January 2014 Archives

Complete Picture

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Today's reading: Micah 7 

The final chapter of Micah was my favorite of the Book. I liked how it provided a complete picture, starting with a look at sin, evil and judgment, then in the middle of the chapter showing us godly living as we wait on God and concluding with a beautiful reminder of God's love. I especially liked verse 19 "He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."

What do verses 1-7 show us about the "human" heart and the consequences of sin? What did you learn from verses 8-17 about waiting on God's timing? What encouragement did you draw from verses 18-20? Tami

Perfect Instruction

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Today's reading: Micah 6 

Have you ever thought or said "I just want to know what God wants of me"? If you're like me you probably have, even though deep down we do know how God wants us to act. Well Micah asks God what He wants of us in Micah 6, and I love the answer. It's perfect instruction for our daily living, and shows that God isn't interested in how much we're "doing" for Him. God is interested in our hearts because when our heart is right we will "do what's right, love kindness and walk humbly with Him" (vs. 8).

Think back over the past couple of weeks. What is one example of when you chose to do the right thing? How about an example where you showed kindness to someone? How have you walked humbly with God? Tami

Hope Filled Future

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Today's reading: Micah 5 

Tucked away in the Old Testament in Micah 5 isn't where you'd expect to find information about Jesus' birth, but it is most certainly there. In fact, Micah 5:2 reveals the exact little village where the Messiah would be born. Micah then tells us more about our Shepherd Savior in the following verses. It's a beautiful message of love and hope.

So what did you learn about Jesus from Micah 5? What comfort can we draw from verses 4 and 5? Tami

Over All

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Today's reading: Micah 4 

Today Micah's message changes from laying out the charges against the people of Israel and Judah, to God's restoration and rescue of His people in the future ("in the latter days"). What struck me so much in this chapter was the bold presentation of God in verse after verse, leaving no doubt that God is in control and over everything.

What is one thing you learned about God from Micah 4:1-5? What about from Micah 4:6-13? How does knowing that God is "the Lord of the whole earth" (vs. 13) give you confidence and comfort today? Tami

Blinded

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Today's reading: Micah 3 

God's focus goes to the rulers and prophets in Micah 3. As the chapter begins we see God using graphic, gory illustrations to describe the evil being done by leaders. And then when He turns to the prophets (excluding Micah) it is very clear that what they are proclaiming is NOT from God. As the chapter concludes we see a sad picture of how God's people have convinced themselves that because of who they are (God's people) "No disaster will come upon them" (vs. 11).

What does Micah 3 show us about being blinded by sin? What does this chapter reveal about the impact of unchecked sin on our lives and thinking, as well as the consequences? Tami

Our Part

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Today's reading: Psalm 5 

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. 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

Like a Tree

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Today's reading: Psalm 1 

Am I a tree? And if I am, am I healthy, growing and producing fruit? Those are some of the thoughts I had as a result of reading Psalm 1. Think about it. Can you visualize a strong, leafed out tree, full of fruit? It's a beautiful picture of what we can be if we're delighting in, and meditating on, the law of the Lord.

So, fellow trees, what does delighting in the law of the Lord look like? And how can we keep God's law in our minds throughout the day and night? What benefits have you received from delighting in and meditating on God through His Word? Tami

Harsh Words

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Today's reading: Micah 2 

God continues to lay out His charges against the people in Micah 2. In the first several verses of the chapter, God calls out those people who are using their power and wealth to oppress and take advantage of others. Then as we reach the middle of the chapter we see something that is prevalent today--that the people don't want to hear God's truth--they want to do what they want, and God is not pleased. The entire chapter is not doom and gloom, however. In the final two verses God provides a message of hope that He is not abandoning His people.

What did you learn from Micah 2? What are some of the specific actions, attitudes and thinking God is pointing out as sinful? How do we guard against these things in our own lives? Tami

Today's reading: Micah 1 

The Book of Micah starts out pretty heavy. It's a proclamation of upcoming destruction "Hear, you people, all of you, pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it. . ." delivered to the people of Israel and Judah. God is very unhappy with the sinful actions and behavior of the people and is using Micah to deliver His message.

What does this passage reveal to us about God? What can we learn from Micah 1 about why God is delivering this message? Tami

Joyful Waiting

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Today's reading: Habukkuk 3 

As we reach the end of the Book of Habakkuk the circumstances we saw at the beginning of the Book haven't changed--but Habakkuk has. He's gone from asking God questions to praising God for who He is. As the Book wraps up we see Habakkuk waiting on God, rejoicing in God and relying on Him for strength.

So what lessons can we learn from Habakkuk? How can you praise God for who He is today? Tami

P.S. Tomorrow we move on to the Book of Micah. Hope you'll join me.

God is...God

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Today's reading: Habakkuk 2 

The first thing I noticed in Habakkuk 2 was how when Habakkuk finished presenting his questions, he then listened for God's response. What a great example and good reminder that when we ask God for something, we'd be wise to then wait and look for His response. Sometimes I forget that.

Well, God's response to Habakkuk is quite revealing. He lets Habakkuk know that just because He has chosen to use the Chaldeans doesn't mean they aren't going to be judged. But within that message God also makes it clear that He is the God of the universe, that He is in control and His master plan is in place and playing out all around us. God's final statement spoke loudly to me.

"But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him" (vs. 20).

So what is your response to Habakkuk 2? What did this chapter reveal to you about God's authority and power? What about God's view of, and response to, evil and sin? Tami

P.S. If you listen to the Back to the Bible program, I encourage you to take a brief survey to let us know how we're doing. You'll also have the chance to submit any questions you have about God, faith, the Bible, etc. Then, in our March radio series Questions & Answers, Dr. Munro will be answering many of these questions!

Perspectives

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Today's reading: Habakkuk 1:1-17 (key passage); Habakkuk 1-3 (background) 

For the next three days we'll be reading through and considering the Book of Habakkuk. Today our focus is chapter 1, but for context and to fully understand what's going on in this little Book, I've put the entire Book down for our reading. Hopefully you were able to read it all. Now to chapter 1.

Have you ever looked at a situation and wondered "What in the world are you doing God?" or thought "Doesn't God see what's happening?" I certainly have, and that's what we see here with Habakkuk. Evil, sinful things are happening all around him, and it seems to Habakkuk that God isn't doing anything about it or isn't paying attention. Habakkuk can't understand that. So as we begin chapter 1 he is questioning God. God responds letting Habakkuk know that He is aware and that He is going to bring judgment through the Chaldeans. But Habakkuk is still confused. He doesn't understand God's plan to use a horribly evil nation as judgment, so we see more questions.

So what does chapter 1 reveal about our human perspective and understanding? What does it show us about God's perspective, His plans and trusting in Him? Tami

Day-to-Day Praise

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Today's reading: Psalm 150 

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6). Do you have breath today? You know it. So we'd best be praising the Lord. Psalm 150 gives us a number of examples, but there are definitely many more ways we can praise.

So what does your praise look like--at church? With your family? At work? When you're alone? Tami

For His Pleasure

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Today's reading: Psalm 149 

The first three verses of Psalm 149 describe us delighting in the Lord--singing Him a new song, dancing, making music. But then we get to verse 4 and we see that the Lord takes pleasure in us as well. How cool is that?

So what kinds of things (actions, attitudes, lifestyles) bring the Lord pleasure when He looks at us--His children? How is the Lord taking pleasure in you? Tami

P.S. On Monday we're moving to the Old Testament for a couple of weeks. We'll spend a few days in Habakkuk and then on to the Book of Micah. I'm really looking forward to it because the Old Testament is rich with things for us to learn. So see you Monday in Habakkuk!

Not Alone

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Today's reading: 2 Timothy 4 

The final part of 2 Timothy 4 shows that Paul didn't always have a human support system--which had to be difficult with his circumstances. Even so, we don't see a depressed, downtrodden Paul. Why? Because he knows the Lord is with him and that God is in control, and that knowledge encourages and sustains him.

"The Lord stood by me and strengthened me... The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom" (verses 17-18).

What encouragement did you draw from this chapter? What do verses 17 and 18 reveal about God and His love and care for us? Tami

Invaluable

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Today's reading: 2 Timothy 3 

God's Word is my source for godly living, and every single word of it is vital. That's the clear message I took away from 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

Based on 2 Timothy 3, how important is it to consistently engage (receive, reflect on and respond to) scripture? How has God's Word equipped you "for every good work"?
Tami

P.S. For those of you who listen to the Back to the Bible program, I encourage you to take a brief survey to let us know how we're doing. You'll also have the opportunity to submit any questions you might have about God, faith, the Bible, etc. Then, in our March radio series Questions & Answers, Dr. Munro will be answering many of these questions!

Truth Handler

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Today's reading: 2 Timothy 2 

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

Paul issues the charge to be good workers in 2 Timothy 2:15. This whole verse spoke loudly to me, but especially the last six words--rightly handling the word of truth. As I thought about that phrase, it hit me that for me (or you) to rightly handle any task, job or activity (driving a car, playing an instrument or sports, cutting hair, managing finances, etc.) requires familiarity and repeated interaction and practice with whatever it is I'm doing. Well, the same is true with God's Word. The only way I can accomplish "rightly handling the word of truth" is for me to be consistently engaging God's Word, that is receiving it, reflecting on it and then responding to it.

So as we start this new year, how are you doing in the area of Bible engagement? What are you doing so that you can "present yourself to God as one approved. . .rightly handling the word of truth"? Tami

Booster

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Today's reading: 2 Timothy 1 

We get a good look at encouragement in action in 2 Timothy 1 as Paul writes to his young friend Timothy. From the looks of it, Timothy is struggling. So Paul offers words of affirmation, support and advice to help keep Timothy focused on Christ and serving the Lord. I was certainly encouraged as I read this chapter so I can only imagine the impact Paul's letter had on Timothy.

What was one thing that encouraged you from this chapter? Following Paul's example, who can you support and encourage in their Christian walk this week? Tami

Our Fight

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 6 

There is so much to learn from 1 Timothy 6 that I could spend days taking it in and considering Paul's instructions, cautions and encouragements. But we're only spending one day on this chapter. So after reading every verse and getting context, I came back and focused on seven words found in verse 12 "Fight the good fight of the faith." I then spent some time considering Paul's use of the word "fight" as both an instruction and a description of living for Christ, and what putting these words into practice would look like and require of me.

So what kind of mindset and heart attitude do you need to be able to "fight the good fight of the faith"? What does fighting the good fight look like when it comes to your life and situation? What actions will you take to live out 1 Timothy 6:12 this week?
Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 148 

One message, actually a command, runs throughout Psalm 148--Praise the Lord! So, I thought it would be good (and fun) to do just that as a group today.

Take a minute to complete the praise phrase below. Then, post it as a comment on the blog.

Lord, today I praise you because ___________________________.


To get us started, here are a couple completed praises from me. Tami

Lord, today I praise you because You love me unconditionally.
Lord, today I praise you because You provide and fulfill my every need.

In the Details

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Today's reading: Psalm 147 

As I read through Psalm 147 I couldn't help but notice how God is all about the details. You might say His management style is hands-on and up close and personal. So much so that He heals our broken hearts and wounds (verse 3) and takes pleasure in us when we recognize Him for who He is and hope in His steadfast love (verse 11).

So how have you seen God in the details of your life? What does verse 3 ("He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.") mean for you today?
Tami

Personal Nugget

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 5 

Within Paul's instruction to the church on taking care of members, we find little nuggets that are good for personal instruction too. In verses 3-8 we see things we should do: do good for others in need and take care of family. Then in verses 13 and 21 we see things we shouldn't do: gossip and practice partiality. All helpful and good reminders.

What was the primary instruction that stood out to you from 1 Timothy 5? Why? Tami

Good Servant

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 4 

Paul lays out for us point after point about how to live for Christ and be a good servant. A few that stood out to me are:

• Train yourself for godliness;
• Set an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity;
• Devote yourself to public reading of scripture.

How have you been a godly example in the past week with your speech? Have you demonstrated love, faith, purity? How? Tami

Self-Controlled

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 3 

Paul's focus throughout 1 Timothy 3 is the church and specifically church leaders. Even so, those of us who aren't church leaders can also look to this passage for guidance regarding godly living. As I read, I could see many characteristics to consider and put into practice. The main point that stood out to me was the need to be self-controlled. This quality seemed to be a prerequisite for accomplishing some of the others qualities Paul talked about like--being hospitable, not being quarrelsome and being gentle.

So what did you learn about godly living from this chapter? Tami

For All

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 2 

How often do your prayers focus on people other than yourself and your family and friends? For me, it's not all that often. Yet Paul tells Timothy (and us) to be praying for all people and then specifically mentions leaders and people in authority and high positions.

So why is praying for all people important? Based on this passage, how should we pray for our country's leaders? City officials? Your employer or boss? Tami

For Sinners

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Today's reading: 1 Timothy 1:1-20 

Paul is encouraging young Timothy to stand firm in his faith in Christ, and part of that encouragement is Paul reminding Timothy of what Christ did for Paul (plus Timothy and us). I liked Paul's recognition of his condition before coming to Christ and the proclamation in verse 15 that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of who I am the foremost." I can definitely relate to that statement. It caused me to look back and consider how knowing Christ has impacted every aspect of my life and how I've grown spiritually as my relationship with God has deepened.

So how would you describe yourself before receiving Christ as your Savior? How has your life changed since then? Tami

Jude Wrap Up

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Today's reading: Jude 1-25 

We started off Jude with me asking you to read all 25 verses in one sitting. Well, guess what? That's how we're ending as well. So would you, one more time, read Jude from start to finish? Now if you're thinking this sounds a bit redundant, then ask God to show you something you haven't yet noticed as you read. Now I love to do this because God always answers. Plus it's a good reminder for me that there is just so much of God's Word that I have yet to discover and ponder and put into practice.

So what did you take away from Jude today? What are you going to do with it? Tami

P.S. Okay, everyone, starting Monday, our main focus will be reading through books of the Bible, passage by passage. First up, we're launching into 1 and 2 Timothy and then we'll likely turn to an Old Testament book. I hope you'll invite others to join P4 so they can read and learn along with us. (If you'd like to receive P4 by email, you can sign up here.)

The Full Picture

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Today's reading: Jude 17-25 

Jude does more than just sound the alarm and put out the warning about false teaching. He also gives us encouragement and instruction on standing strong and how we can and should help others do the same. I especially liked verses 20-21, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life."

So what does building ourselves up and keeping ourselves in the love of God look like as we stand strong for Christ? Tami

P.S. As we start 2014 I wanted to let you know what to expect from P4. Starting Monday, January 6, our main focus will be reading through books of the Bible, passage by passage. We'll begin with 1 and 2 Timothy and then we'll likely turn to an Old Testament book. I encourage you to invite others to join P4 so they can read and learn along with us. (If you're reading this on the blog and would like to get our daily P4 email, you can sign up here.)

Urgent Message

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Today's reading: Jude 8-16 

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew something very important and it was critical that you relay that information to another person? How would you deliver a message like that? Most likely with urgency, persistence and passion. Well that's definitely the tone I picked up as I read Jude 8-16. Jude wants to make sure we (Christians) don't overlook the seriousness of false teachers and teaching and just how dangerous that can be for us.

So what are some of the behaviors and descriptions Jude gives to alert us to false teachers/teaching? And how can we use this information going forward? Tami

P.S. As we start 2014 I wanted to let you know what to expect from P4. Starting Monday, January 6, our main focus will be reading through books of the Bible, passage by passage. We'll begin with 1 and 2 Timothy and then we'll likely turn to an Old Testament book. I encourage you to invite others to join P4 so they can read and learn along with us. (If you're reading this on the blog and would like to get our daily P4 email, you can sign up here.)

Standing Strong

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Today's reading: Jude 5-7 

As promised, we're going to jump in and look at and consider Jude a few verses at a time. We only have three today (verses 5-7) and they continue to build on verses 3 and 4 where Jude lays out the central warning and message of this book--the problem of false teaching and teachers--and urges believers to stand strong against false teaching. In 5-7 we see examples of God's past judgment on false teachers and those who have fallen victim to that thinking and teaching.

So how do we recognize false teachers and teaching (any red flags)? And what does standing strong against this (contending for the faith) look like? Tami

P.S. As we start 2014 I wanted to let you know what to expect from P4. Starting Monday, January 6, our main focus will be reading through books of the Bible, passage by passage. We'll begin with 1 and 2 Timothy and then we'll likely turn to an Old Testament book. I encourage you to invite others to join P4 so they can read and learn along with us. (If you're reading this on the blog and would like to get our daily P4 email, you can sign up here.)

Little Book

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Today's reading: Jude 

Tiny, short, 25 verses...what am I referring to? Jude, of course. And we'll be spending our time the rest of this week and through the weekend covering this small Book of the Bible.

So to help us get the most out of Jude, would you read the whole book--all 25 verses--instead of just 1-4 today? Then, we'll spend the next several days breaking down and analyzing these verses.

So how was the overview of Jude? What was the main message you took away from it? Tami

P.S. As we start 2014 I wanted to let you know what to expect from P4. Starting Monday, January 6, our main focus will be reading through books of the Bible, passage by passage. We'll begin with 1 and 2 Timothy and then we'll likely turn to an Old Testament book. I encourage you to invite others to join P4 so they can read and learn along with us. (If you're reading this on the blog and would like to get our daily P4 email, you can sign up here.)

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 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2013 is the previous archive.

February 2014 is the next archive.

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