September 2015 Archives

Exceptional Care

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 7:1-51

As we move to 1 Kings 7, we continue to see numerous details about the construction of the temple and specifically its exquisite finishing touches. We also get a glimpse of what Solomon builds for his own residence. I liked how although the temple was absolutely the priority project, we still see Solomon providing for his personal and family needs at the same time. He was dedicated to both projects, paying attention to the details and managing each with exceptional care.

What does Solomon's example reveal about giving our best efforts as we live and work for God? What stood out to you most about serving God from this chapter? Tami

Reminders

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 6:1-38

After putting in place thorough plans, Solomon turns to building the temple, the "house of the Lord." I love how we're given so much detail about the construction and make up of this magnificent structure. I found myself pondering the size and magnitude of the building itself (looked up some information on measurements, etc.), and also tried to visually imagine what this special place looked, from room to room as well as decoration and design. But as grand as the description of the temple was, my attention was drawn to the Lord's communication with Solomon (verses 11-13) that we find right in the middle of all of the details concerning the building of the temple, which struck me as being a little odd. I asked myself, Why, in the middle of construction, does God give this reminder to Solomon? As I contemplated the purpose of this reminder, God impressed on my heart (and reminded me) that temptations are always lurking around us, and even when our walk with God is strong, we are prone to stumble. That being the case, we absolutely need reminders to keep our minds and thoughts focused on God and His Word.

What sorts of things ("building projects") have the potential to pull your eyes off of God and His Word? Tami

Planned and Organized

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 5:1-18

As we're learning more and more about Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, one of the things I noticed here in 1 Kings 5 (and in 1 Kings 4) was that Solomon was organized and a planner, two qualities that are very helpful when we're leading or taking on a project. Why is it that so often we get a goal or a project in our mind, and in our excitement, we head off without being fully prepared? (I've certainly done it and I'm guessing you have too.) We've only planned a step or two ahead, and our strategy (whether we realize it or not) is to make decisions as they come up. Sometimes that works out, but more often than not our lack of planning and organization leads to frustration, extra steps, the spending of extra money, and worst case scenario, a failed, unfinished or unattained project or goal. Not the case with Solomon.

What planning step(s) does Solomon use that you might implement the next time you take on a project? What does Solomon's example show us about the value of working and partnering with other people? Tami

Overflowing Love

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Today's reading: Psalm 31:1-24

David has a wonderful way of expressing his feelings and thoughts to God. I couldn't help but notice that even in the middle of a distressing situation, David's calling out to God overflowed with his love for God, trust in God, and gratefulness for Who God is and what He has done. David's final words in verses 23-24 resonated with my heart today.

"Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!"

What encouragement did you draw from Psalm 31? Was there a specific verse or phrase that moved your heart, and why? Tami

Morning's Coming

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Today's reading: Psalm 30:1-12

No one enjoys going through hard times, but we all find ourselves there from time to time. So it's wonderful to be able to turn to the Psalms and read how God is our helper and with us at all times, and that even though the dark times will come, they won't last forever.

When and how has God sustained and walked with you through hardship? Is it your practice to tell others about God's faithfulness? Tami

God Given

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 4:1-34

The magnitude of Solomon's kingdom is portrayed for us throughout 1 Kings 4. I love that we get to see in detail what the fulfillment of God's promise to Solomon in 1 Kings 3:11-14 (to give him incredible wisdom, but also extraordinary riches and honor) looked like. It actually took me a little while to process and fully grasp the vastness of it all. The beginning words of verse 29, "And God gave..." highlighted for me God's greatness, His goodness and that He is the giver of all things. What an incredible God we serve!

Do you recognize God as being the giver of everything you have--job, money, house, car, intelligence, family, etc.? What's one way or an instance where God has shown you His goodness this week? Tami

Handled Carefully

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 3:16-28

Solomon's handling of a dispute between two mothers gives us a detailed snapshot of Solomon employing his God-given wisdom in a touchy and tricky situation. He had no factual way of knowing who was telling the truth. So rather than relying on his gut instinct or his best guess, he responded unconventionally, and in so doing was able to capitalize on the element of surprise to get an immediate, unrehearsed and genuine response from both women. Their reactions exposed the truth which allowed Solomon to then make the right decision.

How do you tend to deal with people or situations when you're not certain about the facts and/or can't ascertain what is the truth? Did you learn anything from Solomon that might help you down the road? Tami

Wisdom...Plus

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 3:1-15

God gave incredible wisdom and discernment to king Solomon. So much so that Solomon is known as the wisest man of all time. But even before Solomon asks God for wisdom above all else, the picture we see is one of an astute young man. As I contemplated this passage the question on my mind was this: What influenced Solomon so positively to get him to this point? David's steady and constant example of seeking after and following God, both personally and as king, wasn't lost on Solomon. We're told in verse 3 that "Solomon loved the LORD ," and lived righteously. That verse conveys so much. When pleasing God is our focus, our thinking, actions and decisions are better.

What does Solomon's example show us about the value of having discernment and wisdom? What does this passage reveal about what God finds pleasing in our lives? Tami

Discerning King

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 2:13-46

With David now gone and Solomon on the throne, Adonijah comes back into the picture. He's not satisfied. He still wants to be king, but he's a little afraid of Solomon. As a result, Adonijah adopts a passive-aggressive approach. He tries to manipulate the situation to ultimately put himself in a place where he might be able to challenge Solomon's kingship again down the road. Solomon, however, is discerning. He sees right through Adonijah's scheming and will have none of it. Holding true to his word ("And Solomon said, 'If he [Adonijah] will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.'" 1 Kings 1:52), Solomon deals swiftly with Adonijah and those who had aligned with him, and in so doing unequivocally establishes himself as king over Israel.

What does this passage reveal about our human nature and how harboring a discontent or disgruntled attitude can impact and harm us? What did you observe about discernment from the examples of Bathsheba and Solomon? Tami

Keep the Charge

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 2:1-12

One of the last things David does before he dies is give a powerful charge to his son, Solomon, as the new king of Israel. David instructs him to stand firm and be faithful to God above all else. What a wise and crucial instruction for Solomon, but also for us today, thousands of years later.

"[K]eep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies...that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn..." (1 Kings 2:3, ESV)

What does "keeping the charge of the Lord your God" look like for you in a typical week? What's the impact on your day-to-day life when you're striving to live out this command? Tami

Giving Glory

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Today's reading: Psalm 29:1-11

Psalm 29:1-2 commands us to ascribe (attribute or give) to the Lord glory. Then in the verses that follow, David does just that. He puts before us example after example of God's magnificence, power and splendor.

How and when do you give glory to the Lord? Is it your practice to verbally recognize and praise God for who He is as you go about your week? Tami

Helped

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Today's reading: Psalm 28:1-9

As I read through and considered Psalm 28, the bold declaration of verse 7 spoke to my heart because telling God that I trust Him, whatever my circumstances are and may bring, has been a regular part of my conversations with God lately.

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." (Psalm 28:7, ESV).

This verse got me thinking about God as our help and what that really means. All too often, when we see verses stating that God is our help, we take the word "help" to mean fixing, solving or changing our physical situation. But that's not necessarily the case. It can be, but what I'm learning more and more is that when I let go and fully turn my circumstances over to God, the "help" I receive is His peace in the middle of my situation. And when I have His peace, my heart can exult and I can give Him thanks--regardless of my circumstances.

Think back over the past month. When and how was God your help? Now think back over the past few years. When and how did God strengthen and help you? Tami

Leading Strong

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 1:28-53

David is a true leader through and through. Although he is physically struggling in his old age, he remains sharp and on top of his game intellectually. So when the situation with Adonijah is brought to his attention, David's leadership skills shine. Not only does David respond immediately, but he also responds with a plan that's impressive and completely thwarts Adonijah's attempt to take over as king.

After my initial read, I went back through this passage again noting David's thinking, words and actions as a leader. When I finished, I had about six things written down. My top two were: David was a man of his word, and that he confidently rose to the occasion.

So what did you see and learn about being a good leader from David's example in 1 Kings 1:28-53? What stood out to you the most about David's leadership in this difficult situation? Tami

Faithful, Wise Friend

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 1:1-27

Two things came to the forefront as I read our passage today. The first was how David's failure to discipline his children, once again, causes significant problems within his family and for the nation of Israel. The second item--and the one that really drew my attention--was how important it is for us to have one or more close, godly friends who aren't afraid to speak into our lives. David is now very old and no longer physically active, and in this state, he is vulnerable. But David's longtime friend and godly advisor, Nathan, is watching and steps in to intervene in the situation with Adonijah which could have been disastrous for David and nation of Israel.

Why is it so important to have godly friends and advisors? What's your experience with either being one of those godly friends like Nathan, or having a friend like him? Is there someone who needs your friendship right now? Tami

Wrap Up

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 1-24

Today is our final day in 2 Samuel. I hope you've enjoyed the last few weeks in this rich Book as much as I have. I can tell you that I've certainly learned a lot as I've examined and considered the life of David. On Monday, we're going to move into the Book of 1 Kings which begins with the final days of David and then moves on to Solomon and the kings that rule over Israel after him. This will provide us with a chronological progression of kings and continue to put before us many lessons about living for God.

So today before we move on, take a few minutes to think back over the entire Book of 2 Samuel. Did you have any "aha" moments as you took in and considered the life of David? What was the most significant lesson or point that God impressed on your heart from this Book? Tami

Forgiving Relationship

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 24:1-25; 1 Chronicles 21:1-17

Whether we're a new follower of Christ or someone like David who has faithfully followed God for years and years, we're still susceptible to sinning. When we react and respond based on our feelings and attitudes (pride, anger, jealousy, hurt) rather than seeking God's direction, the outcome won't be a good one. So when we stumble and fall into sin (and we all will), the best thing for us to do when we recognize that we've sinned, is to confess our thinking, words, and actions and get our life back on track with God as soon as possible.

Is looking back at each day (or further) and asking for forgiveness a regular part of your prayers? How does seeking God's forgiveness impact your relationship with Him? Tami

Serving Mightily

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 23:8-39

David surrounded himself with a group of remarkable men described as "mighty" in 2 Samuel 23:8. But as we continue reading in chapter 23, more details and some insight about these special men are provided. One of my first thoughts as I read was what amazing examples these men are for us as we serve God--at home, at work, at school, at church and as we're out and about interacting with others. Below are some of the qualities I noticed about these mighty, serving men:

  • Loyal
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Passionate
  • Confident
  • Committed
  • Courageous

What qualities stood out to you about these mighty men? Do you possess some of them? Is there a specific area or quality you'd like to improve on as you serve God and represent Him to others? Tami

No Need to Fear

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Today's reading: Psalm 27:1-14

Fear is a powerful emotion that can pull our attention right off of God--if we allow it. David doesn't do that. Instead, he fully grasps and claims God as his light, salvation and stronghold, followed by the bold declaration of "whom shall I fear?" and "of whom shall I be afraid?" (vs. 1)

What encouragement do you draw from this passage? When life throws you a curve ball and fearful thoughts come crashing in, is it your habit to turn to God and His Word? Do you have a particular verse or passage that has helped you overcome fear and being afraid? Tami

Living Rightly

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Today's reading: Psalm 26:1-12

David begins and concludes Psalm 26 with comments about his integrity. In verse 1 he states, "I have walked in my integrity" and then follows this statement up saying he has trusted in God and acted rightly. Then as he closes this psalm, David, now looking forward, proclaims "I will walk in my integrity" and publically bless the Lord. (vs. 11-12).

What does walking in integrity mean for you personally? Will you join David in declaring "I will walk in my integrity" going forward? Tami

Consistent Message

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 23:1-7

As an old man who knows his life is coming to a close, David's dedication and commitment to God remains strong. Like we've seen many times before, David openly and boldly recognizes God and His goodness, and the fact that He is sovereign over all and blesses and upholds those who live righteously for Him. I was drawn to, and moved by, the beautiful way David describes how God responds to godly leadership in verses 3 and 4.

"When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth."

What did you see or learn about God from David's words? What did this passage convey about being committed to, and living fully for, Him? Tami

Personal Song to God

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Personal Song to God

Today's reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-51

David was a skilled musician who wrote many songs. Thankfully, we have the benefit of seeing many of David's compositions in the Book of Psalms (this particular passage with some slight variations is found at Psalm 18). In this particular song, David is looking back and remembering God's faithfulness in being his keeper, protector, guide and foundation. David is grateful and as a result, openly thanks and praises God.

Let's model David today by taking some time to look back and remember God's faithfulness.

Write down what you recall (a list or a paragraph) and then read what you've written back to God as a way of thanking Him for how He has watched over and provided for you. And if you're a musician or singer, you might want to give singing your thanks a try. Whatever the case, let's tell God how much we appreciate and love Him today. Tami

Giants

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 21:15-21

In these final verses of 2 Samuel 21, we get a recap of a number of extraordinary battle encounters that took place with the Philistines. Each confrontation mentioned is with a Philistine who was a giant and a descendant of a giant. But the size and appearance of these "super" men didn't deter David or his men because their focus was on God and they knew and trusted that He was fighting for and with them.

The attention given to giants in this passage brought to mind Numbers 13-14 where the spies Moses had sent to scout out the promised land returned with the report that although the land was good, it was full of giants whom they believed to be undefeatable. In contrast to David and his men, ten of the twelve spies took their eyes off of God and instead chose to focus on the daunting giants. Their words and actions caused the Israelites to rebel and the result was disastrous.

What "giants" (a person, a situation, fears) are you currently facing? What does 2 Samuel 21:15-21 reveal about trusting God in and through our circumstances? What encouragement did you draw from these verses? Tami

Hard Passage

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 21:1-14

As we've read through 1 and 2 Samuel, one of the things I love is how David is constantly seeking God's direction. And as we move into 2 Samuel 21, we once again see this familiar pattern. God instructs David to make right an oath Joshua had made with the Gibeonites (see Joshua 9) that had been broken years earlier by Saul. What takes place as a result seems harsh and brutal and doesn't make a lot of sense to me. However, we have to realize and take into consideration that this was a much different time in history. It was a completely different culture with very different laws. So even though it's difficult for me to understand what took place, what came across clearly was David's continual example of seeking God's direction.

Is it your default response to seek God's direction as you navigate life? Tami

Pause For Review

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 1-20

Since today is Labor Day in the U.S., I thought we'd take the day to look back at what we've read and considered so far in 2 Samuel. A lot of life has happened for David, and all of it full of life lessons for us to learn from.

Take a few minutes to think about and/or look back through chapters 1-20 of 2 Samuel. What lesson(s) has God revealed to you? Was there a particular event or portion of David's life story that impacted you? Tami

Perfect Instructor

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Today's reading: Psalm 25:1-22

Psalm 25 is one of my favorites because of the way David repeatedly asks God to teach him His ways. I typically key in on verses 4 and 5, but today my attention was drawn to verses 8 and 9 and David's emphasis on being humble.

"Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way" (Psalm 25:8-9).

How would you describe having a humble heart? Do you find that you are more teachable when your attitude is one of humility? Tami

Stewards

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Today's reading: Psalm 24:1-10

David begins Psalm 24 with the proclamation that the earth and everything that lives on it belongs to God (Psalm 24:1-2). But sometimes we lose sight of this fact and operate like the things we have are our own. The fact of the matter is--we are simply stewards of God's glorious creation.

Do you think of the money you make, the home you live in, the car you drive, even your family as belonging to God? How does knowing that God is the owner of all things influence your decisions and thinking? Tami

Listen Up

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 20:1-26

Once again we see Joab being controlled by his anger as he kills Amasa (whom David has appointed over the army). But when Joab reaches the city of Abel, where Sheba is gathering men against David, we're told that a "wise woman" seeks him out with advice. Surprisingly, Joab listens to this woman and agrees to back off of attacking the city when she tells Joab that she will make sure the offender he is pursuing, Sheba, is killed. The woman follows through on her word, dissipating the situation and saving the entire city of Abel. What a wonderful reminder of how important it is for us to think through the best approach to a situation rather than responding based on our emotions of the moment.

How do you typically respond in the heat of the moment? Do you seek God's counsel? Are you willing to listen to advice from others when your emotions are running high? Tami

Grateful Exchange

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 19:24-30

When David returns to once again take his place as king, one of the first people he encounters is Saul's grandson and Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. (As you probably recall, we read back in 2 Samuel 9 how David took Mephibosheth in, restored his family's land, and basically treated him as one of his own sons after the death of Saul and Jonathan.)

As I took in the exchange between these two men, I was moved by the depth of Mephibosheth's love, and his concern, for David. Rather than being pleased with David's dethroning by Absalom (like Mephibosheth's servant Ziba led David to believe), Mephibosheth is devastated by this turn of events. His appearance, actions and words are telling.

How can you be a "Mephibosheth" this week? Who needs to hear that you love them and are grateful for the part they've played in your life? Tami

Godly Return

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 19:9-43

As David returns to Jerusalem, he encounters: Shimei, who cursed and disparaged David as he fled from Absalom; Mephibosheth, someone David loves like a son but whom he believes has turned against him because of a false report; and Barzillai, who supported and helped David and his men as they fled. How David responds to each of these individuals is pretty amazing, and provides us with some good food for thought about how we react and respond to people as we go through, and come out of, difficult situations.

Do you find it difficult to extend forgiveness to others? Does the degree or severity of the offense impact your willingness to forgive? When someone offers you a helping hand, is it your practice to thank them after the fact? Tami

Through The Grief

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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 18:19-19:8

When the news of Absalom's death reaches David, he responds like a father. He is heartbroken and emotionally crushed, and openly weeps over the loss of his son. But David is still responsible for many people, even as a dethroned king. So although he is grieving, he has work to do.

This passage brought to mind when my dad passed away (quite a few years ago now). I had a very close relationship with my dad, and the fact that I could no longer talk or spend time with him felt awful. But even though I was sad and struggling, I knew my mom needed my help. She had just lost her husband of over 50 years and was devastated. Her life would never be the same and she was at a loss about how she would proceed. So I asked God to give me strength, and then helped my mom make immediate decisions as well as plans for her future. It was difficult, but a necessary step for both of us.

What did God impress on your heart 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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This page is an archive of entries from September 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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