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Lord, Can You Give Me These Kind of Directions?—Acts 8:26-29

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43

Heavenly Father, my slightly dormant spirit of adventure is jumping up and down right now.

As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
He was humiliated and received no justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.

As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.

Jesus, that was wild! Talk about adventure, Phillip was out on the road minding his own business when Your angel says “go this way!” In a matter of minutes he introduced the Ethiopian eunuch to You, baptized him, and was snatched away by Your Spirit!

I just can’t imagine.

If I could speak with Phillip he would probably say, “what’s adventurous about it, I was just following Jesus’ instructions.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” —Acts 1:8

Jesus, help me to awake each morning expecting Your instructions and directions. Holy Spirit, empower me with a supernatural sensitivity to hear Your voice and power me up to be Your witness everywhere I go.

Let the adventure begin!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 10:1-12:5

Lord, I Just Saw a Suddenly! —John 20:19-21

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-43. Mark 16:12-13, John 20:19–23, Mark 16:14, John 20:24-21:25, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49

Jesus, You gave the disciples some shock and awe in today’s reading! I counted five SUDDEN appearances. I can’t imagine what that was like…

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!  Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” —John 20:19-21

But I know that You still do SUDDENLYS. I just witnessed one.

Jesus, the situation was desperate, the people involved were beginning to lose hope, and then suddenly You showed up and said “peace be with You” and instantly You performed spiritual open heart surgery and everything changed.

Talk about a turn-around! Lord, I’m so thankful! Thank You for suddenlys.

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:1-2:47
 

 

 

Lord, Can We Talk Parent-to-Parent? —Matthew 26:39-56

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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

Heavenly Father, can we talk parent-to-parent?

How did You control Your urge to snatch Your son out of the Garden of Gethesemane as he repeatedly pleaded for His suffering to be taken away? How did You do it? I know Your heart was breaking.

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” —Matthew 26:39-46

Lord, the hardest trials I’ve ever experienced have been watching my children suffer. It’s heartbreaking to helplessly sit on the sidelines watching their lives head down a road “I” would never want them to travel.  But there’s something harder than that—watching Your only Son suffer for sin He didn’t commit when You have the ability to rescue Him in an instant!

Father, in my humanness I don’t know how You did it but as I read today’s scriptures I saw two reasons why You, Your Son, and Your Holy Spirit were willing to go through this pain and suffering:

1. It was Your will. That’s settled it for Your Son. He didn’t want to go to the cross and die but Your will and Your plan were more important and His human suffering.

The second reason came later in this chapter:

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. —Matthew 26:52-56

2. You do not lie. Repeatedly, in Your scriptures Your Son’s birth, death, and resurrection were predicted. You could have sent angels, You could have rescued Jesus with one word, but it is not possible for You to lie, so You kept Your Word and sent Your Son to rescue ME from sin and eternal death so that Your scriptures were fulfilled!

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. —Hebrews 6:18

Lord…

When I am fretting, crying, pleading for You to rescue my children from their suffering, help me to remember You know, You care, and You understand.

When I’m searching for reasons and answers, remind me that Your will and Your plans are bigger and better than mine and Your scriptures are being fulfilled in the lives of my children.

Lord, let Your Will be done in the lives of my children, grandchildren, and future generations. May we serve You all the days of our lives!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Mathew 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

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, This Is a Struggle For Me—Luke 8:26-56

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading there were three miracles.

1. After You healed the demon-possessed man You instructed him to go back to his family and tell them everything You had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).

2. After You healed the woman with the issue of blood you instructed her to go in peace (Luke 8:43-48).

3. After You raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead You instructed her parents not to tell anyone what happened (Luke 8:40-56).

Lord, these are amazing and faith-building to read but there’s another piece of these stories that fascinates me. In the first miracle You instructed the man who was healed to tell the world, in the second miracle You left it up to the woman who was healed; You only told her to go in peace. In the third miracle You told the parents to be silent. No reason was given for these different responses.

I have no problem telling the world when You’ve taught me something or given me wisdom or discernment on an issue. But I really have a problem keeping quiet when You’ve done something amazing or shown me something. Every time I see a great quote or scripture I want to tweet it or post it on my Facebook page. I ALWAYS want to share the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes. The problem is just because I know it doesn’t mean I need to share it.

Holy Spirit, if You prompt me to share , I know You will use it but if I’m just out there on my own, without Your blessing, it’s like spitting in the wind!

Lord, there are several areas in my life right now where I have strong opinions. I have strong convictions. I have experiences and scriptures constantly floating around in my head. I’m really having a problem knowing when it’s You and when it’s me.

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. Tell me when to be silent, when I have freedom, and when I am definitely supposed to share.

Lord, please forgive me. Use my mistakes to grow me into the servant You’ve planned for me to be.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6

Lord, What Do You Think of My Worship? —Nehemiah 9:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Heavenly Father, as I read these verses I have many questions.

On October 31 the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices. —Nehemiah 9:1-4

How could they stand for two 3-hour stretches?

Were they really listening to Your Word for three hours or did their mind wander off the way mine sometime does?

Were they sincerely sorry for their sins or were they just going through the motions?

Lord, here’s the real question that is stirring inside of me:

Lord, what do You think of the time I spend with You? What do You think of my worship?”

Certain types of clothing, a pre-determined postures, or long seasons of prayer and worship aren’t seen in today’s worship but You but You deserve it. You deserve to be honored this way. You deserve this kind of worship.

I want to worship You in a way that pleasing to You. I want to be the kind of worshiper John spoke about:

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” —John 4:23-24

Lord, what is a true worshiper?

What do You mean by worship the Father in spirit and in truth?

Lord, show me! Teach me to worship You in spirit and in truth.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Chronicles 9:1b-34

Lord, I Need an Idea-Nehemiah 7:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Heavenly Father, I am continually amazed at the simplicity of Your Word.  Yes, there were times when You parted the waters, raised the dead, and killed the giants, but there were also times when You just gave someone an idea!

At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt. So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. 

Nehemiah 7:4-5

Nehemiah’s job was done. The wall was complete; everyone inside was safe, right?

Not exactly.

Nehemiah knew very well that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the number and valour of the inhabitants than upon the height or strength of its walls.

Nehemiah knew what was needed–the Jews to return to the city, but what he didn’t know how to get them to come home.

Until You gave him the idea…

Lord, You’ve given me some great ideas in my life. Some that completely changed the course of my life. Forgive me for taking credit for “Your ideas.”  Help me to be like Nehemiah and recognize Your ideas and then tell the world that You are the “idea giver!”

Lord, I don’t know what today holds. I know things will come up that I don’t know how to handle. I’ll be waiting for You to send me a great idea!

 

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Lord, I Can’t— Jeremiah 1:6-12

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 21:1-9, 2 Chronicles 33:1-9, 2 Kings 21:10-17, 2 Chronicles 33:10-19, 2 Kings 21:18, 2 Chronicles 33:20, 2 Kings 21:19-26, 2 Chronicles 33:21-25, 2 Kings 22:1-2, 2 Chronicles 34:1-7, Jeremiah 1:1-2:22

Heavenly Father, the words “I can’t” have crossed my lips or my mind many times. Just like Jeremiah I always have a reason.

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too tired
  • I’m too stressed
  • I’m too sick
  • I’m too afraid

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,

“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
 Today I appoint you to stand up
against nations and kingdoms.
Some you must uproot and tear down,
destroy and overthrow.
Others you must build up
and plant.”
Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”

And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”

And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching,and I will certainly carry out all my plans.” -Jeremiah 1:6-12

Lord, there are several lessons for me in this passage.

1. You hear all of my “I cant’s”

2. You don’t want me giving excuses (“Don’t say, ‘ I’m too young'”)

3. You have assignments for me (“You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you”)

 

4. You don’t want me to fear what people say or think about me (“Don’t be afraid of people)

5. You will go with me and protect me ( “I will be with you and will protect you”)

6. You speak to me (If you spoke to Jeremiah You will speak to me, if I will listen)

7. You equip me to do what You call me to do (“I have put My words in your mouth)

8. You appoint me to carry out Your mission for my life (“Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms”)

9. You are watching me and will get Your plans accomplished in my life (“I am watching and will certainly carry out all my plans”)

Lord, bring these nine things to my remembrance when I want to say, “I can’t.”

Jesus, I CAN do all things because of the strength You give me. — Philippians 4:13

Lord, accomplish Your plans in my life.

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 2:23-5:19

Lord, Give Me Your Words of Wisdom—Isaiah 50:4-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Heavenly Father, everywhere I turn I find weary people, people weighted down by the cares of the world. Just yesterday I spoke with a dear friend who found out her husband’s cancer is back with a vengeance. My post 9 Things to Do When You Feel Hopeless has been viewed over 12,000 times. At least once a week I receive desperate comments from people who find this devotion and think because I wrote it I somehow can give them words of encouragement and hope. Lord, I do not have the strength, words, or understanding to comfort anyone. I am weary myself from the challenges in my life.

But…

I stand on this promise:

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
and I have listened.
I have not rebelled or turned away. —Isaiah 50:4-5

Lord, today’s a new day with new opportunities to comfort and encourage the weary. It’s a great day to share Your comfort and hope with others. Give me Your words. Give me Your wisdom. Open my understanding.

Jesus, give me the strength and wisdom to comfort others as You have comforted me.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. —2 Corinthians 1:3-5

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: Isaiah 52:13-57:21

Lord, I’m So Glad You Know Me Well—2 Kings 19:27

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 19:1-19, Isaiah 37:1-20, 2 Chronicles 32:9-19, 2 Kings 19:20-37, Isaiah 37:21-38, 2 Chronicles 32:20-23

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that You Know Me through and through. You know where I live, when I come and go, when I’m happy or sad, and You know when I’m mad, frustrated, and angry.

“But I know you well—
where you stay
and when you come and go.
I know the way you have raged against me. —2 Kings 19:27

When life gets hard and I wonder if You see me—You Know.

Yes, in this verse You were speaking through Isaiah to King Hezekiah about King Sennacherib of Assyria but it’s true of every person who ever was or will be conceived. Lord, I can’t fathom it but I believe it–You Know me!

Jesus, I want to know You (Philippians 3:10). I know that as a human being I’m not capable of knowing You like You know me but I want to know You more than I do today.

Lord, come near to me. Let me see You through Your Word and through Your creation. Lord, speak to 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: 2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:9-22, 2 Kings 20:12-19, Isaiah 39:1-8

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