Lord, It Must Break Your Heart to Watch Your Children Destroy Themselves—Jeremiah 44:7

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:30, Ezekiel 33:21-33

Heavenly Father, throughout Your Word You have given us clues into Your heart. You are the first parent. Many times in the Bible we see Your  parent’s heart. Just like human parents, You experience great joy and extreme sadness because of  Your children’s choices.

In this verse we saw one of Your painful days as a parent.

And now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, asks you: Why are you destroying yourselves? For not one of you will survive—not a man, woman, or child among you who has come here from Judah, not even the babies in your arms. —Jeremiah 44:7

Father, reading this verse makes me sad for You and it makes me sad for parents who are watching their children self-destruct as I write this prayer.

It’s tough to watch those we love endure pain and suffering that is not of their choosing.

But

It’s worse to watch our children make conscious choices to self-destruct and take their families along with them.

Lord, there’s a great lesson in this verse. You allowed Your children to bear the consequences of their choices, even though You could have forced them to do what You knew was best for them.

Today’s parents think protecting our children and alleviating their suffering is what good parents do. Many parents spend their whole lives exhausting their time, money, and health trying to save children who do not want to be saved.

Jesus, You came to this earth to pay the price for our sins and give us eternal life.

But

You did not take away our ability to choose life or death, heaven or hell, or safety or self-destruction.

Father, teach parents to train their children as You train Your children:

Choices = Consequences

Lord, help us to learn from Your example.

Comfort us as only You can when our children choose the road to self-destruction.

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: Ezekiel 34:1-36:38

Lord, Restore Me. Give Me Back the Joy I Once Had—Lamentations 5:21

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

Heavenly Father, Jeremiah was praying for the Israelites in this verse. Your Word amazes me. It was written thousands of years ago, yet it sounds like it’s a prayer for today.

Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!
Give us back the joys we once had! —Lamentations 5:21

Lord, just like Your children in Jeremiah’s day, we need to be restored. Our world is broken. Our country is broken. Your children are broken.

I am broken.

Lord, pull me in close. Restore me. Give me back the joy I once had.

Restoration must happen in me before it can happen to my world around 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: Jeremiah 41:1-44:30, Ezekiel 33:21-33

Lord, You Aren’t the Only One One Who Has Plans for Me—Lamentations 3:61

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Heavenly Father, when I hear the word “plans,” Jeremiah 29:11 immediately comes to mind. Jeremiah spoke these words to give hope and encouragement to the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11

In today’s scripture reading Jeremiah laments over the plans his enemies had made for him.

Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made. —Lamentations 3:61

Lord, You aren’t the only one who has plans for me.

The enemy of my soul has plans

and

I have my own selfish plans and desires.

Thankfully, Your plans trump all other plans but I must admit, many times I unknowingly work against Your plans. I either want my way or I take the bait Satan uses to entice me.

But, the plans of Satan and my flesh can lead to confusion and poor choices. Yes, You will use it all to get YOUR plans accomplished (Romans 8:28) but the pain and suffering from following MY desires instead of seeking Your Will is something I’d like to avoid.

Lord, I’m tired of learning from my mistakes.

Holy Spirit, these words immediately came to mind as I typed the previous sentence.

Seek

Wait

Listen

Obey

Lord, these verses put these four words into a daily plan. Walking out Proverbs 3:5-6  is the way to avoid choosing the wrong plans.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord accomplish Your plans in my life today!

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: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

Lord, Rescue My Friends From Their Deepest Fear—Jeremiah 39:15-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 39:11-18, Jeremiah 40:1-6, 2 Kings 25:8-21, Jeremiah 52:12-27, 2 Chronicles 36:15-21, Lamentations 1:1-22

Heavenly Father, when I read this passage I immediately thought of  a special couple. The husband is battling stage four cancer and the wife is battling her greatest fears. They been together since they were teenagers and look forward to growing old together.

The Lord had given the following message to Jeremiah while he was still in prison:  “Say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I have threatened. I will send disaster, not prosperity. You will see its destruction, but I will rescue you from those you fear so much. Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” —Jeremiah 39:15-18

Just like Ebed-melech theEthiopian, who rescued Jeremiah from the cistern, they have served You well. They’ve served You as pastors and now during the midst of this two-year cancer battle they have opened their home to many missionary families. There home is like a bed and breakfast retreat for missionaries who are home on fur-low. When I visit them my desire to serve You through life’s tough times is strengthened. I always leave inspired and encouraged.

Jesus, rescue them from their fear and keep them safe. Give this mighty man of God his life as a reward.

There are many others who are suffering with fear of a shortened life because of illness. Lord, please add each of their names to this prayer.

Lord, hear my prayer,

In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Lord, Sometimes Serving You Seems Complicated—Ezekiel 28:2-5

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Heavenly Father, sometimes serving You seems complicated. In Proverbs, Solomon tells us to get wisdom and understanding:

Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them. —Proverbs 4:5 (NIV)

Then in today’s reading Ezekiel pronounces judgement on the city of Tyre because their wisdom and understanding led to great wealth, which resulted in pride. The end result of their wisdom and understanding was self-actualization gone wild…

“Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:

“In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god!
I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’
But you are only a man and not a god,
though you boast that you are a god.
You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel
and think no secret is hidden from you.
With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth—
gold and silver for your treasuries.
Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich,
and your riches have made you very proud.

Ezekiel 28:2-5

Satan’s favorite tool, pride is always lurking around the next corner. I have jumped on the pride train more times than I’d like to admit.  I would never think that I was seeing myself as god during those times. But acting like I know more than You, the God who made me, must look like a “god attitude” to You.

Jesus, life is only complicated when we try to do it without You. Holy Spirit, without Your teaching and counsel we will go overboard. We start to think we’re did it all by ourselves.

I must never forget that You and You alone are the source of all wisdom, understanding, and wealth. Lord, when I see these things in my life, help me to be reminded that You are God and I am not! All good things come from You! (James 1:17)

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: Jeremiah 39:11-18, Jeremiah 40:1-6, 2 Kings 25:8-21, Jeremiah 52:12-27, 2 Chronicles 36:15-21, Lamentations 1:1-22

Lord, Forgive Me for the Times I Don’t Walk in Peace—Jeremiah 33:9

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 32:1-33:26, Ezekiel 26:1-14

Heavenly Father, when I read this scripture so many thoughts run through my head: Our country, the importance of living a life  of peace as it relates to causing people to know You, the awesome power of peace, and Your definition of prosperity versus the world’s definition.

Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them. —Jeremiah 33:9

Jesus, I know there won’t be peace in this world until You come back but Lord You do promise us peace in our hearts and minds as Your children.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. —John 14:27

Lord, true prosperity is much more than wealth, property, and stuff. I wonder if Jeremiah and the Jews of his day realized economic prosperity was dependent of the prosperity of their soul. 

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth —3 John 1:2 (KJV)

Lord, this kind of peace is what causes the lost world to want to know You.

Lord, forgive me for the times I don’t walk in peace. I’m sorry I sometimes allow the cares of this world overwhelm me.

Today’s a new day! I refuse to live a life that is less than Your best for 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: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Lord, Thank You for Understanding My Anger—Jeremiah 21:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 24:15-25:17, Jeremiah 34:1-22, Jeremiah 21:1-14, Ezekiel 29:1-16, Ezekiel 30:20-31:18

Heavenly Father, I would never think that because You have a certain feeling, emotion, or thought it gives me permission to feel or think like You. After all, You are God and I am not. But this verse lets me know that You really understand me. You feel all the emotions Your creation feels.

 

I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry. You have made me furious! —Jeremiah 21:5

Lord, I’ve been in an angry season for a while. I know that may surprise some of my readers but it doesn’t surprise You. Yes, I know the verse about not letting the sun go down on my anger (Ephesians 4:25-26). I don’t want to be angry, I know I shouldn’t be angry, but I’m angry. No, I’m more than angry—I’m furious!

Yes, I can pretend not to be angry but that is a lie so instead Lord, each day I’m bringing my anger to You, asking You to help me work through it. I’m asking You to use Your Word to convict me and love me at the same time. My pain in very deep and I’m asking for mercy and grace as I process the hurt.

Lord, I KNOW I will release the anger and walk in true forgiveness. It’s just a matter of time but I’m not there at this moment.

Holy Spirit, help me to let it go. I don’t just want to be free of my anger I want to be full of Your love.

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: Jeremiah 32:1033:26, Ezekiel 26:1-14

Lord, Strengthen Me to Bear the Consequences of My Mistakes—Ezekiel 23:35

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 22:17-23:49, 2 Kings 24:20b-25:2, Jeremiah 52:3b-5, Jeremiah, 39:1, Ezekiel, 24:1-14

 

Heavenly Father, I know the message You gave Ezekiel was directed at the Jews during their exile to Babylon but I also know that consequences weren’t just reserved for the Your rebellious children of long ago.

“And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.” —Ezekiel 23:35

The principle of consequence goes all the way back to Adam. We are still bearing the consequences of his sin. Because of Adam’s poor choice every baby born into this world is born into sin.

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. —Romans 5:12

But because of Your love for us, You sent Your son so that we don’t have to bear the consequences of Adam’s sin.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. —Romans 5:17

Jesus, it’s easy to feel free from my mistakes because of Your sacrifice. It sure would be nice not to have to deal with the consequences of  my poor decisions.

But Your Word says otherwise:

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. —Galatians 6:7-8

Jesus, I’ve made so many mistakes but because of Your love and sacrifice, my past, present, and future sins are forgiven. All I have to do is admit them and ask for Your forgiveness.

And then…

I have to deal with the consequences.

Sometimes, Your grace and mercy completely blot out the consequences of my mistakes but most of the time consequences are Your tools to teach, train, and grow me.

Lord, strengthen me to bear the consequences of my mistakes with grace and trust. Help me to learn from them quickly and never make the same mistake again. Use my mistakes and their consequences to get Your will accomplished in my life.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. —Romans 8:28

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: Ezekiel 24:15-25:17, Jeremiah 34:1-22, Jeremiah 21:1-14, Ezekiel 29:1-16, Ezekiel 30:20-31:18

Lord, Display Your Holiness Through Me—Ezekiel 20:41-42

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 20:1-22:16

Heavenly Father, the word holiness brings back all kinds of memories: A preacher my parents watched on Sunday mornings, bare faces, long skirts and sneakers, up-dos and long hair, Mrs, Holley the lunchroom lady at my school, the church next to my house as a teenager…too many to list.

My memories were mostly about people’s efforts to display their holiness. I’ve never thought You were displaying Your holiness through their lives except maybe Mrs Holley, the lunchroom lady. She seemed like an angel to me.

When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. —Ezekiel 20:41-42

I looked up the word holiness in my Bible dictionary and it means to be consecrated, dedicated, set apart. Lord, I want to be consecrated, dedicated and set apart for You. I want Your holiness displayed in my life.

This passage says YOU will display YOUR holiness. Is there anything I need to do?

Lord, You don’t really answer my question in these verses but I think You’ve answered it over and over in our journey through Your Word this year.

If I…

Listen

and

Obey

Then…

You will do the rest.

Lord, I’m trusting You to display Your holiness through me as the world watches.

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: Ezekiel 22:17-23:49, 2 Kings 24:20b-25:2, Jeremiah 52:3b-5, Jeremiah 39:1, Ezekiel 24:1-14

Lord, Thank You for Doing Away With Generational Curses—Ezekiel 18:19-22

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 17:1-19:14

Heavenly Father, there are Christian teachings going around that give detailed instructions in removing generational curses. Yes, at the time of the Exodus the parents’ sins affected future generations.

You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. —Exodus 20:5

But, in today’s scripture reading You moved the Israelites to a new place in their relationship with You. You taught them a new concept: Our righteousness or lack there of is a one-on-one thing between You and Your creation. It’s not my mama or daddy’s fault. It’s not the church’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s just me and You God.

“‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. —Ezekiel 18:19-22

Yes, genetics and the environment determined by the parents affect their children but they aren’t doomed by a curse. I know many people whose terrible childhood propelled them to do great things. In some ways it was more of a blessing than a curse.

Father, today’s nugget of gold in Your Word is just one more reason I love reading Your Bible chronologically—I get to see the evolution of mankind’s relationship with You:

Step 1. My parents/previous generations determine my righteousness. (Exodus 20:5)

Step 2. I am responsible for my righteousness. (Ezekiel 18:19-22)

Step 3. I am failing miserably at being righteous. (The Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi)

Step 4. No one is righteous (Romans 3:10)

Step 5. Through Jesus’ sacrifice I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

Jesus, my parent’s righteousness is worthless, my righteousness is worthless but I am the righteousness of God because of Your love and sacrifice for me!

I Love You!

Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 20:1-22:16

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