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Lord, I’m in a Battle. I Need Your Help—1 Chronicles 5:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b, 49, 4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28

Heavenly Father, it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Some nights I just can’t turn off my brain. I’m fine until I get in the horizontal position and then it starts. The lists; to-do lists, project lists, and lists of things troubling my mind. No, I’m not in a physical battle like the armies of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh but there’s a battle—it’s in my mind.

They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him. So the Hagrites and all their allies were defeated. —1 Chronicles 5:20

Lord, I’m crying out to You. There are some really big needs in my life. I can’t solve these problems. If You don’t show up we will be lost. We will lose the battle.

During my sleepless times I analyze these needs, looks for ways to fix them, tell myself to “let it go,” pray, and attempt to rest in Your peace.  I tell myself to trust You–You’ve got this.

But, sometimes I can’t “let it go.” I can’t rest in Your peace.

I know it’s my problem. I know it’s a lack of trust.

Lord, You are trustworthy. You’ve proven over and over that You always have my best interest in everything You allow to come into my life. You work this out for Your Glory and my good. Holy Spirit, I know there are things You are trying to teach me during these battles. I want to be a fast learner. Speak loudly and clearly.

Help me to trust You with my whole heart.

Lord, I give my list of battles to You. I am trusting You with the outcome.

Jesus, hear my prayer.

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading; 1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1a, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37

Lord, Are You Really Watching Me? –Psalm 11:4


Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 2:1-9; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Kings 2:10-12; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30; Psalms 4-6; Psalms 8-9, 11

Heavenly Father, it’s hard for me to fathom David’s statement:

But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth.  —Psalm 11:4

Lord, You see ME?  You see me!  You examine EVERY person on earth.

How do You do that?

God, what do You think when You see me?

It’s hard to grasp the fact that you see ALL of me:  The Good, the bad, the ugly…and You still love me–Amazing!

Lord, I pray that I’m pleasing to You.  I know Your love for me isn’t dependent upon my goodness, but I want my life to honor You.  I hope that when You examine me You see growth.

Father, as you watch me today let me know You are close.  Smile down on my life today.  Lord, I pray that I’m a reflection of You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 12-17; Psalms 19-21

Lord, Help Me to be Willing–1 Chronicles 29:6

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:1-22; 1 Kings 1:1-53

Heavenly Father, sometimes I have an attitude problem.  Sometimes I’m just not willing to give of my time, talents, or treasure.  Sometimes I just want it to be about me.

As David said so well, everything we are and everything we have is because of You…

“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!  But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!  We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.  —1 Chronicles 29:13-15

Lord, I join with David in praying, “…make Your people (me) always want to obey You.”  –1 Chronicles 29:18

Father, I bring everything You’ve given me to You.  Take it, use it for Your Glory.  Lord, help me to be willing.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 2:1-9; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Kings 2:10-12; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30; Psalms 4-6; Psalms 8-9, 11

Lord, I Want to Know You Intimately–1 Chronicles 28:9

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 26:1-28:21

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading David charged his son Solomon to learn to know You intimately.

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.  —1 Chronicles 28:9

Lord, it sounds like “knowing You intimately” is a learned skill, but now that I think about it, knowing anyone intimately is a learned skill.

Lord, in this verse. King David, a man who knew You intimately gave us four things to remember as we seek God in our daily lives:

What we’re to do:

1) Worship

and

2) serve You

How we’re to do it:

with

3) my whole heart

and

4) willing mind

Lord, I want to know you intimately.  I want to know You so well that I think like You, act like You, and most importantly, love like You.

Jesus, teach me.  Train me.  Lord, communicate with me.  Holy Spirit, draw me to Your Word.

Lord, I give You my heart and my mind.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:1-22; 1 Kings 1:1-53

Lord, Help Me Serve You in Every Season–1 Chronicles 23:1-5

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 23:1-25:31

Heavenly Father, I’m in a new season of my life.  I know it’s not time to sit down. Lord, You are showing me that serving well in this season comes from assessing my talents, passions, health, energy level, commitments, and the needs around me while remembering that just because I “can” do something does not mean I should do it. Lord, I’m learning to say “no.” While all these things are important, the most important piece of serving well in any season is asking You for Your plans and guidance before we commit and waiting until we get an answer. If we don’t get an answer, we either continue to wait or consider it a “no.” I don’t remember anytime in Your Word when no answer from You was a “yes.”

In the earlier years of my life I said “yes” and then ask You to bless it. Holy Spirit, I want to be led by You.

Lord, I don’t want to miss Your best for this season of my life. Help me to ask You and wait for Your “yes” before I commit.

Thank you for David’s example.

When David was an old man, he appointed his son Solomon to be king over Israel. David summoned all the leaders of Israel, together with the priests and Levites.  All the Levites who were thirty years old or older were counted, and the total came to 38,000. Then David said, “From all the Levites, 24,000 will supervise the work at the Temple of the Lord. Another 6,000 will serve as officials and judges. Another 4,000 will work as gatekeepers, and 4,000 will praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have made.

1 Chronicles 23:1-5

Father, while I don’t consider myself an old woman, David’s continuing passion to serve you in his final years is inspiring and instructional to me.  There is no retirement in our life as a Christian.

Lord, thank you for the confidence I have that You will make Your plans clear for me. Give me boldness to step out when You speak!

You are my strong tower! (Proverbs 18:10)

 

In Your Name I pray.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 26:1-28:21

Lord, I Don’t Want to Be a Fake—2 Samuel 24:22-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 24:1-9, 1 Chronicles 21:1-6, 2 Samuel 24:10-17, 1 Chronicles 21:7-17, 2 Samuel 24:18-25, 1 Chronicles 21:18-22:19

Heavenly Father, David’s heart was always tender toward You. He wanted to be the one who paid the price for the offering. Lord, it doesn’t seem as if You were demanding David make the purchase with his own money. I think David believed gifts only mean something when we purchased them ourselves. His gratitude and love for You demanded that he pay the price.

“Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. —2 Samuel 24:22-24

I’ve had times when someone gave a gift and just added my name to the card. It didn’t feel like I have given anything, I really felt like a fake.

I think that’s the way many people feel in churches across America. We go to church and watch the worship leader give his or her gifts. We’re just a spectator but we don’t look like a spectator. We sing along, and sometimes raise our hands but in our heart we feel like a fake.

We’re just going through the motions because we really haven’t brought our own, personal, costly offering. We haven’t drawn a line in the sand and said, “I will not present an offering to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” Yes, we believe in You but we have given You our own, special, personal gift. Jesus, we haven’t given You our heart.

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Lord, help us not to be a fake worshiper. Help us to worship You from a heart of love and adoration, not out of duty or peer pressure. Help us to have our own, personal and unique worship experience.

Here’s my heart Lord.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 23:1-25:31

Lord, I Don’t Want to Be a Troublemaker—2 Samuel 20:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 19:31-20:26, Psalm 7, 2 Samuel 21:1-22, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8

Heavenly Father, these words jumped off the page at me: There happened to be a troublemaker. 

How terrible to be recognized in Your Word as a troublemaker!

There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:

“Down with the dynasty of David!
We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
back to your homes!” —2 Samuel 20:1

Lord, there have been times in my life when being a troublemaker was my claim to fame. Just like Sheba I made trouble with my mouth. It’s always been a challenge. It was so bad when I was in my 30s that the Holy Spirit felt I needed a scripture song to remind me to keep my mouth shut unless it met the following criteria:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. —Philippians 4:8-9

These verses were set to music and I heard them over and over in my head. It was so convicting that I had to keep myself completely away from some of my friends because I couldn’t control my mouth when I was around them. I’m sad to admit this, but it’s true.

Lord, I don’t want to allow the sin of gossip to creep into my life. I realize that an emotion that feeds gossip is jealousy.  I actually had this happen yesterday and felt emotions, entertained thoughts, and made comments that were traits of a troublemaker.

Jesus, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for convicting me quickly. Forgive me and help me to go straight to You when feelings of jealousy creep into my life.

Lord, help me to remember this formula:  Jealousy + gossip = a full-fledged troublemaker

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s  Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Psalm 18

Lord, Thank You For Observant Friends–2 Samuel 14:1

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:26-31; 1 Chronicles 20:2-3; 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33

Heavenly Father, I’m not sure that King David and Joab were friends, but Joab definitely acted like a friend in today’s story.

Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.  Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.  —2 Samuel 14:1-3

Lord, we all have times in our lives when we need someone to help us get our head on straight.  Sometimes we’re just too close to the situation, we truly “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Jesus, thank you for using my friends to encourage, challenge, trouble-shoot, counsel and correct.  Lord, help me to be that kind of friend.  Give me the grace and mercy to be a friend that builds others up, always.  Teach me to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to my friends AND family.

Lord, help me to be a “Joab” kind of friend to someone today!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 15:1-17:14

Lord, Give Me Back My Joy–Psalm 51:8


Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 20:1; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14; Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12:15-25; 2 Samuel 5:14-16; 1 Chronicles 14:3-7; 1 Chronicles 3:5-9

Heavenly Father, the joy that comes when we know that all is well in our relationship with You is something nothing else in this world can replace.  David knew this joy, but in today’s reading it was gone.  Sin was standing between David and his God.

Lord, thank you for inspiring David to write Psalm 51.  Through his mistakes and repentance, You taught us how to pour our hearts out to You when we sin.  Through David You taught us how to get our joy back.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh,
give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.

Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. —Psalm 51: 7-12

Lord, I know there are friends reading these words whose joy is gone because of someone else’s sin, or just the struggles of day-to-day life.  Holy Spirit, help them to know that the instructions are the same…

When we lose our joy, go to God and ask Him to restore our joy…

ask Him to rebuild our heart…

ask Him to forgive us of our bitterness and renew the right spirit within us.

 

Father, we rejoice in the joy of our salvation today!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:26-31; 1 Chronicles 20:2-3; 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33

Lord, Was This David’s Defining Moment ? —2 Samuel 10:7

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 8:15-18, 1 Chronicles 18:14-17, 1 Chronicles 6:16-30, 50-53, 31-48, 2 Samuel 9:1-10:19, 1 Chronicles 19:1-19

Heavenly Father, I saw something in today’s reading that has me saying,

“Oh my!”

Today was the last day of reading before David sins with Bathsheba (yes, I turned the page). I love the story of David but dread getting to the part about Bathsheba. David’s my hero. He was amazing handling Saul and his enemies while remaining kind and humble. I don’t want to watch him fall.

In today’s reading David was still the hero riding in on his chariot to save the day. He was saving the honor of his men and responding to a threat by neighboring countries but something was missing.

When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. —2 Samuel 10:7

Lord, the only reason I noticed this missing piece is because this year as I’ve read David’s story a particular phrase has jumped off the page in neon colors many times.

The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” —2 Samuel 5:18-19

I didn’t go back and research this but I’m pretty sure that every time up until this point David asked, “Lord, should I go out to fight.”

Lord, this time David didn’t ask You. He made a snap decision and moved forward with HIS plans. Yes, David and the Israelites won the battle but I wonder if this was the defining moment when David decided he was now powerful enough, wise enough, and smart enough to call the shots. In tomorrow’s reading he chooses to stay home from battle. I don’t think he asked You about that either.

Jesus, the minute I saw this all I could say was “Oh me!” I do the same thing. I move forward with my plans without thinking about asking You. Sometimes I do ask but I don’t wait for an answer. Lord, over the years I have made some big mistakes because I thought I could handle it by myself.

David’s pride, my pride. It’s all the same.

Lord, forgive me for doing life MY way. Holy Spirit, teach me, remind me to ask should I go (do, fight, say yes, etc) and then help me to wait for Your answer.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 20:1, 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14, Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 12:15-25, 2 Samuel 5:14-16, 1 Chronicles 14:3-7, 1 Chronicles 3:5-9

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