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Lord, I Want to Forget Everything, Except…—1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

Heavenly Father, as a speaker and teacher it’s easy to get caught up in the work of preparing “clever and persuasive speeches.” Thank you for this reminder from Paul:

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. —1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Jesus, Paul was extremely educated, plus he had one of the most dramatic and powerful conversions of the Bible. He knew that Your power was what changed him and it was the only thing that would reach the world. He made a conscious choice to focus and rely on You not his religious training.

Lord, whether we are public speakers or battle shyness everyday of our life, we all find ourselves in situations where we need the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” —Luke 12:10-15

Holy Spirit, I’m relying only on You to give me the words to say as I go about my day. I’m trusting in Your power.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

Spirit of the Lord, Come Upon Me—2 Chronicles 20:14

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 22:10-28, 2 Chronicles 18:9-27, 1 Kings 22:29-35, 2 Chronicles 18:28-34, 1 Kings 22:36-40, 51-53, 2 Chronicles 19:1-20:30

Heavenly Father, this is such an amazing story of Your supernatural power. It’s also a great example of the way You use individuals to change a situation.

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.  But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”  —2 Chronicles 20:12-17

Lord, I know that Jahaziel’s experience wasn’t the norm in those days. Your Spirit only came upon people in rare instances. This was long before Jesus came to earth, died, ascended to heaven, and left us with The Comforter, Your Holy Spirit. I think we sometimes forget that if we have accepted You as our Lord and Savior Your Spirit lives within us.

Jahaziel’s words changed the mood in an instant! King Jehoshapat and the people of Judah went from being terrified and discouraged to bowing in awe, praising You and shouting as loud as they could. After Jahaziel’s message King Jehoshaphat confidently challenged all the people to believe in You and to stand firm. He even appointed singers to lead the army.

Wow! What a difference a few anointed words of encouragement can make!

Jesus, our words can also change the mood in an instant. Lord, I pray that You will prompt me daily to speak words of encouragement, hope, and inspiration into the lives of everyone You put in my life. Spirit of The Lord, come upon me. I want to be Your messenger.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’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

God, You Did It! 1 Chronicles 14:11


Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; 1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 1 Chronicles 12:23-40; 2 Samuel 5:17-25; 1 Chronicles 14:8-17; 2 Samuel 5:6-10; 1 Chronicles 11:4-9; 1 Chronicles 3:4b; 2 Samuel 5:13, 4-5, 11-12; 1 Chronicles 14:1-2; 1 Chronicles 13:1-5; 2 Samuel 6:1-11; 1 Chronicles 13:6-14

Heavenly Father, why are we always so amazed when You do what You said You were going to do?

So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God did it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). –1 Chronicles 14:11

… I think David was most amazed by the fact that You used him, a simple shepherd,  to carry out Your will.  You could have picked anyone and You chose him!

Lord, I am with David.  I stand amazed that you choose to use me to speak and teach Your Word. It’s not that I doubt Your power and ability, it’s that I’m so acquainted with my own inabilities and shortcomings.

Lord, help me to remember that the possibilities for my life are endless as long as You are in control.  Jesus, help me to think big because You are big!

Lord, use me to change the world for Your Glory and Your Honor!

 

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12a; 1 Chronicles 15:1-28; 2 Samuel 6:12b-16; 1 Chronicles 15:29; 2 Samuel 6:17-19a; 1 Chronicles 16:1-43; 2 Samuel 6:19b-23

Lord, Help Me to “See My Neighbor”–Deuteronomy 22:1, 4


Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Heavenly Father, from today’s reading it is apparent that caring for my neighbor is important to You…

If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don’t ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner. 2 If its owner does not live nearby or you don’t know who the owner is, take it to your place and keep it until the owner comes looking for it. Then you must return it. 3 Do the same if you find your neighbor’s donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don’t ignore your responsibility.“If you see that your neighbor’s donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet! —Deuteronomy 22:1-4

The problem is that too many times I choose NOT to see my neighbor’s need or I choose NOT to get involved enough to know there is a need.

There are so many hurting people that it can be overwhelming.  It’s easy to become callous and num to the hurting in this world.  Lord, show me “who is my neighbor” today and then show me again tomorrow.

Lord, in today’s independent, selfish culture help me to really “see my neighbor.”  Help me to make a conscious effort to add value to their lives.

Jesus, help me to realize this is a command not a suggestion…

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” —Matthew 22:36-40

Holy Spirit, give me Your eyes to “see my neighbor” today.

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IN Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1

What Are You Focusing On?–Acts 20:21


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 20:13-21:36

“He’s sort of cocky.”

Do you know someone who fits that description?

What if I told you that person could change the world for Christ?

The Apostle Paul sounds a little cocky, a little self-absorbed at times in his letters to the Corinthians.

Why did the Holy Spirit want us to see that side of Paul?

After all, if it’s in the Bible, there’s a lesson to be learned.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from the Apostle Paul:

  • God can use us in spite of and because of our personality
  • God can used us in spite of and because of our past
  • We have a choice, just like Paul, we can focus on our mistakes or we can focus on the job God has for us to do

Paul focused on one thing:

I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord –Jesus. Acts 20:21

Does the enemy of your soul ever say to you, “You aren’t worthy to be used because of your past?”  Or, maybe he says you’re not worthy because of your present.

Paul dealt with those thoughts as well; he considered himself the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  I’m sure the fact that he actively persecuted the early church and watched as Stephen was stoned to death, because of his faith in Christ, crossed his mind when he penned those words.

But…

He stayed focused on the message he was called to give and God used him to turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ.

There are things about my personality that I wish were different, there are mistakes I’ve made that I’m not proud of, but God has a job for me to do while on this earth; He has a message for me to bring.

The question is…

Will I focus on the message or myself?

What about you; what’s your life’s focus?

What’s your message for the world?

Heavenly Father, fill me so full of Your Spirit!  I want to be able to focus on Your plans, not my weaknesses.  I want Your thoughts.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 21:37-23:35

Are You a People-Pleaser? –Galatians 1:10

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 14:21-28; Galatians 1:1-3:23

Sometimes I wish I could be like the Apostle Paul.  He really didn’t care what people thought.  He is the perfect example of the way God uses us within the parameters of our personality.  Our Heavenly Father doesn’t change our temperament when we get saved, He just sands us down a bit and uses our uniqueness for His Glory.

Paul was bold and blunt.  He was definitely not a people-pleaser.

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.  I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. 

–Galatians 1:6-10

While I don’t consider myself a people-pleaser, I’m definitely not as bold as Paul. There have been times when I’ve missed it.  After those times I’ve often thought, “If I had been bolder maybe there would have been a different outcome, maybe that person would have come to know Christ?”

I don’t necessarily think Paul was telling us to be “like” him, i.e. bold, loud and in your face.  I think it was more like, “You must care more about what Jesus thinks than what people think.”

This makes me ask, “Do I really believe what I really believe is real?”

If we can ever get a glimpse of the reality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we will be God pleasers; just one more reason to be in God’s Word each day.

The more I know Him, the less of a people pleaser I’ll be.

Oh, that I could ALWAYS hear God’s voice and ALWAYS obey!

Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I’ve been a people-pleaser.  Forgive me for the times I’ve made You small so that I could seem big to others.  Lord, I want to know You more.  I want to please You!  I want to hear You. I want to do what You tell me to do. Speak loudly Lord, Your servant is listening (1 Samuel 3:9).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:24-6:18; Acts 15:1-21

I Just Found The Most Amazing Deal on a… Psalm 107:1-2


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

“I just got an amazing deal on a pair of shoes!”

“I just had the most amazing customer service experience at that new store!”

“That restaurant has the best food I’ve ever tasted!”

“Go get your hair done at my friend’s salon. You will love it!”

 

I do this all the time. When I have good experience, find a new product, get a great deal, or learn something new I want to share it.

 

For many of us when we find a great deal we tell everyone we know.

 

Except

 

When it comes to our relationship with God.

The greatest deal we will ever find is having Jesus Christ pay the price for our sins and make a way for us to have eternal life. (John 3:16)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!


His faithful love endures forever.

Has the Lord redeemed you?

 Then speak out!


Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. –Psalm 107:1-2

 

Why is it so easy to tell your neighbor about a great restaurant but so difficult to share the goodness of your God?

I’m sure there are many reasons, but one that comes to mind is political correctness. We have been programmed by our culture that we need to be careful not to offend anyone.

God is not telling us to push our beliefs on others, He’s telling us to speak out and tell others what He has done for US!

 

It’s all about attracting not attacking!

 

I promise you that if you share your story of the goodness of your God with others, at some point, usually when their life is falling apart they will come to you, asking for prayer, asking for counsel.

Is it hard for you to share your story? Why?

 

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not speaking out about our redemption. Give us courage to share our story with others. Holy Spirit, direct us. We need Your discernment to know when to speak and when to be silent. Lord give us boldness to proclaim your faithfulness.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 115-118

Can We Add This to Our Leaders’ Job Requirements? –Deuteronomy 17:18-20

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Deuteronomy 16:18 through Deuteronomy 21:9

The Bible continues to amaze me at its relevance in every culture.  As we have read through the first four books of the Law, I have seen a resemblance of many of  today’s laws.

Coincidence—I don’t think so.  Even though there are many things we wouldn’t think of enforcing in the 21st century, such as sacrificing animals for sin offerings and guilt offerings. There are things, like the rules for appointing judges and officials (16:18-20), that have a familiar sound.

Think about it, our Founding Fathers were Bible-reading, Bible-believing folks who came to America to have a better life and be free to worship their God. Of course biblical values and principles are at the root of our legal system!

In today’s reading I saw something I think would be a great practice for our leaders:

When he sits on the throne as king (leader), he must copy for himself this body of instruction  on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.   He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives.  That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. –Deuteronomy 17:18-20

Just imagine a country where the number one requirement for any leadership position is to have read the Bible and handwritten it word for word!

Why would a king need to spend his valuable time with what many would consider a monotonous ritual?

  • To learn to fear the Lord by reading and obeying the terms of the instructions and decrees
  • To prevent him from becoming proud and acting like he is above his fellow citizens
  • To prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way
  • To insure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel

Wow!  That sounds like a great leader to me!

Okay, I know we’re not going to see ‘hand-writing the Word on God’ on our president’s to-do list but if we want to be a godly leader in our family, church, or workplace we might want to consider making “hiding the Word of God in our hearts…” (Psalm 119:11) a high priority for our lives.

To quote a saying I’ve heard for many years: “The faintest ink is better than the most retentive memory.”

What did you learn during your time in the Word today?   WRITE IT DOWN!

Holy Spirit, help us to remember and obey Your Word!  Amen and Amen!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Deuteronomy 21:10 through Deuteronomy 25:19

Why Do I Forget? –Deuteronomy 4:9


Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 3:21-5:33

But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. —Deuteronomy 4:9

In Moses’ final instructions he warns the Israelites not to forget the miracles they had witnessed.  In my spiritual mind it seems hard to think that anyone could forget things like…

  • Standing before the Lord their God at Mount Sinai (4:10)
  • Watching flames shoot into the sky (4:11)
  • Seeing the mountain shrouded in black clouds and deep darkness (4:11)
  • Hearing the Lord speak from the heart of the fire (4:12)
  • Receiving the Ten Commandments from God’s own voice (4:13)

Why would Moses think they would forget?

Because that’s what humans do and the Israelites had a track record of forgetting…a lot.

And so do I…

How about you?

God has done some amazing things in my life.  While in the midst of these miraculous times I think I’ll remember them forever…

So why do I forget?

When trouble comes, why do I act like someone who doesn’t know the supernatural power of the One, True, Living God?

Because I’m looking at the size of the problem rather than remembering the size of my God.  There’s an old hymn that tells us exactly what we need to do to remember…

Count Your Blessings

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

God knew we would be forgetful, that’s why he told the Israelites to write His Words on the door posts of their houses.

“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. –Numbers 11:18-21

One of these best things we can do for our children is to live a life that leads them to Jesus.  Sharing the “God Moments” of our life is a way we pass on our spiritual heritage.  It’s the way we make God BIG in their lives.

It’s also the best way to remember.  When I speak God’s blessings out loud it encourages my faith and those around me AND it helps me to remember!

I have a challenge for you today:

Go to the bottom of this post to the “leave a reply” space and finish the following three statements and click on the [post comment] button to share with everyone on The Journey. You will be encouraged and so will we!

  1. My God is amazing because _____________.
  2. God did ____________________ for me today.
  3. I didn’t know what I was going to do but God showed up and__________________.

 

Thanking God for you today!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-9:29

When’s The Last Time You Blessed Someone? Numbers 6:24-26

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Numbers 6:1 through Numbers 6:27, Numbers 10:1 through Numbers 10:36

After just less than a year of being camped on Mount Sinai, the Israelites are finally moving toward their Promised Land…

They must have been so excited!  As they made preparations to leave, the Lord told Moses to have Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel with a special blessing:

  • May the Lord bless you and protect you.
  • May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
  • May the Lord show you His favor and give you His Peace. –Numbers 6:24-26

I love verse 27:  “Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.” 

If you have attended church for any length of time you may have heard your pastor “bless” you at the conclusion of the service.  Even though we’ve barely begun our journey through the Bible, but we’ve heard much about “the blessing.”  The first time the word bless (ed-ing) was used by in Genesis 1:22:

Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”

It is used 508 times throughout the Bible.  God, our heavenly Father blessed his children and taught his children to bless their children and others.

508 times–it must be important!

Words are powerful.  With each word that comes out of our mouth we are either blessing or cursing.  Just yesterday I was speaking to someone I love and used my words to curse them.  No, I didn’t speak curse words. It was really worse than curse words, it was words that tear down rather than lift up.

I pray that we learn to speak beautiful blessings to others like the one we read about today, but I also pray we think about the everyday words we speak to the ones we love the most and make sure we’re blessing not cursing, speaking life not death.

Have a great week-end!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Numbers 11:1 through Numbers 13:33

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