March 2018 Archives

Today's reading: Psalm 84:1-12

Psalm 84 starts out with a passionate declaration from the psalmist about his fervent desire for God and to be in His presence. I particularly like verse 2 because of the example it puts before us of a deep, strong and love-filled relationship with God.

"My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."

How would you describe your relationship with God? Is it your desire to be in God's presence? How might you "sing for joy to the living God" this weekend? Tami

Words of Life

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Today's reading: Proverbs 18:21

Yesterday morning when my radio alarm went off, the song that was playing was Hawk Nelson's "Words." This song is basically a prayer where the singer is asking God to help and guide him with the words that come out of his mouth. I particularly like the words of the chorus that refer to our words as being "life" and "truth" because they line up so well with Proverbs 18:21 which tells us that "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

If you're not familiar with Hawk Nelson's song, or you'd like to listen to it, here's a YouTube link: "Words" by Hawk Nelson

How much thought do you give to the power of your words? How intentional are you about speaking encouraging, life-giving words? Who will you encourage with your words today and this weekend--at home, school, work, on Facebook, as you're out running errands, attending a sporting event? Tami

Today's reading: Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 13:3

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

"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin" (Proverbs 13:3).

One of the hardest things to do is to hold back our words when we're emotionally attached to or involved with a situation. But responsive words said in haste are rarely our best. And more often than not, these impulsively spoken words end up causing us and others harm and unnecessary strife.

What's one thing you do that helps you hold back from responding impulsively with your words? How have you experienced Proverbs 12:18, either as the person speaking or being on the receiving end of rash words? How would you explain the wise message of Proverbs 13:3 to someone? Tami

Softer and Gentler

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Today's reading: Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 15:4

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit" (Proverbs 15:4).

There are so many verses in Proverbs about our words and speech, and I find these two verses from Proverbs 15 particularly attractive and helpful. I can't tell you how many times I've benefited from choosing to hold back and not respond with the harsh or insensitive words that instantly fill my mind or a tone that is condescending, judgmental, disrespectful or that I know will inflict hurt.

One thing I've learned and observed over the years is that all relationships (family, work, friendships, marriage, business) function better when we choose to conduct ourselves in a calm, gentle manner. Certain situations may require us to move out of this "gentle mode," but more often than not, we will be served well by starting with a softer approach.

What do these verses reveal about the impact our tone and manner of speech have on those around us? How would you explain the wisdom of responding with a "soft answer" and using a "gentle tongue" to someone? In what situations might you use a calmer, gentler approach this week? Tami

Restrain The Lips

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Today's reading: Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 10:32

We've all done it--let our emotions dictate our response causing us to spew out angry words, lying words, hurtful words, curse words. When it happens, it's never good. We hurt those around us, we look foolish and harm our reputation, we damage our witness. Once words are out (spoken, text messages, social media posts) they can never be erased. Thus the wise and instructive words of Proverbs 10:19 and 32.

"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent" (Proverbs 10:19).

"The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse" (Proverbs 10:32).

Is it your practice to think about and guard your words before you speak? What helps you do this? What's one life example where you've benefited by holding back and limiting your words? Tami

Foundation of Life

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Today's reading: Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 15:30

We're going to spend one more week in Proverbs, this week looking at and considering some of my favorite verses on our words and how we choose to use them. I selected three verses today that highlight the importance of speaking words of affirmation and encouragement to others--words that are pleasant, good and meant to build up. Our positive and constructive words have the power to change the downward course of someone's day, or perhaps even their life.

Last year, I was at a conference where several young men from a juvenile prison spoke briefly as part of a presentation. One boy's words moved me to tears. He was afraid, embarrassed and could barely look at the audience. He told us he had not been a nice person, and that his negative outlook and attitude had continued with incarceration. He then explained that he had been selected for a program involving disabled children. He told us that he saw a boy struggling to complete a task and decided to help him. The next day, the student's teacher told this young man that she had observed him helping this special needs child and thanked him. She called him by name and said "You are really a kind person." Now, that may not sound like much to you or me, but to this emotionally wounded young man, those few words of affirmation were a fountain of life.

Looking at the floor, he told us that this was the first time he realized he didn't have to be bad. It was the first time he realized that he actually was a kind person. As a result, he made the decision, right then and there, to change and stop hurting people. WOW!! A few intentional affirming words touched this boy's heart and altered his life forever!

"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life..." (Prov. 10:11)

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad" (Prov. 12:25).

"The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones" (Prov.15:30).

When someone offers you positive and encouraging words, what impact does it have on your attitude, actions, thoughts and words? Who will you speak affirming words to today? Will you be intentional about being a "fountain of life" to someone in need? Tami

Calling On God

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Today's reading: Psalm 83:1-18

The Israelites are in a dangerous situation, one where they don't have the physical resources or power to adequately defend themselves. So they do all that they are able to do--they petition God to act on their behalf and on behalf of His mighty name.

What a good reminder that regardless of our circumstances, we are not powerless when we are in a relationship with God! As a follower of Christ, we have direct access to the God of the universe. We can bring our petitions before Him with confidence knowing that He is in control of all things.

How does talking with God about circumstances that you can't control help your thinking, emotions and attitude? Do your prayers include asking God to contend with sinful situations in the world around you? Tami

For Others

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Today's reading: Psalm 82:1-8

Psalm 82 is a calling out for God as our caregiver and provider. In a time of need, the psalmist earnestly prays, not specifically for himself, but for the people around him. He prays that God would give His justice to the weak, afflicted and poor, and that He would rescue those in need.

How aware are you of people in need? Is it your practice to pray for the welfare of others--for those in need in your community, nation or in other places around the world? In addition to prayer, how are you helping the weak, afflicted and poor? Tami


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Today's reading: Proverbs 22:1

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold" (Proverbs 22:1).

This week, we've been considering verses from Proverbs that focus on and address wealth, riches and money. I selected Proverbs 22:1 as our final verse in this area because of its positive message that nothing we possess is more valuable than having godly character.

How much thought do you give to your character? Is having godly character something you highly value? What are people experiencing and observing when they interact with you? What does having a "good name" mean for you personally? Tami

Avoid the Trouble

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Today's reading: Proverbs 15:27; Proverbs 28:25

"Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live" (Proverbs 15:27).

"A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched" (Proverbs 28:25).

When we allow our thoughts to be consumed by acquiring money and wealth, it leads to all sorts of trouble--conflict, jealousy, discord, rivalry, fighting--not only within our family, but also with others (work, school, neighbors, business transactions, friends).

Think of a time when you had greedy thoughts and acted on them. What happened, and how did you feel afterwards? When we choose to focus on God and trust Him in the area of money and finances, what's the impact on our thinking, our attitude, our actions (in other words, how are we "enriched")? Tami

Foolish Toil

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Today's reading: Proverbs 23:4-5

"Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven" (Proverbs 23:4-5).

There was a season in my life where my primary goal was to acquire wealth. It was a foolish season where I chose to focus on and diligently work toward getting more money and things instead of doing what I knew was right--focusing on God and devoting my time and energy to following His ways. As I look back, I can now clearly see how my toiling (working/laboring) was in vain. What's described in Proverbs 23:5 (sprouting wings, flying away) is absolutely accurate and true. No matter how much I was able to acquire, it was never enough. I was never satisfied, which continued to drive me down a path to more and more purposeless toiling.

Have you ever toiled to acquire wealth? If so, how did your toiling make you feel? How did it impact your spiritual walk and relationship with God? What helps you resist the temptation to toil after money? In a world that is obsessed with wealth, how do you maintain a healthy perspective on having money and material possessions? Tami

Trust Issue

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Today's reading: Proverbs 11:28; Proverbs 18:11

Part of living life is dealing with and having money, and the pull of money is a strong one. The temptation is constantly before us to evaluate or equate our security with our financial bottom line--our bank account, retirement balances or our possessions. That being the case, it's imperative that we keep our eyes fixed on God as the giver and provider of ALL things. When we arm ourselves with this mindset, serving, following and trusting God will be our top priority and our thoughts about money (which are a necessary part of life) will take their rightful place further down the list.

"A rich man's wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination" (Proverbs 18:11).

"Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf" (Proverbs 11:28).

What's one thing that helps you keep a proper perspective on having or accumulating money and possessions? Do you regularly thank God for being the provider and giver of all you have? Why is this important? Tami

Little By Little

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Today's reading: Proverbs 13:11

Our focus this week is on money, and the Bible certainly has a lot to say about this subject. In Proverbs alone, there are quite a number of verses that touch on wealth and money, and the one that caught my attention today was Proverbs 13:11.

"Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it."

For such a short verse, there are a number of lessons when we stop to think through and consider its words and message. A couple of things that came to my mind after reading and contemplating this verse. First, that saving over time requires discipline, and as we practice that discipline, it will eventually become a lifestyle. And second, when I am putting away a portion of my hard earned paycheck, it helps me keep a proper perspective about the value of money and how I spend it.

What does this verse show about the importance of being disciplined to save? Are you intentional about putting money aside, even if it's just a tiny bit at a time? Why does it mean more to us when the money we have has been saved over time? Tami

Open Wide

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Today's reading: Psalm 81:1-16

Asaph begins with a call to praise, then takes an historical look back at what God had done. He then moves on to our responsibility to listen and submit to God, and finally concludes by showing us the blessing God wants to give us when we choose to be obedient in following Him. While there were several verses in this psalm that touched my heart, I found my eyes repeatedly going back to the words in verse 10.

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."

So much is conveyed in these few words. The first half of the verse highlights the personal relationship God desires to have with us and how He is in control, and guides and protects us in and through our circumstances. But the final sentence was my favorite because of the way it so clearly communicates that if we simply surrender to God, He is there waiting to shower His love upon us and give us all we need. Thank you, God!

What does God being "the Lord your God" mean for you? Would you describe yourself as having your "mouth open wide" when it comes to receiving God's instruction? If not, what's hindering you, and what changes do you need to put in place to get to a point of full surrender? Tami

LOUD for God

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Today's reading: Psalm 81:1-3

In the first three verses of Psalm 81, Asaph lays down the call for us to praise God in a LOUD way! Being the extrovert that I am, I love celebrations, especially when they include dynamic music. That being the case, this picture of enthusiastic public recognition and honoring of God absolutely resonated with me this morning, and it motivated me to be intentional about using my voice (through conversations and in song) to praise God openly and with exuberance this weekend.

How did Psalm 81:1-3 impact you today? Is it your practice to "shout for joy" to the Lord? What does being "loud for God" look like in your life? Tami

Today's reading: Proverbs 21:13; Proverbs 28:27

"Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered" (Proverbs 21:13).

"Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse" (Proverbs 28:27).

All this week we've been looking at and considering verses in Proverbs about being generous and helping people around us who are in need. As we finish out this week, here are a couple more verses that powerfully deliver the message that God wants and expects us to be in the business of helping others.

In any given week, how much thought do you give to helping people in need in your community (church, school, neighborhood, family, homeless)? When is the last time you extended help to someone? Who have you noticed or who do you know that you could help this week? Will you embrace "the business of help" and step up and take action? Tami

Today's reading: Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 14:31

"Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor" (Proverbs 14:21).

"Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him" (Proverbs 14:31).

I love that God doesn't look down and make judgments about us and treat us differently based on our economic or social status. He loves and cares for every single person, and He expects us to do the same.

What do Proverbs 14:21 and 31 reveal about how God loves and values people? Would you describe yourself as someone who is generous to and honoring of the poor? When you see someone in need--a person with a sign asking for help, someone standing by an old, broken down vehicle on the side of the road, a woman counting out change to purchase only a handful of grocery items because she doesn't have enough funds for more--how do you respond? Will you join me in being generous (whatever that means in the situation) to those we see in need this week? Tami

Godly Math

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Today's reading: Proverbs 11:24

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want" (Proverbs 11:24).

At first glance, Proverbs 11:24 doesn't seem logical. And it isn't if all you're taking into consideration is the math. But when you add God into the equation, it changes everything.

The truth of the matter is that God is the owner of everything. We are simply stewards of His possessions. So when we willingly and freely give back to God out of what we've been given by God, it pleases God and He blesses us. And that blessing can come in a variety of ways--sometimes financial, other times through a sense of peace in a difficult time or us seeing a life changed for eternity as a result of what we've given, and of course, through a joyful attitude and heart. Part of loving God is giving back to Him (giving at church, giving to ministries, supporting missions, helping people in need in our community), and when we choose to give back, we will be a "richer" person in and for God.

How has your giving blessed someone else (think of a specific example)? What impact does giving back to God have on you (attitude, mood, mindset)? How has giving back to God made you a "richer" person in and for Him? Tami

Expanded Wealth

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:9-10

Solomon gets right to the point when it comes to handling money and the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Thus the clear and concise directive to honor God with our wealth and with the firstfruits or best of our produce. (Proverbs 3:9).

More than likely, the first thing that came to your mind when you read the word "wealth" in this verse was money. But our "wealth" goes far beyond money to many things that God has given to us. For example, in addition to our money we are "wealthy" when it comes to having:

  • Time
  • Ideas
  • Ability
  • Words
  • Family
  • Relationships and
  • Possessions

Thinking about wealth in this expanded manner is helpful in that it provides a perspective adjustment on money as the sole or primary factor we consider when we think about what we have and possess. It also serves as a reminder that God desires for us to honor Him in ALL areas of our good and full lives.

How would you describe your "wealth"? What area(s) or item(s) would you add to the list above? What's one example of how you are honoring God with all that He has given to you? Tami


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Today's reading: Proverbs 19:17

"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed" (Proverbs 19:17).

What does Proverbs 19:17 reveal about the value God places on helping people who are in need? Would you describe yourself as a "lender" to the Lord? What's one example of God blessing you when you've extended help to someone? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 80:1-19

Psalm 80 puts before us yet another prayer dealing with Israel experiencing hardship as a result of turning away from God. The psalmist begins by recognizing God for His greatness and past actions, he then talks with God about the hardships which He has brought on them because of the people's sinful actions, and then implores God to please turn again to look on His people and save them.

What does this psalm reveal about turning away from God? What did you see or learn from this psalm about repentance and seeking God's forgiveness? Tami

Jealous Over Us

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Today's reading: Psalm 79:1-13

Psalm 79 gives us a glimpse of the Israelites at a time when they were in a difficult circumstance--their country had been overthrown and was being ruled by enemies as a consequence of their turning away from God. As the psalmist writes, he notes that God is a jealous God (vs. 5) and then turns to recognize the people's wrongdoing, proclaim their recommitment to following God and call on God to act on their behalf.

How often do you think about God being "jealous" about your relationship with Him? What does this psalm reveal about God's disciplining love for us? Tami

Righteous Anger

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Today's reading: Ephesians 4:26; James 1:20

"Be angry and do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26).

"[F]or the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20).

For the past few days we've looked at the negative side of anger. So today, I thought it would be good for us to consider how and when anger can be a good thing. Ephesians 4:26 actually commands us to "be angry and do not sin." So this lets us know that anger, in and of itself, isn't a sin--unless we turn it into something sinful because our anger is driven by pride or self-centered motives. So when is our anger good and proper? When it is righteous anger. In other words, when our anger comes about because of and is directed toward an unjust situation caused by another person. Here are a few examples of righteous anger from the Bible: Jesus when he drove out the money changers who were defiling the temple (John 2:13-18); Paul confronting Peter about how he was conducting himself in Galatians 2:11-14; Nehemiah throwing out Tobiah's furniture from the chambers of the house of God(Nehemiah 13:4-9).

When have you experienced righteous anger? What action(s) did you take as a result? Spend a few minutes considering the difference in you and your response when you have had righteous anger versus when your anger was self-centered and sinful. Tami

Deal With It

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Today's reading: Ephesians 4:26-27

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27).

We've all been there, we've had an argument (with our spouse, a friend, our parents, a sibling, a boss) and we are MAD. We stomp off to our bedroom, our office cubicle, our corner of the room and we stew. We dwell on the situation, replaying the exchange of words over and over again, and as we do, our blood continues to boil and even gets a bit hotter. It's not a good situation, and if we don't choose to take control of our anger right then and there, what follows will be an ugly, sinful downward spiral.

Why is it important to take control of and deal with our anger right away? Think of a time when you didn't promptly deal with your anger. How did continuing to dwell on a negative situation impact you? How does choosing to hold on to our anger, open the door for sin? 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 March 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2018 is the previous archive.

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