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Lord, Show Me My Fight—1 Samuel 11:6

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-12:25

Heavenly Father, as I read Your account of Saul becoming king I noticed something very interesting.

In 1 Samuel 10, Samuel anointed Saul as King and then on Saul’s way home Your Spirit came powerfully upon him and he began to prophesy. Once Saul got home Samuel called all the people of Israel together and told them Saul would be their new king.

It seemed that Saul wasn’t really feeling qualified to be king. Just as Samuel was introducing Saul as God’s choice to lead Israel, Saul went missing. He was hiding among the baggage (1 Samuel 10:22).

About a month later Saul was in the field plowing with his oxen.That’s definitely not something a king would do. It sounds as if he was practicing some creative avoidance! It sounds as if he hadn’t accepting God’s calling for his life.

But, in a moment it all changed:

When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the people about their plight, everyone broke into tears. Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone crying?” So they told him about the message from Jabesh.

Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. —1 Samuel 11:4-6

Saul found his fight. The Spirit of God rose up in him, he found his purpose and almost instantly be began to lead the people of Israel. Through Saul’s leadership the Israelites won a great battle at Jabesh-gilead (1 Samuel 11:7-13)

Holy Spirit come powerfully upon me. Show me my fight. Show me my purpose for the day!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 9:35-39, 1 Samuel 13:1-5, 19-23, 6-8, 1 Samuel 14:1-52

Lord, Help Me to “See My Neighbor”–Deuteronomy 22:1, 4


Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Heavenly Father, from today’s reading it is apparent that caring for my neighbor is important to You…

If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don’t ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner. 2 If its owner does not live nearby or you don’t know who the owner is, take it to your place and keep it until the owner comes looking for it. Then you must return it. 3 Do the same if you find your neighbor’s donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don’t ignore your responsibility.“If you see that your neighbor’s donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet! —Deuteronomy 22:1-4

The problem is that too many times I choose NOT to see my neighbor’s need or I choose NOT to get involved enough to know there is a need.

There are so many hurting people that it can be overwhelming.  It’s easy to become callous and num to the hurting in this world.  Lord, show me “who is my neighbor” today and then show me again tomorrow.

Lord, in today’s independent, selfish culture help me to really “see my neighbor.”  Help me to make a conscious effort to add value to their lives.

Jesus, help me to realize this is a command not a suggestion…

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” —Matthew 22:36-40

Holy Spirit, give me Your eyes to “see my neighbor” today.

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IN Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1

Lord, Help Me to Carry the Loads of Those Who are Hurting—Numbers 4:31-33

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 4:1-5:31

Heavenly Father, I wonder if the Merarites were disappointed when they were given their “special purpose”?

As we’ve learned in Exodus, the Levites were chosen by God to take care of the Tabernacle.  Today we saw the Lord hand out duties for the different divisions of the Levites. All the Merarites who were between the ages of 30 and 50 and eligible had one duty…one job…one ministry:

Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name.  So these are the duties of the Merarite clans at the Tabernacle. They are directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.” Numbers 4:31-33  (Emphasis mine)

Lord, what if Your special purpose for my life is to carry loads?

Not like the Merarites, who carried the pieces of the Tabernacle but carrying the loads of the hurting, lost, orphaned, or widowed of our families, churches, communities or world.

It took strong backs for the Merarites to hand-carry the Tabernacle each time God said, “It’s time to pack up and move.”

What does it take to carry the loads of the lost, hurting, orphaned, or widowed?

Lord, You asked me some tough questions as I read today’s scriptures:

  • Dianne, are you willing to carry the loads of the hurting?
  • Are you willing to suffer so that you can truly understand the pain of others?
  • Are you willing to walk a hard road so that your experiences will help someone who literally wouldn’t survive without you?
  • Is another person worth that much to you?

Father, these are very hard questions.  Lord, I’m glad You are carrying out Your plans and purposes for my life without asking my permission. I most likely would have said, “No” to the hard times in my life, if I were given a choice. I’m just not that self-sacrificing.

Jesus,  You know who needs a word of encouragement, a hot meal, some groceries, their house cleaned, a ride to the doctor, a real friend…the list could go on and on.

Heavenly Father, I want to carry the loads of those who are suffering.  Use the pain of my past to give others hope. Touch my heart.  Make me willing.  Give me eyes to see what You see!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Numbers 6:1-27, Numbers 10:1-36

One Event I Can’t Plan–Matthew 24:36-39

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Do you have your day planned?

How about your week, month, or year?

I’m definitely one of those planner types.  I unconsciously plan.  I want to be spontaneous.  I think spontaneous people are fun, but not having a plan feels like jumping out of a plane without a parachute to me…and that certainly doesn’t sound like fun.

But there’s one event I can’t plan…

However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.  In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.  People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. —Matthew 24:36-39

No one knows the day or hour…

How often do you think about Christ’s return?

Do you really believe He’s going to literally return to judge the world?

Do you live your life as though He could return today?

I think most of us are like the folks Jesus was talking about; our goal is to enjoy life…that’s our plan for our day, week, month, year, and life.  We live for the happy times; banquets, parties and weddings…not for eternity.

I do not believe Jesus has a problem with banquets, parties, and weddings; He attended those events when He was on the earth.

His concern is our day-to-day priorities—where does the Kingdom of God fit in our daily life?

Are we longing for His return?

Are we concerned for those in this world who do not know Jesus?

  • If we rarely take the time to spend with the Lord in our day-to-day life, we’re probably not longing for His return.
  • If we hardly ever mention Jesus to others we’re probably not too concerned about their spiritual state.

Yes, if we knew the day and hour, we could plan for it, we would be ready.  Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride.  Other than the birth of a child, I don’t think there is anything most women long for and plan for more than their wedding day.  That’s the kind of expectation Jesus wants us to have for His return.

Yes, not knowing the day or hour of Jesus’ return is tough, but if were His bride we would awaken each day and think, “Today could be the day I will see Him!”

Heavenly Father, help us to see Your return as our reason for being. Help our expectation of Your return to grow with each passing day.  Holy Spirit, cause our hearts to be tender and burdened for those who do not know You.  Jesus, help us to be Your witnesses!  Jesus, come today!

In Your Holy Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26: 14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Is Your Thinking Working Against You? –Matthew 6:31-34

Today’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

Do you ever feel that your thinking is working against you?

In today’s reading Jesus told us there were three things we needed to stop worrying about.  Three things that make us look like unbelievers.  Three things that make us look like we don’t trust our Heavenly Father.

Jesus said, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  –Matthew 6:31-34

Maybe I’m the only person this speaks to but these three areas take up a lot of my thinking time. I’m either going to the store for food, cooking food, cleaning up from cooking food, wishing I hadn’t ate something, reading about the negative effects of today’s food on my body or griping because food costs so much.

Yes, that goes for drinking too.

One day I’m quitting coffee and just drinking tea, the next day I’m going organic all the way and then several times a year I vow to quit it all and just drink water, but what kind of water?  Tap, bottled, filtered, spring?

Oh, and let’s not forget clothes.

I have a couple of speaking opportunities in the next couple of weeks.  I can’t tell you how much I think, analyze and plan what I should wear.  I want to look professional, relatable, warm, friendly, and youthful but not trendy.  AND, I want to do all this with the clothes I already have in my closet. Geez!

The thing that really got me about today’s scripture were these words: These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  –Matthew 6:32

I’m thinking like an unbeliever.

I’m thinking like someone who doesn’t know Christ.

I can just imagine how my Heavenly Father must feel; the same way I would feel when I had all my children’s needs covered and they were still worrying.   It would make me feel like they don’t trust me.

The great thing about this scripture passage is God gave us replacement thoughts:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  –Matthew 6:33

I’m pretty sure I still have to make a grocery list and make a trip to the store, have plenty of water to drink, and pick out an outfit for my next speaking engagement, but Jesus says, I  don’t have to obsess over any of it.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. –Matthew 6:34

Heavenly Father, forgive me for worrying about the day-to-day details more that I seek Your Kingdom. Lord, help me to make wise choices in what I eat, drink, and wear.  I thank You for Your provisions.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-17; Matthew 11:1-19; Luke 7:18-35; Matthew 11:20-30; Luke 7:36-50

There’s Something You Need More Than Sleep—Mark 1:35

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

Are you a morning person or a night person?

What’s early for you?

For Jesus, it “a great while before day” (KJV) meaning between three to six a.m. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Before daybreak, the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. —Mark 1:35

The amazing thing about Jesus rising at such an early time of day is the fact that the previous day was very busy; He preached in the synagogue and had a huge healing service.

I know, Jesus is God, but while He was on this earth He was fully man and experienced the same physical and emotional limitations you and I do today.

Friends, there is nothing as tiring as preaching, teaching, and praying for people.  Literally, your passion, enthusiasm, and anointing from God are flowing out of you to those with whom you are ministering. I love people. I love ministering to others. But I can’t give out what I haven’t taken in!  This holds true in any area–ministry, family, friends, career, or community.

When you are called to give to others there’s something you need more than sleep; it’s emotional and spiritual restoration.  If you aren’t being filled and refreshed spiritually you will have nothing to give and eventually burnout.

Why did Jesus get up so early?

  • To be alone with God
  • To get away from people
  • To pray and receive strength and guidance for the day

Do we have to get up between three and six a.m. each day?  Of course not, but getting up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do to read your Bible and spend some time with the God of the universe  will…

  • Set your priorities for the day—  God first!
  • Refresh and restore your emotions so you will be able to give to others
  • Give you the strength and wisdom to face whatever the day holds

Are you running short on time and energy at the end of each day?

What would Jesus do?

  • Get up a little earlier
  • Get alone with God
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for the day

Experts agree that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

30 minutes a day X 21 days = an emotionally and spiritually stronger YOU!

Will you accept the 21 day challenge?

Heavenly Father, help us to make our time with You a top priority in our life.  Help us to be determined to set aside time to spend with You.  Honor the efforts of each person who accepts this challenge.  Holy Spirit, draw us to You like a magnet.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 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

Have You Ever Been Interrupted by the Presence of God? 1 Kings 8:10-11

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 8:1-11; 2 Chronicles 5:1-14; 1 Kings 8:12-21; 2 Chronicles 6:1-11; 1 Kings 8:22-53; 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. –1 Kings 8:10-11

The order of the service was interrupted by the Presence of the Lord.  I wonder if the priests were disappointed when they couldn’t continue their service?

It’s so easy, even in the church to organize God out of the plans.

When’s the last time your day, your sleep, or your worship was interrupted by God?

Why are we so surprised when this happens?

For those of us who are task oriented, we live and die by our schedule and then somewhere during the process we ask God to bless what we’ve created.

I think the better way is to expect and even plan for the Spirit of God to show up and change things.

Heavenly Father, I want to fit my life around Your Presence and Your Plan.  Lord, You are welcome in my day…please come.  Holy Spirit, teach me to recognize Your Presence. I’m Yours.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Kings 8:54-66; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10; 1 Kings 9:1-9; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 1 Kings 9:10-14

One Event I Can’t Plan–Matthew 24:36-39

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Do you have your day planned?

How about your week, month, or year?

I’m definitely one of those planner types.  I unconsciously plan.  I want to be spontaneous.  I think spontaneous people are fun, but not having a plan feels like jumping out of a plane without a parachute to me…and that certainly doesn’t sound like fun.

But there’s one event I can’t plan…

However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.  In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.  People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. —Matthew 24:36-39

No one knows the day or hour…

How often do you think about Christ’s return?

Do you really believe He’s going to literally return to judge the world?

Do you live your life as though He could return today?

I think most of us are like the folks Jesus was talking about; our goal is to enjoy life…that’s our plan for our day, week, month, year, and life.  We live for the happy times; banquets, parties and weddings…not for eternity.

I do not believe Jesus has a problem with banquets, parties, and weddings; He attended those events when He was on the earth.

His concern is our day-to-day priorities—where does the Kingdom of God fit in our daily life?

Are we longing for His return?

Are we concerned for those in this world who do not know Jesus?

  • If we rarely take the time to spend with the Lord in our day-to-day life, we’re probably not longing for His return.
  • If we hardly ever mention Jesus to others we’re probably not too concerned about their spiritual state.

Yes, if we knew the day and hour, we could plan for it, we would be ready.  Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride.  Other than the birth of a child, I don’t think there is anything most women long for and plan for more than their wedding day.  That’s the kind of expectation Jesus wants us to have for His return.

Yes, not knowing the day or hour of Jesus’ return is tough, but if we’re His bride we’ll awaken each day and think, “Today could be the day I will see Him!”

Heavenly Father, help us to see Your return as our reason for being. Help our expectation of your return to grow with each passing day.  Holy Spirit, cause our hearts to be tender and burdened for those who do not know You.  Jesus, help us to be Your witnesses!  Jesus, come today!

In Your Holy Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26: 14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Are You Setting Your Goals Too Low?–2 Kings 13:14-19

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11; 2 Kings 12:17-21; 2 Chronicles 24:23-27; 2 Kings 13:14-25

When Elisha was in his last illness, King Jehoash of Israel visited him and wept over him. “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” he cried.

Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” And the king did as he was told. Elisha told him, “Put your hand on the bow,” and Elisha laid his own hands on the king’s hands. Then he commanded, “Open that eastern window,” and he opened it. 

Then he said, “Shoot!” So he shot an arrow. Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, an arrow of victory over Aram, for you will completely conquer the Arameans at Aphek.”

Then he said, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times.  But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”    –2 Kings 13:14-19

Can you imagine how King Jehoash must have felt when he realized just a few more strikes of the arrows and he would have had complete victory? 

I’m sure King Jehoash had no idea how important striking the arrows against the ground would turn out to be in the war between Aram.  He probably thought it was senseless and silly.  The funny thing is sometimes  we need to do some things that seem senseless, silly, and down-right uncool to be able to reach big goals.

How many times have you said “I wish I would have tried harder?”

    • I wish I would have spent that extra hour studying
    • I wish I would have cleaned the house instead of watched T.V.
    • I wish I would have saved 10% of my income so I had a retirement
    • I wish I would have gone back to school
    • I wish I would have applied for that job
    • I wish I would have talked to that person about Jesus

“Shouldn” and “wouldn” will suck the life out of you.

When you get a chance to set a goal–go for the gold not the bronze.

Pick up every arrow you can find and beat it on the ground as many times as possible!

Heavenly Father, help us to live life in a way that leaves no room for “shouldn” and “wouldn.”  Lead us and guide us.  Teach us to set and work to achieve big goals for You and Your Kingdom.

 

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 14:1-14; 2 Chronicles 25:1-24; 2 Kings 13:12-13; 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27; 2 Chronicles 25:25-28; 2 Kings 14:17-22; 2 Kings 15:1-5; 2 Chronicles 26:1-21; Jonah 1:1-4:11

Have You Ever Been Interrupted by the Presence of God? 1 Kings 8:10-11

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 8:1-11; 2 Chronicles 5:1-14; 1 Kings 8:12-21; 2 Chronicles 6:1-11; 1 Kings 8:22-53; 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. –1 Kings 8:10-11

The order of the service was interrupted by the Presence of the Lord.  I wonder if the priests were disappointed when they couldn’t continue their service?

It’s so easy, even in the church to organize God out of the plan.

When’s the last time your day, your sleep, or your worship was interrupted by God?

Why are we so surprised when this happens?

For those of us who are task oriented, we live and die by our schedule and then somewhere during the process we ask God to bless what we’ve created.

I think the better way is to expect and even plan for the Spirit of God to show up and change things.

Heavenly Father, I want to fit my life around Your Presence and Your Plan.  Lord, You are welcome in my day…please come.  Holy Spirit, teach me to recognize Your Presence. I’m Yours.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Kings 8:54-66; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10; 1 Kings 9:1-9; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 1 Kings 9:10-14

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