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Lord, I Want to Do Good By Meeting the Urgent Needs of Others, but.. —Titus 3:12-14

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Titus 1:1-3:15, 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Heavenly Father, I want to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others...

I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter. Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need. Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. —Titus 3:12-14

I definitely can relate to Paul. Productivity is always my focus. I measure everything by return on investment—how much time do I invest and what are the results? Knowing that the Apostle Paul has some of my quirks, gives me comfort.

Productivity can be a good thing but I wonder…

Lord, please forgive me if I’m being disrespectful, and friends who are reading this remember I’m talking to my daddy God and I can ask Him anything…

…I wonder, if Paul’s jail time was factored into Your plan so that he would slow down and focus on one of Your top priorities for him—writing a large part of the New Testament. Lord, I’m a “do-er” and it can really be hard to be still and a just be. The needs of people stir me up and keep me feeling like I’m missing the mark. It’s like whatever I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else. I wonder if Paul ever felt this way.

Lord, I don’t believe my 2015 sabbatical is just a season of resting and waiting, I think it’s also a season of clarification, re-direction and peace. Holy Spirit, You led Paul to jail to get Your will accomplished. I know You’re doing the same for me.

Yes, this is oversimplifying, but it seems that if every believer allowed You to direct our day, our steps, and our thoughts, the urgent needs of others would be met and we would be Your kind of productive. LORD, I WANT THIS!

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. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, during this Christmas season we are surrounded by needs. Speak loudly and show us who, where, when, how and IF we are to meet those needs and then give us the peace to carry out Your direction with no regrets or feelings of failure. Make Your calling for this day crystal clear.

Jesus, prince of peace, lead me today.

In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18

Lord, You Aren’t the Only One One Who Has Plans for Me—Lamentations 3:61

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Heavenly Father, when I hear the word “plans,” Jeremiah 29:11 immediately comes to mind. Jeremiah spoke these words to give hope and encouragement to the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

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. —Jeremiah 29:11

In today’s scripture reading Jeremiah laments over the plans his enemies had made for him.

Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made. —Lamentations 3:61

Lord, You aren’t the only one who has plans for me.

The enemy of my soul has plans

and

I have my own selfish plans and desires.

Thankfully, Your plans trump all other plans but I must admit, many times I unknowingly work against Your plans. I either want my way or I take the bait Satan uses to entice me.

But, the plans of Satan and my flesh can lead to confusion and poor choices. Yes, You will use it all to get YOUR plans accomplished (Romans 8:28) but the pain and suffering from following MY desires instead of seeking Your Will is something I’d like to avoid.

Lord, I’m tired of learning from my mistakes.

Holy Spirit, these words immediately came to mind as I typed the previous sentence.

Seek

Wait

Listen

Obey

Lord, these verses put these four words into a daily plan. Walking out Proverbs 3:5-6  is the way to avoid choosing the wrong plans.

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. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord accomplish Your plans in my life 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: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

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, I Don’t Want to Become Desensitized to the Detestable Sins Being Committed—Ezekiel 9:3-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 5:1-9:11

Heavenly Father, this passage in Your Word is causing me to do some soul-searching.

Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”

Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! —Ezekiel 9:3-5

Lord, have I become calloused to sin?

Everyday I hear about the senseless suffering of thousands because of heinous sins being committed in our world. It’s easy to weep and sigh when someone’s sin personally affects me but what about the defenseless people down the street,in the cities and towns across America and in foreign countries?

Lord, I’m no Bible scholar so I can’t analyze these verses and decide if it relates to yesterday, today, or tomorrow but I know that if You were angered at the apathy of Your children towards detestable sin in Ezekiel’s day, You are still angered by it.

In today’s culture we are bombarded with words, images, and ideologies contrary to Your Word and Your ways during every waking moment of our day. Things that weren’t okay 20 years ago are embraced today. The analogy of the frog in the pot of boiling water has definitely come to pass in our country in regards to acceptance of unacceptable behavior.

Our politically correct culture has told us we can’t love the sinner with out accepting the sin. Lord, I must admit I’m not sure how to do it. How do I weep and sigh over the sins of our world and not get angry at the sinner?

Jesus, what would You do if You were living in today’s world?

Lord, I want to live out the rest of my days on this planet in a way that’s pleasing to You. I want to love the unlovable. There’s so much I don’t understand but for today I will…

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. —Proverbs 3:5-6

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 10:1-13:23

Lord, I’m Weary and Worn Out—Proverbs 30:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

Heavenly Father, everyday I’m amazed at how relevant and applicable Your Word is to my life. You really understand the highs and lows of human beings. Thank You for keeping it real.

I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One. —Proverbs 30:1-3

I have felt every emotion in these verses many times in my life.

  • weary
  • worn out
  • stupid
  • lacking common sense
  • lacking wisdom
  • not knowing You

Thankfully, the more time I spend with You, the more I know You but the rest of these feelings show themselves more than I would like.

Lord, right now I’m tired, weary and worn out. It’s been a hard season and I’m physically and emotionally spent. I know You’ve given me the strength and health to make it each day. I’m thankful. My time with You is what keeps me going.

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“Lord, I know that You can give me rest so I cry out with all I have left. Let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends. I’m worn.”

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 42-46

Lord, Show Me When to Sing—Proverbs 25:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 25:1-29:27

Heavenly Father, this year I have discovered the power of vinegar. Drinking a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day has cured my acid reflux. Vinegar has so many uses and I use a lot of it in my house but I certainly don’t want it poured on an open wound. It burns like crazy on a little scratch, so I’m sure it would set me on fire if poured on a serious wound.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. —Proverbs 25:20

Lord, how many times have I poured vinegar on someone’s wounds by trivializing their pain with clichés or offering canned advice. You told us through Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, there’s a season for everything.  Sometimes, a person needs to cry, grieve, and be sad. No, this can’t go on forever, but moving through the grieving process is a healthy thing and it should not be rushed.

Jesus, help me to realize that a sincere “I’m sorry,” means more than MY words of wisdom.

Lord, comfort those who have a heavy heart 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: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

Lord, Help Me to Learn From the Mistakes of Solomon—1 Kings 11: 9-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 11-43, 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Heavenly Father, it’s sad that Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, who through Proverbs shared so many nuggets of wisdom is now teaching us by his mistakes.

The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.  He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command.  —1 Kings 11:9-10

Lord, I’ve always thought that Solomon’s ridiculous number of wives (700 wives, 300 concubines) were a sign that he was some kind of sex addict but I saw something in my commentary that made me think that sexual pleasure wasn’t all that was on Solomon’s mind.

Solomon made a practice of marrying foreign women to solidify political alliances, in spite of Gods clear instructions that the king of Israel should not do this. As a result, Solomon began to add the religious practices of these foreign wives to his worship of the Lord.  “Chronological Life Application Study Bible,” Tyndale House Publishers

Father, I think I get it. Power was Solomon’s issue. These women were his ticket to growing his name and influence throughout the world. I’m sure his chest got pretty puffed up when it was known throughout the land that he was “man enough” to have this many women in his life.

If we drill down past Solomon’s power problem we see that pride is at the root of his downfall.

Lord, I know pride has been the source of many of the tough times I’ve experienced. It has been the ruin of many. It’s ironic that Solomon wrote this Proverb.

All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. —Proverbs 8:13

Lord, continue to expose pride in my life. Help me to be teachable and repent quickly from this sin that destroyed Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12

Lord, Help Me to Know When to Quit–Proverbs 23:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:17-24:34

Heavenly Father, Your Word tells me that Solomon was very wise and very rich. Most of the rich people I’ve observed in my life are always trying to get richer, yet Solomon gave us advice that seems to contradict that philosophy:

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.  —
Proverbs 23:4-5

Father, I’m sure many people are like me and thinking, “I will never be rich, so this is not my problem.”

But

Aren’t most of us just like rich people…always wanting just a little more than we have now?

Lord, I know I’m guilty of this.  “If I just have this, t-h-e-n I’ll be happy.”

Lord, help me to simplify my life.  Help me to simplify my needs.

Help me to know when enough is enough.  Lord, help me to know when to quit.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Song of Songs 1:1-8:14

Lord, Help Me to Walk With Integrity in Front of My Children–Proverbs 20:7


Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 20:1-22:16

Heavenly Father, Your Word is amazing!  This verse in Proverbs touches my heart:

The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.   –Proverbs 20:7

Lord, my desire has always been to live a life of integrity in front of my children.  I have failed many times, but have done my best to keep pressing toward that goal.

Now that my children are parents themselves, my one piece of advice for them and other young parents is…

 Lead by example–What you do speaks much louder than what you say

Lord, I don’t think this just pertains to parents with children at home.  I still believe my children and now my grandchildren are watching my life.

Jesus, my number one goal in life is to live a life that points my family to You.  Lord, I’m not perfect but if I run to You in my success and my failures, then my children and grandchildren will have an example to follow in their easy and tough times.

Thank you for my children and grandchildren.  May they know Your more through my life.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:17-24:34

Lord, This is Not How I Planned it —Proverbs 16:9

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:1-16:33

Heavenly Father, I know this isn’t news to You, I’m a planner. I’m sure You’ve had many years of entertainment listening to me share my plans with You. Most of my life I’ve made my plans and then brought them to You for Your blessing. I wanted You to make MY plans come to pass.

Somehow I kept overlooking this scripture:

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. –Proverbs 16:9

Lord, I started this year with MY goals and plans but once again You grabbed me by my ear and changed my course. I wish I was spiritual enough to hear Your sweet, loving voice say, “walk this way” but most of the time You have to get physical with me to get me to move! I’m so glad You don’t say, “she made her plans, she can deal with the consequences,” which is what I deserve. Over and over, You rescue me from myself.

Heavenly Father, You treat me like Your child. How do I know this? Because, as a parent I have literally gone in and grabbed my children out of dangerous situations. Thank you for Your tough love!

You have determined my steps. This is a very different season, but in the midst of it I’m thankful. No, I didn’t plan it this way but You know what I need. I’m resting in Your plan. Thank You for determining my steps.

I trust You!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 17:1-19:29

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