July 2014 Archives

Worry Free

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Today's reading: Luke 12:22-34

I am very familiar with our passage today from Luke (see also Matthew 6:25-34) that instructs us not to be wrapped up in and fearful about our life circumstances. Jesus' words make so much sense and they are comforting. But as I read these words today, I was convicted about how often I allow worry and anxiety to filter in, pulling my focus off of God--and specifically His love for me, His provision and His goodness.

Verse 25 hit me powerfully yet again this morning. "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

So what did God impress on your heart about worry and feeling anxious from this passage? Tami

P.S. Did you know that worry is one of the top struggles for Christians? If you'd like some Bible-based help overcoming fear, stress and anxiety, check out Worry Free Living by Dr. Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, as well some free resources dealing with worry.

dreaming of possessions

Today's reading: Luke 12:13-21

Bigger, newer, better, more. Sound familiar? It should because that's the clear message being put before us on television, in magazines, on the internet, at the mall. Having "things" is important from a worldly perspective. But God's perspective is different. "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:16).

Jesus' words definitely got me thinking about my focus, attitude and motivation. It led me to consider--Do I possess things or do my things possess me?

Any thoughts? Tami

Go Public

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Today's reading: Luke 12:8-12

Jesus talking about acknowledging Him before men and then His words about not being anxious in defending ourselves because the Holy Spirit will teach us what we ought to say, spoke loudly to me today. This passage served as a great reminder that I need to be publically recognizing and identifying myself with Christ, and that I need to be proactively telling others about Jesus and what it means to have a personal relationship with Him.

So how "public" are you about your relationship with Christ? Who will you talk to about having a relationship with Jesus this week? Tami

More than Birds

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Today's reading: Luke 12:4-7

The past week or so I've had a couple "stressed" days, and I honestly didn't handle a couple of situations as well as I should have. So when I read our four verses for today, I couldn't help but think that if I had read these particular verses last week, I probably would have responded differently to those stressors. I can't go back and change anything, but I can do better going forward. So I took a few moments today to thank God for this wonderful reminder of Who He is and how much He cares for me.

What do these verses show about God's authority, provision, care and love? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 89

Ethan the Ezrahite is the writer of Psalm 89 where we're reading both today and tomorrow. Ethan lets us know right up front his heart and message. "I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations" (vs. 1). And then, he goes on and he does exactly what he proclaims in verse 1. Now it's a given that our actions show Christ to those around us, but our words are also important. So I love how Ethan the Ezrahite specifically tells us that he will use his mouth to tell others about God and His faithfulness.

So how are you using your mouth to tell others about God's faithfulness? What opportunities do you have to speak to others at work, with your family, with friends, at the grocery store or wherever your day takes you? Tami

Not So Feel-Good

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Today's reading: Psalm 88

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

Bold Beware

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Today's reading: Luke 12:1-3

As we begin Luke 12 we see a strong caution about hypocrisy and "the leaven of the Pharisees" from Jesus. This warning is spoken to his disciples but this warning is also said in front of the large crowd that had gathered to hear and see Jesus. So it really was a broad, as well as bold, beware.

As I took in this passage the words leaven and hypocrisy captured my attention. I was familiar with and understood both but decided to look up their definitions to see if anything the dictionary said would add to the visual I had of leaven or my overall processing of this passage. The extra couple of minutes I spent were good as both definitions got me thinking a little more richly.

What are you doing to guard against hypocrisy in your life? What are some ways we can combat the perception of so many in the world today that Christians are hypocrites? Tami

Hard-Hitting

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Today's reading: Luke 11:37-54

After being invited to a Pharisee's home for dinner, Jesus basically blasts this group (Pharisees) and also lawyers for their attitudes and actions. What Jesus said to these people was highly offensive, but His words were quite revealing about what God values and regards as important.

Based on this passage, what's one thing that God values? What's one thing God despises? Did anything in particular stand out to you? Tami

Full of Light

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light bulb

Today's reading: Luke 11:33-36

After talking about himself (the Son of Man) being a sign to this generation in Luke 11:29-32, Jesus then shifts to talking about lights--how lights are visible and how we should be full of light.

So what's one thing you noticed about being a light for Christ from Jesus' words in Luke 11:33-36? What does being a light look like in your day to day life? Tami

Much More

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Today's reading: Luke 11:29-32

Jesus, talking about who He is, directs people's attention to the Old Testament prophet Jonah and then to king Solomon. Referring to himself, Jesus tells the people "For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation."

What does this passage show us about Jesus? What did Jesus' words "something greater" convey to you? Tami

Hear and Keep

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Today's reading: Luke 11:27-28

Jesus' response to the woman who yelled out from the crowd conveyed to me the importance of God's Word as well as how much God desires for us to take in His Word and then live it out. "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:28)

Look back over the past week. How have you taken in God's Word? How have you put it into practice? (I'd love to see some examples.) Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 87

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

The Real Deal

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Today's reading: Psalm 86

I love the psalms written by David. You never have to wonder what's on his heart because he tells it like it is. His relationship and communications with the Lord are open, honest and real.

So what can we do to capture the attitude and approach of David? How can we use and draw upon this psalm to help us with whatever our circumstances are today? Tami

By God

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Today's reading: Luke 11:14-23

Jesus casting out a demon is a good thing, right? Well, not everyone who witnessed Jesus performing this miracle was pleased. In fact, some opposed and challenged Jesus' actions, even going so far as to say that Jesus' actions were done by Satan. And still others kept asking Him for signs. Jesus addresses this opposition head on letting the people know that their thinking is flawed and thus their arguments against Him are invalid. Verse 20 speaks loudly. "But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." Jesus then concludes with this strong statement, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters" (vs. 23).

What do Jesus' words reveal about who He is? What does this passage show us about Jesus' authority and power? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 11:1-13

After receiving the request of "Lord, teach us to pray," Jesus provides the disciples with an example prayer. But instead of stopping there, He takes things further, presenting to the disciples a teaching scenario along with some explanation to help them get a better understanding of prayer.

What did you learn from Jesus' example of prayer in verses 2-4? What's one thing you learned about prayer from Jesus' explanation in verses 5-13? Tami

Teach Me Please

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Today's reading: Luke 11:1-4

Today we come to the well-known passage of the Lord's Prayer. As I began reading, my intention was to talk about the prayer itself and what we could learn and take away from it. But before I even got there, I was drawn to the words of the disciple. "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." What a good reminder for me that a regular part of my growing in my relationship with God should include me asking God for His help--to show, reveal and teach me through His Word.

So what's your practice when you spend time in the Word? Do you ask God to direct your thinking and teach you when you read your Bible? Tami

The Good Portion

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Today's reading: Luke 10:38-42

I am a "doer," a take charge, organizing, let's get things done kind of person. So when I read the account of Martha and Mary, I can identify with Martha and understand exactly where she's coming from. That used to bother me a lot. But the more I've examined and considered this passage, the more it seems that Jesus wasn't conveying to Martha that she should never be a doer, but rather that she shouldn't let her tasks, her "doing," hinder or take the place of spending time with the Lord.

As I think back about some of my "Martha moments" a problem area for me can be serving in my church. If I'm not careful, I can get caught up in the task I'm involved in on a particular day (things like worship team, ushering, manning the coffee booth, etc.) and miss or even tune out the message being delivered from God's Word. That being the case, I'm thankful for Jesus' words to Martha and will try to keep them in mind as I serve.

So do you identify more with Martha or Mary? (Maybe a little of both depending on the situation?) What are one or two things that can get in the way of the time you spend with God and His Word? Tami

Neighborly

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Today's reading: Luke 10:25-37

Today we come to the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. I love how Jesus artfully turns the tables on this smug, over confident lawyer when he (the lawyer) tries to "lead" Jesus to the answer he wants to hear. Not a wise move for the lawyer ... or for us.

So who would you say your neighbor is based on this passage? What's one example where you loved your neighbor as yourself? How has helping another person in need impacted you? Tami

Restore Me

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Today's reading: Psalm 85

Psalm 85 is a petitioning of the Lord for restoration. The psalmist is looking back, recalling a time when God restored Israel and asking God to respond similarly in the present. It gives us a glimpse of the thinking and mindset of the writer, as well as yet another good look at God.

So what can we learn and put into practice from this psalm? What does Psalm 85 show us about God? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 84

I love the way the psalmist expresses his love and joy for the Lord in Psalm 84. His tone and attitude totally struck a chord with me. My absolute favorite verse was verse 2. "My soul longs, yes faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God." And when I reached the end of the chapter, I seriously felt like standing up and shouting "Yes!" even though I was all by myself, sitting at my computer.

So how did Psalm 84 impact you? Did it give you a shot in the arm like it did me? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 10:17-24

Jesus tells the 72 disciples to "rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (vs. 20). That's good advice because sometimes I get so busy or excited (like these disciples) doing things for the Lord that I forget to thank Him for saving me.

So when's the last time you rejoiced that your name was written in heaven? Why don't you take a minute right now and send up a joyful thank you prayer to God? Tami

Serious Message

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Today's reading: Luke 10:13-16

Jesus delivers a heavy message regarding several hard hearted cities in Luke 10:13-16. That same message is applicable to our world today.

What does this passage reveal about the need for Christ in your neighborhood, city, state, your country? What are you doing to let those around you know about salvation through Christ? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 10:1-12

Jesus sends out 72 disciples in Luke 10:1-12, and we get the benefit of seeing the instructions he gives to them. As a modern day disciple, the words of encouragement, the cautions, the express do's and don'ts were helpful because they got me thinking about what I should expect as I serve the Lord and encounter people who don't yet know Christ. They also caused me to consider what I'm doing and how I go about serving the Lord.

So what did you see or discover about serving the Lord from this passage? What do these verses show us about providing for other Christian workers? Tami

Workers

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Today's reading: Luke 10:1-2

I find Jesus' words in Luke 10:2 motivating. "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." As followers of Christ, we are laborers, and that means we have a job to do!

Do you see yourself as a laborer for the Lord? How do you share Christ with others in your day-to-day life? Tami

God First

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Today's reading: Luke 9:57-62

A quick read might leave us with a harsh view of Jesus' words to those who say they want to follow him in Luke 9:57-62. But in actuality, the message is dead on. Being a disciple of Christ means putting Christ first which comes with a cost and some personal sacrifice.

So what does it mean to you to be a disciple and follower of Christ? What are some of the things in your life that can hinder putting Christ first and following Him fully? Tami

Full Reliance

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Today's reading: Psalm 83

Psalm 83 is a crying out to God for action and justice. The psalmist, Asaph, lays out all the evidence, the offenses against God, of the surrounding nations and peoples. Then he boldly asks God, in a variety of ways, to intervene and handle the situation. Now I applaud Asaph's example here because so many times our initial response is to try and deal with wrongdoing or problems ourselves. Not the case here.

So how do we get to the point where we turn our difficulties and problems over to God no matter what? What's it going to take for us to absolutely trust that He will handle it? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 82

Psalm 82 is a little sobering. The words we read and the picture painted are definitely hard. But in these dark times we see the psalmist diligently seeking God as He asks for His help and rescue.

What does Psalm 82 show us about our relationship with God? How can we use and draw upon these verses in our prayer life? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 9:51-56

When someone wrongs me, my gut reaction is for justice--to make things right, to get even. That's what we see here with the disciples. They want to bring down the hammer on the Samaritans because they refused to receive Jesus as he came through on his way to Jerusalem. But even as disappointing and hurtful as being rejected by the Samaritans was, Jesus does not condone James' and John's asking to destroy the village.

What example does Jesus provide for us about responding to those who hurt us?
Tami

Not Against

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Today's reading: Luke 9:49-50

"But Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.'"

What do Jesus' words in Luke 9:50 suggest about where we focus our attention and efforts as a follower of Christ? Tami

P.S. In getting ready for the long holiday weekend, the incorrect blog accidentally went out today. This is actually today's blog, so feel free to leave your comments. And for those in the U.S., have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

Today's reading: Luke 9:46-48

Jesus uses a child to demonstrate to the disciples that being great, exalted, famous, popular, significant, isn't what God is looking for.

So what does God look for from us? What does Jesus' message that the least will be great mean to you? Tami

Different Pages

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Today's reading: Luke 9:43-45

The disciples have just witnessed Jesus perform another miracle and "they are marveling at everything he is doing" (vs. 43). So it's understandable that what they have in their minds about the future and what Jesus tells them--that he is going to be killed--don't line up.

As I read these verses, I found myself thinking Boy, have I been there. I can definitely think of a number of times when what I thought was going to happen (in life, ministry, serving God) didn't line up with God's plan at all. At the time, I didn't understand it. But looking back now, God's plan made perfect sense.

So how do you respond when you don't understand God's plan? When things happen in your life that don't seem to make sense, do you ask Him about it? Tami

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 July 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2014 is the previous archive.

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