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Lord, Our Appetites Are Out of Control—Philippians 3:19-21

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-4:23

Heavenly Father, our world is headed for destruction, just like Paul predicted. The appetites of Your people are out of control. Over indulgence in Sex, food, alcohol, drugs, and material possessions are rampant. Moderation and abstinence have become a thing of the past, even in Your church.

They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. —Philippians 3:19-21

Holy Spirit, wake us up! We are citizens of heaven! We are supposed to be different from the world.

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

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 1:1-3:18

Lord, Answer Me for My Depression Deepens—Psalms 143

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 131, 133, 138-141, 143

Heavenly Father, in today’s world one in ten people take antidepressants. Everyone reading this prayer has either been depressed or is close to someone who is depressed. I have personally dealt with depression a few times in my life. Before I experienced clinical depression first-hand, I thought it was a lack of spiritual discipline that caused people to get in this sad place. I thought people who were depressed could “get themselves out of it” with prayer, Bible study, and guarding their minds. Thankfully, it was over 20 years ago the last time I thought this way, but how narrow-minded can you get? Lord, it’s funny how You allow us to personally experience those things that we  judge.

As I read Psalms 143 I was brought to tears realizing that You knew depression would come. You knew that our enemy, Satan would chase us and use this tactic to try to cause us to lose the fight. Lord, You knew we would feel hopeless and feel like no one understood. Holy Spirit, You knew we would have trouble praying when we were living in this kind of darkness and You knew we would have trouble putting our feelings into words. So You allowed David to feel this pain and write this Psalm to help us through our dark days.

Lord, I am amazed at You. I am amazed at Your Word.

Lord, hear my prayer:

 

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my plea!
Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
Don’t put your servant on trial,
for no one is innocent before you.
My enemy has chased me.
He has knocked me to the ground
and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
I am losing all hope;
I am paralyzed with fear.
I remember the days of old.
I ponder all your great works
and think about what you have done.
I lift my hands to you in prayer.
I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. 
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
and destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

Psalms 143

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 144-145,88-89

Lord, Teach Me While I Sleep–Psalm 16:7-9

Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 12-17; Psalms 19-21

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for inspiring David to write the Psalms.  He said what I want to say, but can’t seem to find the words.

So with David I say:

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken,  for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. —Psalm 16:7-9

Lord, in these troubled times sleep is a luxury that many only wish for.  When I think of David’s life and all the “stuff” that he must have had on his mind… AND he got great sleep! Amazing!

David rested in safety and slept so deep that You could instruct him.  I want this.  I want to be sleeping so deeply that my will is unconscious.  I want to wake up with Your agenda for the day, not mine.

Lord, my heart is glad and I rejoice with David, knowing that my times of rest are times of instruction.  Teach me while I sleep.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 22-26

Lord, I Can’t Believe You Are Concerned About Mildew—Leviticus 13:4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 12:1-14:32

Heavenly Father, I must admit this reading in Leviticus is tough. Sometime the thought crosses my mind, “it’s not important” but I know if You chose through Your Holy Spirit for it to be included in Your Word, IT IS IMPORTANT!

There are two thoughts I walk away with from today’s reading:

  1. We definitely needed a better way of redemption that hundreds of rules and regulations.
  2. My God cares about my health and well-being.

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to redeem us for our past, present, and future sins! A once-a-year read of Leviticus is a great reminder of why we needed a Savior!

Lord, I know there are many scriptures in Your Word that show us You are our healer and that You care about us when we are sick. Today’s reading adds another layer of thought in that area for me: Lord, You care about my daily health and You believe in preventive medicine.

Mold and mildew can cause all sorts of health problems. Your solution was to go to the root of the problem and get rid of the mildew before it made the Israelites sick. Lord, much of today’s medical community focuses on disease care, which will always be important but I believe Your Word teaches to the importance of preventive and wellness care.  Lord through Moses You taught the priests how to recognize health issues before those issues made the Israelite family sick.

Lord, can you teach us how to recognize the things we are doing (foods we eat, habits we have, disciplines we lack) that will ultimately lead to sickness, disease and premature death? Lord, can You reinforce the things we’re doing right? Our desire is to live in Your divine health so that we can serve You to full capacity all the days of our lives?

Holy Spirit, please speak to us!

 

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen.



Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 14:33-16:34

What’s Your First Thought When You Hear the Word “Discipline?”–Hebrews 12:6

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:1-12:29

What’s your first thought when you hear the word discipline?

  • Pain
  • A spanking as a kid
  • Self-control or the  lack thereof

How about extreme love?

Love = discipline

Discipline = love

…that’s what the Bible says.

God’s discipline proves His love for us.

For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one

he accepts as his child.  —Hebrews 12:6

So if…

  • God doesn’t give us everything we want, exactly when we want it, and allows hard things to come into our lives to make us strong
  • Parents hold their children accountable to daily chores, respect for adults, and keeping their word
  • Employers expect an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, which includes completing tasks on time with a high degree of excellence
  • Humans push away from fleshly addictions (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, caffeine, T.V., Computers, etc) and implement healthy habits such as exercise, life-long learning, and helping others

…we are somehow loved by God, others, and ourselves?

Hummmm…

What are your thoughts on the connection between love, discipline and a healthy, productive life?

Heavenly Father, the average person in today’s world doesn’t want to discipline themselves or others and they certainly don’t want to be disciplined by anyone, including You.  Holy Spirit, show us the importance of loving and being loved through discipline. Help us to hold out for the greater good rather than settling for a mediocre life.  Help us to follow your example Jesus. Lord, help us to accept Your discipline.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3

It’s Friday, Time to Rest—Matthew 11:28-30

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

I don’t know about you but I’m a little tired this morning.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all got an email that said, “Take Friday off and get some rest?”

We sorta did:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” —Matthew 11:28-30

Actually the kind of rest Jesus is offering in Matthew 11 is better than a day off.

Have you noticed when you can have a few days off that include plenty of rest time you sometimes still feel tired when it’s over?

That’s because most of the tiredness we’re feeling is from the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things (Mark 4:19), not our physical bodies being tired.

Jesus’ audience knew this same type of weariness and they definitely understood the concept of being yoked together.

A yoke was a wooden frame placed on the backs of oxen to make them pull in tandem.

What does it mean to take Jesus’ yoke upon us?

If I’m yoked with Jesus

  • He is right beside me at all times
  • He’s stronger than I am so my burdens are easy for Him
  • He’s higher than I am so he lifts the weight off my shoulders
  • He’s gives me step-by-step instructions to handle each particular burden in a way that is easy to bear

If Jesus promised his followers “rest,” why are Christians as tired and weary as unbelievers?

Just like all the promises in the Bible, we have a part to play.  For us to receive this rest

we have to put on the yoke

Basically, that means allowing Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.  We can believe Jesus came, died, and rose again for our sins and…

not submit to His Lordship.

How do we submit to Christ and allow Him to be our Lord?

–By seeking His will and His plans for each day of our lives.

I owned my own business for twelve years.  There were many benefits of that season, but being totally responsible definitely weighed heavy on me at times.  From owning my own business I moved to working for a corporation.  Yes, I no longer had the ability to go in any direction I chose but I didn’t have to have the responsibility of the success or failure of the corporation solely on my shoulders.  That’s the way I see signing up for Jesus to be the Lord of my life—I allow Him to lead, guide, and direct me and He takes responsibility for the success of my life.  Whew, that really takes the pressure off!

Carrie Underwood’s song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” pretty much sums it up:

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Dear Jesus, I willingly take your yoke and put it on me.  Teach me, guide me, lead me; give me rest from the burdens of this world.  Give me my marching orders for the day.  Thank you in advance for a successful, “restful” day!  Jesus, take the wheel!

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-230, 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

Is Your Thinking Working Against You? –Matthew 6:31-34

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

Do you ever feel that your thinking is working against you?

In today’s reading Jesus told us there were three things we needed to stop worrying about.  Three things that make us look like unbelievers.  Three things that make us look like we don’t trust our Heavenly Father.

Jesus said, “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

Maybe I’m the only person this speaks to but these three areas take up a lot of my thinking time. I’m either going to the store for food, cooking food, cleaning up from cooking food, wishing I hadn’t ate something, reading about the negative effects of today’s food on my body or griping because food costs so much.

Yes, that goes for drinking too.

One day I’m quitting coffee and just drinking tea, the next day I’m going organic all the way and then several times a year I vow to quit it all and just drink water, but what kind of water?  Tap, bottled, filtered, spring?

Oh, and let’s not forget clothes.

I have a couple of speaking opportunities in the next couple of weeks.  I can’t tell you how much I think, analyze and plan what I should wear.  I want to look professional, relatable, warm, friendly, and youthful but not trendy.  AND, I want to do all this with the clothes I already have in my closet. Geez!

The thing that really got me about today’s scripture were these words: These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  –Matthew 6:32

I’m thinking like an unbeliever.

I’m thinking like someone who doesn’t know Christ.

I can just imagine how my Heavenly Father must feel; the same way I would feel when I had all my children’s needs covered and they were still worrying.   It would make me feel like they don’t trust me.

The great thing about this scripture passage is God gave us replacement thoughts:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  –Matthew 6:33

I’m pretty sure I still have to make a grocery list and make a trip to the store, have plenty of water to drink, and pick out an outfit for my next speaking engagement, but Jesus says, I  don’t have to obsess over any of it.

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

Heavenly Father, forgive me for worrying about the day-to-day details more that I seek Your Kingdom. Lord, help me to make wise choices in what I eat, drink, and wear.  I thank You for Your provisions.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 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

Can You Stay Focused for 52 Days? Nehemiah 15-16

Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Last summer my husband and I watched several documentaries on the part food plays in our overall health.  We decided to make some changes.  We truly thought we would never go back to our old ways. We began working feverishly to stick to our plan: 

  • Walking every other day
  • Juicing once or twice a day
  • Organic foods
  • Very little sugar
  • No fast food
  • In the bed by 8 and asleep by 9

We had our plan and were doing great.  We had lost weight, had more energy, and were pretty, stickin proud of ourselves! UNTIL… We had company come in for the weekend. It’s been over two weeks since they left and we’re haven’t gotten refocused. If only we could be like Nehemiah.

We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.  I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.  During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. —Nehemiah 4:21-23

Nehemiah had a lot more opposition than weekend house guests.  Under Nehemiah’s leadership the Jews were trying to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.  They weren’t adding the wall for architectural beauty; with every stone laid they were fighting for their lives and the lives of their families.

Nehemiah had to deal with…

  • Being mocked (Nehemiah 4:4)
  • Hearing rumors of being attacked (Nehemiah 4:8)
  • The complaints of his own people (Nehemiah 4:10)

What did Nehemiah Do?

  • Prayed (Nehemiah 4:4)
  • Kept working (Nehemiah 4:6)
  • Prayed (Nehemiah 4:9)
  • Guarded the city day and night to protect themselves (Nehemiah 4:9)
  • Placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas (Nehemiah 4:13)
  • Stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows (Nehemiah 4:13)
  • Called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes! (Nehemiah 4:14)
  • Had half the men work while the other half stood guard (Nehemiah 4:15)
  • Made sure every builder had a weapon (Nehemiah 4:18)
  • Listened to their complaints and took the time to consider them (Nehemiah 5:6)
  • Avoided people who were trying to distract him (Nehemiah 6:3)
  • Ignored accusations and continued the work with greater determination (Nehemiah 6:9)
  • Discerned false prophets (Nehemiah 6:12)

…And Kept Working!

So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. –Nehemiah 6:15-16

This story reminds me of a John Wesley quote: “Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.”

We can do amazing things in short periods of time, if we focus on our work and bring every obstacle to the Lord and ask for His help.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for thinking, “I” can do all things.  Help me to learn from Nehemiah’s example.  Thank you for reminding me that I have a part but nothing happens unless You give the increase.  Thank You for all the times You’ve “helped” me.  Help me to focus like Nehemiah on the projects You have called me to do.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

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

One Thing That May Be Stealing Your Peace–Isaiah 26:3

Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 24:1-27:13; Isaiah 29:1-24

 

Toxic is ANYTHING containing poisonous material capable of causing sickness or death.

In the last few months I’ve read several books and attended a couple of seminars on our bodies’ detoxification process and how important detoxing is in today’s toxic world.  I have changed several things in my life to improve my body’s ability to get rid of the toxicities in my life.

I realized I need to do this in my spiritual life as well.  My pastor did a series on this topic and asked us this question:

Could it be that our spiritual enemy is grooming us to receive the poison that will eventually be the death of us spiritually?

I say yes, I believe Satan, the enemy of our soul is doing everything he can to…

    • Send us to an early grave
    • Cause us to live a life full of depression, anxiety, and spiritual emptiness
    • Keep us from being the witness God’s called us to be
    • Cause us to turn completely away from the salvation Jesus provided for us

Our food has changed in the last 50 years, so has our culture.  If we’re not careful we can unknowingly allow harmful, even poisonous things in our lives through our daily choices, whether it’s what we eat, drink, read, watch or listen to; we must be responsible.

How do we detox our spiritual lives in a way that keeps us move toward God and away from the toxic influences of this world?  Pastor Phil suggested we ask ourselves these three questions:

  1. Am I being entertained by sin?
  2. Is it pleasing to God?
  3. Does this lure me away from Christ?

I’ve always been pretty guarded when it comes to protecting myself from the toxicity of the world, but as I listened to my pastor’s message  I realized there were a couple of areas in which I have become desensitized.  Thanks be to the conviction of the Holy Spirit I am now aware and will make the changes necessary to move closer to God and farther and farther from the influence of the enemy.

I came home from church and began to read today’s scriptures and this verse jumped off the page at me:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you all whose thoughts are fixed on you!  –Isaiah 26:3

No wonder the enemy is working so hard to corrupt our minds–he wants to steal our peace! No wonder he is using anything he can to desensitize us to the evil in this world–if our thoughts aren’t fixed on You Lord, we are easy pickings for the enemy.

Heavenly Father, show me the things in my life that are toxic to my spiritual health.  Create in me a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Keep me in perfect peace as I learn to fix my thoughts on You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 30:1-33:24

 

**I’m reading a book called Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel that is helping me to evaluate my spiritual health. It’s an easy read but very thought-provoking.

 

 

Does Your Temple Need a Cleaning? 2 Chronicles 29:3-11

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Chronicles 29:3 through 2 Chronicles 31:21

King Hezekiah did not waste a minute beginning the process of repairing and reopening the temple.  In the very first month of the first year of his reign he summoned the priests and Levites to meet him at the courtyard east of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:3-4).

Let’s get a picture of this in today’s world…let’s say you got a new CEO, administrator, or commanding officer at your job.  What if he/she called a meeting of the managers or officers within his/her  first week of being there and said:

“Listen to me you leaders, it’s time to clean house!  You are an embarrassment to the founders of this organization.  This is why our business is in the tank.  I’ll be meeting with our board of directors today to lay out a plan to return to the company we once were.  There will be no more slackers.  You have been chosen to lead; now it’s time to lead, follow or get out-of-the-way!”

If you read 2 Chronicles 29:3-11, that’s “sort of” what Hezekiah told the priests and Levites.  When he spoke his last sentence, they got right to work:

  • They purified themselves (the first thing Hezekiah told them to do)
  • Then they began to cleanse the Temple
  • They were careful to follow all the Lord’s instructions
  • They carted all the defiled things from the Temple to the Kidron Valley

Hezekiah must have put the fear of God in those priests and Levites; they completed the project in only sixteen days!  As soon as they finished, they immediately went to King Hezekiah and gave him a full report—we cleansed the entire Temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings and it’s utensils, and the table of the Bread of the Presence with all its utensils.  They also recovered all the items discarded by King Ahaz when he was unfaithful and closed the Temple and they are now in the front of the altar of the Lord, purified and ready for use. (2 Chronicles 29:18-20)

What was the result of Hezekiah’s House Cleaning?

  • The Temple of the Lord was restored to service.
  • God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the Word of the Lord.
  • King Hezekiah prayed for the people; God listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.
  • There was great joy in the city for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon.

As I read the account of Hezekiah’s passion to purify the priest and Levites and clean and restore the Temple I began to think about another temple…

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself… 1 Corinthians 6:19

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our “temples” repaired and restored like the Temple of the Lord in Hezekiah’s day–To have our health restored, a new-found desire to follow the Word of the Lord with our whole heart, God hearing our prayers and restoring our bodies, minds, and spirits to the way He meant them to be, and sense of joy that we haven’t know for years…

Yes Lord!  We want this!

But, (here’s that word again)

are we willing to do what Hezekiah did?

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for not keeping this temple, our bodies pure and clean.  Holy Spirit, help us to understand at the heart level that our body, soul and spirit are where you live.  We want to be pure for you.  Speak to us loudly with your Fatherly conviction about the areas that aren’t pleasing to you.  Jesus, help us to learn from “no hesitation” Hezekiah and clean our spiritual house–NOW!  In Your Name we pray.  Amen and Amen!

A “No Hesitation” Hezekiah wan-a-be!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 25:1 through Proverbs 29:27

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