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Lord, The Sun’s Down and I’m Still Angry. What Do I Do? —Ephesians 4:26

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-5:14

Heavenly Father, I’ve learned a lot about anger this year. There have been some nights when I went to bed angry and as You predicted through the Apostle Paul, anger gave Satan a foothold in my life.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. ”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. –Ephesians 4:26-27

Lord, thankfully I’ve moved past the anger and have learned some great lessons but it would have been much simpler if I would have turned it completely over to You before the sun went down.

Because I allowed anger to marinate, I gave Satan access to my mind. I was miserable. I knew I needed to forgive, yet something was holding me back; or should I say someone.

Lord, I believe You, the God who made me, answered my prayer and showed my how to fight this anger virus I had allowed to corrupt my thinking.

I sensed You saying that aggressive action was required to take back the foothold I had given to Satan.

I’m a person who loves solitude and silence. I can stay in my home for eight hours with no television or music—just silence, and be totally happy. Holy Spirit, I believe You told me that silence wasn’t good for me in this season. These were the instructions you gave me:

No silence allowed! Other than my morning quiet time, I was to have either Christian podcasts, Christian music, or Christian books going in my head every waking moment.

This doesn’t mean that I can only listen to Christian music forever, it means desperate tines call for desperate measures. I had to take back the ground I have given to my enemy. It was war but You taught me how to fight differently.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. –1 Corinthians 10:3-5

Jesus, I definitely had strongholds of human reasoning, false arguments, and rebellious thoughts. Saturating my mind with Your Word was re-teaching me to hear, obey, and submit to You. The second part of this assignment was capturing every thought that fueled the anger and replacing with Your Word.

Lord, I immediately made this change. I’m amazed how quickly the heaviness lifted. In a matter of days I felt the anger and hurt disappear. I am completely free from the anger and very grateful!

The thing I will never forget about this difficult season is the way You stayed so close to me. I know You didn’t approve of my lingering anger but You were with me in an unusual way. I even felt You speak to my spirit, “I understand. I get angry too. You will get through this and I will not leave you.”

Lord, thank You for never abandoning me! Thank You for going ahead of me and leading me through this difficult season.

 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6

I love You!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-6:24, Colossians 1:1-23

Lord, I Want Your Superpowers—1 Corinthians 14:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

Heavenly Father, I hope You don’t feel my title is disrespectful. The special abilities Your Spirit give are nothing less than mind-blowing. When I consider the life-changing impact these spiritual gifts can have on a person, group, church, city, state, country, or world; I definitely consider them superpowers.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. —1 Corinthians 14:1

Lord, in addition to prophesy, what are Your special abilities?

Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. —1 Corinthians 12:1-11

This sentence jumped out at me: A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Lord, I want Your spiritual gifts. I want the Your special abilities. I want to prophesy, because Paul said I should desire it. I want all You have for me!

Give me Your superpowers to help others!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Lord, Put Me Where You Want Me—1 Corinthians 12:18-20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

Heavenly Father, as we approach the Thanksgiving/Christmas season my mind jumps ahead to the new year. 2015 is going to be a year of change for me. Doors are closing. Seasons are ending and times of rest and refreshing are approaching.

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. —1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Lord, I’m anxious to see what this year holds and where You put me within Your body in this new season.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.                     —1 Corinthians 12:12

I’m Yours. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

Lord, I Want to Be the Kind of Believer Who Believes These Two Things–1 Corinthians 8:4-7

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1

Heavenly Father, this passage is so relevant for today’s world:

So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.

However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.                       —1 Corinthians 8:4-7

Lord, in churches across America there are many different types of “believers:”

There are people who…

–believe in God, the Father

—believe Jesus was a good person and/or prophet

—believe in Jesus as Savior

—daily surrender to the Lordship of Jesus

—believe idols and other religions are real

Lord, help me not to be deceived by the man-made gods and religions of this world. Help me to recognize that if Jesus Christ isn’t welcome and isn’t Lord, it’s a false religion. I want to keep my faith pure, holy, and true. Help me to be the kind of believer that knows and lives my life with the burning conviction that…

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live. 

In the Name of the Son of the most High and One, True God–Jesus Christ!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

Lord, Silence Me… —1 Corinthians 4:20

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

Heavenly Father, I talk a lot and I’m not always the best listener. With every passing year it’s getting more difficult to stay engaged in lengthy conversations. I blame it on technology, but whatever the reason, I know I’m not alone in this challenge.

Lord, being able to quickly get to the point is very important in today’s world but having YOUR power behind my words, actions, and even my silence is more important; it’s what will cause others to know You more.

For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. —1 Corinthians 4:20

Holy Spirit, I believe the power that Paul is speaking about in 1st Corinthians is the key to grabbing the attention of un-believers. Silence me, empty me of my thoughts, prejudices and ideas and then give me a simple message that will touch the lives and hearts of those who don’t know You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1

Lord, I Want to Forget Everything, Except…—1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

Heavenly Father, as a speaker and teacher it’s easy to get caught up in the work of preparing “clever and persuasive speeches.” Thank you for this reminder from Paul:

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. —1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Jesus, Paul was extremely educated, plus he had one of the most dramatic and powerful conversions of the Bible. He knew that Your power was what changed him and it was the only thing that would reach the world. He made a conscious choice to focus and rely on You not his religious training.

Lord, whether we are public speakers or battle shyness everyday of our life, we all find ourselves in situations where we need the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” —Luke 12:10-15

Holy Spirit, I’m relying only on You to give me the words to say as I go about my day. I’m trusting in Your power.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

Lord, Sometimes I Forget That These Three Things Aren’t My Job—John 17: 15-19

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 15:18-17:26

Jesus, I’m sure I’ve seen this before but it feels like my very first time!

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. —John 16:5-11

Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross and rising from the dead for my salvation but these verses remind me that Your return to our Heavenly Father is what sealed the deal on our righteousness and provided us with a 24/7 advocate, Your Holy Spirit to continually accomplish these three things:

Convict the world of…

  • It’s sin
  • Your righteousness
  • The coming judgment

Holy Spirit, as a speaker, writer, and teacher I know You’ve used me as Your instrument of conviction but I also know there have been times when I set out on my own to conviction crusade. Let’s just say there’s a world of difference in Your results and mine.

Holy Spirit, if convicting the world is Your job, what is my job as Your disciple?

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. –1 Corinthians 9:22

Holy Spirit, help me remember these words spoken through the Apostle Paul and find common ground with those I come in contact with today. When You see me taking on Your role, as CCSRJ (Chief Convicter of sin, righteousness, and judgment) STOP me, silence me, and move me, but when You choose to speak or work through me help me to go, speak and move under Your anointing with confidence.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit thank You for being MY God. Thank You for life. Thank You for redemption. Thank You for conviction. Thank You for being my advocate.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24

What Happened to Our Checkbook?—1 Corinthians 16:1-2


Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

“I don’t understand, there should be more money than that; we haven’t even written our tithe check…”

That’s the way I felt a couple of weeks ago.  My husband and I had traveled for almost three weeks.  I hadn’t been home to reconcile our account.  I had been using the scientific approach of “guessimating.”

That is not normal for me.  Can I say Quicken®, categories, files, reports, etc.?  I’m one of those people.

The REAL problem wasn’t my lack of financial organization.  On second thought maybe that was part of the problem. 🙂

The real problem was the order in which we dispersed our money.

Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.  On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. —1 Corinthians 16:1-2

This isn’t some big theological essay on tithing (Malachi 3:10-12), it’s just something I’ve personally experienced.  I’ve been a tither my whole adult life.  Here’s what I know to be true:

EVERY TIME I have ever waited until last to pay my tithe, there was never enough left, but EVERY TIME I paid my tithe first, there was more money, it seemed to  s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

Why?

The principle of first-fruits…

God wants our best:

•         He wants our obedience

•          He wants our trust

•          He wants to provide us with a blanket of protection

In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul was reminding the Corinthians about first-fruits. There wasn’t a need for anymore to be said because the principle of first fruits was common knowledge, not only in Hebrew culture but in other cultures of that day…they just needed a reminder.

I guess those three weeks of traveling and not writing out our tithe first was our reminder…

Waiting to write out our tithe check until last is a bad idea.  I know this isn’t logical, but there is more money when we give God His first-fruits–our best.  No, it doesn’t make sense on paper, but we serve the one, true, living God who stands by his Word.

Oh, by-the-way, this works with your time and talents as well, but that’s another post!

Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. —Psalm 37:25

I can’t wait for our next pay-day.  I can’t wait to give God our best!

What have you experienced in giving God your best?

Heavenly Father, You’ve set a plan in place to bless Your people.  Teach us, show us, reveal to us Your Best for us.  Help us to offer our BEST to You; You deserve it!  Help us to trust You and Your ways.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Additional Reading on First Fruits:

In the Hebrew Bible every firstborn, human or animal, belonged to the Lord (Ex 13:2), so the “firstfruits,” or initial yield of every crop, were set aside as a sacrificial offering (for example, Lev 2:9-14; Neh 10:35-37). God’s portion of the harvest was given to God up front, as it were. In the New Testament, “firstfruits” is used as a metaphor for something given in advance, anticipating a greater benefit or “harvest” to come. This can be the resurrection of Jesus anticipating the resurrection of believers (1 Cor 15:23), the Spirit as a gift from God pointing to future resurrection (Rom 8:23), the first converts in a particular region holding out the promise of more converts to come (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:15) or reborn Christians offering hope for the rebirth of God’s creation (Jas 1:18).  Bible Gateway

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Romans 2:1-4:25

The Favor of God…What does that mean?—1 Corinthians 15:10


Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

As I sit in my cozy little room, in my comfy chair, surrounded by my favorite books and pictures of my family; the Apostle Paul stopped me in my tracks.  It was like I ran into a brick wall and could go no further.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. —1 Corinthians 15:10

Paul was talking about God’s special favor on his life…

God’s special favor…

Special favor…

Favor

How many times have I asked for, bragged out, and claimed the favor of God?

  • God give me favor as I meet with this person today
  • God give me favor as I negotiate the price of this purchase
  • God give me favor and help me to find a parking space close to the entrance of the mall

What did Paul’s favor look like?

  • Three times he was beaten with rods (2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • Once he was stoned (2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • Three times he was shipwrecked  (2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • Once he spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea  (2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • He faced death daily (1 Corinthians 15:30)

What’s the difference between Paul’s favor and mine?

Mine is about me and mine and Paul’s was about Jesus and the lost world.

In most translations of this verse grace is used instead of favor, so I looked up “grace” in my Strong’s Lexicon:

Grace comes from the Greek word charis , which means the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.

Wow!  Pretty different from my parking space favor…

I think I’m going to think twice before I use the word favor and looking for a parking space in the same sentence.

And

I’m going to ask for God’s grace and favor to come through my life to others so that they will turn to Him.

Friends, I’m probably having my own revelation here, but since we’ve been in the New Testament everything I read shines a light on the selfishness of our society, many of today’s Christians, and me.

It’s not about us, it’s about Him.

What’s the Holy Spirit teaching you today?

Heavenly Father, I know You are teaching me and working to change me.  Please don’t ever stop!  I want Your grace, Your unmerited favor in my life, for two reasons, to know You and cause others to know You.  Lord, I don’t want to be complacent, lukewarm, or cold.  Show me the things in my life that aren’t pleasing to You.  Thank you for sending Your Son to redeem us!  Use our lives to glorify You!  Use our lives to bless others!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

I Want That! — 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

I know, it’s Thanksgiving Week and it’s early to be sharing my Christmas list, but today’s reading caused me to bypass thankfulness and move straight to the “I’m making a list and checking it twice” time of year.

Today’s reading is about gifts.  Not your ordinary, pickup at Target kind of gifts, but heavenly gifts… gifts more amazing and miraculous than the kind a guy in a red suit brings down the chimney.

Paul pens 31 verses to explain and share many of the gifts (special abilities) the Spirit of God has available for us (1 Corinthians 12). He called these helpful gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31a).

Here are some of them:

    • Apostles
    • Prophets
    • Teachers
    • Those who do miracles
    • Those who have the gift of healing
    • Those who can help others
    • Those who have the gift of leadership
    • Those who speak in unknown languages

Hummm, helping others sounds more like giving than a gift.

Receiving and using these gifts is a lot of work, but there’s no better feeling than to be supernaturally gifted and used by the God of the Universe.

Except

There’s something better?

Paul tells us there’s something better than being a Billy Graham, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer or John Maxwell?

The Apostle Paul made it very clear:

So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. –1 Corinthians –12:31-13:3

I want that.

I want the kind of love Paul was talking about.

Yes, all the world would love to receive that kind of love…

but

being

capable

of

GIVING

that kind of love

is the greatest gift.

Here’s what it looks like:

Love never gives up. 

Love cares more for others than for self. 

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. 

Love doesn’t strut, 

Doesn’t have a swelled head, 

Doesn’t force itself on others, 

Isn’t always “me first,” 

Doesn’t fly off the handle, 

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 

Doesn’t revel when others grovel, 

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 

Puts up with anything, 

Trusts God always, 

Always looks for the best, 

Never looks back, 

But keeps going to the end. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (From The Message)

We’re not bankrupt when we aren’t loved.  We’re bankrupt when we can’t love others.

Heavenly Father, fill me with Your love so that I can love like You.  Forgive me for the times I’ve failed.   Lord, please give me the gift of supernatural love.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

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