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Lord, I’m Trembling With Fear at the Thought of Failing to Experience Your Rest—Hebrews 4:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

Heavenly Father, has this verse ALWAYS been in the Bible?

God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. —Hebrews 4:1

You’re probably laughing but I don’t ever remember reading this. Wow! Once again it goes to show that Your Word is living and applicable to every season of our lives. You have called me to a season of rest and suddenly this verse “appears.” You definitely have my attention.

Lord, the more I know about Your rest the more I long for it. Yes, I’m trembling in fear at the thought of missing it!

 

Holy Spirit, teach me how to enter Your rest.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 4:14-7:28

Lord, The Sun’s Down and I’m Still Angry. What Do I Do? —Ephesians 4:26

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

Heavenly Father, I’ve learned a lot about anger this year. There have been some nights when I went to bed angry and as You predicted through the Apostle Paul, anger gave Satan a foothold in my life.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. ”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. –Ephesians 4:26-27

Lord, thankfully I’ve moved past the anger and have learned some great lessons but it would have been much simpler if I would have turned it completely over to You before the sun went down.

Because I allowed anger to marinate, I gave Satan access to my mind. I was miserable. I knew I needed to forgive, yet something was holding me back; or should I say someone.

Lord, I believe You, the God who made me, answered my prayer and showed my how to fight this anger virus I had allowed to corrupt my thinking.

I sensed You saying that aggressive action was required to take back the foothold I had given to Satan.

I’m a person who loves solitude and silence. I can stay in my home for eight hours with no television or music—just silence, and be totally happy. Holy Spirit, I believe You told me that silence wasn’t good for me in this season. These were the instructions you gave me:

No silence allowed! Other than my morning quiet time, I was to have either Christian podcasts, Christian music, or Christian books going in my head every waking moment.

This doesn’t mean that I can only listen to Christian music forever, it means desperate tines call for desperate measures. I had to take back the ground I have given to my enemy. It was war but You taught me how to fight differently.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. –1 Corinthians 10:3-5

Jesus, I definitely had strongholds of human reasoning, false arguments, and rebellious thoughts. Saturating my mind with Your Word was re-teaching me to hear, obey, and submit to You. The second part of this assignment was capturing every thought that fueled the anger and replacing with Your Word.

Lord, I immediately made this change. I’m amazed how quickly the heaviness lifted. In a matter of days I felt the anger and hurt disappear. I am completely free from the anger and very grateful!

The thing I will never forget about this difficult season is the way You stayed so close to me. I know You didn’t approve of my lingering anger but You were with me in an unusual way. I even felt You speak to my spirit, “I understand. I get angry too. You will get through this and I will not leave you.”

Lord, thank You for never abandoning me! Thank You for going ahead of me and leading me through this difficult season.

 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6

I love You!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

 

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

Lord, It’s Useless to Fight Against Your Will—Acts 26:13-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 27:1-44

**This prayer is for December 4th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, as Paul re-told the story of his conversation to King Agrippa and his wife, I thought, “who wouldn’t serve You with a conversion like this one!”

About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 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.’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ —Acts 26:13-18

Lord, I didn’t have a dramatic conversion like Paul. I became a Christian when I was ten years old. I didn’t see a light and hear a voice but there’s one thing that Paul and I have in common…

It’s useless for us to fight against Your will.

Lord, like many Christians I’ve spent much of my life searching, looking, and even fretting over Your will for my life. Sometimes we’re “working” so hard trying to find Your will that we actually are fighting against Your will. I definitely don’t have it all figured out but I know this–

I will arrive at Your will for my life with a less wounds and bloody knees if I just release MY will and rest in the fact that You will get Your will accomplished in my life.

I am learning that my greatest prayer is…

Lord, Your will be done–

on earth

on this day

and

in my life

–as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Lord, please anoint my desires so that they line up with Your will.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

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

Lord, I Don’t Know What Awaits, But…—Acts 20:22-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 20:13-21:36

Heavenly Father, as this year comes to a close, a season of ministry is ending. While I certainly don’t compare my ministry with Paul’s, I do know what it’s like to hear the Holy Spirit say go, start, leave, or stop.

And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. –Acts 20:22-24

Lord, it took obedience for Paul to leave Jerusalem and it took obedience for him to return. Five years ago I heard a quiet, kind, an loving thought bounce around my heart, “I want you to lead and online Bible study through the One-year Chronological Bible and I want you to write a devotion for each day’s reading and post it on a blog.”

Holy Spirit, I knew it was You because I would have never had that thought and Satan certainly would never tell me to do that! Up until this point I had only been posting on my blog once a month. Lord, in my natural mind I didn’t think what You were asking me to do was possible but with You all things are possible.

Lord, as this journey comes to a close, it’s taking as much obedience to stop as it did to start. I have learned so much. Leading this Bible study has taught me that You will open my eyes to the truth and relevancy of Your Word, when I spend time with You. Some days You gave me the words in an hour, some days it took three or four hours. Because of my commitment, I waited and You know that I’m the kind of person who needs a commitment. It amazes me that You work with the way You made me!

Lord, because of what I’ve learned and because of the intimacy I’ve had with You, I really don’t want to stop, but I will—because You said so. I will, knowing that the learning and the intimacy will continue, just in different ways.

Jesus, I don’t know what awaits me in this next season but I know my life is worth nothing unless I spend my time telling others about You.

Lord, I trust You. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Lord, I Need to Stop _______ Before I Can Start ________ —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-16:27, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

Heavenly Father, I have always been strong, independent and self-reliant. You have used hard times to chisel away my strength and force me to rely on You. The funny thing is I “thought” I was relying on You before those hard times hit. Little did I know…

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Holy Spirit, in this verse Paul tells us that relying on You is learned, it doesn’t come natural. Like Paul I had to reach the point where no human, including myself could rescue me, before I released control.

Lord, I know I still have a way to go, but I am learning to stop relying on myself and rely only on You.

Thank You for Your grace while I’m learning.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

Lord, Help Me to See Opportunities—Acts 3:12a

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 3:1-5:42

Jesus, I wonder if Peter and John had any idea what was going to happen on their way to the temple?

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

I don’t think they were surprised. I think they probably prayed every morning and asked the Holy Spirit to anoint them to serve others as they went about their day.

But

They didn’t know there would be a lame man

and

They didn’t know there would be an opportunity to speak to a crowd about YOU.

Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. —Acts 3:12a

Yes, we’d all agree healing a man who had never walked in his life sounds like a divine appointment and getting to speak to a large crowd about Jesus sounds like a God opportunity.

But was THIS a God opportunity?

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. —Acts 4:1-3

Lord, maybe Peter and John immediately knew being thrown in jail was a divine appointment but if it were me, I would be thinking, “My God, My God why have You forsaken me! How can this be happening?”

There’s such a lesson in these verses. If we believe God has made an opportunity for us and we choose to step into that opportunity there may be opposition. The number one thing we get straight before we ever ask to be used is…

Will I be obedient to God when the going gets tough?

So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” —Acts 4:18-20

Holy Spirit, I want to immediately see the opportunities You place in my life and step out in faith believing that Your leading me. Lord, help me to be obedient and stand tall when opposition comes.

Lord, I want to serve others in Your name. Use me today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-8:1a

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 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, I’m Willing to Listen—Luke 6:27-31

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 3:7-19, Luke 6:12-16, Matthew 5:1-12, Luke 6:17-26, Matthew 5:13-48, Luke 27-36, Matthew 6:1-4

Heavenly Father, today’s reading was very hard for me. It’s easy to read Your instructions in the gospels when I think I’m an “A” student. These days I feel more like a “D-” student.

But Lord, I’m here. I’m listening…

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. —Luke 6:27-31

Lord, hear my prayer:

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you. —Psalm 51:10-12

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-7:6, Luke 6:37-42, Matthew 7:7-20, Luke 6:43-45, Matthew 7:21-29, Luke 6:46-49

Lord, Help Me to Be Silent—Esther 4:13-17

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22, Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-4:14

Heavenly Father, unlike Esther I have more problems keeping quiet than speaking my mind. This is one reason I admire Esther so much. She is who I want to be when I grow up. Unfortunately, I always have an opinion, love to give advice and spend many night’s reliving my words and regretting ever opening my mouth—not at all like Esther.

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” —Esther 4:13-14

Esther continually sought the advice of others (Esther 2:10, 15, 20, Esther 4:13-17). I wonder if it was because she didn’t like to make decisions, didn’t trust her judgment, or because of the culture of the day.

Lord, the thing I find interesting about Your plan for humans is no matter how we come into this world,  there’s opportunity for growth. Life tempers the bossy and prideful and empowers the submissive and humble.

That seemed to be the case for Esther. You took a beautiful, shy, orphan and gave her the courage to say…

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. —Esther 4:15-17

Jesus, at this time in my life I believe You’re calling me to silence. My advice is not needed, it’s not part of Your plan. It’s as hard for me to be silent as it was for Esther to stand up for her people. The only way I can do it  is with Your help.

Today, I will refrain from giving advice. I will silently wait and watch You work.

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: Esther 5:1-10:3

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