August 2014 Archives

Joy Full

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Today's reading: Psalm 98

If you're needing a joyful pick-me-up today, then Psalm 98 is sure to supply. As with so many psalms, it's about singing and praising the Lord. I particularly like verse 8 where the psalmist gives us the unusual description of the rivers clapping their hands and the hills singing for joy together. That got me thinking If the rivers and hills can be that exuberant, what does that tell me about my joy in the Lord? I think I've got some work to do!!

So what can we do to make sure we're all about being joyful in the Lord this week? How are we going to experience joy? How can we display it, share it, and even receive it? Tami

Reigning

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Today's reading: Psalm 97

Psalm 97 starts out with these words, "The Lord reigns" and the subtitle in my Bible (maybe yours too?) for this chapter also reads "The Lord Reigns." So we know right away what this entire chapter is about and we see a number of examples and descriptions of the Lord's strength, power, might and rule.

Psalm 97 prompted me to spend a little time thinking about the Lord reigning and what that means and looks like for me. Here are some of my thoughts: There's no doubt that the Lord is in control of my life. He's God and I am not. But the Lord reigning means so much more. First off, I want the Lord to reign in my life. But for that to be the case, I must recognize Him for who He is, willingly submit and then strive to follow and serve Him fully each day. That's a tall order and there are plenty of days I fall short. Maybe that's why we have new days--to give us a fresh start. There is nothing more peaceful, more satisfying, more confirming than to look back at the end of day and know that, today the Lord reigned in me.

So what does the Lord reigning mean to you and your life? Any examples you want to share? Tami

Full Release

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Today's reading: Luke 17:1-4

Jesus provides instruction concerning temptation and sin in Luke 17:1-4, ending with the command that we must forgive when the offending person repents after sinning against us--even if the person "sins against you seven times in the day."

What do Jesus' words reveal about the importance of forgiving others? Tami

The Love of Money

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Today's reading: Luke 16:19-30

With the story of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, Jesus continues to teach about our inability to serve two masters, God and money (see Luke 16:13). In this story, we see the horrible consequences of choosing to make having money and possessions our god.

So how did Luke chapter 16, including this story, impact your perspective and thinking on serving God? What about how we use our money? Tami

Serving God

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Today's reading: Luke 16:14-18

Have you ever noticed how people often turn to mocking or ridiculing when they don't like what someone else is saying? Well, that's the picture we see in Luke 16:14-18. The Pharisees have just heard Jesus proclaim that no one can serve two masters--God and money--and they don't like that message one bit. Having no real defense, they resort to making fun of Jesus. But Jesus doesn't waiver. He continues to drive home the message of righteous living and serving God.

We all have to deal with money. It's simply part of everyday living. So how do we keep the right perspective when it comes to having and handling our money? What role does being in God's Word play in keeping you focused on serving God? Tami

Custodians

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Today's reading: Luke 16:1-13

I don't know how many times I've heard the comment, as well as made the comment myself, that everything we have is God's. That statement is absolutely true, so reading the parable of the dishonest manager was a good reminder that we serve God and we are only keepers and custodians of what He has so generously given us.

Verses 10-13 were powerful ones for me, especially verse 10. What's one example of how are you being faithful in taking care of what God has given you? Tami

Coming Home

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Today's reading: Luke 15:11-32

Since there is so much to take in and process in the story of the prodigal son, I thought we'd hang out there another day, but this time focusing on the younger of the two sons.

I had no problem relating to the son who left home to do his own thing because I went through a similar period in my life where, even though I was a Christian, I decided I was in control of my life, I knew what I wanted and what was best for me and acted accordingly. Things went alright for a while, but eventually, just like the son in this story, I had to hit rock bottom before I realized how much God loved me and how much I needed to return home to Him. It was a painful experience. But as I look back I am thankful that even through my poor choices God taught me and I drew me closer to Him.

So have you had a time in your life when you acted like a prodigal, turning away from God to do what you wanted? What was the result? Tami

An Added Twist

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Today's reading: Psalm 96

Many of the psalms tell us to sing to the Lord, and we see that again here in Psalm 96 but with an added directive--to sing a new song to the Lord. Now that tells me that God welcomes and even expects us to be fresh and creative in our praise and celebration of Him. And if we're wondering what information, words, tone, etc. that our new song might include, we can get good start from just reading the rest of Psalm 96 for some examples.

So what are some new ways or new things you can do--publicly or privately--to celebrate the Lord? What is your new song going to look like? Tami

Joyful Noise

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Today's reading: Psalm 95

"Oh Come, let us sing to the Lord..." (Psalm 95:1). I'm a singer and musician so those words really resonate with me. Of course I'm going to sing to the Lord. But what if you're not a singer? Maybe you can't really sing on tune and singing where someone might hear you is a little intimidating. No problem because although Psalm 95 starts by telling us to sing to the Lord, it then expands on that to say (twice) "make a joyful noise" to the Lord (vs. 1 & 2). When I'm at church, one of my favorite things is seeing and hearing all the voices (on tune, kind of on tune and not on tune) raised in praise to the Lord. It's simply beautiful.

So how are you doing in the "make a joyful noise" department? What reasons do you have to sing to the Lord this weekend? Tami

What a Father

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Today's reading: Luke 15:11-32

Today we come to the story of the prodigal son. Whenever I read stories I try to imagine myself in the place of the different characters. So in my first read through this parable I focused on the father. My heart was moved as I thought about the gamut of emotions he must have experienced in his dealings with both of his sons.

What are one or two things the father in this story showed you about God the Father? Tami

Precious Possession

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Today's reading: Luke 15:1-10

There have been a number of times when I've lost something important and practically tore my house apart looking for it. (How about you?) So the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin made a lot of sense to me. And, the way Jesus concluded each parable, talking about the rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting, highlighted God's love and His desire for us to be in relationship with Him.

Based on these two parables, what are your thoughts about how much God loves and values you? Tami

Attractive

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Today's reading: Luke 15:1-7

Before we get into the parable of the lost sheep, there are two introductory verses. I'm not sure I've ever paid much attention to them, but today, they seemed to jump off the page at me, especially verse 1 where we're told how the sinners were drawing near to Jesus. What a beautiful picture of exactly why Jesus came to earth, to seek and save the lost. And, it prompted me to think about my actions and what I'm conveying to those around me. Am I demonstrating God's love to others and in so doing making having a relationship with Christ attractive to them?

So what about you? How did these two verses impact you today? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 14:15-34

I decided to stay with the same passage one more day because it's such a rich one. As I read through this parable again, it really got me thinking about my priorities when it comes to living for and serving God, and especially things like being involved at church, helping others in need and spending time with God in His Word. If I'm honest, my priorities aren't always in the right order. Just like the excuse examples in the parable, I allow things to push serving God over to the side.

It is my greatest desire to serve God wholeheartedly. So this parable was good for me to read because it helped tuned me back in to how I go about prioritizing my activities and how I am spending my time. I have to start every day with the mindset--God first.

What are some things that can crowd in and get in the way of serving God fully in your life? What helps you maintain a "God first" mindset throughout the day? Tami

Great Banquet

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Today's reading: Luke 14:15-34

There is a lot to take in and consider in the parable of the great banquet, but as I read today, my attention went to the host of the banquet. As I finished reading, my heart was heavy. This man had prepared an incredible banquet and generously invited many people. Yet, those he has invited respond rudely, refusing to attend.

So what does this parable show us about God? What does it reveal about His desire to be in relationship with us? Tami

Soul Cheer

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Today's reading: Psalm 94:12-23

I appreciate how Psalm 94:12-23 openly recognizes that the Christian life is not a cake walk. Life is....life, and it can be tough. But as a follower of Christ, our circumstances don't have to dictate our lives because God is in control and He is our helper and our consoler. That means that we can have joy regardless of what's going on in, and around, our lives. "When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul" (vs. 19).

Think about how the Lord has helped and consoled you in the past and take a moment to thank Him. Then, let's consider this: how do we make sure we're fully relying on God as the controller of all things, and also leaning on Him to be our helper, comforter and consoler? Tami

Attitude Shift

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Today's reading: Psalm 94:1-11

Have you ever noticed how when life's not going our way, many times we have this tendency to focus, more than usual, on us and our circumstances? We seem to zero in on how we've been wronged or hurt and we want whatever our situation is to get taken care of. That's kind of the feel I got from the psalmist as he starts out in Psalm 94...but as he lets off some steam, his attitude and mindset change. And by the time we get to verse 8 the focus shifts. The psalmist is now looking at and directing our attention toward God, reminding us of His greatness, control and sovereignty. I love these words, "He who teaches man knowledge--the Lord--knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath" (vs.10-11).

So what do verses 8-11 tell us about God? How can we draw on and use these verses the next time we're in a tough situation? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 14:7-14

I decided to spend another day considering Luke 14:11-14 but this time focusing on verses 12-14, where Jesus, once again, delivers a message that doesn't line up with the world's social values. He tells his host that when he has a banquet the people he should be inviting are the poor, crippled, lame and the blind rather than his friends and family who will likely return the invitation down the road.

So what did Jesus' words reveal about helping, reaching out to and interacting with people who are in need? Tami

The Best Seat

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Today's reading: Luke 14:7-14

Jesus, taking note of how and where people are seating themselves, tells the parable of the wedding feast. It's no surprise that His message runs counter to what He is observing.

How does Jesus' view differ from that of the world? What does this passage show us about the importance and value God places on being humble? Tami

Under Scrutiny

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Today's reading: Luke 14:1-6

Jesus goes to the house of a ruler of the Pharisees for a meal and once He arrives, we're told that those in attendance were "watching him carefully."

Things haven't changed much since Jesus' day. There are plenty of people who, like the Pharisees, are watching those of us who profess Christ. Many are critical, but others are simply curious because they don't understand following Christ. Either way, we have an opportunity to impact these people positively by showing them Christ-like kindness and love.

So as you head out today--to work, school, the grocery store or wherever, what are some ways you can demonstrate Christ to others? Tami

Grieving Savior

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Today's reading: Luke 13:31-35

Jesus, who is well aware of His impending crucifixion, is grieved over the condition of God's people and specifically the city of Jerusalem in Luke 13:31-35. So as He responds to the Pharisees, Jesus displays some of that grief. Although it's somber, I'm drawn to verse 34 because of the tenderness, love and care that are revealed through Jesus' words.

Was there a particular verse or portion of this passage that touched your heart today? What does this passage show us about Jesus' intentions and purpose? Tami

Urgent Matter

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Today's reading: Luke 13:22-30

A renewed sense of urgency came over me as I took in Jesus' words about those who will not spend eternity with God. Verse 25 spoke loudly to me. "When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late." This lets us know that at some point the opportunity to receive Christ will no longer be available. Verse 28 was also powerful. "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out."

Did this passage motivate you like it did me? How are you going to respond? Tami

How Trustworthy?

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Today's reading: Psalm 93

These words of Psalm 93:5 hit me front and center today. "Your decrees are very trustworthy." They summed up what I was already thinking which was...if the world is established and shall never be moved, and the Lord's throne is established from of old and He is from everlasting...then how could I not trust Him fully with the details of my life? Now I was thinking this because I am a control freak and it is a struggle for me to let go and turn things over--completely--to God. This is foolish behavior on my part and I know that, so being reminded of the Lord's trustworthiness, His sovereignty and control, were just what I needed today.

So how did Psalm 93 speak to you? How might you use it to help you this week? Tami

Thanks

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Today's reading: Psalm 92

I love the opening verses of Psalm 92. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord...For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work..." I have to say AMEN to that! Now I try, every day, to make sure I give thanks to the Lord. Even so, I know I could do better.

So would you join me in a little exercise? Take a couple of minutes and think about what you're thankful for today--and I mean everything--not just the big things. Then, complete this statement.

I love you Lord. Thank you for ___________________________.


I'll start us off with a few of mine. I love you Lord. Thank you for: my loving husband, my church and pastor, for the beautiful flowers blooming in my gardens outside and reminding me of you and your goodness. Tami

Small to Large

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Today's reading: Luke 13:18-21

Jesus uses the example of a mustard seed and yeast to describe what the Kingdom of God is like. I jotted down some of the words that came to my mind after reading these verses to provide me with even more of a sense of what Jesus was describing--growing, expanding, permeating, spreading, transforming.

As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to spread the Gospel message. So what are you doing to spread God's message and be part of growing the family of God? How about your church? Tami

Many Needs

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Today's reading: Luke 13:10-17

I tried to visualize the woman Jesus encounters in Luke 13:10-17 as I read. She was probably middle aged or an older woman. I can see her taking slow, little steps and perhaps being a little unstable as she walked because she couldn't stand upright. And, she was likely being ignored by those around her--except for Jesus. Jesus sees her, recognizes that she has needs and then takes action. What a beautiful demonstration of caring for people and especially those in need.

Jesus' example reinforced for me that I need to be ever mindful of the myriad of people around me and be ready and willing to help someone who's in need. And not just people around me at church, but wherever I go--places like restaurants, the doctor's office, the grocery store, walking around my neighborhood, driving down the road.

So what did Jesus' example impress on your heart today? Tami

Fruit Focus

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Today's reading: Luke 13:6-9

Only three verses for our reading today, but they are loaded with imagery and things to consider. (To that end, I encourage you if you have a study Bible or a commentary available to do a little extra reading and digging which will provide historical context and a fuller picture with regard to this parable.)

As I read, I chose to focus in on fruit. The vineyard owner is looking for fruit. He's disappointed because he doesn't find any. But when asked, he doesn't cut the fig tree down but allows more time for the tree to bear fruit.

What do these verses reveal about God? What do the show about what God desires from us? Tami

Today's reading: Luke 13:1-5

Jesus puts to rest the notion that bad things only happen to bad people, and then lets the people know that they, too, are sinners and need to repent. "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (vs. 3). This is a serious message that everyone needs to hear and respond to.

So here I go again, duplicating my challenge to you yesterday--Who can you share Christ with this week? Reach out to someone by inviting them to church, taking them to coffee where you can talk about Jesus, tell someone why you reacted well to a not so great situation--you get the picture. What you do this week could change where someone spends eternity. Tami

Recognizing Jesus

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Today's reading: Luke 12:49-59

My thinking immediately went to salvation as I read Luke 12:49-59 this morning. Jesus' message calls for a decision from each of us--either for God (we receive Christ as our Savior) or against God (we reject Christ). There is no in between. The seriousness of this individual decision weighed on my heart as I read and considered this passage. It brought to mind a number of the times when people have told me in response to me sharing Christ, "I'm not ready just yet to make a decision," or something to the effect of "thanks for sharing, I'll be thinking about it." Those kinds of responses are a "no" response to Christ, and they break my heart.

Well, I know I write about this often, but I feel like I need to put it before us again today. People around us (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors) need to hear the Gospel message. So who do you know that hasn't yet received Christ as their Savior? Will you tell them about God's love and what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ? Be intentional. Pray about it and then follow through. Tami

Day Brightener

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Today's reading: Psalm 91

If I had to describe Psalm 91 in one word it would be...encouraging. The entire psalm basically lays out the benefits of having a relationship with God. Now there was something for me to consider in every verse, but I found the last three verses, 14-16, particularly moving. What a vivid picture of God's love and of His desire to be in relationship with us. Thank you, God.

What encouragement did you find in Psalm 91? How might you use and draw upon this psalm in the coming weeks? Tami

Ticking Away

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Today's reading: Psalm 90

Time flies, doesn't it! Especially in the summer when we're enjoying vacations and time with family. Well, speaking of time, did you notice how often time is referenced and mentioned in Psalm 90? It's pretty much everywhere:

• Verse 1--God has "been our dwelling place in all generations."
• Verse 2--God is "from everlasting to everlasting."
• Verse 4--"for a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."
• Verse 10--"The years of our life are seventy; or even by reason of strength eighty...they are soon gone, and we fly away."

But the verse that really grabbed me was verse 12, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

Take another read through Psalm 90. What do these words tell us about the time we have here on earth? What might putting verse 12 into action look like for us? Tami

With Anticipation

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Today's reading: Luke 12:35-48

The importance of serving and working for God with anticipation of Christ's return came across clearly from today's passage. It prompted me to examine whether my mindset is one focused on and impacted by a view to eternity as I begin each day. It also got me thinking about how I'm serving--Is it consistent? Am I faithful? Am I excited about working for God? Am I working diligently? Could I do more?

So what does being "dressed for action" mean to you? How much does the expectation of Christ's return impact your thinking and actions? 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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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2014 is the previous archive.

September 2014 is the next archive.

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