December 2017 Archives

Power to Curb

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Today's reading: James 3:1-12

Our tongues are powerful, and we can turn them into weapons of destruction--in an instant. James 3:8 says, "no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." Ouch! Every time I read that verse and those surrounding it (James 3:1-12), I cringe because James is dead on correct. It pains me to admit it, but I can give plenty of examples of words that I have spoken that weren't God honoring--insensitive words, gossip, harshly delivered words, corrective words not spoken with love, reactive and retaliatory words of anger (you get the picture).

But our inability to completely tame our tongues doesn't mean we can't curb what comes out of our mouths in a pretty significant way. In fact, we absolutely can! It definitely takes effort, but if we commit to spending time with God by taking in His Word and talking with Him through prayer, getting better control over what comes out of our mouths will naturally follow. God wants and expects us to represent Him well with our words, and we can when our eyes, hearts and minds are focused on Him.

Do you think of your tongue as "a restless evil, full of deadly poison"? When are you more likely to allow negative or hurtful words to come out of your mouth? How does regularly spending time with God (reading the Bible and praying) influence your heart and ultimately your words? Tami

Heart to Mouth

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Today's reading: Psalm 59:1-17

In the middle of David's seeking God for deliverance and comfort as Saul and others are intent on his destruction, David specifically points out to God how his adversaries are sinning with their mouths.

"For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter..." (vs. 12)

What a good reminder of how so much of our sin is tied to the words we let come out of our mouths, and how what we say reveals the spiritual condition of our heart.

Think back over some of the words you've spoken this week. What did they reveal about your heart? How can and will you use the words you speak, today and in the coming week, to reflect a loving and God-focused heart? Tami

When Wrong Happens

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Today's reading: Psalm 58:1-11

Before David took the throne as king of Israel, he was on the run for his life from an irrational and unbalanced king Saul. I can't fully imagine how awful David's situation must have been. Yet he was able to stand strong and remain focused, in large part because of his constant and candid communication with God. Here in Psalm 58, David is holding nothing back. He pours out his frustrations to God about the sin taking place against him and around him, and then concludes his conversation by expectantly asking God to right the situation.

Is it your practice to talk candidly with God about the wrong and unjust things taking place around you and/or to you? How does putting these wrongs into words help you stay focused on God and His Word and responding rightly? Tami

Faith-filled Work

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Today's reading: James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:8-10

Once we make the decision to follow God by placing our faith in Christ as our Savior, doing good works for God should naturally follow. In other words, once we have a personal relationship with God, God then expects us to do good works going forward as we serve Him--and, He already has in place a plan of good things for us to do.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

Do you think of yourself as being a worker for God? How does knowing that you were created "in Christ Jesus for good works" encourage or motivate you today? What's one example of how you have demonstrated your faith in God by doing a "good work" in the past month? Tami

Level Field

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Today's reading: James 2:1-13

There is no partiality with God. The phrase "level playing field" immediately came to my mind as I read and considered James 2:1-13. What a comfort to know that our wealth, social standing, race, gender, age, location, occupation--doesn't influence how God views, values or loves us. Thank you, James for this candid reminder of God's level standard, and how when we chose to deviate from it and exercise partiality, it is sin.

How does the way someone is dressed, the job or position they hold, the car they drive, the people they know or the home they live in, influence how you act around and toward them? What helps you model God's standard toward people (loving, valuing and treating them equally) rather than the following the standard of the world? Tami

Action Required

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Today's reading: James 1:22-25

A year or so ago, I was having problems with the word processing program on my computer not allowing me to print. It was super frustrating and hindering to my work. My husband discovered how to fix the problem (an upgrade glitch), and corrected the issue a number of times for me. He also told me how to correct this issue each time this happened. I listened to him, but because I never actually sat down at the computer and executed the fix myself, I was stuck if my husband wasn't home when the problem occurred. How foolish on my part. I absolutely knew there was a fix, but because I never took the time to be a "doer," what knowledge I had was pretty much rendered useless.

It's the same way with God's Word. It's vital that we read and take in God's instructions. But that's only part of the equation. We also need to consider what we've read and then take action (be a doer). In other words, we need to ENGAGE God's Word-meaning that we spend time reading the Bible, reflecting on it, and then responding to it. When we consistently follow this pattern, our relationship with God will grow, our faith will strengthen and our attitude, actions and words will change for the positive.

When you read your Bible do you ask God to show you truth and then help you put what you've read into action? How were you a "doer of the Word" in the last week or so? Will you join me on an intentional journey to be a "doer" this week? Tami

Active With Good

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Today's reading: James 1:26-27

James highlights two areas in the final verses of James 1, and in so doing, provides some specific "doing good" instructions for us as followers of Christ. The first area is our speech, with the instruction to keep a close watch and a tight rein on what we say. The second area is helping those in need, with the instruction to reach out to people who aren't in a good position to help themselves like orphaned children and widows.

So how are you doing with living out James' instruction in verses 26-27? Do you give concentrated thought to keeping your words in check at work, home, school, when you're hanging out with friends? Is it your habit to extend help, in whatever form it is needed, to people around you who are hurting? Tami

Regulated Responses

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Today's reading: James 1:19-21

When we encounter trials--when something unexpected happens, someone takes advantage of us, we're mistreated--our human impulse is to immediately react in anger. But God wants and expects us to respond differently. The clear message James delivers in verse 19--that we should be "quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger," is a vital one for us as followers of Christ. While responding in this manner can feel like a tall order, God is with us and we can draw on His strength to help us slow down and process the situation and then respond in the most appropriate way.

What benefits have you experienced when you've responded to a bad situation by being quick to hear and slow to speak or get angry? Why is following this command so important when we're dealing with people who don't yet know Christ? What about with other Christ-followers? Tami

Stormy Refuge

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Today's reading: Psalm 57:1-11

Even though David is being hunted by Saul and his men, his trust in God remains strong. So as he begins Psalm 57, David's tone is confident. I love how he declares to God that he is claiming Him as his refuge until the terrible circumstances around him subside.

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by" (vs. 1).

When and how has God been your "refuge till the storms of destruction have passed you by"? Why is it important to praise God in and through the storms? When you tell God exactly what it is that you are going to do, how does it impact your attitude and actions? Tami Tami

Discarding Fear

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Today's reading: Psalm 56:1-13

David spent a lot years on the run from a murderous-minded king Saul. So he was well acquainted with danger and uncertainty and the feelings of fear that accompany difficult situations. Yet rather than focusing on his circumstances and allowing himself to be consumed by his fear, David leans fully on God, telling God that he trusts Him and His word completely.

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?" (vs. 3-4)

Is it your habit to reach out to, and lean on, God when you feel afraid? How does talking with God and spending time in His Word help you combat and overcome fear? When you find yourself feeling fearful, do you have a verse or passage that helps you refocus your thoughts on trusting God? Tami

Prized Possession

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Today's reading: James 1:16-18 (NLT); Genesis 1:26-31 (NLT)

The message of God's exceptional love and goodness came across loud and clear as I read James 1:16-18. It was a excellent reminder for me because I have a tendency to lose sight of just how much God loves us (me). So reading James 18, with its clear and descriptive words (prized possession), gave me a needed perspective adjustment for my day. Thank you, God, for Your great and never ending love!

Do you think of yourself as being a "prized possession" of God? What does James 1:17-18 and Genesis 1:26-31 reveal about the special place we hold in God's heart and the how incredibly He loves you? 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 December 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2017 is the previous archive.

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