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Lord, How Can I Be a True Worshiper?—John 4:23-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 3:1-4:45, Luke 3:19-20

Heavenly Father, I’ve been mediating on these verses for a couple of weeks. I’ve heard them and quoted them for years but one day I just stopped and said, “Lord, what does it really mean to worship You in spirit and in truth?”

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” —John 4:23-24

These verses in yesterday’s reading added to my questions.

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. —John 2:23-25

The commentary in my Bible used this verse to further explain John 2:23-25

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is? —
Jeremiah 19:9

It scares me to think of the hundreds of devotions and prayers I written and shared over the last four years. Lord, how many times have I misinterpreted Your truth?

Lord, if You don’t trust my human nature, how can I trust it?

I was at a loss.

Until.

You led me to these verses:

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. —John 16:5-13

The Spirit of truth will guide me into all truth!

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WILL GUIDE ME INTO ALL TRUTH!

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WILL GUIDE ME INTO ALL TRUTH!

Jesus, this is how I can worship You in spirit and in truth. This is how I can trust that I’m communicating Your truth instead of my own personal musings. This is how I can walk in confidence that my sinful, human nature isn’t directing me. Your Holy Spirit that You sent to this earth will guide me in all truth!

Holy Spirit, fill me with Your Spirit of Truth so I can be a true worshipper!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:12-17, Luke 3:23a, John 4:46-54, Luke 4:16-30, Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Mark 1:29-34, Matthew 8:14-17, Luke 4:38-41, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44, Matthew 4:23-25

Lord, It Must Break Your Heart to Watch Your Children Destroy Themselves—Jeremiah 44:7

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:30, Ezekiel 33:21-33

Heavenly Father, throughout Your Word You have given us clues into Your heart. You are the first parent. Many times in the Bible we see Your  parent’s heart. Just like human parents, You experience great joy and extreme sadness because of  Your children’s choices.

In this verse we saw one of Your painful days as a parent.

And now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, asks you: Why are you destroying yourselves? For not one of you will survive—not a man, woman, or child among you who has come here from Judah, not even the babies in your arms. —Jeremiah 44:7

Father, reading this verse makes me sad for You and it makes me sad for parents who are watching their children self-destruct as I write this prayer.

It’s tough to watch those we love endure pain and suffering that is not of their choosing.

But

It’s worse to watch our children make conscious choices to self-destruct and take their families along with them.

Lord, there’s a great lesson in this verse. You allowed Your children to bear the consequences of their choices, even though You could have forced them to do what You knew was best for them.

Today’s parents think protecting our children and alleviating their suffering is what good parents do. Many parents spend their whole lives exhausting their time, money, and health trying to save children who do not want to be saved.

Jesus, You came to this earth to pay the price for our sins and give us eternal life.

But

You did not take away our ability to choose life or death, heaven or hell, or safety or self-destruction.

Father, teach parents to train their children as You train Your children:

Choices = Consequences

Lord, help us to learn from Your example.

Comfort us as only You can when our children choose the road to self-destruction.

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: Ezekiel 34:1-36:38

Lord, You Aren’t the Only One One Who Has Plans for Me—Lamentations 3:61

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Heavenly Father, when I hear the word “plans,” Jeremiah 29:11 immediately comes to mind. Jeremiah spoke these words to give hope and encouragement to the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11

In today’s scripture reading Jeremiah laments over the plans his enemies had made for him.

Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made. —Lamentations 3:61

Lord, You aren’t the only one who has plans for me.

The enemy of my soul has plans

and

I have my own selfish plans and desires.

Thankfully, Your plans trump all other plans but I must admit, many times I unknowingly work against Your plans. I either want my way or I take the bait Satan uses to entice me.

But, the plans of Satan and my flesh can lead to confusion and poor choices. Yes, You will use it all to get YOUR plans accomplished (Romans 8:28) but the pain and suffering from following MY desires instead of seeking Your Will is something I’d like to avoid.

Lord, I’m tired of learning from my mistakes.

Holy Spirit, these words immediately came to mind as I typed the previous sentence.

Seek

Wait

Listen

Obey

Lord, these verses put these four words into a daily plan. Walking out Proverbs 3:5-6  is the way to avoid choosing the wrong plans.

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 accomplish Your plans in my life today!

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: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

Lord, Rescue My Friends From Their Deepest Fear—Jeremiah 39:15-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 39:11-18, Jeremiah 40:1-6, 2 Kings 25:8-21, Jeremiah 52:12-27, 2 Chronicles 36:15-21, Lamentations 1:1-22

Heavenly Father, when I read this passage I immediately thought of  a special couple. The husband is battling stage four cancer and the wife is battling her greatest fears. They been together since they were teenagers and look forward to growing old together.

The Lord had given the following message to Jeremiah while he was still in prison:  “Say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I have threatened. I will send disaster, not prosperity. You will see its destruction, but I will rescue you from those you fear so much. Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” —Jeremiah 39:15-18

Just like Ebed-melech theEthiopian, who rescued Jeremiah from the cistern, they have served You well. They’ve served You as pastors and now during the midst of this two-year cancer battle they have opened their home to many missionary families. There home is like a bed and breakfast retreat for missionaries who are home on fur-low. When I visit them my desire to serve You through life’s tough times is strengthened. I always leave inspired and encouraged.

Jesus, rescue them from their fear and keep them safe. Give this mighty man of God his life as a reward.

There are many others who are suffering with fear of a shortened life because of illness. Lord, please add each of their names to this prayer.

Lord, hear my prayer,

In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Lord, Forgive Me for the Times I Don’t Walk in Peace—Jeremiah 33:9

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 32:1-33:26, Ezekiel 26:1-14

Heavenly Father, when I read this scripture so many thoughts run through my head: Our country, the importance of living a life  of peace as it relates to causing people to know You, the awesome power of peace, and Your definition of prosperity versus the world’s definition.

Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them. —Jeremiah 33:9

Jesus, I know there won’t be peace in this world until You come back but Lord You do promise us peace in our hearts and minds as Your children.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. —John 14:27

Lord, true prosperity is much more than wealth, property, and stuff. I wonder if Jeremiah and the Jews of his day realized economic prosperity was dependent of the prosperity of their soul. 

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth —3 John 1:2 (KJV)

Lord, this kind of peace is what causes the lost world to want to know You.

Lord, forgive me for the times I don’t walk in peace. I’m sorry I sometimes allow the cares of this world overwhelm me.

Today’s a new day! I refuse to live a life that is less than Your best for 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: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Lord, I Don’t Want to Ignore the Obstacles You Put in My Way—Ezekiel 3:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64

Heavenly Father, while this verse concerns a particular time in the Jew’s captivity and it’s before Jesus came and redeemed us, I see a clue into Your nature.

“If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. —Ezekiel 3:20

You,

the God of the Universe,

the One, True God who knows the beginning, middle, and end…

puts obstacles in our way to get Your Will accomplished in our lives.

So, sometimes when I’m rebuking Satan for getting in my way, it might be You using obstacles to goad (an instrument shepherds used to direct the sheep) me in the direction You want me to go.

The apostle Paul (Saul before his conversion) learned this lesson on the road to Damascus. Saul, was a Pharisee, one of the very religious of the day. He continually fought every obstacle that came his way in the name of religion, until this “come to Jesus” meeting…

We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’ —Acts 26:14

Lord, I know I have an enemy who uses obstacles to attempt to destroy my soul, but I also know You use obstacles to change my direction. Holy Spirit, give me supernatural wisdom to recognize Your leading and submit to Your obstacles and not turn away from righteous behavior.

Jesus, I trust You to get Your Will accomplished in my life.

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: Ezekiel 5:1-9:11

Lord, I’m Afraid to Surrender—Jeremiah 38:19-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 37:11-38:28, Ezekiel 1:1-3:15

Heavenly  Father, surrender is such a negative word. We equate it with failure, lack of effort, and weakness but sometimes surrender is our only option for survival. Our surrender is God’s way of getting His Will accomplished in our lives. Such is the case in this message Jeremiah gave to King Zedekiah.

 

“But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!”

Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying,

‘What fine friends you have!
They have betrayed and misled you.
When your feet sank in the mud,
they left you to your fate!’

All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.” —Jeremiah 38:19-23

Lord, surrender is a key discipline in knowing You and serving You. Our first surrender comes when we accept You as our Savior and from that day forward we are constantly surrendering our will to Your will.

I am currently in a season of surrender and just like King Zedekiah I’m playing the “what if” game. Lord, if I obey, trust, and surrender it may not turn out the way “I” want it to. I’m afraid people I love will be hurt if I don’t take control of the situation. Can You lay out Your plan for me BEFORE I surrender?

Lord, I’m sure You’re laughing. I know, that wouldn’t be surrender, that would be negotiation. Help me to overcome my fear and completely surrender this situation to You.

Jesus, You are the greatest example of surrender. Teach me, coach me, and convict me to follow Your example of surrendering my will to the will of my Heavenly Father.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” —Luke 22:42

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: Ezekiel 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64

Lord, Thank You For Being My Lawyer—Jeremiah 51:36

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 51:15-58, 2 Kings 24:10-17, 2 Chronicles 36:10, 1 Chronicles 3:10-16, 2 Chronicles 36:11-14, Jeremiah 52:1-3a, 2 Kings 24:18-20a, Jeremiah 37:1-10

Heavenly Father, once again I stand amazed by Your Word! I don’t remember seeing this verse before…

This is what the Lord says to Jerusalem:

“I will be your lawyer to plead your case,
and I will avenge you.
I will dry up her river,
as well as her springs, —Jeremiah 51:36

Heavenly Father, You were Jerusalem’s lawyer! You stood up for them. They didn’t deserve it. They couldn’t pay for Your services but You believed in them enough to  represent them.

Lord, making sure we have a lawyer, advocate, and representative is a large part of Your nature. It runs through every ounce of Your DNA.

For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. —Hebrews 9:24

I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. —John 14:25-26

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit representing me and interceding on my behalf—Lord, You would do this for me?

Thank You for being my lawyer!

I am blessed to be Your child!

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: Jeremiah 37:11-38:28, Ezekiel 1:1-3:15

Lord, I Don’t Want to Lead People Astray—Jeremiah 50:6

Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:15-40, Jeremiah 49:34-51:14

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Heavenly Father, the world is full of shepherds (Christian Leaders, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and anyone to attempts to lead or mentor someone to know Jesus). I wonder how many of us have led someone astray from the path You planned for them. This is the part about ministry that scares me to death.

“My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray
and turned them loose in the mountains.
They have lost their way
and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. —Jeremiah 50:6

Holy Spirit, if my words, testimony, life. or blog is leading anyone astray please, please, please show me.

Rescue any mis-guided “sheep” from my mistakes. Show them Your Truth. Show them how to get back into Your sheepfold.

Forgive me. Correct me. Teach me.

If all else fails, silence me. I’d rather say nothing than lead one of Your children astray.

Lord, anoint me to hear, receive, and walk in Your direction AND correction!

I want to cause others to know Your more. —Philippians 4:13

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: Jeremiah 51:15-48, 2 Kings 24:10-17, 2 Chronicles 36:10, 1 Chronicles 3:10-16, 2 Chronicles 36:11-14, Jeremiah 52:1-3a, 2 Kings 24:18-20a, Jeremiah 37:1-10

Lord, Exile Seems Like Punishment—Jeremiah 24: 4-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 23:33-24:10, Jeremiah 29:1-31:14

Heavenly Father, the more I read Your Word the more I realize how complex, intricate, and amazing You are! This scripture passage is yet another example of “Your ways are higher than my ways!”

Then the Lord gave me this message:“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians. I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

“But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.” —Jeremiah 24:4-10

You leave the “bad figs” in their homeland and send the “good figs” away. I’m sure the Jewish people must have been so confused. The “bad figs” thought You were endorsing their behavior by letting them stay. The “good figs” felt as though You were punishing them because You sent them away. Both groups were completely wrong!

Lord, this is a huge lesson for me. How many times do I see a situation through my humanness and think You have forsaken me! Just like the Jewish people, there have been many times when You sent me away from a relationship, job, community, ministry or church and I felt cast aside, abandoned, and mistreated only to realize months or years later that You divinely rescued me.

Lord, I trust You.

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: Jeremiah 31:15-40, Jeremiah 49:34-51:14

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