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Lord, Don’t Let My Family Tree Be Deceived and Fooled—2 Thessalonians 2:5-12

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

Heavenly Father, it’s funny how our thoughts change as we enter different seasons of life. As I read these verses from the viewpoint of a mother and grandmother approaching sixty years of age, my thoughts turn to my future generations.

Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. —2 Thessalonians 2:5-12

Lord, I don’t want my children, grandchildren and future generations being deceived and fooled into believing the lies of “the man of lawlessness.”

Heavenly Father, I declare in the Name of Your amazing Son, Jesus Christ that my family tree will be a mighty oak of righteousness, standing strong in the midst of the evil of this world. Each leaf of this tree will bring good news to the poor, comfort the brokenhearted, and proclaim that captives be released and prisoners be freed. Those who mourn in this world will stand under the branches of this strong tree and be blessed, comforted, protected and encouraged.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations. —Isaiah 61:1-4

In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

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, How Can People Like Us Be Saved? —Isaiah 64:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 63:15-66:24, 2 Kings 20:20-21, 2 Chronicles 32:32-33

Heavenly Father, I have never known this kind of hopelessness. As a young child I learned about Your Son, Jesus. When I was ten years old I knew how “people like us” can be saved and I accepted Jesus as my savior.

You welcome those who gladly do good,
who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
how can people like us be saved? —Isaiah 64:5

Lord, the people of Israel knew it was impossible to keep The Law. They felt like constant failures. Yes, I read the stories of their pride and stubbornness and criticize and judge but the truth is “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23) The only difference between my sins and the Israelites’ sins is they had their sins recorded in Your Word and my sins have only been seen by a few people.

I feel so bad for them. Every time they sinned they felt worse, more hopeless, and more doomed.

Jesus, without Your sacrifice on the cross I would know that kind of hopelessness.

Thank You Lord for making a plan for our salvation:

1. Admit we were born in sin, have a sinful nature, and can’t be good enough on our own. (Romans 3:23)

2. Believe that the One, True, Living God who made the universe and everyone and everything sent His one and only son to rescue us from the consequences of our sinful nature and eternal death. (John 3:16)

3. Confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that You raised him from the dead.  (Romans 10:9)

4. Accept Your free gift of salvation.

Lord, Thank You for making a way for me to be saved!

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 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

Lord, Restore My Crushed Spirit and Revive My Courage—Isaiah 57:15

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:1-63:14

Heavenly Father, when I read the words, “restore the crushed spirit and revive the courage” my first thought is I WANT THAT!  I’m like a crazed teenager in her favorite store wanting everything she sees and hoping her parent will buy it for her if she begs hard enough.

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. —Isaiah 57:15

Father, I know that our salvation is free because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross but from this verse and many, many others it’s clear that we have a part to play in our growth and maturity. Lord, I want to do my part.

Lord, teach me to be humble. Help me learn from Your example. Holy Spirit, show me the areas in my life where pride is driving me. The cares of this world have crushed my spirit. Restore my joy, spunk, and adventurous attitude so that I can run into each day with excitement.

Jesus, I need courage. I repent and ask for forgiveness for the times I took off on my own trying to pretend to be courageous or looked to other people or things to give me to courage. Lord, revive the courage You placed in my spirit when You made me. I don’t want fear to cause me to miss Your best for me.

Thank You for Your Word!

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 63:15-66:24, 2 Kings 20:20-21, 2 Chronicles 32:32-33

Lord, Why Do Good People Die Before Their Time? —Isaiah 57:1-2

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:13- 57:21

Heavenly Father, so much about this life doesn’t make sense. Evil, suffering, death—there is no formula to follow. The evil live long lives, the good die prematurely. Pain and suffering happen to those who try so hard to avoid it and people who live on the edge and flirt with death seem to flourish.

Lord, I’ve served You and read Your Word long enough to know that there is no “one answer” to life’s hard questions. You are God and only You know “why” things happen but this scripture gives me insight and comfort. It shows me Your heart. It lets me know You are looking out for Your children’s best interest.

Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die. —Isaiah 57:1-2

I’ve had people I love die “before their time.” I still shake my head in disbelief knowing they’re gone from this world. “It doesn’t make sense,” or “God doesn’t make sense” is the thought that crosses our minds. The longer I live and the more evil I see, the more I start to understand that it’s not You who doesn’t make sense, it’s living in this world that doesn’t make sense.

Father, once again I’m reminded that I see life through a pin-hole and You see and know it all. It all comes down to trust. Do I trust You to do what’s best for me and the people I love?

Lord…

I don’t always trust You.

I want to trust You.

I need to trust You.

If I can’t trust You, who can I trust.

I’m trying to trust You.

I have moments of trusting You.

I’m learning to trust to more everyday!

Lord, help me to trust You when life doesn’t make sense.

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 58:1-63:14

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, Teach Me What is Good for Me—Isaiah 48:17

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Isaiah 44:6-48:11

Heavenly Father, this is an amazing promise, “You will teach me what is good for me AND lead me along the paths I should follow!”

This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is good for you
and leads you along the paths you should follow. —Isaiah 48:17

Wow! If I was a new Christian I would think, this walking with Jesus thing is going to be a piece of cake.

But, I’m not a new Christian.

Lord, after serving You for over 40 years I KNOW that YOU will do what YOU say YOU will do.

Jesus, the problem isn’t with the teacher. The problem is the student. The problem is ME!

  • I don’t always go to school (study and mediate  on Your Word)
  • I don’t always listen
  • I don’t always follow instructions
  • I don’t always stay behind You

But there is good news.

You have a plan “B.” When I don’t go to school, listen, follow instructions, and stay behind You, You teach me through my mistakes AND You aren’t afraid to administer tough love and drag me along the paths I should follow.

Thank You for being my Abba, Daddy God!

 

I love You! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Lord, I Want to Respond Appropriately—2 Chronicles 32:24-25

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, Hezekiah was one of the most godly kings, since King David. Unfortunately power, fame, success, supernatural healing and miracles led Hezekiah to believe he was a big deal.

About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the Lord, who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the Lord’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. —2 Chronicles 32:24-25

Hezekiah witnessed one of the most amazing miracles mentioned in the Bible:

Meanwhile, Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What sign will the Lord give to prove that he will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the Lord three days from now?”

Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?”

“The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.”  So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial[b] of Ahaz!  —2 Kings 20:8-11

Jesus, this type of arrogance in an epidemic in the Christian world. “I’m more godly than you because God has done great miracles in my life” has been the fall of many good men and women since the beginning of creation.

Lord, how many times have You graced me with Your presence, grace, favor, or kindness only to watch me pridefully think I somehow deserved it or made it happen myself. Watching Hezekiah’s pride and arrogance play out in 2 Kings 20:12-19 reinforces the old saying that “success shows our true character.” Lord, forgive me for taking credit for the gifts You’ve given me (James 1:17).

Lord, allow me to learn from the mistakes of Hezekiah. I want to respond appropriately to Your kindness and the kindness of others.

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 40:1-44:5

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

Lord, I Don’t Understand Your Plan—Micah 4:12

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 34:1-35:10

Heavenly Father, letting go of my thoughts and plans has been a struggle for me throughout my life. As I think back on my grave yard of failed plans it’s almost comical. I’m sure You have had Your share of laughs watching me think and plan.

But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts
or understand his plan.
These nations don’t know
that he is gathering them together
to be beaten and trampled
like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor.  —Micah 4:12

Humans see life through a pin-hole. Lord You see the past, present, and future. Why would ever we choose our plans over Yours?

I can’t speak for everyone but I think it’s my sinful, pride-filled nature that keeps me planning and trying to control my life. I want it easy. Yes, I’ve grown and matured. I trust You much more than I did in the early days of knowing You but Lord, I have not arrived. I still question Your thoughts and Your plans.

I know Your ways are higher and better than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9) but I’m weary from disappointment. Your plans are hard and they take so much strength, courage, and trust.

Yes, I’m in my 50s but I sometimes feel like a kid stomping my feet and saying, “I want to go outside and play. I don’t want to clean my room.” Lord, You are the kind of parent I want to be.

Thank You Lord for the tough love. Thank You for giving me the life You planned.

Jesus, I trust You.

In Your Name I pray.

Amen and Amen!

 


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Micah 2:1-5:15

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