Showing posts from February, 2017

Tuesday - February 28, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Luke 18:1-8

God has given us the blessing of memory. Just like all blessings, memory can also be a curse to us if we determine to live in the past. We have had victories and failures in our walk with God.  Our failures in the past can become obstacles to our faithfulness in the present if we concentrate on them rather than asking for forgiveness and moving on.

This is why we are told to be persistant in prayer in Luke 18:1. The only weapon this poor widow had was prayer. If she didn't continue to ask the judge to give her justice it might never have come. Widows were especially vulnerable of being cheated because they had no one to speak their case or defend them. This widow did what she could. She continued to petition the judge. Finally she was given the judgment she looked for.

The teaching here is straightforward: If such a judge will in the end listen to the prayer of a woman who he cared nothing for, will not God surely listen t…

Monday - February 27, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Peter 5:12

The Apostle Peter speaks of the "true grace of God." Peter was concerned that there were people spreading a false gospel. In a day when the gospel was being spread mostly by word of mouth, it might be easier to present a gospel that was not from Christ. To let people know the true gospel, Peter had written this epistle. He wanted to be sure it arrived at the churches intact so he sent it by his trusted servant Silvanus. Most believe that Silvanus was Silas who had traveled with Paul. Whenever you have the true message circulating among many false ones, there must be a way to test and know which is which.

Thankfully, there is such a test for grace. God's word gives us a simple test for true grace, saying, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age"…

Saturday - February 25, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful

Every day, think of one thing to thank God for, read a quote on being thankful, or read a verse from the Bible on thankfulness. For 365 days, do one of these three things. The Bible tells us to give thanks always; not just when we feel like it or when everything is going well. King David commanded the children of Israel in 1 Chronicles 23:30 to “stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even.” This is a great way to start and end your day. By choosing to be thankful for at least one thing a day, you will begin to cultivate a heart of continual thankfulness. God bless!

Friday - February 24, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful

Ingratitude denotes spiritual immaturity. Infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today. The past is meaningless and so is the future. They live for the present. Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future.
Who is it that you deeply appreciate today, and why?

Thursday - February 23, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful
That thing that is not coming to you may seem good. But either the timing is wrong, or from His position He can see that the future of it is bleak. I have always believed that people who thank God only for delivering them from what happened are just scraping the surface of praise. The real praise comes when you start thanking Him for what could have happened but didn't because of His swift grace!
What are you thankful for that did not happen to you?

Wednesday - February 22, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful

Gratitude. It goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
How are we celebrating this joy today?

Tuesday - February 21, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful

Being thankful is not telling God you appreciate the fact that your life is not in shambles. If that is the basis of your gratitude, you are on slippery ground. Every day of your life you face the possibility that a blessing in your life may be taken away. But blessings are only signs of God's love. The real blessing, of course, is the love itself...We are not ultimately grateful that we are still holding our blessings. We are grateful that we are held by God even when the blessings are slipping through our fingers.

How are we demonstrating this gratefulness today?

Monday - February 20, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Chronicles 23:20

Theme for the Week:  Being Thankful

We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us...We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.

How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?

What little things are you thankful for today?

Saturday - February 18, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:  Genesis 1:1

God has blessed us in so many ways. Have you taken the time to just look at His creation, lately? Older generations would sit on their front porch and enjoy nature. We have trouble slowing down long enough to enjoy what God has made. When I am stressed, I love a clear night where I can gaze at the stars and moon. It is amazing how powerful our God is. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth.” Such structure and power deserves our praise, and it should strengthen our faith. There serves our praise, and it should strengthen our faith. There are so many reasons to love God. This is just another one.

Friday - February 17, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:  I Samuel 24 & 26

“Character Through Courage”

Many times when we think of courage we see it as taking action. Look at courage through David’s eyes in the reading. In this instant, David could have taken Saul’s life. This would have made David’s world so much easier. At the time David was camping and moving from place to place to keep Saul guessing where he was.  David did not need courage to act, but the courage to not take action. 

Think about a time where it was difficult to not take action or say something. As Christians we are called to have Godly character and that includes being the one to not bite back with a negative comment or be out to get revenge for wrongdoing. 

Thursday - February 16, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  Philippians 2:14-18; Ephesians 5:7-14

“Character Through Contrast”

Middle-schoolers are a curious bunch. They spend half their time trying to fit in so that they do not stand out, and the other half trying to be different. They will often wear the same style of clothes, shoes, or latest accessory – but they want to have the one that is newest or the most different. Contrast is important for them because it gives them a sense of individuality – or in other words it builds their character. 

In Philippians 2:15, some translations render the word lights as stars. It gives the idea of the contrast between the dark sky (sin) and light that Christians give to the world. It should be a stark contrast.

It has been said there is nothing wrong with a boat being in the water, but everything is wrong with water being in the boat. Christians live in the world, but we cannot be of the world.

Wednesday - February 15, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY

“Character Through Consistency”

Imagine looking at your monthly bank statements, particularly at the cable TV charges. 

January: $89.99February: $89.99March: $130.99
How many times has this happened in your billing cycle? Whether you lose a “one time” promotion, something has been mysteriously added, or “sorry, our rates have increased,” most people have experienced inconsistency when dealing with bills. 

Being consistent is a very important part of life. Consistency carries with it a sense of reliability. There is no reason to believe that every Tuesday morning the garbage and recycle will not be collected. Why? Because Waste Management is consistent. As Christians, the world needs to be able to rely on us to consistently show Godly character with our words, attitudes, and actions. 

Our culture encourages academics, sports, and hobbies. Success in these areas requires consistent practice. Is it not even more importan…

Tuesday - February 14, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Ephesians 4:29-32

“Making Home a Place of Encouragement?”

Too often our homes have become a place where we complain, criticize and nitpick each other’s faults and short comings. When that happens we are more likely to have short tempers, resulting in us saying things we will later regret.  Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was wrong.  The words we say to one another do hurt, but they can also uplift and encourage.  Discuss what might happen to our families if we did just the opposite and be quick to compliment and encourage one another. 

Discuss some words or phrases that we should avoid and those that we should use when taking with each other. 

Monday - February 13, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY
BIBLE READING:  Colossians 3:1-4 

“Defining Godly Character”

Growing up, I heard many lessons on character. One description of character always stuck with me: Doing the right thing even when no one is around. It is this type of character that kept Daniel praying in his closet, Paul and others writing letters while in prison, and Christ himself talking with his Father throughout the night. 

As Christians, it is important to remember to be an example in front of others, but it is often what we do behind closed doors that will prepare us for being a Godly example. 

Discuss different areas of life that you prepare for. Is preparation important? How can you be better prepared in your Christian life? How can Colossians 3:1-4 help with this?

Saturday - February 11, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:  Luke 10:38-42

Tomorrow we get the opportunity to gather together and worship the Almighty God. What a wonderful thing that is! How often during the week have we let things get in the way of focusing on God? I believe that Martha truly wanted to serve Jesus with all of her heart. What she was doing was a GOOD thing, but she was “distracted.” In contrast, Mary also wanted to serve Jesus, and she chose what was BEST, sitting at the foot of Jesus and   absorbing who He is and what He had to teach. Let’s not let what is GOOD get in the way of what is BEST. See you tomorrow!

Application: Always keep our focus on Jesus because that is what is BEST.  

Friday - February 10, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
BIBLE READING:  John 15:13

Ernest Gordon wrote a book entitled, Through the Valley of the Kwai, a true-account of the World War II Japanese prison camp that the movie Bridge Over the River Kwai was based on. In the prison camp, which housed Americans, Australians, and Britain's, there was a Scottish prisoner by the name of Angus McGillivray. The camp itself had become a very vicious area. Men would cheat each other and steal from each other. Men that slept on their packs would have them stolen out from under their heads. It was survival of the fittest, until the news of Angus McGillivray passed through camp.

Being a Scottish soldier, Angus was part of a system that was taken very seriously. Each Scottish soldier had a buddy in camp called a “mucker.” They believed that each one of them were literally responsible for his mucker surviving the prison camp. Angus’s mucker, though, was dying, and everyone had given up on him. Everyone, that is, but Angus.…

Thursday - February 9, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

One of the greatest thoughts that I think I’ve ever heard about this verse is to take out the word “love” and insert your name in its place, and then re-read the verse. Are they all true statements? “[Your name] is patient, [your name] is kind and is not jealous; [Your name] does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.”  

Remember the song:  “And they’ll know we are Christians, by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

Application: Ask yourself, “Am I behaving in a way that people will know I am a Christian?”  

Wednesday - February 8, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Philippians 2:5-8

How often do we “let this mind be in” us? It can be so difficult to live in a society that is so constantly focused on “ME”.  We are bombarded with commercials, TV shows, movies, and social media that all tell us that we need to do everything that makes “ME” feel good.  How refreshing is it to think about our Savior having such a great and awesome position, being in the form of God, and HUMBLING Himself to die on the cross and show His love for us. In this day and age, showing humility towards others can be a nice and refreshing way for us to show our Christian love.  

Application: What ways are you being like Jesus in showing humility and obedience?

Tuesday - February 7, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study TUESDAY
BIBLE READING:  Philippians 2:1-4

John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash. Any idea what these 3 guys have in common? Of course, they’re the All-Time Assist Leaders in the National Basketball Association. If you watch basketball, even a little bit, then you probably know the names of guys like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. They are the all-time scoring leaders. But, the assist guys seem to always be forgotten. They are the ones in the background who are passing the ball to the scorers and letting them have the points, the glory, and the limelight. 

In a lot of ways, love is like being a good assists-person by always being willing to look out for the interests of others, and putting their interests first. The kids tell us in VBS all the time that “Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away.  Love is something if you give it away.  You’ll end up having more.”

Application: How have you “given love aw…

Monday - February 6, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study MONDAY

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (subtle reminder to you gentlemen to make sure you have your flowers and chocolates ordered).  So, we’ll be focusing this week on LOVE, and what it really means. We'll use the most popular verse in the Bible to help your mindset this week.  I’m sure you have seen this about John 3:16 being the GREATEST, but think about how GREAT this verse is.

God … the GREATEST beingSo loved … the GREATEST emotionThe world … the GREATEST companyThat He gave … the GREATEST actionHis only begotten Son … the GREATEST giftThat whoever … the GREATEST opportunityBelieves in Him … the GREATEST simplicityShould not perish … the GREATEST assuranceBut … the GREATEST differenceHave everlasting life … the GREATEST reward

Saturday - February 4, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study SATURDAY
BIBLE READING:  Acts 3:11-26

As a teacher and a student, I always looked forward to “back to school” time. I have always gotten excited about new notebooks, folders, and pencils because they reminded me I had the opportunity to start off with a clean slate. I always needed an  opportunity to start completely over because I didn’t always apply myself in school. 

Maybe that is why I love the blood of Jesus so much! At times, I feel that I really do not apply myself to the cause of Christ as much as I should, and I need a “do-over.” Everyday, every hour, and every minute I’m alive offers an opportunity to start over, to wipe the slate clean, and begin again like I am brand new! Peter tells us to, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). The phrase “blotted out” means “to smear out, that is, obliterate (erase), blot out, wipe away.” Those words are music to my ears. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed my s…

Friday - February 3, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study FRIDAY
Our apologies, but there is no Home Devo for Friday, February 3rd.  The file that was submitted was corrupted and would not open.

Thursday - February 2, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study THURSDAY
BIBLE READING:  Genesis 50:1-21

All eleven of them had a meeting. I’m not sure who was the spokesman, but one could assume it was Reuben. They had met before without their younger brother, but under totally different  circumstances. This time it wasn’t out of jealousy over their brother Joseph, but out of fear. Their father, Jacob, was now dead, and one of the brothers must have said, “Joseph was only playing nice as long as dad was alive. Now that dad is gone, he may very well turn on us, and repay the evil that we deserve!” Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery, caused him to spend a great deal of his life in prison, and made his father think he was dead. Who wouldn’t seek revenge? 

Joseph wouldn’t. When the brothers send word to Joseph to forgive them, he weeps and tells them they have nothing to worry about. Joseph says, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph understood the concept of the providence of …

Wednesday - February 1, 2017

Woodlawn Family Bible Study WEDNESDAY
BIBLE READING:  1 Peter 2:4-10

The next time you are at worship, take a look at those that are sitting around you. Among them you will find accountants, doctors, teachers, auto repairmen, custodians, secretaries, and some factory workers. If it were you, would you start a religious movement with all of these people? For the most part, if it were up to us, we would pick only people who were very educated, people who were charismatic, or people that had a great deal of influence within the community. Yet, that is the exact opposite of what Jesus did! 

Isn’t that interesting? Jesus chose a fisherman, a tax collector, and a zealot (I’m not even sure that you can be paid for that!). Jesus chose ordinary, average men to be his focal point, His core, and, yes, even the foundation of His ministry. They may not have been much to look at in the beginning, but in the end (or shall I say at the beginning of the church), people noticed something about these men th…