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Lord, I Don’t Want to Panic—Mark 13:5-11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:1-23, Matthew 24:1-25, Luke 21:5-24, Mark 13:24-31, Matthew 24:26-35, Luke 21:25:33

Heavenly Father, I’ve never been one to panic. I’m usually pretty level-headed in a crisis but we all have our areas of vulnerability and I have discovered that when one of my areas is touched I can move in to full-on panic mode.

Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:5-11

Lord, these verses spoke volumes to me.

1. This life is not about my comfort. It’s about knowing You and causing others to know You.

2. I have to be alert. It’s easy to be deceived.

2. There is a purpose in EVERY trial.

3. There are opportunities in EVERY trial.

4. I do not have to worry. I do not have to panic. You have it all planned out, even down to the words I will say.

Jesus, You were talking to James, John and Andrew, three of your most committed disciples. Many of today’s Christians would never say to You, Tell us when this will happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled? (Mark 13:3-4) It’s too negative and depressing—after all, ignorance is bliss! As Dewey Moede said in his post, in today’s world “many think they are walking with God, but too many are not, they are dating God, not committed to God.”

Lord, dating You won’t get us through the tough times. It takes total commitment. It takes running to You instead of giving in to panic. It takes having Your plans and Your kingdom at the top of our priorities rather coming in last place behind earthly pleasures.

Jesus, the final thing these verses say to me is the trials I’m facing today are preparing me to stand strong in the days ahead. These trials are opportunities to strengthen my faith and tell the world about You.

Holy Spirit, help me not to waste these opportunities living in panic.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Lord, I Don’t Want to Make This Mistake—Mark 12:24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:28-32, Mark 12:1-12, Matthew 21:33-46, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:13-17, Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40

Jesus, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. A person can’t live 50 plus years without making their fare share. When I first saw this verse my mind immediately saw these as two mistakes but right before I hit the post button I noticed that it’s really one mistake with two components.

Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. —Mark 12:24

“Word Studies in the New Testament” paraphrases this verse as The reason of your error is your ignorance of the scriptures and of the power of God.

Lord, many of the mistakes I’ve made are because of my ignorance of Your Word and Your power. I can’t understand Your Word without Your Power and I can’t understand Your Power without Your Word. Yes, I see it! It really is just one mistake!

Holy Spirit, even though I’ve served You many years and studied Your Word, there’s still only one way I can avoid these mistakes— It’s with Your supernatural power.  The Sadducees (Mark 12:18-27) were highly intelligent and known as the brilliant minds of the day. They must have been insulted by this verse.

Knowing Your Word and Your power has nothing to do with intelligence. I cannot “know” the scriptures and “know” Your power without Your guidance, intervention, and counsel.

Lord, give me discernment. Remind me of the many times I’ve seen Your supernatural power displayed in my life and the lives of the people around me.

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 14:26

Holy Spirit, I just experienced Your power as I studied this verse. I am in complete awe!

Holy Spirit, thank You for being my teacher.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:35-37, Matthew 22:41-46, Luke 20:41-44, Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, Luke 20:45-47, Matthew 23:13-39, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4

Lord, I Long to See You Return—Luke 17:22

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 11:38-57, Luke 17:11-18:8

Heavenly Father, this time has arrived in my life:

Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. —Luke 17:22

Jesus, I long to see the day when You return. I’ve spent my life getting to know You through Your Word. The expectancy of seeing You face-to-face is building as each day passes!

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.

“And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”

“Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked.

Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.” —Luke 17:26-37

Lord, it’s definitely “business as usual” in today’s world but the signs of Your return are everywhere.

Holy Spirit, draw those who are lost to Jesus.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14, Mark 10:1-12, Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10: 13-16, Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17, mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30

Lord, I Want to Be Your Disciple—Luke 14:25-27

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 14:25-17:20, John 11:1-37

Heavenly Father, if You compare my love and devotion for my family and my own life to my love and devotion to You it probably seems like I hate You.

A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. —Luke 14:25-27

Lord, I want to be Your disciple. I want my love for anyone or anything to pale in comparison to my love for You. Teach me to carry my cross and follow You.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 11:38-57, Luke 17:11-18:8

Lord, I Sometimes Forget—John 10:10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 10:1-42, Luke 13:22-14:24

 

Heavenly Father, I sometimes forget that You said …

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. –John 10:10

 

Lord, life on this earth feels like a tug of war. It’s funny, Satan’s entices us with promises of a rich and satisfying life, yet a life of serving him ends in poverty, death, and destruction. You tell us to take up our cross and follow You…

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. –Matthew 16:24-27

 

…And offer us a rich and satisfying life.

 

Jesus, I want Your best life, a rich and satisfying life. Give me discernment to recognize the deceptive tools of the enemy of my soul. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is worth more than my soul.

 

In Your great and powerful Name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 14:25-17:10, John 11:1-37

Lord, Teach Me to Have Shameless Persistence—Luke 11:5-13

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13

Heavenly Father, when discouragement and doubt come remind me of this story. Remind me to have shameless persistence.

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Father, once again I bring my desperate needs to You. Lord, hear my prayer.

The days have long since passed of me trying to tell You how to fix the people and situations that cause my heart to break. I have no answers but my shameless prayer is please don’t leave us or forget us. Please don’t leave us the way we are. Please work everything out for Your Glory and our good (Romans 8:28).

Lord, we have so many needs but my greatest desire is that my future generations know You, REALLY know You and spend their days sharing Your good news with the world.

Jesus, I will keep knocking and asking until I breath my last breath.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 11:14-12:34

Lord, Teach Me to Judge Correctly—John 7:21-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20

Heavenly Father, I’m really confused about judging. These days Christians and non-Christians use the phrase “Don’t judge me” as a warning that says “stay out of my business and I don’t care what you think.”

Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed.  But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” –John 7:21-24

Lord, in today’s world these words are seen as synonyms for judging:

  • Warn
  • Counsel
  • Instruct
  • Observe
  • Teach
  • Hold Accountable

But, it’s a trick of the enemy of our to souls to silence the voice of reason is a world gone crazy.

Jesus, I don’t want to do anything that’s displeases You but I also don’t want to be silenced by the world’s broad definition of judging.  I don’t want to develop a “live and let live” attitude that causes me to look the other way when You prompt me to warn, counsel, and call to account those I love and care about.

Lord, teach me balance. Teach me to look beneath the surface so I  can judge correctly.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 8:21-59, Luke 10:1-11:13

Lord, What Should I Cut Off or Gouge Out? –Mark 9:42-50

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, I’ve read these scriptures many times. I’ve always gotten so caught up in cutting off limbs and gouging out eyes that I’ve missed Your simple, yet profound message.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’

“For everyone will be tested with fire. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.” —Mark 9:43-50

Lord, I’d like to keep my arms, legs, and eyes but I think there are some things I need to cut off or gouge out but before I start chopping and poking, I had to stop and think, “What is sin… Really?”

I went searching through commentaries and Bible dictionaries and this was the definition that made the most sense to me:

“The failure or refusal of human beings to live the life intended for them by God their creator.” (Eerdmans’ Bible Dictionary)

When I think about coming up short in the life You intend for me, I would have to put distractions at the top of my list of reasons for sin.

There’s so much I can learn, do, hear, see, think, feel, and touch that I miss Your still-small-voice calling me in the direction You have for me. I settle for my plan b, c, or d instead of Your plan A.

Jesus, living a life on this earth that is fulfilling and pleasing to You is simple, if we know what to keep and what to cut off. Show me the areas in my life where distractions are causing me to sin. I want the best life, the one that You’ve had planned for me since the beginning of time.

I trust You!

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20

 

 

 

 

Lord, I Trust You With the Consequences—Mark 7:36

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, from today’s reading it seems that all people are really the same. All it takes to get something to go viral is to tell people not to tell anyone.

Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. –Mark 7:36

Jesus, there’s no mention of You finding that person and chastising them for being disobedient. You told them what You wanted them to do but it was their choice to obey or disobey. Their choice directed affected You but You trusted Your heavenly Father with the consequences.

Lord, I’m learning to trust You with the consequences. Holy Spirit, remind me when You see me slipping.

Have Your will in my Life.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’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

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

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