Archive | April, 2013

Bragging About God

April 16, 2013

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The message of Psalm 105 is powerful, calling upon the believer to rejoice in God and to let that joy overflow so that others can be immersed in it and become believing as well. We can encourage others to seek him because we have sought him and have not been disappointed.

We can teach others to seek him by:

  1. Giving thanks to God for all he has done and remembering his gifts
  2. Calling upon his name by using it forcefully and purposely. Glory in it and be joyful!
  3. Making his deeds known by your children and all the people that you come in contact with, by talking about his wondrous works
  4. Seeking the presence of God through prayer and meditation upon his word

Daily Bible Reading for April 16

God gives Moses the law for leprous disease. Israel taunts Babylon. Paul compares his letter writing and in-person teaching.

Psalm 106
Leviticus 13
Isaiah 13-14
2 Corinthians 10:1-12

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Heartfelt Giving

April 15, 2013

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Paul gave a lot of attention to our giving. He wants us to understand that a heartfelt gift is something that God loves to see. (2 Corinthians 9:7) The proverb writer said it this way:

The Lord hates sacrifices brought by evil people, particularly when they offer them for the wrong reasons. – Proverbs 21:27 NCV

For more about what the Bible says about our giving look at these 6 Giving Attitudes.

Daily Bible Reading for April 15

God give Moses the law of purification after childbirth. Isaiah tells about the time after exile.

Psalm 105
Leviticus 12
Isaiah 11-12
2 Corinthians 8-9

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Heading to Church?

April 14, 2013

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The word Worship is mentioned more than 100 times in the Bible. As you plan to go the next worship services, consider how important what you are about to do is. A proper worship, done in spirit and truth is the only way God will hear it.

Consider these:

  1. Jesus teaches worship – John 4:19-26
  2. Paul preaches on worship – Acts 17:22-31
  3. The second recorded sin of man is over worship – Genesis 4

Daily Bible reading for April 14

Psalm 104
Leviticus 11
Isaiah 9:8-10:34
2 Corinthians 6:11-7:16

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How to Get Into Christ

April 13, 2013


One of Paul’s key phrases for describing a Christian’s relationship with Christ was to say that The Christian is “in Christ”. He used this phrase at least 150 times in his letters! Once we are in Christ, we are a new creation – our sins bought and paid for. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)

So how do we get into Christ? There is but one way:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? – (Romans 6:1-4)

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:23-29) (See also How to be Abraham’s Seed)

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

You will not find another way to get into Christ in the Scriptures than through baptism. If you have been taught otherwise, I hope you can start with these passages (and also look at my Plan of Salvation page) and dig a little deeper in the matter.

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Follow the Light

April 12, 2013

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Those that refuse to acknowledge God are blinded by the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

We can help them by being a light on the hill (Matthew 5:14-16). The same God that said “let there be light” is the God that fills our hearts with light of his word. (2 Corinthians 1:6) This is the light that can lead others to him.

We can apply this by living godly, lovingly make corrections to false impressions of God and his word, and studying diligently to be ready when someone asks us questions. (2 Timothy 4:2 2 Timothy 2:15)

Is your light bright or is it hidden?

Daily Bible reading for April 12

Aaron offers the sacrifices for the first time. Isaiah tells of the coming Assyrian invasion.

Psalm 102
Leviticus 9
Isaiah 7-8
2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10

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5 Ways Paul Compared the Old and New Testament

April 11, 2013

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Paul had a problem with Judaizers moving in on his work. They even wanted to know if he had a letter of commendation from anybody important since the Jews did. Paul responds with some contrasts of the old and the new. (1 Corinthians 3)

  1. Theirs is written on stone, not the heart (3)
  2. Theirs not given by the Spirit (3)
  3. Thiers given unto death not by life (6)
  4. Thiers veiled not unveiled (15-16)
  5. Theirs is given unto condemnation, not righteousness (9-10)


Daily bible reading for April 11

Aaron and his sons are consecrated. Isaiah sees the Lord. Paul contrasts the old law and the new.

Psalm 101
Leviticus 8
Isaiah 6
2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18

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The Forgiving and the Forgiven

April 10, 2013

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No sin is too big for the blood of Christ to cleanse.

That’s what Paul was trying to tell the Corinthians. (2 Corinthians 2:5-11) They had one in their group that had committed a pretty ugly sin (see 1 Corinthians 5 for the background.) A sin that even the pagans looked down on.

The church properly handled it according to Paul’s instruction (1 Corinthians 5:13) and he eventually repented – but then Paul had to tell them to “reaffirm their love.” (2 Corinthians 2:8) They weren’t going to forgive him as a church!

Truth be told, his sin probably wasn’t any greater than some of the things the others had done.

It’s good that Christ died for us so we can have forgiveness, so it’s very unbecoming to a church, or to Christians, to withhold forgiveness from a penitent Christian needing and asking for it.

No sin is too big for the blood of Christ to cleanse!

Daily bible reading for April 10

God give Moses instructions for the priests and the offerings. Isaiah pronounces woe to the wicked.

Psalm 100
Leviticus 6:8-7:38
Isaiah 5
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11

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Comforting Thoughts

April 9, 2013

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Paul opens 1 Corinthians with some thoughts about the comfort of God. Paul’s attitude was that through our sufferings, we learn patience, we learn how to be thankful for the good times and how to be a comfort to others. (See also Romans 5:3-5)

Comfort is a key topic in the Bible. Here are a few scriptures you can lean on when you need them:

  1. God comforts us (1 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  2. We should carry our load, but look for opportunities to help each other when it is needed. Galatians 6:1-2,5
  3. Jesus has peace to offer in a world of trouble (John 16:29-33)
  4. Work to bear fruit, abide in Christ and his joy will abide in you (John 15:1-11)
  5. How to get the ultimate peace: rejoice, prayer, thinking good things (Philippians 4:4-9)

Daily Bible reading for April 9

God gives Moses instructions for the guilt offering. Isaiah denounces a corrupt Israel. We share in the comfort of Christ as we also share in the sufferings.

Psalm 99
Leviticus 5:14-6:7
Isaiah 3-4
2 Corinthians 1:1-11

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6 Giving Attitudes

April 8, 2013

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In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul commands the weekly collection. We are to give in relation to our gains for the week or “as we have prospered.”

We can keep this command with several attitudes. How we handle our money, especially in relation to giving,  is covered throughout the Bible and should be something we take seriously.

Do you give with the attitude of:

  1. The Rich Young Ruler? (Mark 10:18-22)
  2. Judas? (John 12:3-6)
  3. Ananias and Sapphira? (Acts 5: 1-2)
  4. Barnabas? (Acts 4:36-37)
  5. The Poor Widow? (Mark 12:41-44)
  6. David? (2 Samuel 24:24)

One of the best expressions of our trust in God is to put giving at the top of our budget and not at the bottom – Where we are giving from our leftovers!

I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing – David

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Is Worship in Your Thoughts?

April 7, 2013

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As you prepare to attend church today, what you think about can have an impact on the quality of your worship.

In a complete worship service, you will worship five ways:
Through song, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, giving and teaching/studying.

Putting aside daily and worldly distractions for a while is sometimes difficult, but it is necessary so you can give God proper reverence.

Paul gave us some guidelines that work not only for worship but daily as well.

Whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things. – Philippians 4:8

Daily Bible Reading for April 7

Psalm 97
Leviticus 3
Isaiah 1
1 Corinthians 15

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5 Reasons to Memorize Scriptures

April 6, 2013

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I have recently begun participating in a Bible memorization group. It is already paying off to have someone to be accountable to in meeting my memorization goals. I highly recommend memorizing portions of the Bible as a part of your spiritual growth. Whether you work along with the group, follow this site’s plan, or work out your own plan.

Here are five reasons it is a great idea to memorize the scriptures:

  1. They are inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:14-17; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 1 Thess. 2:14; 1 Cor. 14:37)
  2. The Word has power to make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15)
  3. Memorizing the Scriptures will help us always to be ready to give an answer (1 Pet. 3:15)
  4. The Word is like food to us (1 Pet. 2:2; Jer. 15:16; Ez. 2:8-9; Heb. 5:11-14)
  5. The Bible can prepare us to help and teach one another (Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:14-17)

Of course there are many more reasons, but this is enough to take the first big step.

If you don’t start now, when?

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:2

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Built to Last

April 6, 2013

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Those that possessed spiritual gifts were not only misusing them, they seemed to esteem the ones that were least important the most. (1 Corinthians 12-14) While there is a personal growth aspect that needs to be attended to, Paul’s point was that they needed to focus on building up the church first.

Remember that the church is Christ’s body and our goal is to become one in that body. As we begin to turn out mind toward our next worship service, let’s plan to participate in a way that builds up the church, striving to become mature in our thinking and infants in evil (1 Corinthians 14:20)

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Reaching our Potential

April 5, 2013

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God has been very exact about what kind of people he wants his followers to be.

God wants us to think of him first. When he taught the children of Israel how to sacrifice, he required the best of the flock for that purpose. (Leviticus 1) When the Corinthians needed guidance for using their spiritual gifts, they received the definition of love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Sometimes we forget these things …
Our acts of worship become just a habit …
we forget to actually connect with God…
love turns up missing…

And everything we are falls short of our potential.

Follow the Jews through the Old Testament, or read 1 Corinthians all the way through to see what I mean.

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The One Body

April 4, 2013

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Paul talks a lot about the one body. In 1 Corinthians 12, he begins a discussion that last for a few chapters on working together and avoiding the kind of thinking that inhibits unity.

The case in 1 Corinthians is dealing with some specifics regarding spiritual gifts, but we can make application within our own congregations. How do we bring our group closer to unity?

We practice selflessness since we are a group that needs each member to function as a whole. We attend all meetings. We fellowship. We study together. We care for each other. Laugh. Cry. (1 Corinthians 12:14-31)

The more we are together, the more like Christ we become.

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Wearing the Uniform

April 3, 2013

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1 Corinthians 11:2-15 is one of those difficult passages that either gets ignored in Bible study or applied in a very wrong and different ways. If you try to research it you’ll see what I mean.

The church in Corinth evidently had some members that made themselves up like the pagan worshippers and never bothered to abandon that fashion after they were converted. Paul didn’t want his fellow Christians looking like sinners! Wearing the uniform of a group identified you with that group then and it does now.

I’ve heard it said that followers of Christ will find themselves conspicuous enough without trying to stand out from the cultural norms.

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