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Lord, I Want to Be a Risk-Taker—Mark 15:42-43

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11, John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15

Heavenly Father, I know I change my biblical heroes with everyday’s reading but today I’m amazed by Joseph of Arimathea.

This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation,the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) —Mark 15:42-43

Lord, I know this is an important story because You inspired four different authors to record it. When I put the four accounts together Joseph definitely is someone we can learn a lot from.

Joseph risk his wealth, reputation and status to take on the role of a servant and honor his savior. Rich people don’t take bloody, beaten, dirty, and smelly people down from crosses–they have servants for that. Influential people don’t publicly honor someone who their peers and colleagues despise, it’s professional suicide.

Joseph took a risk and humbled himself to serve and care for his savior; talk about a public profession of faith!

Jesus, I can’t physically honor and care for You the way Joseph of Arimathea did but I can be that same kind of risk taker.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ —Matthew 25:40

Holy Spirit, show me who to serve in Jesus Name as I go about my day.

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-43. Mark 16:12-13, John 20:19–23, Mark 16:14, John 20:24-21:25, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49

Lord, Guard My Heart and Mind—Daniel 5:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 7:1-8:27, Daniel 5:1-31

Heavenly Father, there’s so much attacking our hearts and minds these days but from everything I read in Your Word, pride and arrogance are the worst.

But when his heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. —Daniel 5:20

Lord, I pray with David…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. —
Psalm 139:23-24

In Jesus 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: Daniel 6:1-28, Daniel 9:1-27, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-11, 1 Chronicles 3:17-19a

Lord, Sometimes Serving You Seems Complicated—Ezekiel 28:2-5

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 26:15-28:26, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:6-11, Jeremiah 39:2-10

Heavenly Father, sometimes serving You seems complicated. In Proverbs, Solomon tells us to get wisdom and understanding:

Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them. —Proverbs 4:5 (NIV)

Then in today’s reading Ezekiel pronounces judgement on the city of Tyre because their wisdom and understanding led to great wealth, which resulted in pride. The end result of their wisdom and understanding was self-actualization gone wild…

“Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord:

“In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god!
I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’
But you are only a man and not a god,
though you boast that you are a god.
You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel
and think no secret is hidden from you.
With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth—
gold and silver for your treasuries.
Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich,
and your riches have made you very proud.

Ezekiel 28:2-5

Satan’s favorite tool, pride is always lurking around the next corner. I have jumped on the pride train more times than I’d like to admit.  I would never think that I was seeing myself as god during those times. But acting like I know more than You, the God who made me, must look like a “god attitude” to You.

Jesus, life is only complicated when we try to do it without You. Holy Spirit, without Your teaching and counsel we will go overboard. We start to think we’re did it all by ourselves.

I must never forget that You and You alone are the source of all wisdom, understanding, and wealth. Lord, when I see these things in my life, help me to be reminded that You are God and I am not! All good things come from You! (James 1:17)

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: Jeremiah 39:11-18, Jeremiah 40:1-6, 2 Kings 25:8-21, Jeremiah 52:12-27, 2 Chronicles 36:15-21, Lamentations 1:1-22

Lord, Help Me to Receive Your Correction— Zephaniah 3:1-2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 2:8-3:20, 2 Chronicles 35:20-27, 2 Kings 23:29-30, Jeremiah 47:1-48:47

Heavenly Father, I don’t like to be corrected. I’ve lived my life trying to correct myself so that I won’t need to be corrected by others.

What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,
the city of violence and crime!
No one can tell it anything;
it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the Lord
or draw near to its God.  Zephaniah 3:1-2
 

While it would be great to never need correcting it is not possible on this earth in our humanness. Lord, I need Your correction. I also need the correction of others.

Lord, the greatest tool of the enemy of my soul is the lethal injection of pride.  The”You can’t tell me anything. I know it all” syndrome.

In Your Name Jesus, I say this attitude is not welcome in my soul. Holy Spirit, when the demons of pride and stubbornness  try to block Your correction, give me the wisdom to recognize where they’re coming from and the boldness to refuse to receive them. Lord, I receive Your correction and refuse Satan’s destructive plans for my life.

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: 2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:31-37, 2 Chronicles 36:5, Jeremiah 22:1-23, Jeremiah 26:1-24, 2 Kings 24:1-4, Jeremiah 25:1-14

Lord, Restore My Crushed Spirit and Revive My Courage—Isaiah 57:15

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58:1-63:14

Heavenly Father, when I read the words, “restore the crushed spirit and revive the courage” my first thought is I WANT THAT!  I’m like a crazed teenager in her favorite store wanting everything she sees and hoping her parent will buy it for her if she begs hard enough.

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. —Isaiah 57:15

Father, I know that our salvation is free because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross but from this verse and many, many others it’s clear that we have a part to play in our growth and maturity. Lord, I want to do my part.

Lord, teach me to be humble. Help me learn from Your example. Holy Spirit, show me the areas in my life where pride is driving me. The cares of this world have crushed my spirit. Restore my joy, spunk, and adventurous attitude so that I can run into each day with excitement.

Jesus, I need courage. I repent and ask for forgiveness for the times I took off on my own trying to pretend to be courageous or looked to other people or things to give me to courage. Lord, revive the courage You placed in my spirit when You made me. I don’t want fear to cause me to miss Your best for me.

Thank You for Your Word!

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 63:15-66:24, 2 Kings 20:20-21, 2 Chronicles 32:32-33

Lord, I Want to Respond Appropriately—2 Chronicles 32:24-25

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:9-22, 2 Kings 20:12-19, Isaiah 39:1-8

Heavenly Father, Hezekiah was one of the most godly kings, since King David. Unfortunately power, fame, success, supernatural healing and miracles led Hezekiah to believe he was a big deal.

About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the Lord, who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the Lord’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. —2 Chronicles 32:24-25

Hezekiah witnessed one of the most amazing miracles mentioned in the Bible:

Meanwhile, Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What sign will the Lord give to prove that he will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the Lord three days from now?”

Isaiah replied, “This is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?”

“The shadow always moves forward,” Hezekiah replied, “so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.”  So Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this, and he caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial[b] of Ahaz!  —2 Kings 20:8-11

Jesus, this type of arrogance in an epidemic in the Christian world. “I’m more godly than you because God has done great miracles in my life” has been the fall of many good men and women since the beginning of creation.

Lord, how many times have You graced me with Your presence, grace, favor, or kindness only to watch me pridefully think I somehow deserved it or made it happen myself. Watching Hezekiah’s pride and arrogance play out in 2 Kings 20:12-19 reinforces the old saying that “success shows our true character.” Lord, forgive me for taking credit for the gifts You’ve given me (James 1:17).

Lord, allow me to learn from the mistakes of Hezekiah. I want to respond appropriately to Your kindness and the kindness of others.

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 40:1-44:5

Lord, Don’t Put Me in Charge—Isaiah 3:1-15

images-5Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1:21-5:30

Heavenly Father, I know that Isaiah was speaking of the coming devastation of Judah by the Babylonian army in these verses but I couldn’t help but think about leadership in today’s world, especially the church.

In those days a man will say to his brother,“Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!” But he will reply,“No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”  —Isaiah 3:6-7

Gone are the days when people decide to become leaders because of a strong moral conviction to do the right thing. Now days there’s usually an ulterior motive– power, money, climbing the ladder, or personal agendas.

What happens when all the “perks” of leadership go away?

No money, no fame, no success plan?

Who would want to be a leader if there are no benefits?

Lord, as Your people, help us to rise to the occasion in these days of leadership famine. Help us put our selfishness aside. Make us givers instead of takers. Help us to serve others with a pure heart.

Lord, help us to say “yes, I’ll be in charge and lead others to You.”

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 16:19-20, 2 Chronicles 28:26-27, Isaiah 13:1-16:14

Lord, I Don’t Want to Reject You When I’m In Trouble—2 Chronicles 28:22-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6, Isaiah 17:1-14, 2 Chronicles 28:16-21, 2 Kings 16:10-18, 2 chronicles 28:22-25, 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29:1-2, 2 Kings 15:30-31, 2 Kings 17:1-4, Hosea 1:1-2:13

Heavenly Father, King Ahaz had two generations of godly examples (father-Jotham, grandfather-Uzziah), yet he rejected You.  It seems that the more trouble in which he found himself, the farther he moved away from You.

Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord.  He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. —2 Chronicles 28:22-23

In today’s world we tend to tune out the parts of Your Word that mention idol worship. We think, “How silly to worship a piece of wood or clay! How could Ahaz sacrifice his child to a god made by human hands (2 Kings 16:3)? I would never do something as crazy as that!”

But

If we examine our hearts and lives when we’re in trouble, we may find that just like Ahaz we turn to people, activities, and things when times get hard. As crazy as it is to comprehend, we sometimes sacrifice our children too. We put people, accomplishments, stuff, and our own desires ahead of their simple need to have parents who are 100% engaged in their daily lives.

Lord, I guess we have idol “issues” as well.

Lord, search my heart today. Show me what You see. I want to move closer to You during my times of trouble. Jesus, I don’t want to reject You. I don’t want to replace You with the things of this world.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hosea 2:14-8:14

Lord, Help Me to Run From Hypocrisy–Amos 5:21-24

Today’s Scripture Reading: Amos 1:1-6:14

Heavenly Father, when You use the word “hate” it really gets my attention…

I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies
.
(Amos 5:21)

Lord, showiness, pretense, and hypocrisy build walls between You and me. That’s the last thing I need.

If I’m a hypocrite You will say to me…

  • I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
  • I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
  • I will not listen to the music of your harps.  (Amos 5:22-23)

Holy Spirit, point out my thoughts and actions that are showy, pretentious, or hypocritical.  Speak louder than my ego.  I don’t want anything to come between You and me.

I want to live a life that’s pleasing to You.

A life that follows Your desires…

Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. (Amos 5:24)

Justice and righteous living; Lord, help me to run toward them and away from hypocrisy!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29, 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Lord, Help Me to be Humble—2 Kings 1:1-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 1:1-18, 2 Kings 3:1-27, 1 Kings 22:41-49, 2 Chronicles 20:31-37, 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Chronicles 21:1-4, 2 Kings 8:16-22, 2 Chronicles 21:5-7

Heavenly Father, humility is one of those virtues that is hard to define, hard to pursue, and easy to lose. In today’s reading we saw a great example of what true, humility looks like.

 

Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!”

Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king. —2 Kings 1:13-15

Two captains and their men tried to bring Elijah to the king but failed and were killed by fire from heaven. The third captain succeeded and lived to tell about it. He approached the situation in a completely different way. Some may say he came to the king in a cowardly manner. I say he completed his mission when two other captains failed and he was a hero!

Lord, how many times do I walk through things,  experience stress and aggravation and lose a battle because I’m not willing to ask for or give grace, admit I’m wrong, or show respect to someone who may not really deserve it?

I have learned that I will never be humble if I’m worrying about who “deserves” what. We all deserve death but Lord You spared us.

Lord, continue to show me examples of humidity and help me to strive for this virtue that is so pleasing to You.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-25, 2 Kings 4:1-44

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