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Lord, I Want to Do Good By Meeting the Urgent Needs of Others, but.. —Titus 3:12-14

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Titus 1:1-3:15, 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Heavenly Father, I want to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others...

I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter. Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need. Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. —Titus 3:12-14

I definitely can relate to Paul. Productivity is always my focus. I measure everything by return on investment—how much time do I invest and what are the results? Knowing that the Apostle Paul has some of my quirks, gives me comfort.

Productivity can be a good thing but I wonder…

Lord, please forgive me if I’m being disrespectful, and friends who are reading this remember I’m talking to my daddy God and I can ask Him anything…

…I wonder, if Paul’s jail time was factored into Your plan so that he would slow down and focus on one of Your top priorities for him—writing a large part of the New Testament. Lord, I’m a “do-er” and it can really be hard to be still and a just be. The needs of people stir me up and keep me feeling like I’m missing the mark. It’s like whatever I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else. I wonder if Paul ever felt this way.

Lord, I don’t believe my 2015 sabbatical is just a season of resting and waiting, I think it’s also a season of clarification, re-direction and peace. Holy Spirit, You led Paul to jail to get Your will accomplished. I know You’re doing the same for me.

Yes, this is oversimplifying, but it seems that if every believer allowed You to direct our day, our steps, and our thoughts, the urgent needs of others would be met and we would be Your kind of productive. LORD, I WANT THIS!

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

Lord, during this Christmas season we are surrounded by needs. Speak loudly and show us who, where, when, how and IF we are to meet those needs and then give us the peace to carry out Your direction with no regrets or feelings of failure. Make Your calling for this day crystal clear.

Jesus, prince of peace, lead me today.

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

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Lord, What Causes Quarrels and Fights Among Us? —James 4:1-3

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

Heavenly Father,

What is causing the quarrels and fights among  you(us)? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you (us)?

Lord,

You (we) want what you (we) don’t have, so you (we) scheme and kill to get it. You (we) are jealous of what others have, but you (we) can’t get it, so you (we) fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you (we) don’t have what you (we) want because you (we) don’t ask God for it. And even when you (we) ask, you (we) don’t get it because your (our) motives are all wrong—you (we) want only what will give you (us) pleasure. —James 4:1-3

Jesus, it sounds like evil desires and impure motives cause the quarrels and fights among us. James wasn’t talking about quarrels and fights with non-believers, he was talking about the church.

Holy Spirit, bind us together with love. Help us to grow in our relationship with You to a point where our motives are Your motives.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Lord, I Sometimes Forget—John 10:10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 10:1-42, Luke 13:22-14:24

 

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that You said …

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. –John 10:10

 

Lord, life on this earth feels like a tug of war. It’s funny, Satan’s entices us with promises of a rich and satisfying life, yet a life of serving him ends in poverty, death, and destruction. You tell us to take up our cross and follow You…

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. –Matthew 16:24-27

 

…And offer us a rich and satisfying life.

 

Jesus, I want Your best life, a rich and satisfying life. Give me discernment to recognize the deceptive tools of the enemy of my soul. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is worth more than my soul.

 

In Your great and powerful Name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 14:25-17:10, John 11:1-37

Lord, Thank You for the Boasting Instructions—Jeremiah 9:23-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 8:4-11:23

Heavenly Father, boasting and bragging have always gotten on my nerves. It irritates me so much that I constantly analyze my conversations (after I’ve had them) to look for any possible slip ups and yes, I slip up. I’m not saying that I’m so humble I don’t ever have prideful feelings. I just know how annoying it is and I don’t want to be “that girl!”

I looked up boasting in the dictionary and it means to talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities. Lord, You know Your creation so well. You knew we would think we were “all that” so You gave us boasting instructions.

This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken! —Jeremiah 9:23-24

Lord, I accepted You as my Savior when I was 10 years old. I’ve known about You all my life but to boast that I truly know You and understand that You are the Lord is hard for me to do. Please don’t misunderstand that statement, every day my desire is to know You more but I feel You are so magnificent, mighty, and holy that I’ve barely begun to know You and barely understand what Your Lordship over my life and this world encompasses. I love to boast about who You are and what You have done in my life but boasting about my knowledge of You…Lord, I need You to show me what that looks like.

Thankfully, You added to these instructions through Apostle Paul in Galatians:

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. —Galatians 6:14

 Jesus, crucify my interest in this world and show me how, when, where to boast about the sacrifice You made for me. Help me to know You more so that my life and “boasting” will cause others to know You.

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 12:1-15:21

Lord, Let Me Proclaim Your Power to This New Generation—Psalm 71:18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 1-2, Psalm 10, Psalm 33, Psalm 71, Psalm 91

Heavenly Father, I don’t consider myself old and gray but I’m definitely closer to old age than youth. I have a passion to see this scripture fulfilled in my life.

Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me. —Psalm 71:18

Lord, many years ago this scripture became the verse that helped me see my purpose. This is the reason I’m on this earth:

To leave a trail for anyone You send into my life that leads them straight to You.

Many people may look at my life and see trials, hardships, and mistakes and think Your power hasn’t been displayed but I know that You and You alone are the reason I have been able to thrive during life’s triumphs and failures.

Jesus, I’m thankful for the level of worldly success You’ve given me but it means nothing if my purpose isn’t fulfilled.

Help me to accomplish my purpose 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: Psalms 92-97

Lord, I Want to See You–Isaiah 6:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29, 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Heavenly Father, I want to see You; REALLY see You, like Isaiah.

Are there things that are hindering me?

I know Isaiah REALLY didn’t see You until King Uzziah died.  I don’t want to have people, plans, or things between You and me.  Show me my heart.

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.  Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.  They were calling out to each other,

   “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
      The whole earth is filled with his glory!”  —Isaiah 6:1-4

Lord, before Isaiah could be used he had to be cleansed.  Show me the things in my life that aren’t pleasing to You.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

   I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,

   ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
      Watch closely, but learn nothing.’  —Isaiah 6:5-9

Father, let me see You. Reveal my sinful ways, and then cleansed me and use me for Your Glory today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29; 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Lord, Help Me to Be Loyal Like Elisha–2 Kings 2:2

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-25; 2 Kings 4:1-44

Heavenly Father, in today’s world loyalty is a lost art.  When the going gets tough, most people just pack up and leave.  Whether we’re talking about marriages, families, friendships, churches, the workplace, or one’s dreams and goals…

“till death do us part”

isn’t cool in the 21st century.

Elisha was extremely blessed because he committed himself to being by Elijah’s side till the end of his ministry:

And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” So they went down together to Bethel.  –2 Kings 2:2

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Jericho.” But Elisha replied again, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together to Jericho.  —2 Kings 2:4

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.” But again Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together.  —2 Kings 2:6

Lord, Elisha was hungry for Your Spirit:

When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.”

And Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.”  

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah replied. “If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won’t.” —2 Kings 2:9-10

Father, did You grant His request because of his loyalty, commitment, and desire?

As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.  Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.

Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River.  He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.

When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.  –2 Kings 2:11-15

Heavenly Father, show me where to place my loyalty.  Show me where and when to give my total commitment. I want a double portion of Your Spirit.  I want to succeed in all that You’ve called me to do.  I want the spirit of Elisha!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-8:15

Lord, Help Me to Love Discipline–Proverbs 5:12


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

Heavenly Father, it must be part of the human condition to hate discipline.  Solomon discusses the consequences of an undisciplined life throughout the Proverbs. Here’s a few verses that stood out in today’s reading:

Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”  –Proverbs 5:10-14

In this instance Solomon is discussing immorality, but his words apply to any type of undisciplined behavior.

Lord, I heard a saying years ago that seems to hold true to Your Word.

If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us. – William Feather

Lord, help me to welcome any form of discipline that You choose to bring into my life. Help me to discipline myself according to Your Word.

Use me for Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Lord, I Don’t Want to Be a Fake—2 Samuel 24:22-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 24:1-9, 1 Chronicles 21:1-6, 2 Samuel 24:10-17, 1 Chronicles 21:7-17, 2 Samuel 24:18-25, 1 Chronicles 21:18-22:19

Heavenly Father, David’s heart was always tender toward You. He wanted to be the one who paid the price for the offering. Lord, it doesn’t seem as if You were demanding David make the purchase with his own money. I think David believed gifts only mean something when we purchased them ourselves. His gratitude and love for You demanded that he pay the price.

“Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. —2 Samuel 24:22-24

I’ve had times when someone gave a gift and just added my name to the card. It didn’t feel like I have given anything, I really felt like a fake.

I think that’s the way many people feel in churches across America. We go to church and watch the worship leader give his or her gifts. We’re just a spectator but we don’t look like a spectator. We sing along, and sometimes raise our hands but in our heart we feel like a fake.

We’re just going through the motions because we really haven’t brought our own, personal, costly offering. We haven’t drawn a line in the sand and said, “I will not present an offering to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” Yes, we believe in You but we have given You our own, special, personal gift. Jesus, we haven’t given You our heart.

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Lord, help us not to be a fake worshiper. Help us to worship You from a heart of love and adoration, not out of duty or peer pressure. Help us to have our own, personal and unique worship experience.

Here’s my heart Lord.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 23:1-25:31

Lord, Help Me To Be Willing To Look Foolish–2 Samuel 6:22

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12a; 1 Chronicles 15:1-28; 2 Samuel 6:12b-16; 1 Chronicles 15:29; 2 Samuel 6:17-19a; 1 Chronicles 16:1-43; 2 Samuel 6:19b-23

Heavenly Father, let me just go ahead and admit it–I don’t like looking foolish.  I never have. Because of this I’ve missed out on a lot of fun in my life. So needless to say, I’ve never been the life of the party!

Missing out on fun with my friends pales in comparison to missing out on the best You have for me, so Lord help me to lose my inhibitions like David:

When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”

David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 

Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life. —2 Samuel 6:20-23

Lord, You deserve all my praise, all my worship; the best I have to offer.  You chose me.  You appointed me, just like David.

Jesus, help me to never give the events of this world (ball games, concerts, political rallies) more uninhibited, enthusiastic participation than my times of worship, praise and service to You.

Lord, sometimes looking foolish means stepping out and telling someone about You.  Give me the courage to do this for Your Kingdom’s sake and that person’s eternal destiny.

Lord, I want to be willing to look foolish for You and Your Kingdom!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-17; 1 Chronicles 17:1-15; 2 Samuel 7:18-29; 1 Chronicles 17:16-27; 2 Samuel 8:1-14; 1 Chronicles 18:1-13; Psalm 60

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