October 2015 Archives

Serious Effects

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Today's reading: Psalm 38:1-22

Throughout Psalm 38 David describes, with vivid imagery, the powerful impact that sin has on our lives. But what drew my attention even more was the simple language of verse 18 where David tells God, "I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin."

What is one thing you noticed about the effects of sin from Psalm 38? Was there a particular verse or phrase that was meaningful to you, and why? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Kings 18:41-46

After the tremendous display of God's power and the ensuing victory over the prophets of Baal, Elijah retreats to the top of Mount Carmel to pray. While we aren't given specific information about Elijah's conversation with God, what we do see is Elijah responding to what God has done in a humble and worshipful manner.

When God answers your prayer(s), how do you respond? Does God moving in your life (giving direction, answering prayers, protecting you, providing for needs) inspire or motivate you to worship and pray? Tami

Unfair Advantage

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 18:20-40

I never tire of reading through the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. It's one of my favorite stories in the Bible. As the day begins in this account, the numbers are lop-sided--450 prophets of Baal versus 1 prophet of the living God, Elijah. But with God on Elijah's side, what appears to onlookers as a showdown, is really no contest at all. I love the bold way Elijah proclaims and calls on God, and then how God answers mightily, not just sending fire but an incredible, all consuming fire.

What encouragement did you draw from Elijah's showdown example? What's one thing that stood out to you about God from this passage? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Kings 18:1-19

After several years of living in hiding, God sends Elijah back to Samaria to confront king Ahab and deal with the tremendous evil that is taking place under his rule. Now Ahab detests Elijah and has been searching for him with ill intent because of the severe drought (and the resulting hardship) Elijah, following God's instruction, had declared on the land three years prior. So as Elijah receives these new instructions from God he clearly knows that Samaria is a hostile and threatening environment for him. Yet, we don't see any hesitation, questioning, doubt or fear from Elijah about returning and confronting Ahab. Rather, a trusting Elijah immediately acts on God's instruction. And when he arrives in Samaria, nothing changes. His demeanor is one of confidence which we see displayed in his interactions with Obadiah and Ahab.

What stood out to you the most about Elijah from this passage? What does Elijah show us about following and trusting God when He puts a difficult task or situation before us, or asks us to do something that is outside of our comfort zone? Tami

Curve Balls

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 17

Part of life is encountering and dealing with curve balls--those unexpected difficult circumstances that come our way. The widow of Zarephath and Elijah both experienced a curve ball when the widow's son got sick and died, but each responded to this challenging situation differently. The widow immediately jumps to the conclusion that this horrible and heartbreaking event has happened because she's done something wrong and is now being punished or disciplined for it (Have you ever been there? I certainly have.) Elijah, on the other hand, doesn't assume anything. Instead, he takes the circumstance and his lack of understanding about it directly to God, candidly relaying how he doesn't understand why this tragedy has happened and then asking God to restore the boy's life.

When an unexpected problem arises, would you say you tend to respond more along the lines of the widow or Elijah, and why? How does taking your concerns and questions directly to God help you deal with difficulty? Tami

Abundant Provision

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 17:8-16

After the brook Cherith dries up, Elijah receives instructions from the Lord to go to Zarephath where he will find a widow who will feed him. Responding in trust and obedience, Elijah immediately heads to Zarephath, where God, once again, provides mightily for all of Elijah's needs--food, shelter, safety, companionship. Moreover, in taking care of Elijah, God also provides mightily for the obedient widow and her son. What a beautiful picture of God's care and compassion.

How has God provided for you through both good and difficult times? What's one thing that stood out to you about trusting God and being obedient from the example of Elijah and/or the widow? Tami

Waiting Expectantly

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Today's reading: Psalm 37:1-40

I decided to come back to Psalm 37 again today because there's so much for us to learn here. As I considered David's writing this morning, the message that living for God will require us to be patient as we wait on God and His perfect timing was prominent to me. While I absolutely know this, I still wrestle with this fact and struggle when my timing doesn't line up with God's. So I was thankful for David's words and the needed reminder that waiting expectantly for God must be part of my plan.

What's one thing you noticed about God's timing and waiting from Psalm 37? Was there a particular phrase or verse that encouraged you to be patient and wait expectantly for God to move? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 37:1-40

As a former litigator, I enjoy the way Psalm 37 reads. David puts before us an essay of sorts (in poem form) that very logically lays out the benefits of following and serving God alongside examples and warnings about what happens and what to expect when we choose not to live for God.

If someone asked you why they should follow God and do good, how would you respond based on this Psalm? What cautions would you pass on to them about choosing to live according to their own desires? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Kings 16:29-17:7

Today we begin moving into one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament--the show down between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (see 1 Kings 18). The two primary people in this account are Ahab, who becomes king of Israel after the death of his father Omri, and God's prophet, Elijah. Ahab was an evil ruler who did more to provoke God than all the kings before him (1 Kings 16:23). He showed no regard to God, choosing instead to serve, promote and worship Baal.

Elijah, on the other hand, was God's man through and through. He was committed to living for God. The situation in which he finds himself is not an easy or comfortable one. Yet he trusted God completely, boldly proclaimed His message, and obediently carried out every instruction he received.

What stood out to you the most (from what we've read so far) about Elijah, and why? What did this passage reveal to you about God? Tami

Picture of Contrasts

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 15:25-16:28

Today we meet and learn about a number of the kings of Israel (Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri) who reigned during the same time frame as Asa. The sinful thinking and actions of these kings contrasted starkly with the thinking and actions of Asa, who was making decisions and leading the people of Judah with God at the forefront. Although it was a bit of a sad read, it was good in that it put before me the reminder of what we're all capable of when our focus and our goals have nothing to do with God.

Think back over the past couple of months. What's the impact on your thinking and actions when you're intentional about spending time with God in His Word? What's one lesson you learned about living for self from the kings of Israel in today's passage? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Kings 15:9-24

After a few generations when we get to Asa (David's great great great grandson), we finally see a different attitude and heart toward God. Following in David's footsteps, Asa chooses to follow and serve God fully. A wise decision, but one that immediately puts the difficult task in front of him of ridding the country of false gods and idols. What impressed me so much about Asa was how he demonstrated top down leadership by stepping up and dealing with idol worship within his own family. That had to have been difficult, but it modeled to the people of Judah that he was absolutely committed to God.

What are some ways that you model your commitment to God at home? At work? At school? In your community? Tami

Abijam

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 15:1-7

Rehoboam's son, Abijam or Abijah (see 2 Chronicles 13) takes over as king of Judah after Rehoboam's death. Like his father, he did not wholeheartedly follow God. However, he didn't turn completely away from God (like Jeroboam who was ruling over Israel). But it wasn't Abijam's actions and choices that caught my attention today. It's what we're told about God in verses 4 and 5 that stood out to me. What an awesome God we serve.

What did this passage show you about God and His character? What message does it send about serving and following God with all our hearts? Tami

P.S. For a more detailed account of Abijam (Abijah) turn to 2 Chronicles 13. It's a good read.

Rehoboam's Reign

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 14:21-31; 2 Chronicles 11:1-12:16

Today we get our final look at Rehoboam and his reign over Judah. While we're not given a lot of detail about Rehoboam in 1 Kings 14, there is more information on him in 2 Chronicles 11-12. So I've included those chapters in our reading to provide us with as full a picture as possible of Rehoboam.

After his initial error in following the counsel of his friends when he became king, what we see of Rehoboam is that he actually made some wise decisions as he ruled. However, he wasn't fully devoted to following God, and as a result, God allows Shishak, the king of Egypt, to overtake a number of the cities of Judah and plunder the treasures from the temple, the kings house and elsewhere. The devastation from this war gets the attention of Rehoboam and his team of leaders, who then humble themselves and turn back to God.

What impact does (or has) experiencing adversity (whether or not it's a result of your actions) have (or had) on your spiritual life? Tami

Let Not

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Today's reading: Psalm 36:1-12

David talks with God, thanking and praising Him for His steadfast love. And as part of that conversation, he includes the request that God keep him from arrogance and sinning. What a wise example for us to follow.

"Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me. . ." (vs. 11)

Is it your practice to ask God to guard your heart against temptation and protect you from sinning? Tami

Asking with Trust

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Today's reading: Psalm 35:1-28

One of the reasons I enjoy the Psalms is that we get to see the candid manner in which so many of the writers talk with God. That's exactly the case with David in Psalm 35. Holding back nothing, David pours out his heart, imploring God to deal with those people who have been mistreating him and are set on repaying his good deeds with evil. My favorite thing about this psalm is the "before the fact" trust in God David demonstrates. He is already confident as he's making the request that God will act on his behalf.

When you ask God for help, is trusting Him part of your equation? Tami

Old Habits Die Hard

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 14:1-20

Although Jeroboam clearly understands that it was God who raised him up to be king, he refuses to truly recognize God, let alone submit to or serve Him. It's a sad picture that continues throughout his entire reign. How disappointing that even in the middle of a life and death crisis with their son, we fail to see any remorse, repentance or turning to God from Jeroboam or his wife.

What does this account with Jeroboam and his wife show us about the impact of continual disregard for God? Tami

Deceived

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 13:11-34

Our passage today, 1 Kings 13:11-34, is one I find difficult to fully grasp and understand. It seems odd to me that the consequences for the prophet who is deceived into sinning are so great in comparison to the prophet who blatantly lies and causes the man of God to sin. Even so, the facts are clear that the man sent by God to confront Jeroboam took his eyes off of God after delivering his message and leaving the city. This change in focus, led him down the path to sin. He didn't bother to consult God about taking a meal with the older prophet, nor did he receive word from God that God had changed what He wanted and expected the man to do.

What caution does this passage provide about letting down our guard as we're serving God? What did you see or learn about consulting God from this difficult passage? Tami

Intoxicating Power

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 12:25-13:10

Jeroboam absolutely knows that God has put him in place as king and he gladly accepts that role. But once he assumes that position, he abruptly proceeds to ignore God and behave as if he is in control of everything. Jeroboam becomes fixated on himself and staying in power. So much so that he not only turns away from God, but actually treats God like an adversary. And even when God sends a messenger to confront Jeroboam, there doesn't seem to be a true heart or attitude change toward God.

Jeroboam provides us with a sad and accurate picture of the intoxicating effect that having power can have on us if and when our desires and goals are about us rather than serving God.

What did you notice about having power from Jeroboam? When you are in a position of power (and we all have and exercise power of some sort), what helps you keep the right perspective and act accordingly? Tami

Powerful Pride

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 12:1-24

Rehoboam doesn't follow in his father Solomon's footsteps as a wise leader. The moment he steps into the role of king he lets his position, and the power that goes with it, go right to his head. And in this extremely prideful state, he refuses to listen to the wise counsel (given by the respected and seasoned advisors to Solomon) to conduct himself as a servant leader. Instead, Rehoboam's response is condescending, as well as unnecessarily severe and punitive, to the people who have willingly come to recognize and serve him as the new king. His decision to respond in this manner was a poor one that ended up costing him dearly.

How does pride influence, and ultimately impact, our thinking and actions? What's one thing you learned or saw (good or bad) about being a leader from this passage? Tami

Other gods

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 11:9-43

The first few verses of our passage today spoke loudly to me. Despite God's blessing paired with repeated instructions and cautions, Solomon chose to go his own way and serve other gods. As a result, God is angry and there are far reaching consequences--for Solomon, his descendants and the entire nation of Israel.

What are the things that can become "other gods" to you if you're not being mindful of, and intentional about, your relationship with God? What's one thing that stood out to you from 1 Kings 11 about the consequences of turning away from God? Tami

Taste and See

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Today's reading: Psalm 34:1-22

At first glance, David's proclamation in Psalm 34:8 to "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" might seem odd. But it's actually a good way to get us thinking about God and His goodness.

How do David's words in Psalm 34 demonstrate that he had experienced (tasted and seen) God's goodness? What about you? What's one example of when you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good? Tami

Join Me

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Today's reading: Psalm 34:1-22

As David starts off his praise of God in Psalm 34 he invites others to join with him (vs. 3). He basically says, Help me glorify and make God's greatness and goodness known. Let's promote God together! This got me thinking a little differently today about how I typically go about praising.

We corporately recognize and praise God at church, but what about extending group praise beyond the church service? What would that look like for you this week? Tami

Disappointing End

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 11:1-8

Solomon was known for his wisdom and serving God. But as he got older, he allowed his lustful impulses and emotions to guide his thinking and behavior. It was heartbreaking to read how after years of incredible relationship with and blessing from God, Solomon chooses to pursue his own desires by giving his heart and affections to many ungodly women.

If Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, wasn't immune to sin, what warning does that provide for us? What does this passage reveal about the powerful influence of sexual relationships and lust? Tami

Rich For God

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 10:14-29

Solomon's wealth was massive. So much so that I had a difficult time visualizing and comprehending all that is described in 1 Kings 10. The glimpse we're given of these riches reminded me of movies like National Treasure or Indiana Jones, but with one significant difference. In the movies, the focus or ultimate goal is to possess incredible amounts of money (and the power that comes with it). But we don't see this with Solomon. Yes, he had tons of money, but he didn't allow how much he had to consume his thinking and become his goal in life. How refreshing given that the goal of having money and things is the dominant message of the world, and a temptation that is constantly before us.

What did you learn from Solomon about having, handling and managing money as a follower of God? What helps you keep the correct perspective when it comes to your money? Tami

Your Display

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 10:1-13

Word of Solomon's extraordinary wisdom spreads across countries and nations, and as a result, the Queen of Sheba pays Solomon a visit. She's intrigued by the reports she's heard about Solomon and decides to check the situation out in person. What I noticed right away from this passage was how the Queen's interest included more than just Solomon's intelligence. She also wanted to know about Solomon's God. Verse 1 tells us that she heard of Solomon's fame "concerning the name of the Lord." And when she arrived, she witnessed and experienced firsthand God's blessing on Solomon through his God-given wisdom and possessions. She also observed Solomon worshiping and offering sacrifices to the Lord. So the entire time of her visit, God and His goodness were openly on display for the Queen of Sheba to see, and her words in verse 9 let us know that she didn't miss the message.

How often do you think about the fact that in everything you do, you are on display as a representative for God? What opportunities do you have to show God, and specifically how He has been good to you, to others? Tami

Dealing Wisely

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 9:10-28

Solomon worked closely with King Hiram of Tyre (who had been a friend of David) in constructing the temple and his own residence. At the conclusion of these massive and involved building projects, Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. Sounds pretty impressive, but for whatever reason, Hiram wasn't happy with the cities. So what does Hiram do? Well, even though Solomon was extremely powerful and wealthy, Hiram doesn't shy away from addressing the situation with him, and the manner in which Hiram dealt with Solomon showed wisdom on his part. He spoke to Solomon personally, he wasn't arrogant or condescending, and he didn't try and pull a power play or threaten Solomon. Instead, Hiram spoke words of truth from his heart to his colleague, Solomon.

As much as we'd like to avoid it, sometimes it's necessary to confront another person. It's never easy, and confrontation in a business or work setting can also be quite awkward. That being the case, how we choose to approach and handle a difference of opinion or conflict is crucial. It can literally make all the difference in the world.

What lessons did you learn or observe from Hiram's example? Tami

And Again

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 9:1-9

King Solomon is the wisest man ever, yet God continues to remind him of the need to keep his heart and mind focused on, and devoted to, fully serving Him. And God doesn't only say Remember to follow Me, but includes as part of His reminding message the devastating consequences that will follow if and when Solomon and Israel choose to turn away from God.

If the wisest man to ever live needed regular communication about wholeheartedly following and serving God, what does that reveal about our need to regularly be taking in and responding to God's Word? Tami

Almighty God

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Today's reading: Psalm 33:1-22

Psalm 33 is such an enjoyable read. It struck me as kind of an infomercial of sorts. It's God--packed, full of detail after details about God's greatness, and paired with words describing His love, care and provision for those who have chosen to follow Him.

What does this Psalm show about God's power, control and sovereignty? What message is delivered in verses 16-22 about where we place our trust? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 32:1-11

In Psalm 32 we see a firsthand account from David of the consequences of not immediately confessing and seeking forgiveness for sin (vs.3-4), followed by the result of asking for, and receiving, God's forgiveness (vs. 5). I like the way David sets this Psalm out basically saying, You can learn from me. This is the wise thing to do and here's why.

When and/or how often do you typically ask God for forgiveness? What's your experience been with asking God for forgiveness right away versus waiting? Tami

Today's reading: 1 Kings 8:22-66

After the ark of the covenant is placed inside the temple, Solomon offers a powerful prayer of dedication to God before all of the people. He begins by acknowledging God's greatness, and then fervently seeks God's continued guidance, provision and protection for Israel. One of the things I appreciated about this prayer was how Solomon openly recognizes and addresses sin and the separation it causes between us and God, and how he then immediately follows that by humbly asking God for forgiveness of future offenses. After offering his prayer, Solomon then charges the people to let their hearts "be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day" (vs. 61). What a beautiful depiction of seeking after God.

What did you observe or learn about sin and forgiveness from Solomon's prayer? What does your heart being "wholly true to the LORD" look like in your day-to-day life? Tami

Thankful Exalting

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 8:1-21

With the temple completed, Solomon now brings the ark of the covenant to its new home, and a huge part of this undertaking is a gathering of the leaders and the people to remember and thank God for who He is and for His constant and steady provision.

How often do you look back and remember what God has done for you? Is it your practice to thank God and praise and exalt Him as part of your prayers? What about publicly? 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 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2015 is the previous archive.

November 2015 is the next archive.

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