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Lord, Don’t Let My Family Tree Be Deceived and Fooled—2 Thessalonians 2:5-12

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

Heavenly Father, it’s funny how our thoughts change as we enter different seasons of life. As I read these verses from the viewpoint of a mother and grandmother approaching sixty years of age, my thoughts turn to my future generations.

Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. —2 Thessalonians 2:5-12

Lord, I don’t want my children, grandchildren and future generations being deceived and fooled into believing the lies of “the man of lawlessness.”

Heavenly Father, I declare in the Name of Your amazing Son, Jesus Christ that my family tree will be a mighty oak of righteousness, standing strong in the midst of the evil of this world. Each leaf of this tree will bring good news to the poor, comfort the brokenhearted, and proclaim that captives be released and prisoners be freed. Those who mourn in this world will stand under the branches of this strong tree and be blessed, comforted, protected and encouraged.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations. —Isaiah 61:1-4

In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

Lord, Sometimes I Disagree—Acts 15:36-40

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 15:22-Acts 17:15

Heavenly Father, thank You for including this passage in Your Word:

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. —Acts 15:36-40

Lord, I know there are many scriptures that speak to love, peace, long-suffering, and gentleness as it relates to dealing with others . Displaying the Fruit of the Spirit is definitely my goal but sometimes I fall short. These verses give me a ring-side seat into a biblical disagreement and offer my “Paul personality” a break from the occasional condemnation that plagues my mind. Here are five things I see in these verses.

Sometimes believers…

1. Disagree

2. Have different standards

3. Can be passionate and raise their voices

4. Have to agree to disagree

5. Can’t work together

Lord, I don’t see these verses as license to fly off the handle but once again Your Word lets me know that no one is perfect and sometimes a good old-fashioned disagreement can be the human response.

Holy Spirit, forgive me when I handle confrontation in a way that’s not pleasing to You. Teach me how to disagree.

Thank You for Your grace. In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11

Lord, Can We Talk Parent-to-Parent? —Matthew 26:39-56

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24

Heavenly Father, can we talk parent-to-parent?

How did You control Your urge to snatch Your son out of the Garden of Gethesemane as he repeatedly pleaded for His suffering to be taken away? How did You do it? I know Your heart was breaking.

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” —Matthew 26:39-46

Lord, the hardest trials I’ve ever experienced have been watching my children suffer. It’s heartbreaking to helplessly sit on the sidelines watching their lives head down a road “I” would never want them to travel.  But there’s something harder than that—watching Your only Son suffer for sin He didn’t commit when You have the ability to rescue Him in an instant!

Father, in my humanness I don’t know how You did it but as I read today’s scriptures I saw two reasons why You, Your Son, and Your Holy Spirit were willing to go through this pain and suffering:

1. It was Your will. That’s settled it for Your Son. He didn’t want to go to the cross and die but Your will and Your plan were more important and His human suffering.

The second reason came later in this chapter:

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. —Matthew 26:52-56

2. You do not lie. Repeatedly, in Your scriptures Your Son’s birth, death, and resurrection were predicted. You could have sent angels, You could have rescued Jesus with one word, but it is not possible for You to lie, so You kept Your Word and sent Your Son to rescue ME from sin and eternal death so that Your scriptures were fulfilled!

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. —Hebrews 6:18

Lord…

When I am fretting, crying, pleading for You to rescue my children from their suffering, help me to remember You know, You care, and You understand.

When I’m searching for reasons and answers, remind me that Your will and Your plans are bigger and better than mine and Your scriptures are being fulfilled in the lives of my children.

Lord, let Your Will be done in the lives of my children, grandchildren, and future generations. May we serve You all the days of our lives!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Mathew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10

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

Lord, Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Think—Luke 2:48

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:41-52, Mark 1:1b-8, Mathew 3:1-12, Luke 3:1-18, Mark 1:9-11, Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22

Heavenly Father, today I saw this verse in a new light.

His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” —Luke 2:48

The story of Mary and Joseph leaving Jesus at the temple was one I first heard as a small child but as I read it today it gave me comfort as a parent and an aging adult who spends a lot of time shaking my head over the inconsistencies and self-centeredness in today’s world.

Mary and Joseph were parenting the son of God. Jesus was sinless, yet his parents went through three days of hell when they realized he wasn’t with them when they started home to Nazareth (Luke 2:41-52). Their first thoughts were “why have you done this to us?”

Lord, I must admit that I’ve asked myself this question many times over the years as a parent. The answer Jesus would give and the answer my kids would give would most likely be the same one: “I wasn’t thinking about you at all.” In Jesus case, He was about His Heavenly Father’s will for His time on earth. In the case of my kids, they were thinking about their life, their agenda, and their ideals.

This is really hard for parents to understand because from the time we find out we’re pregnant everything we do is for our children. It is a rude awakening when we realize that the opposite is true with them—the moment a child is born they begin the fight for their independence from their parents.

Lord, I’m sure You understand this because You are a parent. You sacrificed Your son so that we can be with You in heaven and most days it’s all about us and we don’t think about You or Your Will at all.

For Mary, this was a turning point. Jesus was only twelve but she knew the tearing away had begun and it was going to be painful.

Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. —Luke 2:51

Heavenly Father, I want to follow Your example as a parent. The most important gift You gave Your children is the freedom of choice. Help me to encourage my children, grandchildren and future generations to experience Your gift of choice. I pray they choose You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

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, Teach Me What is Good for Me—Isaiah 48:17

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Isaiah 44:6-48:11

Heavenly Father, this is an amazing promise, “You will teach me what is good for me AND lead me along the paths I should follow!”

This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is good for you
and leads you along the paths you should follow. —Isaiah 48:17

Wow! If I was a new Christian I would think, this walking with Jesus thing is going to be a piece of cake.

But, I’m not a new Christian.

Lord, after serving You for over 40 years I KNOW that YOU will do what YOU say YOU will do.

Jesus, the problem isn’t with the teacher. The problem is the student. The problem is ME!

  • I don’t always go to school (study and mediate  on Your Word)
  • I don’t always listen
  • I don’t always follow instructions
  • I don’t always stay behind You

But there is good news.

You have a plan “B.” When I don’t go to school, listen, follow instructions, and stay behind You, You teach me through my mistakes AND You aren’t afraid to administer tough love and drag me along the paths I should follow.

Thank You for being my Abba, Daddy God!

 

I love You! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Lord, I Don’t Understand Your Plan—Micah 4:12

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 34:1-35:10

Heavenly Father, letting go of my thoughts and plans has been a struggle for me throughout my life. As I think back on my grave yard of failed plans it’s almost comical. I’m sure You have had Your share of laughs watching me think and plan.

But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts
or understand his plan.
These nations don’t know
that he is gathering them together
to be beaten and trampled
like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor.  —Micah 4:12

Humans see life through a pin-hole. Lord You see the past, present, and future. Why would ever we choose our plans over Yours?

I can’t speak for everyone but I think it’s my sinful, pride-filled nature that keeps me planning and trying to control my life. I want it easy. Yes, I’ve grown and matured. I trust You much more than I did in the early days of knowing You but Lord, I have not arrived. I still question Your thoughts and Your plans.

I know Your ways are higher and better than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9) but I’m weary from disappointment. Your plans are hard and they take so much strength, courage, and trust.

Yes, I’m in my 50s but I sometimes feel like a kid stomping my feet and saying, “I want to go outside and play. I don’t want to clean my room.” Lord, You are the kind of parent I want to be.

Thank You Lord for the tough love. Thank You for giving me the life You planned.

Jesus, I trust You.

In Your Name I pray.

Amen and Amen!

 


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Micah 2:1-5:15

Lord, Lift Up Those Who Are Weighted Down—Psalm 146:8

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 136, Psalms, 146-150

Heavenly Father, so many feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. —Psalm 146:5-9

Lord, I have felt this way many times. Thank for promising to lift us up. Most of the time when I feel like “everything is on me” it’s because I think it’s my responsibility to fix everything and everybody. Jesus, I give the issues, challenges, and people to You that are weighing me down. I release them into Your care. I trust You with the outcome. Help me to see my world through Your eyes. Holy Spirit, show me my part in each day’s challenges and help me to keep my hands off everything else.

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: Isaiah 18:1-23:18

Lord, Let Me Proclaim Your Power to This New Generation—Psalm 71:18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 1-2, Psalm 10, Psalm 33, Psalm 71, Psalm 91

Heavenly Father, I don’t consider myself old and gray but I’m definitely closer to old age than youth. I have a passion to see this scripture fulfilled in my life.

Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me. —Psalm 71:18

Lord, many years ago this scripture became the verse that helped me see my purpose. This is the reason I’m on this earth:

To leave a trail for anyone You send into my life that leads them straight to You.

Many people may look at my life and see trials, hardships, and mistakes and think Your power hasn’t been displayed but I know that You and You alone are the reason I have been able to thrive during life’s triumphs and failures.

Jesus, I’m thankful for the level of worldly success You’ve given me but it means nothing if my purpose isn’t fulfilled.

Help me to accomplish my purpose 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: Psalms 92-97

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