January 2018 Archives

Today's reading: Psalm 68:1-35

Since Psalm 68 is so rich with information, I decided to spend another day considering what we can take away from this psalm about following God. I mentioned yesterday how this is a praising of God for His provision throughout time--past, present and future. And today as I read, it was that future portion of praise that drew me in. David's song exudes confident anticipation of what God will do (of things yet to take place) going forward. It's an example that we would be good for us to adopt and put into practice.

Is praising and praying to God with confident anticipation of what He is going to do in the future something you do? As you pray this week, will you join me in telling God that you trust Him, and that you are confident about what He is doing in your life and what He has for your future? Tami

Our Forever God

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Today's reading: Psalm 68:1-35

There is quite a bit going on in Psalm 68 which puts before us a praising of God for what He will do, what He is doing and what He has done. What I particularly liked about this psalm was all of the little pieces of information about God and His character that are woven into the psalmist's praise. These three things are what stood out prominently to me:

  • That God, in His goodness, has and will provide for the needy (vs. 10);
  • That God is great and powerful beyond our human comprehension--"The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands..." (vs. 17); and
  • That God, who is our salvation, bears us up daily (vs. 19).

Thank you, God, for showing and reminding me, yet again, that You are trustworthy, You are capable and that You have every detail of my life securely in the palm of Your hand!

Identify two to three things you learned or noticed about God from this psalm? What encouraged you the most from Psalm 68 today, and why? Tami

Walking Rightly

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Today's reading: Proverbs 28:6, Proverbs 28:18

"Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways" (Proverbs 28:6).

"Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall" (Proverbs 28:18).

Who do you know that models or demonstrates walking in integrity? Based on these verses, what is God's view of integrity? How would you explain the importance of having integrity and living according to it to someone? Tami

Instruction Needed

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Today's reading: Proverbs 13:1, Proverbs 13:10, Proverbs 13:18

"A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke" (Proverbs 13:1).

"By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom" (Proverbs 13:10).

"Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored" (Proverbs 13:18).

Part of living wisely is being open to receiving instruction from other people (people who have experienced things we haven't, people who have training in particular subjects or areas, people who have a strong relationship with God, people who are gifted in the areas of discernment and wisdom). Yet all too often, we get caught up in thinking that we know best. It's not a wise mindset and it can lead us off course pretty quickly. So I was thankful for the reminder today that if we want to live wisely, we need to be seeking out and then taking in advice and instruction from wise people around us.

How open are you to receiving advice from others? Who do you know that would be a good source of advice or instruction for you? Think back over the past year or so. What's one example of where instruction or advice you received and acted on was of benefit to you? Tami

Planning For Joy

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Today's reading: Proverbs 12:20

"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy" (Proverbs 12:20).

The final few words of Proverbs 12:20 seemed to jump off the page at me this morning. As we start out each day, we all have some sort of plan in mind. We know when we need to get up, we have a routine of getting ready for work or school, we know how we're getting where we need to go, and once we arrive at our destination, our day is structured with routine until it's time for us to once again fall into bed so we can do it all over again the following day. Sounds pretty mundane and boring... but it doesn't have to be, which leads me to Proverbs 12:20.

What Proverbs 12:20 shows us is that in the midst of all of our daily schedules, routines and plans, we should also be thinking about and planning how everything we do can be accomplished with God's peace--speaking kind and encouraging words, having a loving approach, maintaining a generous and helping attitude, thinking about the needs and interests of the people around us. When we're intentional to make living with God's peace part of every detail of our daily lives, the result will be having joy in and through all of our circumstances.

How have you experienced the words of Proverbs 12:20, "but those who plan peace have joy"? Who do you know whose lifestyle models this verse? What's one thing you can/will do to "plan peace" into your schedule this week? Tami

Healing Power

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Today's reading: Proverbs 12:18

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Proverbs 12:18).

There are a number of things I like about Proverbs 12:18--the descriptions used and how they immediately bring clear and understandable images to mind, the message conveyed of the power of our words and how they can be harmful or restorative, and lastly, the point that a wise person will choose to offer words (in content and in tone) that bring healing.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 being high), where would you rate yourself with regard to using "healing words" in the past week? How can and will you improve this number going forward? Who in your circle of influence needs to hear some "healing words" from you? Tami

Ten Seconds

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Today's reading: Proverbs 29:20

"Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him" (Proverbs 29:20).

Over the years I've learned that taking time to pause before responding to someone is a good practice. Practicing this pause is especially important when the conversation involves a disagreement, discipline or giving counsel or advice. A good friend of mine refers to her practice of pausing before responding as "the ten second rule." I like that name and use it often.

Ten seconds may not sound like much time, but it can literally make or break a situation. Those few seconds where I'm intentional about holding my tongue allows me, first and foremost, to shoot up a prayer to God asking for wisdom. It also allows me to further assess the emotions, demeanor, body language and attitude of the person(s) I'm talking with. I can then gather my thoughts before offering my response.

In what type of situations are you most tempted to be "hasty with your words"? Do you utilize something like the ten second rule? How has holding back and not responding immediately been of benefit to you? Tami

Vibrant in Praise

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Today's reading: Psalm 66:1-20

As soon as I read the first few verses of Psalm 66, I started smiling because praising God through singing is one of my favorite things to do, and this psalm makes it clear that God likes that kind of praise too. If you've ever been unsure or wondered about how to praise God or what praising God should look like, Psalm 66 is a great place to go because it quite plainly tells us that we can be verbal and demonstrative with our praise, singing and shouting for joy to God.

"Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard..." (vs. 8)

How often do you praise God as described in Psalm 66--shouting for joy, singing, verbally proclaiming what God has done? What does vibrant and joyful praising of God look like in your life? Tami

Abundant Provider

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Today's reading: Psalm 65:1-13

As I took in Psalm 65 today, the fact that God provides for everything we need seemed to jump off the page. In the beginning verses, we see God providing His grace and salvation, then we read of His calming strength and protection, and as we come to the end of the psalm, His provision is shown through the description of the fertile and productive earth He's given us to live on. The fact that God is in control of all things and that every detail of our lives rests in His hands was absolutely evident.

Do you view God as being your abundant provider? How has God provided for you and your family over the years? Would you join with me today in thanking God for being our all-powerful, all-providing God? Tami

Words Of Life

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Today's reading: Proverbs 18:21

I've been traveling for work the past week, and one of the things I enjoy doing when I'm on the road is to watch people. So as I boarded on and off planes and shuttles, waited in lines for food, coffee and rental cars, I was able to observe hundreds of interactions between various people-friends, families, co-workers, business colleagues, strangers. I couldn't help but notice the power of our words. Proverbs 18:21 tells us:

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."

There's nothing more enjoyable than receiving words of life. Words that compliment, word that support, words that express respect, kindness, care, and empathy, and words that convey love. Even a few positive and encouraging words have the power to change a person's perspective and can literally change the course of their day.

Who will you encourage with your words today--at home, school, work, on Facebook, as you're out running errands? Will you be intentional about offering encouraging words of life to those you encounter this weekend? Tami

1 John Wrap

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Today's reading: 1 John 1-5

The letter of 1 John is full of powerful messages and lessons for us to consider and draw upon for our daily lives. As I looked back over this Book, the message that impacted me the most was that as Christ-followers, our faith gives us victory over the world (1 John 5). Although I didn't specifically write about it, 1 John 4:4, states this well.

"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

What message stood out to you the most from 1 John, and why? How will you use what you've taken in from John's letter--personally and as you interact and talk with others? Tami

We Can Know

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Today's reading: 1 John 5:6-21

One of the primary purposes served by the letter of 1 John is to present a strong and reasoned defense that our salvation rests securely in the hands of God, not on our actions. In other words, once we make the decision to turn our lives over to Christ and receive Him as our Savior, our salvation is sealed and secure. John wrote this letter so we may know that we are saved.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life" (vs. 13).

What confidence do you draw from this passage as well as the Book of 1 John? What does the fact that God wants us to know, with certainty, that He is firmly and securely holding us in His hands, reveal about God's character and His love for us? Tami

Victory

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

Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. But once we make the decision to follow Christ and become part of God's family, our circumstances and what's taking place in the world no longer have control over us. What a comfort to know that with God at the helm of our lives, we can stand strong

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith" (vs. 4).

What encouragement did you draw from John's words in 1 John 5:1-5? What's one example of how your faith has given you victory over the world? How would you explain being victorious (and perhaps use your example from above), in a spiritual versus worldly sense, to someone who doesn't yet have a personal relationship with God? Tami

Filling Required

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Today's reading: 1 John 4:7-21

One of things that brings me joy is to extend love to those I encounter through encouraging words, being kind, offering support, helping with a task or need. And what I've come to realize over the past several years is that in order for me to do this well, I must first make sure that I am filled with God's love because I can't give away what I don't possess. So in order for me to be filled with God's love, I must be deliberate and intentional about spending time reading, studying and considering the Bible and then believing wholeheartedly what I've taken in. So this morning, I was thankful for the message woven throughout 1 John 4:7-21 of how being filled with God's love is a must (a prerequisite) to fulfilling God's command to love others.

What are you currently doing to make sure that you are filled with God's love? How does knowing that God loves you--completely and just as you are--help you extend love to those around you? Will you join me in making it our goal to be intentional about extending God's love to everyone we encounter this week? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 64:1-10

Although it may seem to us like evil and sinful people are succeeding, God is aware of all that is taking place, He is in control and He will ultimately make things right. (Thank you, God!) So when we choose to trust in God and relinquish control of our circumstances to Him, we can live confidently and proclaim, as David does in verse 10:

"Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!"

What do the first six verses of this psalm reveal about human nature and what we can expect to encounter as we live in a sinful world? What encouragement do you draw from verses 7-9? Tami

Searching Questions

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Today's reading: Psalm 63:1-11

Psalm 63 always prompts me to do a little soul searching. As I progress through this beautiful song verse by verse, I like to ask myself questions based on the descriptive way David is telling God that he needs and loves Him. Here are a few examples of the questions I might ask myself:

  • Am I earnestly seeking God?
  • Does the phrase 'my soul thirsts for you' describe how I feel about God?
  • Are my lips praising God?
  • When do my lips praise God?
  • Do I believe that God's love is better than life?
  • Am I satisfied in God alone?

Working through the verses in this manner is helpful because it reminds me just how much I need God, and it reveals the state of my relationship with God at the moment. I always come away encouraged and motivated to draw closer to Him.

Will you join me in working through Psalm 63 asking yourself questions based on the text? What did God impress on your heart as you worked through this psalm? Was there a particular verse or phrase to stood out to you and why? Tami

Check It Out

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Today's reading: 1 John 4:1-6

I had the privilege of working with and taking in the teaching of Dr. Woodrow Kroll for almost ten years during my tenure at Back to the Bible. One of the things he would regularly tell his radio listeners was that we shouldn't simply accept what he or any other teacher was saying. Rather, we should be verifying and comparing the content of any teaching we receive with the Bible. He was adamant about urging and encouraging everyone to be in God's Word so that we could know God's truth for ourselves.

John delivers a similar message in 1 John 4:1-6 as he charges his readers to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God" (vs. 1) because there are many false teachers in the world.

Do you check the spiritual content of messages you hear, read or see with the Bible? Why is this important? What does this passage convey about the need for us to regularly be taking in God's Word? Tami

Loving With Actions

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Today's reading: 1 John 3:11-24

Loving God and people is a core principle of being a Christ-follower, which is why we see teaching on love and the command to love others in many places throughout the Bible. The Book of 1 John is one of the places where we're given specific instruction about what it looks like for us to love other people. John lets us know that loving those around us needs to go beyond our words and prayers to include taking action, whenever that's possible.

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" (vs. 17-18).

Think back over the past month (Christmastime). What's one example of how you demonstrated love to someone around you "in deed and in truth"? How does taking action to help another person impact and benefit you? Who can and will you help this week? Tami

Our Practice

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Today's reading: 1 John 3:1-10

Once we make the decision to receive Christ as our Savior, we are a "new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17) and part of God's family. That means that our actions and behaviors should start changing. Our desires should shift from pursuing worldly pleasures to pursuing God and living a life that is pleasing to Him. In 1 John 2:6, John tells us that once we become a Christ-follower we "ought to walk in the same way in which he [Jesus] walked." Becoming more and more like Jesus is an ongoing process that requires us to regularly spend time with God--taking in His Word and talking with Him through prayer. While we'll never attain perfection on this side of heaven, as we fill our minds with God's truth and our relationship with Him grows, we will sin less and less.

Is it your practice to regularly spend time with God in His Word and through prayer? How has and does spending time with God impact your thinking, actions and words? What changes have you noticed in your actions and attitudes since you've committed to following Christ? Tami

For Christ

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Today's reading: 1 John 2:18-29

Over the past several decades, the spiritual climate of the world around us has been changing. It saddens me that there has been an increasing turning away from God, and particularly the Gospel message of Jesus. We need to be aware that we are living in an "anti-Christ" environment which can pull us off course from God if we're not careful. So I am thankful for Paul's encouragement to stand strong and to remain faithful to what we know is true regardless of the message of the world around us and opposition we may encounter.

How prepared are you to give an answer for your faith when you encounter someone who questions or challenges you about following Christ? What does this passage reveal about the importance of regularly reading and taking in truth from the Bible? Tami

Wonderful Word

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:129-136

With the start of another new year, I decided to pause our journey through 1 John for a day so we could think about the importance of taking in and then living out God's Word in our daily lives. Psalm 119 is a favorite of mine because of the way it highlights God and the importance of His Word. Since the chapter is quite long, I only selected one stanza (verses 129-136) for us to focus on today. My prayer is that through these verses God will increase your desire to spend time with Him in 2018.

What's one thing God impressed on your heart from this passage? Will you join me in committing to consistently spend time with God in His Word in 2018? 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 January 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2017 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.