Archive - Acts RSS Feed

Lord, It’s Useless to Fight Against Your Will—Acts 26:13-18

Unknown

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 27:1-44

**This prayer is for December 4th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, as Paul re-told the story of his conversation to King Agrippa and his wife, I thought, “who wouldn’t serve You with a conversion like this one!”

About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ —Acts 26:13-18

Lord, I didn’t have a dramatic conversion like Paul. I became a Christian when I was ten years old. I didn’t see a light and hear a voice but there’s one thing that Paul and I have in common…

It’s useless for us to fight against Your will.

Lord, like many Christians I’ve spent much of my life searching, looking, and even fretting over Your will for my life. Sometimes we’re “working” so hard trying to find Your will that we actually are fighting against Your will. I definitely don’t have it all figured out but I know this–

I will arrive at Your will for my life with a less wounds and bloody knees if I just release MY will and rest in the fact that You will get Your will accomplished in my life.

I am learning that my greatest prayer is…

Lord, Your will be done–

on earth

on this day

and

in my life

–as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Lord, please anoint my desires so that they line up with Your will.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

Lord, I Believe It Will Be Just As You Said—Acts 27:23-26

images

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32 

**This devotion is for December 5th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, forty-plus years of being a Christian has taught me many things but this truth is one that I’m continually learning through life’s challenges:

Believing in God and believing God are two different things.

 Paul believed in You AND He believed You would do what You said You would do.

For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” —Acts 27:23-26

Lord, You said it and that settles it…

But sometimes it doesn’t.

What I mean is, sometimes it doesn’t settle it for me. I allow fear, and doubt to cloud my thinking. Thoughts like “Lord, You meant that for Paul but You didn’t really mean it for me. You really aren’t going to come through and rescue me from my storm.”

Holy Spirit, coach me when I get in these places. I want a supernatural gift of faith to believe when I’m tempted to doubt.

Lord, it will be, just as You said…

I trust You. In Jesus Name. Amen an Amen

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

Lord, This Blows my Mind! —Acts 23:11-35

images

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Heavenly Father, I can’t stop thinking about Paul’s nephew. He “just happened” to be in the right place, at the right time to hear of a plan to kill his uncle.

But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. Paul called for one of the Roman officers and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him.”

So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” —Acts 23:16-18

The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?” 

Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information. But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”

“Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man. —Acts 23:19-22

Holy Spirit, thanks to You and Paul’s nephew the plot to kill Paul was stopped (Acts 23:23-35) but there’s more to this miraculous coincidence. Holy Spirit, this is amazing! The night before Paul’s nephew heard of the plot to kill Paul, You appeared to Paul to encouraged him and give him his next assignment:

That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” —Acts 23:11

So basically You took what Satan meant for evil (Genesis 50:20)and the very next day got Paul a free, escorted trip to Rome (Acts 23:23-25)

Holy Spirit, can I say, this just blows my mind!

Lord, get Your will accomplished in my life today. I trust You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32

Lord, I Don’t Know What Awaits, But…—Acts 20:22-24

Unknown-1

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 20:13-21:36

Heavenly Father, as this year comes to a close, a season of ministry is ending. While I certainly don’t compare my ministry with Paul’s, I do know what it’s like to hear the Holy Spirit say go, start, leave, or stop.

And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. –Acts 20:22-24

Lord, it took obedience for Paul to leave Jerusalem and it took obedience for him to return. Five years ago I heard a quiet, kind, an loving thought bounce around my heart, “I want you to lead and online Bible study through the One-year Chronological Bible and I want you to write a devotion for each day’s reading and post it on a blog.”

Holy Spirit, I knew it was You because I would have never had that thought and Satan certainly would never tell me to do that! Up until this point I had only been posting on my blog once a month. Lord, in my natural mind I didn’t think what You were asking me to do was possible but with You all things are possible.

Lord, as this journey comes to a close, it’s taking as much obedience to stop as it did to start. I have learned so much. Leading this Bible study has taught me that You will open my eyes to the truth and relevancy of Your Word, when I spend time with You. Some days You gave me the words in an hour, some days it took three or four hours. Because of my commitment, I waited and You know that I’m the kind of person who needs a commitment. It amazes me that You work with the way You made me!

Lord, because of what I’ve learned and because of the intimacy I’ve had with You, I really don’t want to stop, but I will—because You said so. I will, knowing that the learning and the intimacy will continue, just in different ways.

Jesus, I don’t know what awaits me in this next season but I know my life is worth nothing unless I spend my time telling others about You.

Lord, I trust You. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Lord, Sometimes I Disagree—Acts 15:36-40

images-2

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 15:22-Acts 17:15

Heavenly Father, thank You for including this passage in Your Word:

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. —Acts 15:36-40

Lord, I know there are many scriptures that speak to love, peace, long-suffering, and gentleness as it relates to dealing with others . Displaying the Fruit of the Spirit is definitely my goal but sometimes I fall short. These verses give me a ring-side seat into a biblical disagreement and offer my “Paul personality” a break from the occasional condemnation that plagues my mind. Here are five things I see in these verses.

Sometimes believers…

1. Disagree

2. Have different standards

3. Can be passionate and raise their voices

4. Have to agree to disagree

5. Can’t work together

Lord, I don’t see these verses as license to fly off the handle but once again Your Word lets me know that no one is perfect and sometimes a good old-fashioned disagreement can be the human response.

Holy Spirit, forgive me when I handle confrontation in a way that’s not pleasing to You. Teach me how to disagree.

Thank You for Your grace. In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11

Lord, Fill Me With These Two Things—Acts 13:52

 

 

Unknown

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 12:6-25, Acts 13:1-52, Acts 14:1-20

Heavenly Father, reading through the book of Acts had made something apparently clear—I am empty.

And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. —Acts 13:52

The cares of this world have sucked the life out of me.

Holy Spirit, fill me up, top me off. I want my life overflowing with joy.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Acts 14:21-28, Galatians 1:1-24, Galatians 2:1-21, Galatians 3:1-23

Lord, Receive My Prayers and Gifts to Others As an Offering—Acts 10:4

 

images-1

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 10:1-48, Acts 11:1-30, Acts 12:1-5

Heavenly Father, I’ve been sitting here for a while thinking about these verses, wondering what it would be like to be Cornelius, a Roman army officer, a Gentile in the days when the Jews were Your chosen ones , and a man who was visited by an angel.

In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said.

Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel.

And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! —Acts 10:1-4

Cornelius hadn’t been trained since birth in Jewish religion. Yet he was one of Your devout followers.

I’m sure Cornelius had seen the Jews making all their daily animal sacrifices. He may have compared his relationship with You to theirs and felt less than, after all the Jews had many outward demonstrations of worship.

Lord, You don’t say this in Your Word but the thought came to my mind that You sent an angel to say to Cornelius, “No, you’ve never killed an animal and offered it up to Me but You have given Me many offerings.

Cornelius, You…

-Are devout

-Are God-fearing

-Have introduced me to your family 

-Have given generously to the poor

-Talk to Me regularly

Cornelius, these things are beautiful offerings to Me

Father, because of Cornelius’ reverence and fear of You, You moved Peter to do something he had never done so that Cornelius and his family could receive eternal life through Your Son.

Lord, this story reminds me that You went to great lengths to introduce me to Your Son and my relationship with You is one-of-a-kind. My story is unique. Every prayer I pray and every gift I give are received by You as a love offering.

Thank You for pursuing me!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 12:6-25, Acts 13:1-52, Acts 14:1-20

Lord, Can You Give Me These Kind of Directions?—Acts 8:26-29

images

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43

Heavenly Father, my slightly dormant spirit of adventure is jumping up and down right now.

As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
He was humiliated and received no justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.

As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.

Jesus, that was wild! Talk about adventure, Phillip was out on the road minding his own business when Your angel says “go this way!” In a matter of minutes he introduced the Ethiopian eunuch to You, baptized him, and was snatched away by Your Spirit!

I just can’t imagine.

If I could speak with Phillip he would probably say, “what’s adventurous about it, I was just following Jesus’ instructions.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” —Acts 1:8

Jesus, help me to awake each morning expecting Your instructions and directions. Holy Spirit, empower me with a supernatural sensitivity to hear Your voice and power me up to be Your witness everywhere I go.

Let the adventure begin!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 10:1-12:5

Lord, I Don’t Want to Be This Kind of Stubborn—Acts 7:51

images-8

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-8:1a

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to be this kind of stubborn:

 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51

Lord, it’s so easy to read the story of the stoning of Stephen and be filled with righteous indignation! How could those people have been that stupid? Why couldn’t they see what a mighty man of God Stephen was?

Jesus, I had to ask myself:

  • Have I ever been stubborn, close-minded, thinking I know the truth and everyone else is wrong?
  • Has there ever been a time with I looked godly on the outside but the thoughts in my heart were more like a heathen?
  • Have I ever ignored the truth proclaimed around me to the point of seeming deaf?
  • Have I ever resisted the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes

So, I could have been one of these people:

The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. –Acts 7:54-58

Holy Spirit, Stephen was a different kind of stubborn. He had a supernatural, stubborn love for the people who stoned him:

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. —Acts 7:60

Lord, give me a heart like Stephen. Help me to love like he did. When You see stubbornness and close-mindedness in me…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. —Psalm 139:23-24

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43

Lord, Help Me to See Opportunities—Acts 3:12a

images-7

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 3:1-5:42

Jesus, I wonder if Peter and John had any idea what was going to happen on their way to the temple?

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

I don’t think they were surprised. I think they probably prayed every morning and asked the Holy Spirit to anoint them to serve others as they went about their day.

But

They didn’t know there would be a lame man

and

They didn’t know there would be an opportunity to speak to a crowd about YOU.

Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. —Acts 3:12a

Yes, we’d all agree healing a man who had never walked in his life sounds like a divine appointment and getting to speak to a large crowd about Jesus sounds like a God opportunity.

But was THIS a God opportunity?

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. —Acts 4:1-3

Lord, maybe Peter and John immediately knew being thrown in jail was a divine appointment but if it were me, I would be thinking, “My God, My God why have You forsaken me! How can this be happening?”

There’s such a lesson in these verses. If we believe God has made an opportunity for us and we choose to step into that opportunity there may be opposition. The number one thing we get straight before we ever ask to be used is…

Will I be obedient to God when the going gets tough?

So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” —Acts 4:18-20

Holy Spirit, I want to immediately see the opportunities You place in my life and step out in faith believing that Your leading me. Lord, help me to be obedient and stand tall when opposition comes.

Lord, I want to serve others in Your name. Use me today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-8:1a

Page 1 of 612345»...Last »
%d bloggers like this:
google53dcbfa4313dec77.html