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Where Does God Speak to You?–Genesis 46:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 45:16-47:27

Does God speak to you in church? In the shower?  Through other people?  When you’re praying or reading His Word? When you’re enjoying the beauty of His creation?  In a dream? In the car?

God spoke to Jacob when he traveled…

For most of my working life I have been a road warrior.  Whether is was driving around my three-county area making Mary Kay deliveries or leaving town on Mondays and returning on Fridays teaching bankers how to sell; I’ve spent a lot of time in my car.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving down the road AND trying to write down something God placed in my mind.  I have been “off the road” for a couple of years and I really miss my time with God in the car.

With all of Jacob’s wives and drama, plus his responsibilities as a businessman, I’m sure he didn’t have much quiet time.  I know this is true in my life as well.

I guess the only time God could get me and my friend Jacob’s attention was when we were away from the daily routine.

It would be so much better it we could hear from God everyday.  I know, God didn’t speak that often in Old Testament times, but that’s not the case today.  Thanks to Jesus’ death, resurrection, and return to heaven, He is now our constant intercessor, talking to the Father about our prayers and the Holy Spirit is our 24/7 direct line to Jesus.

Would you like to hear from God more often?  How bad do you want it?

Enough to stop and listen?

David Jeremiah writes in his book, “Prayer, the Great Adventure”:  Unless I’m badly mistaken, one of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant prayer life is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to.  If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don’t just get up one summer morning and say, “Hey, let’s go today!”

Isn’t that how most of us treat our prayer life; we’re waiting to be “inspired” to pray?

I wonder if Jacob spent time each day talking and listening to God, asking for direction and guidance for the day?

Or… did he do like I’ve done for most of my life.  “Good Morning God, this is what I’m doing and where I’m going, please bless it!”

Satan, the enemy of our soul has sold us a lie, “The busier we are, the less time have to give to God.”

  • God doesn’t need our time, we are the ones who need His time.
  • The busier and crazier our lives get the more we need His discernment, guidance, and peace.

Martin Luther said it best:

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Friends, it doesn’t make a difference where we pray, the important thing is to make time daily to be with God.  Let’s commit to one another that we won’t wait until we “find the time” to pray or until we get away from it all like Jacob.  Let’s make 2012 the year that we planned to pray!

Heavenly Father, forgive us for taking You for granted.  Help us to realize our need to spend time with You each day.  Please don’t stop speaking to us! Holy Spirit, teach us to make time to seek You!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 47:28-50:26

Constantly Measuring and Never Measuring up—Philippians 1:6

Are you like me?  Do you get all reflective this time of year?

  • Did I meet my goals?
  • What did I do well?
  • What did I learn?
  • What do I need to work on next year?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

I’ve always been a goal-setter, even before I knew there was such a thing.  I guess it’s part of my personality.  But believe me, just because I’ve always “set” goals doesn’t mean I’ve always met them.  The down side to setting goals about everything is a mindset of constantly measuring and not always “measuring up.”

In today’s reading Paul gives this “bar raising, goal-setter” a verse that brings peace and rest and lets me know that God is continually working in my life and He won’t be finished with me until Christ returns.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. —Philippians 1:6

Does this mean it’s all up to God to get me to where He wants me to be?

I don’t think so.  The analogy that comes to mind is farming…

I’ve never heard of  God planting a field, weeding, fertilizing, and harvesting the crop without a farmer.  But I’ve also have never heard of a farmer bringing a crop to harvest without the help of the Lord.

I think it’s the same way in the growth plan God has for our lives…

God won’t do it without us and we can’t do it without Him.

Where are you on the continuum of growth in your walk with Christ?

Beginning——————–Continuing————————Finished

Where do you want to be in 2011?

What is it that you need to do to reach your goals?

How will you make your goals a reality?

What is your part?

What is God’s part?

It would seem that if God’s plan is to begin, continue and finish; that should be our plan as well.

What are you going to begin, continue, and finish in 2011?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the things you have begun, continued and finished in my life this year.  I’m so excited about a new year to serve you.  Show me where to begin, help me to continue, and cheer me on as I finish the plans you have for me.  Holy Spirit, speak loudly, direct boldly, and correct immediately on next year’s journey.

Resting in Your plans.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2010, Dianne Guthmuller

This Week-end’s Scripture Reading:

Saturday:  Philippians 2:12-4:23

Sunday:   James 1:1-3:18

God’s Dream Lives in Us—1 Thessalonians 2:4


Last year I had the opportunity to hear B.G. Nevitt speak at the C.L.A.S.S. Writers Conference.  He  told us that “God’s dream lives in us.”  What a moving message; it caused me to do some serious soul-searching.  To close out the conference Gerry Wakeland, C.L.A.S.S. President asked us to write our dream on a piece of paper and bring it forward and “ceremonially” give it back to God.

This question flashed through my mind:

Dianne, whose dreams are you pursuing?

Yours or God’s?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11

I’ve always been a goal-setting type of person.  One of my favorite workshops to facilitate is called Prayerfully and Proactively, Planning and Prioritizing. Most of time prayer is the missing piece in goal-setting.

In today’s reading the Apostle Paul gave us a filter to run every dream, vision, goal, priority or task through to help us pursue God’s plans for our lives rather than our own selfish desires:

For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people (*or ourselves). He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (emphasis, *comment mine)

Our purpose is to please God.  That’s it. End of story.

Is it realistic to think we can please God in EVERYTHING we do?

I know I’ve missed it many times, but if I get up each day and filter my plans and ambitions through the question, “Will this please God?” I won’t miss it as much!

The hard part is waiting.

Being willing to wait for God’s best.

As I look to 2012 with excitement, I pray that my focus will be to please God and Him alone.

What dreams do you have for 2012?

Heavenly Father, show us Your purpose.  Breathe the passion of  Your dreams into our hearts.  Help us to wait for your dreams.  Use us for Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

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

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

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…

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

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!


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©2011, 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

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!


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©2011, 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

4 Things to Remember When You Have a Change in Plans– John 4:4

Today’s Scripture Reading:  John 3:1-4:45; Luke 3:19-20

I am the type of person who has to have a “have to” to get anything done.  Deadlines, goals, calendars, and checklists are what move me forward.

I have always wanted to be one of those people, who spontaneously moved through life and have a ball doing it, but it’s not the way God made me, so I’ll just live vicariously through those “fun” people and stick with my planning.

However, there are times when I’ve made my plans and “life” changes them.  The more I read and understand God’s Word, the more I realize that when those changes come, many times it’s a divine appointment…

In John 4:4, Jesus had to go through Samaria on the way.

This was the shortest route from Judea to Galilee but not the usual way. The other route was through Perea, east of the Jordan River.  In Jesus’ day the Jews, because of their hatred for the Samaritans, normally took the eastern route in order to avoid Samaria.  But because He was on a divinely appointed schedule, it was necessary that Jesus go through Samaria. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary & The Bible Exposition Commentary)

Why? Because He would meet a woman there and lead her into saving faith, the kind of true faith that would affect an entire village.

A divinely appointed schedule…

It’s no surprise to us that Jesus had a divinely appointed schedule; after all, He was God.

What if I told you that you and I have a divinely appointed schedule as well?

When I’m having a day that seems like a complete disaster I try to remember…

1. What the Bible says about my schedule–

  • Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
  • Psalm 37:23- The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
  • Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Proverbs 16:9- We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
  • Isaiah 30:21- Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
  • Romans 8:28- And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

2. To look for the Divine Appointment

Did the change happen to

  • Protect me or my loved ones
  • Share Jesus with someone
  • Teach me a spiritual truth
  • To set up an opportunity
  • To make a way for me to bless someone
  • To lighten the load of my day
  • To test my trust in God’s promises

3. To work with God not against Him in my divine appointments

  • Relax
  • Pray
  • Trust

4. That changes in other people’s schedule may be divine appointments for them

  • Giving them grace may be my part in their divine appointment
  • I can’t believe these promises for myself and not believe them in the lives of others

So, as you begin your day…

make your plans

and

determine your schedule

…but rest in the knowledge that the God of the universe will order your steps and get His will and purpose accomplished in your life.

We trust you Lord!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’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

Lord, We Need a Detox–Isaiah 26:3

Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 24:1-27:13; Isaiah 29:1-24

I just love the way the Holy Spirit teaches me!  He uses many things to get His point across. Pastor Phil started a new series last week called Toxic.  Today was about toxic influences.

Phil defined toxic as ANYTHING containing poisonous material capable of causing sickness or death.

In the last few months I’ve read several books and attended a couple of seminars on our bodies’ detoxification process and how important detoxing is in today’s toxic world.  I have changed several things in my life to improve my body’s ability to get rid of the toxicities in my life.

After today’s message I realized I need to do this in my spiritual life as well.  Phil asked us this question:

Could it be that our spiritual enemy is grooming us to receive the poison that will eventually be the death of us spiritually?

I say yes, I believe Satan, the enemy of our soul is doing everything he can to…

    • Send us to an early grave
    • Cause us to live a life full of depression, anxiety, and spiritual emptiness
    • Keep us from being the witness God’s called us to be
    • Cause us to turn completely away from the salvation Jesus provided for us

Our food has changed in the last 50 years, so has our culture.  If we’re not careful we can unknowingly allow harmful, even poisonous things in our lives through our daily choices, whether it’s what we eat, drink, read, watch or listen to; we must be responsible.

How do we detox our spiritual lives in a way that keeps us move toward God and away from the toxic influences of this world?  Phil suggested we ask ourselves these three questions:

  1. Am I being entertained by sin?
  2. Is it pleasing to God?
  3. Does this lure me away from Christ?

I’ve always been pretty guarded when it comes to protecting myself from the toxicity of the world, but as I listened to Phil’s message today I realized there were a couple of areas in which I have become desensitized.  Thanks be to the conviction of the Holy Spirit I am now aware and will make the changes necessary to move closer to God and farther and farther from the influence of the enemy.

I came home from church and began to read today’s scriptures and this verse jumped off the page at me:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you all whose thoughts are fixed on you!  –Isaiah 26:3

No wonder the enemy is working so hard to corrupt our minds–he wants to steal our peace! No wonder he is using anything he can to desensitize us to the evil in this world–if our thoughts aren’t fixed on You Lord, we are easy pickings for the enemy.

Heavenly Father, show me the things in my life that are toxic to my spiritual health.  Create in me a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Keep me in perfect peace as I learn to fix my thoughts on You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 30:1-33:24

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 we realized a few more strikes of the arrows and he would have been able to entirely destroyed Aram by the power of the Lord?

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 most of the time we need to do some things that may 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

“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!


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©2011, 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

Lord, Help Us to Include You in Our Celebrations–Deuteronomy 26:11


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

Today’s Devotion: When…Not If

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading to You instructed the Israelites on life and living in the Promised Land.  One of the things that jumped off the page at me was Your instructions on celebrations.

Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:11a

I had to ask myself, “Why do we celebrate in today’s culture?”

Lord, we love a “par-tay,” but how often are we consciously celebrating Your goodness to us, our family, our city, our country, or our world?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 NIV

Lord, forgive us for excluding You from our celebrations.  Forgive us for not acknowledging the many, perfect gifts You give us.

Holy Spirit, teach us to find creative ways to include You in our celebrations. Help us to lead by example for our future generations.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 29:2-31:29

Lord, Show Me My Boundaries–Numbers 34:1-2


Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 34:1-36:13

Today’s Devotion: I Live There

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading You defined the physical boundaries of the country of Israel.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries.” Numbers 34:1-2

Father, in today’s world we don’t like boundaries.  We don’t want to be told something is unacceptable in all circumstances.  We think having boundaries make us prisoners.

Jesus, Your Word defines our boundaries.  Every line was drawn with the extreme love that only a parent can feel.  Father, your love abounds in Your boundaries.

Holy Spirit, help us to look for Your boundaries.  Help us to see them as signs of love.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:20

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