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Lord, Why Am I Always Surprised? —1 Peter 4:12

 

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-5:11

Heavenly Father, I am not comparing myself to the early Christians who suffered tremendous persecution. I haven’t been persecuted for my faith, ever. But I’ve walked through some things that felt like fiery trials and I was definitely surprised and yes Lord, it felt as if something strange was happening to me.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world, —1 Peter 4:12-13

Jesus, I want to be glad but I haven’t been. Now that the storm has passed and the lessons are becoming clear, I’m at least thankful. I’m thankful for the lessons and I’m thankful You didn’t leave me but I’m still working on being glad.

Thank You for Your grace.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

Lord, is the Fear of Being Labeled Judgmental Silencing the Church? —John 12:37-43

images-4Today’s Scripture Reading: John 12:37-50, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48, Mark 11:20-33, Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8

Jesus, I know that John was describing Your time on earth in these verses but they have an uncanny resemblance to our current times.

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:

“Lord, who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”
But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,

“The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”

Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.* For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. —John 12:37-43

Lord, pages could be written about this passage but the thoughts that are consuming my mind today are around *the people who loved human praise and acceptance so much that they kept their belief in Jesus quiet for fear of being expelled from their synagogue. For the Jews their synagogue wasn’t just their church, it was their family, friends, school, religion, ethnicity, and political affiliation. Today’s sociological challenges of peer pressure and bullying were also alive and well in those days.

Jesus, it seems to me that peer pressure progresses to bullying and when not addressed it leads to persecution. It’s ironic that the very reason the believing Jews kept quiet was to avoid persecution, yet over the years they have been severely persecuted. Is this what is going to happen to today’s church?

Lord, Christian persecution has arrived in America, a country founded on religious freedom is now a place where Christians are beginning to keep quiet about their convictions for fear of peer pressure, bullying, and persecution. Fear of being labeled “judgmental” is silencing the boldest and largest Christian voices in our country.

Lord, I really don’t know how to react. I’m confused and feel this desire to pull away and keep my mouth shut. I see the world pulling one or two scriptures out of Your Word and using it to silence the church. I’m afraid it’s beginning to silence me as well. Holy Spirit, please speak loudly. Give me supernatural boldness. My heart is racing as I title this post, fearing that I will be misunderstood. I do not want to succumb to the enemy’s tactics. I do not want to desire human praise and acceptance more that Yours. It scares me to read in Matthew 24:20-24 that in the last days the very elect will be deceived. Holy Spirit, I don’t want to be deceived.

Lord, give our pastors, teachers, prophets, and Christian leaders supernatural discernment, wisdom, and boldness to lead Your people in these difficult times.

Lord, judging is a delicate subject. I know I’ve judged when I shouldn’t and haven’t judged when I should. I know we don’t win the lost by judging them but “not judging” within the church is dumbing down the gospel. We have adapted the same philosophy as the world, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Holy Spirit, without Your help  we will get it wrong every time. Show the church when and how to judge today’s complicated world.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?”

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. —1 Peter 4:12-19

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:28-32, Mark 12:1-12, Matthew 21:33-46, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:13-17, Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40

Lord, Please Bless and Protect Me–Numbers 6:22-27

Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 6:1-27; Numbers 10:1-36

Heavenly Father, I want Your special blessings, but sometimes I just don’t know how to pray.  Thank you for including prayers of blessings in Your Word.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:                             ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

Jesus, the Israelites could only receive this blessing when Aaron or his sons spoke it over them, but because of what You did for us on the cross of Calvary, Your followers are royal priests; we can speak this blessing over ourselves and our household. Lord, once again  remind us that we are your chosen people, your royal priests:

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Lord, bless me and protect me.  Lord, smile on me and be gracious to me today.  Lord, show me Your favor and give me Your peace today.

(Insert the names on your prayer list in the me space)

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 11:1-13:33

Jesus, I Want to Wear Your Badge of Holiness —Exodus 39:30

images-1

Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 37:1-39:31

Heavenly Father, as I read through today’s reading I was amazed at the in-depth explanation of each item in Your Tabernacle, I was in awe of Your attention to detail and the great care that went into making each item. But something caught my eye and I got so excited when I began to see how it all fit together…

Aaron was the first high priest of Israel, a human being, anointed to be Holy to the Lord:

Finally, they made the sacred medallion—the badge of holiness—of pure gold. They engraved it like a seal with these words: Holy to the Lord. They attached the medallion with a blue cord to Aaron’s turban, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.         —Exodus 39:30

Aaron, and his future generations were just symbols and placeholders for the true High Priest…

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  –Hebrews 4:14-16

Lord, Jesus You don’t need a “badge of holiness” because You faced all of the same testings as we do and yet You did not sin. Aaron was just like the rest of us, no sooner than Moses left him he started making idols (Exodus 30:1-29). Lord, thank You for making a way for us to be holy.

Lord, thank you for being our high priest. Thank you for standing in the gap for us on our worst days…

 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Romans 8:34

Father, as we read more and more about the priests of Israel, help us to remember that because of Your Son, Jesus we are Your living stones that You are using to being your permanent temple and even more than that we are Your holy priests.

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. —1 Peter 2:5

Jesus, I want to wear Your badge of holiness. I want others to see You in my daily life. Show me how to live that life today!

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 39:32-40:38, Numbers 9:15-23

It’s December 23rd: Who or What’s Controlling You?–2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

I know it’s a bad day to ask this.  It’s December 23; Christmas preparations and activities are definitely determining our plans for the day.  I have last-minute shopping and wrapping to do myself, but now that I think about it, maybe this is the best time of the year to ask this question…

Who or What’s Controlling you?

In 2 Peter 2:19, Peter says, we are a slave to whatever controls us.

I looked up the word control in my online dictionary…

Control: The power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

Here’s my paraphrase Peter’s statement:

We are a slave to whatever has the power to influence or direct our behavior or the events of our lives.

Who determines who or what has this special power?

Didn’t we take care of this question when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior?

Salvation is a gift God gave us.  Accepting the gift is the easy part.  Sadly, this is where many Christians stop and then they wonder why they go through life being controlled by people, situations, and sinful thoughts and behaviors.

Everyday WE make a choice, every day WE determine who or what has the power to control us.

Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. –Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

As we go through this day WE get to choose…

  • The joy of the Lord or the anger, sadness and depression of the world
  • The holiness of the season or the commercialism of the media
  • To spend time reflecting on the birth of our Savior or worry about everything that didn’t get bought, baked, decorated, or cleaned for the season
  • To focus on our blessings or our lack

The world tells us to take control of our lives, but the Bible tells us to give that control to Christ–it’s a choice.

If you have a few minutes, listen to Carrie Underwood’s thoughts on allowing Jesus to take control…

YouTube Preview Image

Jesus, we choose YOU!  Heavenly Father, take control of our thoughts, plans, and outcomes of this day.  We give up the power to control, we trust you with our day, our Christmas, and our future.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 John 1:1-4:6

All I Want for Christmas is… 1 Peter 3:10-12

Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-5:11

 

.

..To enjoy life and see many happy days.

In today’s reading Peter tells the early Church and us how make this wish a reality.

For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” —1 Peter 3:10-12

Once again we have a conditional statement;

something 21st century humans don’t like

If we…

  • Want to enjoy life
  • See many happy days

Then we must…

  • Keep our tongue from speaking evil
  • Keep our lips from telling lies
  • Turn away from evil
  • Do good
  • Search for peace
  • Work to maintain peace

Oh and here’s the icing on the cake…

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right

and His ears are open to their prayers.

One of the favorite sayings of my dear friend and mentor Cheryl Beyer was a quote from Edwin Markham:

All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.

I guess enjoying life and seeing many happy days isn’t a wish to be granted, but a choice to be made, one day at a time.

Heavenly Father, remind us of the part we play in our happy days.  Help us to remember that living a life of kindness, honesty, goodness, and peace will bring the happiness we’re looking for.  Jesus, for those who don’t know you, help them to realize that the first step to this Christmas wish is accepting You as their Savior (John 3:16).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18


When’s the Last Time You Cried Like a Baby? –1 Peter 2:1-3


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3

When was the last time you had a really good cry?  Yes, guys, I’m talking to you too!

What caused you to “cry like a baby?”

  • A sad movie or book
  • A relationship gone sour
  • The loss of someone important to you
  • Hurt feelings
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of life

After reading today’s scripture I’ve got a feeling God sometimes wonders why we have a full-on crying session over earthly things and never shed a tear over the things He commands us to “cry out” about.

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.  Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,  now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. —1st Peter 2:1-2

When was the last time you got so frustrated with your own deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy and unkind speech that your cried like a baby for “pure spiritual milk” ?

The King James Version translates pure spiritual milk as the “sincere milk of the Word.”

I like to think that most Christ followers want to grow in the “full experience of salvation,” but statistics show that most Christians don’t read the Bible.

What would happen to our spiritual lives, our families, our churches, and our workplaces if we wanted the full experience of salvation so much that we cried out to God to be taught by Him through His Word?

Heavenly Father, help me to desire the things that you want me to desire.  Give me a heart that craves spiritual milk.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-5:11

It’s December 23rd: Who or What’s Controlling You?–2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

I know it’s a bad day to ask this.  It’s December 23; Christmas preparations and activities are definitely determining our plans for the day.  I have last-minute shopping and wrapping to do myself, but now that I think about it, maybe this is the best time of the year to ask this question…

What or Who’s Controlling you?

In 2 Peter 2:19, Peter says, we are a slave to whatever controls us.

I looked up the word control in my online dictionary…

Control: The power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

Here’s my paraphrase Peter’s statement:

We are a slave to whatever has the power to influence or direct our behavior or the events of our lives.

Who determines what or who has this special power?

Didn’t we take care of this question when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior?

Salvation is a gift God gave us.  Accepting the gift is the easy part.  Sadly, this is where many Christians stop and then they wonder why they go through life being controlled by people, situations, and sinful thoughts and behaviors.

Everyday WE make a choice, every day WE determine what or who has the power to control us.

Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. –Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

As we go through this day WE get to choose…

  • The joy of the Lord or the anger, sadness and depression of the world
  • The holiness of the season or the commercialism of the media
  • To spend time reflecting on the birth of our Savior or worry about everything that didn’t get bought, baked, decorated, or cleaned for the season
  • To focus on our blessings or our lack

The world tells us to take control of our lives, but the Bible tells us to give that control to Christ–it’s a choice.

If you have a few minutes, listen to Carrie Underwood’s thoughts on allowing Jesus to take control…

YouTube Preview Image

Jesus, we choose YOU!  Heavenly Father, take control of our thoughts, plans, and outcomes of this day.  We give up the power to control, we trust you with our day, our Christmas, and our future.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 John 1:1-4:6

All I Want for Christmas is… 1 Peter 3:10-12

Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-5:11

 

.

..To enjoy life and see many happy days.

In today’s reading Peter tells the early Church and us how make this wish a reality.

For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” —1 Peter 3:10-12

Once again we have a conditional statement;

something 21st century humans don’t like

If we…

  • Want to enjoy life
  • See many happy days

Then we must…

  • Keep our tongue from speaking evil
  • Keep our lips from telling lies
  • Turn away from evil
  • Do good
  • Search for peace
  • Work to maintain peace

Oh and here’s the icing on the cake…

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right

and His ears are open to their prayers.

One of the favorite sayings of my dear friend and mentor Cheryl Beyer was a quote from Edwin Markham:

All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.

I guess enjoying life and seeing many happy days isn’t a wish to be granted, but a choice to be made, one day at a time.

Heavenly Father, remind us of the part we play in our happy days.  Help us to remember that living a life of kindness, honesty, goodness, and peace will bring the happiness we’re looking for.  Jesus, for those who don’t know you, help them to realize that the first step to this Christmas wish is accepting You as their Savior (John 3:16).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18


When’s the Last Time You Cried Like a Baby? –1 Peter 2:1-3


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3

When was the last time you had a really good cry?  Yes, guys, I’m talking to you too!

What caused you to “cry like a baby?”

  • A sad movie or book
  • A relationship gone sour
  • The loss of someone important to you
  • Hurt feelings
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of life

After reading today’s scripture I’ve got a feeling God sometimes wonders why we have a full-on crying session over earthly things and never shed a tear over the things He commands us to “cry out” about.

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.  Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,  now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. —1st Peter 2:1-2

When was the last time you got so frustrated with your own deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy and unkind speech that your cried like a baby for “pure spiritual milk” ?

The King James Version translates pure spiritual milk as the “sincere milk of the Word.”

I like to think that most Christ followers want to grow in the “full experience of salvation,” but statistics show that most Christians don’t read the Bible.

What would happen to our spiritual lives, our families, our churches, and our workplaces if we wanted the full experience of salvation so much that we cried out to God to be taught by Him through His Word?

Heavenly Father, help me to desire the things that you want me to desire.  Give me a heart that craves spiritual milk.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-5:11

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