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Lord, Am I Encouraging Your People to Sin? —Ezekiel 44:10-14

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 44:1-46:24

Heavenly Father, living the Christian life is a huge responsibility. Our example can cause someone to follow or abandon You.

And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. They may still be Temple guards and gatekeepers, and they may slaughter the animals brought for burnt offerings and be present to help the people. But they encouraged my people to worship idols, causing Israel to fall into deep sin. So I have taken a solemn oath that they must bear the consequences for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord. They may not approach me to minister as priests. They may not touch any of my holy things or the holy offerings, for they must bear the shame of all the detestable sins they have committed. They are to serve as the Temple caretakers, taking charge of the maintenance work and performing general duties. —Ezekiel 44:10-14

Holy Spirit, convict me if I’m saying or doing anything that would cause one of Your children to stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:9)

My desire is to cause others to know You more. (Philippians 3:10)

Lord, teach, guide, and counsel 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 47:1-48:35, Ezekiel 29:17-30:19, 2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-34

Lord, Your Glory is Everywhere! —Ezekiel 43:1-2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 40:38-43:27

 

Heavenly Father, after I read these verses I closed my eyes and tried to imagine hearing and seeing Your glory.

After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. —Ezekiel 43:1-2

The roar of rushing waters, the whole landscape shone with Your glory…Amazing! My first thought was Ezekiel was a privileged human being to get to hear and see Your glory.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I get to see Your glory too!

  • The waves rushing to shore at the pristine, emerald waters and sugar white sands of the beaches near my house
  • The calm, glassy bay waters on my early morning drives
  • The glorious sunsets I see from my back porch every afternoon

Lord, everywhere I turn I see Your glory. It’s such a gift. Help me to take time to worship You when You show me Your glory.

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 44:1-46:24

Lord, Help Me to Listen to Your Warning—Ezekiel 33:4-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 32:17-33:20, Jeremiah 52:28-30, Psalm 137, 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:17

Heavenly Father, spending time in the book of Ezekiel causes me to think about this world being destroyed and Jesus return.

Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. —Ezekiel 33:4-5

Jesus, I don’t know when You’re returning but I know You are and it’s getting closer every day. The warning signs are everywhere.

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you,  for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. —Matthew 24:1-2

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. I don’t want to miss the warning signs. I pray that this sinful world will shake itself from the spell of the evil one and turn to You. Lord, I pray that Your people will wake from their sleep and see the destruction  that’s crouching at our door. Holy Spirit stir us to do what You instructed us to do.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

Jesus, You are coming soon! We need to be about the business of knowing You and causing others to know You!

 

In Your strong and powerful Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b, 49, 4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28

Lord, How Can I Get My Prayers Answered?—Ezekiel 36:22-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Ezekiel 34:1-36:38

Heavenly Father, these verses pull back the curtain and let us understand another facet of Your character.

“Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.  I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord.  —Ezekiel 36:22-23

Once again, it’s not about us. Your heart is moved and prayers are answered when we focus on these two things:

1. Your Name—if you said it You will do it. You are the God who cannot lie. You will never answer a prayer that doesn’t protect the honor, greatness and holiness of Your Name.

2. Causing other people and nations to know that You are the Lord. Everything that happens to us and through us is so that we know that You are God. Your greatest desire is that we give the lordship of our lives to You and You alone.

These two things sum up the Old Testament. EVERYTHING that we’ve read about for the last eight months is about these two things.

This isn’t just Old Testament thinking. Jesus, You taught the same principle in the gospels.

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven. —Matthew 6:9-10

Lord, as I begin my day I pray that Your name will be honored in all I say and do. Use my life, my pain, my victories, and my blessings to cause others to know You more. Teach me how to live each day for the Glory of Your Great Name.

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In Jesus Great Name and for His Glory and Honor. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-39:29, Ezekiel 32:1-16

Lord, Sometimes Serving You Seems Complicated—Ezekiel 28:2-5

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Heavenly Father, sometimes serving You seems complicated. In Proverbs, Solomon tells us to get wisdom and understanding:

Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them. —Proverbs 4:5 (NIV)

Then in today’s reading Ezekiel pronounces judgement on the city of Tyre because their wisdom and understanding led to great wealth, which resulted in pride. The end result of their wisdom and understanding was self-actualization gone wild…

“Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:

“In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god!
I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’
But you are only a man and not a god,
though you boast that you are a god.
You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel
and think no secret is hidden from you.
With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth—
gold and silver for your treasuries.
Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich,
and your riches have made you very proud.

Ezekiel 28:2-5

Satan’s favorite tool, pride is always lurking around the next corner. I have jumped on the pride train more times than I’d like to admit.  I would never think that I was seeing myself as god during those times. But acting like I know more than You, the God who made me, must look like a “god attitude” to You.

Jesus, life is only complicated when we try to do it without You. Holy Spirit, without Your teaching and counsel we will go overboard. We start to think we’re did it all by ourselves.

I must never forget that You and You alone are the source of all wisdom, understanding, and wealth. Lord, when I see these things in my life, help me to be reminded that You are God and I am not! All good things come from You! (James 1:17)

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: Jeremiah 39:11-18, Jeremiah 40:1-6, 2 Kings 25:8-21, Jeremiah 52:12-27, 2 Chronicles 36:15-21, Lamentations 1:1-22

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

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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, Display Your Holiness Through Me—Ezekiel 20:41-42

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 20:1-22:16

Heavenly Father, the word holiness brings back all kinds of memories: A preacher my parents watched on Sunday mornings, bare faces, long skirts and sneakers, up-dos and long hair, Mrs, Holley the lunchroom lady at my school, the church next to my house as a teenager…too many to list.

My memories were mostly about people’s efforts to display their holiness. I’ve never thought You were displaying Your holiness through their lives except maybe Mrs Holley, the lunchroom lady. She seemed like an angel to me.

When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. —Ezekiel 20:41-42

I looked up the word holiness in my Bible dictionary and it means to be consecrated, dedicated, set apart. Lord, I want to be consecrated, dedicated and set apart for You. I want Your holiness displayed in my life.

This passage says YOU will display YOUR holiness. Is there anything I need to do?

Lord, You don’t really answer my question in these verses but I think You’ve answered it over and over in our journey through Your Word this year.

If I…

Listen

and

Obey

Then…

You will do the rest.

Lord, I’m trusting You to display Your holiness through me as the world watches.

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

Lord, Give Me Discernment As I Encourage Others—Ezekiel 13:22

images-1 Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 10:1-13:23

Heavenly Father, encouragement is a powerful communication tool that motivates and inspires. You challenge us throughout the scriptures to encourage one another. This verse validates the power of our words.

You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. —Ezekiel 13:22

Lord, encouraging others comes naturally to me but just like all the gifts You give us we need Your discernment. Encouragement and it’s antonym discouragement are tools that can be used for to build up and tear down.

How many times have I made a comment to  a friend, work associate, family member or stranger on the street that knowingly or unknowingly caused them to allow discouragement to fill their heart?

AND

How many times have I encouraged someone in their sins through my words and actions (or lack of words or actions) causing them to see it as approval of their poor choices?

Holy Spirit, I need You. Without Your direction, counsel, and correction I can do more harm than good.

Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips. —Psalm 141:3

Lord, I trust You to get Your will accomplished through my life today.

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 14:1-16:63

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

I’m So Glad I Jumped in! —Ezekiel 47:1-12

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 47:1 through Ezekiel 48:35;Ezekiel 29:17 through Ezekiel 30:19; 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34

Twelve years ago Harry and I went to Glacier National Park in Montana for our honeymoon.  It was so beautiful there.  My favorite part of the trip was whitewater rafting.  It was July and the weather was exceptionally warm, but the water was very cold.  Our guide told us that the water was so cold from the melting glaciers that hyperthermia could become a concern after just a few minutes in the water.

There were eight of us in the raft.  The guide came to an area where the waters were calm and said “if you would like to get in, now’s the time.”  I am very cold-natured so I had no plans to get in the water, but one-by-one each of our raft-mates jumped in; so I had to join the party.  Yes, it was cold, but it was so much fun!  I’m so glad I jumped in and didn’t just wish I had.

In Ezekiel 47:1-12, Ezekiel shares a vision of a river of healing.  In his vision a stream began to flow from the door of the Temple in Jerusalem.  Ezekiel followed a man as he led him down the stream.  In the beginning the water was only ankle-deep.  As they moved down the stream the water began to get higher— knee deep, then waist deep, then too deep to walk across.

Eventually the river reached the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is the lowest body of water on earth, and the lowest point on earth.  As its name evokes, the Dead Sea is devoid of life due to an extremely high content of salts and minerals.

In Ezekiel’s vision the stream made the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure; trees began to grow, swarms of living things and fish were in abundance, everywhere the water from this river stream flowed death was replaced by life.

Most interpreters agree that this “river of healing” represents the salvation message of Christ, which went forth from Jerusalem and spread throughout the world.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible)

I’m so glad I jumped in Christ’s river of healing and now have the assurance of eternal life with Him.  But I wonder, if sometimes we are just ankle-deep in our relationship with Christ; committed enough to accept Christ as Savior but not producing the fruit of a life connected to the ultimate life source.

Maybe we should ceremonially baptize every area of our life in Jesus Christ’s River of Healing:

  • Our heart
  • Our soul
  • Our mind
  • Our body
  • Our fears
  • Our treasures
  • Our strengths
  • Our weaknesses

Friends, heaven is going to be great but God made a way through His Son Jesus Christ for us to live a victorious life from the moment of salvation;

if

we allow Him to be our Lord, to be in control and in charge.

 

I encourage you to go deeper in Him; jump in, let the healing power of Jesus Christ get in you and not just on you.  Don’t settle, grab everything God has for you—You’ll be so glad you did!

 

Heavenly Father, I want all that You have for me!  Cover me from head to toe in Your Presence!  Help me to daily “jump in” to the life You have planned for me.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 7:1 through Daniel 8:27; Daniel 5:1-31

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