October 2014 Archives

Refreshed

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:1-8

The message of Proverbs 5-8 is foundational, which is likely why we hear and see verses 5-6 so often. But it was the truth of verse 8 that leapt off the page at me this morning. "It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." I experience such peace and joy when I trust God--fully, when I relinquish control to Him, when I am taking in His Word and seeking His ways instead of pursuing mine.

Think back over this past week. In what situations have you acknowledged and fully trusted God? What was the result? Tami

Deliberate Wisdom

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Today's reading: Proverbs 2:1-22

As I finished up reading Proverbs 2:1-22, my thoughts were on the benefits of receiving godly wisdom. But when I went back and read the chapter again, these phrases are what God impressed on my heart:

  • "making your ear attentive" (vs. 2)
  • "inclining your heart to understanding" (vs. 2)
  • "call out for insight" (vs. 3)
  • "raise your voice for understanding" (vs. 3)
  • "seek it like silver" (vs. 4)
  • "search for it as for hidden treasure" (vs. 4)

Did you notice all the action verbs? There are a lot of them which lets me know that attaining godly wisdom is going to take deliberate action on my part. If I desire God's wisdom (and I do), then my focus must be on God and the instruction He has for me in His Word.

As I thought about my focus, one of the things I asked myself was, "Am I intentional about seeking godly wisdom?" For the most part, I think I am, but not always. Why? Well, my life (and I'm guessing yours too) is crammed full, and when I continue to pack things into my schedule (and I certainly do) that's when my intentionality about seeking God and His wisdom can fall by the wayside. So Proverbs 2 was a good reminder for me today about prioritizing and keeping my focus in the right place.

So what about you? Are you intentional about seeking godly wisdom? Why or why not? Based on Proverbs 2, what are some of the benefits of having wisdom? Tami

Differing Depictions

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Today's reading: Proverbs 1:20-33

Two very different pictures are presented concerning wisdom in Proverbs 1:7-33. The final two verses (32 and 33) sum up both attitudes and responses well.

What does this passage tell us about the availability of Godly wisdom and attaining it? What do these verses reveal about God's desire for us to know and understand His ways? Tami

Enticing

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Today's reading: Proverbs 1:8-19

What wise and wonderful cautionary words about the intense pull and lure of sin. The message running through verses 17-19 was compelling, with verse 19 really nailing it. "Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors."

What do these verses reveal about how others can influence our thinking, and the importance of who we choose as friends? Tami

Considering Proverbs

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Today's reading: Proverbs 1:1-7

The Proverbs are a good place to find practical and wise instruction concerning many situations that we are now encountering or will at some point. For that reason, this Book is quite popular. But oddly enough, while I do turn to Proverbs frequently, it's not a Book that I typically select to read through from beginning to end. So, I thought it would be good to jump in and take a focused look at Proverbs working all the way through this rich Book. Here's the plan--since Proverbs provides so much to take in, we'll work through it in two-week chunks, then turn to another Book for a week or two and then come back to Proverbs and so on. That should keep it fresh and looking forward to the entire Book of Proverbs. Alright, let's get started!

So today we're considering Proverbs 1:1-7. What do these opening verses reveal about knowledge and wisdom? What do they show us about receiving instruction? Tami

Whole Heartedly

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Today's reading: Psalm 111:1-10

The opening verse of Psalm 111 is a fitting one for Sunday. "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation."

What does giving thanks to the Lord with your "whole heart" look like for you? How would you explain or describe this heart attitude to someone who is a new believer or to someone seeking Christ who doesn't yet know Him as Savior? Tami

Coming Messiah

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Today's reading: Psalm 110:1-7

Psalm 110, written by David, is about the coming Messiah, and as such it is referenced and cited many places in the New Testament. This "song" is rich with information about Christ and the future. So read through it carefully, looking for what this passage reveals about Jesus. As I read, I pulled out a study Bible so I could take in explanatory comments, and I also looked at an online commentary. This was helpful in that it provided me with a fuller picture and better understanding of what I was reading. I'd encourage you to do this as well.

So what did you see or learn about Christ, the Messiah, from this Psalm? Tami

P.S. If you're not already following P4 on Facebook, please join me. You'll find updates on my speaking, scripture thoughts, a few photos, you name it. www.facebook.com/poweredby4

Luke Look Back #2

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Today's reading: Luke 1-24

Today is our final day in Luke and we'll spend it like we did yesterday looking back at the entire Book. Today, however, let's focus on Jesus.

What did the Book of Luke reveal to you about Jesus? I'm guessing there were many important words, scenes, acts and responses of Jesus that impacted you as you read through Luke. So share with us at least one of those key things. Tami

P.S. We'll continue in the Psalms over the weekend and then on Monday we'll do some Bible engaging from the Old Testament, which is rich with lessons for our daily living.

Luke Look Back #1

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Today's reading: Luke 1-24

Well, we did it! We worked through the entire Book of Luke together. It took a good number of weeks to make it through, so before we move on, I thought we should take today and tomorrow to look back and reflect on what God has shown us through Luke.

So today, think back over Luke looking for a lesson you learned or perhaps an example you want to follow from someone other than Jesus. Then tell us about it and how you plan to put what you read into action. Tami

Dealing with Doubt

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Today's reading: Luke 24:36-53

I'm most susceptible to letting doubt push into my thinking when things don't go according to the way I've imagined or planned them. From the looks of it, the disciples struggled in the same way. Jesus appears to them and shows them his hands and feet stating, "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see" (vs. 39). Yet the disciples were still uncertain and unsettled. So Jesus eats in front of them and proceeds to explain the Old Testament scriptures about himself and what had just taken place. When they grasp what Jesus tells them, they then move out of their state of doubt into one of worshipping and great joy. (I can certainly relate to this progression of thinking. How about you?)

What do you do when doubt starts creeping into your thinking? Do you have a particular passage or verse that helps you stay focused on God when things aren't going the way you had planned? (One of my favorite places to turn is Psalm 25.) Tami

P.S. If you're not already following P4 on Facebook, please join me. You'll find updates on my speaking, scripture thoughts, a few photos, you name it. www.facebook.com/poweredby4

Inspirational Walk

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Today's reading: Luke 24:13-35

Jesus meets up with two of His followers walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus after His resurrection. The men, who are sad and perplexed, are talking, trying to make sense of Jesus' crucifixion. But when Jesus comes on the scene and engages them in conversation, the whole situation changes. The men explain to Jesus what they are discussing and then Jesus takes over, teaching them with His words and explaining the Old Testament Scriptures (that these men would have been very familiar with). The words of the men when they realize that it was the resurrected Jesus who had been with them, convey quite a bit. "They said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?'"(vs. 32).

What does this passage reveal about engaging (receiving, reflecting on and responding to) God's Word? What impact or influence does taking in the Word have on your day-to-day life? Tami

P.S. If you're not already following P4 on Facebook, please join me. You'll find updates on my speaking, scripture thoughts, a few photos, you name it. www.facebook.com/poweredby4

Multiple Reads

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Today's reading: Luke 24:1-12

Being raised in the church, the resurrection passages in the Gospels are very familiar to me. That being the case, I have a tendency to breeze through them rather than reading with intentionality and stopping to consider the how, when, why and what's of the words before me. So today I asked God to slow me down and show me what He had for me out of Luke 24:1-12.

I ended up reading the passage six times, and each time I considered a different portion.

First time through--setting
Second time--the women
Third time--the angels and their words to the women
Fourth time--Peter
Fifth time--the disciples' response
Sixth time--I returned to the women but this time considering how they remembered Jesus' words and how they then told the disciples what they had experienced.

Through these six reads, two things stood out to me--Jesus' followers all missed the connection between what Jesus had told them and what took place, and the angel's words about seeking the living among the dead.

So how did God prompt your heart as you took in Luke 24:1-12? Was there one thing that stood out to you from this passage, and why? Tami

Honest Prayers

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Today's reading: Psalm 109:1-31

David does quite a bit of talking with God in Psalm 109. And once he begins talking, he truly lets go and tells God everything. It's a beautiful picture of prayer and how through prayer we can pour out our hearts to God. Notice David's words in verse 4 where in response to his troubles he states, "I give myself to prayer."

So is "giving yourself to prayer" a habit for you? Is it your custom to tell God everything that's on your heart when you talk with Him? What happens to your attitude and heart when you speak openly with God? Tami

Energized for God

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Today's reading: Psalm 108:1-13

As I took in the beginning verses of Psalm 108, I could almost feel the enthusiasm and energy of David as he recognizes God for who He is and praises Him. The most telling phrase to me was in verse two where David, I believe shouts, "I will awake the dawn!" The more I read, the more excited I became about proclaiming God and His works today.

So what about you? Did you have the same energizing experience when you read Psalm 108 today? How can and will you proclaim God and His steadfast love this weekend? Tami

Courage to Act

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Today's reading: Luke 23:44-56

After Jesus draws his final breath on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea seeks out Pilate and asks for Jesus' body so he can give Jesus a proper burial. That may not seem like such a big deal to us reading this 2,000+ years later, but Joseph's actions were courageous. Everything to do with Jesus was super charged and dangerous, particularly since Joseph was a member of the Jewish leadership who had made sure Jesus was put to death. But Joseph knew what they had done to Jesus was wrong, and he did what he knew was right regardless of the circumstances--something that's not always easy to do.

So what motivates you to do what you know is right when those around you are choosing to do what's wrong? Is it your habit to seek God and ask Him to give you the courage to act rightly in tough situations? Tami

Jesus Focus

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Today's Reading: Luke 23:26-43

Today as I read this passage describing Jesus' crucifixion, I read intentionally with my focus on Jesus--His words or silence, His actions or inaction, His attitude and demeanor. I did this to help me get a better understanding of Jesus and of God's plan of salvation. It was a good approach because I noticed some things I had overlooked before, and it served to get me thinking outside of the norm.

What are 2-3 words you'd use to describe Jesus from the reading for today? Look back over Jesus' words throughout this passage. What message(s) do you see? Tami

Consumed

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Today's Reading: Luke 23:1-25

In the eyes of the Jewish leaders, Jesus was a threat--to their power and authority, and to their status. As a result, Jesus became an enemy who absolutely needed to be eliminated, and they were determined to make that happen even if it meant lying and killing (which broke the Law they were committed to following and believed they were protecting).

My heart was heavy as I took in the sinful actions of these Jewish leaders and how willing they were to say and do anything to ensure Jesus' crucifixion. Now, it's easy to point the finger at these leaders, but the truth is, we're all capable of acting the same way in short order when we take our eyes off of God.

So what can we learn from this account to help us navigate our life better? What does this passage reveal about harboring fear, jealousy and hatred? Tami

Keeping Composed

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Today's reading: Luke 22:63-70

There is nothing I dislike more than be accused of wrongdoing when that's not the case. It feels awful. So when that happens, my first response is typically to get angry and, of course, I want to defend myself because I want people to know that I am innocent!

Well, we don't see any of that with Jesus in Luke 22:63-70. Even though Jesus has been wrongly arrested, and is now being mocked, beaten and blasphemed, we don't see any angry response or words of retaliation. And when Jesus is questioned before the Council, the response He gives is matter of fact. He simply states the truth.

So what can we learn from Jesus about responding to persecution and ridicule for being followers of Christ? And on a different note, what do these verses reveal about Who Jesus is? Tami

Standing Up

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Today's reading: Luke 22:54-62

This is always a hard and sad passage to read because I can definitely identify with Peter. I want so badly to represent Christ and model Him to others. Yet there are still times when I let fear impede my words and actions, and as a result I fall flat on my face and fail to witness when an opportunity presents itself. I regret it immediately, of course, and find myself in the same place as Peter, needing to ask for forgiveness and strength to get up and serve again.

So what does this passage show us about standing up for Christ? What did you learn from Peter's example? Tami

Engage

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Today's reading: Psalm 107:23-43

The key verse for me from Psalm 107 was verse 43. It's here we're told that the wise will pay attention to the things set out previously in this psalm and thus see and consider the steadfast love of the Lord. Sometimes it's easy to read yet not really consider all that's right there before us. We're distracted or we're rushing or we're approaching our reading like a task rather than an opportunity to connect with God. Whatever the case, verse 43 is a good reminder that Psalm 107 (actually all Scripture) is rich with information and we need to take it in, consider it and then do something with it in our day-to-day life (i.e. engage Scripture).

As I went back and re-read these verses, there were a number of things that caught my attention beyond the recalling of historical facts. I learned some things about God, about us and about the two-way interaction between God and us and us and God.

So what did you see, learn and/or take away from Psalm 107? Tami

Thanks-filled

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Today's reading: Psalm 107:1-22

Psalm 107 gives us a clear directive to "give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." And it's not just found in verse 1. This theme is repeated and carried throughout the remainder of the psalm. That tells me then, that I need to take note of this charge to give thanks and make sure I'm complying with it. So I took a couple of minutes and just thought about the how, why, what and when of my giving thanks. I asked myself things like: How am I doing in the "giving thanks" category? Do I fully embrace God's goodness and that His steadfast love endures forever? Does my daily life reflect a thankful attitude toward the Lord? What does me giving the Lord all the thanks He's due look like?

So take a couple of minutes to consider your "giving thanks" today. What does it look like? How might it be even stronger? Tami

Part of the Plan

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Today's reading: Luke 22:47-53

As I took in Luke's account of Jesus' betrayal and arrest, the fact that everything that was taking place was part of God's plan stood out to me. Jesus wasn't surprised by the arrival of Judas and those with him. And, I couldn't help but notice that Jesus was the one in control up until He chose to relinquish that control which we see in verse 53 through these words: "But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
 
Have there been times when God's plan differed from yours? How did you respond? What was the ultimate result? Tami

God's Will

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Today's reading: Luke 22:39-46

Since we only looked at the first verse of this passage yesterday, I thought we should consider all of it today.

As I read, I had no problem envisioning the scenario. And as I considered Jesus, it was almost as if I could feel the heaviness of the situation. Jesus was fully aware that He was going to be arrested, mocked, tortured and then murdered in just a few hours. So what does He do? He prays--very transparently and with emotion, speaking these incredible words, "Not my will, but yours, be done" (vs. 42).

How did Jesus' example impact and move your heart today? Is submitting to God's will a regular part of your prayers? Tami

P.S. You may have noticed that your P4 email is coming from Real Women SOAR. That's because I am now working with Pennsylvania Counseling Services and Real Women SOAR Ministries. P4 has made the move with me, and I look forward to continuing to engage God's Word with you going forward.

Regular Practice

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Today's Reading: Luke 22:39-46

After eating His final meal with the disciples, Jesus heads to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Before I even got to the heart of today's passage, these four little words from verse 39 caught my attention--"as was his custom." Prayer was an important part of Jesus' life. Praying was a regular practice and from what we see here, Jesus had a regular place where He prayed and that place was secluded and quiet.

So what's your "custom" when it comes praying? Do you have a regular time or place that you talk with God? How important is being in a quiet setting for your prayer time? Tami

Crash Predicted

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Today's reading: Luke 22:31-38

Jesus delivers some difficult words to Peter, forewarning him about what how he [Peter] was going to respond to what was about to take place concerning Jesus' arrest. Peter doesn't fully track with Jesus' warning, but as we'll see, exactly what Jesus predicted happens.

So can you relate to Peter in this situation? Think about a time when you've fallen short and failed to represent God well. How did God respond? And after the fact, how did you respond? Tami

Serving Leader

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Today's reading: Luke 22:24-30

Taking advantage of a debate taking place between the disciples over who was the greatest, Jesus artfully puts before his disciples words of instruction, with examples, concerning leading and serving.

What was the most important thing you saw from this passage about leading and serving? What do these verses reveal about our motivations? Tami

Praise Even When...

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Today's reading: Psalm 106:29-48

As we reach the end of Psalm 106, we get a little clearer picture of the circumstances in which this psalm was written. In verse 47 the psalmist makes the request of "Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations." So from the sounds of it, Israel is not together as a nation but has been scattered and is in exile. It's a tough and sad situation. But even so, the psalmist begins and ends with a call to praise and give thanks to the Lord.

So what does Psalm 106 show us about the how, when, why and where of praising the Lord? How can you use this psalm to help you continue to praise whatever your circumstances? Tami

Past Advantage

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Today's reading: Psalm 106:1-31

Experience is a good teacher. So a big part of growing in our walk with the Lord needs to include looking back and drawing on our past successes and stumbles just like the psalmist does here in Psalm 106. But here's the thing. We have a big advantage over the psalmist because we have the entire Bible--full of examples of people's successes, failures, mistakes and stumbles--to draw from as well. Think about it. We have the ultimate guide to Christian living and knowing God's heart and mind right at our fingertips! That's pretty cool.

So how have you used past experiences to help you grow in your walk with the Lord? Have you found this beneficial? How can you make better use of your past experiences and the examples and particularly the experiences of people in the Bible going forward? Tami

Love Displayed

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Today's reading: Luke 22:7-23

I was struck by the display of God's love for us as I took in the details and conversations of the Passover meal between Jesus and the disciples. Jesus knew exactly the brutal events that were going to take place in just few short hours. Yet all we see is complete submission to God's plan and a determination to complete it. Verses 14-23 and the Lord's Supper were moving as I read, but I was particularly drawn to verse 15, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer," and verse 22, "For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined..."

What did you see about God's love for you from this passage? How did Jesus' words impact you today? Tami

Critical Focus

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Today's reading: Luke 22:1-6

As we come to Luke 22, we are now very close to Jesus' betrayal and crucifixion. I tried to imagine the atmosphere and setting in which this passage was taking place. The Passover, an incredibly significant Jewish feast, is near, yet the Jewish leaders and Judas aren't focused on remembering, honoring and celebrating God's love for, and deliverance of, Israel at all. Instead they are focused on, and literally consumed by, sinful thoughts and actions.

Although the situation portrayed here is a sad one, it was good for me to read because it served as a reminder of what can happen when we take my eyes off of God, even briefly.

So what types of things help you keep your focus on God--church, Bible study group, Christian music, prayer, one-on-one time with God's Word? Tami

Hope Giving

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Today's reading: Luke 21:5-38

Today will be our final day looking at Luke 21:5-38. As I read through this rich passage again this morning, some of the details hit me as a little scary, but at the same time, the overall message was hope giving, I would even say comforting. (Maybe you had a similar experience?) Jesus forewarns of violence and natural disasters, and specifically points out and addresses persecution for believers. But woven throughout His words were these uplifting and reassuring nuggets:

• "But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives" (vs. 18-19);

• "Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (verse 28);

• "So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. . . Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (vs 31 and 33).

What message(s) do you see from Jesus' words in Luke 21:5-38? What encourages you and gives you hope from this passage? 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 October 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2014 is the previous archive.

November 2014 is the next archive.

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