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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, 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, Speak Through Me—Matthew 10:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6

Heavenly Father, I am continually amazed at the way You use human beings as Your messengers and representatives. I shouldn’t be surprised…

Jesus, You said these words to Your disciples and it applies to every person who follows You.

For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. —Matthew 10:20

Yesterday, You spoke to me through a sweet friend. She listened, encouraged, counseled, spoke Your truth, prayed, and just loved on me for almost three hours. As I drove away from our time together I felt like I had been with You, Jesus. My burden was lighter, I had a spring in my step, and a smile on my face and I feel the same way this morning.I know You spoke to me through my friend.

Lord, as a new day begins I ask You to speak through me today. There are people everywhere feeling just like I felt and probably much worse. Allow me the privilege of being their miracle. Jesus, use me to be “You with skin on” to someone today. Use me to encourage, inspire, and lift the load of the weary. Order my steps Holy Spirit.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives. —Psalms 37:23

Jesus, use me!

In Your amazing name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 9:7-9, Mark 6:14-29, Matthew 14:1-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15, Mark 6:45-52, Matthew 14:22-23, John 6:16-21, Mark 6:53-56, Matthew 14:34-36

Lord, This Is a Struggle For Me—Luke 8:26-56

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading there were three miracles.

1. After You healed the demon-possessed man You instructed him to go back to his family and tell them everything You had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).

2. After You healed the woman with the issue of blood you instructed her to go in peace (Luke 8:43-48).

3. After You raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead You instructed her parents not to tell anyone what happened (Luke 8:40-56).

Lord, these are amazing and faith-building to read but there’s another piece of these stories that fascinates me. In the first miracle You instructed the man who was healed to tell the world, in the second miracle You left it up to the woman who was healed; You only told her to go in peace. In the third miracle You told the parents to be silent. No reason was given for these different responses.

I have no problem telling the world when You’ve taught me something or given me wisdom or discernment on an issue. But I really have a problem keeping quiet when You’ve done something amazing or shown me something. Every time I see a great quote or scripture I want to tweet it or post it on my Facebook page. I ALWAYS want to share the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes. The problem is just because I know it doesn’t mean I need to share it.

Holy Spirit, if You prompt me to share , I know You will use it but if I’m just out there on my own, without Your blessing, it’s like spitting in the wind!

Lord, there are several areas in my life right now where I have strong opinions. I have strong convictions. I have experiences and scriptures constantly floating around in my head. I’m really having a problem knowing when it’s You and when it’s me.

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. Tell me when to be silent, when I have freedom, and when I am definitely supposed to share.

Lord, please forgive me. Use my mistakes to grow me into the servant You’ve planned for me to be.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6

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, 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, What Do You Think of My Worship? —Nehemiah 9:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Heavenly Father, as I read these verses I have many questions.

On October 31 the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices. —Nehemiah 9:1-4

How could they stand for two 3-hour stretches?

Were they really listening to Your Word for three hours or did their mind wander off the way mine sometime does?

Were they sincerely sorry for their sins or were they just going through the motions?

Lord, here’s the real question that is stirring inside of me:

Lord, what do You think of the time I spend with You? What do You think of my worship?”

Certain types of clothing, a pre-determined postures, or long seasons of prayer and worship aren’t seen in today’s worship but You but You deserve it. You deserve to be honored this way. You deserve this kind of worship.

I want to worship You in a way that pleasing to You. I want to be the kind of worshiper John spoke about:

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” —John 4:23-24

Lord, what is a true worshiper?

What do You mean by worship the Father in spirit and in truth?

Lord, show me! Teach me to worship You in spirit and in truth.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Chronicles 9:1b-34

Lord, I Need an Idea-Nehemiah 7:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Heavenly Father, I am continually amazed at the simplicity of Your Word.  Yes, there were times when You parted the waters, raised the dead, and killed the giants, but there were also times when You just gave someone an idea!

At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt. So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. 

Nehemiah 7:4-5

Nehemiah’s job was done. The wall was complete; everyone inside was safe, right?

Not exactly.

Nehemiah knew very well that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the number and valour of the inhabitants than upon the height or strength of its walls.

Nehemiah knew what was needed–the Jews to return to the city, but what he didn’t know how to get them to come home.

Until You gave him the idea…

Lord, You’ve given me some great ideas in my life. Some that completely changed the course of my life. Forgive me for taking credit for “Your ideas.”  Help me to be like Nehemiah and recognize Your ideas and then tell the world that You are the “idea giver!”

Lord, I don’t know what today holds. I know things will come up that I don’t know how to handle. I’ll be waiting for You to send me a great idea!

 

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Lord, Please Lay Your Hand of Blessing on My Life Today—Ezra-7:6-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 4:7-23, Ezra 7:1-8:36

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading King Artaxerxes of Persia ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem to be stopped. He thought the rebuilding would harm his interests (Ezra 4:17-22). Years later this same king gave Your servant Ezra everything he asked for as he led the second group of exiles home to Jerusalem.

What changed?

Your gracious hand of blessing and favor came upon Ezra and that season.

This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him. —Ezra 7:6

Lord, I’m not sure I can expect to have Your hand of favor on every season of my life, but it’s definitely my desire. Ezra knew You through Your Word and because of that Your gracious hand was upon him.

He had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year,and he arrived at Jerusalem on August 4, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. —Ezra 7:9-10

Lord, I want to know You. I want to move when You say move, speak when you say speak, and be silent when you say hush! 🙂

I want Your gracious hand of blessing and favor on my life today. If there something I need to start, stop, or change, please show me.

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: Ezra 9:1-10:44, Nehemiah 1:1-2:20

Lord, Thank You for the Prayer Lesson from Queen Esther—Esther 8:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Esther 5:1-10:3

Heavenly Father, when I read Esther’s request to King Xerxes I immediately thought, what a humble and gracious way to make a request. My second thought was how much more respect You, the King of this world deserve than an earthly king.

Then Esther went again before the king, falling down at his feet and begging him with tears to stop the evil plot devised by Haman the Agagite against the Jews. Again the king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So she rose and stood before him.

Esther said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am *pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, who ordered that Jews throughout all the king’s provinces should be destroyed. For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?” —Esther 8:3-6

Today’s culture of casualness has definitely made its way into the church. We would rather think of You as our friend (John 15:14-16) than our ruler and king. You are our friend, our ruler, our king, our savior, and so much more; because of that You deserve our honor and worship. Jesus, teach me how to have an intimate, yet respectful relationship with You. I don’t want to forget that You are the ruler of my life and this world. You have the last word. This is Your Kingdom (Luke 4:43) not mine.

Esther considered it an honor just to be accepted into her king’s presence. There were no demands, no “name-it-claim-its,” and no expectations. She was humble, thankful, and respectful.

Her request was simple:

–If it please You

–If I have found favor with You

–If You think it’s right

–If you approve (*meaning of second pleasing)

And then she shared her request.

Esther wasn’t praying to You that day. In fact, Your Name isn’t mentioned in the book of Esther, but I see You in this book. I see a powerful lesson on prayer.

Lord, I have a special request I’m bringing to You today.

–If it please You

–If I have found favor with You

–If You think it’s right

–If You approve of my request

Then, please answer my prayer.

 

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: Ezra 4:7-23, Ezra 7:1-8:36

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