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Lord, I Don’t Want to Be This Kind of Stubborn—Acts 7:51

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-8:1a

Heavenly Father, I don’t want to be this kind of stubborn:

 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51

Lord, it’s so easy to read the story of the stoning of Stephen and be filled with righteous indignation! How could those people have been that stupid? Why couldn’t they see what a mighty man of God Stephen was?

Jesus, I had to ask myself:

  • Have I ever been stubborn, close-minded, thinking I know the truth and everyone else is wrong?
  • Has there ever been a time with I looked godly on the outside but the thoughts in my heart were more like a heathen?
  • Have I ever ignored the truth proclaimed around me to the point of seeming deaf?
  • Have I ever resisted the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes

So, I could have been one of these people:

The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. –Acts 7:54-58

Holy Spirit, Stephen was a different kind of stubborn. He had a supernatural, stubborn love for the people who stoned him:

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. —Acts 7:60

Lord, give me a heart like Stephen. Help me to love like he did. When You see stubbornness and close-mindedness in me…

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. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43

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, Forgive Me For My Idle Words—Matthew 12:36

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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 4:1-19, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20

Heavenly Father, I’m a words girl. I always have an opinion. I’m always teaching, always counseling. This verse makes me want to install a sipper on my mouth, lock it, and throw away the key.

You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” —Matthew 12:34-37

Lord, I’ve spoken many idle words in my life. Your Word say our words are a reflection of our heart. These days I feel like my heart is broken and my words reflect it—sadness, anger, bitterness, gossip. It feels like the words come spewing out uncontrollably. Holy Spirit, I need Your help. Please heal my heart.

I really think silence is my best answer during this season. I don’t know how to be silent. Please help me.

Lord, forgive me for my idle words. I say with David…

Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips. —Psalm 141:3

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, 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, Give Me Discernment As I Encourage Others—Ezekiel 13:22

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Heavenly Father, encouragement is a powerful communication tool that motivates and inspires. You challenge us throughout the scriptures to encourage one another. This verse validates the power of our words.

You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. —Ezekiel 13:22

Lord, encouraging others comes naturally to me but just like all the gifts You give us we need Your discernment. Encouragement and it’s antonym discouragement are tools that can be used for to build up and tear down.

How many times have I made a comment to  a friend, work associate, family member or stranger on the street that knowingly or unknowingly caused them to allow discouragement to fill their heart?

AND

How many times have I encouraged someone in their sins through my words and actions (or lack of words or actions) causing them to see it as approval of their poor choices?

Holy Spirit, I need You. Without Your direction, counsel, and correction I can do more harm than good.

Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips. —Psalm 141:3

Lord, I trust You to get Your will accomplished through 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: Ezekiel 14:1-16:63

Lord, Help Me to Handle This Situation With Wisdom and Discretion—Daniel 2:14-16

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 2:1-3:30, Jeremiah 71:1-8:3

Heavenly Father, wisdom and discretion are character traits that are missing in many of Your followers. Our culture has conditioned us to think, if we think it we should say it—unfiltered and unrehearsed. Daniel’s life is a shining example of the power of wisdom and discretion. In today’s story wisdom and discretion saved Daniel’s life and the lives of many Babylonians and Jews.

When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant. —Daniel 2:14-16

Lord, I have a situation that I need Your supernatural wisdom and discernment. I have so many thoughts running through my head. Only You Lord can sort through them and help me to know how to think and feel. Only You know what should be said and what should be cast into the sea of forgetfulness.

Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips. —Psalm 141:3

Lord, sometimes I don’t trust my judgment but I trust You to get Your will accomplished in my day!

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 8:4-11:23

Lord, Lift Up Those Who Are Weighted Down—Psalm 146:8

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 136, Psalms, 146-150

Heavenly Father, so many feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. —Psalm 146:5-9

Lord, I have felt this way many times. Thank for promising to lift us up. Most of the time when I feel like “everything is on me” it’s because I think it’s my responsibility to fix everything and everybody. Jesus, I give the issues, challenges, and people to You that are weighing me down. I release them into Your care. I trust You with the outcome. Help me to see my world through Your eyes. Holy Spirit, show me my part in each day’s challenges and help me to keep my hands off everything else.

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 18:1-23:18

Lord, I’m Counting on You —Psalm 130:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 128-130, 132, Psalms 134-135

Heavenly Father, it’s a new day. As I sit on my porch watching the sunrise my world feels calm and peaceful. Thankfully, Your peace isn’t confined to my quiet place. Lord, go with me as I do my best to live for You today.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word. —Psalm 130:5

Lord, I’m counting on You to…

  • Get Your plans and desires accomplished in my life
  • Give me the strength to face and overcome the challenges of the day
  • Give me supernatural wisdom to live out Your Word
  • Give me discernment to know who’s speaking to me (You, the enemy of my soul, or my human failings)
  • Give me a heart for Your people
  • Help me represent You well

Lord, my hope is in You and Your Word!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow Scripture Reading: Psalm 136, Psalms 146-150

Lord, Thank You for Helping Me in the Valleys—Psalm 121:2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 120-121, 123, Psalms 125-126

Heavenly Father, I’ve read this Psalm many times and probably memorized a couple of these verses in Vacation Bible School as a kid, but today it became more personal. This picture describes this season of my life.

I love the mountains, not as much as the beaches where I live, but the mountains are my favorite place to visit. When I visit the mountains I feel very small and God seems very big. The valleys are what make the mountains so majestic. The contrasting highs and lows give the mountains their beauty and character.

The mountain-valley metaphor is used by Christians all the time. David mentioned the valley of the shadow of death in Psalm 23. My goal has always been to get out of the valley as soon as possible. I saw the lowest places in life as places to pass through not set up housekeeping.

Lord, one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 50+ years of life is about seasons. We all have mountain and valley experiences. Sometimes we quickly hike through a valley but sometimes our way out is blocked so we have to find a way to survive in the valley. We need help.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.  —Psalm 121

Lord, sometimes You rescue us from the valleys but sometimes You stay awake all night and watch over and protect us in our  valley seasons.

Heavenly Father, when I look at this picture and think about my latest valley, it makes me smile.  I believe the cabin represents Your constant care and protection for me during my time in the valley. Thank You for helping me in the valleys.

I Love You, Lord!

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 128-130, 132, Psalms 134-135

Lord, Help Me to Not Fear Bad News—Psalm 112:7

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 107, Psalms 111-114

Heavenly Father, there is so much bad news these days. I can’t remember when I’ve sat down and purposely turned on a news channel, read a newspaper, or visited a news site on the internet.

They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. —Psalm 112:7

Lord, if I’m completely honest, there’s been too much  bad news in my little corner of the world the last few years. It has been so bad that I cringe when the phone rings.

Frankly, I can’t deal with “the world’s” bad news because I’m too busy dealing with “my world.” As I look at these words in print, my first thought is, “sounds like a cunning plan of the enemy of my soul to stop God’s mission for my life.”

Lord, Psalm 112 is a description of who I want to be. Lord, help me to not fear bad news and trust confidently in You.

Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Lord, let this be so in 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: Psalms 115-118

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