March 2013 Archives

Luke 24:5-6; Mark 16:6; Mathew 28:5-6

One of the things I enjoy about reading the Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) is how they give us parallel looks at many of the same happenings or events. Today we're reading about resurrection morning so I looked at the corresponding passages in Luke, Mark and Matthew. What I saw was one key phrase repeated over and over--Has has risen.

So what do these three parallel passages tell you about Jesus? Why are the words "He has risen" so significant? Tami

Suffering Savior

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Isaiah 53:1-12

If you are wanting to find out about salvation and Jesus as Savior, Isaiah 53 is a wonderful chapter to turn to because it gives a clear depiction of what Jesus accomplished on Calvary's cross. Verses 5-6 always speak powerfully to me. "But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Read through these two verses again but this time replace the word "our" with "my" and the word "we" with "I." Then take a few minutes to consider what this means for you. Once you've done that, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Tami

Scripture Walk

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Luke 24:13-35

Shortly after Jesus' resurrection, Jesus joins two men (who were disciples of Jesus) walking home to Emmaus. The men are discussing all the events and happenings surrounding Jesus' death, but they don't recognize Jesus ("But their eyes were kept from recognizing him" verse 16) when He engages them in conversation. Next thing you know, Jesus is teaching them from the Scriptures. Verse 27 tells us "he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Now this verse stands out to me because Jesus could have simply told these two men, look, here I am, I am Jesus, I died for your sin on the cross and now I'm risen. But He didn't. Instead, He turns to Scripture and explains it to them. And what was the response? Look at verse 32. "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"

So what does this passage convey to us about the importance of Scripture? How important is God's Word to your daily life? Tami

Do the Right Thing

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Luke 23:50-56

Doing what you know is right can be tough. And we get a glimpse of that with Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council, but he didn't agree with them or join in the crusade to have Jesus killed. (Luke 23:50-51 says that Joseph was a "good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action.") But Joseph doesn't leave things there. He does what he knows is right--going to Pilate, asking for Jesus' body and then providing a tomb for Jesus.

When have you been a "Joseph" and done what you know is the right thing in spite of others doing the opposite? How did that make you feel? And how did it help you going forward? Tami

Luke 23:26-49

Two thieves were crucified with Jesus. One thief defiantly taunts Jesus about being "the Christ," but the other has a different heart. He reprimands the other thief for his worldly thinking and says "'Do you not fear God for you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong'" (Luke 23:4-41). I was struck by this man's understanding. His words were a powerful reminder to me of God's grace and the fact that Jesus paid the penalty for all of my sin (my "due reward") as he hung and died on the cross.

So what does Jesus' death mean for you personally? Would you take a few minutes today to think about what Jesus did for you, and then do two things? First, thank Jesus, and then tell someone else about what Jesus did for them. Tami

Lost

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Luke 22:66-23:5

The men we see in today's passage, the Jewish leaders, were out to get Jesus, whatever it took. As I first read this account, I felt a little angered by their actions. And then it hit me how much they needed Jesus, but they couldn't see it because they were so caught up in themselves--their position, their power, their comfort. As I was thinking about this, it brought to mind an experience I had a number of years back when I had flown out to the west coast to attend a workshop. There were about 15 of us there and the very first thing we did was go around the room and tell the others who we were and where we worked. Out of the 15, two of us worked in Christian ministry. Most of the people seemed indifferent, but there two or three who then made it a point to openly put down Christians and God. At first I was irritated, but later when I was back in my hotel room, that irritation turned to sadness and then tears. All I could think about was how these precious people were on their way to hell and they were absolutely proud of it (like the men in our passage). I went to that workshop to improve my vocal skills. That happened, but the biggest benefit of the workshop was God working in my heart about lost people. As I flew home I had a renewed energy and commitment to tell others about Christ.

So were you moved like I was by these men's need for a Savior? Or did God impress something else on your heart from this passage? Either way, we all know people who need Jesus. So who is that person(s) for you, and what will you do to help them meet Jesus? Tami

Perfect Example

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Luke 22:47-53

I decided to focus on Jesus as I read about Judas' betrayal and Jesus' arrest today. And, honestly, I was a little surprised at how many examples Jesus provided. Now I'm not going to list out all that I saw because I want to see what you saw too, but the big one for me was obedience to the Father. Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen to him--the beatings, being mocked and, of course, his horrendous death--yet his demeanor was calm, matter of fact, I'd even say determined.

So read Luke 22:47-53 again but this time with your focus on Jesus' actions, His words, His emotions. Then write back on the blog and let me know what examples you saw from Jesus. Tami

*This week on Back to the Bible we're following the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection. I invite you to join our series, Following the Crowd to Calvary and think you'll find the messages helpful as you prepare for Easter weekend.

Keep It Right

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Psalm 74

I read Psalm 74 a number of times as I prepared to write for today. Each time, I was drawn to Asaph's pointing out of how their enemies were insulting and dishonoring to God. But here's the thing, I kept saying to myself but wasn't Israel guilty of doing essentially the same thing? And then I started thinking about us and how easily we can fall into that camp as well.

So how do we guard against letting our hearts and attitudes become distant from, dishonoring and even insulting to God? Tami

Even in the Lows

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Psalm 72

Solomon's very first words caught my attention today. "Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king's son" (Psalm 72:1, NLT). The verses that follow then seem to support this request with examples and illustrations of what Solomon is thinking this looks like for him and his kingdom. Well I'm certainly not a king (or queen) and I'm guessing you're not either, but this same request of loving God's justice and righteousness should be on our hearts as well.

So what does loving God's justice and righteousness mean? What might it look like put into practice in your life? And how do we make this a desire of our heart? Tami

Even in the Lows

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Psalm 13:1-6

From the sound of it, David is really in the pits as he writes Psalm 13. I could so identify with him because I've been there plenty of times. But even as dark as David feels his situation is, he doesn't lose sight of God's goodness and his need to praise God and be in relationship with Him. I love that because it lets me know that no matter my situation, but especially when I'm in the valley, I can still have joy and peace as a result of my relationship with God.

So what did you take in from Psalm 13 today? Did it prepare you for your next valley? Encourage you? Reveal something to you about God? Tami

We Can Overcome

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1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Temptation is just a part of life. I wish that wasn't the case, but the fact of the matter is, every one of us is tempted every single day, and usually numerous times. Now I dread that feeling of being tempted because pushing aside whatever it is that's tempting me is a struggle that I don't always win. So should I give up (because sometimes I feel that way)? Absolutely not! Because no matter what our temptation, we can overcome. How do I know that? Paul tells us this specifically in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

So how has God helped you in the area of temptation? How do you recognize and act upon "the way of escape" God will provide? Tami

Steady Eddie

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Genesis 37:12-28; 50:15-21

The story of Joseph's life spans Genesis from chapters 37-50, so what we're reading today gives us a glimpse of the beginning of his recorded story, when Joseph was sold into slavery, as well as the end, when Joseph is second in command of Egypt. Joseph's life and circumstances change dramatically numerous times between these two points. Yet his faith stays the course. It never ceases to amaze me how there's no wavering whatsoever from Joseph. Truly an example to me of placing complete trust in God.

So try to imagine yourself in some of Joseph's circumstances (being hauled to Egypt as a slave, sitting in prison for a long time for a crime you didn't commit). How do you think Joseph was able to response as he did? What does Joseph show us about keeping faith in God through adversity?Tami

No Other!

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Deuteronomy 4:32-40

Moses (in detail) reminds the Israelites that God is God and that He is in control of everything...including the Israelites. He then gives them this command. "'Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other'" (Deut. 4:39). I find this verse quite powerful. It leaves no doubt in my mind about God's greatness and power and that He is most certainly in control of everything around me as well as every aspect of my life.

So how did Deuteronomy 4:39 speak to your heart today? What did this verse communicate to you about God? Tami

Worship...God

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Deuteronomy 4:15-31

Moses is speaking to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:15-31 and warning them about falling away from God and worshipping things other than God. This is life-impacting, critical information so Moses doesn't sugar coat anything. He very plainly and assertively lays out the destruction that will happen to them if they break their covenant with God. But Moses doesn't leave off there; he then goes on and talks to the people about turning back to God. "For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them" (vs. 31).

So how do you keep your worship focused on God? And when you have gotten off course and returned, how has God been a merciful God to you? Tami

P.S. This week on Back to the Bible Dr. Kroll is teaching on Faith through Adversity. I invite you to join us for these powerful and timely messages.

A Great Mix

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Psalm 71

It's so important that we come to the Lord and talk with Him when we're distressed, overwhelmed and burdened. It's also important that we give Him our praise. But when I'm stressed out and overwhelmed, I don't necessarily feel like praising. But here's what I've found. As I'm talking with God and telling Him exactly what's happening in my life, as I release my burdens, it's like the Lord takes that space and fills it right up with thankfulness and praise. I love that because then I find myself just like David here in Psalm 71--praising God for who He is and what He's done and what's yet to come in my life.

Has this been your experience? What helps you praise in the middle of tough circumstances? Tami

All Times

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Psalm 70

I don't like asking for help and feeling "poor and needy" (verse 5). I much prefer being independent and feeling confident and self sufficient. Can you relate? I've found, however, that I benefit from and need those hard and challenging experiences because that's when some of my most intimate times with the Lord occur. With that said, however, I really want and need good fellowship with the Lord in all times.

So how can we work on consistently having intimate and meaningful times with the Lord in all seasons? Tami

Psalm 103

It's all about praise for David in Psalm 103. He starts this Psalm with a declaration that he is going to praise the Lord with his all--his heart, mind, soul, body, you name it. I LOVE that picture. So how does David go about this? Well, he turns his focus to God and describes, verse after verse, what he knows of God's character, His goodness, His love.

So how about joining David in praising God by remembering what He's done for you, or as David puts it, "forget not all his benefits." Take a few minutes and think about the things God has done for you--big and small. Then post a couple on the blog along with me. Let's tell people how good God is today! Tami

God's Delight

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Psalm 147

David is all about praising God in Psalm 147, and the way he praises is to list out and describe things about God and His power. When we get to verses 10 and 11 David describes God's delight saying, "His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love."

So I had to ask myself Am I delighting God? Or better put, Do I truly "fear" God? This required a little soul searching considering things like: Do I respect God? Am I in awe of Him? Do I revere God? And, how does that show up in my life? So that was my process. I'd love it if you'd share your thoughts on fearing the Lord. Tami

Teach Me Please

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Psalm 25

Psalm 25 is a favorite of mine. I turn to it frequently--sometimes a couple of times a week--using it as a model for my talks with God and also as a reminder that God is personal and desires to interact with and have a relationship with me. David knew this too. Did you see how he asks God a number of times to "teach" him and "lead" him?

"Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. . ." (vs.5-6).

So when was the last time you made it a point to ask God to teach you from His Word? (I'd love to hear the result.) And if it's been a while, give it try today. Tami

Gloss No More

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Psalm 51

David's been confronted by Nathan the prophet about his sin with Bathsheba, and out of this confrontation, David writes Psalm 51. What is especially moving to me about this psalm is how David doesn't gloss over his sin saying something like "Hey, God. Yeah, I sinned . . . And, by the way, will you please forgive me?" Just the opposite. What we see is David at rock bottom, facing his sin head on earnestly seeking God and asking Him for forgiveness.

Verses 16 and 17 spoke loudly to me "You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

So would you take a few minutes today and think about what it means to have a contrite or repentant heart before God? Then tell God how much you love Him and how grateful you are for His forgiveness. Tami

Don't Be Shy

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Psalm 10

When you're in a difficult place, where's the first place you turn? David is struggling in Psalm 10. And the first thing we see him doing is turning to God with his concerns. David pours out his heart to God, and he doesn't shy away from what's troubling him. He is candid and forthright. Now my favorite thing about Psalm 10 is the transformation we see in David's tone and attitude. In the beginning verses David is asking "why?" with a sort of "What's going on?" approach. But as we reach the final verses, David is praising God and recognizing how God knows all, sees all and is in control of all.

So what did you learn or see from David through Psalm 10? After reading and considering this psalm, is there something (a circumstance, a relationship, an attitude) you need to candidly talk with God about? Tami

P.S. This week, speaker and youth evangelist Jeffrey Dean is our guest speaker on Back to the Bible. He's teaching on five Psalms--10, 51, 25, 103 and 147--with a series called Five Psalms for the Long Haul. I don't have to tell you that life is tough. So join Jeffrey and me all this week on Back to the Bible and also join me here on P4 for some encouragement from the Psalms!

Psalm 69:19-36

Through thick and thin, praise the Lord. David tells us in Psalm 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving." Now when David writes this he is dejected and asking for help and deliverance. But he doesn't allow his circumstances to impede his praise. I love this example.

So how are you praising the Lord in song and magnifying him with thanksgiving? And, if you have a story about continuing to worship and praise God in and through tough times, encourage us with it. Share your story! Tami

Psalm 69:1-18

Psalm 69 tugs at my heart. David is pouring out his hurts, his fears, his frustrations to God and the emotional way he communicates draws me in. And even though the tone is heavy, I find it refreshing because it is so open and honest. Plus, it shows me very clearly David's complete reliance and trust in God.

Is open, honest, and sincere communication with God the norm for you? What are some of the things that hold you back when you communicate with God? Tami

Ephesians 2:8-10

Today we learn that our importance, our significance to God, flows all the way down to our work. Ephesians 2:10 tells us "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." How cool is that, that each and every one of us--according to God's plan--has good work to do? I love this verse because it lets me know that God didn't just create us on some whim or simply because He could. He created us to be in relationship with Him and with a definite purpose.

So after reading Ephesians 2:10, what does the work you do for the Lord show you about your identity and purpose in Christ? What are those good works God has put before you to accomplish? Tami W.

John 3:16-17; Romans 8:31-39

The past three days we've looked at our significance to God through the creation story. Today we're in the New Testament considering passages that were written thousands of years after creation, and here's the cool thing--our significance to God hasn't changed one bit. What do John 3:16-17 and Romans 8:31-39 show you about our worth and significance to God? Was there a particular verse or phrase that spoke to your heart today? Tami W.

Genesis 2:8-24

Hopefully what you've read so far of the creation account has highlighted for you how significant you are to God. But we're not quite done. Today we move on to Genesis 2:8-24. Now, Adam and the rest of creation (plants, animals, bodies of water, the Garden of Eden) are in existence at this point, and what happens next, gives us even more to consider about how important man (humans) are to God.

So what additional things did Genesis 2:8-24 show you about your significance to God? (Remember, we learned that we were created in God's image (Genesis 1:26-27). Then from Genesis 2:7 that man was formed by God's Hand and that we were given life by God's breath.) What is the most meaningful thing you learned from the entire creation account (Genesis 1-2) about your significance? Tami W.

Genesis 2:7

Our significance to God is what we're exploring this week on P4 (and Back to the Bible radio) and there's a lot for us to learn from the first two chapters of Genesis (the creation account). Today I focused on one verse, Genesis 2:7, "Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature". I was surprised at just how much there is to consider and learn in this one short verse. Now I could go on for quite a while with my thoughts on verse 7, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'll let the verse speak for itself.

So read Genesis 2:7, not just once, but several times, and ask God to show you something different each time. Ok, what did Genesis 2:7 show you about your significance to God, and why? Tami W.

Significance 101

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Genesis 1:1-27

The Search for Significance is Dr. Kroll's series this week on Back to the Bible. Now if you've ever wondered about your place in this world, your value to God, your purpose--then you'll definitely want to tune in and learn about why you and I are significant to God.

So read Genesis 1:1-27 with this in mind: How are we different than the rest of God's creation? What did this passage convey to you about who you are in God's eyes? Tami W.

Power Up

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Psalm 68:19-35

He's got the power. All through the Bible we read about God's power--that He is all powerful, He gives us power, not to mention many instances and demonstrations of His power. Psalm 68 is a good example of this: "Summon your power, O God." (verse 28); "Ascribe power to God . . . whose power is in the skies." (verse 34); "he is the one who gives power and strength to his people." (verse 35).

So when we read scriptures about or hear someone referring to God's power, what comes to mind? How is God's power meaningful to you? How can we draw on and make the most of His power? Tami W.

Kick Start

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Psalm 68:1-18

God provides for the needy--that's you and me by the way. I was feeling a little blue as I came down to breakfast this morning. No real reason that I can put my finger on, just kind of lack luster. Do you ever get that way? Anyway, as I ate my standard breakfast of Greek yogurt and toast, I opened my Bible to Psalm 68 to start preparing for my blog. By the time I got down to verse 6 and then verse 10, I was smiling and thinking God, You are so good. You see, I needed a reminder, a kick start if you will, to get me back on track this morning. And it's pretty cool how our assigned reading "just happened" to be what I needed.

So how did God meet you through Psalm 68 today? Did any particular verse or thought give you a little kick start? Tami W.

180 Degrees

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Ephesians 1:3-6; Galatians 4:3-8

Enslaved by sin to being a son and heir of God. What a beautiful depiction of our lives as a Christian.

So what's the importance of this status change we see in verse 7? What does the phrase "no longer being a slave, but a son" mean for you personally?
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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This page is an archive of entries from March 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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