November 2019 Archives

Steady with God

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Today's reading: Psalm 62:1-12

Two times in Psalm 61 David proclaims his total dependence on God. He tells us with bold words that God alone is his strength and shelter in troubled times and that his trust in God keeps him strong and steady.

"[God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken." (vs. 2)

"[God] only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken." (vs. 6)

These verses brought to mind the powerful song "We Will Not Be Shaken" by Brian Johnson of Bethel Music. I encourage you to listen to the song yourself and feel the truth of all you can do with God's unfailing love.

If someone asked you, "Why trust in God?" how would you respond? What personal experience(s) could you share with them about a time God was your shelter, help and strength? Tami

Testing

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Today's reading: Genesis 22:1-24

Genesis 22 contains one of the most significant accounts in the Old Testament. In it we find the recorded story of how God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his cherished and only son, Isaac. This chapter is rich with lessons and foreshadows God's plan of salvation through Jesus's sacrifice for our sins, which takes place hundreds of years later.

There's no doubt that Abraham was a Godly man. Even so, God tested Abraham by asking him to give up the one thing he treasured most—his only son Isaac. I can only imagine the horrific feeling that must have come over Abraham when God instructed him to sacrifice Isaac. My heart aches as I read this account, and I'm fairly certain Abraham's heart was breaking too. Yet he responded obediently, loading up his donkey the very next morning—no waiting or trying to negotiate with God—to do as he was charged. The verse that impacted me most in this chapter was verse 8. Abraham's response to Isaac's questioning about the whereabouts of the lamb to be sacrificed reveals Abraham's absolute trust that God is sovereign and always has the ultimate and best plan.

What's one lesson you learned or noticed from this account? How has going through testing impacted your spiritual life, either presently or in the past? Tami

Offering Thanks

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:33

With today being Thanksgiving in the United States, Genesis 21:33 caught my attention.

"Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God."

Immediately after his dealings with Abimelech, Abraham demonstrated his thankfulness to God for His constant love, protection, guidance and provision. Recognizing God and thanking Him was a regular activity for Abraham. The same should be said for us.

God is good all the time! But in the busyness of life, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas season we are officially now in, thanking God can get pushed aside for other things that seem more important. Let's take some time today to reflect on God's goodness and offer Him our heartfelt thanks. Tami

Relationship Expert

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:25-34; Proverbs 16:23

Of all the chapters in Genesis dealing with Abraham, the final few verses of Genesis 21 are the most revealing about his people skills. They contain a valuable lesson for us about conflict resolution. In verses 24-35, Abraham confronts King Abimelech about a well that Abimelech's servants have wrongfully seized. The exchange that follows demonstrates how wise and skilled Abraham is at relating with others and resolving conflict. Here are some of the things I noticed.

  • Abraham controlled his emotions. He was calm and chose a moderate approach when he confronted Abimelech.
  • Abraham didn't beat around the bush. He was direct and got right to the point.
  • Abraham didn't point an accusing finger at Abimelech. Instead, he presented him with the facts of the wrongdoing, which allowed Abimelech to respond well.
  • Abraham was thorough in his resolution of the issue. He verbally confirmed in front of all parties that the well was his, gave the well a new name to commemorate the covenant made and made sure there was a tangible reminder of this covenant by giving sheep and oxen to Abimelech and specially setting apart seven ewes.

Confrontation isn't fun. In fact, it's downright difficult. As such, more often than not, we try to avoid it at almost any cost. But when we put our heads in the sand and try to ignore people problems, nothing gets solved, and our relationships can become weakened and damaged. That's why the exchange between Abraham and Abimelech is an important one for us to take note of. It puts before us a refreshing and excellent example of how to deal with conflict in a positive way.

How would you explain the benefits of confrontation after reading this passage? What stood out to you about the exchange between Abraham and Abimelech, and why? What's one technique from Abraham's example that you will use the next time you encounter conflict in one of your relationships? Tami

Evident

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:22-24

Abraham wasn't perfect. No one is. But he was dedicated to serving and following God's ways, and that choice was evident by the way he conducted his day-to-day life. It was also evident by the way God blessed Abraham, watching over, protecting and providing abundantly for him and his family and workers.

Abraham stood out. He was different than anyone Abimelech had encountered before. He lived openly and boldly for God, and what he displayed was attractive to Abimelech, so much so that he sought out Abraham to establish a friendship and secure a covenant business relationship with him.

Would your neighbors, coworkers, classmates and/or family members identify you (like Abimelech of Abraham) as a follower of God? Do you openly talk about and acknowledge being a follower of Christ/God outside of church and your home? What does this passage reveal about the wisdom of seeking out and surrounding yourself with Godly friends? Tami

Déjà Vu

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:8-21

Last week I wrote about God's faithfulness and how important it is for us to look back and remember how God provided and watched over us when we encountered new hardships. Today, as I read about Hagar and Ishmael, the importance of remembering once again stood out to me.

This wasn't the first time Hagar had been exiled to wander in the desert. The first time around, an angel of the Lord came to Hagar to let her know that God had heard her plea for help. The angel delivered the message that she was going to have a son who would have authority over his kinsman (see Genesis 16:10-12). Hagar was moved by this encounter, calling "the name of the LORD who spoke to her, 'You are a God of seeing'" (Genesis 16:13).

Yet when Hagar finds herself in a similar situation years later, she doesn't seem to recall God's prior and ongoing provision. Instead, she assumes the worst, expecting that she and Ishmael will die. Genesis 21:17 tells us that God hears Ishmael's cry and again appears to Hagar. God immediately provides needed water and then watches over and provides for Hagar and Ishmael as they live in the wilderness of Paran.

Is it your habit to regularly look back and remember what God has done in your life? Why is this important? Will you join me today in looking back to recall some specific circumstances where God provided and watched over you? Let's pray and thank Him for His faithfulness. Tami

Moving Conversation

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Today's reading: Psalm 61:1-8

Words like mighty, warrior, leader, talented, king and powerful come to mind when I think about David, who authored Psalm 61. I picture him as a Godly giant. He was, after all, a man after God's own heart. But being "all in" for God doesn't mean we won't have times when we feel discouraged, stressed, fearful, overwhelmed or even depressed. Thus David's words in verse 2:

"From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint."

David demonstrates in this psalm that thankfully, we don't have to stay in a place of feeling faint-hearted. With his focus solely on God, David tells God that he is struggling, recalls God's past faithfulness and then asks God to strengthen and protect him going forward. As he talks with God in this manner, his heart is moved, so much so that David's final statement is one of praise and continued commitment to serving God.

Do you reach out to God when your heart is heavy? What does that conversation typically look or sound like? How does talking with God about your struggles and recalling His past protection and provision impact your attitude and heart in difficult times? Tami

With God

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Today's reading: Psalm 60:1-12

As King David writes about conquests, battles and wars both past and yet to come, he earnestly exalts and praises God. His message is clear—any victory Israel has had or will have is solely the result of God. I love how verses 11 and 12 capture the essence of David's song.

"Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes."

What encouragement do you draw from Psalm 60:11-12? What's one example of how God walked with you and gave you victory in a difficult situation? Tami

Pressing Forward

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:1-7

I decided to stay on Genesis 21:1-7 one more day so that we could consider Abraham's and Sarah's faithfulness and how they continued to press forward expectantly after receiving the news from God that they would have a son in their old age. As I read this account, I couldn't help but wonder about all the thoughts and feelings Abraham and especially Sarah must have experienced as they waited and also once things began moving forward exactly as God had told them. And when baby Isaac arrives, Sarah's joy and gratefulness to God are evident. Her words moved my heart and brought a smile to my face thousands of years after the fact.

"And Sarah said, 'God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.' And she said,
'Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.'" (vs. 6-7)

Thank you, God, for giving us this account and the example of Abraham and Sarah. Help us press faithfully forward with our eyes on you. Help us desire your perfect timing and plan for our lives. Amen. Tami

As Promised

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Today's reading: Genesis 21:1-7

It's hard for me to imagine Abraham and Sarah having their first child when they were both so old! Yet God did exactly what He told Abraham and Sarah He would do.

The first seven verses of Genesis 21 deliver the strong message that God is faithful! Verse 1 spells it out clearly through these two phrases: "as he had said" and "as he had promised." Isaac's birth from this elderly couple is comforting and encouraging because it reinforces the past, present and future faithfulness and trustworthiness of God. Thank you, God!

Think back over the past few years. What's one example of how has God been faithful to you (answering prayers, fulfilling a God-given desire, guiding you to places you would have never imagined, etc.)? Why is it important to look back and remember what God has done and how He has moved on your behalf? Tami

Not "Our Bad"

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Today's reading: Genesis 20:1-18

Even when we're living rightly, there will be times when we're put in a bad situation by a poor or sinful choice made by someone around us—in this case, the choice of Abraham.

After following and trusting God through thick and thin for many years, Abraham stumbles. He lets his fear get the best of him when he and Sarah, along with workers, servants and family, move to the country of Gerar. When they arrive, rather than leaning on God to guide and protect him, Abraham takes matters into his own hands by choosing not to be truthful with King Abimelech, telling him that Sarah is his sister. (This is actually the second time Abraham, driven by fear, tells this lie about Sarah. See Genesis 12:10-20.) Abraham's sinful action creates a terrible and morally wrong situation for Sarah, his precious wife, as well as for King Abimelech, who is in the dark about Abraham and Sarah's true relationship. But thankfully God intervenes to right the recipe for disaster Abraham has put in place.

What does this passage (and Genesis 10:10-20) reveal about the influence fear can have on our thinking, actions and words? What stood out to you about God from this account? Tami

Circumstances

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Today's reading: Genesis 19:30-38

As we finish up Genesis 19 (a chapter with accounts I find difficult to read and fully understand), the problem of sin remains front and center. After escaping the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, without consulting God and acting out of fear, moves himself and his two daughters into the wilderness, where life is dismal. In this state of isolation from civilization, Lot's daughters allow their circumstances to consume their thinking. An already bad situation turns worse when, rather than turning to God for direction and provision, they decide to take matters into their own hands. The sad result is blatant sin by all parties.

We've all experienced the powerful influence of circumstances. The fact of the matter is, life is hard. But if we're intentional about consistently talking with God through prayer and spending time in His Word, we can stand strong no matter our circumstances or what we encounter.

Look back over the past week or so. To what extent have your circumstances influenced your actions and thinking? How does spending time with God prepare and equip you for what's taking place in your life and anything you may encounter during the day? Tami

Subtle Influence

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Today's reading: Genesis 19:1-29

Genesis 19 is a difficult chapter to read and process. The one message that always stands out from this account is that our rejection of God and His ways and our choice to sin is offensive to God.

As I read through Genesis 19 today, I focused on Lot. Lot was a righteous person who followed God, but he was alone in his conviction. He was one man surrounded by hundreds, or more likely thousands, of God-snubbing, wicked people—not a good situation to be in. It had to be an uncomfortable environment for Lot, and yet he continued to live in Sodom with his family. And whether he realized it or not, his decision to reside in Sodom and to be a part of that sinful environment on a daily basis had a desensitizing, unhealthy impact on his thinking.

We can see this through Lot's actions and responses throughout chapter 19. As soon as the men from Sodom arrive, he's on edge because he knows the people of the city are wicked. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Lot desperately tries to protect his two angelic guests, even offering his daughters to appease the mob. What?! But what reveals the negative impact sin had had on Lot's thinking the most is how even when he knows that the destruction of Sodom is imminent, "he lingered" (vs. 16). The angels had to seize him, his wife and two daughters by the hand to remove them from the city.

What does this account show about the danger of sin—choosing to surround ourselves with only nonbelieving friends, hanging out in places and participating in activities that aren't pleasing to God, or filling our minds with content (media, TV programs, music, etc.) that we know isn't God-honoring? Would you take some time today to consider how what you encounter in your environment each day is impacting your thoughts and actions? Tami

Heart to Mouth

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Today's reading: Psalm 59:1-17

In the middle of David's seeking of 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 he 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 respond rightly? Tami

Close with God

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Today's reading: Genesis 18:16-33

The close personal relationship between Abraham and God once again stood out to me as I took in the details and happenings of Genesis 19. After visiting Abraham and Sarah to let them know that His promise of a son was about to happen, God shares with Abraham His intentions of destroying Sodom because of the great sin that had become the norm for the inhabitants of this city. Abraham's heart is heavy after receiving this news from God, and he is distressed about what this news means for Lot and his family, and for also the people of Sodom. As the men turn to leave for Sodom, Abraham starts a conversation with God, where he asks God to consider sparing the city for the sake of the upright people who are residing there.

What I find so interesting about this conversation is how Abraham, after receiving a positive response to his initial request, revises his appeal five more times! And yet, God patiently listens and continues to agree to each modified request. I am grateful that God included this exchange with Abraham in the Bible, because it reveals so much about His personal and loving nature and His desire for us to be in relationship with Him. It also provides a good example of how we can freely talk with God and bring our requests to him.

How would you describe your relationship and interactions with God? Are you comfortable talking openly with God about your needs, wishes and dreams? Do you talk and make requests about concerns you have for things taking place around you and in the lives of other people? How is your relationship with God impacted when you talk openly about life with Him? Tami

Today's reading: Genesis 18:9-15

On Tuesday, in response to our reading of God telling Abraham that he would have a son through Sarah who would be a father of nations, I wrote about how God's thoughts, timing and way of doing things are different than ours. The situation presented to Abraham was a totally unlikely scenario from a human perspective—but with God all things are possible, which Abraham recognizes.

Today in Chapter 18, Sarah hears firsthand that she is going to conceive and have a son with Abraham. Sarah is now the ripe old age of 90, and her response to hearing this news is quite human. As I read these verses, it seems to me like she's a bit sarcastic. I get that, because she's been praying for years to have a child and God hasn't acted on her petitions. And now, when she is physically no longer able to conceive ("The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah," vs. 11), God delivers the message that she is going to get pregnant and have a baby boy. From our human perspective it sounds kind of crazy. But again—nothing is impossible with God!

So one more time: do you have a God-given dream or desire that seems impossible to you? If so, keep praying about it. What have you learned or noticed from Genesis 17 and 18 about seemingly impossible circumstances when God is involved? How have these passages encouraged you and/or changed your perspective about what you can do or accomplish with God? Tami

Kind and Charitable

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Today's reading: Genesis 18:1-8

Abraham was intent on living his life in a way that honored and pleased God, and this mindset permeated and hence motivated everything he did. As we come to Genesis 18, we find Abraham at the entrance of his tent looking out over his land, eager for any opportunity to serve that God would put before him that day. When Abraham sees three men have come to his home, he immediately takes action, running (at the ripe old age of 99) to greet them and offer food, rest and accommodations.

Both he and Sarah willingly and joyfully opened their home, extended kindness and shared what they had with these men. I love this example and the reminder it provides that God is pleased when we are kind, generous and offer help to those around us.

Who do you know that has a kind and charitable heart for people, and what sorts of things do they do? When was the last time you invited someone into your home—for a meal, for coffee or even just to get to know them better? Do you look for opportunities to be hospitable and to extend God's love to others? Tami

Nothing Impossible

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Today's reading: Genesis 17:15-27

God's thoughts, His timing and His way of doing things are different than ours. I clearly know this, yet somehow I continue to be "surprised" when what I'm thinking doesn't quite match up with God's plan. Although the Bible doesn't expressly say it, I wonder if Abraham struggled with this as well.

When Abram is already an old man with no children, God tells him that he will have offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15). Years pass before God appears to Abram again, when he's now 99 years old. This time God delivers the message that he will be the father of nations through a son by his 90-year-old wife, Sarai. What?! This certainly isn't the succession plan we would have come up with in our human thinking. But as Abraham's and Sarah's story drives home—nothing is impossible with God!

Do you have a God-given dream or desire that seems impossible to you? What encouragement does God's interaction with Abraham provide? How does this account resemble the interaction between Mary and the angel in Luke 1:37 ("For nothing will be impossible with God.")? Tami

13 Years

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Today's reading: Genesis 17:1-27

Thirteen years pass between the end of Genesis 16 (and the birth of Ishmael) and the first verse of Genesis 17. During this time, Abram pushes faithfully onward. Chapter 17 begins with God appearing to Abram to institute a second covenant and to put into action the covenant made with Abram in Genesis 15. This time when God speaks, however, He's more specific about the blessing being bestowed. He tells Abram that he will be the father of many nations through a son from Sarai, changes Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah, and puts in place the covenant of circumcision. Abraham doesn't fully understand the "whats, whys, hows or whens" of what God is telling him (similar to Genesis 15). Yet he listens to God, accepts everything he is told and obediently acts on God's instructions.

What's the most meaningful lesson you learned from Abraham's example? When you don't fully understand how God is moving, what helps you keep your eyes on God and take Him at His word? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 57:1-11

David is on the run from Saul, and in this dangerous situation he fully relies upon God and His protection. He literally surrenders his life and its circumstances to God. This psalm depicts such a beautiful picture of complete reliance and trust. David is so confident in God and grateful for His provision that he proclaims his thankfulness to God with exuberant and boisterous praise—all in the middle of a time of great distress and hurting. I love it!

How has choosing to thank and praise God when you're in the middle of a life storm strengthened and helped you through the situation? How did it impact your relationship with God? For what (and how) will you thank and praise God this weekend? 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. 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"? When you tell God that you will sing and give thanks to Him regardless of your circumstances, how does it reinforce your thinking and, in turn, bolster your attitude and actions? Tami

Messes

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Today's reading: Genesis 16:1-16

Sarai taking matters into her own hands creates quite a messy situation—for her, for Abram and most certainly for Hagar, who didn't really have a say or choice in the matter. But thankfully, God is much bigger than, and in no way limited by, the messes we find ourselves in.

Hagar was placed in a bad situation by Sarai, and not surprisingly, that situation took a turn for the worse after Hagar got pregnant. To escape from an angry and bitter Sarai, Hagar runs away into the open countryside, a dangerous and desolate place.

Hagar was low emotionally and thought she was on her own. But God was right there by her side, guiding, protecting and providing for her.

What messes have you found yourself in—either by a poor decision you made or a poor choice made by someone else? How did God guide, protect and/or provide for you in and through one of those messy situations? What's one thing the account from Genesis 16 showed you about God? Tami

Control Issue

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Today's reading: Genesis 16:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-8

Although Abram and Sarai desire to have children, Sarai is barren. After years of trying to conceive, Sarai decides to take matters into her own hands instead of trusting that God was aware of the situation and had a plan and purpose for her.

Now let me interject here. If you feel like pointing your finger or shaking your head at Sarai, hold off. Because honestly, haven't we all done this at some point or another—taken matters into our own hands? I certainly have, and more than once. When circumstances aren't moving along like we think they should, our self-centered and sinful human nature rises us and urges us to push God aside, seductively whispering, "You know what's best for you." The temptation for us to be in control of our personal world has been around since the beginning of time, and it's powerful. But when we give in to this temptation and run ahead of God, it's always to our detriment. And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

In your current life circumstances or season of life, what helps you wait patiently when you're ready to move or make a change but God hasn't yet fully cleared the way? What does Sarai and Abram's example from Genesis 16 reveal about the dangers and consequences of making decisions based on our feelings and circumstances? Tami

Believe and Trust

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Today's reading: Genesis 15:1-21

Genesis 15 lets us see (with detail) one of the most important dialogues in the Bible—the private, personal and candid conversation between God and Abram where God covenants with Abram that he will have a son, that this son will have offspring as numerous as the stars and that Abram's heirs will possess the land.

Abram was committed to serving God, and as such, it was his regular practice to look for and listen to God's instruction and guidance. So when God speaks to him through a vision, it's not surprising that he responds in a familiar manner. He talks openly and honestly with God—expressing concerns about his circumstances, inquiring of God about His plan and asking how it will come about. And God likewise responds in a personal manner, reassuring Abram by giving him examples and even providing him with many details of future events and happenings that will be part of the fulfilling of God's promise to Abram.

I was drawn to the exchanges between God and Abram in this chapter because of what they reveal about God, His love for mankind and His desire to be in relationship with us. But I was also struck by Abram's example. What God tells Abram must have seemed inconceivable to Abram given his circumstances (Abram is now well over 75 years old and Sarai is unable to have children). Even so, Abram trusted God. He took God at His word. Verse 6 tells us that Abram "believed the LORD, and [the LORD] counted it to him as righteousness." What an incredible example of faith!

What did you see and/or learn about God from this chapter? What stood out to you most from Abram's response and example, and why? Is there a circumstance that you need to trust God with today? If so, talk with Him about it. Tell Him what's on your heart, share your concerns, ask Him about it (whatever "it" is) and seek His input and guidance. Tami

Public Honoring

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Today's reading: Genesis 14:17-24

After Abram and his neighbors track down and defeat the kings who had taken the residents and possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, the king of Sodom reaches out to Abram to thank and honor him. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, also comes to recognize and offer a blessing to Abram. (Verse 18 tells us that Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. See Hebrews 7 for more explanation on Melchizedek.)

Abram and his friends were heroes! Spirits were undoubtedly high after the defeat of the enemy kings. I can only imagine the extreme feelings of exhilaration, accomplishment and satisfaction they must have been experiencing. Yet when the spotlight is turned on Abram, he doesn't bask in it or look for personal gain. Rather, he immediately directs everyone's attention to God by verbally proclaiming Him as sovereign God over all, and he declines to accept the king of Sodom's offer for him to take the spoils of the victory.

When you are blessed by God—through an accomplishment, praise, an unexpected gift, etc.—do you thank God and offer verbal praise in front of others? How often do you speak of God and honor Him in public? Identify one or more benefits of publically honoring God. Tami

Vital Relationships

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Today's reading: Genesis 14:1-16

Because of war between the kings of several clans in and around Sodom, Lot and his family are taken captive when the enemies of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah prevail in battle. When word of Lot's capture reaches Abram, he immediately sets a plan of rescue into action, which includes two of his neighbors. Thankfully for Lot, he and his family and possessions are rescued and returned safely to Sodom.

The word "relationship" repeatedly came to my mind as I took in and thought about this chapter—the partnering and power relationships between the kings, the family relationship between Abram and Lot, and the friendship and ally relationships between Abram and his neighbors. All of these differing relationships highlight how God created us as relational beings. We need other people, and other people need us. Pretty much everything we do involves other people in some fashion. And when you think about it, many seemingly insurmountable tasks can be accomplished when we join together in relationship.

What relationships/friendships in your life (family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, business partners, etc.) do you view as essential? Would you describe yourself as a relationship builder? Why is this so important? How can or will you make the relationships you have even stronger going forward? Tami

For Me (and You)

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Today's reading: Psalm 56:9-11

I decided to stay on Psalm 56 one more day because of the powerfully encouraging and hope-filled message that fills this song from David. I was especially drawn to the last sentence of verse 9, which says:

"This I know, that God is for me."

No matter what you're going through right now, God knows and He is for you! So talk with Him. He's waiting with open ears, and you can tell Him anything and everything. In fact, that's what He wants. And as you converse, ask God to help you live more confidently because you know that He is for you. Tami

Attentive

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Today's reading: Psalm 56:8-11

Psalm 56:8 always touches my heart and brings a smile to my face because it reminds me of how acutely aware God is of every detail of my life (and yours as well). How amazing to know that God keeps track of each one of our tossings and doesn't simply see our hurts and concerns but also collects our tears in His bottle.

"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" (Psalm 56:8)

How does knowing that God is aware of every one of your hurts and concerns (counting your tossings, collecting your tears and recording them in His book) encourage you? What does this verse convey about how much God loves, cares for and values you? Tami

Today's reading: Genesis 13:1-18

As Abram and Lot and their families move on from Egypt, God continues to guide, protect and show His favor to them. God has blessed each man with many possessions (flocks, herds, people, money, etc.) to the point that the time has come for Abram and Lot to separate in order to adequately take care of the people and things God has given each of them.

I love it when Biblical principles and teachings are portrayed through someone's life example. And that's precisely what I noticed as I considered Abram's actions in Genesis 13. Numerous times Abram demonstrated instructions we're given throughout the Bible (such as the verses in Proverbs and the teachings of Jesus, Paul, John, Peter and James found in the New Testament). Here are some of the examples I noticed:

  • Abram's top priority was seeking after God.
  • Abram valued family.
  • Abram wasn't fixated on or worried about his wealth.
  • Abram put the interests of his extended family before his individual interests.
  • Abram was intentional about avoiding conflict with his relatives.

What's the most important lesson you learned or noticed from Abram's example, and why? What does this chapter reveal about the importance of family as well as having and maintaining good relationships with those in our family tree? 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 November 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2019 is the previous archive.

December 2019 is the next archive.

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