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

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32 

**This devotion is for December 5th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, forty-plus years of being a Christian has taught me many things but this truth is one that I’m continually learning through life’s challenges:

Believing in God and believing God are two different things.

 Paul believed in You AND He believed You would do what You said You would do.

For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” —Acts 27:23-26

Lord, You said it and that settles it…

But sometimes it doesn’t.

What I mean is, sometimes it doesn’t settle it for me. I allow fear, and doubt to cloud my thinking. Thoughts like “Lord, You meant that for Paul but You didn’t really mean it for me. You really aren’t going to come through and rescue me from my storm.”

Holy Spirit, coach me when I get in these places. I want a supernatural gift of faith to believe when I’m tempted to doubt.

Lord, it will be, just as You said…

I trust You. In Jesus Name. Amen an Amen

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

Lord, This Blows my Mind! —Acts 23:11-35

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Heavenly Father, I can’t stop thinking about Paul’s nephew. He “just happened” to be in the right place, at the right time to hear of a plan to kill his uncle.

But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. Paul called for one of the Roman officers and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him.”

So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” —Acts 23:16-18

The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?” 

Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information. But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”

“Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man. —Acts 23:19-22

Holy Spirit, thanks to You and Paul’s nephew the plot to kill Paul was stopped (Acts 23:23-35) but there’s more to this miraculous coincidence. Holy Spirit, this is amazing! The night before Paul’s nephew heard of the plot to kill Paul, You appeared to Paul to encouraged him and give him his next assignment:

That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” —Acts 23:11

So basically You took what Satan meant for evil (Genesis 50:20)and the very next day got Paul a free, escorted trip to Rome (Acts 23:23-25)

Holy Spirit, can I say, this just blows my mind!

Lord, get Your will accomplished in my life today. I trust You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32

Lord, I Need to Stop _______ Before I Can Start ________ —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-16:27, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

Heavenly Father, I have always been strong, independent and self-reliant. You have used hard times to chisel away my strength and force me to rely on You. The funny thing is I “thought” I was relying on You before those hard times hit. Little did I know…

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Holy Spirit, in this verse Paul tells us that relying on You is learned, it doesn’t come natural. Like Paul I had to reach the point where no human, including myself could rescue me, before I released control.

Lord, I know I still have a way to go, but I am learning to stop relying on myself and rely only on You.

Thank You for Your grace while I’m learning.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

Lord, Thank You for Understanding My Groanings—Romans 8:26-28

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-10:21

Heavenly Father, Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses. It has carried me through many difficult times. But today the verses preceding this well-known verse jumped out like a neon sign.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  —Romans 8:26-27

Lord, this year has been a season of weakness. I have been weary physically, emotionally, and mentally. Yet, this will go down as a year of extreme closeness to You. You were there through it all. As my human defenses were stripped away, I was left with my spirit (wo)man. I had no words, I had no solutions, I had no brilliant ideas. I was just here and You were very close and somewhere is the trauma, You became enough.

Lord, I’m beginning to understand this verse:

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. —John 3:30

Holy Spirit, You are helping me in my weakness. You have translated my pain, tears, sadness, and brokenness into groanings my Heavenly Father understands. Thank You for praying prayers that are in harmony with God’s will for my life–

Because…

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. —Romans 8:28

Lord, I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-14:23

Lord, I Want Your Superpowers—1 Corinthians 14:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58

Heavenly Father, I hope You don’t feel my title is disrespectful. The special abilities Your Spirit give are nothing less than mind-blowing. When I consider the life-changing impact these spiritual gifts can have on a person, group, church, city, state, country, or world; I definitely consider them superpowers.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. —1 Corinthians 14:1

Lord, in addition to prophesy, what are Your special abilities?

Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. —1 Corinthians 12:1-11

This sentence jumped out at me: A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Lord, I want Your spiritual gifts. I want the Your special abilities. I want to prophesy, because Paul said I should desire it. I want all You have for me!

Give me Your superpowers to help others!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Lord, I Want to Be the Kind of Believer Who Believes These Two Things–1 Corinthians 8:4-7

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1

Heavenly Father, this passage is so relevant for today’s world:

So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But for us,

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.

However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.                       —1 Corinthians 8:4-7

Lord, in churches across America there are many different types of “believers:”

There are people who…

–believe in God, the Father

—believe Jesus was a good person and/or prophet

—believe in Jesus as Savior

—daily surrender to the Lordship of Jesus

—believe idols and other religions are real

Lord, help me not to be deceived by the man-made gods and religions of this world. Help me to recognize that if Jesus Christ isn’t welcome and isn’t Lord, it’s a false religion. I want to keep my faith pure, holy, and true. Help me to be the kind of believer that knows and lives my life with the burning conviction that…

There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live. 

In the Name of the Son of the most High and One, True God–Jesus Christ!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13

Lord, Silence Me… —1 Corinthians 4:20

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

Heavenly Father, I talk a lot and I’m not always the best listener. With every passing year it’s getting more difficult to stay engaged in lengthy conversations. I blame it on technology, but whatever the reason, I know I’m not alone in this challenge.

Lord, being able to quickly get to the point is very important in today’s world but having YOUR power behind my words, actions, and even my silence is more important; it’s what will cause others to know You more.

For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. —1 Corinthians 4:20

Holy Spirit, I believe the power that Paul is speaking about in 1st Corinthians is the key to grabbing the attention of un-believers. Silence me, empty me of my thoughts, prejudices and ideas and then give me a simple message that will touch the lives and hearts of those who don’t know You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1

Lord, I Want to Forget Everything, Except…—1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

Heavenly Father, as a speaker and teacher it’s easy to get caught up in the work of preparing “clever and persuasive speeches.” Thank you for this reminder from Paul:

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. —1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Jesus, Paul was extremely educated, plus he had one of the most dramatic and powerful conversions of the Bible. He knew that Your power was what changed him and it was the only thing that would reach the world. He made a conscious choice to focus and rely on You not his religious training.

Lord, whether we are public speakers or battle shyness everyday of our life, we all find ourselves in situations where we need the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” —Luke 12:10-15

Holy Spirit, I’m relying only on You to give me the words to say as I go about my day. I’m trusting in Your power.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

Lord, I Need Your Courage—1 Thessalonians 2:2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11

Heavenly Father, I’m not a doomsday prophet but it’s easy to see the day is coming when a line in the sand will be drawn and I will have a choice, Your Son or serious negative consequences.

Lord, I want the courage of Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. —1 Thessalonians 2:2

Jesus, the last couple of nights as I’ve drifted off to sleep, thoughts have crossed my mind about what it would happen if I had to choose You or death.

Jesus, You chose me over death. I want to have the courage to stand tall and strong for You, in spite of the great opposition.

Holy Spirit, You know the future, equip me with supernatural courage to boldly declare the good news of Jesus whatever the consequences.

In the mighty Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

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