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Lord, I Want to Be a Risk-Taker—Mark 15:42-43

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11, John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15

Heavenly Father, I know I change my biblical heroes with everyday’s reading but today I’m amazed by Joseph of Arimathea.

This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation,the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) —Mark 15:42-43

Lord, I know this is an important story because You inspired four different authors to record it. When I put the four accounts together Joseph definitely is someone we can learn a lot from.

Joseph risk his wealth, reputation and status to take on the role of a servant and honor his savior. Rich people don’t take bloody, beaten, dirty, and smelly people down from crosses–they have servants for that. Influential people don’t publicly honor someone who their peers and colleagues despise, it’s professional suicide.

Joseph took a risk and humbled himself to serve and care for his savior; talk about a public profession of faith!

Jesus, I can’t physically honor and care for You the way Joseph of Arimathea did but I can be that same kind of risk taker.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ —Matthew 25:40

Holy Spirit, show me who to serve in Jesus Name as I go about my day.

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-43. Mark 16:12-13, John 20:19–23, Mark 16:14, John 20:24-21:25, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49

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, Sometimes I Don’t Practice What I Teach—Matthew 23:1-4

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, I really don’t want to go here. I really don’t want to admit that sometimes I don’t practice what I teach, but You and I both know it’s true. But it’s hard admitting it to the whole world!

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. –Matthew 23:1-4

Lord, being a teacher is a gift AND a curse. EVERYTHING new that I see, read, hear, think, or learn, I immediately want to share it with the world. When I think of all the “instruction” I’ve given the corporate world, the church, the cyberworld, and my family over the years…all I can say is “Lord, help me! There is no way I can live up to it all.”

I feel bad about not practicing what I teach about health, food, sleep, time management, worry, fear and many more things

but

Not always living out THESE verses is what really upsets me:

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. ’The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” –Mark 12:28-31

Lord, I don’t always love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I don’t always love my neighbor as myself. I fail You. I misunderstand You. I don’t always follow through on my promises.

Jesus, trying to live out these verses, also known as the greatest commandment, is a tall order. Yes, I’ve failed at it but I won’t stop trying. I won’t stop writing. I won’t stop teaching. I won’t stop serving You.

I won’t stop striving to practice what I teach.

As Steve Furtick said on a podcast, “The opposite of success isn’t failure. The opposite of success is unfaithfulness. Lord, if I am faithful to You, even my failures will turn into successes.”

Jesus, thank You for Your mercy and grace when I fall short!

Thank you for helping me practice what I teach!

In Your mighty name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’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

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, 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, 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, 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, Am I Paying Attention? —Mark 4:21-25

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-30, Matthew 12:22-45, Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20

Heavenly Father, I need Your understanding. It’s easy to get distracted. There are so many voices fighting for my focus. Teach me to pay attention to what I hear.

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”—Mark 4:21-25

Lord, some days I want to run away from all the noise. You are the only answer to my confusion.

Holy Spirit, warn me when I’m being distracted. Help me to fight through the jungle of opinions and get quiet with You.

Jesus, help me to carve out time in each day to spend time with You in prayer, Bible study, and meditation so I can gain Your understanding.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:10-23, Luke 8:9-18, Mark 4:21-29, Matthew 13:24-30, Mark 4:30-34, Matthew 13:31-52, Mark 4:35-41, Matthew 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25

Lord, Why Am I Here? —Mark 1:35-39

 

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, wondering why I’m on this earth isn’t something I’ve thought that much about. Most of my life I’ve felt I had a purpose but these days I’m entering into a new season and I have more questions than answers. Jesus, knew why You sent Him. He stayed focused oh His purpose. He didn’t let the needs and demands of the masses pull Him away from Your plans for His time on this earth.

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. —Mark 1:35-39

Today’s biggest tug-of-war is in my mind.  Ultimately, my purpose and everyone on this planet’s purpose is to know You and cause others to know You. I guess my questions are more about the “how” than the “what.” Do I turn left, right, go straight, or do a 180 and return to something I’ve done in the past?

Or do I wait at this crossroad and rest like Elijah (1 Kings 19)?

You are the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrew 12:2). When You speak I move. Until then, I wait.

I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 5:1-11, Mark 1:40-45, Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16, Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32, Mark 2:18-22, Matthew 9:14-17, Luke 5:33-39

Lord, Forgive Us For Laughing–Genesis 18:10-15


 

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 18:1-21:7 

Heavenly Father, we are definitely Abraham and Sarah’s descendants.  We laugh at the plans you have for us saying, “Surely we’re too old, to shy, to uneducated, to poor, to young, etc.” to have a miracle happen in our lives.  Yet, we think, “Why didn’t Abraham and Sarah believe; God Himself spoke to them?”  “If only, He would speak directly to me, then I would believe.”  Holy Spirit, remind us today that You have spoken directly to us through Your Holy Bible.  Remind us that if You said it, it will come to pass.

Lord, forgive us for laughing at your plans.  Forgive us for working against Your plans through our unbelief.

Help us to remember throughout this prayer journey that even though Abraham and Sarah had times of unbelief You still heard their prayers.

But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.  Genesis 19:29

Teach us to intercede like Abraham and continually petition you on behalf of the lost and hurting of this world.

Lord, help us to overcome our unbelief (Mark 9:24).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 21:8, Genesis 11:32, Genesis 24:1-67

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