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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, 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

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

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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, This Blows my Mind! —Acts 23:11-35

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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, These Four Things Could Change The World—2 Corinthians 13:11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-13:14, Acts 20:7-12

Heavenly Father, I know You know this, but our world is in a mess. When I look at the desperation, it’s overwhelming. What can I do? I’m only one person.

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. —2 Corinthians 13:11

Paul, knew about changing the world. He knew that being an example was the only way to usher in change. He gave the Corinthians four ways to live that will cause others to know You.

1. Be joyful

2. Grow to maturity

3. Encourage each other

4. Live in harmony and peace

Lord, help me not to expect these things of unbelievers. They only have one problem, they don’t know You. Help me to use these four things to reach out to the lost and hurting of this world.

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. Holy Spirit, help me to hold myself to a higher standard than the world. —1 Corinthians 9:22

Lord, these four things are my desire. Let each one be displayed in my life today!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 20:13-21:36

Lord, I Thought I Had Earned My Forgiveness Badge —2 Corinthians 2:5-8

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

Heavenly Father, in 2010, my first year of leading “The Journey” You taught me a powerful lesson about forgiveness. This was the scripture that illuminated the page of my Bible on November 29, 2010:

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. —2 Corinthians 2:5-8

On that day these verses were a sign to me that I had made it through the Phases of Forgiveness. As I read each word, I knew that was the way I felt; I no longer wanted that person who had hurt me to suffer or be overcome by discouragement. I was finally free from the hurt. I had truly forgiven.

Lord, I thought I had earned my forgiveness badge and was on to other lessons…

You must have laughed.

Unfortunately, this year I returned to forgiveness school. Thankfully, I can say that I’m about ready to graduate from this session but it has been very hard; maybe harder than the last time.

Lord, thank You for forgiving me for not wanting to forgive. Thank You for Your grace while I was in the process. Thank You for walking with me on my journey through the Phases of Forgiveness.

Thank You for never giving up on me.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-10:18

Lord, Thank You for Understanding My Groanings—Romans 8:26-28

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-10:21

Heavenly Father, Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses. It has carried me through many difficult times. But today the verses preceding this well-known verse jumped out like a neon sign.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  —Romans 8:26-27

Lord, this year has been a season of weakness. I have been weary physically, emotionally, and mentally. Yet, this will go down as a year of extreme closeness to You. You were there through it all. As my human defenses were stripped away, I was left with my spirit (wo)man. I had no words, I had no solutions, I had no brilliant ideas. I was just here and You were very close and somewhere is the trauma, You became enough.

Lord, I’m beginning to understand this verse:

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. —John 3:30

Holy Spirit, You are helping me in my weakness. You have translated my pain, tears, sadness, and brokenness into groanings my Heavenly Father understands. Thank You for praying prayers that are in harmony with God’s will for my life–

Because…

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

Lord, I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-14:23

Lord, I Have No Excuse—Romans 1:18-20

images-3Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Heavenly Father, I want to know You more. The truth about You is everywhere.

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. —Romans 1:18-20

Help me to stop and take in Your qualities as I go about my day. I don’t want to miss a thing!

 

In Jesus Name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 2:1-4:25

Lord, Put Me Where You Want Me—1 Corinthians 12:18-20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

Heavenly Father, as we approach the Thanksgiving/Christmas season my mind jumps ahead to the new year. 2015 is going to be a year of change for me. Doors are closing. Seasons are ending and times of rest and refreshing are approaching.

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. —1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Lord, I’m anxious to see what this year holds and where You put me within Your body in this new season.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.                     —1 Corinthians 12:12

I’m Yours. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

Lord, I Want to Be the Kind of Believer Who Believes These Two Things–1 Corinthians 8:4-7

 

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

Heavenly Father, this passage is so relevant for today’s world:

So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.

However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.                       —1 Corinthians 8:4-7

Lord, in churches across America there are many different types of “believers:”

There are people who…

–believe in God, the Father

—believe Jesus was a good person and/or prophet

—believe in Jesus as Savior

—daily surrender to the Lordship of Jesus

—believe idols and other religions are real

Lord, help me not to be deceived by the man-made gods and religions of this world. Help me to recognize that if Jesus Christ isn’t welcome and isn’t Lord, it’s a false religion. I want to keep my faith pure, holy, and true. Help me to be the kind of believer that knows and lives my life with the burning conviction that…

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live. 

In the Name of the Son of the most High and One, True God–Jesus Christ!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

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