October 2016 Archives

Anger to Evil

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Today's reading: Acts 23:12-35; Psalm 4:4; Proverbs 29:11; Proverbs 22:24

The mainline Jews are angry with Paul. They are unwilling to accept the fact that he is taking the message of God's love and salvation to the Gentiles. But instead of keeping their anger in check, they allow this powerful emotion to run rampant (both individually and as a group). The result is evil and ugly--lies, hatred, manipulation, planning to commit murder. What a clear depiction for us of the sinful side of anger. In other words, how unchecked anger can blind us and lead us down the path to sinful thoughts, words and actions.

What's an example where you handled anger appropriately or you witnessed someone else responding well in their anger? What helps you stop and get a grip on anger so that it doesn't lead you to sin? Tami

Embrace It

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:73-80 (Yodh)

Today as I read Psalm 119:73-80, verse 79 and the message it delivers moved my heart powerfully.

"Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies."

Part of being a follower of Christ, is witnessing to and helping others grow spiritually (both by our actions and our words). I am enthusiastic about this responsibility and wholeheartedly believe we need to embrace it.

When people hear you talk and observe your actions, do they see Jesus? How can you live out this verse--even more--today, next week, and beyond? Tami

Good Problem

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:65-72 (Teth)

Have you ever noticed how hard times seem to draw us (or drive us depending on our heart and attitude) closer to God and His Word? That's certainly been my experience. So when I read verses 67 and 71, my thinking was, Boy, have I ever lived this.

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word."

"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes."

Have difficult circumstances prompted you to spend more time in God's Word? Can you join with the psalmist in saying that going through affliction was good because it taught you more about God and His Word? Tami

Unfazed with God

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Today's reading: Acts 22:30-23:11

After spending the night bound in chains, the Roman tribune brings Paul before the Jewish high priests and council for examination. As we've come to expect from Paul, his undoubtedly unpleasant and uncomfortable night in prison doesn't faze him. True to form, he confidently addresses the council, and even gets a little feisty when one of the men slaps him across the face. Paul is truly functioning fully--firing on all cylinders--evidenced by the way he quickly assesses the crowd and then wisely presents his case in a way that he knows will cause disunion between his accusers.

Once again we see how, with God's strength, Paul was able to boldly and competently represent Christ. What an incredible example and encouragement for us. But my favorite part of this account is the reassurance and encouragement God provides Paul in Acts 23:11. The night after this volatile interaction takes place, "the Lord stood by him and said, 'Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.'"

What does this account show us about God's care, oversight and presence with us? How has God sustained and encouraged you through a difficult time or a season filled with disappointment? Tami

Not Moved

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Today's reading: Acts 21:37-22:29; Psalm 121:2-3

After being beaten by a Jewish mob and then pulled from the mob by the Romans, you might expect Paul to be relieved about his arrest and the opportunity to get away from his attackers. But that mindset doesn't fit Paul. Immediately upon his arrest, he wants to reengage with his angry brothers. So he convinces his Roman overseer to let him address the Jewish mob that has risen up against him. Standing on the steps, still bound in chains, Paul turns toward the angry crowd. Speaking in their native tongue of Hebrew, he proceeds to confidently and boldly convey his testimony--how he was an educated Jew (a Pharisee) and had once been devoted to persecuting Christ-followers, but then had a life-altering encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and was now devoted to being a witness for God spreading the message of salvation to all.

As I read through this account, a number of scriptures from the psalms about being able to stand firm and not be moved when we encounter trials popped into my mind (see Psalm 121:2-3, Psalm 125:1; Psalm 55:22, Psalm 21:7). When God is our foundation and we choose to trust fully in Him, we can stand strong regardless of our circumstances. Thank you, God!

What circumstances are you dealing with right now? How does reading your Bible and then considering how you can put what you've read into practice help you "not be moved"? What role does talking with God play in helping you stay the course regardless of your circumstances? Tami

Today's reading: Acts 21:17-36

I love how the Bible is our go to place for spiritual teaching and lessons, but I also love how it is loaded with practical, common sense examples. Today as I read about Paul's coming to Jerusalem in Acts 21, it was the practical side of things that drew my attention. Although many Jews were coming to Christ, many others remained staunchly committed to following Old Testament law. Verse 20 refers to this group as being "zealous for the law." And the zealousness of this group leads them down a bad path. You see, rather than observing and listening to Paul and then making a reasoned determination about his teaching, they fall into what I like to refer to as the trap of assumption. In other words, they make decisions and take action based upon less than the facts. So the crowd in Acts 21 are proceeding on conjecture and guesswork. We see in verse 21 that they have been influenced by rumors ("they have been told about you"). And then in verses 28-29 things escalate further because this group jumps to negative conclusions and reacts without making any effort to substantiate what they have seen and/or heard ("For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple" (vs. 29)). The end result is a bunch of upset and angry people who are so out of control that they want to kill Paul and would have if the Roman authorities hadn't shown up to put a stop to the riot.

Has proceeding on assumptions led you down an inappropriate path in the past? Why is it so important (particularly within the body of Christ) to obtain and process all the facts of a situation before you take action? Tami

Faith Walking

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Today's reading: Acts 21:1-26

Paul was quite the traveler. Just reading about all the places he visited (without modern day travel modes or conveniences) makes me feel a bit tired. But as impressive as Paul's travels were, it's his unwavering faith that I find compelling. Throughout Acts, and here in chapter 21, Paul has surely modeled walking by faith rather than by sight (Paul writes about this in 2 Corinthians 5:6-7). Our human tendency, though, is just the opposite. We want to respond based on what we see, what's taking place in the world, what's happening personally to us, and we like and want the path of least resistance. So I was thankful for the example of Paul today. There was no doubt that hardship, including the possibility of being put to death, were going to be part of Paul's future. Yet, he willingly chose to press on, straight and steadily ahead, to complete the job God had for him.

How would you describe your present situation--are you faith walking or sight walking? What helps you choose to respond in faith when your circumstances are pressing in all around? How did Paul's example encourage you today? Tami

Steady Forward

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Today's reading: Acts 20:17-38

Paul delivers a loving but heavy farewell message and caution to the elders at Ephesus. Although he has already experienced much hardship and persecution, Paul knows that the road ahead of him is going to be even more difficult, and that he will not be returning to meet with the believers in Ephesus again. Yet despite knowing that imprisonment and afflictions will be in his future, he remains steadfast, focused and diligent to perform the task God had put before him of spreading the message of Christ to Jews and Gentiles far and wide.

What did you see and learn from this account about priorities, trusting God, serving in and through difficult circumstances, relationships? What stood out to you the most from Paul's conversation with the elders at Ephesus, and why? Tami

Our Portion

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:57-64 (Heth)

"The LORD is my portion..."

The opening words of the stanza titled Heth, Psalm 119:57-64, captured my attention. They caused me to pause to think about God being my "portion" and what exactly that means to me and for how I live my life--in private and before others. After declaring that the Lord is his portion, the psalmist then spends the remainder of the stanza laying out what that means and looks like in his life.

Do you think of God as being your "portion"? What does "The Lord is my portion" mean to you personally? What actions and behaviors display this? Tami

FULL Comfort

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:49-56 (Zayin)

The older and wiser I get, both physically and spiritually, the more I realize and appreciate how I can take FULL comfort in God's Word. As I'm sure you've experienced, life isn't all smooth sailing. More often than not, difficult circumstances seem to be waiting around every corner. So the Psalmist's declaration in verse 50 that God's promises give him comfort in the middle of affliction and then his recalling in verse 54 of how God's statutes have been his "songs," served to comfort me this morning. Thank you, God for Your incredible love and for comforting us through Your life-giving Word!

Is it your practice to turn to God's Word for comfort? How has God's Word been a comfort to you in the past? Do you have a favorite "comfort" passage, story or verse that you turn to in difficult times? Tami

Today's reading: Acts 20:1-16; Ephesians 4:29; Proverbs 18:21

Paul was an amazingly gifted preacher/teacher, and so often that's where I focus. But he was also an incredible encourager who dedicated a good bit of his time and efforts to supporting, motivating and inspiring other followers of Christ to stay the course. It's a picture we see throughout Acts, but it's specifically noted in Acts 20. Immediately after the riot against the teaching of Jesus in Ephesus, Paul gathers, what had to be a discouraged group of disciples, and encourages them (vs. 1). He then heads out to Macedonia where he dispersed "much encouragement" (vs. 2). And after spending several months in Greece, Paul and a number of disciples go to Troas where, once again, Paul refreshes the believers in the area with his presence and words.

Would you describe yourself as an encourager of others? What's one example of how you refreshed, supported and/or strengthened someone through your presence or words in the past week? When you step out and encourage someone, what effect or impact does this have on you? Tami

Unrest

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Today's reading: Acts 19:21-41

Paul's preaching in Ephesus was definitely having an impact on the community--people were being healed and many people were coming to a saving knowledge of Christ. But not everyone received the news of Jesus favorably. And in fact, some were quite hostile toward Paul's message. So as we reach Acts 19:21-41 a few angry people have riled up a sizeable crowd against Paul and those associated with him. Thankfully, the dangerous situation is dissipated when a city official steps up and interjects a voice of reason.

What did the incident in Acts 19:21-41 reveal about responses and/or types of situations we can expect to encounter as we spread the message of Christ? Was there anything specific that God impressed on your heart from this passage and why? Tami

Warfare

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Today's reading: Acts 19:1-20

God's power and might are fully displayed through Paul's preaching and activity in Ephesus. Many people take note, and several sons of the Jewish high priest even try to imitate Paul calling on the name of Jesus in an attempt to drive out evil spirits (verses 13-14). What happens next is scary, and highlights the fact that Satan and his army are real and active around us.

How much thought do you give to spiritual warfare? What does this passage reveal about evil forces in our present day world? Tami

Educating Counsel

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Today's reading: Acts 18:18-28

One of the things we're called to do as Christ-followers is to come alongside other believers to encourage, to mentor, to offer counsel, to lend a helping hand. Priscilla and Aquila model this wonderfully in Acts 18. After traveling with Paul to Ephesus, they encounter a Jew named Apollos who was actively preaching Christ to the people. But Apollos' preaching was limited in that he was only knowledgeable of John's teaching about Jesus. So when Priscilla and Aquila hear Apollos, they take action. Verse 26 tells us, "they took [Apollos] aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately."

I love the wise example we see from Priscilla and Aquila, and then from Apollos in his response. Apollos' love and fervor for Jesus were evident, and his intent was honorable. So when Priscilla and Aquila realize that Apollos isn't fully informed, and thus not appropriately equipped to teach about Jesus, they approach him--privately. They then lovingly proceed to correct, guide, encourage and teach him. Apollos willing receives their instruction and counsel, and as a result, is able to fully preach and teach about Jesus going forward.

Are you intentional about coming alongside other Christ-followers to offer support and encouragement as needed? Who is someone you can come alongside this week? On the flip side, how do you typically respond when someone reaches out to you to offer help, feedback and/or encouragement? What did you learn about the body of Christ working and growing together form this account? Tami

Encouraging God

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Today's reading: Acts 18:1-17

I've found that when I read historical accounts, too often my tendency is to take in the facts and not necessarily spend time pondering the actual experience being relayed. So today, I tried to put myself in Paul's shoes and get a better sense of how he was living and what he was experiencing. (How did it feel to arrive in Corinth not knowing anyone? What was it like to meet and then live with Aquila and Priscilla? How did he feel and then manage going into the synagogue knowing that he was going to hit intense opposition and challenges?)

Paul's life was not an easy one, and what stood out to me as I thought about his experience in Corinth was how God provided for Paul in the area of encouragement. When Paul arrives alone in Corinth, God connects him with Aquila and Priscilla. Paul needs a place to stay, Aquila and Priscilla open their home to him. Despite intense opposition to his preaching, many believed and God encourages and reinforces Paul through a vision, letting him know that he's doing exactly what God wants and that God will protect him. And when the Jews attack Paul and bring him before Gallio, God protects Paul just as He had promised. What a picture of an encouraging and trustworthy God!

Think back over the past month or two. What are some examples of how has God encouraged you? Be specific and don't limit yourself to things that you consider are "big" encouragements. Think broadly because God is in every detail. (Has someone paid for your drink in a drive thru? Did someone from church unexpectedly check in just to ask how you were doing? You get the idea. ) Tami

Benefits

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:42-48

Taking in, understanding and living out God's Word brings with it many benefits. Here are some of the benefits I noticed from Psalm 119:42-48:

  • God communicates His love to us through His Word.
  • Knowing God's Word equips us to answer.
  • God's Word is truth in which we can place our hope.
  • We can walk in a wide place.
  • We can speak confidently to all about God's Word.
  • God's Word brings us joy.

What are some benefits you've experienced from being in and knowing God's Word? Take a couple of minutes and think about the benefit of "walking in a wide place" What does this benefit mean or convey to you? How would you describe it to someone? Tami

Our Lean

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:33-40 (He)

After asking God to teach him, give him understanding and lead him according to God's Word, the psalmist then makes this specific request:

"Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (vs. 36)"

So in addition to asking God to give him knowledge, he's asking God to continue to generate in him the desire to fully engage with, know and then follow God's laws. This request is a good one because it recognizes our susceptibility to being pulled towards worldly things and self-focused thinking.

How would you describe your relationship with the Bible? In other words, are you drawn to opening God's Word, or does reading your Bible feel more like a chore? Do you regularly read the Bible, or are you more "hit and miss" about taking in God's Word? What personal changes would asking God to "incline your heart to His Word" bring about for you going forward? Will you join me in making this request part of your prayers? Tami

Stirred

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Today's reading: Acts 17:16-34; Psalm 119:53; Psalm 119:136

I love Paul's proactive approach and the initiative he takes to get the Gospel message in front of as many people as possible. And that's precisely what we see in Acts 17 when he arrives in Athens. Paul assesses the different groups of people he observes and encounters, and then very wisely adapts how he presents the Gospel according to the specific group he is addressing.

Paul's witness in Athens is typically what I focus on whenever I read Acts 17. But what drew my attention as I read today was what it was that prompted Paul to be so bold and proactive in Athens. Acts 17:16 states, "Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols." The environment of Athens was not a godly one. As Paul observes what's taking place around him, his heart is tremendously grieved--so much so, that it spurs him to take immediate and bold action wherever he can across the city.

To what degree is your spirit grieved and moved by the worldly environment you live and work in each day? Will you follow Paul's example and take action to bring positive change by sharing Christ to your family, workplace, neighborhood, city? What witnessing style or approach would be best in these different environments and situations? Tami

Steadily Firm

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Have you ever noticed how we tend to focus on and remember (with clarity) negative things that we experience? Here's an example. After making a presentation at work, your boss and several of your co-workers compliment you and tell you that you did a good job. But one person in the group is critical, pointing out something they think you could have done better. For the remainder of the day and for a good part of the week, instead of focusing on the positive feedback you received, you fixate on that one negative, even though you know that the person who said it rarely praises anyone. Sound familiar? It sure does to me.

Well I did a little online searching, and apparently the behavior I described above is a tendency we all have that's called a "negativity bias" or "negativity effect." So why am I writing about this? Because I didn't see this "negativity effect" with Paul and Silas. Despite all the pushback, rejection, and even physical harm inflicted on them, they didn't get caught up in, or let their minds dwell on, the negatives. Instead, they were diligent in keeping their focus on God and moving steadily forward with the mission He had set before them to spread the Gospel.

When have you allowed a negative (whatever that may be) to hinder your service for the Lord? What's one thing you noticed or learned from Paul and Silas that will help you resist focusing on a negative the next time one arises? Tami

Good from Bad

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Today's reading: Acts 16:16-40

Paul is certainly no stranger to persecution--adamantly ordering its doling out before encountering Christ, and now experiencing it first hand as a proclaimer and follower of Christ. In this particular instance, Paul and Silas are stripped of their clothing, beaten severely with rods and then thrown in prison where they were placed in the inner part of the jail with their feet in stocks.

Now before you read on, take a minute to imagine and think about the seriousness of this situation. Paul and Silas' physical condition is bad. But emotionally and spiritually, it's a completely different picture because they know that God is in control, even in this unfair and painful circumstance. So instead of hanging their heads in dejection and fearing for their lives, what are Paul and Silas doing? They're publically, and with confidence, praying to God and singing hymns, and in so doing, being a witness to all who are in prison with them. And their bold witness continues when, after the earthquake, Paul, Silas and all the prisoners willingly remain after the prison doors are flung wide open, and Paul and Silas then present the message of salvation through Jesus to the jailer and all in his household.

What a wonderful reminder of God's sovereignty, and the fact that He can and does work in and through all situations. What the Roman slave owners meant for evil, God used for good and His glory!

What encouragement did you draw from this account? How did it impact your perspective on encountering painful and unpleasant situations? How have you experienced God using a difficult situation for good? Tami

Today's reading: Acts 16:1-15

Luke does an excellent job of documenting the travels and adventures of the apostles as they carry out the work of spreading the Gospel message. As we move into Acts 16, Paul and those with him, are covering quite a bit of ground. And because of Luke's attention to detail, the text is rich with facts, examples and lessons for us. A couple of things that I took note of were: how teamwork was of utmost importance as the apostles served God, and how women were involved and played an important role in the spread of the Gospel. But above all the details and activity, what stood out to me most was this consistent thread--the apostles were looking for, listening to and then obedient in their response to God's various promptings and direction.

What helps you stay in tune and in step with God's will and direction? How important are prayer, reading your Bible, spending time with Christian friends, belonging to and attending church? Is asking God to guide and direct your thoughts and actions a regular part of your prayers? Tami

Follow Up

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Today's reading: Acts 15:36-41

After spending some time in Antioch, Paul suggests to Barnabus that they return to the places where they've planted churches to follow up with these new believers and see how they are faring. Although Paul and Barnabus end up parting company and traveling to different places, both return to cities they've previously visited, with the goal of strengthening, supporting, comforting and encouraging these newly founded and growing church communities.

Is it your practice to follow up with a brother or sister in Christ after you've offered a listening ear, given advice and/or physically helped them with a task? Why is this important? What are some benefits to each party? Tami

Foundation

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:25-32 (Daleth)

One message from Psalm 119:25-32 resonated loudly with me today--God's Word MUST be my foundation. The psalmist's request to "give me life according to your word" (vs. 25), and then his appeals for God to teach him His laws and statutes (vs. 26 and 29) and help him understand His precepts (vs. 27) conveyed this well.

Are you committed to taking in and then living out God's Word? In a typical week, how often do you spend time reading your Bible? If someone asked you why reading your Bible was important to you, how would you respond? Tami

Eyes Wide Open

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:17-24 (Gimel)

When you read God's Word, what's your approach? Do you want and expect to learn as much as possible from it? I'm guessing your answer is like mine--"Yes!" So what's a good approach to take for this happen? Psalm 119:18 gives us a wonderful example. The psalmist clearly loves God's Word and desires to know and understand it more and better. So as he readies himself to take in God's Word, he specifically asks God to help him.

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law."

Is it your habit to ask God to "open your eyes" before you read your Bible? Read Psalm 119:17-24 again, but this time pray and ask God to open your eyes to something you didn't see before. I'd love to hear the outcome. Tami

Growing Pains

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Today's reading: Acts 15:1-35

With the dispersing of the disciples across the countryside and the preaching of the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, the number of Christ-followers (the "Church") is steadily growing. But as we've all likely experienced, change can be uncomfortable. And many times when change occurs, tension and conflict follow. So it's not too surprising to see some charged emotions and conflict over the differing practices of the Jews and Gentiles as they are now both part of the Body of Christ. The Jewish believers, who are accustomed to following the Law given by Moses, want the Gentile believers to conform to their practices, and specifically the practice of circumcision. But when given the opportunity to speak, Paul respectfully and caringly reminds the Jewish leaders that salvation is by grace alone, and cautions them about imposing rules that are not a requirement for salvation. After listening intently, the group finds a middle ground which results in the encouragement of both the Gentile and Jewish believers.

What did you learn or notice from this account about dealing with differing backgrounds, traditions and/or opinions? How important are tone of voice, words used and listening in a situation when conflict is present and emotions are running high? Tami

Standing Firm

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Today's reading: Acts 14:1-28

One of the things I like about Acts is the historical detail it provides about the spread of the Gospel message. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabus continue traveling to different areas teaching about Jesus and forgiveness of sins. The responses they receive from the Jews are consistent with what they've experienced elsewhere. With the Gentiles, however, things are quite different. Through Paul's and Barnabus' preaching, they are being introduced to the one true God and learning for the first time about Jesus coming to earth as Savior. So it's not surprising that when Paul heals a man who has been crippled from birth, the Gentiles jump to the wrong conclusion that Paul and Barnabus are "gods" (as they understand them) and they try to worship them.

What stood out to me from this account was the strong, God-focused response of Paul and Barnabus. Opportunities to be elevated to positions of fame and power, and even for monetary gain were all present. Yet, neither man gave in to temptation. They immediately turned the spotlight on the "living God" and used the situation to further preach about God's love and offer of salvation.

How will this account help you be better prepared as you talk with others about God's love and salvation through Jesus? What's one thing you learned or noticed about responding to temptation from Paul and Barnabus? Tami

A Broad Light

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Today's reading: Acts 13:44-52

As we sit here today in the 21st century, we don't give much thought to the fact that the Gospel message of salvation through Christ is for everyone. But 2,000 or so years ago, that wasn't yet the case. The Jews were God's chosen people, and it wasn't until a period of time had passed after Jesus' resurrection that God specifically directs the disciples to reach out to those outside the Jewish faith with the message of Christ. We saw this in Acts 10 with Peter and Cornelius, and we now see it here in Acts 13 with Paul and Barnabus.

Paul and Barnabus are respectful and careful to offer the Gospel message to the Jews and Jewish converts first, but their emphatic rejection of the message serves to swing the door wide open for the spreading of the salvation message. And those in the community who aren't Jews are eager to hear and receive the Good News of forgiveness of sins through Christ.

As I thought about this account, it struck me how not that much has changed in 2000 years with regard to sharing the Gospel message. In my experiences sharing Christ, I've found that people who have grown up being taught that they must follow a certain set of rules, or who believe that their doing "good" is the means that will get them to heaven are many times less open to hearing about salvation than someone who has no church background at all. But regardless of a person's upbringing, race, sex, family or status, the message of forgiveness through Christ is for ALL. Which means we have much work to do as followers of Christ.

What's your experience with sharing Christ? Do you tell others about Jesus? Are you selective in who you approach? Are you intentional about talking with others about Christ? Tami

Life Changing Facts

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Today's reading: Acts 13:13-43

After preaching the Gospel in Cyprus, Paul, Barnabus and John set off to another destination with the goal of proclaiming Jesus. Eventually, Paul and Barnabus arrive at Antioch where, when invited, Paul speaks at the local synagogue. (One of the things I love about Paul is how he is always prepared and ready to speak about salvation.) Knowing his audience (Jews and those who had converted to Judaism), Paul proceeds to straightforwardly put before the people the factual history of God's relationship with and love for the people of Israel, culminating with Jesus' death, burial and resurrection and the gift of salvation that Jesus' actions offers. By simply sharing the facts, the powerful truth of the Gospel message touched and changed the hearts of many who were present.

Are you on the lookout for different places where you might display and share Christ? What approach do you typically use when you talk with others about Jesus? Tami

Opposition

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Today's reading: Acts 13:1-12

Even when we're doing precisely what God has called us to do in serving Him, we shouldn't be surprised when we run into opposition. And sometimes, that conflict and resistance can even come from a religious group we're associated with or from within a church setting. Barnabus and Saul (now called Paul as he sets out to spread the Gospel message to the Gentiles) discover this when they go to Cyprus to preach the Gospel message. Shortly after their arrival, they encounter a Jewish false prophet who is determined to thwart their proclaiming of Jesus. But Paul doesn't miss a beat. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, he boldly addresses Elymas (Bar-Jesus), and in so doing displays God's power which results in the proconsul becoming a believer in Christ.

What does this account show us about being a representative of Christ? What did you learn from this encounter about responding to and dealing with an "Elymas"? Tami

Storing Up

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:9-16 (Beth)

Psalm 119:11 talks of "storing up" God's Word in our hearts. My response to this verse? "Amen!" What an important and necessary message for us to embrace and put into action. When we know what God's Word says and have it stored in our hearts and minds, we are better equipped to rightly handle the many situations that life brings our way.

What are some ways you "store up" God's Word in your heart? What's one example of where knowing God's truth has enabled you to respond well in a difficult situation? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 119:1-8 (Aleph)

Psalm 119 is a psalm I turn to often because it's all about God's Word. This long chapter (it's actually the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses) is filled with encouragement and instruction to take in God's Word and then put it into action in our everyday lives. Psalm 119 is divided into 8 verse segments or stanzas, so that's how we'll move through it, 8 verses at a time.

The first stanza titled Aleph, puts God's Word front and center in literally every verse. In my Bible, I've circled the word(s) used in each verse that represent God's Word.

  • Verse 1: law of the Lord
  • Verse 2: his testimonies
  • Verse 3: his ways
  • Verse 4: your precepts
  • Verse 4: your precepts
  • Verse 6: your commandments
  • Verse 7: your righteous rules
  • Verse 8: your statutes

Here's the primary message I came away with from this opening stanza of Psalm 119: God's Word is life!

What stood out to you the most about God's Word from Psalm 119:1-8? Based on this stanza, what are the benefits of knowing and keeping God's commandments? What does this passage reveal about our need to read and study the Bible? 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 October 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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