September 2014 Archives

Cautionary Notice

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Today's reading: Luke 21:5-38

Jesus gives us a glimpse of what we can expect to see, hear and experience as we wait for His return. As I read through this passage, I noticed how some things have taken place, other things are happening and evident now, and still others are yet to come. Which brought me back to Jesus' caution to not be fooled and led astray by false claims (vs. 8) and His instruction to stay alert and not get bogged down and distracted by our earthly lives, but rather be anticipating, and ready for, His return (vs. 34-36).

How important is engaging God's Word in helping you discern truth? How much does Christ's return impact your daily actions and thinking? Tami

More than the Building

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Today's reading: Luke 21:5-38

Jesus talks about the future and things yet to come with some of his disciples in Luke 21:5-38. This passage is a little longer than our typical reading, but it is rich with teaching and details. That being the case, I encourage you to read it thoroughly and even more than once as we will likely spend a day or two considering it.

As I began to read this passage, and before I really got into what Jesus revealed about end times, the words and thinking of some of the disciples in verse 5 caught my attention. They were drawn to, and focused on, the external beauty and ornate features of the temple, rather than on God's presence and the serving and worship of God that took place there. It really boils down to keeping our focus on the right thing, no matter where we gather. (Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting we shouldn't meet in a nice church building. We should be thankful for each and every building God provides for us to meet in.)

So what are some things you do (or your church does) to focus on God's presence and worshiping Him at church? Tami

Display of Greatness

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Today's reading: Psalm 105:26-44

If you haven't spent a lot of time in Exodus lately or you just want to brush up on the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt, then Psalm 105:26-44 is a great read. These verses give us a quick, but comprehensive, look at the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of captivity to the promised land. Now this is truly an amazing story. And what captured my attention was God and how His greatness was evident and displayed in every detail.

So what did learn about God from Psalm 105:26-44? How can we use this passage to help strengthen our relationship with, and trust in, the Lord? Tami

Remember & Tell

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Today's reading: Psalm 105:1-25

Recognize God for Who He is and then tell others--that's the message that stood out to me as I began reading Psalm 105. This chapter starts with thanks, but then instructs us, almost immediately, to "make known his deeds among the peoples" and to "tell of all his wondrous deeds" (vs.1-2).

Now in order to tell others what God has done, I have to remember and recall those things myself. It's a great way to get our focus on God and to energize and encourage us on a personal level. And remembering God's work in our lives will hopefully encourage us to tell others as well. (And here's the cool thing, when we share our experiences of how God has done wonderful things in our lives, we're witnessing!)

So take a few minutes and write down some of the wondrous deeds and works the Lord has done for you over the years. Read it over, maybe even read it out loud to yourself, and remember. Then, thank the Lord, and as you go about your day look for opportunities to tell others about God and His goodness to you. Tami

Giving Back

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Today's reading: Luke 21:1-4

A couple things came to my mind as I took in and considered the widow giving her coins to God. First was that she was committed to giving back to God from what she had--regardless of her less than optimal circumstances. And second was that her attitude was proper because she was focused on serving God.

How do you view giving back to God? Do you consider your giving an act of worship? An act of obedience? What about praise? Tami

Important Beware

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Today's reading: Luke 20:41-47

Jesus speaks out strongly "in the hearing of all the people" against sinful attitudes and behaviors that He is observing.

Looking at verses 45-47, what types of thoughts and actions do we need to be mindful of and guarding against as it pertains to own actions, thoughts and attitudes? Tami

Speaking Truth

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Today's reading: Luke 20:27-40

The Sadducees present Jesus with the most complicated scenario possible in an effort to cast doubt on Jesus' teaching about the resurrection, and to make Jesus look bad. But Jesus handles them beautifully by simply putting before them, in a matter of fact way, God's truth. Jesus' words in verse 38 are powerful. "Now he [God] is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live in him."

What can we learn about witnessing to others from Jesus' example in this passage? How does knowing God's Word equip and empower us to speak with people about salvation and spiritual matters? Tami

Proper Handling

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Today's reading: Luke 20:19-26

Jesus' response to the religious leaders said it all for me today. "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

What does this show about living and functioning in the world as a follower of Christ? What about our handling of what God has given us? Tami

Tenants

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Today's reading: Luke 20:9-18

Sometimes I struggle with parables, but not today. I was drawn in by the Parable of the Wicked Tenants and its analogy and comparisons. As I read, my attention and thinking turned to God's comprehensive plan (of which each of us is a part) and His ownership of everything. That then led me to spend a little time considering my "tenant" status.

Do you have a "tenant" mindset when it comes to your possessions and the things God provides for you? How would you describe or explain being a "tenant" of God to someone? Tami

Great God

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Today's reading: Psalm 104

I love all things nature. So Psalm 104 with all its detail about the heavens, sky and earth really resonated with me. It was a great reminder of God's complete control of all of our world, not to mention how involved He is in all that's going on and taking place around us.

So what did Psalm 104 show you about God? Was there a particular verse or phrase that spoke to you today? Tami

Personal Benefit Package

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Today's reading: Psalm 103

David gives us a good reminder of the importance of regularly recognizing who God is and praising His name in Psalm 103:1-14. Now a big contributor to this is constantly looking at and keeping before us "the benefits" of being a child of God.

So take a few minutes to think about David's words in verse 2, "forget not all his benefits." What are the benefits you've experienced in your relationship with God? Tami

On the Offense

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Today's reading: Luke 20:1-8

As Jesus is teaching and preaching in the temple, He is confronted by the religious leaders of the day concerning His authority. How Jesus responded caught my attention. Rather than jumping to the defensive (which is a typical reactionary way to respond for most of us), He uses discernment and responds with his own questions.

How did you find Jesus' example? Was there anything particular Jesus did or said that was helpful to you? Tami

Fiery Episode

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Today's reading: Luke 19:45-48

A passionate and angry Jesus literally upsets the goings on in the temple in Luke 19:45-48.

What do Jesus' words "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers" tell us about Jesus? What do they reveal about worship and serving God? Tami

Tender God

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Today's reading: Luke 19:41-44

In our short reading today, we see an emotional Jesus, sad and weeping over the spiritual condition of those in Jerusalem and the destruction that was to come to the city.

What does this passage reveal about the depth of God's love and His desire for us to be in relationship with Him? Tami

Praise Worthy

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Today's reading: Luke 19:28-40

A multitude of disciples, people following Christ, are openly and loudly praising Jesus. "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (vs. 38). This, of course, infuriates a number of Pharisees who are part of this crowd, and they tell Jesus to make the people stop. (I can totally visualize this scene in my head.) Jesus' response that if those rejoicing and praising were silent, "the very stones would cry out" hit me powerfully. Only six words yet quite revealing, pointing to Who Jesus is and God's complete power and control over everything.

How did this passage get you thinking about Who Jesus is and praising Him? Tami

Purposeful Management

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Today's reading: Luke 19:11-27

I spent a little extra time with the Parable of the Ten Minas today, reading it from several different versions to see the words used by the nobleman in connection with the funds he was giving his servants. What I found were phrases like: engage in business, invest this, do work with. When the nobleman returned and sought out an account from his servants, only two used the funds they were given well, and they were both rewarded for their diligence for how they managed what they had been given.

Do you consider the things you have (think broader than simply money) as coming from God and being entrusted to you? What are you doing to invest, manage and use what God has given you for His kingdom? Tami

Help in the Hard Place

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Today's reading: Psalm 102

The writer of Psalm 102 is definitely stressed and, in his own words, distressed. He's in a hard place. We've all been there, right? My attention was caught by how this man conveys what he's going through and what he's feeling so clearly to the Lord, and he doesn't seem to be holding anything back. But then, once he gets everything out, we see a shift in focus from himself and his woes to God and His greatness, eternality and faithfulness.

So how might you use and draw on Psalm 102 to help you respond and deal with hardship and, like the psalmist, move from complaint to praise? What does this passage show us about how hardship can draw us closer to God? Tami

The Upright Life

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Today's reading: Psalm 101

David's desire is to please God. So he tells the Lord that he will consider and pursue a blameless life and that he will lead a life of integrity. Then, he talks about some of the ways he'll accomplish these goals--not looking at bad or worthless things, not associating with evil things or lying people, seeking out other faithful and blameless people as friends.

So what does pursuing a blameless life and leading a life of integrity look like for you? What are those things you won't do, and that you will do, to help you accomplish these goals? Tami

Reaching "Zacchaeus"

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Today's reading: Luke 19:1-10

Have you ever assumed a particular person wouldn't be interested in hearing about Jesus based on who they were, how they were dressed, their actions or because of the people they hang out with? I know I've done that, and as a result I've missed out on opportunities that God has put in front of me to share Christ.

Luke 19:1-10 tells us that Zacchaeus was the "chief tax collector and was rich." So he was someone the crowd considered a "sinner," a person they would have avoided. But not Jesus. He calls Zacchaeus down from the tree and then proceeds to invite himself over to Zacchaeus' house (pretty bold, don't you think?). Before the end of the day, Zacchaeus' life is changed forever.

So what's your take away from Jesus' example here in Luke 19:1-10? Who do you know that might be a "Zacchaeus" waiting for someone (you) to tell them about Jesus? Tami

Interactive God

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Today's reading: Luke 18:35-43; Mark 10:46-52

The interaction between Jesus and the blind man, Bartimaeus, caught my attention today. Jesus heard the cries of Bartimaeus to "have mercy on me" and could certainly see that this man was blind and wanted healing. Yet when Bartimaeus is before Him, Jesus, rather than simply healing him, still asks "What do you want me to do?" The time that Jesus took to come face to face with this man and the fact that he wanted to hear the man's request highlighted for me God care for us, His interest in the details of our lives and His desire to interact with us.

So how are you interacting with God? Is it your practice to tell him everything that is on your heart--needs, thanks, your situation, questions, fears, joys, praise? Tami

Advance Notice

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Today's reading: Luke 18:31-34

Jesus, once again, talks with His disciples about His coming crucifixion. This is the third time in Luke (see Luke 9:21-22 and 9:43-45) where Jesus provides advance details concerning his death.

What do Jesus' words reveal about who Jesus is? About God's control? About God's plan of salvation? Tami

Following Jesus

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Today's reading: Luke 18:18-30

Following Jesus comes with a cost. But that cost is far outweighed by the spiritual benefits we will experience on earth and God's gift of eternal life. Verses 29 and 30 conveyed this clearly. "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life."

How has following Christ impacted relationships, possessions, status, activities? What costs have you experienced for being a Christ-follower? Tami

Child-like

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Today's reading: Luke 18:15-17

In a world where so many things are fast paced and complex, I found Jesus' words about receiving the kingdom of God like a child, refreshing.

So how would you describe child-like faith? Tami

Glad to Serve

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Today's reading: Psalm 100

One of the first things we see in Psalm 100 is that we're to "Serve the Lord with gladness!" I totally agree but unfortunately I don't always hit that mark. There are just some days when I don't feel like serving with gladness. And every time that happens it's because my focus has shifted off of the Lord and onto me and my circumstances--something happens that I wasn't anticipating and I let myself get overloaded, overwhelmed and consumed with life.

So what can we do to help us be more consistent in serving the Lord with gladness? Tami

Our God

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Today's reading: Psalm 99

Three times in the nine short verses of Psalm 99 we're told that God is holy, and accompanying this declaration is the command to praise His name, (vs. 3), exalt the Lord and worship at his footstool (vs. 5) and to exalt the Lord and worship at his holy mountain (vs. 9). Pretty clear message.

So what are you going to do with the recurring instruction to both exalt the Lord and to worship Him? How will you put this into practice today or next week? Tami

Multiple Lessons

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Today's reading: Luke 18:9-14

A number of lessons and things to consider stood out to me as I read the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Right away, the issue of in whom or where we are placing our trust was evident from the words of verse 9. That then got me thinking about the issue of focus, with me asking myself whether my focus is on God or is it really on me? We see examples of both in this passage. Then there is the issue of pride versus humility which is clearly displayed through these two men. There's no doubt that being humble pleases God.

But the final and most prominent thing that stood out to me was the problem of comparing ourselves to someone else. It is so easy to slip into this way of thinking (and I'm speaking from experience here). Yet it shouldn't enter into our thinking at all. I spent a few minutes considering this and landed here--if our heart, attitude and focus are right, the comparing problem will fall away.

So what did God show you through this parable? Did you notice some of the same things I did? Or did something else move your heart? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Tami

Tenacious In Prayer

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Today's reading: Luke 18:1-8

Jesus presents a parable about a tenacious widow seeking justice to teach us about being diligent and persistent with our prayers. I particularly like verse 7 and Jesus' words about crying out to God "day and night." They caused me to do some evaluating of my prayer life. I considered things like: what types of things do I pray for, what is my attitude when I come to God in prayer, what expectations do I really have when I pray, am I persistent (like the widow) when I don't see an immediate response from God.

This exercise was a good one for me in a couple of ways. First, it helped me see that I still have room to grow when it comes to my prayer life. And, second, it made me thankful for prayer and the fact that God loves and cares for us so much that He wants to hear from us. How awesome is it that God wants us to cry out to Him?

So how would you describe your prayer life? Would you say you're a persistent pray-er? Is it your practice to "cry to [God] day and night"? Tami

Perspective

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Today's reading: Luke 17:20-37

As I read Luke 17:20-37, our earthly thinking--wanting to know when we will see the kingdom of God and when Christ will return--really stood out to me. It got me thinking about the contrast there is between our perspective and God's, which served as a good reminder for me that all the details of God's plan, and especially His timing, are beyond my full comprehension.

What did this passage show you about God being in control and His plan? How does knowing that Christ could return at any moment influence your daily living? Tami

Saying Thank You

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Today's reading: Luke 17:11-19

You'd think that if someone healed you of a horrific disease that you'd be grateful and make it a point to tell your helper and healer thank you. Yet only one of the ten lepers who received healing from Jesus after crying out to Him for help bothered to return and give thanks. Now my first reaction to this account was irritation at the nine who simply took what Jesus provided and left. But as I thought about it, I've acted in the same manner plenty of times. I haven't been physically healed of a horrible disease, but how many times have I been the beneficiary of God's provision, answered prayers and unexpected gifts when, after receiving them, I simply went on with my day? So reading the account of the ten lepers was a good reminder for me to stop and give thanks to God for all the things--big to small--that He provides.

Are you in the practice of praising God and telling Him thank you throughout your day? What can you thank God for already today? Tami

Seed of Faith

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Today's reading: Luke 17:5-10

Being a plant lover, Jesus talking with the apostles about having faith like a grain of mustard seed immediately made me think of my past flower and vegetable gardens with many big, lush plants (I've attached a couple of photos of my flower beds so you can have a visual of what I'm thinking of). Now I've never grown mustard plants, but every single plant I have grown started out as a tiny seed that, when nurtured, gradually grew into a mature plant.

So what are you doing to grow your "seed" of faith? What about nurturing others and helping them grow their faith? Tami


gardens

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 September 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2014 is the previous archive.

October 2014 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.