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nChrist
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« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2006, 09:05:51 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 3, 2006
Topic: Faith/Trust


God's Faithfulness

We want to be able to count on things and people. We want cars that start, freezers that keep a set temperature, fire alarms that work and cell phones that hold a signal. We need 911 operators who are helpful, doctors who are skillful, parents who love in healthy ways, spouses who are faithful, friends who are dependable, teachers who care and maintenance workers who are reliable.

When people and things fail us, it is not only disappointing, but it can bring hurt and heartache to our lives. The Bible assures us that there is Someone and some place that we can fully trust and where our confidence is never shaken.
What Does God Say?

"I will sing of the tender mercies of the LORD forever!
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.
Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens" (Psalm 89:1-2 , NLT).

"I can never escape from your spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night--but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are both alike to you" (Psalm 139:7-12 , NLT).

What did the psalmist discover about God that made his heart overflow in song?

Are we able to only count on the presence and faithfulness of God in certain places (like church, America, etc)?
My Thoughts

List three reasons why it is important that we can count on people.

What difference does the faithfulness of God make in your life?

For today?

For this week?

For eternity?
My Part

Have I came to a place in my walk with God that I am positively for sure and absolutely confident that He will be faithful to me--all the time, anywhere and anyplace?

If not, pray now and ask God to bring that assurance to your heart that you might fully trust--because that is the precursor to genuine peace.

If you said yes, pray now and thank God that your heart is absolutely settled in His faithfulness and thank Him for the peace of God guards your heart and mind.

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« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2006, 06:44:14 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 4, 2006
Topic: Faith/Trust


Faithful Through All

Jeremiah, one of the authors of the Bible, is often referred to as "the weeping prophet." It's easy to see why when we look at the Book of Lamentations. The ruins of Jerusalem, through the veil of Jeremiah's tears may seem an odd place to start a lesson on God's faithfulness, but that's where we begin.

What Does God Say?

"All the beauty and majesty of Jerusalem are gone. Her princes are like starving deer searching for pasture, too weak to run from the pursuing enemy" (Lamentations 1:6, NLT).

It was no secret. Even though it was foreign armies which destroyed the city, it was God who allowed the city to be ruined. "The Lord has trampled his beloved city" (1:15). But God wasn't just having a bad day; there was a very specific reason Israel was captured. Israel had turned its back on God.

"But it is the LORD who did it just as he warned. He has fulfilled the promises of disaster he made long ago" (2:17). This is the first lesson of God's faithfulness: He keeps all His promises, not just the beneficial ones. God promised to bless Israel if they walked with Him. But He also promised to sell His people into slavery if they turned from Him. God wouldn't be faithful if He ignored some of His promises.

If this was the end of the story, God would look like an ordinary computer following a rigid set of logical rules. But out of the ruined city comes this amazing promise: "For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love" (3:31-32).

God's promise to love us always stands behind every other promise He makes.

The third lesson of God's faithfulness is seen near the end of the book. "O Jerusalem, your punishment will end; you will soon return from exile. But Edom, your punishment is just beginning; soon your many sins will be revealed" (4:22).

Edom, a country hostile to God would not escape His wrath. The difference is that their punishment will be eternal. God shows His faithfulness by promising that one day all the evil forces of this world will be brought to justice.

My Thoughts

Read Lamentations 3:22-27 and Romans 8:35-39 and think about the following questions:

    * What does it mean to "wait for him and seek him" (Lamentations 3:25)?
    * Paul, the writer of Romans, lived about 650 years after Jeremiah, yet his message is essentially the same. What does this tell you about God?
    * How can you tell the difference between God's temporary punishment and His eternal judgment?

My Part

If you have not decided to give your life to Jesus, you'll fall on the "negative" side of God's faithfulness. He will still and always love you, but remember He keeps all His promises. But God has also promised that while we live He will not reject anyone who honestly comes to Him. Do you know Jesus? If not, what is holding you back from Him?

Additional Scripture: Romans 8:35-39

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« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2006, 10:25:34 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 5, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Through It All

Most people relate God's faithfulness to their personal prosperity and comfort. If all is going well, then they rejoice in God's faithfulness. When life takes a downswing, however, God's faithfulness is called into question.

Can we go through hard times and still experience the faithfulness of God? The prophet Jeremiah who wrote the Book of Lamentations gives us a definite answer to that question. Jeremiah lived at a time when God was about to bring judgment on the nation of Israel for their wrong doings. It was one of the worst times in Israel's history, but was God faithful? Let's see what Jeremiah says.

What Does God Say?

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!' The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD" (Lamentations 3:21-26, NLT).

    * What is the basis for our hope?
    * How is God's mercy shown?
    * What is the key to experiencing this love and mercy?

My Thoughts

God's faithfulness is defined in these verses not by circumstances but by His unfailing love and mercy. Describe a time when God faithfully showed you love and mercy in the midst of a difficult situation.

My Part

Keep a journal for the next two weeks. Each evening record in your journal at least one instance during the day when God demonstrated His faithfulness through an act of love and/or mercy. Set aside at least an hour at the end of this time period to review what God has done for you and give Him thanks.

Additional Scripture: Psalm 36:5, 92:1-4, 119:75

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« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2006, 09:54:54 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 8, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


The Purpose of Pain

In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pains. [Pain] is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

That doesn't mean God causes pain; the messed-up world that we live in is sufficient to do that. But God uses the pain our circumstances create in order to bring about His purpose in our lives. One of those purposes is to minister to others. Let's see what His Word has to say about that.

What Does God Say?

"All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God's comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3-7, NLT).

    * Who is the ultimate source of comfort?
    * According to the apostle Paul, the comfort he received was for what purpose?
    * When we receive comfort, what does it enable us to do?

My Thoughts

Life is filled with pain: physical pain, emotional pain and even spiritual pain. Write out or draw a picture of one of the most painful experiences you've gone through.

My Part

Pain isn't caused by God, but it can be used by God. Study the painful situation you described above. How did God comfort you? Prayerfully ask God to bring across your path this week a person who needs to be comforted with this same comfort.

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« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2006, 11:30:42 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 9, 2006
Topic: Pain/Suffering


Beauty from Pain

What do you do when you're in pain? Not the kind of pain that can be chased away with an aspirin, but the kind of pain that sticks with you. Maybe it's a chronic pain like arthritis, or an emotional pain like the death of a loved one. Whatever your pain, how do you deal with it?

What Does God Say?

Pain has always been a great tool of the devil. Why? Because pain focuses our attention on ourselves. We look at how we feel now, and compare it to how good we used to feel. Look at how the author of Psalm 42 describes this in verses 3 and 4.

    * How are things now for the author?
    * How did things used to be?
    * Have you ever been in a situation where you lost something or someone important to you?

Of course, in pain, it's not easy to look elsewhere than ourselves. But the key to long-term beating of pain involves looking up, and out of the pain, into the face of God. Read verses 5 and 6.

    * What does the author do in the middle of his pain?
    * What does he remember in his discouragement?

When you look to God, you'll see what you would have missed before. Read verse 8.

    * What does the author realize in this verse?
    * How does the author respond?

My Thoughts

God's greatest victories over Satan don't involve the preventing of pain, but rather, the transforming of pain. The pain of the author of this psalm was transformed into a greater longing and love for Jesus. The pain of Jesus on the cross was transformed into the ultimate victory over sin and death.

My Part

Offer up your pains to God today. Don't wallow in them or even accept them as "your lot in life." Bring them before God. Remember God's kindness, remember the promises He's written you in the Bible. And even in your pain, sing a favorite hymn of praise to God.

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« Reply #50 on: May 10, 2006, 11:31:58 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 10, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Fools

Nobody likes a pity party except for the person throwing it. The guests quickly weary of hearing their host's sob stories and look for the nearest exit. It's a proven fact that the quickest way to empty a room is to start heaping on the self-pity.

So, what do you do you do, then, when life treats you unfairly? If anyone experienced this, it was the apostle Paul. Three times in his letters to the Christians at Corinth he mentions the mistreatments he experienced at the hands of both the Jew and non-Jew alike.

How can we avoid falling into self-pity? Letís look at how Paul manages to do it.

What Does God Say?

"But sometimes I think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor's parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world--to people and angels alike.

"Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you are so wise! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are well thought of, but we are laughed at. To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm. We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own. We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We respond gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world's garbage, like everybody's trash--right up to the present moment" (1 Corinthians 4:9-13, NLT).

    * What purpose does God have in allowing His servants to be treated unfairly?
    * How does Paul respond to those who curse, abuse and say evil things about him?
    * How do people treat dedicated Christians?

My Thoughts

The abuse received by Christians is permitted by God. Paul says that we are put on display before both people and angels. What would people and/or angels learn from your response to the abuses generated by your commitment to Christ?

My Part

Make a list of the abuses Paul sustained in his service to the Lord (donít forget his martyrdom in Rome). Alongside of Paul's abuses, list the unfair treatments that you have received. How do the two compare?

Additional Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, 11:22-33

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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2006, 07:48:00 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 11, 2006
Topic: Pain/Suffering


Close to God

When pain invades your life, it can consume you with complaints and questions for God and sometimes even anger or a disappointed faith. That's totally normal, but if you're not careful, it can draw you away from God. However, pain can also have a part in deepening your intimacy with Him.

What Does God Say?

The Bible is full of people who wrestled with pain but who turned to God for their hope.

Psalm 42:5-6 asks, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God" ( ESV).

In Psalm 38, King David described his difficulty with "there is no health in my bones" (v. 3, ESV) and "my heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes--it also has gone from me" (v. 10). But he then said with confidence "it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer" (v. 15).

In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, the apostle Paul lists his pain and suffering. Take a look and then flip to 2 Corinthians 12:9 where he says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me" ( ESV).

Even in the worst pain, you can know the power of Christ and draw on the hope and comfort God offers. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 reminds us that God is "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction" ( ESV). Instead of turning away from Him, turn to God's comforting arms.

My Thoughts

What pain are you struggling with today? What effect is it having on your relationship with God?

It's all right to ask God questions when you're in pain--if you're willing to listen for His answer or recognize He may never fully explain it to you this side of heaven. And keep in mind that the most important question may be, "Can I trust God without knowing all the answers?"

That was true for Job, a man who lost everything including his wealth, his family and his health. Take a few moments to trace his journey with Job 1:20-22; 2:7-10; 3:3, 11; 13:3, 15; and 17:1. Then read Job 19:25-27. How would you describe that statement?

Finally God answers Job with an awesome reminder of His great power and love. Put Job's response in Job 42:3 into your own words. Do you think this experience drove Job away from God or closer?

My Part

On paper or a page in your journal, create two columns and title them: "Questions for God" and "Statements of Faith." Start today with some of your questions. Then add statements of faith or trust in God that you find in the Bible.

For example, King David did this in Psalm 10. In verse 1, he asks "Why, O LORD, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" And his statement of faith comes in verse 17: "O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear" ( ESV).

You can borrow faith statements (and questions too) from places in the Bible like the Psalms (Psalm 61-63 are a good start), Isaiah and Paul's New Testament letters. Keep this in your Bible or your journal where you can add to it and tap into it to draw closer to God.

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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2006, 07:50:41 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 12, 2006
Topic: Pain/Suffering


Using Your Pain

Sometimes life hurts. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Whatever kind of pain you experience, it's never fun when it hits you--but it should never be a surprise. God's Word says that we will experience difficult times, we will suffer--and that pain will be a very real and guaranteed part of life.

But when you're in the middle of it all, when you're dealing with stuff that hurts so bad you don't have enough tears to cry, what gets you through it? What helps you survive?

Sometimes it's knowing that hard times shape our character and mold us to be more like Christ. Sometimes it's understanding that God disciplines His children for their own good.

But have you ever thought about this--that maybe God can use your pain to comfort others in their pain? That your hardships can transform into an ability to comfort other people in a very unique and authentic way? Knowing that your pain can eventually turn into a ministry opportunity may help give you a different perspective when you're suffering.

What Does God Say?

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, NIV).

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:12-13, NIV).

    * When life hurts, physically or emotionally, how can you allow God to comfort you?
    * What pain has God allowed you to experience that can help you minister to others?
    * Why does the apostle Peter tell us not to be surprised by pain?
    * What can pain accomplish in your life? How can your pain be used to help others?

My Thoughts

    * What hurts right now? Are you struggling with a physical illness or injury? An emotional wound? How have you been dealing with your pain?
    * What can you do, just for today, to take the focus off your pain and on to someone you can minister to? For example, if you're struggling with the pain of a broken relationship, maybe you know someone else experiencing the same the thing. How can you comfort others with the comfort you've received from God?

My Part

Spend time thinking about who you can minister to this week. Whatever hurts in your life right now pinpoint it, and turn it into an opportunity to get "outside yourself" and focus on someone else. Struggling with physical pain? Maybe you know someone else who is too--how can you comfort that person? Gone through a tough time emotionally? You probably know someone who's struggling emotionally right now--this week, send a card, an e-mail, make a phone call, just to say, "I'm sorry. I can relate."

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« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2006, 10:10:29 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 15, 2006
Topic: Pain/Suffering


Problem Solved

It's a fact of life that people experience pain. Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's emotional and sometimes it's spiritual. But none of us can avoid it.

So, why does pain exist? The Bible provides insight into the pain that comes eventually to all of us.

What Does God Say?

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NKJV).

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4, KJV).

"And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us" (Romans 8:23, NLT).

"'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57, NLT).

The Bible teaches us three great truths about pain:

    * Pain was not in Godís original creation but, along with death, came into the world because of the curse of sin.
    * God promises to be with us, sustain us in our pain and comfort us in our pain.
    * Because of Jesus, there is a day coming when there will be no more pain.

The source of pain is the curse. And it does me no good to say, "God, why are You allowing this to happen to me?" It's not happening because God doesn't like me. It's not happening because He has a problem with me or He wants to punish me.

This is happening because I live in a painful world. And the painful world is not going to get any better just because another pain reliever is invented, because pain gets worse all the time.

It's only going to get better when God, in His love and in His great concern and in His great grace, takes pain away from this world. And that's a future thing, not a present thing.

My Thoughts

    * What brings you the most pain? List the three worst.
    * Do you have any hope of dealing with your pain? If so, where does it come from?

You may still endure pain on earth. After all, this is a sinful world. But Jesus conquered pain the way He conquered sin. Jesus overcame pain the way He overcame death. In His death, burial and Resurrection, Jesus Christ was victorious over the pain of sin; He triumphed over the pain of death; He beat the pain of pain.

My Part

So, how do you deal with the pain of the present? You can beat pain, but not by yourself. Open the door and let Jesus into your life. Let Him beat pain for you. Give it all to Him, and let Him give you hope in place of your pain.

How? Turn your sin over to Him. Ask Jesus to forgive you today and become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Turn your life over to Him. Ask Him to live in you and through you, and He will be your resurrection to new life. And He will help you deal with the pains of life.

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« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2006, 03:16:45 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 16, 2006
Topic: Pain/Suffering


Pain-free

What if you could wake up tomorrow and be totally pain-free? No need for medication, therapy or surgery. No more dealing with grief, loss or disappointment. Things like hurt, abandonment and betrayal no longer rule your life.

What a joy it would be to wake up like that! But, you know, that day is coming. Jesus has promised it to you.

What Does God Say?

Life is filled with pain, mainly because we live in a world corrupted by sin and we live in bodies afflicted by the pain of sin. However, Jesus died to take care of our problem with sin, and we can "thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:57, NLT).

While the battle is won, we still live with the effects of pain. But there is hope--Jesus promises us a pain-free future with Him. First, He promises you a home with Him (John 14:1-3), and it's a home without some of our most common problems. "God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever" (Revelation 21:3-4, NLT).

Won't it be awesome to live without the things that give us the most physical and emotional pain?

My Thoughts

A pain-free future begins when you put your faith in Jesus as your Savior. He takes care of your problem with sin. Then you can tap into His promises for your future--promises and a hope that are sure and certain because they're underwritten by God. This hope is not wishful thinking or a nice idea. Instead you can be confident that even if the pain you carry now (physical, emotional, relational, etc.) doesn't disappear at once, it will one day be totally gone.

But what about the pain right now? To get some perspective, read Romans 8:18-25, and, in your own words, describe what God promises for the future. What pain do you look forward to giving over to God?

Look for what He says about how we face today (Romans 8:25 is a key verse). Have you asked the Holy Spirit for help in the waiting?

My Part

Take a moment to look ahead. Go back to Revelation 21:1-4. Draw or describe a few of the differences you see between the "old" and the "new."

    * What in your "old" life will you be glad to get rid of? Jot it down, then crumple up the paper and throw it away, thanking God that one day it will truly be gone.
    * What do you most look forward to in this "new" life? Write a thank-you note to God for what He will one day give you.

And just for fun, read on through Revelation 21-22; close your eyes and dream a little of a pain-free life in the glorious presence of God.

Additional Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2006, 02:35:52 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 17, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Wisdom and Compassion

Knowledge is power. Complete knowledge leads to absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. God is absolutely powerful. Therefore, God is corrupt.

No, that's not true. There's something missing from that equation, something that when applied to knowledge changes it from a corrupting influence to an edifying influence. If there wasn't, the apostle Paul would have no reason to pray that the Philippians would "keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding" (Philippians 1:9, NLT). That something is wisdom.

What Does God Say?

In order to have wisdom, we need to know where to get it. Read Proverbs 2:3-6.

    * How do we find wisdom?
    * Where does wisdom come from?

In the next verses, Solomon (the author of Proverbs) goes on to define wisdom a little bit more. Read verses 7-12.

    * What actions of God are revealed in these verses?
    * What do we gain from wisdom?
    * What are the benefits of being wise?

Far from being a corruptive influence, the results of wisdom are a benefit to those who have it, and to those around him. Look at Proverbs 3:13-18.

    * Comparatively, how valuable is wisdom?
    * What does wisdom offer?

My Thoughts

Another word that goes closely with wisdom is "love." The first object of love is God. By loving God and His Word (the Bible), we set the foundation of wisdom. As we learn to love God, we in turn start to love others whom God places in our lives. By studying God's Word and His commands, we learn how to treat people the way God would if He were in our shoes.

Knowing how to act the way God would is wisdom. What are some ways you can draw closer to God and, as a result, grow in love and wisdom?

My Part

It may be more than a coincidence that the Bible's greatest source of wisdom has the same number of chapters as there are days in an average month. Make it a point to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. On the first of the month, read chapter 1; on the second, chapter 2, etc. Ask God each day to teach you more about Himself and about how He would act in your place.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 3:13-18

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« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2006, 06:23:32 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 18, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


What Is Wisdom?

Often we define a person, who has a great deal of head knowledge or who has gained a lot of wealth, as wise. But is wisdom just about the ability to accumulate facts or money? Let's see how God's Word defines wisdom.

What Does God Say?

Solomon, supposedly the wisest man who ever lived, wrote: "How much better to get wisdom than gold, and understanding than silver! " (Proverbs 16:16, NLT). He also stated: "Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality" (Proverbs 3:7-8, NLT).

James wrote: "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere " (James 3:17, NLT).

    * Why do you think that Solomon valued wisdom more than gold or silver?
    * What are some of the benefits that Solomon saw in wisdom?
    * How does James describe wisdom?

My Thoughts

What type of wisdom do you honestly seek after the most--the world's type or biblical wisdom that brings life?

What do you think you need to do to gain the wisdom that Solomon and James are talking about (look also at James 1:5)?

My Part

This week spend some time reading Proverbs 2:6-19. Make a list of the ways that wisdom can benefit you. Put a star(s) by the way that is most relevant to your life right now.

Additional Scripture: Psalm 90:12, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 2:6-9

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« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2006, 12:52:12 PM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 19, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


Ask for It!

How often have you read or heard that "the experts say..." only to discover a week later that "the experts" were all wrong, or they couldn't agree or the wisdom they offered didn't make sense? And you wonder where you can find the wisdom you need for living. The answer is simple: Begin with God.

What Does God Say?

Real, working wisdom comes from God. That's why Solomon asked for it.

In 1 Kings 3:5-10, God offered Solomon whatever he wanted, and Solomon chose wisdom. Solomon said, "I am like a child who doesn't know his way around...Give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong" (1 Kings 3:7,9, NLT). And 1 Kings 3:10 tells us, "The Lord was pleased with Solomon's reply and was glad that he had asked for wisdom" (NLT).

Wisdom is more than knowledge; it's knowledge made practical, worked out in daily life to please and honor God. And like Solomon, you can ask for it. Look at James 1:5: "If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking" (NLT).

When you ask God, don't sit around waiting for a voice from heaven. Pick up your Bible and open it so that He can show you what He's already said.

My Thoughts

What does wisdom look like? Read James 3:13-18. In two columns, outline what wisdom is and what it isn't. Which do you think shows up more in your life right now?

Turn to Proverbs 2:6-8. In your own words, what does God offer with wisdom? What does He do for those who seek it from Him?

My Part

Pick one area where you need God's wisdom today. First, ask Him for it. You can even borrow Solomon's prayer if you need to.

Then use an on-line concordance or one in your Bible to look for what God has already said about that issue in His Word. You may need to search with various words or concepts but take the time to jot down verses and look them up.

Finally, commit yourself to putting wisdom to work in your life. Set a goal and take action based on what you've learned from God about your specific issue.

In addition, consider memorizing a section like Proverbs 2:6-8: "For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the path of justice and protects those who are faithful to him" (NLT). It's a great reminder to ask God for the wisdom you need.

Additional Scripture: Proverbs 1:7

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« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2006, 08:55:40 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 22, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational


A Life Worth Living

All you have to do is look at commercials on television to see that advertisers think that their product or service will add meaning to your life--if you buy their product or use their service your life will finally be complete or at least a lot better. Marketing experts who make up the commercials aren't stupid; they know that most of us are looking for something that will give more meaning to our lives.

What Does God Say?

Solomon, who had more "stuff" than possibly anybody in history, had as high a position as you could have in his society. He had extreme influence and power, and he had all the women in his life that he could ever wish for. The man who had all of this stated: " I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:14, NKJV). Solomon also said, "Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!" (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NLT).

    * The phrase "under the sun" means "from a purely human perspective." If all our works are just so we can get our own needs and wants met, what does Solomon say it's like?
    * What is it that money and "things" can never provide?

My Thoughts

    * Think about what you have pursued to gain meaning in your life. Has it been lasting or satisfying?
    * What is Solomon's position about your pursuit of happiness and wealth?
    * What are a couple things you have pursued or are pursuing that you could give up so you could pursue what God wants for you instead?

My Part

According to God's Word, spending our time pursuing money and "things" are all "for nothing." Read James 1:26-27, 2:14-17. Where does James say we're to focus our efforts?

If you are spending more time pursuing riches than helping people, consider this week what you could do to refocus your efforts.

Additional Scripture: Psalm 15; 1 Timothy 5:9-10

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« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2006, 08:57:03 AM »

Daily Bible Study
With Woodrow Kroll

Date: May 23, 2006
Topic: Christian Living/Situational, Bible Study/Theories


Working With a Purpose

Do you dread getting up Monday mornings (or whatever day begins your work week)? Do you refer to your job as the "daily grind" or "working in the salt mines"? If so, it's a clear indicator that something is wrong. Somewhere, somehow, you've lost your purpose for what you're doing.

God gave work as a gift (Genesis 2:15). He meant for it to fulfill a purpose in our lives. In fact, work should fulfill several purposes. Let's see what God's Word says that these might be.

What Does God Say?

Read Proverbs 31:10-30. These verses describe a hardworking mother, wife and businesswoman (vv. 11-13). But as the writer describes her labors, we see that they fulfill a number of purposes (vv. 14-28). List below at least four purposes that are fulfilled by this woman's labors.

My Thoughts

Underlying all that this woman does is "the fear (reverence, awe) of the Lord" (v. 30). How would the "fear of the Lord" affect your attitude toward your job?

My Part

Write out a prayer of thanksgiving for your job. If you are currently without a job, use this as an opportunity to ask the Lord to provide work so that you might fulfill His purpose in your labors.

Additional Scripture: Colossians 3:17, 23-24

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