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Lord, What Causes Quarrels and Fights Among Us? —James 4:1-3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy, 1:1-2:15

Heavenly Father,

What is causing the quarrels and fights among  you(us)? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you (us)?

Lord,

You (we) want what you (we) don’t have, so you (we) scheme and kill to get it. You (we) are jealous of what others have, but you (we) can’t get it, so you (we) fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you (we) don’t have what you (we) want because you (we) don’t ask God for it. And even when you (we) ask, you (we) don’t get it because your (our) motives are all wrong—you (we) want only what will give you (us) pleasure. —James 4:1-3

Jesus, it sounds like evil desires and impure motives cause the quarrels and fights among us. James wasn’t talking about quarrels and fights with non-believers, he was talking about the church.

Holy Spirit, bind us together with love. Help us to grow in our relationship with You to a point where our motives are Your motives.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Lord, I Want Pure Wisdom—James 3:13-18

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

Heavenly Father, I seek Your wisdom like a treasure hunter looking for his greatest find!

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. —James 3:13-18

I don’t desire the world’s wisdom. It’s corrupt and disorderly. I want to be a peacemaker in this troubled world.

Holy Spirit, show me how to plant seeds of peace.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

Lord, Help Us to Include You in Our Celebrations–Deuteronomy 26:11


Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading to You instructed the Israelites on living in the Promised Land.  One of the things that jumped off the page at me was Your instructions on celebrations.

Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. —Deuteronomy 26:11a

I had to ask myself, “Why do we celebrate in today’s culture?”

Lord, we love a “par-tay,” but how often are we consciously celebrating Your goodness to us, our family, our city, our country, or our world?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17 NIV

Lord, forgive us for excluding You from our celebrations.  Forgive us for not acknowledging the many, perfect gifts You give us.

Holy Spirit, teach us to find creative ways to build our parties around You. Help us to be an example for our future generations.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 29:2-31:29

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

Today’s Scripture Reading:  James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

When was the last time you got in an argument or fight with someone?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  •  You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
  • Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 4:1-3

Wow!  

That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like You Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Have You Had Your Christmas Meltdown? James 2:13

 

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

Everywhere you go people are stressed.  Too much to do, not enough time, not enough money.  Unfortunately, it’s a great set up for a meltdown.

During this stressful time, what is the thing you need most from family, friends, and checkout people at the grocery store?

Understanding?

Empathy?

Kindness?

Compassion?

Forgiveness?

Guess what if we want to receive that gift, we have to give it.

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.  –James 2:13

You may be one of the fortunate ones who receives mercy from people you have not given it to, but that won’t be the case with God. He clearly tells us that we won’t be receiving mercy from Him unless we first give it to others.

Guess what?  This applies to our unthankful spouses, complaining-hard-to-please parents, jealous siblings, unappreciative children, lazy coworkers, and the tele-marketer that calls you at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night.

We all need mercy.

We all have people in our lives who make it challenging to give mercy.

If we want mercy from God, we all have to give mercy before we can receive it.

The question is: Are we going to be obedient to the God of the universe?

Heavenly Father, there have been so many times when I have wanted and expected mercy from others but haven’t given them any mercy. Holy Spirit, help me to understand that people have a lot more going on that what I see.  Help me to give them mercy.  Lord, fill me with compassion so that I can give it away.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20

Are You Looking at Life Through a Pinhole?–Jeremiah 49:7

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 49:1-33; 2 Kings 24:5-7; 2 Chronicles 36:6-8; 2 Kings 24:8-9; 2 Chronicles 36:9; Jeremiah 22:24 through Jeremiah 23:32

The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies on Edom: “Is there nobody wise left in famous Teman? no one with a sense of reality? Has their wisdom gone wormy and rotten?  —Jeremiah 49:7 (The Message)

Wisdom is like prophesy; it has to pass the test of time.  A person, group, or nation can seem wise. their decisions and advice can impress the masses, but will they be considered wise a thousand years from now; that’s the real test.

I certainly have made some decisions that I thought were wise; given some advice that sounded like wisdom, and judged many people through my view of right and wrong.

Did it sound good in the short-term?

Yep.

Did it pass the test of time?

Nope.

Edom was evidently famous for its wisdom. (Job’s ‘comforter’ Eliphaz was from Teman, a town in Edom; Job 4:1.)  The Edomites, descendants of Esau, denied passage to Israel as they journeyed toward Canaan (Num. 20:14–21). The Edomites weren’t friendly to the Jews; they had either helped or failed to resist various nations that attacked Israel.   (Wilmington’s Bible Handbook)

I’m sure the Edomites thought they were making wise decisions, thought they were doing the best thing for their nation, and thought they deserved to hate the Jews for stealing their birthright.

But…

They were dead wrong!

How do we avoid going the way of the Edomites?

Ultimately, there’s only one source for true wisdom in this world—it’s Creator.  Who better to help us navigate through the maze of this life than the God and Creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end?

There has never been a time in the history of the world when information is so easily assessable,

but

Information doesn’t equal knowledge and knowledge doesn’t equal wisdom.

~~~~~~~

Our best attempt at wisdom is like looking at the situation through a pin-hole.

Why would we trust our one-dimensional judgment when our Heavenly Father not only knows best but always has our best interest (knowing Him and causing others to know Him) as His goal?

We’ve been deceived, just like the Edomites.  We think we know it all but our wisdom has gone “wormy and rotten.”

As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”  So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. —1 Corinthians 1:19-20

How can we recognize the wisdom of God in ourselves and others?

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. –James 3:17

Wow!  This is definitely not the world’s definition of wisdom!

Do you need this kind of wisdom?  I sure do!

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  –James 1:5

The fear (respect, reverence*)of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10)  *My explanation

The more we know Him the wiser we become!

Heavenly Father, we need Your wisdom, we want Your wisdom.  You told us in James 1:5 that if we ask for wisdom You will give it to us.

 

By faith we receive this gift in Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 23:33 through Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 29:1 through Jeremiah 31:14

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

Today’s Scripture Reading:  James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

When was the last time you had an argument or fight?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  • You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
  • Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.James 4:1-3

Wow!  

That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives You talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like You Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Have You Had Your Christmas Meltdown? James 2:13

 

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

Everywhere you go people are stressed.  Too much to do, not enough time, not enough money.  Unfortunately, it’s a great set up for a meltdown.

During this stressful time, what is the thing you need most from family, friends, and checkout people at the grocery store?

Understanding?

Empathy?

Kindness?

Compassion?

Forgiveness?

Guess what if we want to receive that gift, we have to give it.

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.  –James 2:13

You may be one of the fortunate ones who receives mercy from people you have not given it to, but that won’t be the case with God. He clearly tells us that we won’t be receiving mercy from Him unless we first give it to others.

Guess what?  This applies to our unthankful spouses, complaining-hard-to-please parents, jealous siblings, unappreciative children, lazy coworkers, and the tele-marketer that calls you at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night.

We all need mercy.

We all have people in our lives who make it challenging to give mercy.

If we want mercy from God, we all have to give mercy before we can receive it.

The question is: Are we going to be obedient to the God of the universe?

Heavenly Father, there have been so many times when I have wanted and expected mercy from others but haven’t given them any mercy. Holy Spirit, help me to understand that people have a lot more going on that what I see.  Help me to give them mercy.  Lord, fill me with compassion so that I can give it away.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: James 4:1-5:20

3 Tips for Crisis Management, God’s Way–2 Kings 19

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

Most of us…

  • Will never receive the kind of news Hezekiah got in today’s scripture reading
  • Will never be king over the City of David

But…

  • We may own a business
  • Lead a team
  • Pastor a church
  • Parent a family

What would you do if suddenly you got word that a natural disaster , a group of terrorists, or a financial crash was on its way to destroy everything you hold dear?

What did Hezekiah do?

We’ve seen a lot of kings over the last few weeks of our journey, but very few we can pattern our lives after.  Hezekiah is a king we can follow!

In today’s reading Hezekiah finds himself in a crisis.  The Holy Spirit allows us to be a fly on the wall to learn crisis management, God’s way.

There are 3 things Hezekiah did when he heard the news that the Assyrians were planning to destroy Jerusalem.

  1. He went to the place where he met God– the Temple (2 Kings 19:1)
  2. He sought the advice of Isaiah’s wise, Godly counsel (2 Kings 19:2)
  3. He took the letter he had received from King Sennacherib’s messengers and went to the temple a second time.  He spread it out before the Lord and prayed…  O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim!  You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth.  You alone created the heavens and the earth!  Bend down, O Lord, and listen!  Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!  Listen to Sennacherib’s word of defiance against the living God…now, O Lord, our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kings of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God. (2 Kings 19:14-16)

What is “the first thing you do” when you receive news of a crisis?

  • Call a family member
  • Call a friend
  • Call a doctor
  • Ask for somebody to pray
  • Take a pill
  • Take a drink
  • Escape in T.V.

“The first thing we do” in tough times is the most important thing. It shows where and in whom our faith lies.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.~ Hebrews 11:6

Since Jesus came to earth, died for us, went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit; we can meet our God anywhere, anytime.  We don’t have to go to the temple to meet him, pray some fancy “thee” and “thou” prayer, or call for someone to pray “for” us.

We just have to say, “Jesus, help me!”

 

Did God answer Hezekiah’s prayers?

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed about King Sennacherib of Assyria,  the Lord has spoken this word against him—see Isaiah 37:22-35.

The very same night Isaiah spoke this prophesy to Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.  King Sennacherib broke camp and returned to his own land.  Then, “one day” while the king was worshiping his god, his sons killed him with their swords.

Friends, GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!  When a Crisis hits; go to God, get a wise prayer partner who gives Godly counsel, and pray for God to answer your prayer and cause others to “Know Him More!”

Lord increase our faith!

 

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 King 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

What Causes Quarrels and Fights?–James 4:1-3

When was the last time you had an argument or fight?

When was the last time you got mad with someone and either quarreled or did the passive-aggressive thing and gave them the silent treatment?

Was it before you became a Christian, last year, last month, last week, yesterday, or five minutes ago?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?

  • Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
  • You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.
  • You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:1-3

Wow!  That’s tough to hear, especially when we throw in the fact that James was talking to Christians.  But if you’ve been a Christian more than 30 minutes you know that Jesus saved us because we can’t save ourselves.

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that there’s a war going on inside us, the sooner we’ll be able to recognize jealousy, envy and wrong motives as the “evil desires” James was talking about.

To have those pure motives mentioned in James 4:3, we must learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), determine who’s talking–The Holy Spirit, Satan, or your own fleshly desires, and then make a conscious decision to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our evil desires.

Will we still have quarrels and fights?

Most likely, but if we are open to the teaching and correction of the Holy Spirit within us we will learn from our mistakes and those quarrels and fights will become the exception rather than the norm.

Heavenly Father, help us to have the pure motives you talked about in today’s scripture. Help us to recognize our evil desires and intentionally choose NOT to act on them.  Make us like you Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

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