May 2015 Archives

All to Praise

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Today's reading: Psalm 148:1-14

Psalm 148 reads like an instruction manual of sorts on praising the Lord. It's an absolute, all-inclusive call to recognize and praise God for who He is as Creator of everything in the heavens and on earth. When we reach verse 11, the focus of the Psalm turns to humans, and we then see in verse 13 this command: "Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven."

So how are you living out praising the name of the Lord? What are some specific things you do to exalt, promote and proclaim God? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 147:1-20

Psalm 147 begins and end with the command to "Praise the Lord!" And its verses certainly do that. But what I liked most about this Psalm was how throughout these verses of praise we are also shown, and thus learning, much about who God is. Two of the things that stood out to me were that God's understanding is so much greater than mine and nothing that I will ever be able to fully comprehend (vs. 5) and the needed reminder that His delight in me has nothing to do with my own strength, will or ideas, because He wants me to be fully focused and dependent on Him.

What did you learn about God from Psalm 147? Was there an item or point that was especially meaningful to you and why Tami

God's First

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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1:21-28

As I read about Hannah giving up Samuel to God, I was immediately reminded of when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I had recently walked with my dad through his battle with cancer (which took his life) and now Jeff and I are hearing the same awful cancer news from his doctor. At first, I was devastated and my thoughts were that Jeff would end up dying just like my dad. But a few weeks into Jeff's chemotherapy God helped me see that although Jeff was my precious husband--he was God's first, and that as much as I loved Jeff, God loved him more and He had Jeff right in the middle of His hands.

It was a difficult prayer, but at that point I prayed and told God how much I loved Jeff and that I wanted to keep him--but that I understood and accepted that Jeff was His and whatever the outcome of Jeff's cancer, I was fully trusting in Him. I can't explain it, but taking on this perspective and praying that prayer changed everything for me. Fear, worry and anxiety were replaced by a peace that I know only God could provide. Thank you, God, for helping me see that we are Yours first.

What's your perspective when it comes to your children, your spouse, your parents, your siblings? Do you think of your loved ones (and yourself) as being God's first? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-20

Because of Tami's traveling schedule, this is a repeat of yesterday's post. If you're caught up in beginning 1 Samuel, revisit your favorite scripture, or re-read 1 Samuel 1:1-20 and try to learn something new from Hannah's story. We'll be back on track tomorrow!
- Jory, P4 facilitator

As we finished up 2 Peter last week, God impressed on my heart two different days the message that His timing is perfect and different than ours. So over the weekend I began reading 1 Samuel to prepare for writing our blogs this week, and what message stood out to me once again? You guessed it--God's timing.

As we start out 1 Samuel, we are introduced to a godly man Elkanah and his two wives, Hannah and Penninah. Elkanah had children with Penninah but he had no children with the woman he loved, Hannah. The desire of Hannah's heart was to have a son, but for years (don't overlook this fact of years) she was unable to get pregnant. Penninah reveled in Hannah's infertility, and taunted and tormented her. It was so bad that Hannah would weep and she wouldn't eat because of it. Then at some point years into this scenario, Hannah goes to the temple and pours her heart out to God, asking Him to please give her a son. God hears Hannah's heartfelt request and answers--but not immediately. We're told in verse 10 that "in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel."

So Hannah's situation, once again, turned my thinking back to God's timing and how waiting is often part of His perfect plan.

Are you waiting for God to move in a certain area or circumstance? How did Hannah's story impact you today? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-20

As we finished up 2 Peter last week, God impressed on my heart two different days the message that His timing is perfect and different than ours. So over the weekend I began reading 1 Samuel to prepare for writing our blogs this week, and what message stood out to me once again? You guessed it--God's timing.

As we start out 1 Samuel, we are introduced to a godly man Elkanah and his two wives, Hannah and Penninah. Elkanah had children with Penninah but he had no children with the woman he loved, Hannah. The desire of Hannah's heart was to have a son, but for years (don't overlook this fact of years) she was unable to get pregnant. Penninah reveled in Hannah's infertility, and taunted and tormented her. It was so bad that Hannah would weep and she wouldn't eat because of it. Then at some point years into this scenario, Hannah goes to the temple and pours her heart out to God, asking Him to please give her a son. God hears Hannah's heartfelt request and answers--but not immediately. We're told in verse 10 that "in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel."

So Hannah's situation, once again, turned my thinking back to God's timing and how waiting is often part of His perfect plan.

Are you waiting for God to move in a certain area or circumstance? How did Hannah's story impact you today? Tami

Final Look

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Today's reading: 2 Peter 1-3

Thanks for working through 2 Peter with me over the last week or so. Before we move on to another Book tomorrow, take a little extra time today to read through the entire Book of 2 Peter again in one sitting.

What was the most important lesson God showed you from 2 Peter? Tami

Diligent Living

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Today's reading: 2 Peter 3:14-18

Peter closes his second letter with a call to diligently wait for the Lord's return, being found by the Lord living rightly, not being swayed by false teaching, and in peace. Excellent instruction.

Would you describe your mindset as one of waiting diligently for the Lord's return? If you start each day with the goal of following God's Word and living fully for Him, how would (or does) that impact your actions, words and thoughts? Tami

Trusting God

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Today's reading: Psalm 146:1-10

After an opening call to praise the Lord, we see a caution about putting our trust in men followed by a number of detailed verses putting before us a beautiful picture of God and His greatness, goodness and love.

Would you say you are trusting God with your life and circumstances today? How has God been (and how is God) your help and hope? Tami

Speaking Praise

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Today's reading: Psalm 145:1-21

"My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord..." (Psalm 145:21).

There's no question that God wants and expects our praise, and from what we see throughout Psalm 145 and specifically verse 21, we need to be verbal with our praise and be telling others about God and His goodness.

So are you a verbal praiser of God? What does your praise sound like? In the last week, who has heard you praising God? Tami

Today's reading: 2 Peter 3:1-13

Yesterday we considered how time from God's perspective is different than time from our human perspective. And while there are times I'd like for my timing and God's to be the same, when I read the message in verse 9, I am convicted about my selfish way of thinking and grateful for God's perfect timing.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

How does knowing that God is "not slow" but instead "patient" with us encourage you today? What does this verse reveal about God's wisdom and love? Tami

Perfect Timing

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Today's reading: 2 Peter 3:1-13

The fact that my thoughts and perceptions of time are different than God's is a difficult thing for me to fully understand. So often I want and expect something to happen in a certain time frame (that seems absolutely reasonable to me, by the way), and then when God doesn't move within that timeframe, I get frustrated which can then lead me down the slippery slope of questioning and doubting God. So I was thankful for Peter's reminder "that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (vs. 8), because it gave me a needed perspective adjustment this morning as I am waiting for God to move in a couple of areas.

How does knowing that God's timing is different than yours impact you when it comes to patience and persistence? What helps you keep the right perspective and attitude when something isn't happening at the pace you expected? Tami

Only Truth

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Today's reading: 2 Peter 2:1-22

Peter puts out a strong warning against false teachers and teaching. But rather than going into detail to describe what some of this false teaching might look like, Peter instead spends quite a bit of time explaining the penalty or judgment that will come to those people who are leading others away from God's truth, even providing us with examples from the past.

What did this chapter show you about how God values righteousness (what's right, honest and true)? What did it reveal about the importance of being in and knowing God's Word? Tami

Today's reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21

God and His Word are trustworthy, and true was the message that came across loud and clear to me as I took in 2 Peter 1:16-21. I love how Peter makes sure we know that what he and the apostles are teaching and conveying is the result being with Jesus while He was on earth ("but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty..." vs. 12), and that every part of God's Word--every phrase, sentence, chapter, Book--is from God. "For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (vs. 21).

How does knowing that Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus' teaching and miracles, as well as His death and resurrection, impact your mindset, approach and confidence in God's Word? Tami

Good Qualities

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Today's reading: 2 Peter 1:1-15

Peter provides us with a progressive list of qualities that we should strive to possess and put into practice to have and then maintain a strong walk with God (see 2 Peter 1:5). As I took in this list and the verses surrounding it, I was prompted to ask myself a number of questions: Do I possess these qualities? Am I putting these qualities into practice? Am I growing in these areas, and how? It was a good assessing exercise that helped me recognize some areas where I need to improve and work a little harder, but also helped me see some areas where I'm doing alright.

So now it's your turn to do a little self-assessing. Do you possess the qualities Peter puts before us in verse 5? Are you putting them into practice? And are you (or how are you) growing in these areas? Tami

A New Song

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Today's reading: Psalm 144:1-15

David is praising the Lord throughout Psalm 144 but also asking for protection and deliverance from foreign enemies. And as part of his praise and recognition of God's greatness he says this right in the middle of the Psalm: "I will sing a new song to you, O God" (vs. 9). As I thought about this verse it made me realize how my praise can turn into a routine and lose some of its vigor, particularly if I'm not being intentional about it. So if I'm singing a "new" song, that would require a fresh and focused effort on my part, which I know would be pleasing to God.

So how about offering God a new song (an actual song, maybe a prayer or a poem) this weekend? Whatever you do, just make it part of your communicating with Him. And, as always, I'd love to hear about your experience. Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 143:1-12

David is so real and genuine. I love how he speaks openly and honestly with God. He pours out his heart to God but he also recognizes God for being God and asks Him for instruction and direction.

So what does David's communication with God show you about his relationship with God? What do your conversations with God look like? Tami

Standing Firm

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Today's reading: 1 Peter 5:12-13; 1 Peter 1-5

As Peter concludes his letter to believers who are scattered throughout the country, he once again challenges them to keep their focus on God and to specifically stand firm in Him.

What was the most significant lesson you learned from the entire Book of 1 Peter? How has this letter encouraged you to stand firm? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 5:6-11

1 Peter 5:6-11 is a passage I return to frequently because it's a reminder to me that Satan is real, that he is our enemy, and that he is actively seeking to inflict harm on us as one of God's children. Even so, we can live fully, joyfully and with hope knowing that God cares for us and that He will "restore, confirm, strengthen and establish" us. (A big amen to that!!)

What encouraged you most from this passage? What did these verses show you about God? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 5:1-5

As we move into 1 Peter 5, Peter provides instruction on relationships, interacting and functioning within the Body of Christ--first for leaders, then to those being led and lastly to the entire group.

For those in a leadership role, the importance of having a willing and caring attitude and a serving heart are highlighted. The charge for those not in leadership is to be submitted or subject to the spiritual leaders who are over them. All good and wise instruction. But Peter then concludes with the all-inclusive charge for every Christ-follower to clothe themselves with humility toward one another (vs. 5).

How would you describe being "clothed in humility"? Does someone in particular come to mind when you think of this phrase and why? Do you think being clothed in humility describes you? Tami

Good Under Fire

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Today's reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19

Peter is a direct communicator. He basically gets right to the point with no sugar coating. So as we come to the second half of 1 Peter 4, Peter point blank tells us that we will (not that we might) experience fiery trials and testing as part of our decision to live for Christ. But after hitting us head on with this tough news, he then encourages us about sharing in Christ's sufferings and glorifying God through our responses.

"Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good" (vs. 19).

How can you glorify and honor God today by doing good--at work, at school, at home, while you're in traffic? What might "doing good" look like for you with regard to your words? Your actions? Your attitude? Tami

Living for God

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Today's reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11

Life as we know it changes once we make the decision to receive Christ as our Savior. We get a good look at this in 1 Peter 4:1-11. Living to satisfy ours wants and desires ceases, and instead, our focus and thinking is now on doing the will of God. Peter provides us with some instruction on godly living in verses 7-11--be self-controlled, sober-minded, love each other, show hospitality, serve one another with the spiritual gift(s) God has given you.

Think back over the past few weeks and come up with at least one example of how you lived out and demonstrated Peter's instruction to us in verses 7-11. Tami

Eyes Toward God

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Today's reading: Psalm 141:1-10

David's passionate petition to God to keep him from falling or being drawn into sin moved my heart this morning. What an example of loving God and His ways above everything else. Thank you, David!

Is it your practice to ask God to help you avoid temptation and stay away from sin? What does David's request in verse 5 reveal about having godly-minded friends Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 140:1-13

What do you do when you find yourself in a bad situation? Is your first instinct to call out to God or rely on your own thinking and strength? I've certainly done both, and I can absolutely say that the best course of action is to ALWAYS look to God first. David knew this well and that's exactly what we see in Psalm 140. David is calling out to God to protect and deliver him because his adversaries and enemies are many and he is in distress. David's words give us a beautiful picture of an all-powerful God who is, at the same time, also absolutely personal.

What does knowing that God is "your" God mean to you? What did you learn from David's words about trusting God? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I took in Peter's message that we need to be passionate about what is good (even if people treat us poorly for it), and that we need to be prepared to talk to anyone about why we love good and the hope we have in Jesus Christ. When you think about it, this really is foundational instruction for us as a follower of Christ.

So what does "being zealous for what is good" mean for you? What does you being passionate for good look like to your family, neighbors, friends, co-workers? Are you prepared and talking with others about your love of what is good and your relationship with Christ? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 3:8-12

As he did in chapter 2, Peter once again challenges us to not respond in kind when someone treats us poorly. What I like about this passage is how Peter gives us some detail about how to live properly so that we can resist the temptation to respond by repaying evil with evil. The appeal to have a tender heart and a humble mindset stood out as being fundamental to: acquiring and then maintaining a proper attitude, helping me keep my tongue in check, focusing me on others, and motivating me to be in unity and in a good relationship with those around me.

How does having a tender heart impact your focus and thinking? How do your words and actions change when you're operating from a humble mindset? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7

Peter delivers a wise message in 1 Peter 3:1-7 about how our actions, attitudes, and words serve as powerful, spiritual examples to our spouses (being a spiritual example also extends to those around us, by the way--family, friends, co-workers, neighbors). I've experienced this from both sides--being an example to my husband, and in turn, receiving an example from him--and am grateful for this important reminder.

How often do you think about your actions, attitudes, and words being a spiritual example to those around you, and especially to your spouse? How can you be more intentional when it comes to being a spiritual example at home? At work? In your neighborhood? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 2:18-24

Peter challenges us to be like Jesus, by not responding in sin, when someone mistreats us. Rather, we are to be mindful of pleasing God, especially when we encounter and endure difficulty as we go about our work and navigate life. I love the straight-forward explanation we see in verse 20. "For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God."

Do you find it difficult to respond without anger, sarcasm, and defensive words when you are treated unfairly? Why is it important not to react this way? What has helped, and does help, you respond in a godly manner when you find yourself in a tough situation? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Peter 2:13-17

Verses 13-17 of 1 Peter 2 clearly put before us the call to submit to government, and more specifically, the government officials who have authority over us. Peter concludes these powerful verses with the command to "honor everyone" and "honor the emperor." This can feel uncomfortable and even be a little difficult at times, but it's what God expects of us.

So how are you living out the words of verse 17 to: "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." Is it your practice to pray for government officials? Tami

Hemmed In

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Today's reading: Psalm 139:1-24

"You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me" (Psalm 139:5).

What does this verse reveal about God's love and care for you? How does knowing that God has you "hemmed in" impact your trust in Him? Tami

Trust God

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Today's reading: Psalm 138:1-8

Psalm 138 is another beautiful and personal psalm of David where he is talking openly and intimately with God. Verses 7 and 8 were especially impactful to me as I read this morning. How incredible to know that even though we may be in the middle of a horrific life storm, God will deliver us, and that the Lord will fulfill his purpose for each of us. Thank you, God!

Are you trusting God with whatever is going on in your life today? What encouragement did you draw from verse 8? Tami

Living Stones

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

I'm on the road today in California at the Thrive Christian Leadership Conference so I'm keeping the blog pretty short.

Peter refers to believers in Christ as a holy people being built up as a spiritual house to offer sacrifices that are acceptable and pleasing to God. Peter then goes on to tell us that the honor is for those who have placed their faith in Jesus.

What encouragement do you draw 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 May 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2015 is the previous archive.

June 2015 is the next archive.

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