Showing posts from 2016

Saturday - December 31, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:John 4:16-21

Proverbs 14:22 - "Whoever works to do good will find love and loyalty. It is a mistake to work at doing evil." 

Proverbs 21:21 - "People who try hard to do good and be faithful will find life, goodness, and honor."

As we mentioned yesterday, doing good for the wrong reasons is not what God expects. God expects us to follow His word out of love. Love for Him, our friends, our enemies, the rich, the poor, and all our brothers and sisters. Our desire to please Him is what God expects. The good feeling we get from doing good is magnified 1,000 times when that deed is done purely out of love. Remember what John said: “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

APPLICATION: Anyone can do good to those who are good to them. Try doing good to everyone, especially those who are not good to you.

Friday - December 30, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 6:1-6

A man entered a restaurant and started waving a knife at the people seated at the tables eating. Suddenly Jerry jumps up and runs toward him and knocks him down and the knife out of his hand. The police show up and thank Jerry for his heroic efforts to save the other patrons. Jerry said, “Don’t thank me. I was just trying to get out of the door and ran into him.” 

Sometimes our motives are not what they may appear to be. Are your motives for doing good more important than the deed itself? Jesus tells us, in Matthew 6, not to do the good things He wants you to do to be seen of men. Doing things to be seen of men will gain you an earthly reward. Doing things in secret will gain you a reward from God. Human nature makes motives a stumbling block sometimes. Examine your motives, because God is. 

APPLICATION: Don’t quit opening doors just because people don’t thank you.

Thursday - December 29, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 24:14-29

An old man limped into the doctor's office and said, "Doctor, my knee hurts so bad, I can hardly walk!" The doctor slowly eyed him from head to toe, paused and then said, "Sir, how old are you?"  "I'm 98," the man announced proudly.  The doctor just sighed, and looked at him again. Finally he said, "Sir, I'm sorry. I mean, just look at you. You are almost one hundred years old, and you're complaining that your knee hurts? Well, what did you expect?" The old man said, "Well, my other knee is 98 years old too, and it doesn't hurt!"

What do you expect out of yourself? Do you set limits on what you will attempt because you “self-limit” your ability to accomplish something? God expects us to use the abilities He gave us. Don’t let the fear of failure limit what you do. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spen…

Wednesday - December 28, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Peter 1:13; Ephesians 2:8

When you plan a trip you determine a few things before you leave:

Where you are going?Who is going with you?How are you going to get there? A well planned trip makes for a more enjoyable time.

If you plan a trip today, you have many choices where to go. When this time on earth ends, there are only two places to go (John 5:28). If you haven’t prepared for heaven to be your destination, it won’t be. If you haven’t shared Gods word with others leading them to Christ, it’s too late. The grace of God is how we will get to heaven.

APPLICATION: Are you putting your plans in place for when you leave this earth? 

Tuesday - December 27, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 John 1:7-9

So far every week of my life has had 168 hours. Will that be true for this week? There is no guarantee. What I did in the thousands of hours leading up to today is not as important as what I do today. We have to ask ourselves this question every hour. Am I living my life in a way to please God? We must be willing to admit short comings and make changes in our lives to correct them. John tells us if we say we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves – but if we confess our sins he will forgive us and His blood will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

APPLICATION: Do you need to make changes in your life?

Monday - December 26, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY

We all know some coming events for sure, like our birthday, anniversary, Christmas and Thanksgiving. We can and do prepare for those events in our lives. These are events in our lives that we know when they'll be here, and, in most cases, we look forward to them. When we leave this life, all of these events leave our life also. 

Just as surely as these events are in your life while on earth, there is an even more important event that will happen. Christ tells us He has gone to prepare a place for us and He will return. Christ’s return is a for-sure thing. The difference in preparing for earthly events is that you know when to start and stop. Preparing for Christ’s return is not on the calendar and has no stop date. We must always be prepared.

Mark 13:3 - "Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come."

APPLICATION: Are you awake?

Saturday - December 24, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Today I sit in the dentist office waiting for one of my scheduled cleanings. They recommend that I come at least twice a year for a cleaning. In fact, my insurance will even pay for it if I show up twice a year for my appointment. As I sit here in the waiting room waiting for my turn, I begin to feel a little nervous. I will have to confess that it has been a little while since my last checkup, in fact it has been a long while; almost nine years! When I find out that it has been that long, I expected that blonde lady from the Orbit chewing gum commercials to appear standing next to me with that flashy white smile saying, “Got a dirty mouth?” Why would anyone want to wait nine years to have something checked that is recommended be checked every six months? I could attempt to come up with some legitimate reasons as to why I haven’t been, but there are none. I could say that I haven’t had the time, but that would be a…

Friday - December 23, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Jeremiah 29:1-23

Just recently I had the opportunity to purchase a baby calf that had been separated from her mother.  As you well know, a calf receives its nourishment from its mother in the form of milk.  In the case of this calf, she was not able to survive on her own without the proper nourishment she would have received from her mother, so we had to provide her with a supplement.  My children loved the idea of us bottle feeding a baby calf, and saw this as an opportunity to have a new pet. They affectionately named her Mabel Heupel (because don’t all pets take on the last name of their owner). She immediately became part of the Heupel clan. We went to our local co-op and purchased a bottle with the milk replacement.  We then mixed up the bottle with the intention of feeding this calf with a bottle, which was easier said than done.  Although, I have not tasted milk directly from a cow, nor have I tasted the milk replacement product, I …

Thursday - December 22, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY

Daily Affirmation in God’s Word Day #4: “You Need Him, Too.” One of the reasons why there were so many responses in the early stages of the church was because people felt a sense of urgency that went along with it. When those two men who were standing in white clothing asked the Disciples, “Why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into Heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11), they believed it. They did not know when, but they lived their lives as though it was going to happen soon. 

Today we have lost some of that urgency. We feel like we have plenty of time to share the message of Jesus with others because Jesus has waited over 2,000 years, and it will probable be another 2,000 more. We need to remind ourselves that just as much as I need Jesus to use me, you need Him to use you. There is an urgency, and the sooner we get that back, th…

Wednesday - December 21, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 16:13-23

Daily Affirmations in God’s Word Day #3: "I Cannot Lose.” One of the biggest reasons for needing these affirmations to begin with has to do with a fear of failure. Jesus helps us by   making failure an impossibility. Concerning the church, Jesus tells Peter that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Someone else put it this way: “I have read Revelation and in the end, we win!” 

If reading the Bible has taught us anything, it is that with Christ, on our side not only do we have a majority, but we have a victory! By Jesus raising Himself up from the dead, He         defeated the only foothold that the Devil had on mankind, making our ability to fail (with Him) an impossibility! When God uses us, His word will never come back void. They may reject Him, but they are not rejecting us. Even when it might seem as though we are failing, we are still planting the seed, watering it, and waiting for…

Tuesday - December 20, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 16:24-28

Daily Affirmation in God’s Word Day #2: “I Need Him to Use Me.” Jesus said to Peter, “I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 16:19). God needed to use Peter! I don’t mean that His all sufficiency depended upon it. I just mean that He was giving Peter a job to do. If I am able to understand that He owns me, my next course of action is to be used. I have a purpose! I need God to use me today in the service of His kingdom. 

When I correctly understand that as a Christian I am a part of the body of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12). I represent the hands and feet of Jesus while I continue to be on this earth. It may be Him using me to offer His words of comfort to someone who is hurting. I could also offer His shoulder for someone to cry on. It may be that He uses me to help someone financially who is struggling due to a lay off at work, or He could simply just need me to introduce Him to a stranger. 

Whatever th…

Monday - December 19, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Acts 20:17-38

Everyone has doubts about themselves at some point in their lives. Even when it comes to our faith, we all go through various phases of doubt. We may feel that we are small and insignificant. We might feel we are not as blessed in our abilities or talents as someone else might be. We might have fears about going beyond our comfort zones and stepping out in faith because we don’t want to fail. 

Sometimes believing in Jesus, is also about believing in ourselves. I am not advocating a religion of self or self-worship; all I’m suggesting is simply an affirmation of what the     Apostle John said: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Why is it we are constantly in need of being reminded of the greatness of the Spirit that lives within us? Sometimes we just have to constantly repeat it to ourselves over and over again so that we will beg…

Saturday - December 17, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a  perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). 

Paul uses a word that many people consider a dirty would: discipline. Doesn’t your face just cringe at the thought? It shouldn’t! In fact, discipline is really a great thing. It is discipline that teaches us self-control. It teaches us that we can be better, that we can be stronger, and that we can overcome even the toughest of obstacles. Not only that, but we owe it to God to discipline ourselves. 

God gave us salvation and desires that we “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (Titus 2:11-12). If he was willing to pay that ultimate price for us, shou…

Friday - December 16, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 119:1-16

When I was a child I can remember standing in front of my Sunday School Teacher as I recited back to her my memory verse of the week. I always studied my memory verse   because I did not want to let my teacher down. I also didn’t want to be the only one in class that did not study his memory verse. I will have to admit, I did not understand the majority of those verses I had to recite back. However, looking back today, I don’t think that was the point. 

David said “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). The word “hid” in the Hebrews means to “horde or keep in reserve.” That means that even if I did not know what it meant at the time I was memorizing it, I was keeping it in reserve until I did understand it and needed it. If our goal as Christians is to not sin, then David has given us the golden ticket! 

Application: If we horde up the Word within our hearts now, we will be able t…

Thursday - December 15, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Luke 19:28-48

In Luke 19:40, Jesus is entering with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem while riding on a colt. His followers are screaming out words of praise to Jesus. Of course this infuriates the Pharisees and they ask Jesus to rebuke them. Now I know that we can only use our imagination as to what type of facial expressions Jesus might have used. I get the strange feeling that these Pharisees might have gotten a smirk out of our Lord, when He replied, “...if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Could you imagine that? Seeing the very rock on the ground and on the hillside opening up their mouth and praising God. 

There is a song my brother will sometimes lead at church entitled “10,000 Reasons.” The point of the song is that if we wanted to, we would be able to find 10,000 reasons for our heart to find that would be worthy of our praise to God.

Application: Think back through your day, your week and begin to count all of …

Wednesday - December 14, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 91:1-16

We see angels all through the Bible, but many people struggle to believe in the spiritual side of religion. We have a hard time talking about the Holy Spirit. We read of the devil and his angels, and we avoid thinking about spiritual warfare. There is a battle going on all the time and our souls are at stake. Luke 15:10 reads, “There is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Psalm 148:2 says, “Praise Him all His angels! Praise Him all the armies of heaven!” 

Application: We have help, spiritual help, we just need to believe and pray and tap into the power of God. 

Tuesday - December 13, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Proverbs 3:1-12

How many times did our parents tell us to clean our rooms when we were growing up? Why did we always feel like taking the easy way out? We threw our clothes on the floor and we did not pick up our toys. We did not want to sweep or vacuum the floor. It was easier to do very little, but we all knew what came next; hours of cleaning up our mess. 

Our lives as an adult are similar. If we make good decisions, we have less to clean up. If we make bad decisions, we have much to clean up. 

Application: Discuss ways you could have made better decisions.

Monday - December 12, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 13:44

Suppose you were taking a walk and came across an old abandoned build that was for sale. You really have never had any interest in purchasing such a building, but out of curiosity you take a moment to look around. As you begin to walk around you hear a strange crick in the floor that grabs your attention. You walk back and forth and realize that one of the pieces of the floor is loose, so you kneel to investigate further. To your amazement, the piece of wood can be removed.  As you pull it up, you discover a strange treasure map of sorts that leads to a treasure in the back of the woods behind the building. Your curiosity continues to get the best of you so you go outside to further investigate. After counting so many paces to the right and the left, you come to your destination. You begin to dig in the ground until you hit something solid; it’s a chest! You pry open the lid and see what must be millions of dollars in gold an…

Saturday - December 10, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 5:43-48

Football is a full contact, hard hitting game. We hate to say it, but we love the violence of the game. As rules come in to protect the players, we disagree. The rule changes are taking away the big hits that we like to see. Even pro football players like the violence. Some do not consider kickers as football players because they do not hit. Would the game suffer if there were no kickers? Well, the top 30 scores in NFL history are all kickers. Maybe they do not get the respect they deserve. Just because we place value on things in our own way, does not mean some people are less valuable. Jesus came to seek and save the lost: all the lost!

Application: Jesus wants everyone to be saved. He values everyone, no matter who they are. 

Friday - December 9, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Ephesians 6:10-20

When you were a kid what did you want to grow up to be? I wanted to be a professional baseball player. Many young boys want to be policemen or firefighter. Some want to be football or basketball players. What do they all have in common? They all wear a uniform. A uniform tells us what team we are on. A uniform is a form of protection. A uniform gives us confidence. We have a Christian uniform. We are told to put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:11-17 tells us of “The belt of truth,” “The breastplate of righteousness,” “The helmet of salvation,” “The sword of the spirit,” and “The shield of faith.” 

Application: Put on your armor, your uniform, and with confidence fight for the souls the devil desires. 

Thursday - December 8, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Philippians 4:1-9

When I was a seven year old boy, I was on vacation with my parents. We were looking around a shop about Native Americans. I opened the door for a man who was dressed as an Indian Chief. I was amazed at how he looked and then he said thanks Jay. How did he know my name? I was several days travel from home. I was truly in awe of this man knowing me. We got back in the car and rode a long way. All I could think about is that this man was magical. He looked at me and said my name! I was dumbfounded by this situation. Finally, I noticed in the upper left corner of my shirt was my name. I felt like an idiot. All he did was read my shirt. Many times in life we over think things. Things can be so simple if we just set back and think. 

Application: Christianity is not that difficult. We over think it way to often. Just trust and obey! 

Wednesday - December 7, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Hebrews 10:19-39

As I watched the debates for our future president, I could not help but laugh. They argue and call each other names and then five minutes later they are best friends. I always watch and think if all of these people would join together and use their talents to encourage each other, we could get stronger as a nation. Instead, we dwell on our weaknesses and try to expose every one's flaws. Why can we not dwell on the positives of others?

Application: Be positive this week. Choose one person and give them a list of reasons you are thankful for them.  

Tuesday - December 6, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Samuel 15:10-35

The Bible talks about God hardening the hearts of people. We see Judas’ heart hardened during the arrest of Jesus. We see Pharaoh’s heart hardened when the Israelites were taken out of captivity. Why would God harden their hearts? The answer is in the story of King Saul. He started out as a selection of God, but he strayed away as the years went on. When he was faced with a battle against David, he prayed to God. There was only silence. There was no response. At some point when we stray from God, our hearts become hardened. We become stubborn and the Lord does not hear us anymore. 

Application: Do not let your heart become hardened. 

Monday - December 5, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:1 John 4:7-21

Did you ever get nervous before you took a test in high school or college? I’m sure you did! We all get nervous, even when we are prepared. I became very nervous when I did not prepare well, and just a bit nervous when I was prepared. Sometimes I think of life as a test. Am I living the way God wants me to live? Am I preparing for the ultimate test, Judgment Day? Am I as prepared as I should be? John tells us that we can have confidence in the Day of judgment if we have prepared. We can know that we will spend eternity with God. 

Application: It is a comfort to know that we have this gift waiting for us, so lets all be prepared. 

Saturday - December 3, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY

How do you measure success? Is it by the size of your salary? How about the size of your home, or the number of possessions you have? Or maybe you measure success by how many friends or clients you have. 

How does the Bible measure success? It all depends on how you define success. If your definition of success is “prospering,” then the Bible is very clear on how we can live a life where everything we will do prospers. David tells us, “his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). If we do this, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3). 

God has given us a plan to be successful wherever we go; yet our problem is we consistently look in the wrong places for it. God has provided all we need to be able to have a successful life. 

Application: When was the last time you…

Friday - December 2, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:2 Corinthians 11-21

If you were a salesman, what one product would you want to sell? Would you want to sell Bermuda shorts to an Eskimo? How about some ocean front property in Arizona? Of course not! If you had to sell one item, you would want that one item to be something that could be used by virtually anyone. You would want an item that would be simply irresistible and that, in fact, practically sells itself. 

What if I could tell you I have the perfect item? In fact, you may already be a salesmen for the company. Paul tells us “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). That word “ambassador” is defined as “a representative.” Therefore, we are all salesmen, living out the product of Christ in our lives. 

Application: How are you making His product look to those that don’t already have Him?

Thursday - December 1, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Corinthians 10:1-22

One of the biggest mistakes that a Christian can make is to underestimate their own sinful passions. For instance, how many of us have said that we're too strong to fall into a particular trap, or that we know better than to give into a particular temptation? The truth is most people usually are not ignorant of what they are doing when they begin doing it. They just believe that they are too strong to allow it to overtake them. WRONG! 

When we look within the Scriptures, we are constantly seeing strong leaders in God’s movement failing: David with Bathsheba, Solomon and all of his women, Peter and his denial. Even the strongest of the strong can fall. Sin is a very powerful thing that can seize control of our thoughts, words and actions before we are even aware of it. 

Application: So do yourself a favor; never, never, never underestimate your own sinful passions. “Therefore let  anyone who thinks that he stands t…

Wednesday - November 30, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY

Today you have been blessed with an opportunity. As you begin the day, you pause and look at the paths that are laid out before you. Which path are you going to take? Every day you have a choice to make as to which path you will select. How do you select? Is your decision based on appearance as to which road looks the easiest, or do you feel challenged to select one more difficult? Before you make your selection, take a few moments to say a prayer and remind yourself of the words that the Lord gave to Jeremiah the prophet: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16). 

As you stand by the paths laid out in front of you, ask God to show you the good one, the one that works, the one that has been proven to be effective by His servants throughout time. 

Application:  When that path is revealed to you, and it will be revealed, it …

Tuesday - November 29, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

“That’s not fair!” Those are words I don’t like to hear from my children. Was it fair when his brothers sold Joseph into slavery? Was it fair when they deceived their father into thinking that Joseph was dead? Was it fair when Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife's advances and, in turn, was placed in jail? Was it fair when he told the butler forget to remember Joseph the Pharaoh, after Joseph interpreted his dream? 

I think you get the point! Life is not fair! In fact, I am thankful it isn’t fair! If life were fair, I would die in my sins. If life were fair, I would have no chance at Heaven. If life were fair, I would spend an eternity in the Devil's Hell. If life were fair, Jesus would not have died for my sins. 

Application: Praise God today and thank Him for His love, grace, mercy and for not making life fair!

Monday - November 28, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Ecclesiastes 4

God never expected us to do this alone. Moses had Aaron, Elijah had Elisha, and even Jesus had the twelve. We all need some help in living the life God has called us to. We all need someone we can pray with, confide in, cry with us and hold us accountable.   

Solomon once said “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). What he is trying to tell us is that we have the ability to make each other live more effective lives for Christ. He went on to say, “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4.9-10). I believe that is part of the reason for Christ's concept of the church. His plan is for us to help hold each other accountable. James says, “Confess you faults to one another and pray for one another” (James 5:16).  

Application: If …

Saturday - November 26, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:James 2:14-26

Most people go on a diet at some point in their lives. Maybe, they are trying to lose weight, or maybe they do it for health reasons. The answer we have in order to be healthy seems to be diet and exercise. It is really not diet or exercise, it takes both. We as Christian's get bogged down with faith or works. It takes both. Faith by grace saves us, but action shows our dedication to God. Baptism is an outward action and all Christians must believe it is essential to salvation. 

Application: Will a diet help you by itself? To get the best results for our body, we have to do both. To get the best spiritual results, we must have both faith and works!

Prayer Request

Friday - November 25, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Philippians 2:1-11

Hard decisions need guidance and prayer. Each person will face some hard decisions in life. The best guidance comes by applying God’s Word and by time spent in prayer. For example, Joshua said, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” 

Jesus taught patience, love and that we must put God first and others above ourselves, along with many other good principles. Such guidance, as we find in God’s Word, provides much help for making hard decisions. 

Application: When facing hard decisions, do you seek God’s guidance? 

Prayer Request