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Lord, I Don’t Want to Become Desensitized to the Detestable Sins Being Committed—Ezekiel 9:3-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 5:1-9:11

Heavenly Father, this passage in Your Word is causing me to do some soul-searching.

Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”

Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! —Ezekiel 9:3-5

Lord, have I become calloused to sin?

Everyday I hear about the senseless suffering of thousands because of heinous sins being committed in our world. It’s easy to weep and sigh when someone’s sin personally affects me but what about the defenseless people down the street,in the cities and towns across America and in foreign countries?

Lord, I’m no Bible scholar so I can’t analyze these verses and decide if it relates to yesterday, today, or tomorrow but I know that if You were angered at the apathy of Your children towards detestable sin in Ezekiel’s day, You are still angered by it.

In today’s culture we are bombarded with words, images, and ideologies contrary to Your Word and Your ways during every waking moment of our day. Things that weren’t okay 20 years ago are embraced today. The analogy of the frog in the pot of boiling water has definitely come to pass in our country in regards to acceptance of unacceptable behavior.

Our politically correct culture has told us we can’t love the sinner with out accepting the sin. Lord, I must admit I’m not sure how to do it. How do I weep and sigh over the sins of our world and not get angry at the sinner?

Jesus, what would You do if You were living in today’s world?

Lord, I want to live out the rest of my days on this planet in a way that’s pleasing to You. I want to love the unlovable. There’s so much I don’t understand but for today I will…

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

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: Ezekiel 10:1-13:23

Lord, You Won’t Throw Me Away! —Isaiah 41:8-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-44:5

Heavenly Father, we live in a disposable world. In the United States we produce 1.35 billion pounds of garbage a day. Unfortunately, our disposable ideology has moved from “stuff” to people. We kill the unborn because a child would be an inconvenience or embarrassment. The aged in our country are seen as a liability rather than an asset.

But You Lord, think differently:

“But as for you, Israel my servant,
Jacob my chosen one,
descended from Abraham my friend,
I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
and will not throw you away.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. —Isaiah 41:8-10
 

Jesus,  I know Isaiah was prophesying about Israel but because of Your sacrifice on the cross this applies to me as well. I know You chose me. You created me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). You will not throw me away. The world may cast me aside, but Lord You are with me!

Heavenly Father, strengthen me and help me. Hold me up with Your victorious right hand!

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 44:6-48:11

Lord, Protect Me from Human Schemes—1 Samuel 26:17-19

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 26:1-27:7, 1 Chronicles 12:1-7, 1 Samuel 27:8-29:11, 1 Chronicles 12:19, Psalm 56

Heavenly Father, I’ve read David and Saul’s story many times. I’m always amazed. David’s complete reliance on You to get Your will accomplished in his life almost seems superhuman, but it wasn’t. David was just a man, but he was a man who knew he had been called by You, the God who made him for a distinct purpose. I think David was always mindful of where he came from; a sheep pasture on a hill in the middle of no-where. He believed that if YOU wanted him to be king YOU would make it happen. There was no scheming on his part but he knew that may not be the case with everyone.

Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?”

And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king. Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime?  But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’  —1 Samuel 26:17-19

Lord, in today’s world it’s hard to know what to believe. Greed, manipulation, half-truths, and un-truths being sold as absolute truths through the media, government, and even in Christian organizations and churches. Nothing is worse than humans using Your Word to manipulate others.

Jesus, I say with David, Lord, if You are stirring things up in the world or just in MY little world, so be it. Let me learn from it and grow from it but if these are simply human schemes, protect me. Give me supernatural discernment and peace that You are in control. I will trust You take care of the situation.

Lord, I trust You to fight my battles for me.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 30:1-31, 1 Chronicles 12:20-22, 1 Samuel 31:1-13, 1 Chronicles 10:1-14, 1 Chronicles 9:40-44, 2 Samuel 4:4, 2 Samuel 1:1-27

Lord, I Don’t Want to do what “Seems Right” Judges 21:25


Today’s Scripture Reading: Judges 19:1-21:25

Heavenly Father, today’s reading was very troubling. How could people be that far gone?  How could they treat those women so inhumanly?

You gave us the explanation in Your Word:

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. —Judges 21:25

Lord, help me to never rely on what “seems right.”  Help me to filter my decisions through Your Word and not my experiences, the culture, or what others are doing.

Holy Spirit, speak loudly and teach me what is right.  Use Your Word to lead me!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ruth 1:1-4:12

Lord, Thank You for Substitutes—Numbers 3:11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 2:1-3:51

Heavenly Father, as we move from Leviticus to Numbers, I am amazed at Your attention to detail! How can I question Your concern about the daily “goings-on” in my life when all through Your Word You are the God of order. You are in the details of our daily life.

Lord, when You gave the instructions for the first Passover it sounded like a way to get Pharaoh’s attention, rescue Your chosen people and make a way for them to remember the rescue forever, but it was much more.

On that first Passover a lamb had to be sacrificed so that each Israelite family’s first-born son would be redeemed. On that day God forever set apart the first-born of Israel and declared they were His:

And the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me,for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.”   —Numbers 3:11-13

In today’s reading the Levites became the substitutes for each first-born male. This clan would carry this responsibility for many years but not forever. Our forever-substitute was a once-in-for-all, it is finished, God made a way where there was no way kind of substitute—Jesus, the Son of the One, True God. Our Savior, Redeemer, the spotless lamb, our high priest! Father, I am in awe of You! I am in awe of the way You made a way of escape!

Jesus, thank you for being my substitute!

 

In Your mighty Name!

Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 4:1-5:31

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Jesus and Thank You for Job—Job 16:21

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 15:1-18:21

Heavenly Father, once again in today’s reading Job cries out for a mediator.

I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.  —Job 16:21

I looked up the definition of the word mediator…

“The achieving of fellowship and reconciliation between separated parties.” (Dictionary of Bible Themes)

And then I found this verse in 1 Timothy 2:5-6:

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 

Lord, the book of Job is one of the oldest in the Bible, yet Job knew there was a separation and he knew he couldn’t fix it. I’ve read Your book of Job many times but never has it been so clear to me that one of the reasons you gave us Job’s story is to show the desperation we would feel if we didn’t have our mediator, Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son. Thank you for giving Him to us at just the right time. Thank you for freedom and thank you for Job!

Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow Scripture Reading: Job 19:1-21:34

My Conscience is Clear But Is My Conscience In Tune With God? — 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

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

“Let your conscience be your guide.”

“My conscience is clear.”

“I’m not hurting anyone but myself.”

“When my conscience is clear I just stop thinking about it.”

My conscience may be clear… but is my conscience completely in tune with God?

The apostle Paul says “No.”

As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point.  My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. —1 Corinthians 4:3-4

What does word “conscience” mean?

The simplest definition is “our sense of right or wrong.”

Do we trust our own sense of right or wrong too much?

Our conscience affects our everyday decision-making, but what directs our conscience?

Our morality

Morality basically means our standards of right or wrong behavior.

In an article from allaboutphilosophy.com, a recent report in Psychology Today is quoted: “The most significant predictor of a person’s moral behavior may be religious commitment. People who consider themselves very religious were least likely to report deceiving their friends, having extramarital affairs, cheating on their expenses accounts, or even parking illegally.”

Paul was one of the most committed Christians of all time, yet he knew something we often forget. At the root of our best efforts, our best intentions, our human conscience can’t understand God’s ways.  Paul would not allow himself to get puffed up as a leader because in comparison to the living God he was just a servant.

So many in today’s world have overridden their moral conscience until EVERYTHING seems pretty much okay–there’s no standard of right or wrong that ALWAYS applies.

I must agree with Paul and say on my best day my conscience pales in comparison to the all-knowing, alpha and omega wisdom of our Lord and Savior.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I let my conscience be my guide.  Help me to go to You for wisdom, guidance and direction.  Holy Spirit help me to feed my conscience with Your Word.

Thank You for Your grace that forgives and then covers my mistakes.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen.

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

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


“When Our Eye is Good”…What Does That Mean? –Luke 11: 33-36


Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 11:14-12:34

A month ago I broke my glasses and had to get new ones.  Before I invested a ton of money in a new pair, I got an eye exam.  Today’s reading made me realize I need another type of eye exam and waiting until there’s a problem may be too late.

No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 

If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”  –Luke 11:33-36

When our eye is good…what does that mean?

It reminds me of that children’s song…

O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

Everything that our eyes look upon is either drawing us toward God or pushing us away from Him.

In the day and age that we live being “filled with light, with no dark corners” takes a conscious effort.  How easy it is for us to think we’re seeing light when it is actually darkness.

I want God’s “floodlight filling me with light!”

How about you?

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to be deceived.  You are the light of the World and You expect me to be Your light as well.  Show me the areas in my life that are dark or even just a light grey.  I want my life to be radiant, fill me with your light!

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In Jesus’ Name!  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 12:35-13:21; John 9:1-41

How Do We Know What to Believe?—John 8:32


Today’s Scripture ReadingJohn 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13

When you listen to a teacher, preacher, politician, or news anchor, how do you know what they’re saying is truth?

Wouldn’t it be great if all speakers of “truth” were like Pinocchio and their nose grew when they were speaking something that wasn’t truthful?

How do we really know what to believe?

Who really determines the “truth?”

In John 8:32, Jesus said: And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

What is your definition of truth?

In Focus on the Family’s Truth Project,  R.C. Sproul gave this great definition of truth:

Truth is that which corresponds to reality as perceived by God.  Because God’s perception of reality is never distorted; it’s the perfect perception of reality.

Let’s plug this definition of truth into John 8:32…

And you will know [reality as seen by God], and [God’s perception of reality] will set you free.

In today’s world truth is in the eye of the beholder.  It’s like the woman in the one of Truth Project video says, “one person can say a table’s blue and the other person can say its red; how they see it is their truth.”

This way of thinking has taken its toll on the biblical world view of many in today’s culture.

If the truth sets us free

AND

there are many versions of the truth,

which truth

sets us free?

To be free we must choose to believe that our Heavenly Father and Him alone has given us His truth in His Word, then and only then can be have this freedom Jesus was offering.

How do we get this freedom?

  • Accept by faith that God’s perception of reality is absolute truth
  • Begin a lifelong journey to understand God’s truth through the spiritual disciplines of
    • Bible Study
    • Prayer
    • Meditation

Jesus said in John 8:31, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.”

Heavenly Father, teach us Your Truth.  Holy Spirit, speak to our spirit and let us know when something is Your Truth, give us spiritual wisdom and discernment.  Help us to resist the lie of many truths and live our life with confidence that you gave us Your absolute truth in Your Word!  Jesus, thank you for your Word.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen.

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 11:14-12:34


If God has ever Answered a Prayer for You Press [Like] —John 2:23-25

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-15; John 1:19-2:25

This morning on Facebook I saw a group to join:

If God has ever answered a prayer for you press like…

I guess this is the new way of testifying in today’s world of social networking.

The explosion of communications devices and technology in the past decade has substantially expanded the amount of public dialogue related to all kinds of issues, including religion. Yet, even though Americans spend lots of time discussing and debating religious beliefs and spiritual practices, a new survey by The Barna Group shows that all of that interaction has translated into very little change in people’s faith life.

Of all the adults randomly sampled for the nationwide survey, just 7% said they could think of any religious beliefs, practices, or preferences they had altered during the past five years. (Click here for full article)

The majority of people in our country are willing to admit that God has answered a prayer for them, but they’re not willing to live for Him or change for Him.

When Jesus was on the earth He came across the same problem:

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.  But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature.  No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like. –John 2:23-25

Have you ever seen a miracle?

How did it affect you?

Did you get caught up in the emotion of the moment and make promises you couldn’t keep?

That’s exactly what happened at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

  • Jesus performed miracles in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration
  • Many began to trust in Him

There’s nothing wrong with beginning to trust Jesus because of a miracle; the problem begins when we “trust the miracle instead of Jesus.”

There’s another piece to the story…

Some of the people in Jerusalem were probably trusting Jesus “to get a miracle.”

Lord, I’ll serve you if…

Lord, I’ll believe you if…

Lord, I’ll change my behavior if…

Lord, I’ll trust you if…

The word trust in John 2:23 and trust in John 2:24 are the same Greek word—pisteuo, which means believe. These people believed in Jesus, but He did not believe in them! They were “unsaved believers”! It was one thing to respond to a miracle but quite something else to commit oneself to Jesus Christ and continue in His Word. (The Bible Exposition Commentary)

Friends, it time to be forever changed from seeing Jesus.  Jesus told us exactly what He expected in John 8:30-32.

Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. (Emphasis mine)

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not being trustworthy.  Help us to live a life that reflects our belief and trust in You.  Show us the areas that You want us to change.  Help us to grow in our desire to serve You each day and to remain faithful to Your teachings.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen.

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  John 3:1-4:45; Luke 3:19-20

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