Showing posts from January, 2017

Tuesday - January 31, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Matthew 25:1-13

Don’t you just hate that feeling of being unprepared? That feeling you had when your teacher was handing out that quiz and you knew you were not even the least bit ready. That empty feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when you know you were supposed to have something but you showed up empty handed and everyone knew it. That is one of those feeling that, as much as you can help it, you never want to feel again. There is one sure fire way to make sure that you never want to feel that uncomfortable again. Are you ready? You may want to get a pencil and jot this down, because this is important. BE PREPARED. That’s it! That is all it takes! 

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom before the wedding. Five of these virgins were prepared, as they had their flasks full of oil for their lamps. However, the other five were foolish and did not take any oil with them …

Monday - January 30, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:  Proverbs 14:1-35

I recently read a story of a man who had a problem. He wanted to remove a tree stump from his yard. He decided the quickest way to remove the stump was to use some dynamite he had stored away in his garage. The explosion did remove the stump from his yard, but turned the stump into an airborne missile that went through a neighbor’s roof. The stump opened a 3 foot hole in the roof, split the rafters, and pushed through the ceiling of the dining room. 

Like the man in the story, we sometimes think the best way to fix a problem is by blowing up. How many times have you lost your temper and just exploded over some problem thinking it would fix it, only to make it worse? The wise man once said, “A man of quick temper acts foolishly...” (Proverbs 14:17). When we lose our temper it makes us look foolish, because, instead of fixing the problem, we make it worse. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see ourselves in the actions…

Saturday - January 28, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:  Exodus 35:1-3
If we had lived 4,000 years ago, today would have been a very significant day for those of us that believed in God. It would be special because today is Saturday, and that meant it would have been the Sabbath Day. The Jews were taught to “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). They were to use this day to rest from their labors of the past week, to reflect on all that they have done, and, most importantly, to dedicate themselves to God. 

There were strict guidelines for what you could and could not do on the Sabbath (Exodus 35). However, most scholars will tell you that of all the Ten Commandments, keeping the Sabbath was one that was kept the least. Why, you might ask? Because keeping the Sabbath typically interfered with what the people wanted to do. 

The same could be said of today. We are not bound to keeping the Sabbath, but, as believers, we do have the privilege to worship on the first day of the w…

Friday - January 27, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:  Proverbs 12:1-28
When I was a child I got more than my fair share of “whoopin’s.”  There were many times that I was told to go and get my own switch, and let me say they were all well deserved.  As I got older the spankings diminished, but I still got the disciple I rightly deserved. Now was in the form of being grounded. There were several nights I was not allowed to talk on the phone, watch television, or I was forced to stay in my room. Oh yeah, discipline and I are very well acquainted, and I hated it. I mean, who wouldn’t hate it? It hurts, it is boring, and in the moment, seems like a complete waste of time. 

Did you catch that ”in the moment” part? I thought you might. You see, no one likes being disciplined when being disciplined. In the long run, though, you begin to understand why you received it. As you get older you can begin to appreciate it, because you have the understanding to see its purpose, and that it was always admini…

Thursday - January 26, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  Luke 5:27-32
Two words. If I told you that I could say just two words and you would leave your family, your home, your job, and everything you have ever known behind and start a new life, a new relationship, a new career, a new everything, would you believe me? How could two words change everything about your life? They can! They will! As a matter of fact, they did!  In Luke 5:27, we find a man by the name of Levi (he is also referred to as Matthew in the other Gospels) who has a nice home, a lucrative career, and a great life. One day while at work, doing what he did best, collecting taxes, He meets Jesus. It is interesting to note that there doesn’t seem to be a long discussion of what Jesus wanted from Levi, nor vice versa. In fact, all we have are two words.  As the last syllable flowed off the tongue of Jesus, something came over Levi and he left everything.  He left his wealth, his career, everything he had and just started over.…

Wednesday - January 24, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:  James 1:19-27
I have a problem!  I will be the first to admit that I think too highly of myself. I am constantly over estimating my own abilities, incessantly insisting that I can handle a project, a task or a job by myself without ever asking for help. I will also admit that it has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count. Even my spouse knows that if I say I can do something in about a hour, that really means it is going to take all day. I am as stubborn as they come.  I also know that I am not alone. 

Spiritually speaking, we all seem to think we can handle our sins and temptations on our own. Guess what, we can’t!  No matter how strong we may be, by ourselves, we can never stand up to the power that the Devil has over this world. The good news is that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that we could not, and never intended for us to, face our spiritual battles alone. In Mark 14:38, Jesus tells His disciples, “Watch and pra…

Tuesday - January 24, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Job 29:1-25 
How many of us enjoy a trip down memory lane to talk about the good old days? We all like to reminisce, and at times embellish, about how great things use to be for us. Often when we do that it is because our situation has changed, and we are left with what use to be. If that description fits you, you are in good company. Even Job took a few moments to do so. According to Job 1:3 he was, “the greatest of all the people in the East.”  At that time Job had wealth, possessions, family and a great reputation because he “feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). He had a great relationship with all the people, and above all God spoke very highly of Him. Now his wealth and possessions are gone, his family is dead, his health has been diseased, and the people think much less of him. In his discourse in Job 29, he begins, “Oh that I were in the months of old….” To put it in our language, “Oh, I remember the good old days.”  …

Monday - January 23, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Lamentations 3:21-26

Has this ever happened to you?  It is Monday morning and you wake up only to realize you had forgotten to carry out the garbage, and missed their pick up. You went to make your morning cup of coffee only to realize you had drank the last cup yesterday.  As you get ready you notice that you can’t find either of your good pair of pants because you forgot to dry them the night before. As you drive into work (already late), you realize you are out of gas and need to stop to fuel up, only to notice you forgot your wallet. That’s alright, because your wife is about to leave and you can call her and have her drop it by, until you remember you left your phone next to your wallet so you would not forget it.  Then you run out of gas about a mile from the gas station. You pull over, but notice in your rear-view mirror you a have a police car coming up behind with his lights on, and for a brief moment you think you are saved. Howe…

Saturday - January 21, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 37:1-15

There is something great about the innocence of a child. They say things that an adult would never say. They do not seem to get distracted by what the world would never say out loud. Some things in a person’s life are off limits and we never discuss them. A child will bring these up in a second if they can see the problem. If we are to treat others as we want to be treated, then we should welcome the concern of those situations, even if we do not want to hear it at first. We know, though, that in the long run, only a friend would say it. It is to make me a better person. Sometimes we think others cannot or will not change, but anything is possible with God. God will work through good friends. Remember the results are on His timetable, so stay patient. 

APPLICATION: Remember the results are on His time table, so stay patient.

Friday - January 20, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Proverbs 24:1-22

Proverbs 24:8 says, “Whoever makes evil plans will be known as a troublemaker.” I do not want to walk into judgment day known as a troublemaker. I am sure you do not either. If you think about making evil plans, it becomes a bit scary. We may have all planned to skip worship for something we wanted to do. We may have planned on seeing a movie we know we should not see. We may have planned to meet someone we should not be meeting with. Anytime you disguise things you must be doing something wrong. We do not want to enter the final day with this kind of thing on our resume. Make sure your heart and your decisions are pure. 

APPLICATION: Make sure your heart and your decisions are pure.

Thursday - January 19, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:James 1:19-27

I have three children, so I have watched my share of animated movies. To have a movie like that you must have a villain. Without a villain, life is just too easy. Everyone would be happy and get along. That does not make for a good movie so we understand that the villain is vital to the story. He is in our lives, also. The devil is like a roaring lion, roaming this earth seeing who he can devour. We must have the courage to face his tricks and deceptions. Our life is like playing out a movie. Remember why we love these movies, the good guy always wins. 

APPLICATION: Please make sure your life is right so the good guy wins! 

Wednesday - January 18, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 7:15-28

I am 42 years old. I have been a Chicago Cubs fan all my life, so for most of my life they have not done very well. I remember watching opening day on television one year. A fan in the bleachers had a sign that said “just wait till next year.” That was a funny sign to see on the first day of the year. It did make me think, though, about all the things we put off until next year. Maybe we are holding a grudge or we need to break a bad habit. Maybe we need to read and pray more. 

APPLICATION: Whatever it is, do not wait till next year.

Tuesday - January 17, 2017

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

I got to take my son to a professional basketball game last year. He loves sports, and is really into basketball. I thought taking him to the game and letting him watch professionals would thrill him. It did! He enjoyed every bit of the experience. He was able to see players up close, and experience the atmosphere of a pro game. He was able to see dunks and three point shots. But the best moment that we shared was the moment we still talk about. The moment was when we bought the best tasting foot long corn dogs we have ever had. It is not the most expensive things that are the best. 

APPLICATION:  Do not forget to enjoy the small stuff.

Monday - January 16, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 5:1-16

When we get towards the end of our lives, do we want to be remembered for what we own, for what we have accomplished, or for how we have treated people? I have known rich people and poor people that passed on. Some were very nice and generous while others were cold and tight with their money. The thing they all had in common? They all died. We cannot avoid it, so we need to think now about how we want to be remembered. We have a few years to make a positive difference in this world. 

APPLICATION: Let us all make an effort to leave this world a better place.

Saturday - January 14, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Philippians 4:10-20

Many people say we only use a portion of our mind. I watched a hypnotist several years ago make a friend of mine not be able to pick up his wallet. He was told that his wallet weighed over a ton. Even though my friend pulled and pulled he could not get it off the ground. It’s amazing to me the capabilities we have that we do not realize. God put so much out there of us. How much can we understand? God promises that we can do much through prayer and a relationship with Him.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” 

Application:  Strive to use what God gives to us and make Him Proud.

Friday - January 13, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Matthew 3:1-12

My daughters both play volleyball, which is a total team game. One is the setter for the other players. Her job is to set the ball up for others to spike and score. John the Baptist’s job was to set the world up for the arrival of Jesus. Everything he did in his ministry pointed toward Jesus. As Jesus got deeper into His ministry, John even mentioned how his role needed to   decrease as Jesus' increased.  

Application: We need to set others up for success. We also need to use our lives to point towards Christ. 

Thursday - January 12, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Romans 12:1-21

When I was a kid I would watch Superman and Batman. It was always funny to see those men put on a pair of glasses or a thin mask and take on an entirely different personality. So we would not ruin the show or the movie, we would pretend not to recognize them even in the poor costume. Sometimes we put on our Christian mask for one or two days a week, but the rest of the week we are worldly. We think people cannot tell the difference in us when we have our mask on or off. The thing we do not want to come to grips with is, they know. They know we are two faced and they know we act different on different days around different people. The Bible calls us to be different, but it calls us to be different, as a Christian, all the time. 

Application: Take off your masks!

Wednesday - January 11, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:Luke 19:1-10

I hope we never forget that Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost. He did not come to heal people, but He did because He cares. He did not come to do miracles, but He did because He wanted us to believe. Our Savior did so much extra for us because He wants us to be saved. 

Application: What have you done for Him? 

Tuesday - January 10, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:2 Peter 3:1-13

In our communities, when something goes wrong we want justice. We want everything to be fair, and if we mess up we should pay the price. We have court systems to make sure we can get as close to that as possible. In our Christian lives, justice is the last thing we want. None of us deserve the Kingdom of Heaven.  Second Peter 3:9 reads, “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because He does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 

Application: We need to look at how generous God is with us and how patient. 

Monday - January 9, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:Hebrews 6:1-12

Do you ever get tired of junk mail? It could be in your mailbox or on your computer. I don’t like to look through all the nonsense just to get to meaningful mail. In the same manner, we have to look through the faults of others at church to remember why we are there. We are there to worship God, not to find the junk in the lives of those whom we already know are not perfect. I think we expect too much of people because of the position they hold or where they work. The devil attacks everyone in separate ways.

Application: We need to realize everyone has struggles even if they are a part of our congregation. 

Saturday - January 7, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:Psalm 103:1-22

Why did David have such a close relationship with God? I’m not smart enough to know for sure, but it would not surprise me if it had something to do with his Psalms. The closeness came as David poured out his heart to God. It was not always praise and it was not always question. It was a dialogue of a relationship. The more we talk to God the better off we will be. 

Application: David opened his heart to his God. Is that not what we should all do? 

Friday - January 6, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:Proverbs 21:1-31

Proverbs 21:8 says, “Guilty people live dishonest lives, but honest people do right.” Not much needs to be said about this verse. You have seen in your own lives that guilty people are always trying to cover their tracks and find meaningless joy. I urge you to be a person with a passion for good. People with a higher purpose are happier and more fun to be around. 

Application: Think about it...It is much easier to be honest than to be dishonest.

Thursday - January 5, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:Proverbs 16:12-33

We see in Proverbs 16 that it is smart to get along with people. But the real key to these verses is to value someone that speaks the truth. We do not need to trick people into thinking we care: We need to actually care. Others can see through fakery, but most really respect genuine concern.  It does not show weakness to care about people. Caring is a strength!

Application: Get involved in the lives of the ones around you.

Wednesday - January 4, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:1 Peter 1:13-25 

In Leviticus 11:44 we read, “For I am the Lord your God and you are to sanctify yourselves and be holy because I am holy....” Let’s all remember that God is holy. Sometimes we may get a little bit irreverent by the things we say. We take His name in vain without realizing what a bad habit this is. We may not focus as well as we should when we worship Him. I am sure we can think of many more examples. I just want us to remember that God is holy. 

Application: Let us always treat God as holy.

Tuesday - January 3, 2017

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

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Coaches flirt with that line all the time. To lead, people must know you are a confident person. Arrogance, however, can create problems, because your ego gets in the way of the good of the team or the people working for you . As long as you keep the good of others more important than your own, you will be confident and not arrogant. Hebrews 10:35 reads, “So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward.”

Application: Are you a confident leader?

Monday - January 2, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY

When a storm comes through and knocks out the power, it can get scary. However, in that same storm we can also see Gods power. When the power at our house is out and we light candles and the television is off, it becomes very peaceful. We actually talk to each other and spend some quality time. It lets us realize what a family is supposed to do. Now we just need to remember that we can do that at any time. We do not have to wait until a storm comes. Our families are valuable and we need to treat them that way. 

Application: Talk to each other, turn the electronics off and see how your favorite people are doing.