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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, I Don’t Want to Be a Troublemaker—2 Samuel 20:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 19:31-20:26, Psalm 7, 2 Samuel 21:1-22, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8

Heavenly Father, these words jumped off the page at me: There happened to be a troublemaker. 

How terrible to be recognized in Your Word as a troublemaker!

There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:

“Down with the dynasty of David!
We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
back to your homes!” —2 Samuel 20:1

Lord, there have been times in my life when being a troublemaker was my claim to fame. Just like Sheba I made trouble with my mouth. It’s always been a challenge. It was so bad when I was in my 30s that the Holy Spirit felt I needed a scripture song to remind me to keep my mouth shut unless it met the following criteria:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. —Philippians 4:8-9

These verses were set to music and I heard them over and over in my head. It was so convicting that I had to keep myself completely away from some of my friends because I couldn’t control my mouth when I was around them. I’m sad to admit this, but it’s true.

Lord, I don’t want to allow the sin of gossip to creep into my life. I realize that an emotion that feeds gossip is jealousy.  I actually had this happen yesterday and felt emotions, entertained thoughts, and made comments that were traits of a troublemaker.

Jesus, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for convicting me quickly. Forgive me and help me to go straight to You when feelings of jealousy creep into my life.

Lord, help me to remember this formula:  Jealousy + gossip = a full-fledged troublemaker

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s  Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Psalm 18

Lord, No One Cares What Happens to Me–Psalm 142:4

Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Samuel 22:1-2; Psalm 57; Psalm 142; 1 Chronicles 12:8-18; 1 Samuel 22:3-23; Psalm 52; 1 Samuel 23:1-12

Heavenly Father, Your Word is amazing!  No matter what I’m feeling, You know and You understand.  Reading David’s psalms is like reading my own thoughts during life’s tough times:

A psalm of David, regarding his experience in the cave. A prayer.

I cry out to the Lord; 

I plead for the Lord’s mercy. 

I pour out my complaints before him

and tell him all my troubles. 

When I am overwhelmed, 

you alone know the way I should turn. 

Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. 

I look for someone to come and help me, 

but no one gives me a passing thought!

No one will help me;

no one cares a bit what happens to me.

Then 

I pray to you, O Lord. 

I say, “You are my place of refuge. 

You are all I really want in life. 

Hear my cry, for I am very low. 

Rescue me from my persecutors, 

for they are too strong for me. 

Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. 

The godly will crowd around me, 

for you are good to me.”  —Psalm 142

Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for understanding how I feel.  Thanking You for listening to my complaints.  Thank You for caring about me.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 23:13-29; Psalm 54; 1 Samuel 24:1-25:44

Lord, Why Aren’t You Answering Me? –Job 30:20


Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 30:1-31:40

Heavenly Father, I felt so sorry for Job as I read today’s passage. As I put myself in His place, it is unimaginable to survive that much loss, but in today’s reading, the losses that had him in the depths of despair seemed to be pushing him over the edge:

  • The “seemingly” loss of communication with his God
  • The feeling of failing to please his God

I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you,

but you don’t even look.

Job 30:20

Father, just like Job when we’re going through the greatest trials of our lives we sometimes feel like You’ve abandoned us. We may not say the words out loud but the thought, “how could You be watching and allowing this to happen,” definitely crosses our minds.  And right behind that question is what did I do or what didn’t I do?   We start going through a checklist of good behaviors, “Haven’t I been faithful in ________?

Jesus, sometimes our life just doesn’t make sense.  Yes, most of us know the end of Job’s story and we know why he’s gone through so much, but we don’t know the end our own stories and we sure don’t know the ‘why’s’.

But we have hope that Job didn’t have:

  • We have Your written Word that gives us insight into Your nature
  • Our lives have been redeemed by Jesus Christ
  • We are no longer slaves to the evil one

Holy Spirit, remind us of the hope we have in You, through Your Word remind us of the promises You’e made.  Help us to trust You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 32:1-34:37

Do You Have a Rejection Phobia?—Jeremiah 33:25

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 32:1 through 33:26; Ezekiel 26:1-14

Is the fear of rejection something you occasionally battle or does this fear run your life and hold you back like a ship’s anchor?

We can be fearless in some areas, maybe most areas of our life and then have one area that we are petrified at the thought of being rejected, tossed aside or not included.

In Jeremiah 32, Jerusalem was under siege from the Babylonians and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace.  The Lord sent a message to the Israelites through Jeremiah: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it.  The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods.  Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,” says the Lord.  “From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.Jeremiah 32:28-31

If you were a Jew living in that day, would you have felt rejected?

It’s one thing to be rejected by a stranger, friend, or family member, but to think you’ve been rejected by the God of the universe; that must be a pretty lonely feeling.

The Lord heard the talk on the streets and brought it up to Jeremiah: “Have you noticed what people are saying?—‘The Lord chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation. —Jeremiah 33:24

To the Jews and the people of other heathen nations it probably looked like God was rejecting Israel—everything that could go wrong did.  I’m sure the Jews kept saying, “But we are ‘God’s chosen people’; this shouldn’t be happening to us!”

Have you ever said something similar to this?

“Lord, this shouldn’t be happening, I’m Your child.  I’m serving You!”

Have You forgotten about me?

Have You rejected me?

Here’s what the Lord said to the Jews and to us (see Galatians 3:6-9):

I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky.  I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them. —Jeremiah 33:25-26

Friends, we live in a fallen world.  Imperfect people will reject us, things will seem to work against us, but make no mistake

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Your God Will Never Reject You!

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He will restore you to wholeness–Just Trust Him!

The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. —Joel 2:25

Heavenly Father, the fear of rejection is like an epidemic in the Christian world today.  Help us to know that we can count on you to never fail us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5).  Holy Spirit, help us to walk in confidence knowing that the One, True, Living God will ALWAYS be for us , so who can be against us (Romans 8:31).  Jesus, help us to do the work you’ve called us to do with boldness and confidence for Your Glory and Your Honor. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

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

I Know That He Is For Me–Psalm 118:5-9

 

Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 115-118

 

Have you ever been let down by a family member, friend, church member, or colleague?

 

Most of us have been let down more times than we can count.

 

And

 

Unfortunately, we have let others down many times as well.

 

God’s Word is so practical, so real, so 21st century…

 

In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.

The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?

Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me.
I will look in triumph at those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in people.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

Psalm 118:5-9

 

 

Wow! It’s pretty plain, pretty cut and dried…

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

 

People will let you down.

Princes (governments, public officials, and leaders) will let you down.

 

Give them grace, cut them some slack, forgive them, pray for them, and love them but don’t put your complete trust in them. That trust is for God alone.

 

If you have a minute, enjoy this song by Kari Jobe. It’s a great song to listen to when you feel you’ve been let down by people.

 

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Lord, We trust You!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 119

Have You Ever Felt Abandoned by God? –Psalm 22:1

Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 22-26

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.  At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”  —Matthew 27:45-46

I’ve read and heard these words countless times over the years but today I saw them in Psalms 22 and I was surprised:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?  
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.    —Psalms 22:2-5
 

Yes, David penned those words many years before Jesus shouted them on the cross.

Jesus AND David felt abandoned by God.

Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

Have you ever felt like God did not answer?

David used a word that we need to remember when we feel abandoned:

Yet

My paraphrase of Psalm 22:1-5

Lord, I feel like you’ve abandoned me.  I call you, but You do not answer.  I know You hear me, but you are sending me no relief.

Yet, 

You are still holy.  

You still deserved my praise.  

Our ancestors trusted You when they felt abandoned.  

They cried out to You and You saved them.  

They were never disgraced by trusting You.  

So I’m going to do the same.

Do you feel abandoned today?

Tell the Lord exactly how you feel and when you’ve said all you need to say, add this line:

Yet, You are Holy Lord.  I don’t understand but I praise You and I trust You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 27-32

How To Show Kindness to the Unkind– 2 Samuel 9:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 8:15-18; 1 Chronicles 18:14-17; 1 Chronicles 6:16-30, 50-53, 31-48; 2 Samuel 9:1-10:19; 1 Chronicles 19:1-19

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”   —2 Samuel 9:1

The king of Israel was just sitting around thinking about who he could be kind to…amazing!

When’s the last time you (or I) thought about showing kindness to someone?

Where can time for “Holy Spirit Led” kindness fit in our list of priorities for the day?

We say we want to be used to bring glory to the Kingdom of God, but do we really mean it?  What if it means spending time with someone who may not be that “kind.”

David could have given Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth his grandfather’s inheritance and sent him on his way. But David didn’t just throw money at the need, he invited a bitter and crippled stranger, Mephibosheth to eat at his table for the rest of his life.  Now that’s kindness.

Showing Kindness = Showing Value

Showing Kindness=Making Someone Feel Special

Heavenly Father, stir my heart today.  Show me who You want me to show kindness to.  Teach me how to love like You love.  Help me to make other people feel valued and special.  Remind me as many times as it takes,“it’s not about me!”

Thank you for David’s example!

It’s your kindness that leads us to repentance oh Lord!

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©2013, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 20:1; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:14; Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12:15-25; 2 Samuel 5:14-16; 1 Chronicles 14:3-7; 1 Chronicles 3:5-9

Which of These Fears are Holding You Back? –2 Samuel 23: 20-21

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 2: 1 through 2 Samuel 3: 5, 1 Chronicles 3: 1-4a, 2 Samuel 23: 8-17, 1 Chronicles 11: 10-19, 2 Samuel 23: 18-39, 1 Chronicles 11: 20-47

There was only one King David.

In most of our lifetimes God will not call us to a leadership role as visible as this “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:13-14).

But

He has called us to something.

Benaiah was one of those people who was determined to give his best to his calling. He was determined to pursue rather than be pursued.

Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was a vigorous man who accomplished a great deal. He once killed two lion cubs in Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he climbed down into a pit and killed a lion. Another time he killed a formidable Egyptian. The Egyptian was armed with a spear and Benaiah went against him with nothing but a walking stick; he seized the spear from his grip and killed him with his own spear.      

 –2 Samuel 23:20-21 (The Message)

I never noticed Benaiah in my Bible reading until I read a book called, In a Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.

I want to be a lion chaser like Benaiah.  I want to take the things in life that have the capacity to destroy me and use them for God’s Glory.

What are the lions in your life?

As Mark said in his book:

What if the life you really want is hiding behind your biggest problem?  Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.

Before Benaiah could face the lion he had to face something bigger—his fears.

What fears are holding you back?

Here are the first three that come to mind:

  • The fear of failure
  • The fear of success
  • The fear of rejection

These fears may be your lions you must chase.  Let’s get out of the defensive mode and move to the offense—go after them, even it you have to chase them into a pit on a snowy day.

What are you waiting for?

Become a lion chaser!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:   2 Samuel 3: 6 through 2 Samuel 4: 12

4-Steps to Better Crisis Management–1Samuel 30:6-9

Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Samuel 30: 1-31, 1 Chronicles 12: 20-22, 1 Samuel 31: 1-13, 1 Chronicles 10: 1-14, 1 Chronicles 9: 40-44, 2 Samuel 4: 4, 2 Samuel 1: 1-27

Have you ever had something happen in your life that caused you to “weep until you could weep no more?”

When David and his men arrived home and found their city crushed and burned to the ground and their wives and children carried off, “they wept until they could weep not more.”

In one sense David was just like them, he had lost everything he loved, but in another he was the leader and everyone looked to him to fix it.  So when David thinks it can’t get any worse—it does.  He hears his men talking of stoning him.  He’s hurting as bad as they are, but somehow it’s his fault.

Folks we’re reading real life here.

This happens…

in the workplace

with friends

in families

I hate to say this…it happens in the church.

We get hurt and we play the blame game.

Yes, part of the responsibility and burden of being a leader is  taking charge in a crisis, but wouldn’t it have been great if David’s men would have brought him into the group and grieved with him rather than putting a target on his back as the cause of the problem.

Once again, David leads by example and gives us a model to follow on those days when we’ve “wept until we can’t weep anymore.”

How was David able to deal with his own grief, compose himself and develop a plan to get their families back?

He found strength in the Lord his God.

Oh, that we could follow the plan David laid out for us in today’s scriptures:

  1. David found strength in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6b)
  2. David asked the Lord for guidance (1 Samuel 30:7)
  3. David waited to hear from God
  4. David led his men as they carried out the plan that the Lord had blessed (1 Samuel 30:9)

The order is really important! Complete one step before moving to the next one.

I don’t know about you, but when there is a crisis that needs some kind of action I usually get the news, jump in the car and pray on the way to ask God to bless what I’ve already decided to do!

What I should do is  S-T-O-P and follow David’s example.

Prayer is the most important thing we can do, but waiting for His answer is just as important.

Father God, I need your strength and your direction! Help me to follow David’s plan when the next crisis arrives.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Samuel 2: 1 through 2 Samuel 3: 5, 1 Chronicles 3: 1-4a, 2 Samuel 23: 8-17, 1 Chronicles 11: 10-19, 2 Samuel 23: 18-39, 1 Chronicles 11: 20-47

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