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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, Forgive Me from Seeing Things From a Human Point of View—Mark 8:32-33

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 8:22-30, Matthew 16:13-20, Luke 9:18-20, Mark 8:31-9:1, Matthew 16:21-28, Luke 9:21-27, Mark 9:2-13, Matthew 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36

Heavenly Father, this verse reminds me once again that Peter and I have a lot in common.

Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.

Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”—Mark 8:31-33

This verse completely describes my state of mind over the last two years—I have been seeing things merely from a human point of view. Jesus, Peter didn’t want to see You suffer. Just hearing the words, “You would be killed” caused him so much pain that his emotions got the best of him and he lashed out and began to reprimand You, the Son of God!

Lord, watching the people I love suffer is much more difficult than suffering myself. Just like Peter my emotions have made me crazy. I’ve done a lot of reprimanding from my human point of view. I don’t like to think Satan has used me but if You said those words to Peter then I’m sure You’ve said them to me.

Jesus, forgive me for getting in Your way. Forgive me for playing god and thinking “I” have the answer. Forgive me for allowing the enemy of my soul to use me. Forgive me for my lack of trust.
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35

Lord, There’s So Much to Do and So Little Energy—John 6:26-29

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20

Heavenly Father, our wild and crazy lives must be both humorous and sad to You. Busy is the buzz-word of our culture. It’s as we if we think our busyness makes us valuable to society, our family, and the church. You warned us about mis-aligned priorities in Your Word.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” —John 6:26-29

Each person only has so much energy. Some have abundant amounts and some have very little. The amount of energy isn’t our problem. It’s what we’re spending it on that’s the issue. Lord, we spend our most precious asset–our energy, performing for the world’s approval and acceptance and then we take that same philosophy and apply it to our relationship with You.  We think that’s we way You decide if we’re acceptable. That goes against Your Word.

Lord, the people in today’s lesson were following You for the food. Sadly, in today’s self-absorbed world, many Christians serve You for Your physical blessings rather than the eternal rewards. I think we are so caught up in the day-to-day life, we never have time to think about the eternal consequences of our daily choices.

This “chaos of busyness,” that’s keeps us from thinking is one of the greatest tools Satan is using to cause Christians to “fall away.” Our physical busyness isn’t the real problem. The thing that is leading to our destruction is our mental busyness. Our attention span is decreasing daily.  Our goal is to avoid silence. If we don’t have silence, we can’t hear You speak and that makes us easy pickings for the enemy of our soul.

In today’s world we’d rather “do” than “think.”

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; —2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (KJV)

Lord, forgive us. Forgive me. Lord, I want to spend my energy seeking, serving, and spending time with You. Help me to lay aside anything that distracts me from You.

Jesus, help me to remember–

That the only work You want from me is to Believe in You.

Jesus, I bring my busyness, burdens, weariness to You.

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

And I receive Your rest.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:31-37, Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-16:4, Mark 8:11-21, Matthew 16:5-12

Lord, Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Think—Luke 2:48

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:41-52, Mark 1:1b-8, Mathew 3:1-12, Luke 3:1-18, Mark 1:9-11, Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22

Heavenly Father, today I saw this verse in a new light.

His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” —Luke 2:48

The story of Mary and Joseph leaving Jesus at the temple was one I first heard as a small child but as I read it today it gave me comfort as a parent and an aging adult who spends a lot of time shaking my head over the inconsistencies and self-centeredness in today’s world.

Mary and Joseph were parenting the son of God. Jesus was sinless, yet his parents went through three days of hell when they realized he wasn’t with them when they started home to Nazareth (Luke 2:41-52). Their first thoughts were “why have you done this to us?”

Lord, I must admit that I’ve asked myself this question many times over the years as a parent. The answer Jesus would give and the answer my kids would give would most likely be the same one: “I wasn’t thinking about you at all.” In Jesus case, He was about His Heavenly Father’s will for His time on earth. In the case of my kids, they were thinking about their life, their agenda, and their ideals.

This is really hard for parents to understand because from the time we find out we’re pregnant everything we do is for our children. It is a rude awakening when we realize that the opposite is true with them—the moment a child is born they begin the fight for their independence from their parents.

Lord, I’m sure You understand this because You are a parent. You sacrificed Your son so that we can be with You in heaven and most days it’s all about us and we don’t think about You or Your Will at all.

For Mary, this was a turning point. Jesus was only twelve but she knew the tearing away had begun and it was going to be painful.

Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. —Luke 2:51

Heavenly Father, I want to follow Your example as a parent. The most important gift You gave Your children is the freedom of choice. Help me to encourage my children, grandchildren and future generations to experience Your gift of choice. I pray they choose You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

Lord, I Don’t Want to Reject You When I’m In Trouble—2 Chronicles 28:22-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6, Isaiah 17:1-14, 2 Chronicles 28:16-21, 2 Kings 16:10-18, 2 chronicles 28:22-25, 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29:1-2, 2 Kings 15:30-31, 2 Kings 17:1-4, Hosea 1:1-2:13

Heavenly Father, King Ahaz had two generations of godly examples (father-Jotham, grandfather-Uzziah), yet he rejected You.  It seems that the more trouble in which he found himself, the farther he moved away from You.

Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord.  He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. —2 Chronicles 28:22-23

In today’s world we tend to tune out the parts of Your Word that mention idol worship. We think, “How silly to worship a piece of wood or clay! How could Ahaz sacrifice his child to a god made by human hands (2 Kings 16:3)? I would never do something as crazy as that!”

But

If we examine our hearts and lives when we’re in trouble, we may find that just like Ahaz we turn to people, activities, and things when times get hard. As crazy as it is to comprehend, we sometimes sacrifice our children too. We put people, accomplishments, stuff, and our own desires ahead of their simple need to have parents who are 100% engaged in their daily lives.

Lord, I guess we have idol “issues” as well.

Lord, search my heart today. Show me what You see. I want to move closer to You during my times of trouble. Jesus, I don’t want to reject You. I don’t want to replace You with the things of this world.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hosea 2:14-8:14

Lord, Am I Dressed Appropriately? –Isaiah 11:5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 8:1-11:16

Heavenly Father, I know modestly is important.  You addressed it in scripture, but in today’s reading I saw something about dressing appropriately that may be more important than modesty.

He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. –Isaiah 11:5

Wow! I wonder how many folks think about putting on righteousness and truth when they’re getting dressed each morning?

I know it’s not my first thought when I look in the mirror each day.

Jesus, Isaiah was prophesying about You.  He was telling us that You would wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.  What an amazing example You set for us while You were on this earth.

Father, I want to be fully and appropriately dressed each day of my life on this earth.  I want to be a display of righteousness and truth for Your honor and Your glory.

Holy Spirit, show me what I’m doing right and show me where I’m falling short.  When I look in the mirror each day help me to think about righteousness and truth rather than wrinkles, extra pounds, or the latest fashion. Thank You for being my teacher.

Lord, You made me in Your image.  Let me be a reflection of Your goodness.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6; Isaiah 17:1-14; 2 Chronicles 28:16-21; 2 Kings 16:10-18; 2 Chronicles 28:22-25; 2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29:1-2; 2 Kings 15:30-31; 2 Kings 17:1-4; Hosea 1:1-2:13

Lord, Help Me Encourage My Children to Do Right—2 Chronicles 22:3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:8-20, 2 Kings 8:23-29, 2 Chronicles 22:1-7, 2 Kings 9:1-10:17, 2 Chronicles 22:8-9, 2 Kings 10:18-31

Heavenly Father, this verse jumped out like a flashing,neon sign as I read today’s scripture:

Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.                      —2 Chronicles 22:3

What a terrible thing to have said about a parent!

My first thought was Lord, “I” would never encourage my children to do wrong! I take my role as a parent very seriously. While that is true, I felt a pause come over me and I thought,”No, I don’t encourage my children to do wrong with my words but do I encourage them to do wrong by my example?”

I love to read about great leaders and look for leadership lessons in the lives of all kinds of people.  I’m so passionate about leadership that I’m a part of a  national women’s ministry called LeadHer that equips women to be the leaders You have called us to be. One of the founding principles of this organization is every woman is a leader. We all have people we influence but for those of us who are parents our greatest opportunity to influence is in the lives of our children.

Lord, the number one thing I’ve learned about leadership through secular study and following You all my life  is there’s only one way to lead:

By example.

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Holy Spirit, show me the areas where my words and my actions don’t line up. Allow my life with all it’s twists and turns, successes and failures, to lead my children straight to You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16-21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, 2 Kings 10:32-36

Lord, I’m Too Distressed to Pray–Psalms 77:4


Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 75-78

Heavenly Father, the psalmist said what so many of us feel during the tough times of life.

I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! 

When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. 

All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.

You don’t let me sleep.

I am too distressed even to pray!  —Psalm 77:1-4

Father, I believe this is when the church and believing friends and family are at their finest.  When we are too distressed to pray, having friends and family come along side us to carry our heavy loads  can get us through our darkest times.  I can’t count the times that You have sent someone to pray for me when I was too distressed to pray for myself. I felt like You were loving me through them.

Lord, help me to be that person to someone today.  Help me to pray for them when they’re too distressed to pray for themselves.

Jesus, help us to know that when You ascended back to heaven after Your crucifixion and resurrection, You sent the Holy Spirit to pray for us and comfort us when we are too distressed to pray for ourselves (John 16:7).  Jesus, help us to realize that just saying Your name, will call the host of heaven’s armies to our rescue.

Lord, thank You for never leaving us, even when we’re too distressed to pray.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 79-82

Lord, My Load is Too Heavy—Psalms 145:14

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 144-145, 88-89

Heavenly Father, I’ve spent the last 30 minutes desperately trying to find another scripture for today’s prayer. I kept hearing this voice in my head saying, “your last few prayers have been sad, you need to lighten it up.” What’s really going on is I’m afraid my last few prayers are revealing more about me than I want to share. I am bent very low beneath the loads of my life and I don’t want anyone to know.

Lord, but Your Spirit rose up in and said, “Dianne, yes you’re  low. Yes, you’re tired and weary. Yes, you feel like you have no faith but You know how to fight the enemy of Your soul. My daughter, you’ve been here before. You know to do. Take the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:6) and throw them back at him. Take the very thing he’s using to cause you to want to hide and face this pain in secret and bring it into the light. Dianne, will you allow Me to use your pain to help others? Will you be transparent and real?

Lord, I don’t feel strong enough. I’m really too consumed with my pain to care about anyone else, but I trust You.

The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. —Psalms 145:14

Yes, Lord I will tell the world that I’m bent low. I’m tired. I’m angry, I’m sad and I feel You are far from me. But Jesus I will also tell the world that I know You will rescue me! I know You understand and have not forsaken me. Holy Spirit, how would I make it without Your Word? It’s like medicine to my soul.

Thank you for loving me when I’m completely unlovable.

I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 50, 73-74

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

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