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Lord, I Don’t Believe These Are Just Clever Stories—2 Peter 1:16-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

Heavenly Father, it’s two days before Christmas. Your Christmas story is being told around the world. Lord, it’s not just a story to me, it’s a historical fact.

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. —2 Peter 1:16-18

Jesus, I didn’t see Your majestic splendor with my own eyes. I didn’t hear that voice from heaven but because Your Holy Spirit makes Your Word come alive, I know You and I know Your Word is true.

Father, thank You for Jesus!

Amen and amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1-4:6

Lord, This is My Best Gift This Christmas—2 Timothy 2:11-13

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18

Heavenly Father, this is definitely a trustworthy saying:

 

This is a trustworthy saying:

If we die with him,
we will also live with him.
If we endure hardship,
we will reign with him.
If we deny him,
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.

 —2 Timothy 2:11-13

Father, other than Your Son, Your faithfulness is my most cherished gift this Christmas. It’s been a tough year. There have been times when I’ve been faithless and unfaithful. This year will pass, the memories of the tough times will fade but Your faithfulness to me and Your willingness to be close to me, when I couldn’t even stand myself, makes this year a memorable one in my journey of faith.

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

Jesus, where would I be without You?

Great is Your faithfulness!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

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

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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, 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

Lord, Sometimes I Don’t Practice What I Teach—Matthew 23:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:35-37, Matthew 22:41-46, Luke 20:41-44, Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, Luke 20:45-47, Matthew 23:13-39, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4

Heavenly Father, I really don’t want to go here. I really don’t want to admit that sometimes I don’t practice what I teach, but You and I both know it’s true. But it’s hard admitting it to the whole world!

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. –Matthew 23:1-4

Lord, being a teacher is a gift AND a curse. EVERYTHING new that I see, read, hear, think, or learn, I immediately want to share it with the world. When I think of all the “instruction” I’ve given the corporate world, the church, the cyberworld, and my family over the years…all I can say is “Lord, help me! There is no way I can live up to it all.”

I feel bad about not practicing what I teach about health, food, sleep, time management, worry, fear and many more things

but

Not always living out THESE verses is what really upsets me:

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. ’The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” –Mark 12:28-31

Lord, I don’t always love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I don’t always love my neighbor as myself. I fail You. I misunderstand You. I don’t always follow through on my promises.

Jesus, trying to live out these verses, also known as the greatest commandment, is a tall order. Yes, I’ve failed at it but I won’t stop trying. I won’t stop writing. I won’t stop teaching. I won’t stop serving You.

I won’t stop striving to practice what I teach.

As Steve Furtick said on a podcast, “The opposite of success isn’t failure. The opposite of success is unfaithfulness. Lord, if I am faithful to You, even my failures will turn into successes.”

Jesus, thank You for Your mercy and grace when I fall short!

Thank you for helping me practice what I teach!

In Your mighty name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:1-23, Matthew 24:1-25, Luke 21:5-24, Mark 13:24-31, Matthew 24:26-35, Luke 21:25-33

Lord, Teach Me to Have Shameless Persistence—Luke 11:5-13

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13

Heavenly Father, when discouragement and doubt come remind me of this story. Remind me to have shameless persistence.

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Father, once again I bring my desperate needs to You. Lord, hear my prayer.

The days have long since passed of me trying to tell You how to fix the people and situations that cause my heart to break. I have no answers but my shameless prayer is please don’t leave us or forget us. Please don’t leave us the way we are. Please work everything out for Your Glory and our good (Romans 8:28).

Lord, we have so many needs but my greatest desire is that my future generations know You, REALLY know You and spend their days sharing Your good news with the world.

Jesus, I will keep knocking and asking until I breath my last breath.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 11:14-12:34

Lord, If It’s Really You… —Matthew 14:27-29

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 9:7-9, Mark 6:14-29, Matthew 14:1-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15, Mark 6:45-52, Matthew 14:22-23, John 6:16-21, Mark 6:53-56, Matthew 14:34-36

Heavenly Father, as I read the account of Peter walking on the water, my heart says, ” I want that!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. —Matthew 14:27-29

But then the reality of my storm sinks in and I cower down in the bottom of the boat. Lord, I’m afraid. I’ve lost confidence in my ability to hear You. There are so many voices, feelings, and hurts stirring around in my head—how can I know it’s You calling me to come?

Jesus, I know You’re with me but the waves are so high, water is splashing in my face, the roar of the sea is deafening me, the saltiness of the water is blurring my vision…

It’s hard for me to see You.

It’s hard for me to hear You.

But…

Jesus, if it’s really You, tell me to come to You, walking on the water!

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Lord, You’ll do and You’ll use whatever You want to, to tell me You love me. God Speaking, Mandisa

In Your amazing, mighty Name.

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20

Lord, Thank You for Permission to Ask Questions—Luke 7:20-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-17, Matthew 11:1-19, Luke 7:18-35, Matthew 11:20-30, Luke 7:36-50

Heavenly Father, thank You for putting this passage in Your Word.

John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”

At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’” —Luke 7:20-23

Jesus, John the Baptist had given his life to be Your messenger. Now he found himself in prison with a lot of time on his hands and the questions began to surface.

I think John knew his days on this earth were numbered. He had led a busy life without much time for reflection. Now he finds himself with nothing but time and begins to question his calling and wonder if it was worth it.

Lord, You understood his need for validation. You could have answered John’s questions with a simple “yes or no” but You wanted him to know the prophetic message he preached throughout his life was coming to pass.  I believe You were saying, “John look, at the fruit of your labor. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. John, I understand your questions. I understand your doubts but don’t lose faith now. God’s blessings await you.”

Jesus, I’ve served You all my life. Right now I sort of feel like John. I have questions. I have time on my hands to think, analyze and be tormented by my mistakes. I question my calling, my identity, and my effectiveness for Your Kingdom. Lord, today I choose to focus on You, the many miracles You done in my life and through my life. I choose to stand tall in my faith and look for Your blessings in this day.

Lord, thank You for permission to ask questions. Thank You for Your affirmation!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-30, Matthew 12:22-45, Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20

Lord, “What if” is Not My Problem—Matthew 6:31-34

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-7:6, Luke 6:37-42, Matthew 7:7-20, Luke 6:43-45, Mathew 7:21-29, Luke 6:46-49

Heavenly Father, I’ve never really been a person who worries about things that might happen. “What we will eat, what we will drink or what we will wear” isn’t something I think that much about. I trust You to meet my needs but I have different kind of worry problem.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. —Matthew 6:31-34

Lord, my problem isn’t the “what-ifs.” My problem is reality.

My problem is the now, not the future.

It’s not imaginary, it’s real.

It’s happening as I write these words.

I’m living in a battleground. Casualties are everywhere. I’m too weak to fight. I know it’s a spiritual problem, I know spiritual warfare is the answer but worry and fear are my default positions. I want to be strong and courageous…but I’m not.

Lord, refresh me and replenish my energy to stand strong in this battle. Teach me how to find peace in the turbulent times. I release my worries to You. Jesus, fight for me.

Jesus, thank Your for standing with me.

For God has said,“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”—Hebrews 13:5

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-17, Matthew 11:1-19, Luke 7:18-35, Matthew 11:20-30, Luke 7:36-50

Lord, May Everything You Have Said About Me Come True—Luke 1:38

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:1a, Luke 1:1-4, John 1:1-18, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23b-38, Luke 1:5-38

Heavenly Father, there are so many voices in the world and in my head telling me what I should be and how I should think. You are the only voice I want to follow.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. —Luke 1:38

Lord, Mary trusted You completely. It would have been easy for her to doubt. I’m sure over the course of her life she was the subject of gossip and criticism but she made a decision to believe You and what You said would come true in her life.

Lord, I want the faith of Mary. No one knows me better than You. You made me. You know what I’m capable of being, You know how my life is going to play out. You are the only one who will never leave me.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!—Psalm 139:14-19

Lord, may everything You say about me come true!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 1:39-80, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-40

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