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Lord, I Don’t Believe These Are Just Clever Stories—2 Peter 1:16-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

Heavenly Father, it’s two days before Christmas. Your Christmas story is being told around the world. Lord, it’s not just a story to me, it’s a historical fact.

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. —2 Peter 1:16-18

Jesus, I didn’t see Your majestic splendor with my own eyes. I didn’t hear that voice from heaven but because Your Holy Spirit makes Your Word come alive, I know You and I know Your Word is true.

Father, thank You for Jesus!

Amen and amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1-4:6

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, 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’ve Done Some Agonizing in 2014—Colossians 2:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-4:18

Heavenly Father, I guess it’s true that “misery loves company,” because when I saw that Paul agonized, I suddenly felt righteous in my “agonizing” of the past year.

I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. -Colossians 2:1-4

Lord, I’m sure my agony isn’t in the same galaxy as Paul’s but his desires for the Colossians and Laodiceans and my desires for my loved ones are the same.

Jesus, You know about agony. I’m learning that the best prayer to pray during life’s agonizing times is the same prayer you prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, not what I want but what You want.”

Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “You sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him. He began to have much sorrow and a heavy heart. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sad. My soul is so full of sorrow I am ready to die. You stay here and watch with Me.”

He went on a little farther and got down with His face on the ground. He prayed, “My Father, if it can be done, take away what is before Me. Even so, not what I want but what You want.” —Matthew 26:36-39

Jesus, as I move into this new year, teach me how take my struggles, concerns, and agony to You in prayer and then trust You with the outcome.

In Your Name. Amen and amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

Lord, I Want to Make the Most of Every Opportunity—Ephesians 5:15-20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-6:24, Colossians 1:1-23

Heavenly Father, will I live to see the day when I can’t speak Your Son’s name in public?

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 5:15-20

Lord, I want to be wise. I don’t want to waste my time on earth. I want to make the most of every opportunity. Holy Spirit, fill me and use me to help someone know You more today.

Thank You for the opportunities You are sending my way! May I live for the glory of Your Name!

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-4:18

Lord, After All These Years, I’m Still in Awe—Ephesians 2:8-10

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

Heavenly Father, as I read Ephesians 2, it was like reading it for the first time. The whole chapter oozes with Your love but these verses grabbed my attention:

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. —Ephesians 2:8-10

Lord, You’re right, I can’t take credit for this gift. I don’t deserve it.

Father, Your loving kindness is like the most beautiful gift wrapping I’ve ever imagined.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. —Ephesians 1:7-8

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for the gift of eternal life!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-5:14

Lord, Who Will Free Me From This Life That is Dominated by Sin and Death? —Romans 7:21-8:3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-8:17

Heavenly Father, this passage amazes me! Paul lets me see into his heart and it looks just like mine.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. —Romans 7:21-8:3

Father, thank You for sending the answer—Your only Son, Jesus Christ!

Jesus, thank You for freeing me from the power of sin that leads to death!

In Your Great Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-10:21

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, Put Me Where You Want Me—1 Corinthians 12:18-20

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

Heavenly Father, as we approach the Thanksgiving/Christmas season my mind jumps ahead to the new year. 2015 is going to be a year of change for me. Doors are closing. Seasons are ending and times of rest and refreshing are approaching.

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. —1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Lord, I’m anxious to see what this year holds and where You put me within Your body in this new season.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.                     —1 Corinthians 12:12

I’m Yours. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

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

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

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