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Lord, There’s a Whole Book About These People?   — Jude 1:1-25

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jude 1:1-25, Revelation 1:1-2:29

Heavenly Father, I counted the phrase “these” people five times in the 25 verses of Jude. Who were “these” people?

Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.  I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. –Jude 1:3-4

Lord, as I read through this short book written by Jesus’ half-brother, Jude, it is clear that You have a problem with these people.

Here are just a few things Jude tells us about “these people:”

-Sexually immoral and perverse

-Defy authority

-Scoff at supernatural beings

-Scoff at things they do not understand

-Do whatever their instincts tell them

-Grumble and complain

-Brag loudly about themselves

-Flatter others to get what they want

Jesus, so what are we supposed to do about “these people?”

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.

 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.  Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. –Jude 1:17-23

Jesus, give me eyes to see “these people” as You see them. Give me a heart of compassion.

Lord, I don’t want to be one of “these people.” Please keep me from falling away and don’t every leave me!

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. —Jude 1:24-25

 

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 3:1-6:17

Lord, Who Will Free Me From This Life That is Dominated by Sin and Death? —Romans 7:21-8:3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-8:17

Heavenly Father, this passage amazes me! Paul lets me see into his heart and it looks just like mine.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. —Romans 7:21-8:3

Father, thank You for sending the answer—Your only Son, Jesus Christ!

Jesus, thank You for freeing me from the power of sin that leads to death!

In Your Great Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-10:21

Lord, There’s a Fight Going on Inside Me—Galatians 5:16-17

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:24-6:18, Acts 15:1-21

Holy Spirit, I want You to guide my life.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. —Galatians 5:16-17

Lord, I’ve known You since I was a little girl but sometimes I wonder, “Am I ever going to destroy my sinful nature?”

From everything Your Word tells me, the answer is no. As long as I’m on this earth the fight will continue. But that sinful, evil nature will become smaller and smaller as I submit my human nature to You.

This story is the perfect visual…

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Holy Spirit, You represent everything good about me. My evil nature doesn’t have a chance against You. I already know how the story ends—YOU WIN!

Holy Spirit, today I choose to feed the God woman in me. I choose to rely on Your guidance, listen to Your voice and make a conscious effort to silence the voices of my sinful nature.

Looking to You for guidance today.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 15:22-Acts 17:15

Lord, Today There’s Gonna Be a Fight—John 19:11

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:2-5, Matthew 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-12, John 18:28-40, Mark 15:6-15, Matthew 27:15-26, Luke 23:13-25, John 19:1-16, Mark 15:16-20, Matthew 27:27-31, Luke 22:63-65

Jesus, as I read the details of Your arrest and trial I kept thinking, “this was senseless and crazy!” “How did things deteriorate so quickly?” “One minute everyone’s singing Your praises and the next minute they’re yelling ‘crucify You!'”

This explains it.

Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” —John 19:11

It was Your plan. It was Your time. It was Your will.

There was a fight going on.

Holy Spirit, some days I wish I could see into the unseen world Paul talks about:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. —Ephesians 6:12

Lord, yes it can be scary to think about “mighty powers in this dark world,” but You said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.”

Lord, You are in control. You win. Your followers win. I win!

But…

In this world there will be a fight…

I’m so thankful I’m on the winning team!

Lord, give me eyes to see the “real battles.” Teach me how to fight!

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. —Ephesians 6:18

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:21-24, Matthew 27:32-34, Luke 23:26-31, John 19:17, Mark 15:25-32, Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:32-43. John 19:18-27, Mark 15:33-41, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:44-49, John 19:28-37

Lord, Sometimes I Forget That These Three Things Aren’t My Job—John 17: 15-19

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 15:18-17:26

Jesus, I’m sure I’ve seen this before but it feels like my very first time!

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. —John 16:5-11

Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross and rising from the dead for my salvation but these verses remind me that Your return to our Heavenly Father is what sealed the deal on our righteousness and provided us with a 24/7 advocate, Your Holy Spirit to continually accomplish these three things:

Convict the world of…

  • It’s sin
  • Your righteousness
  • The coming judgment

Holy Spirit, as a speaker, writer, and teacher I know You’ve used me as Your instrument of conviction but I also know there have been times when I set out on my own to conviction crusade. Let’s just say there’s a world of difference in Your results and mine.

Holy Spirit, if convicting the world is Your job, what is my job as Your disciple?

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. –1 Corinthians 9:22

Holy Spirit, help me remember these words spoken through the Apostle Paul and find common ground with those I come in contact with today. When You see me taking on Your role, as CCSRJ (Chief Convicter of sin, righteousness, and judgment) STOP me, silence me, and move me, but when You choose to speak or work through me help me to go, speak and move under Your anointing with confidence.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit thank You for being MY God. Thank You for life. Thank You for redemption. Thank You for conviction. Thank You for being my advocate.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 18:1-2, Mark 14:32-42, Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-24

Lord, I Want to Walk in Your Light—John 12:35-36

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:3-9, Matthew 26:6-13, John 12:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-19, Luke 19:41-44, John 12:20-36

Jesus, as evil and darkness roll in like fog, fear is so overwhelming that many see suicide as the only way out. These statistics from The Jason Foundation speak loudly and clearly to the darkness that is overtaking our culture. Sadly, our children are the ones who are suffering the most.

  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2010 CDC WISQARS)
  • Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2010 CDC WISQARS)
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
  • Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them. —John 12:35-36

Lord, Your light is more powerful than the darkness but some days I feel the darkness trying to pull me in. I put my trust in Your light. Holy Spirit, help me stay to close to Your light. Help me to carry Your light to those who are overwhelmed by the darkness.

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. —Matthew 5:13-15

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 12:37-50, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48, Mark 11:20-33, Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8

Lord, What Should I Cut Off or Gouge Out? –Mark 9:42-50

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35

Heavenly Father, I’ve read these scriptures many times. I’ve always gotten so caught up in cutting off limbs and gouging out eyes that I’ve missed Your simple, yet profound message.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’

“For everyone will be tested with fire. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.” —Mark 9:43-50

Lord, I’d like to keep my arms, legs, and eyes but I think there are some things I need to cut off or gouge out but before I start chopping and poking, I had to stop and think, “What is sin… Really?”

I went searching through commentaries and Bible dictionaries and this was the definition that made the most sense to me:

“The failure or refusal of human beings to live the life intended for them by God their creator.” (Eerdmans’ Bible Dictionary)

When I think about coming up short in the life You intend for me, I would have to put distractions at the top of my list of reasons for sin.

There’s so much I can learn, do, hear, see, think, feel, and touch that I miss Your still-small-voice calling me in the direction You have for me. I settle for my plan b, c, or d instead of Your plan A.

Jesus, living a life on this earth that is fulfilling and pleasing to You is simple, if we know what to keep and what to cut off. Show me the areas in my life where distractions are causing me to sin. I want the best life, the one that You’ve had planned for me since the beginning of time.

I trust You!

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20

 

 

 

 

Lord, Forgive Me from Seeing Things From a Human Point of View—Mark 8:32-33

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 8:22-30, Matthew 16:13-20, Luke 9:18-20, Mark 8:31-9:1, Matthew 16:21-28, Luke 9:21-27, Mark 9:2-13, Matthew 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36

Heavenly Father, this verse reminds me once again that Peter and I have a lot in common.

Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.

Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”—Mark 8:31-33

This verse completely describes my state of mind over the last two years—I have been seeing things merely from a human point of view. Jesus, Peter didn’t want to see You suffer. Just hearing the words, “You would be killed” caused him so much pain that his emotions got the best of him and he lashed out and began to reprimand You, the Son of God!

Lord, watching the people I love suffer is much more difficult than suffering myself. Just like Peter my emotions have made me crazy. I’ve done a lot of reprimanding from my human point of view. I don’t like to think Satan has used me but if You said those words to Peter then I’m sure You’ve said them to me.

Jesus, forgive me for getting in Your way. Forgive me for playing god and thinking “I” have the answer. Forgive me for allowing the enemy of my soul to use me. Forgive me for my lack of trust.
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35

Lord, Please Leave Me—Luke 5:8-9

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Today’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

Heavenly Father, I can relate to Peter.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. —Luke 5:8-9

Lord, some days I have similar thoughts. Some days, I think,”Lord, I’m such a mess. How do You put up with me?”

As we read through the gospels, we see many of Peter’s antics. He was a zealous and passionate. He often allowed his passion to take over and Jesus had to clean up his messes. He reacted with the first thought that came into his head rather than taking the time to think things through. He over-promised and under delivered. He thought he was fearless. He thought he was strong.

Lord, I’m with Peter, when I see You in all Your Glory it causes me to see myself in all my sin.

Jesus, Your presence shines a light on my sinful nature and it is so painful. I’ve served You all my life. I get so frustrated when I act like I don’t even know You (just like Peter).

Peter didn’t really want You to leave him and neither do I. If You sent me a transcript of my prayers over the last few weeks, “Lord, please DON’T leave me” is probably the prayer I’ve prayed the most. Thankfully, Your Word assures me You will never leave me (Hebrews 13:5).

Lord, Peter and I don’t always mean what we say. Thank You for knowing the intent of our heart when we cry out in desperation.

Thank You for NOT answering Peter’s prayer.

Thank You for being with me!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 5:1-47, Mark 2:23-28, Matthew 12:1-8, Luke 6:1-5, Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 12:9-14, Luke 6:6-11, Matthew 12:15-21

Lord, Help Me to Listen to Your Warning—Ezekiel 33:4-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 32:17-33:20, Jeremiah 52:28-30, Psalm 137, 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:17

Heavenly Father, spending time in the book of Ezekiel causes me to think about this world being destroyed and Jesus return.

Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. —Ezekiel 33:4-5

Jesus, I don’t know when You’re returning but I know You are and it’s getting closer every day. The warning signs are everywhere.

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you,  for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. —Matthew 24:1-2

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. I don’t want to miss the warning signs. I pray that this sinful world will shake itself from the spell of the evil one and turn to You. Lord, I pray that Your people will wake from their sleep and see the destruction  that’s crouching at our door. Holy Spirit stir us to do what You instructed us to do.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

Jesus, You are coming soon! We need to be about the business of knowing You and causing others to know You!

 

In Your strong and powerful Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b, 49, 4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28

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