Online Communities Bible Study

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Ted Whitney

Ted Whitney

I am a Believer first, husband and dad.  Grab a Bible, notebook and pen and let's study the Word together.  God bless.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Don't Get Comfortable

When I walk into a furniture store and see a large sofa or recliner, my inclination is to walk over and sit down.  When I am invited to someone's house and the host says, "Make yourself comfortable", I usually do. 

We want to be comfortable.  We want to be comfortable in our cars, in our homes, in the back yard, on the bus, in the airplane, in church, at work, etc.  We want comfort in all areas of our life.  There is an area of our life that we really should not get comfortable in and that is in our pursuit of Biblical wisdom and in the area of knowing Jesus. 

Some folks are quite content with the way things are.  Friends, that may be a red flag.  We should be growing and maturing in our relationship with the Lord.  We should be talking about that process with our family, friends, and others.  Let's not get comfortable with the "I've always done it that way" attitude.  A relationship with Jesus requires growth and this includes some Bible reading, prayer, telling others about your faith in Jesus, fellowship, and more.

Joshua 1:8 reads, "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." ESV

We provide some Bible-Reading resources for our Online Community:

  1. This Week's Scripture Challenge
  2. Verse(s) of the Day
  3. Set up a Bible-Reading Plan
  4. Feedback from our Students
  5. Bible-Study Resources

Let's challenge each other to grow in our faith.  Have you been impacted by your Bible-reading?  Did you hear something in church or online that has brought you to a deeper faith in Christ?  Share with us - select "comments" below.   God bless.

Ted Whitney

Posted at 1:20 PM | Comments (1) | Permalink

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Time to Study

Well, the fall semester is under way.  Online students everywhere are reading, studying, preparing and are feeling the pressure of academics.  Students are trying to balance work, family, church, volunteer activities and so many events with their studies.

In the midst of your busy-ness, let me encourage you to find a quiet place and study.  Slip away, shut the door and open your books.

Look at Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

"Whatever you do"

  • Studying for that Math 115 exam
  • Writing that last-minute paper
  • Selecting the topic for a difficult course

"Work at it with all of your heart"

  • With all that is in me, not just 50%
  • Similar to an athlete who is striving for a goal
  • With as much effort (or more) as when I watch a great football game

"As working for the Lord"

Struggling?  Let's take some time to pray for each other today.  After prayer, let's open our books and get some studying done.  Do you want our online community to pray for you?  Share a request below (select "comments").  We'll make sure our Campus Pastors also see your request.

God bless.

Ted Whitney

Posted at 1:46 PM | Comments (13) | Permalink

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 Things We Know for Certain

Upon hearing about Robin Williams' death, my wife and I had a conversation with our three teenagers to remind them of what we know for certain.  Like so many others, I grew up watching Robin Williams on television and at the movies.  My kids have also enjoyed watching his movies.  We were deeply saddened as a family that someone who made millions of people smile and laugh could be so unhappy.

I think it is necessary for all of us to examine the Bible and remember what God promises us about this life.  Please read through these verses and reflect on what God is saying to you. 

  1. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us."  1 John 3:16a
  2. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  John 3:16
  3. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28
  4. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1:6
  5. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13
  6. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6
  7. "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9
  8. "This is the confidence which we have before Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."  1 John 5:14
  9. "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain."  1 Corinthians 15:58
  10. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8

Online Community, what would you add this to this list?  What other promises do we have?  Please share your thoughts below and share with a friend.  Someone may need to "hear" these verses today.

God bless.

Ted Whitney

Posted at 3:02 PM | Comments (10) | Permalink

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Solitary Place

Where is your quiet, solitary place to be alone with God?

It is interesting to read about Jesus leaving the crowds or getting up early to be alone so that He could pray.  Look at these passages:

Mark 1:35, " Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed."

Luke 6:12, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."

Hebrews 5:7, "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission."

Jesus took time out to be alone with God.  He prayed to His Father.  Jesus understood the necessity of getting away from the crowds, away from teaching, and even away from His family to pray.

Where do you go?  Do you get up before everybody else does in your house and have time alone in your living room?  God hears you.  Do you have prayer time in your car?  God hears you.   Kitchen?  Back yard?  God hears you.

Let's encourage each other in this matter.  Please comment below.  God bless.

Ted Whitney

Posted at 3:36 PM | Comments (16) | Permalink

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Call

Read Mark 1:16-20 with me.    16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”   18 At once they left their nets and followed Him.   19 When He had gone a little farther, He saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him."

Note the response of the disciples to Jesus' call. 

  • Verse 18 says, "At once they left their nets and followed Him."
  • Verse 20 says, ". . . and they left their father Zebedee in the boat. . ."

I wonder if the disciples would have responded the same if they had their eyes glued to their cell phones.

Sometimes my response to God's call is delayed and the reason for this is I am distracted.  For instance, this morning when I would normally open my Bible, I picked up my phone and read a couple of emails.  That was a mistake because I was immediately distracted from what was important.  Usually I place my phone by the door so that I pick it up on the way to the car; however, this morning the phone was on the coffee table near my Bible.  A routine of quiet Bible-reading and relationship-building was cut short due to my choices.  Lesson learned.

What is your distraction?  Are you willing to take responsibility and change some habits?  Jesus is calling each of us to a deeper relationship with Him and yet many of us ironically miss His call because we are completely distracted.  What are your thoughts about this subject?  I know it is a tough subject.  God bless.

Ted Whitney

Posted at 12:24 PM | Comments (16) | Permalink

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