of the series The God Within: What the Holy Spirit Does on Back to the Bible. If you haven't gotten the opportunity to listen yet, I encourage you to join us for the program this week. It's really a great study and it's packed full of information on the Holy Spirit.

What's not to love?

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heart

1 John 3:19-4:21

"And this is his [God's] commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us" (1 John 3:23). There seem to be four main areas where we have the opportunity to live out this "love one another" command--with family, with friends, at work and at church. (maybe a fifth if we include interacting with strangers). So I figured it'd be appropriate (especially with Valentine's Day right around the corner) for us just think about how we're doing where love is concerned. Are we acknowledging it, giving it, receiving it? I love (no pun intended) to receive love, but depending on my mood or what's happened in my day, I don't always reciprocate love. I need to work on that.

It's absolutely clear from our reading today that loving is important. So take a couple of minutes to just consider your relationships and how you're interacting with the people around you. How might you improve on giving as well as receiving love? Tami W.

Psalm 63

I find myself reading Psalm 63 frequently. I'm drawn to it because it lays out so descriptively what an intimate relationship with the Lord looks like. For me, it's kind of like a mini tutorial for interacting with God. Right off the bat I see that I need to earnestly seek God and that my desire and thirst should be for Him (and that's just in the first verse).

So did Psalm 63 prompt you to think about your relationship with the Lord? Was there a particular verse or thought that you found helpful? Tami W.

One Approved

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Ephesians 4:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:15-19

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, when we become part of the Body of Christ, people should notice a difference in us. That difference may not be huge to start out, but as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, it should become more and more noticeable.

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we should do our best to present ourselves to God as "one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." That verse hit me powerfully this morning. So much so that I've decided to print this verse out and put it in the front of my Bible so I can read it each morning. (Thank you Paul, for this daily call to action.)

So if being "one approved...rightly handling the word of truth" is our goal, what are some things we can do to get us there? (Remember, our lives are in process.) What does being "one approved" look like realistically in our day-to-day lives? Tami W.

P.S. By the way, we're still on the topic of the Holy Spirit on the Back to the Bible program. The series runs through the 15th, so take a listen.

Sealed

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2 Corinthians 1:18-22; 5:1-10

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:22 that God has "put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." In other words, we're sealed by the Holy Spirit.

For the next two days on Back to the Bible, Dr. Kroll is teaching on the Holy Spirit sealing us and what that means. And on today's program we see that our sealing signifies identity, ownership, security and value. I encourage you to listen to get a complete explanation and all the details from Dr. Kroll.

As a Christ-follower, does knowing that you're sealed by the Holy Spirit encourage you? Make you thankful? Confident? Tami W.

I Want the Power

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Romans 8:1-11; John 14:15-17

I don't know if you're like me, but I don't typically sit around thinking about and considering how powerful the Holy Spirit is. But as I read Romans 8:1-11, that's exactly where I landed. For whatever reason, I hadn't noticed before the numerous references to and/or examples of the power of the Holy Spirit in this passage.

• verse 2--the law of the Spirit of life;
• verse 5--living according to the Spirit;
• verse 6--setting our minds on the Spirit;
• verse 9--we are in the Spirit;
• verse 11--the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead.

So now with our attention fully on the Holy Spirit and His power, a couple of questions for us to consider? Am I (are you) drawing on, and taking full advantage of, the power of the Holy Spirit living in us? And if not, what can I/you/we do or change to make that happen so we can live our lives to the fullest? Tami W.

One Spirit

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Acts 1:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

Paul uses the example of our physical body and how its parts work together to help us understand that all members of the Body of Christ (believers) draw on and function under one Spirit. "For in one Spirit we were baptized into one Body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit" (vs. 13).

So what does this passage show us about the Holy Spirit? What about how we are to function working and serving together? Tami W.

Hello Holy Spirit!

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

Well we're starting a two week series on the Holy Spirit today on Back to the Bible. It's called The God Within: What the Holy Spirit Does. I encourage you to tune in and take part in these great studies with Dr. Kroll. We'll learn all about the Holy Spirit--Who He is, His role, what a helper He is to us, and more.

So what did you observe or see about the Holy Spirit in John 3:1-8 and Galatians 5:22-25? Did anything in particular grab your attention? Why? Tami W.

Good Emphasis

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Psalm 62

One of the things I notice about Psalm 62 is that several key ideas are repeated and emphasized for us.

- For God alone, my soul waits
- He only is my rock and salvation (hope); my fortress
- I shall not be shaken

All incredible reminders that God has us and our lives covered. So coming to Psalm 61 yesterday and 62 today was good for me.

So how might we put Psalm 62 into practice in our day-to-day lives? How can we draw on these incredible words and let them be our guide? Tami W.

Psalm 61

We're back in the Psalms over the weekend before we start into a new set of Scriptures dealing with the Holy Spirit on Monday (be looking for that). Psalm 61 is a good one. It mirrors where I'm at many times--crying out to God when my heart is faint--knowing that He is my refuge and strong tower. As part of David's psalm, he asks, "Let me dwell in your tent forever." Now I bet I've read that phrase here and elsewhere a hundred times, but I've never really thought about it.

So if each of us was to make that request--Lord, let me dwell in your tent forever--what would we be asking for? 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.

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 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

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