February 2015 Archives

Glad Heart

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Today's reading: Psalm 122:1-9

The very first verse of Psalm 122 got me thinking of Sundays and going to church, and caused me do some reflecting on my own attitude about going to church and how I recognize God and give thanks to Him while I'm there.

So does Psalm 122:1 describe how you feel on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings or whenever you're on your way to a church gathering? David talks about giving thanks to the name of the Lord in verse 4. What does that look like for you? Tami

Your Generous Means

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24

When finances are tight and there's barely enough money coming in to cover the bills, one of the first items that often gets cut from the paying out side of the budget is giving to church or to help others. (I've certainly been there.) But that way of thinking is the result of putting our interests first rather than the interests and needs of others. As Christ followers, we are to love others and be generous, not just loving and generous out of our excess. Paul hits the nail on the head with these words from verse 12.

"For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have."

We all have more than we think. So how can you be generous with what you have this week? Are you tithing at church? Who might you help in your church, your life group, your Bible study class? Tami

Accountability Partner

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 7:2-16

There's nothing quite like having an accountability partner, someone who will walk along with you to offer encouragement but who also isn't afraid to call you out when they see you going down a wrong path or making a mess of a situation. In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul is acting as an accountability partner to the Corinthians through the letter he had sent previously that "grieved" the Corinthians and led to their repenting.

"For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it--though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us" (vs. 8-9).

What are some of the benefits you've experienced from having a brother or sister in Christ as an accountability partner? If you don't currently have someone to walk along with you, is there someone you can ask to fill this role, or can you ask someone in leadership at your church to help connect you with another believer? Tami

Common Foundation

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

A short, wise and bold message from Paul today about how once we receive Christ as Savior, we need to be careful about the people with whom we choose to partner, team up and join forces. This message is one that my parents relayed to me often when I was growing up because they wanted me to understand that as a follower of Christ the foundation from which I was operating was different than that of someone who didn't know Christ. In other words, my focus, purpose, motivation and interests would not be the same as someone who wasn't a believer. While I certainly understood the caution my parents were conveying, as the years have passed and I've experienced many different relationships, both in work/business and personal (where I have much more freedom to choose with whom I'm partnering as compared to working in a job or doing business with someone), I definitely have a better understanding of my parents' teaching based on 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, and strive to put it into practice.

Based on this passage and your personal experiences, how are relationships fostered and benefited by two people operating from a common spiritual foundation as Christ followers? Tami

NOW!

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Paul is diligent, not to mention passionate, about carrying out his calling and mission to preach the Gospel message. And we see that passion in the urgent way in which he lets the Corinthians know that right now--today--is the time to respond to God's free gift of salvation. "Behold, now is the favorable time; now is the day of salvation" (vs. 2). It was a good reminder for me that part of sharing Christ with others is being bold enough to tell and encourage the person I'm speaking with that time is of the essence.

Did Paul's fervent words impact you today? How would you explain the urgency of making a decision to receive Christ as Savior to someone who is says they prefer to wait to make a decision or they'll consider what you've shared with them at a later time? Tami

Reconciliation Story

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Today's reading (2 Corinthians 5:16-21) is one incredible passage that conveyed to me the message that God loves us and wants us to be in relationship with Him. But the message doesn't stop there. Once we are reconciled by receiving Christ as our Savior, we are to share (be ambassadors; appeal to others) this life-saving message of love with those around us.

What did this passage reveal to you about God? What impact does knowing that God has entrusted us with spreading His message of salvation have on you? Tami

Our Helper

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Today's reading: Psalm 121:1-8

David beautifully depicts God as our helper in Psalm 121. One of the things I like about this Psalm is how David's words show us why we can have confidence in God (Creator, never sleeps) but he also spells out specific ways that God is our help.

If you were writing a Psalm about God being your help, what are some things you would write down and want others to know about God? Tami

Standard Protocol

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Today's reading: Psalm 120:1-7

When you find yourself in a bad situation, what's the first thing you do? Where or to whom do you turn? So often our first reaction is to look to ourselves for answers and to manage our difficult circumstances by our own strength. So I was thankful for Psalm 120 and the example it provides for us to turn all things over to God, especially when we're experiencing times of trouble.

Is it your practice to call out to God? Is there something in your life that you need to turn over to Him today? Tami

Controlling Love

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 5:11-15

Paul, still operating in defense mode, continues to explain his actions and conduct to the believers in Corinth. In so doing, he makes this powerful statement, "For the love of Christ controls us" (vs. 14). I read this passage several times and kept coming back to that phrase. What a beautiful way to recognize and articulate Christ's death for us and our putting aside living for ourselves to fully follow and live for Him.

Would you say that the love of Christ controls you? Are you intentional about putting aside your wants and seeking God's direction? What's one situation in the last couple of weeks where your reaction or response was "controlled" by Christ's love? Tami

Eternal Glimpse

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

When I read passages that have to do with heaven and spending eternity in the presence of God, a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and hope rises up within me as I focus on what the future holds as a follower of Christ. The reassurance that what is mortal, and what I'm experiencing now, is going to be "swallowed by life" gave me a shot in the arm this morning to make it my aim to do all that I can in this earthly body to please and serve God.

What encouraged you from this passage? How does knowing that as a follower of Christ you have a home in heaven help you be of "good courage"? Tami

Take Heart!

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

If you're struggling with discouragement or feeling a little beaten down today, you can take heart with the Paul's message and the picture he paints for us in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. While we will experience affliction of all different sorts and kinds in the present, with God as our strength, we can and will persevere! Did you notice these key phrases?

  • But not crushed
  • But not driven to despair
  • But not forsaken
  • But not destroyed

God is all powerful, He loves you and He is absolutely good. So let's take heart knowing that God has us in the palm of His hand and that we will spend eternity with Him. Thank you, God!

How were you encouraged by this passage? Was there a specific verse or phrase that caused your heart to rejoice, and why? Tami

Instructive Response

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

As I read Paul's continued response to his critics about preaching the gospel, I was struck by how his response provides a wonderful guideline for us as we go about sharing the message of Christ. Verse 3 spoke powerfully to me.

"We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God."

Take a few minutes to think about sharing the message of Christ by "the open statement of the truth." What does that phrase mean to you? And what would a conversation where you delivered that truth look like? Tami

Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Some of the believers at Corinth have criticized and called into question Paul's teaching and preaching. So what we are seeing here in chapter 3 (and other places in 2 Corinthians) is Paul defending himself and also reaffirming the gospel message to the church in Corinth. What I like about this chapter is that even though Paul has been attacked, his response is delivered with humility and love, and he is absolutely clear that his sufficiency is from God alone.

What did you learn from Paul today about responding to criticism, especially when it has to do with serving the Lord? What encouragement do you draw from the reminder that our sufficiency comes from God? Tami

Joy Full

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Today's reading: Psalm 98:1-9

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 97:1-12

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

Wonderful Scent

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-17

As I took in the remainder of 2 Corinithians 2 this morning, the words and message of verse 15 captured my attention.

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing..."

Immediately upon taking in these words, my mind was filled with visions of delicious foods of all kinds, and I began thinking about what being the "aroma of Christ" to others looks like in my life.

So what about you? What does being the aroma of Christ to others mean to you? How would you describe it to someone else? What's an example of how you have been a wonderful scent to someone around you over the past few weeks? Tami

Open Communication

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4

Paul has experienced some conflict with some of the believers at Corinth and is addressing that in 2 Corinthians. So as we move further into 2 Corinthians today, we begin to see that and we'll continue to see more as we work through this Book. One of the things I noticed right away was the composed as well as honest and direct manner in which Paul communicated, both in addressing the tension and explaining why he acted and responded as he did. This was clearly a difficult situation, yet he was able to handle it well.

What did you notice or learn from Paul's manner of communicating with the Corinthians? What role does forgiveness play in working through conflict? Tami

Comfort In All

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Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

As we head into 2 Corinthians, Paul starts off with a lesson on affliction, but with the positive perspective that when we experience affliction, suffering or persecution, this allows us to experience God's comfort. We then, in turn, can draw on that experience to comfort others who are suffering.

What does this passage reveal about the persecution of Christ followers at the time Paul was writing this letter? How does hearing from a friend that God has sustained, provided for and comforted them in and through rough times encourage you? Tami

One More Look

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 1-16

Before we move on to 2 Corinthians, I thought it would be good to take one more look at 1 Corinthians. So take a few minutes and think about all of the instruction and teaching you took in as we worked through this Book.

What was your favorite chapter and/or message, and why? What was one new thing you learned as you read through this letter to the believers in Corinth? Tami

Wrap Up

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 16:5-24

I enjoy the fact that we get a glimpse at some personal, more relaxed interaction between Paul and the believers at Corinth as Paul wraps up this letter to the church. What I appreciated most about Paul's sign-off was how he took the opportunity to, once again, encourage and reinforce the faith of this group of fairly new believers.

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love" (vs.13-14).

Good advice for the Corinthians and for us today!

Like Paul, how can you boost up and encourage a fellow believer to stand firm in the faith this week? How will you put these two verses into practice? Tami

Voice It

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:169-176 (Taw)

I'm an extrovert, and there are more than a few people who would describe me as extra verbal. J So perhaps that's why I was so drawn to this final stanza of Psalm 119 where we see:

  • "My lips will pour forth praise" (vs. 171)
  • "My tongue will sing of your word" (vs. 172)
  • "Let my soul live and praise you" (vs. 175)

Think back over the past couple of weeks. What's one example of when you verbally praised God or His Word? How will you live out verses 171 and 172 in the coming week? Tami

GREAT Peace

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:161-168 (Sin and Shin)

One of the first things I noticed from Psalm 119:161-168 was the incredible respect and love the psalmist has for God's Word. (vs. 162 "I rejoice at your word," vs. 163 "I love your law," vs. 163 "I praise your righteous rules"). And then we see this powerful declaration.

"Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble" (vs. 165).

These words spoke to my heart because they describe what I've experienced. When I'm in God's Word and focused on and trusting in Him, that's when I truly have great peace, no matter my circumstances, and I'm not pulled off course by the things of the world around me.

How does being in God's Word bring you peace? When has being in the Word kept you from stumbling? Tami

Give

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Asking for financial support can be difficult, even awkward. So Paul's matter of fact approach with the church in Corinth about helping the church in Jerusalem was refreshing. I liked his "just do this" attitude.

What do these verses show us about supporting and helping other believers and ministries in addition to our home church? Tami

Incredible Future

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-58

We get quite a bit of information about our earthly and heavenly bodies through the contrasting descriptions Paul provides throughout 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.

  • perishable vs. imperishable
  • natural vs. spiritual
  • mortal vs. immortal
  • from earth/dust vs. from heaven

While I found these descriptions encouraging, the incredible message of victory along with a description of things to come found in the final verses of chapter 15, were even better.

Did you learn anything new about your future spiritual body from this passage? What encouraged you most from verses 50-58, and why? Tami

Raised!

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-34

The believers in Corinth are being influenced by false claims and teaching as well as the culture around them, and as a result, they are confused about, and questioning, the gospel message. So Paul reconfirms and reminds them of Christ's death and resurrection, and the fact that all that has happened has been in accordance with the Scriptures. Paul goes on to point out that hundreds of people were eyewitnesses to the resurrected Jesus, and then hits hard on how we would have no basis for hope and how our faith would be in vain if Christ had not been raised from the dead.

How might you use this passage to share the gospel with someone? Why do you think Paul included a listing of eyewitness accounts in his writing? Tami

All to Build

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

As we move into 1 Corinthians 14, Paul takes a good amount of time discussing the gifts of tongues and prophesying because the church in Corinth was struggling in this area. So we see Paul laying out how each functions as well as differences, benefits and drawbacks. But what stood out to me from this discussion was the core and underlying message of the importance of building up the Church, and how all gifts are to be used for that purpose. These words particularly caught my attention. In verse 12 Paul states "strive to excel in building up the church," and in verse 26 he says "Let all things be done for building up."

When you think about using your gifting, is it with the goal of building up the Church? How are you using your gifting to support and advance the Church Body? Tami

Important Love

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Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Today, rather than moving on to 1 Corinthians 14, I decided to spend one more day reading through and contemplating the powerful message about love in chapter 13. This time when I read, the final few words of verse 2 where Paul tells us that if he doesn't have love he is nothing, really communicated to me the need for love to be the driver of all that I do.

What's one thing that stood out to you about love from this chapter? Tami

Truth Forever

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:153-160 (Resh)

Again today we see the psalmist dealing with troubling circumstances. But through it all he maintains his focus and trust in God. I found the message of verse 160 powerfully comforting.

"The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever."

How does (or how has) knowing God's Word is truth and that His rules are forever help you in times of distress? 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 February 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2015 is the previous archive.

March 2015 is the next archive.

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