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Do You Believe in Miracles?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 2: 1-25; 2 Kings 4: 1-44

Just imagine, in any given month in cities, towns and villages across the world…

Millions of people are typing the word “miracles” into their Google ™ search box.

Why?

  • They wonder if miracles are real
  • They wonder if miracles happen in the 21st century
  • They need a miracle
  • They are in a hopeless situation

I typed the word “miracle” in my search box and found 71,100,000  sites.

Wow! There’s a lot of information about miracles.

Today’s reading is all about miracles.

It not the “theory” of miracles,

it’s jaw-dropping,

mind-blowing

miracles that make me wish I could have been there.

It makes me wish I could have traveled with Elijah and Elisha.

Let’s take a look:

  • Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water and the river divided and he and Elisha walked across on dry ground.  –2 Kings 2:8
  • A chariot of  fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire and carried Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven. —2 Kings 2:11
  • Elisha returned to the river after receiving a double share of Elijah’s spirit and struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and once again the river divided and Elisha went across.  —2 Kings 2:13
  • Elisha threw salt into the spring that supplied bad water to the town of Jericho and the water was purified. —2 Kings 2:20-21
  • Elisha cursed a group of boys who were teasing him about his baldness and two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them.  —2 Kings 2:23-24
  • One flask of oil filled so many jars that the widow and her sons were able to pay off their debts and live on what was left over.  —2 Kings 4:2-7
  • The Shumenite woman became pregnant when it seemed impossible.  —2 Kings 4:15-17
  • Elisha prayed for the Shumenite woman’s son who had been dead for at least a day and his life was restored.  —2 Kings 4: 32-36
  • Elisha threw flour in a pot of poisonous stew and everyone ate and it didn’t harm them.  —2 Kings 4:41
  • Elisha fed a hundred people with a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread.  —2 Kings 4:42-43

When I finished the last verse my first thought was, “Lord, I want to be like Elisha.  I want to stay so close to You that I inherit a double share of your Spirit.”

And then I wondered…

Were the miracles in today’s reading only for Elisha’s time and only for special prophets?

And then I began to think about the hundreds, probably thousands of miracles God has done in my life; with the biggest one being eternal life through Jesus Christ–

So for the millions of people who are wondering about miracles:

  • Yes, miracles are real
  • Yes, miracles happen in the 21st century
  • Jesus Christ is the one and only miracle-working God
  • In Jesus there is always hope

 

What miracles has God done in your life?

 

Holy Spirit, I pray for the people who are searching for miracles.  Let them know that You are the miracle-working God. Let their faith grow as they read the miracles You did through Elisha. If You did it for them, You will do it for us!

I pray that we begin to seek the miracle-giver more than the miracle.

Draw us to You!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

Expecting Miracles!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 5:1 through 2 Kings 8:15

He Is Jealous for Me– 2 Kings 1:16

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 1:1-18; 2 Kings 3:1-27; 1 Kings 22:41-49; 2 Chronicles 20:31-37; 1 Kings 22:50; 2 Chronicles 21:1-4; 2 Kings 8:16-22; 2 Chronicles 21:5-7
 
And Elijah said to the king, “This is what the Lord says:  Why did you send messengers to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will recover?  Is there no God in Israel to answer your question?  Therefore, because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die. —2 Kings 1:16

When you have a question about life, where’s the first place you go?

  • Your spouse
  • Your best friend
  • Your pastor
  • Your boss
  • A teacher
  • A counselor
  • Facebook, Twitter
  • A book on the subject

While these are great areas for support that God uses to minister to us, it’s the “when” that we need to think about.

Ahaziah, Israel’s new king who succeeded Ahab was seriously injured and sent messengers to the temple of Baal to ask the god of Ekron if he would recover. Israel’s God, the one and only living god, was not happy about Ahaziah consulting pagan gods instead of “the God of Israel.”  He sent Elijah to tell king Ahaziah that he would not recover because he consulted the wrong god.

God is definitely a jealous God. He wants to have first place, not 10th place.

If you’re like me your probably thinking, “I don’t go to pagan gods!”

In my 20s and 30s I would immediately go to anyone who would listen for prayer, counseling, encouragement, comfort, and guidance—except the Lord.  Literally, I didn’t whisper a one-sentence prayer before looking for someone to tell my troubles to.

Then as I got older and harder from life’s difficulties I tried to fix it myself; yes, I would pray…actually it was more like telling God how I thought He should fix it.  I’m sure He was thinking, “Dianne, is there no God in your life?”

So I guess from my Heavenly Father’s perspective I’m no better than Ahaziah. I’m so thankful for His patience with me.

We need family, friends, and professionals to support us, But we need to go to God first and seek His guidance and His plan for our lives. This song says it all–He is jealous for me…

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Lord, forgive me for all the times I’ve run to other people or things when you have the answer to every question I could ever have.  Yes Lord, You are my God and I will seek Your counsel, comfort, guidance and encouragement before I run to people and things!  Holy Spirit, help me to seek You early each day before the cares of this world overwhelm me .   Thank you for Your patience!  You are the God of my life!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:   2 Kings 1:1-25; 2 Kings 4:1-44

Can You Talk to God for Me? Exodus 20:19


Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18-21

As I read these words my first thought was one of judgment.  “Those dumb Israelites, they had the privilege of being in the “literal” presence of the one and only living God and they let fear steal that awesome experience.”

But once again observing the Israelites is like looking at ourselves in a mirror.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

  • Fear of being convicted of sinful choices
  • God is at the bottom of your priorities
  • You don’t really believe He hears you
  • “God time” doesn’t fit into your plans
  • It doesn’t seem like God is there
  • God’s always there, I’ll catch Him later
  • Distractions by media (phone, computer, TV, etc)
  • A busy brain, can’t seem to focus (this is me)

We have it so much better than the Israelites.  We have Jesus as our mediator.  He’s our constant connection to our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit is our constant connection to Jesus.

Yet, we would prefer to hear our preacher give us a one hour, once-a-week God update and then be on our way to the important things; pleasure and making a living.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being like the Israelites. Forgive us for all the missed opportunities.  Holy Spirit, don’t stop calling us, don’t stop reminding us.  Help us to overcome the carefully crafted distractions of our day, designed by our enemy to keep up from spending time with You.   Lord, teach us and guide us as we seek to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18

If You’re Going to Burn Your Bridges Don’t Forget to Haul Away the Ashes–2 Kings 23:4

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

I’m going to make a new start, kick an old habit, turn over a new leaf, burn my bridges!

Have you ever made any of these statements?

Were you successful?

Yes?

No?

In today’s reading King Josiah did a major house cleaning when he became king.  He ‘burned the bridge’ of idol worship in Israel.  Just to make sure everyone knew he meant business, he carried the ashes away.  There was no going back!  Nothing to remind the people of their past.

Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel.  –2 Kings 23:4

Why did Josiah carry the ashes to Bethel?

Here’s some interesting facts about Bethel:

  • The name Bethel comes from the Hebrew beth, meaning house, and el, meaning God. Bethel means House of God.
  • Bethel is located about 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of Jerusalem, west of Jericho and the Jordan River.
  • In times of trouble the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Judges 20:18, 21:2).

So basically the king took the ashes to the “house of God.”

How many times have you decided to destroy some habit, toxic relationship, or sinful behavior or attitude and the guilt of the past keeps flashing before you?

Maybe you need to take your ashes of guilt to the “house of God.”

Give God Your Guilt!

Just imagine taking a big wheel barrow and walking through the corridors of your mind and scooping up every ash of guilt and then rolling it up the aisle of your church and dumping it on the altar.  Pretty messy huh?

Yep, but our God can handle it!

One of Satan’s greatest tools is guilt.  Stand up to him today.  Take your guilt and give it to Jesus.  Every time a thought of your past wants to creep in, remind yourself and the enemy of your soul that you no longer have that guilt, you took it to Bethel.

Heavenly Father, teach us how to be over-comers! Thank you for handling the mess of our guilt.  Help us to burn our bridges and carry away the ashes!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 23:1-20; 2 Chronicles 34:29-33; 2 Kings 23:21-28; 2 Chronicles 35:1-19; Naham 1:1-3:19

Crisis Management, God’s Way–2 Kings 19

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

Most of us…

  • Will never receive the kind of news Hezekiah got in today’s scripture reading
  • Will never be king over the City of David

But…

  • We may own a business
  • Lead a team
  • Pastor a church
  • Parent a family

What would you do if suddenly you got word that a hurricane, oil spill, a group of terrorists, or a failing economy was on its way to destroy everything you hold dear?

What did Hezekiah do?

We’ve seen a lot of kings over the last few weeks of our journey, but very few we can pattern our lives after.  Hezekiah is a king we can follow!

In today’s reading Hezekiah finds himself in a crisis.  The Holy Spirit allows us to be a fly on the wall to learn crisis management, God’s way.

There are 3 things Hezekiah did when he heard the news that the Assyrians were planning to destroy Jerusalem.

  1. He went to the place where he met God– the Temple (2 Kings 19:1)
  2. He sought the advice of Isaiah’s wise, Godly counsel (2 Kings 19:2)
  3. He took the letter he had received from King Sennacherib’s messengers and went to the temple a second time.  He spread it out before the Lord and prayed…  O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim!  You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth.  You alone created the heavens and the earth!  Bend down, O Lord, and listen!  Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!  Listen to Sennacherib’s word of defiance against the living God…now, O Lord, our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kings of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God. (2 Kings 19:14-16)

What is “the first thing you do” when you receive news of a crisis?

  • Call a family member
  • Call a friend
  • Call a doctor
  • Ask for somebody to pray
  • Take a pill
  • Take a drink
  • Escape in T.V.

“The first thing we do” in tough times is the most important thing.  It shows where and in whom our faith lies.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

~ Hebrews 11:6

Since Jesus came to earth, died for us, went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit; we can meet our God anywhere, anytime.  We don’t have to go to the temple to meet him, pray some fancy “thee” and “thou” prayer, or call for someone to pray “for” us.  We just have to say, “Jesus, help me!”

Did God answer Hezekiah’s prayers?

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed about King Sennacherib of Assyria,  the Lord has spoken this word against him—see Isaiah 37:22-35.

The very same night Isaiah spoke this prophesy to Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.  King Sennacherib broke camp and returned to his own land.  Then, “one day” while the king was worshiping his god, his sons killed him with their swords.

Friends, GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!  When a Crisis hits; go to God, get a wise prayer partner who gives Godly counsel, and pray for God to answer your prayer and cause others to “Know Him More!”

Lord increase our faith!  Luke 17:5


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©2010, Dianne Guthmuller

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 King 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

Lord, What’s the Deal With the Pagan Shrines? 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

Today’s Devotion: The “One Thing” We Need to Stand Firm in Tough Times

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!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Are You Setting Your Goals Too Low?–2 Kings 13:14-19

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

When Elisha was in his last illness, King Jehoash of Israel visited him and wept over him. “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” he cried.

Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” And the king did as he was told. Elisha told him, “Put your hand on the bow,” and Elisha laid his own hands on the king’s hands. Then he commanded, “Open that eastern window,” and he opened it. 

Then he said, “Shoot!” So he shot an arrow. Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, an arrow of victory over Aram, for you will completely conquer the Arameans at Aphek.”

Then he said, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times.  But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”    –2 Kings 13:14-19

Can you imagine how King Jehoash must have felt when we realized a few more strikes of the arrows and he would have been able to entirely destroyed Aram by the power of the Lord?

I’m sure King Jehoash had no idea how important striking the arrows against the ground would turn out to be in the war between Aram.  He probably thought it was senseless and silly.  The funny thing is most of the time we need to do some things that may seem senseless, silly, and down-right uncool to be able to reach big goals.

How many times have you said “I wish I would have tried harder?”

    • I wish I would have spent that extra hour studying
    • I wish I would have cleaned the house instead of watched T.V.
    • I wish I would have saved 10% of my income so I had a retirement
    • I wish I would have gone back to school

“Shouldn” and “wouldn” will suck the life out of you.  When you get a chance to set a goal–go for the gold not the bronze.  Pick up every arrow you can find and beat it on the ground as many times as possible!

Heavenly Father, help us to live life in a way that leaves no room for “shouldn” and “wouldn.”  Lead us and guide us.  Teach us to set and work to achieve big goals for You and Your Kingdom.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, 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, Help Me to Be Loyal Like Elisha–2 Kings 2:2

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-25; 2 Kings 4:1-44

Today’s Devotion: Every Month 2,240,000 People in the World Want to Know About…

Heavenly Father, in today’s world loyalty is a lost art.  When the going gets tough, most people just pack up and leave.  Whether we’re talking about marriages, families, friendships, churches, the workplace, or one’s dreams and goals…

“till death do us part”

isn’t cool in the 21st century.

Elisha was extremely blessed because he committed himself to being by Elijah’s side till the end of his ministry:

And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” So they went down together to Bethel.  –2 Kings 2:2

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Jericho.” But Elisha replied again, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together to Jericho.  —2 Kings 2:4

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.” But again Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together.  —2 Kings 2:6

Lord, Elisha was hungry for Your Spirit:

When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.”

And Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.”  

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah replied. “If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won’t.” —2 Kings 2:9-10

Father, did You grant His request because of his loyalty, commitment, and desire?

As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.  Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.

Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River.  He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.

When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.  –2 Kings 2:11-15

Heavenly Father, show me where to place my loyalty.  Show me where and when to give my total commitment. I want a double portion of Your Spirit.  I want to succeed in all that You’ve called me to do.  I want the spirit of Elisha!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-8:15

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