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I Just Found The Most Amazing Deal on a… Psalm 107:1-2


Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 107, Psalm 111-114

“I just got an amazing deal on a pair of shoes!”

“I just had the most amazing customer service experience at that new store!”

“That restaurant has the best food I’ve ever tasted!”

“Go get your hair done at my friend’s salon. You will love it!”

 

I do this all the time. When I have good experience, find a new product, get a great deal, or learn something new I want to share it.

 

For many of us when we find a great deal we tell everyone we know.

 

Except

 

When it comes to our relationship with God.

The greatest deal we will ever find is having Jesus Christ pay the price for our sins and make a way for us to have eternal life. (John 3:16)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!


His faithful love endures forever.

Has the Lord redeemed you?

 Then speak out!


Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. –Psalm 107:1-2

 

Why is it so easy to tell your neighbor about a great restaurant but so difficult to share the goodness of your God?

I’m sure there are many reasons, but one that comes to mind is political correctness. We have been programmed by our culture that we need to be careful not to offend anyone.

God is not telling us to push our beliefs on others, He’s telling us to speak out and tell others what He has done for US!

 

It’s all about attracting not attacking!

 

I promise you that if you share your story of the goodness of your God with others, at some point, usually when their life is falling apart they will come to you, asking for prayer, asking for counsel.

Is it hard for you to share your story? Why?

 

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not speaking out about our redemption. Give us courage to share our story with others. Holy Spirit, direct us. We need Your discernment to know when to speak and when to be silent. Lord give us boldness to proclaim your faithfulness.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 115-118

A Comparison We need to Make — Proverbs 30:1-6

 Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

“Wow! I love hanging out with Judy (fictional name)! I always feel so smart and together after our visits!”

Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and walk away feeling downright good about ourselves. Sometimes, we leave one of our friends have a week-long pity party because we’re not like them.

Yes, we need to take time to count our blessings and Yes, the Bible tells us that friends sharpen us like iron (Proverbs 27:17) but there are better ways to do that than gloating on the weaknesses of others or feeling like our friends are so superior they are doing us a favor by speaking to us.

Today I saw a comparison in Proverbs 30:1-6 that needs to happen often in my life.

I…

    • Am Weary
    • Am Worn out
    • Am To stupid to be human
    • Lack Common Sense
    • Have not mastered human wisdom
    • Don’t know the Holy One

 

But God…

    • Goes up to heaven and comes back down
    • Holds the wind in his fists
    • Wraps the ocean in his cloak
    • Has created the whole wide world
    • Proves His every word to be true
    • Is a shield to all who come to him for protection

Friends, it’s okay to lose this comparison game.

Throughout God’s Word we see the sin of pride causing the most noble and godly to fall. I know it has been my biggest struggle in my life.

You may be thinking, “I” don’t have a pride problem.

You may not, but here’s are 10 questions to help you do a pride checkup:

  1.   Are you controlling?
  2.   Are you judgmental?
  3.   Are you insecure?
  4.   Do you always have to be right?
  5.   Do you love to argue, always need the last word?
  6.   Have problems listening?
  7.   Are you irritable and impatient?
  8.   Hate being corrected?
  9.   Do you feel life is really “all about you?”
  10. Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?

I have and sometimes continue to struggle with these ten “pride” symptoms. God has used “life” to work on me. I’m not where I want to be but thanks be to God I’m not where I was.

If we continually remind ourselves of the vastness of our God and the smallness and frailty of our life and being, we won’t have time to compare ourselves to others and we won’t have anything to be “proud” about.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for seeing myself superior to others. Forgive me for seeing myself below others. Show me the areas of pride in my life. Continually remind me of how I compare to You, so I can forget about me and know You more and help others to know You too!

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 42-46

 

There are 4035 Magic Erasers in the Bible– Isaiah 14:1-2

Today’s Scripture Reading2 Kings 16: 19-20, 2 Chronicles 28: 26-27; Isaiah 13:1 through Isaiah 16:14

Have you ever had a parent, teacher, or employer pull you aside and give you, in great detail a long list of punishments that are going to be administered?

Then when you feel your heart in your throat, they say…

But you are exempt from that punishment.

That’s exactly what happened to Israel in today’s scripture.

In Isaiah 13, the prophet painted a graphic picture of God’s’ wrath coming down on Babylon, that would scare the mightiest warrior; 22 verses of gloom and doom.

Can you imagine the Israelites standing in the courtyard of the Temple (not sure where they were, but let’s pretend) and listening to Isaiah go on and on with the gory details—screams in terror, every arm is paralyzed in fear, every heart melts, pangs of anguish grip them like those of a woman in labor; to mention just a few?

Then in chapter 14, the word that is like Mr. Cleans’® Magic Eraser® comes on the scene—BUT.

And suddenly everything changes.

But the Lord will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel. The nations of the world will help the Lord’s people to return, and those who come to live in their land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.    —Isaiah 14: 1-2

The Israelites were being held captive by the Babylonians and God was going to rescue them!  I’m sure as Isaiah was prophesying doom on Babylon the Israelites were thinking, ‘but WE live here, what’s going to happen to us?”

Can you imagine the celebration when they heard the “but” word?

Friends, there are 4035 “buts” in the Bible (KJV).  They’re either erasing good things or bad things.

Each time we have a choice…

Which side of the “but” will we be on?

 Will we reject Him or accept Him?

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

   “The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”

 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”

 They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

  “Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”    —
1 Peter 2:7-10

I’m so thankful for this amazing promise!  I challenge you as you read each day’s passage, look for the “buts” and circle them.

Here’s one you need to circle immediately, the greatest “but” of all time:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Just a side note—remember if you use a “but” after a compliment, it erases the compliment!

Thanking God the Magic Eraser!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading2 Chronicles 29:2 through 2 Chronicles 31:21

The Battle is Not Yours–2 Chronicles 20:15-17

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 22:10-28; 2 Chronicles 18:9-27; 1 Kings 22:29-35; 2 Chronicle 18:28-34; 1 Kings 22:36-40, 51-53; 2 Chronicles 19:1-20:30

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! 

This is what the Lord says: 

Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow, march out against them. 

You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.  But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”  –-2 Chronicles 20:15-17

What battle are you facing today?

This is what Your God says:

  • Do not be afraid
  • Do not be discouraged
  • The battle is not yours
  • It’s Mine!

Rest in that knowledge as you go about your day!

Heavenly Father, help us to remember You are in charge.  Lord, I have a battle that is impossible for me to win on my own.  I trust You to fight it for me!

Trusting You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 1:1-18; 2 Kings 3:1-27; 1 Kings 22:41-49; 2 Chronicles 20:31-37; 1 Kings 22:50; 2 Chronicles 21:1-4; 2 Kings 8:16-22; 2 Chronicles 21:5-7

5 Steps to Getting Over Your Past? –Ecclesiastes 5:20

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12

Are you living in the past?

    • 5 minutes ago
    • Yesterday
    • Last week
    • Last year
    • 5 years ago
    • 10 years ago

I have an assignment for you:

  1. Read the book of Ecclesiastes, learn from someone who had it all, and did it all.
  2. Confess your sins to God and those you’ve wronged, own up to your responsibilities for those sins and turn in the opposite direction of those sins
  3. Underline Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 5: 18-20…

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.  And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.  God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

4. Find some work that you enjoy, accept and embrace your life–be present in your present!

5. And stop brooding over the past!

Heavenly Father, we make life so complicated.  We don’t appreciate the simple things like being physically able to work, having a good meal and something to drink.  Lord, help us to realize these simple pleasures are from Your hand (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

Lord, Solomon said that most of us have the wrong motivation for work and success:

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. –Ecclesiastes 4:4

Jesus, make us into Your image today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:1-11:6

Things God Hates…It May Surprise You–Proverbs 6:16-19

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 5:1 through Proverbs 7:27

When my kids were little I was a fanatic about teaching them to respect other people.  I literally had them thinking words like dumb, stupid and shut up were curse words.  Another biggie was the word, “hate.”  They would definitely get in trouble if they said they hated another person.

In today’s reading God used the word “hate.”

God didn’t say He hated a person or a people group, but there are some things people do that really irritate Him.

So, if we are Christ followers and He hates “stuff,” we should probably hate it too.

Here are seven things God hates in Proverbs 6: 16-19

  • Haughty eyes
  • A lying tongue
  • Hands that kill the innocent
  • A heart that plots evil
  • Feet that race to do  wrong
  • A false witness who pours out lies
  • A person who sows discord in a family

In verse 16, Solomon said there are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests.  The commentaries I read said this pattern of writing (six…seven) was to let the reader know that this wasn’t an exhaustive list.  In other words, there are more things the Lord hates.  But I think this list deserves our attention.

The last one struck a chord with me.

  “A person who sows discord in a family”

This says a lot about the importance God places on the family. We all know that the biblically created family unit is under tremendous attack. From this scripture it should be clear we need to fight to protect it. But before we get our signs and head to Washington, we need to sweep around our own front door.

Do you know of any mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters who refuse to speak to one another?

Do you know family members who gossip back and forth to stir up trouble?

How about adult brothers and sisters whose hearts are filled with jealousy?

Do you know divorced moms and dads who make life miserable for their children because they’re too selfish to “let it go?”

God hates this; we must stop it!

If you have been divorced make every effort to let the past go; your kids have suffered enough.  Let their weddings, children’s’ births, and birthdays be joyous occasions that aren’t about you and your ex’s “stuff.”  Get over it!

Let’s make a pack that we will guard our families at all costs and work with everything we have to create peace.  Don’t major on minors and ask God for grace and guidance to keep discord from growing like a cancer in our families.

Holy Spirit, illuminate the areas in our lives that you hate.  Show us, then help us to overcome it.  Jesus, I especially pray for families; help us as Christians to realize our family is our first mission field.

Help us to love like you love!

In Your Holy Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 8:1 through Proverbs 10:32

Lord, Have Mercy on Our Wayward Children–2 Samuel 18:5

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 17: 15-29; Psalm 3; Psalm 63, 2 Samuel 18: 1 through 19:30

My heart breaks for King David.

His son

not his friend

not a co-worker

but

his son—flesh of his flesh and blood of his blood betrayed him and was trying to kill him.

I had my share of trials when my kids were teenagers. At some point I probably “thought” I was going to die but my life was a walk in the park compared to David and it’s was a walk in the park compared to what some of you are dealing with today.

David was running for his life from his own son; hiding like an animal pursued by a hunter.

I know that most of us aren’t hiding in caves to keep from being killed by one of our children.  But I do know there are parents out there who didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night because of one of their children.

And yes, for all you young parents, that instinct to protect your children from life’s hard knocks is still there when your kids are adults.

And yes, when someone just “seems” to be treating your adult child poorly, you come unglued and want “to hurt somebody!”

When King David heard the news of Absalom’s death he took his King hat off and began to grieve like a parent.

The King was overcome with emotion.  He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears.  And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom!  My son, my son Absalom!  If only I had died instead of you!  O Absalom, my son, my son.   –2 Samuel 18: 33

I have many friends who are walking with God on a road they never wanted to travel with one of their children.  Like David, this was NOT the way you planned it.  Whether it’s teenage rebellion, a gay or lesbian lifestyle, an addiction, divorce, criminal conviction, financial irresponsibility, teenage pregnancy, or a host of other issues.

I’m sure you can relate to David when he said to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.  –2 Samuel 18:5

As parents, we have pleaded and begged for mercy for our wayward children, just like David.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep going; to even keep praying.  What do we do when it seems no mercy is coming?

We keep asking!

Father, I pray for my friends who are going through a heart-breaking time with their “Absalom” child.  Holy Spirit comfort them as only you can comfort.  I join them is asking for mercy on their child’s behalf.  I pray that today is a day of miracles for those wayward children. Bring them home like the prodigal son.  Help those children to “come to themselves” and run to you Jesus!   Give these parents strength for today and hope for tomorrow!  Heavenly Father, we trust you with our children!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!  Let it be so Lord!

 

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 19:31 through 20:26; Psalm 7; 2 Samuel 21: 1-22;1 Chronicles 20: 4-8

Do You Have a Spirit of Absalom? 2 Samuel 15:32-38

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 15:1 through 17:14

Today’s reading is not just another day in the life of David and his dysfunctional family.

The story of Absalom is a story that stands as a warning to all of us.  For every leader in any organization there are usually one or two subordinates or under-leaders who think they could do a better job than their leader.

Absalom…

  • bought a chariot and horses
  • Hired 50 bodyguards
  • Got up early and went to the gate of the city
  • Told people that David didn’t have anyone to hear their case
  • “Appeared” to be humble
  • Stole the hearts of the people
  • Had time for them
  • Stirred up a rebellion against his father, King David

He literally devised a plan to steal the kingdom from his father David.

What happened to Absalom to cause him to betray his own father?

  • Offense
  • Hatred
  • Unforgiveness
  • Bitterness

Have you ever been deceived by an Absalom?

It has happened to me.

While suffering at the hand of an Absalom is a tough pill to swallow, there is something worse—being an Absalom.

The next time you find yourself working in a team atmosphere where there’s an appointed leader, watch your self-talk (the thoughts that are going through your head).

Are you thinking things like…

  • This person isn’t that great of a leader
  • This person is insensitive to the needs of the people
  • I could do a much better job leading this team

Let’s go one step further; what are you saying to the other folks on your team or in your organization?

Does it sound anything like Absalom’s words in 2 Samuel 15: 32-38?

  • You really have a strong case here
  • It’s too bad the King doesn’t have anyone to hear it
  • I wish I were the judge
  • Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgement
  • I would give them real justice

Someone with an Absalom spirit is the under-leader with hidden agendas who eventually draws away disciples unto himself. An “Absalom” is the wolf in sheep’s clothing who steals sheep for his own gain.

This “spirit of Absalom” is rooted in pride.

I can’t believe how a five-letter word:  P-R-I-D-E can cause so many problems.  There is so much deception going on in this type of situation, but the person who is deceived the most is the “Absalom.”  He or she thinks their heart is right.

Friends, let’s make a commitment to check our motives daily.

Why are we saying what we’re saying?

Are we trying to elevate ourselves and put someone else down?

One of Satan’s greatest tools is the spirit of offense which he uses to breed disloyalty and rebellion.

Here’s a great motto to write on the walls of our hearts:

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.  –Author unknown

Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit who shines a light in the crooks and corners of my heart!  Help me to always repent quickly and turn from my sins.

In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen!

 

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 17: 15-29; Psalm 3; Psalm 63, 2 Samuel 18: 1 through 19:30

Is It Satan or The Law of Sowing and Reaping? 2 Samuel 12:11-12

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 12: 26-31; 1 Chronicles 20: 2-3; 2 Samuel 13: 1 through 14:33

In yesterday’s reading Nathan spoke for the Lord and confronted David of his sin of murdering Uriah and sleeping with Uriah’s wife.  As we discussed yesterday David was sincerely repentant.

The Lord immediately forgave him

but

there were consequences to his actions that would go on throughout his life and into the next generation:

  • The child that he fathered with Bathsheba died
  • From that day forward David’s family would live by the sword
  • David’s household would rebel against him
  • David’s wives would be given to another man before his very eyes and he will go to bed with them in public view
  • All these things would become public knowledge

As we move into today’s reading we begin to see these things come to pass.

I found an interesting article that helped me to understand how these hard things could happen to someone who was forgiven and set a part for God’s service.

Here is an excerpt from The Law of Sowing and Reaping  by Don Rousu:

In the Book of Genesis we find the expression of a seed principle that runs throughout the scriptures, and a principle that will endure as long as the earth. Chapter 8, verse 22 reads, “As long as the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” In other words, seed-time and harvest, that is “sowing and reaping”, will be as unchangeable and predictable as day and night.

Sowing and reaping is a law, like the law of gravity. The law of gravity always works the same way for everyone. So does the law of sowing and reaping. It’s a fixed principle that God built into his creation. In Galatians 6:7, we are told, “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Essentially, this means that every action has a predictable consequence. If I sow corn, I’ll get corn, not potatoes. If I sow radishes, I’ll get radishes, not squash… It also works the same way in the spiritual realm. If I sow (give away) life to others, I will reap life myself.  If I sow provision for others, I will reap provision for myself. If I sow forgiveness toward others, I’ll reap forgiveness for myself…

If I sow hate for others, I will reap hate from for myself.*

If I sow unforgiveness toward others, I’ll reap unforgiveness for myself.*

*Dianne added

Today the rebellion of David’s household begins:

  • The tragic rape of Tamar
  • David becomes angry but does nothing to address this family sin
  • Absalom determines to kill Amnon and conceals his intentions for two years
  • Absalom begs his father David to attend a feast at his house but for some reason he refuses
  • Amnon goes in David’s place; Absalom’s servants kill Amnon
  • David refuses to see his son for two years
  • Absalom forces Joab to intercede, and David welcomes Absalom home

There have been many times I tried to pray the Satan, the enemy of my soul out of my life, when in reality  I was reaping what I had sown.

Here are a few examples that come to mind:

  • Financial problems-trying to live beyond my means
  • Health Issues-Not treating my body as the temple of God
  • Scheduling Issues- Over-committing and wondering why I can’t get it all done
  • Bitterness-Lack of Forgiveness that was sucking the life out of me

I know that there are times God makes an exception and minimizes the reaping process but many times He does not.

As I look back on my life I may have made the same mistakes again if I had not had to do some reaping!

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to reap tough times and tough situations.  Help me to sow good things into my life and the lives of others.  Lord, when I make a mistake and sow the wrong thing, help me to learn from my mistakes and move through the reaping as quickly as possible.

In Jesus’ Name!  Amen and Amen!

 

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 15:1 through 17:14

Are Your Assumptions Completely Wrong?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 3:6 through 2 Samuel 4:12

  • The Amalekite man assumed David would be happy Saul was dead (2 Samuel 1: 1-16)
  • Joab assumed David would approve of his revenging his brother Asahel’s death by killing Abner (2 Samuel 3: 22-30)
  • Recab and Baanah assumed David would be pleased when they brought him the head of Ishbosheth, Saul’s son after they killed him while he slept in his bed (2 Samuel 4: 1-3)

I have to remind myself as I read the scriptures each day that the people we’re reading about didn’t know what we know. We are reading their story!  This is history to us but for them they were making decisions in the present!

It seems they were most clueless about was David’s heart.  They assumed David wrote funeral songs for Saul and Abner and mourned them for days to win the favor of men.  But David’s heart was genuinely grieved.

All of these guys assumed and it ultimately cost them their lives.

I wonder how many times in today’s world our assumptions are completely wrong?

  • We assume God doesn’t really know everything we do and think
  • We assume we will have plenty of time to ask for forgiveness
  • We assume God’s okay with a little white lie

Just like these men were clueless about David’s heart, we are clueless about the heart of the living, all-knowing God of the Universe.

The best way to keep from assuming is to ask and don’t do anything until you get an answer.

Dear Heavenly Father, there is one thing I can assume…You love me with an everlasting love and your desire is for me to know Your Son as my personal savior.  Help me to never assume I can know what You are thinking–Your ways are not my ways.  Help me to remember to go to Your Word and pray when I am tempted to assume.

In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen and Amen!

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 5: 1-3, 1 Chronicles 11: 1-3,1 Chronicles 12: 23-40,2 Samuel 5: 17-25, 1 Chronicles 14:8-17, 2 Samuel 5: 6-10, 1 Chronicles 11: 4-9, 1 Chronicles 3: 4b, 2 Samuel 5:13, 4:5,11:12, 1 Chronicles 14: 1-2, 1 Chronicles 13: 1-5, 2 Samuel 6:  1-11,1 Chronicles 13: 6-14

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