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Lord, It Happened Just As You Promised—2 Kings 23:15-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 23:1-20, 2 Chronicles 34:29-33, 2 Kings 23:21-28, 2 Chronicles 35:1-19, Nahum 1:1-3:19

Heavenly Father, reading Your Old Testament is life-changing. It tells me so much about Your character. I love the fact that You chose multiple authors to write the Bible. It shows me You are a consistent God. One of the most important messages I get from reading Your Word cover-to-cover is YOU KEEP YOUR PROMISES!

The king also tore down the altar at Bethel—the pagan shrine that Jeroboam son of Nebat had made when he caused Israel to sin. He burned down the shrine and ground it to dust, and he burned the Asherah pole. Then Josiah turned around and noticed several tombs in the side of the hill. He ordered that the bones be brought out, and he burned them on the altar at Bethel to desecrate it. (This happened just as the Lord had promised through the man of God when Jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival.)

Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God[a] who had predicted these things. “What is that monument over there?” Josiah asked.

And the people of the town told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted the very things that you have just done to the altar at Bethel!”

Josiah replied, “Leave it alone. Don’t disturb his bones.” So they did not burn his bones or those of the old prophet from Samaria. –2 Kings 23: 15-18

Lord, when I read Your Word much is it is a historical document, telling me what has already happened but in the time of its writing much of it was prophetic.

How exciting it must have been for King Josiah to realize You were using him to fulfill Your plan.

Jesus, there are more promises to be fulfilled in both Your Old and New Testaments. My favorite is You are returning to this earth to take Your followers to heaven. Lord, I know it will happen, just as You promised!

Lord, use me to fulfill Your promises.

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: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Zephaniah 1:1-2:7

Lord, I Want to Respond Appropriately—2 Chronicles 32:24-25

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:9-22, 2 Kings 20:12-19, Isaiah 39:1-8

Heavenly Father, Hezekiah was one of the most godly kings, since King David. Unfortunately power, fame, success, supernatural healing and miracles led Hezekiah to believe he was a big deal.

About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the Lord, who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the Lord’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. —2 Chronicles 32:24-25

Hezekiah witnessed one of the most amazing miracles mentioned in the Bible:

Meanwhile, Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What sign will the Lord give to prove that he will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the Lord three days from now?”

Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?”

“The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.”  So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial[b] of Ahaz!  —2 Kings 20:8-11

Jesus, this type of arrogance in an epidemic in the Christian world. “I’m more godly than you because God has done great miracles in my life” has been the fall of many good men and women since the beginning of creation.

Lord, how many times have You graced me with Your presence, grace, favor, or kindness only to watch me pridefully think I somehow deserved it or made it happen myself. Watching Hezekiah’s pride and arrogance play out in 2 Kings 20:12-19 reinforces the old saying that “success shows our true character.” Lord, forgive me for taking credit for the gifts You’ve given me (James 1:17).

Lord, allow me to learn from the mistakes of Hezekiah. I want to respond appropriately to Your kindness and the kindness of others.

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: Isaiah 40:1-44:5

Lord, I’m So Glad You Know Me Well—2 Kings 19:27

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 19:1-19, Isaiah 37:1-20, 2 Chronicles 32:9-19, 2 Kings 19:20-37, Isaiah 37:21-38, 2 Chronicles 32:20-23

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that You Know Me through and through. You know where I live, when I come and go, when I’m happy or sad, and You know when I’m mad, frustrated, and angry.

“But I know you well—
where you stay
and when you come and go.
I know the way you have raged against me. —2 Kings 19:27

When life gets hard and I wonder if You see me—You Know.

Yes, in this verse You were speaking through Isaiah to King Hezekiah about King Sennacherib of Assyria but it’s true of every person who ever was or will be conceived. Lord, I can’t fathom it but I believe it–You Know me!

Jesus, I want to know You (Philippians 3:10). I know that as a human being I’m not capable of knowing You like You know me but I want to know You more than I do today.

Lord, come near to me. Let me see You through Your Word and through Your creation. Lord, speak to 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: 2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:9-22, 2 Kings 20:12-19, Isaiah 39:1-8

Lord, Let it Happen as You Have Planned and Decided—Isaiah 14:24

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Today Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 16:19-20, 2 Chronicles 28:25-27, Isaiah 13:1-16:14

Heavenly Father, while this verse was a message from You through Isaiah about the nation of Assyria, it also shows me something about You and Your Kingdom on this earth.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath:“It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided. —Isaiah 14:24

Jesus, today there is a decision being made that will affect someone I love and care deeply about. It’s so complicated that I don’t know what to ask or how to pray. Please let the decision be according to Your plans and what You have decided.

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. —Matthew 6:9-10

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: 2 Chronicles 29:3-31:21

Lord, Do You Care About Me? —Isaiah 1:3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 28:1-29, 2 Kings 17:5, 2 Kings 18:9-12, 2 Kings 17:6-41, Isaiah 1:1-20

Heavenly Father, it’s hard for me to understand why the people of Israel did not recognize Your care for them.

Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.” —Isaiah 1:3

From the time of Abraham You have called Israel Your chosen people. You rescued them, forgave them, fed them, spoke to them, and loved them when they were very unlovable.

How could they not know that You cared for them?

Lord, I think it’s the same reason I sometimes don’t recognize Your care for me. I’m looking at my life under a microscope and You’re looking at it and caring for me at the 50,000 foot view.

I guess for the Israelites and me it all comes down to what I believe. Do I REALLY believe You care about me and for me?

If I do, I will trust You and not try to take things into my own hands.

Lord, forgive me when I don’t recognize Your care for me.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1:21-5:30

Lord, I Don’t Want to Reject You When I’m In Trouble—2 Chronicles 28:22-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6, Isaiah 17:1-14, 2 Chronicles 28:16-21, 2 Kings 16:10-18, 2 chronicles 28:22-25, 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29:1-2, 2 Kings 15:30-31, 2 Kings 17:1-4, Hosea 1:1-2:13

Heavenly Father, King Ahaz had two generations of godly examples (father-Jotham, grandfather-Uzziah), yet he rejected You.  It seems that the more trouble in which he found himself, the farther he moved away from You.

Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord.  He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. —2 Chronicles 28:22-23

In today’s world we tend to tune out the parts of Your Word that mention idol worship. We think, “How silly to worship a piece of wood or clay! How could Ahaz sacrifice his child to a god made by human hands (2 Kings 16:3)? I would never do something as crazy as that!”

But

If we examine our hearts and lives when we’re in trouble, we may find that just like Ahaz we turn to people, activities, and things when times get hard. As crazy as it is to comprehend, we sometimes sacrifice our children too. We put people, accomplishments, stuff, and our own desires ahead of their simple need to have parents who are 100% engaged in their daily lives.

Lord, I guess we have idol “issues” as well.

Lord, search my heart today. Show me what You see. I want to move closer to You during my times of trouble. Jesus, I don’t want to reject You. I don’t want to replace You with the things of this world.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hosea 2:14-8:14

Lord, Show Me the Pagan Shrines in My Life –2 Kings 15:34-35

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chronicles 27:1-9; Micah 1:1-16; 2 Kings 16:1-9; 2 Chronicles 28:1-15; Isaiah 7:1-25

Heavenly Father, as I read through 1st and 2nd Kings there seemed to be many “godly” kings who did not destroy the pagan shrines and allowed their people to offer sacrifices and burn incense in these places.

Jotham son of Uzziah is one example:

Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. He rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord.  –2 Kings 13:34-35

Lord, do we do the same thing in our lives today?

What do pagan shrines look like in the 21st century?

Father, I don’t want it said of me…

Dianne did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but she did not destroy the pagan shrines in her life.

Holy Spirit, show me the idols in my life.  Show me the things I unknowingly worship more than the One, True, God.  Remind me Lord that anything I desire more than You is an idol.

Jesus, I want to be more like You today.  Help me.

In Your Name I pray.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 8:1-11:16

Lord, I Want to See You–Isaiah 6:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29, 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Heavenly Father, I want to see You; REALLY see You, like Isaiah.

Are there things that are hindering me?

I know Isaiah REALLY didn’t see You until King Uzziah died.  I don’t want to have people, plans, or things between You and me.  Show me my heart.

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.  Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.  They were calling out to each other,

   “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
      The whole earth is filled with his glory!”  —Isaiah 6:1-4

Lord, before Isaiah could be used he had to be cleansed.  Show me the things in my life that aren’t pleasing to You.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

   I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,

   ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
      Watch closely, but learn nothing.’  —Isaiah 6:5-9

Father, let me see You. Reveal my sinful ways, and then cleansed me and use me for Your Glory today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29; 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Lord, What About the Waiting? —2 Kings 13:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 13:14-25

Heavenly Father, as I read this scripture passage I began to see a process unfold:

Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.

Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans. Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days. —2 Kings 13:1-5

Lord, in today’s culture we like processes. The most read posts throughout the blogosphere are the ones with lists and processes. We don’t want the long story, we just want the steps. These steps jumped out to me in this passage:

1. We sin

2. We disappoint You

3. We realize our mistake (when the consequences come flooding into our lives) and pray and ask for Your help

4. You hear our prayer (You always hear us)

5. You provide for our rescue

This looks like a great 5-step formula, a “get out of jail free” card. But my relationship with You isn’t neat and tidy. My life is messy and it doesn’t stay in the lines. You don’t always provide for my rescue in the timeframe I like or the way I expect and desire. Everything does not fit neatly in my process-driven, black and white world.

Lord, I see a fallacy in this process. I don’t see a waiting step. Waiting is a big part of my relationship with You. It doesn’t say how long Jehoahaz had to wait before You provided for his rescue but I’m pretty sure he had to wait.

I’ve learned many things in my life of serving You; the most important thing I’ve learned is You are God. You can do whatever You want as long as You honor Your Word because You are the god who does not lie. You are too big to be locked into some time-bound 5 step plan. Your plans are bigger than my plans. You operate from the long view not the daily drama view.

I’ve walked through these five steps many times but it wasn’t smooth and easy. Many times it was one step forward and two steps back. And there was a lot of waiting, is a lot of waiting…

Lord, it’s my desire to trust You more than the process. Help me to stay strong when I’m tired of waiting and my faith is weak. Thank You for the thousands of examples, including today’s passage, of  Your faithfulness You gave us in Your Word. They give me hope and confidence that You will rescue me.

Lord, forgive me when I try to make You fit into a process or formula. Forgive me for seeing You much smaller than You are.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 14:1-14, 2 Chronicles 25:1-24, 2 Kings 13:12-13, 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27, 2 Chronicles 25:25-28, 2 Kings 14:17-22, 2 Kings 15:1-5, 2 Chronicles 26:1-21, Jonah 1:1-4:11

Lord, Am I Keeping Myself From Prospering? —2 Chronicles 24:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16:21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, 2 Kings 10:32-36

Heavenly Father, Your timing is perfect! If I had not attended last night’s LeadHer meeting and heard my friend Haylee Weedn give an amazing talk on the first step to financial freedom I may have skipped over this verse. Haylee said that first step is knowing YOUR purpose for my life and then Your purpose should determine how I spend my money.

 

Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!” —2 Chronicles 24:20

After last night’s message this is what this verse says to me:

Dianne,

Why do you neglect our relationship?

Why do you stay so busy rushing around doing things that are meaningless?

I have a plan and purpose for your life and your day. Your money, time and talents are what funds My purpose for you. When you don’t communicate with Me, You don’t know how to best use your money, time, or talents so you are keeping yourself from prospering.

Lord, my desire is to have every area of my life, including my finances support Your plans. Speak Lord, I am listening.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 13:14-25

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