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QUICKSTOP DEVOTIONALS

pointed biblical thoughts for today and tomorrow

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PROPITIOUS?

There are many common adjectives—perfect, personal, poor, popular, and practical, to name a few—that begin with "P." So why did I include "propitious" in the Describe-It-Yourself card set? (It is not one of the adjectives in the Apples to Apples ® game!)

Well, without it how could we ever describe the One who is favorable and gracious to us because of the blood of Christ (Romans 3:24-25)? -- For more on this, see the new final study on the Elisha page.

CLICK HERE FOR THE
ELISHA STUDIES PAGE

June 24, 2021

RUNNING COMMENTARIES

Running commentaries are sermons that go through a passage verse by verse but fail to effectively organize and emphasize the main points. They are full of disconnected details. By studying and grouping applicable "Describe It Yourself" cards, the emphasis and various connections in a passage becomes clear.

Notice that there are four main points in today's Rev. 21:1-22:5 diagram (below) and that related cards are placed next to or near each other. The New Jerusalem will be Different, Glorious, Relational, and Active. That is, it will have four main purposes.

It is important to study the various details in a given passage, but it is even more important to get "the big picture." Selected cards that fit a given passage can easily be grouped and arranged to help see what is stressed. Notes written on a large piece of paper in verse-by-verse order can not be rearranged nearly as easily.

Click here for a set of DESCRIBE-IT CARDS

June 14, 2021

Lessons from the Sinners in Romans Chapter One

How would you describe the sinners in Romans 1:18-32? After reading through the passage, think about what adjectives you would use before studying the photo below. Thirty-five of our 450 Describe-It cards are appropriate, but I selected eight of the best terms and cards for the photo below.

Did you choose "idolatrous" as one of your key terms? Good choice! This is included in my use of "ungodly" and "disloyal" above. The "secondary" card shows that as created beings we are "secondary" compared to the Creator. Therefore above all, sin is putting self before God. He created us to be useful to him, but when we put ourselves or society first we become "useless" and "unprofitable."

In this second photo, for better or for worse, the number of cards has been cut down to just four. Perhaps "immoral" should have been included, since there is so much about various kinds of immorality at the end of the chapter (1:29-31). The perversion of God's design for men and women in marriage should not be overlooked either (1:26-27). So maybe there would be six cards instead of just four.

The bottom line is that mankind was created to serve the Lord, but most people do not. As believers, we are different, but we must take care to put God first day by day. We do not need to fear being rejected like the ungodly, but if we do not put the Lord first day by day, he will reject our works and we will lose rewards (1 Cor. 3:13-16).

Click here for a set of DESCRIBE-IT CARDS

June 10, 2021

A Special Passive Command

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 

How would you describe 1 Peter 5:6? Seven Describe-It cards are used to describe it on two levels in this photo. The four cards on the upper level, represent God's powerful protection and his promise to justly honor his faithful servants in due time, according to his will.

On the lower level, three cards show that 1 Peter 5:6 is about the humbling process that takes place in daily life. In this, we believers must cooperate with God in line with his command. We can not actually humble ourselves, but we can and must cooperate with God as he humbles us through trials and persecution. He does the humbling, but we must cooperate with him. So the command to humble yourself in this verse is actually a special semi-passive one.

Please print out and use your own set of Describe-It-Yourself cards to think about this verse and others. You will see more and more of God's wonderful promises and design as you do so.

Click here for a set of DESCRIBE-IT CARDS

June 9, 2021

What is that in your hand?

Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared to you. 4:2 And the LORD said to him, What is that in your hand? And he said, A rod. 4:3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 

How would you describe God's question to Moses in Exodus 4:2? There are 500 cards in the Describe-It-Yourself set to choose from, but today we will limit our study to terms that begin with the letter "P." After reading Exodus 4:1-5, think about how the terms on the cards below are appropriate. Which one is your favorite?

God's question in Exodus 4:2 was personal and physical, since it was addressed to Moses alone and was about the physical object (a shepherd's rod) that was in his hand. Though the Lord could have been angry because of Moses' doubts (4:1), he was not. So his question in 4:2 was positive, and the rod provided Moses with practical help. This was also providential since God had worked in Moses life in a special way so that he was holding such a rod.

When we apply Exodus 4:2 personally to our individual lives, God's question becomes a probing one, causing us to think about how he has led each of us and placed various things, abilities, and gifts in our hands. If we are willing to turn these over to him, he may surprise us greatly, as he did Moses, with how he guides and uses that which we have taken for granted.

If you print out your own set of Describe-It-Yourself cards and go through them as you think about this passage and others, you will be challenged even more.

Click here for a set of DESCRIBE-IT CARDS

June 8, 2021

1 Corinthians 15:58

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 

How would you describe this wonderful, encouraging verse? There are 500 cards in the Describe-It-Yourself set to choose from, including "wonderful" and "encouraging," but today we will limit the study to cards and terms that begin with the letter "C." After reading the verse and its context, think about how the terms on the cards below are appropriate. Which one is your favorite?

The verse is corrective because most Greeks / ordinary Corinthians did not believe in physical resurrection, and it is climactic because verse 58 comes at the end of chapter 15, Paul's great doctrinal defense of resurrection. Our verse contains commands, but it is comforting and encouraging because the Lord Jesus was victorious over death (15:57). Standing firm in the faith (15:58, 16:13) therefore is being confident of the gospel (15:3) and thereby joyfully abounding in the Lord's service. Love for other believers is involved in this. Notice how the verse begins and compare it with the commands in 16:13-14 which echo chapter 13.

If you print out your own set of Describe-It-Yourself cards and go through them as you think about this verse and others, you will be encouraged even more.

Click here for a set of DESCRIBE-IT CARDS

June 7, 2021

WE ALL NEED COUNSELING!
Adding Self-Control to Knowledge

Today's devotional is a thought-provoking 9 minute video on the meaning of self-control (temperance) in 2 Peter 1:6 and on how to add self-control to knowledge. It also demonstrates a way of using the Describe-It cards in teaching. Click the button below to view the video.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 1:6 and to knowledge self-control (temperance); and to self-control (temperance) patience; and to patience godliness; 

Video on Adding
Self-control to Knowledge
in 2 Peter 1:6

Adding self-control requires dealing with personal sin and bad habits. So it is biblical counseling. This is often self-counseling, but the link between knowledge and self-control in Peter's system is the essence of what biblical counseling is all about.

June 5, 2021

Adding KNOWLEDGE to Virtue

Today's devotional is an important and thought-provoking 13 minute video on the meaning of knowledge in 2 Peter 1:5 and on how to add knowledge to your virtue. It also demonstrates a way of using the Describe-It cards in teaching. Click the button below to view the video.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

Video on Adding
KNOWLEDGE to VIRTUE
in 2 Peter 1:5

The Scriptures are thought-provoking, and this is a key factor in adding biblical knowledge to our lives.

June 2, 2021

Adding VIRTUE to Faith

Today's devotional is a six minute video on the meaning of virtue in 2 Peter 1:5 and on how to add virtue to your faith. It also demonstrates a way of using the Describe-It cards in teaching. Click the button below to view the video.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

Video on Adding
VIRTUE TO FAITH
in 2 Peter 1:5

June 1, 2021

EARLIER DEVOTIONALS

Click on the various buttons below to view devotionals recorded in previous months.

© 2021 by Jon F. Mahar, Hakusan City, Japan