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Lord, This is My Best Gift This Christmas—2 Timothy 2:11-13

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18

Heavenly Father, this is definitely a trustworthy saying:

 

This is a trustworthy saying:

If we die with him,
we will also live with him.
If we endure hardship,
we will reign with him.
If we deny him,
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.

 —2 Timothy 2:11-13

Father, other than Your Son, Your faithfulness is my most cherished gift this Christmas. It’s been a tough year. There have been times when I’ve been faithless and unfaithful. This year will pass, the memories of the tough times will fade but Your faithfulness to me and Your willingness to be close to me, when I couldn’t even stand myself, makes this year a memorable one in my journey of faith.

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

Jesus, where would I be without You?

Great is Your faithfulness!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

Lord, I Want to Do Good By Meeting the Urgent Needs of Others, but.. —Titus 3:12-14

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Titus 1:1-3:15, 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Heavenly Father, I want to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others...

I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter. Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need. Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. —Titus 3:12-14

I definitely can relate to Paul. Productivity is always my focus. I measure everything by return on investment—how much time do I invest and what are the results? Knowing that the Apostle Paul has some of my quirks, gives me comfort.

Productivity can be a good thing but I wonder…

Lord, please forgive me if I’m being disrespectful, and friends who are reading this remember I’m talking to my daddy God and I can ask Him anything…

…I wonder, if Paul’s jail time was factored into Your plan so that he would slow down and focus on one of Your top priorities for him—writing a large part of the New Testament. Lord, I’m a “do-er” and it can really be hard to be still and a just be. The needs of people stir me up and keep me feeling like I’m missing the mark. It’s like whatever I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else. I wonder if Paul ever felt this way.

Lord, I don’t believe my 2015 sabbatical is just a season of resting and waiting, I think it’s also a season of clarification, re-direction and peace. Holy Spirit, You led Paul to jail to get Your will accomplished. I know You’re doing the same for me.

Yes, this is oversimplifying, but it seems that if every believer allowed You to direct our day, our steps, and our thoughts, the urgent needs of others would be met and we would be Your kind of productive. LORD, I WANT THIS!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, during this Christmas season we are surrounded by needs. Speak loudly and show us who, where, when, how and IF we are to meet those needs and then give us the peace to carry out Your direction with no regrets or feelings of failure. Make Your calling for this day crystal clear.

Jesus, prince of peace, lead me today.

In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18

Lord, The New Year’s Coming, It’s Time to Workout—1 Timothy 4:6-8

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Heavenly Father, I wonder if I’m the only person who has thought about exercising as they were stuffing yummy Christmas goodies in their mouth. My thoughts go something like this, “I really shouldn’t eat this, it’s not good for me but it’s no big deal because it’s Christmas, it’s a time of feasting and I’m going to start working out January 1. Those extra five pounds will only be on me for a week or two.”

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” –1 Timothy 4:6-8

Yep, it’s that time of year when the world decides to change every bad health habit they have accumulated throughout their life—in one day.

Yes, physical training and our health are important and I am making my New Year plans, but Lord, I don’t want to miss the most important training regiment for 2015– training for godliness. While the benefits of physical training are many, they cannot compare to the benefits godliness promises in this life and the life to come.

Holy Spirit, I have to take responsibility for my spiritual training, but can You help me create a customized training plan for 2015? A plan that sets me up for success. For the last five years my “godliness training plan” has included reading the One-Year Chronological Bible from cover-to-cover. This year it’s gonna be a new training plan, with new muscles to work on, and new things to learn.

Jesus, help me to find balance between physical and spiritual training. Help me to keep my priorities lined up with 1 Timothy 4:6-8.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Titus 1:1-3:15, 2 Timothy 1:1-18

 

Lord, What Causes Quarrels and Fights Among Us? —James 4:1-3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy, 1:1-2:15

Heavenly Father,

What is causing the quarrels and fights among  you(us)? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you (us)?

Lord,

You (we) want what you (we) don’t have, so you (we) scheme and kill to get it. You (we) are jealous of what others have, but you (we) can’t get it, so you (we) fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you (we) don’t have what you (we) want because you (we) don’t ask God for it. And even when you (we) ask, you (we) don’t get it because your (our) motives are all wrong—you (we) want only what will give you (us) pleasure. —James 4:1-3

Jesus, it sounds like evil desires and impure motives cause the quarrels and fights among us. James wasn’t talking about quarrels and fights with non-believers, he was talking about the church.

Holy Spirit, bind us together with love. Help us to grow in our relationship with You to a point where our motives are Your motives.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Lord, I Want Pure Wisdom—James 3:13-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: James 1:1-3:18

Heavenly Father, I seek Your wisdom like a treasure hunter looking for his greatest find!

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. —James 3:13-18

I don’t desire the world’s wisdom. It’s corrupt and disorderly. I want to be a peacemaker in this troubled world.

Holy Spirit, show me how to plant seeds of peace.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

Lord, Our Appetites Are Out of Control—Philippians 3:19-21

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-4:23

Heavenly Father, our world is headed for destruction, just like Paul predicted. The appetites of Your people are out of control. Over indulgence in Sex, food, alcohol, drugs, and material possessions are rampant. Moderation and abstinence have become a thing of the past, even in Your church.

They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. —Philippians 3:19-21

Holy Spirit, wake us up! We are citizens of heaven! We are supposed to be different from the world.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 1:1-3:18

Lord, Help Me to Be Less Demanding and More Loving—Philemon 1:8-9

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

Heavenly Father, these verses spoke to me:

That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus. —Philemon 1:8-9

Lord, I expect a lot of myself. My high expectations sometimes lead to unreasonable demands on the people I love. It’s interesting that my expectations for the world are pretty low but for me and the branches of my family tree—we’re supposed to be perfect!

Jesus, I am learning to lower my expectations. I’m learning to give myself and my loved ones the grace that You died for. I definitely haven’t arrived, but I’m not where I used to be.

Thank You for Your grace.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-4:23

Lord, I’ve Done Some Agonizing in 2014—Colossians 2:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-4:18

Heavenly Father, I guess it’s true that “misery loves company,” because when I saw that Paul agonized, I suddenly felt righteous in my “agonizing” of the past year.

I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. -Colossians 2:1-4

Lord, I’m sure my agony isn’t in the same galaxy as Paul’s but his desires for the Colossians and Laodiceans and my desires for my loved ones are the same.

Jesus, You know about agony. I’m learning that the best prayer to pray during life’s agonizing times is the same prayer you prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, not what I want but what You want.”

Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “You sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him. He began to have much sorrow and a heavy heart. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sad. My soul is so full of sorrow I am ready to die. You stay here and watch with Me.”

He went on a little farther and got down with His face on the ground. He prayed, “My Father, if it can be done, take away what is before Me. Even so, not what I want but what You want.” —Matthew 26:36-39

Jesus, as I move into this new year, teach me how take my struggles, concerns, and agony to You in prayer and then trust You with the outcome.

In Your Name. Amen and amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

Lord, I Want to Make the Most of Every Opportunity—Ephesians 5:15-20

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

Heavenly Father, will I live to see the day when I can’t speak Your Son’s name in public?

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 5:15-20

Lord, I want to be wise. I don’t want to waste my time on earth. I want to make the most of every opportunity. Holy Spirit, fill me and use me to help someone know You more today.

Thank You for the opportunities You are sending my way! May I live for the glory of Your Name!

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-4:18

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

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