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Jesus, How Could You Wash Judas Feet When You Knew He Would Betray You? –John 13:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Jesus, betrayal is my worst fear.

 

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.  It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. –John 13:1-2

 

Jesus, You knew Judas was going to betray You, yet You allowed Him the unique privilege of sharing the Last Supper with You.

Lord, did You wash His feet too?

Sounds like it…

 

Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? –John 13:10-12

 

Lord, You weren’t afraid Judas would betray You, YOU KNEW HE WOULD BETRAY YOU.

 

He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” –Matthew 26:23-25

 

Jesus, You gave Him one last warning and then You washed His feet.

And then he  b-e-t-r-a-y-e-d  You.

 

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. –John 3-5

 

Lord, how did You pick up that towel and wash Judas’ feet?

 

  • You knew who You were
  • You knew who had sent You
  • You knew Your mission
  • You knew who Your were fighting
  • You knew God’s plans were being fulfilled

 

Lord, in my everyday days I “know” these five things but when the scars of betrayal are forced open by current day issues, spiritual discernment and common sense go out the window. I get in crazy-making mode and begin reliving past betrayals similar to the way a soldier relives their times in battle.

Holy Spirit, I prayed and asked You to show me how to have peace when the fear of betrayal overwhelms me. You gave me these verses:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

If I…

–Don’t worry

–Pray

–Tell You what I need

–Thank You for all You have done

Then I will…

—Experience Your  peace that exceeds my understanding

–You will guard my heart and mind

 

Lord, I give my fear of betrayal to You. Heal my deepest hurts.

Let this be so in my life.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 13:31-38, Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, John 14:1-15:17

Lord, Give Me Strength to Escape and Stand—Luke 21:34-36

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Heavenly Father, for months I have been in a season where my heart has been dulled, not by carousing and drunkenness, but by the worries of life.

Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” —Luke 21:34-36

Lord, the circumstances haven’t changed. In the natural realm things look pretty bleak but I’ve changed. This past Sunday at Niceville Assembly You removed the scales from my eyes and allowed me to see my circumstances for what they truly are, the enemy of my soul’s attempt to steal the destiny of my family. It’s almost as if I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and You pulled back the curtain and let me see that all the destruction that is happening is just smoke and mirrors. It’s the evil wizard’s attempt to deceive and keep me paralyzed, to keep me from using the mighty power afforded to every Christ follower.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.   —Ephesian 6:10-12

Lord, last night these words came out of my mouth to a friend and I immediately knew they weren’t my words but Your words:

We are the church! We aren’t supposed to stand by and let the enemy win.

The fight isn’t with people, politicians, social agendas, countries, or terrorist organizations. The fight is with the enemy of our soul, whose desire is to destroy us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As Christie Love, the founder of LeadHer, an international women’s ministry says in an upcoming teaching on spiritual warfare, “God gives us two offensive weapons: The Word of God and prayer.” Lord, teach me how to us Your Word and prayer to fight our real enemy!

Holy Spirit, continuously walk me through these steps so that I can escape the strategies of the devil and stand strong in the coming days.

1. Watch out

2. Guard my heart

3. Watch for traps

4. Keep Alert

5. Pray for strength to escape and stand

 

Lord, thank You for Your Word! Help me to guard my heart!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:1o-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Lord, Help Love Not to be Awakened Until the Time is Right–Song of Solomon 3:5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Song of Solomon 1:1-8:14

Heavenly Father, this scripture jumped off the page at me:

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.  —Song of Solomon 3:5

Lord, I remember having a conversation with my granddaughter several years ago when she was eleven-years-old.  She was telling me that one of her friends (also eleven) had a date last night.  I would say that is awakening love too soon.

Father, I also see people everyday whose marriage beds are barely cold from their former spouses; divorces not even final and they’re engaged to be married to someone else.  I would say that is awakening love too soon.

Jesus, believe me I’ve made both of these mistakes so I’m not judging others.  I began dating my first husband at the ripe old age of 15,  got married at 18 and then found myself divorced at 40; wanting to find someone to really love me and rushing God’s plan and God’s timing. My heart breaks for my friends who are walking through the pain of these situations.  They just wanted true love.  It felt so right.

Lord, help us to look to You for guidance.  Help us to put up boundaries for our sons, daughters, and ourselves to avoid awakening love too soon.

Holy Spirit, speak louder than the world.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-43; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31; Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Lord, it’s Tough to Make Bricks Without Straw–Exodus 6-9

 

 

Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 4:18-7:13

Heavenly Father, I can so relate to the Israelites’ struggles in today’s reading:

Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. —Exodus 4:29-31

That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen:  “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves!  But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’  Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!” –Exodus 5:6-9

Lord, just like the Israelites…

Sometimes things get worse:

  • It’s tough to make bricks without straw
  • It’s tough to pay the bills without a job
  • It’s tough set a good example for your children when your weighted down by the baggage of your past
  • It’s tough to believe God when everything is falling apart
  • It’s tough to go on when you lose someone you love
  • It’s tough to reach out to the hurting world when you feel as if you’re barely hanging on yourself

Just like Moses…

We don’t understand:

  • Why have You brought this trouble on your own people?
  • Why did You send me?
  • Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people.  And You Lord, have done nothing! (Exodus 5:22-23)

Father, thanks to Your Word, we know that You did rescue the Israelites, You were working, and You were in complete control. Help us to have that same confidence and trust in You during our seasons of “making bricks without straw.”

Jesus, let our lives be a story of deliverance, just like the Israelites.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 7:14-9:35

Lord, Why Aren’t You Answering Me? –Job 30:20


Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 30:1-31:40

Heavenly Father, I felt so sorry for Job as I read today’s passage. As I put myself in His place, it is unimaginable to survive that much loss, but in today’s reading, the losses that had him in the depths of despair seemed to be pushing him over the edge:

  • The “seemingly” loss of communication with his God
  • The feeling of failing to please his God

I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you,

but you don’t even look.

Job 30:20

Father, just like Job when we’re going through the greatest trials of our lives we sometimes feel like You’ve abandoned us. We may not say the words out loud but the thought, “how could You be watching and allowing this to happen,” definitely crosses our minds.  And right behind that question is what did I do or what didn’t I do?   We start going through a checklist of good behaviors, “Haven’t I been faithful in ________?

Jesus, sometimes our life just doesn’t make sense.  Yes, most of us know the end of Job’s story and we know why he’s gone through so much, but we don’t know the end our own stories and we sure don’t know the ‘why’s’.

But we have hope that Job didn’t have:

  • We have Your written Word that gives us insight into Your nature
  • Our lives have been redeemed by Jesus Christ
  • We are no longer slaves to the evil one

Holy Spirit, remind us of the hope we have in You, through Your Word remind us of the promises You’e made.  Help us to trust You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 32:1-34:37

Lord, Teach Me How to Comfort the Hurting–Job 6:14

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 5:1-7:21

Heavenly Father, as I read Eliphaz’ words and tone as he instructed, rebuked, and accused Job of sinning to bring on the wrath of God, I began to play back tapes of times in my life when I had been comforted in the same manner as Job. Yes, just like Job they were well-meaning family and friends, yet their words were like daggers from an enemy.

But I also remember times when I’ve been the one to throw the knife of cutting words to someone I was trying to comfort.  I’ve been the one to say, “If I were you, I would ______.

Lord help us to realize–

  • You need no defense
  • Life on this earth doesn’t make sense sometimes
  • We aren’t supposed to have the answers
  • “I’m sorry” and “What can I do to help you during this difficult time?” are all most people need to hear

Holy Spirit, anoint us to comfort others in their pain and sorrow. Help us to be Your representative to the hurting. Show us someone who is in need of Your comfort today. Use us to bring honor to You, Jesus.

In Your Holy Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 8:1-11:20

God, Did You Send Me Here?–Genesis 45:5


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 42:1-45:15

But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. —Genesis 45:5

Heavenly Father, surely You didn’t send me here?

This can’t be Your best for me.

My current situation just couldn’t be in Your plan for my life.

God, would you really allow this to happen to me?

Father, if we’re honest we all ask these questions from time to time. Jesus, use the story of Joseph to give us hope in our difficult places.  He went through thirteen years of being in a place he would have never chosen to be.  Lord, You orchestrated every detail of those thirteen years so that at the exact time and place You would use Joseph, one person, to save the whole Jewish race.  Help us to see this as more than a Bible story, help us to really believe that You did this for Joseph and You will rescue us as well.

Lord, there are folks reading this prayer who are fighting for their lives. I have friends and family who have children and grandchildren who are chronically ill; waiting for a miracle.  Everywhere we go, people are stressed and overwhelmed.  Some haven’t had a job in months. Many are wondering if You have forgotten them…wondering if You really love them.

Lord, let us grab on to Joseph’s story and realize that if You had a plan for Joseph’s pain, You have a plan for ours as well.  Help us to really believe that You see every tear and understand the depth of our pain.  Let us grasp the fact that You are all-powerful and are a miracle-working God.

Holy Spirit, send supernatural hope to everyone who reads this prayer.  Help them to be refreshed and renewed in their hard place. Fill them with belief and trust in You.

Jesus, squeeze every bit of good You can get out of our hard times. If we have to be in this place, use it for Your Glory, use it to cause others to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen an Amen!


 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 45:16-47:27

What Did You Lose in 2013? –Revelation 18:19-20


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 15:1-18:24

What can come into our world and destroy life as we know it in a single moment?

  • Sickness
  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Job loss
  • A house fire
  • Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Stock Market crash

John prophesies in Revelation 18:19-20, about this type of loss.

And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out, “How terrible, how terrible for that great city! The shipowners became wealthy by transporting her great wealth on the seas.  In a single moment it is all gone.” Rejoice over her fate, O heaven and people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.

Can loss be good?

Have you ever looked back on a time of loss and realized it was the best thing that ever happened to you?

I’m not necessarily saying it’s good to lose something, but the changes that happened in our lives because of loss can be good.

To me the death of a loved one, friend, or mentor is the worst kind of loss, yet even in the worst circumstances good can come from it.

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. —Isaiah 6:1

I’m sure Isaiah continued to grieve for King Uzziah, but because of his death, Isaiah saw God in a new and much bigger way.

As the year 2013 comes to a close, take a minute and count your losses but don’t forget to record the good that has come from each loss.  My prayer is that with each loss you’ve experienced you’ve been like Isaiah and seen God in a new and much bigger way!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 19:1-22:21

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

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

When was the last time you got in an argument or fight with someone?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  •  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
  • Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 4:1-3

Wow!  

That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like You Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

2 Things to Do When You’re Exhausted from Grief–Luke 22:45-46

Today’s Scripture Reading: John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24

When we hear the word grief the first thing that usually comes to mind is death, but over the years I have found grief is present when people, relationships, hopes, or dreams are lost.

Grief is sorrow over loss

What are some things you are grieving over today?

In Luke 22, Jesus and the disciples left the upstairs room and went to the Mount of Olives.  He has just told the disciples about the sorrow that was coming, as they arrived at the olive grove Jesus told them to “Pray that you will not give in to temptation” (22:40).  Then He walked a short distance from them to be alone to pray.  When he returned he found them sleeping:

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” –Luke 22:45-46

The disciples were definitely experiencing loss.  Things certainly weren’t working out the way they had planned.  Their rabbi, teacher, and lord had just told them He was going away.  They didn’t understand it all, but they knew things weren’t ever going to be the same…they were exhausted from grief. There have been many times when I have been exhausted from grief:

  • As a teenager I wanted my family to be free from conflict
  • As a young wife I wanted my husband to understand me
  • As an expectant Mom I wanted my first child to live
  • As a Mom of teenagers I wanted them to serve God and not rebel
  • As a wife of a 20+ year marriage I didn’t want a divorce
  • As a daughter I didn’t want my Dad to die prematurely
  • As a woman I didn’t want my friend to die of A.I.D.S
  • As the sole provider of my family I grieved over the loss of financial security
  • As a Mom I didn’t want my children to experience divorce
  • As a Mom I never wanted my children to experience the pain I’ve experienced

In EVERY ONE of these situations I experienced the exhaustion of grief.

So what do we do?

Just lie down and give up… No way!  We do what Jesus told the disciples to do…

  1. Get up
  2. Pray, so that you will not give in to temptation

So instead of giving up we must get up!

Jesus knows that the times we are most vulnerable to the enemy’s temptation is when we’re exhausted from grief.

In our humanness we want to do the opposite.  We want to stay down, pull away from the Lord, and turn to the world for comfort…don’t do it!

Run into the arms of your Heavenly Father!

During my times of grieving I would imagine my Heavenly Father sitting in a very, very big rocking chair on a very large front porch.  In my imagination I would use my last bit of strength to crawl to His feet.  He would reach down, sit me on His lap and rock me and stroke my hair.  I found comfort and rest in His arms. If you are exhausted from grieving today, go to the God who made you. Rest in Him today.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are exhausted from grieving today.  Comfort them.  Give them the strength to get up from their despair and pray so they will not give in to temptation. Reassure them of Your love.  Restore their hope.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10

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