Lord, I Need an Idea-Nehemiah 7:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Heavenly Father, I am continually amazed at the simplicity of Your Word.  Yes, there were times when You parted the waters, raised the dead, and killed the giants, but there were also times when You just gave someone an idea!

At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt. So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. 

Nehemiah 7:4-5

Nehemiah’s job was done. The wall was complete; everyone inside was safe, right?

Not exactly.

Nehemiah knew very well that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the number and valour of the inhabitants than upon the height or strength of its walls.

Nehemiah knew what was needed–the Jews to return to the city, but what he didn’t know how to get them to come home.

Until You gave him the idea…

Lord, You’ve given me some great ideas in my life. Some that completely changed the course of my life. Forgive me for taking credit for “Your ideas.”  Help me to be like Nehemiah and recognize Your ideas and then tell the world that You are the “idea giver!”

Lord, I don’t know what today holds. I know things will come up that I don’t know how to handle. I’ll be waiting for You to send me a great idea!

 

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Lord, Help Me to Think It Over—Nehemiah 5:6-7

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Heavenly Father, thank You for Nehemiah’s example of dealing with conflict.

When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem. —Nehemiah 5:6-7

In today’s reading Nehemiah was angry. He wasn’t just angry he was VERY angry. Not only was he angry, he was tired, stressed, and dirty; not the best conditions to exhibit self-control.

Anger happens. It rises up in us as a knee-jerk reaction to the circumstances around us. To suppress our anger and pretend to be “fine” isn’t healthy, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Neither is allowing anger to empower us to lash out at those who make us angry or take it out on the first person we see.

Nehemiah chose a different path. He chose to think it over.

Lord, “thinking it over” is a choice. In times of extreme anger it’s not the easy choice, it’s sometimes not the choice I want to make. In my anger I’d rather lash out and “share my pain” with the person or persons whose actions, or lack of actions have caused my blood to boil.

Lord, through Nehemiah You gave us a great example of the appropriate way to confront difficult situations and deal with our anger. Help me to remember these four steps the next time I’m overcome with anger:

Step 1: Acknowledge my anger

Step 2: Thinks it over

Step 3: Confronts the situation calmly and sensibly

Step 4: Finds a solution

 

Lord, Your Word is so relevant for my life. I’m constantly amazed by You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Lord, Revive Me for Your Purpose—Ezra 9:9

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 9:1-10:44, Nehemiah 1:1-2:20

Heavenly Father, You spared a remnant of Your people for a purpose. They may have thought they were coming home to settle down to a way of life that was secure, familiar, and comfortable but You had other something bigger in mind. Your people were revived for a purpose.

For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem. —Ezra 9:9

Lord, when I think of the word revive, my first thought goes to the defibrillator machines hospitals use to shock a person’s heart into beating properly. I would think the Jewish exiles needed a supernatural jolt to revive them to have the energy, passion, or strength to rebuild the Temple.

Holy Spirit, like the Jews returning from exile, I need to be revived. The world is a hard place these days and it’s easy to allow discouragement to leave us feeling overwhelmed.  I need to be revived by Your supernatural power.  Lord, I don’t just ask this for my comfort. My greatest desire is to be revived and anointed to carry out the plans You have for me.

Lord, I know You have a purpose for this day. Revive me, then use me for Your Glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Lord, Please Lay Your Hand of Blessing on My Life Today—Ezra-7:6-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 4:7-23, Ezra 7:1-8:36

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading King Artaxerxes of Persia ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem to be stopped. He thought the rebuilding would harm his interests (Ezra 4:17-22). Years later this same king gave Your servant Ezra everything he asked for as he led the second group of exiles home to Jerusalem.

What changed?

Your gracious hand of blessing and favor came upon Ezra and that season.

This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him. —Ezra 7:6

Lord, I’m not sure I can expect to have Your hand of favor on every season of my life, but it’s definitely my desire. Ezra knew You through Your Word and because of that Your gracious hand was upon him.

He had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year,and he arrived at Jerusalem on August 4, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. —Ezra 7:9-10

Lord, I want to know You. I want to move when You say move, speak when you say speak, and be silent when you say hush! :-)

I want Your gracious hand of blessing and favor on my life today. If there something I need to start, stop, or change, please show me.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 9:1-10:44, Nehemiah 1:1-2:20

Lord, Thank You for the Prayer Lesson from Queen Esther—Esther 8:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Esther 5:1-10:3

Heavenly Father, when I read Esther’s request to King Xerxes I immediately thought, what a humble and gracious way to make a request. My second thought was how much more respect You, the King of this world deserve than an earthly king.

Then Esther went again before the king, falling down at his feet and begging him with tears to stop the evil plot devised by Haman the Agagite against the Jews. Again the king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So she rose and stood before him.

Esther said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am *pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, who ordered that Jews throughout all the king’s provinces should be destroyed. For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?” —Esther 8:3-6

Today’s culture of casualness has definitely made its way into the church. We would rather think of You as our friend (John 15:14-16) than our ruler and king. You are our friend, our ruler, our king, our savior, and so much more; because of that You deserve our honor and worship. Jesus, teach me how to have an intimate, yet respectful relationship with You. I don’t want to forget that You are the ruler of my life and this world. You have the last word. This is Your Kingdom (Luke 4:43) not mine.

Esther considered it an honor just to be accepted into her king’s presence. There were no demands, no “name-it-claim-its,” and no expectations. She was humble, thankful, and respectful.

Her request was simple:

–If it please You

–If I have found favor with You

–If You think it’s right

–If you approve (*meaning of second pleasing)

And then she shared her request.

Esther wasn’t praying to You that day. In fact, Your Name isn’t mentioned in the book of Esther, but I see You in this book. I see a powerful lesson on prayer.

Lord, I have a special request I’m bringing to You today.

–If it please You

–If I have found favor with You

–If You think it’s right

–If You approve of my request

Then, please answer my prayer.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 4:7-23, Ezra 7:1-8:36

Lord, Help Me to Be Silent—Esther 4:13-17

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22, Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-4:14

Heavenly Father, unlike Esther I have more problems keeping quiet than speaking my mind. This is one reason I admire Esther so much. She is who I want to be when I grow up. Unfortunately, I always have an opinion, love to give advice and spend many night’s reliving my words and regretting ever opening my mouth—not at all like Esther.

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” —Esther 4:13-14

Esther continually sought the advice of others (Esther 2:10, 15, 20, Esther 4:13-17). I wonder if it was because she didn’t like to make decisions, didn’t trust her judgment, or because of the culture of the day.

Lord, the thing I find interesting about Your plan for humans is no matter how we come into this world,  there’s opportunity for growth. Life tempers the bossy and prideful and empowers the submissive and humble.

That seemed to be the case for Esther. You took a beautiful, shy, orphan and gave her the courage to say…

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. —Esther 4:15-17

Jesus, at this time in my life I believe You’re calling me to silence. My advice is not needed, it’s not part of Your plan. It’s as hard for me to be silent as it was for Esther to stand up for her people. The only way I can do it  is with Your help.

Today, I will refrain from giving advice. I will silently wait and watch You work.

I trust You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Esther 5:1-10:3

Lord, You Are My Strength—Zechariah 12:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

Heavenly Father, I don’t feel strong.

You’re probably thinking, “Finally. Just like the people of Jerusalem, she’s worn herself down and come to the end of her false sense of strength. Now I can be her strength. Now I can take over.”

And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, their God.’ —Zechariah 12:5

Lord, I will find strength in You alone.

 

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When I am weak, You are my strength.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22, Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-4:17

Lord, Thank You for Watching Over Me—Ezra 5:5

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15, Ezra 5:3-6:14a, Zechariah 7:1-8:23

Heavenly Father, knowing that You see everything I do and know every thought I have is both comforting and scary. You know the best and worst of me. You are constantly watching over me.

But because their God was watching over them, the leaders of the Jews were not prevented from building until a report was sent to Darius and he returned his decision. —Ezra 5:5

I would rather You know the good, bad, and ugly than to take Your eyes off me for one second.

There have been so many times, like the Jews in today’s reading ,You watched over me and intervened in my life and made a way where they seemed to be no way.

Lord, You see me. You know where I am. You know what I’m feeling. You know the places I’m struggling. You know where You are taking me.

Your presence in every moment of my day is my greatest gift.

Thank You for watching over me.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

Lord, Bring Peace to this Place—Haggai 2:6-9

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:1-9, Zechariah 1:1-6, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra 5:2, Haggai 2:20-23, Zechariah 1:7-5:11

Heavenly Father, on this somber day as we remember the tragedy of 9-11, my heart longs for peace.

“For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” —Haggai 2:6-9

Lord, there’s so much hope in these verses. The exiles were returning home. They were looking at a temple leveled to ground zero, wondering how to begin again and You promised to bring peace. You promised the future glory to be greater than the past glory. Lord, let this come to pass in our nation. Bring peace to this place. Let our reputation as a Christian nation who worships and serves You be greater in the future than it’s been in the past.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

In Jesus Name. Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15, Ezra 5:3-6:14a, Zechariah 7:1-8:23

 

Lord, I’ve Lost My Enthusiasm—Haggai 1:14-15

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

Heavenly Father, I know the power of enthusiasm. God-given enthusiasm has been one of the most important tools in my life as a leader. But these days I’m at a place where my enthusiasm fire has almost burned out.

So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign. —Haggai 1:14-15

Lord, I believe Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the remnant of Your people who were returning from exile were burned out as well. I can just imagine what it must have been like to dream for years to return to their homeland, only to find the city, temple, and walls completely destroyed when that day finally arrived.

They must have thought, “where do you start when everything around You has been leveled to the ground?”

Lord, I understand this feeling. Just like Your people returning from exile, You’ve given me knowledge, skills, and abilities to do what You’ve called me to but the job seems overwhelming, especially since I’ve lost my passion and enthusiasm—My “want to” is gone!

Jesus, spark my enthusiasm, like You did for Your people returning to their homeland. Fan the ambers of my heart and get me going again. Ignite my love for people and my desire to help them. Move me from burned out to fired up. Lord do this for the honor of Your Name and the Glory of Your Kingdom.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:1-9, Zechariah 1:1-6, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra 5:2, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra, 5:2, Haggai 2:20-23, Zechariah 1:7-5:11

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