Archive - Choices RSS Feed

Lord, There’s So Much to Do and So Little Energy—John 6:26-29

images-2

Today’s Scripture Reading: John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20

Heavenly Father, our wild and crazy lives must be both humorous and sad to You. Busy is the buzz-word of our culture. It’s as we if we think our busyness makes us valuable to society, our family, and the church. You warned us about mis-aligned priorities in Your Word.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” —John 6:26-29

Each person only has so much energy. Some have abundant amounts and some have very little. The amount of energy isn’t our problem. It’s what we’re spending it on that’s the issue. Lord, we spend our most precious asset–our energy, performing for the world’s approval and acceptance and then we take that same philosophy and apply it to our relationship with You.  We think that’s we way You decide if we’re acceptable. That goes against Your Word.

Lord, the people in today’s lesson were following You for the food. Sadly, in today’s self-absorbed world, many Christians serve You for Your physical blessings rather than the eternal rewards. I think we are so caught up in the day-to-day life, we never have time to think about the eternal consequences of our daily choices.

This “chaos of busyness,” that’s keeps us from thinking is one of the greatest tools Satan is using to cause Christians to “fall away.” Our physical busyness isn’t the real problem. The thing that is leading to our destruction is our mental busyness. Our attention span is decreasing daily.  Our goal is to avoid silence. If we don’t have silence, we can’t hear You speak and that makes us easy pickings for the enemy of our soul.

In today’s world we’d rather “do” than “think.”

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; —2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (KJV)

Lord, forgive us. Forgive me. Lord, I want to spend my energy seeking, serving, and spending time with You. Help me to lay aside anything that distracts me from You.

Jesus, help me to remember–

That the only work You want from me is to Believe in You.

Jesus, I bring my busyness, burdens, weariness to You.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” —Matthew 11:28-30

And I receive Your rest.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:31-37, Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-16:4, Mark 8:11-21, Matthew 16:5-12

Lord, This Is a Struggle For Me—Luke 8:26-56

images-4

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading there were three miracles.

1. After You healed the demon-possessed man You instructed him to go back to his family and tell them everything You had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).

2. After You healed the woman with the issue of blood you instructed her to go in peace (Luke 8:43-48).

3. After You raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead You instructed her parents not to tell anyone what happened (Luke 8:40-56).

Lord, these are amazing and faith-building to read but there’s another piece of these stories that fascinates me. In the first miracle You instructed the man who was healed to tell the world, in the second miracle You left it up to the woman who was healed; You only told her to go in peace. In the third miracle You told the parents to be silent. No reason was given for these different responses.

I have no problem telling the world when You’ve taught me something or given me wisdom or discernment on an issue. But I really have a problem keeping quiet when You’ve done something amazing or shown me something. Every time I see a great quote or scripture I want to tweet it or post it on my Facebook page. I ALWAYS want to share the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes. The problem is just because I know it doesn’t mean I need to share it.

Holy Spirit, if You prompt me to share , I know You will use it but if I’m just out there on my own, without Your blessing, it’s like spitting in the wind!

Lord, there are several areas in my life right now where I have strong opinions. I have strong convictions. I have experiences and scriptures constantly floating around in my head. I’m really having a problem knowing when it’s You and when it’s me.

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. Tell me when to be silent, when I have freedom, and when I am definitely supposed to share.

Lord, please forgive me. Use my mistakes to grow me into the servant You’ve planned for me to be.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6

Lord, Why Am I Here? —Mark 1:35-39

 

Unknown

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:12-17, Luke 3:23a, John 4:46-54, Luke 4:16-30, Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Mark 1:29-34, Matthew 8:14-17, Luke 4:38-41, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44, Matthew 4:23-25

Heavenly Father, wondering why I’m on this earth isn’t something I’ve thought that much about. Most of my life I’ve felt I had a purpose but these days I’m entering into a new season and I have more questions than answers. Jesus, knew why You sent Him. He stayed focused oh His purpose. He didn’t let the needs and demands of the masses pull Him away from Your plans for His time on this earth.

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. —Mark 1:35-39

Today’s biggest tug-of-war is in my mind.  Ultimately, my purpose and everyone on this planet’s purpose is to know You and cause others to know You. I guess my questions are more about the “how” than the “what.” Do I turn left, right, go straight, or do a 180 and return to something I’ve done in the past?

Or do I wait at this crossroad and rest like Elijah (1 Kings 19)?

You are the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrew 12:2). When You speak I move. Until then, I wait.

I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 5:1-11, Mark 1:40-45, Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16, Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32, Mark 2:18-22, Matthew 9:14-17, Luke 5:33-39

Lord, Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Think—Luke 2:48

images-5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:41-52, Mark 1:1b-8, Mathew 3:1-12, Luke 3:1-18, Mark 1:9-11, Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22

Heavenly Father, today I saw this verse in a new light.

His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” —Luke 2:48

The story of Mary and Joseph leaving Jesus at the temple was one I first heard as a small child but as I read it today it gave me comfort as a parent and an aging adult who spends a lot of time shaking my head over the inconsistencies and self-centeredness in today’s world.

Mary and Joseph were parenting the son of God. Jesus was sinless, yet his parents went through three days of hell when they realized he wasn’t with them when they started home to Nazareth (Luke 2:41-52). Their first thoughts were “why have you done this to us?”

Lord, I must admit that I’ve asked myself this question many times over the years as a parent. The answer Jesus would give and the answer my kids would give would most likely be the same one: “I wasn’t thinking about you at all.” In Jesus case, He was about His Heavenly Father’s will for His time on earth. In the case of my kids, they were thinking about their life, their agenda, and their ideals.

This is really hard for parents to understand because from the time we find out we’re pregnant everything we do is for our children. It is a rude awakening when we realize that the opposite is true with them—the moment a child is born they begin the fight for their independence from their parents.

Lord, I’m sure You understand this because You are a parent. You sacrificed Your son so that we can be with You in heaven and most days it’s all about us and we don’t think about You or Your Will at all.

For Mary, this was a turning point. Jesus was only twelve but she knew the tearing away had begun and it was going to be painful.

Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. —Luke 2:51

Heavenly Father, I want to follow Your example as a parent. The most important gift You gave Your children is the freedom of choice. Help me to encourage my children, grandchildren and future generations to experience Your gift of choice. I pray they choose You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

Click here to visit blog

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

Lord, Help Me to Think It Over—Nehemiah 5:6-7

images

Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Heavenly Father, thank You for Nehemiah’s example of dealing with conflict.

When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem. —Nehemiah 5:6-7

In today’s reading Nehemiah was angry. He wasn’t just angry he was VERY angry. Not only was he angry, he was tired, stressed, and dirty; not the best conditions to exhibit self-control.

Anger happens. It rises up in us as a knee-jerk reaction to the circumstances around us. To suppress our anger and pretend to be “fine” isn’t healthy, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Neither is allowing anger to empower us to lash out at those who make us angry or take it out on the first person we see.

Nehemiah chose a different path. He chose to think it over.

Lord, “thinking it over” is a choice. In times of extreme anger it’s not the easy choice, it’s sometimes not the choice I want to make. In my anger I’d rather lash out and “share my pain” with the person or persons whose actions, or lack of actions have caused my blood to boil.

Lord, through Nehemiah You gave us a great example of the appropriate way to confront difficult situations and deal with our anger. Help me to remember these four steps the next time I’m overcome with anger:

Step 1: Acknowledge my anger

Step 2: Thinks it over

Step 3: Confronts the situation calmly and sensibly

Step 4: Finds a solution

 

Lord, Your Word is so relevant for my life. I’m constantly amazed by You!

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: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Lord, Help Me to Be Silent—Esther 4:13-17

images-8

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22, Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-4:14

Heavenly Father, unlike Esther I have more problems keeping quiet than speaking my mind. This is one reason I admire Esther so much. She is who I want to be when I grow up. Unfortunately, I always have an opinion, love to give advice and spend many night’s reliving my words and regretting ever opening my mouth—not at all like Esther.

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” —Esther 4:13-14

Esther continually sought the advice of others (Esther 2:10, 15, 20, Esther 4:13-17). I wonder if it was because she didn’t like to make decisions, didn’t trust her judgment, or because of the culture of the day.

Lord, the thing I find interesting about Your plan for humans is no matter how we come into this world,  there’s opportunity for growth. Life tempers the bossy and prideful and empowers the submissive and humble.

That seemed to be the case for Esther. You took a beautiful, shy, orphan and gave her the courage to say…

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. —Esther 4:15-17

Jesus, at this time in my life I believe You’re calling me to silence. My advice is not needed, it’s not part of Your plan. It’s as hard for me to be silent as it was for Esther to stand up for her people. The only way I can do it  is with Your help.

Today, I will refrain from giving advice. I will silently wait and watch You work.

I trust You!

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: Esther 5:1-10:3

Lord, It Must Break Your Heart to Watch Your Children Destroy Themselves—Jeremiah 44:7

images-5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:30, Ezekiel 33:21-33

Heavenly Father, throughout Your Word You have given us clues into Your heart. You are the first parent. Many times in the Bible we see Your  parent’s heart. Just like human parents, You experience great joy and extreme sadness because of  Your children’s choices.

In this verse we saw one of Your painful days as a parent.

And now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, asks you: Why are you destroying yourselves? For not one of you will survive—not a man, woman, or child among you who has come here from Judah, not even the babies in your arms. —Jeremiah 44:7

Father, reading this verse makes me sad for You and it makes me sad for parents who are watching their children self-destruct as I write this prayer.

It’s tough to watch those we love endure pain and suffering that is not of their choosing.

But

It’s worse to watch our children make conscious choices to self-destruct and take their families along with them.

Lord, there’s a great lesson in this verse. You allowed Your children to bear the consequences of their choices, even though You could have forced them to do what You knew was best for them.

Today’s parents think protecting our children and alleviating their suffering is what good parents do. Many parents spend their whole lives exhausting their time, money, and health trying to save children who do not want to be saved.

Jesus, You came to this earth to pay the price for our sins and give us eternal life.

But

You did not take away our ability to choose life or death, heaven or hell, or safety or self-destruction.

Father, teach parents to train their children as You train Your children:

Choices = Consequences

Lord, help us to learn from Your example.

Comfort us as only You can when our children choose the road to self-destruction.

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 34:1-36:38

Lord, Forgive Me for the Times I Don’t Walk in Peace—Jeremiah 33:9

images

Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 32:1-33:26, Ezekiel 26:1-14

Heavenly Father, when I read this scripture so many thoughts run through my head: Our country, the importance of living a life  of peace as it relates to causing people to know You, the awesome power of peace, and Your definition of prosperity versus the world’s definition.

Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them. —Jeremiah 33:9

Jesus, I know there won’t be peace in this world until You come back but Lord You do promise us peace in our hearts and minds as Your children.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. —John 14:27

Lord, true prosperity is much more than wealth, property, and stuff. I wonder if Jeremiah and the Jews of his day realized economic prosperity was dependent of the prosperity of their soul. 

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth —3 John 1:2 (KJV)

Lord, this kind of peace is what causes the lost world to want to know You.

Lord, forgive me for the times I don’t walk in peace. I’m sorry I sometimes allow the cares of this world overwhelm me.

Today’s a new day! I refuse to live a life that is less than Your best for 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: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Lord, Strengthen Me to Bear the Consequences of My Mistakes—Ezekiel 23:35

Unknown-6

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 22:17-23:49, 2 Kings 24:20b-25:2, Jeremiah 52:3b-5, Jeremiah, 39:1, Ezekiel, 24:1-14

 

Heavenly Father, I know the message You gave Ezekiel was directed at the Jews during their exile to Babylon but I also know that consequences weren’t just reserved for the Your rebellious children of long ago.

“And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.” —Ezekiel 23:35

The principle of consequence goes all the way back to Adam. We are still bearing the consequences of his sin. Because of Adam’s poor choice every baby born into this world is born into sin.

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. —Romans 5:12

But because of Your love for us, You sent Your son so that we don’t have to bear the consequences of Adam’s sin.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. —Romans 5:17

Jesus, it’s easy to feel free from my mistakes because of Your sacrifice. It sure would be nice not to have to deal with the consequences of  my poor decisions.

But Your Word says otherwise:

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. —Galatians 6:7-8

Jesus, I’ve made so many mistakes but because of Your love and sacrifice, my past, present, and future sins are forgiven. All I have to do is admit them and ask for Your forgiveness.

And then…

I have to deal with the consequences.

Sometimes, Your grace and mercy completely blot out the consequences of my mistakes but most of the time consequences are Your tools to teach, train, and grow me.

Lord, strengthen me to bear the consequences of my mistakes with grace and trust. Help me to learn from them quickly and never make the same mistake again. Use my mistakes and their consequences to get Your will accomplished in my life.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. —Romans 8:28

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 24:15-25:17, Jeremiah 34:1-22, Jeremiah 21:1-14, Ezekiel 29:1-16, Ezekiel 30:20-31:18

Lord, I’m Afraid to Surrender—Jeremiah 38:19-23

images-3

Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 37:11-38:28, Ezekiel 1:1-3:15

Heavenly  Father, surrender is such a negative word. We equate it with failure, lack of effort, and weakness but sometimes surrender is our only option for survival. Our surrender is God’s way of getting His Will accomplished in our lives. Such is the case in this message Jeremiah gave to King Zedekiah.

 

“But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!”

Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying,

‘What fine friends you have!
They have betrayed and misled you.
When your feet sank in the mud,
they left you to your fate!’

All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.” —Jeremiah 38:19-23

Lord, surrender is a key discipline in knowing You and serving You. Our first surrender comes when we accept You as our Savior and from that day forward we are constantly surrendering our will to Your will.

I am currently in a season of surrender and just like King Zedekiah I’m playing the “what if” game. Lord, if I obey, trust, and surrender it may not turn out the way “I” want it to. I’m afraid people I love will be hurt if I don’t take control of the situation. Can You lay out Your plan for me BEFORE I surrender?

Lord, I’m sure You’re laughing. I know, that wouldn’t be surrender, that would be negotiation. Help me to overcome my fear and completely surrender this situation to You.

Jesus, You are the greatest example of surrender. Teach me, coach me, and convict me to follow Your example of surrendering my will to the will of my Heavenly Father.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” —Luke 22:42

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 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64

Page 3 of 17«12345»10...Last »
%d bloggers like this:
google53dcbfa4313dec77.html