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Lord, The New Year’s Coming, It’s Time to Workout—1 Timothy 4:6-8

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-6:10

Heavenly Father, I wonder if I’m the only person who has thought about exercising as they were stuffing yummy Christmas goodies in their mouth. My thoughts go something like this, “I really shouldn’t eat this, it’s not good for me but it’s no big deal because it’s Christmas, it’s a time of feasting and I’m going to start working out January 1. Those extra five pounds will only be on me for a week or two.”

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” –1 Timothy 4:6-8

Yep, it’s that time of year when the world decides to change every bad health habit they have accumulated throughout their life—in one day.

Yes, physical training and our health are important and I am making my New Year plans, but Lord, I don’t want to miss the most important training regiment for 2015– training for godliness. While the benefits of physical training are many, they cannot compare to the benefits godliness promises in this life and the life to come.

Holy Spirit, I have to take responsibility for my spiritual training, but can You help me create a customized training plan for 2015? A plan that sets me up for success. For the last five years my “godliness training plan” has included reading the One-Year Chronological Bible from cover-to-cover. This year it’s gonna be a new training plan, with new muscles to work on, and new things to learn.

Jesus, help me to find balance between physical and spiritual training. Help me to keep my priorities lined up with 1 Timothy 4:6-8.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

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

 

Lord, There’s So Much to Do and So Little Energy—John 6:26-29

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20

Heavenly Father, our wild and crazy lives must be both humorous and sad to You. Busy is the buzz-word of our culture. It’s as we if we think our busyness makes us valuable to society, our family, and the church. You warned us about mis-aligned priorities in Your Word.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” —John 6:26-29

Each person only has so much energy. Some have abundant amounts and some have very little. The amount of energy isn’t our problem. It’s what we’re spending it on that’s the issue. Lord, we spend our most precious asset–our energy, performing for the world’s approval and acceptance and then we take that same philosophy and apply it to our relationship with You.  We think that’s we way You decide if we’re acceptable. That goes against Your Word.

Lord, the people in today’s lesson were following You for the food. Sadly, in today’s self-absorbed world, many Christians serve You for Your physical blessings rather than the eternal rewards. I think we are so caught up in the day-to-day life, we never have time to think about the eternal consequences of our daily choices.

This “chaos of busyness,” that’s keeps us from thinking is one of the greatest tools Satan is using to cause Christians to “fall away.” Our physical busyness isn’t the real problem. The thing that is leading to our destruction is our mental busyness. Our attention span is decreasing daily.  Our goal is to avoid silence. If we don’t have silence, we can’t hear You speak and that makes us easy pickings for the enemy of our soul.

In today’s world we’d rather “do” than “think.”

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; —2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (KJV)

Lord, forgive us. Forgive me. Lord, I want to spend my energy seeking, serving, and spending time with You. Help me to lay aside anything that distracts me from You.

Jesus, help me to remember–

That the only work You want from me is to Believe in You.

Jesus, I bring my busyness, burdens, weariness to You.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” —Matthew 11:28-30

And I receive Your rest.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:31-37, Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-16:4, Mark 8:11-21, Matthew 16:5-12

Lord, Am I Paying Attention? —Mark 4:21-25

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

Heavenly Father, I need Your understanding. It’s easy to get distracted. There are so many voices fighting for my focus. Teach me to pay attention to what I hear.

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”—Mark 4:21-25

Lord, some days I want to run away from all the noise. You are the only answer to my confusion.

Holy Spirit, warn me when I’m being distracted. Help me to fight through the jungle of opinions and get quiet with You.

Jesus, help me to carve out time in each day to spend time with You in prayer, Bible study, and meditation so I can gain Your understanding.

 

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, I’m Afraid to Surrender—Jeremiah 38:19-23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 37:11-38:28, Ezekiel 1:1-3:15

Heavenly  Father, surrender is such a negative word. We equate it with failure, lack of effort, and weakness but sometimes surrender is our only option for survival. Our surrender is God’s way of getting His Will accomplished in our lives. Such is the case in this message Jeremiah gave to King Zedekiah.

 

“But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!”

Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying,

‘What fine friends you have!
They have betrayed and misled you.
When your feet sank in the mud,
they left you to your fate!’

All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.” —Jeremiah 38:19-23

Lord, surrender is a key discipline in knowing You and serving You. Our first surrender comes when we accept You as our Savior and from that day forward we are constantly surrendering our will to Your will.

I am currently in a season of surrender and just like King Zedekiah I’m playing the “what if” game. Lord, if I obey, trust, and surrender it may not turn out the way “I” want it to. I’m afraid people I love will be hurt if I don’t take control of the situation. Can You lay out Your plan for me BEFORE I surrender?

Lord, I’m sure You’re laughing. I know, that wouldn’t be surrender, that would be negotiation. Help me to overcome my fear and completely surrender this situation to You.

Jesus, You are the greatest example of surrender. Teach me, coach me, and convict me to follow Your example of surrendering my will to the will of my Heavenly Father.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” —Luke 22:42

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 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64

Lord, Teach Me What is Good for Me—Isaiah 48:17

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Isaiah 44:6-48:11

Heavenly Father, this is an amazing promise, “You will teach me what is good for me AND lead me along the paths I should follow!”

This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is good for you
and leads you along the paths you should follow. —Isaiah 48:17

Wow! If I was a new Christian I would think, this walking with Jesus thing is going to be a piece of cake.

But, I’m not a new Christian.

Lord, after serving You for over 40 years I KNOW that YOU will do what YOU say YOU will do.

Jesus, the problem isn’t with the teacher. The problem is the student. The problem is ME!

  • I don’t always go to school (study and mediate  on Your Word)
  • I don’t always listen
  • I don’t always follow instructions
  • I don’t always stay behind You

But there is good news.

You have a plan “B.” When I don’t go to school, listen, follow instructions, and stay behind You, You teach me through my mistakes AND You aren’t afraid to administer tough love and drag me along the paths I should follow.

Thank You for being my Abba, Daddy God!

 

I love You! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Lord, Am I Keeping Myself From Prospering? —2 Chronicles 24:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16:21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, 2 Kings 10:32-36

Heavenly Father, Your timing is perfect! If I had not attended last night’s LeadHer meeting and heard my friend Haylee Weedn give an amazing talk on the first step to financial freedom I may have skipped over this verse. Haylee said that first step is knowing YOUR purpose for my life and then Your purpose should determine how I spend my money.

 

Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!” —2 Chronicles 24:20

After last night’s message this is what this verse says to me:

Dianne,

Why do you neglect our relationship?

Why do you stay so busy rushing around doing things that are meaningless?

I have a plan and purpose for your life and your day. Your money, time and talents are what funds My purpose for you. When you don’t communicate with Me, You don’t know how to best use your money, time, or talents so you are keeping yourself from prospering.

Lord, my desire is to have every area of my life, including my finances support Your plans. Speak Lord, I am listening.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 13:14-25

Lord, Help Me to Love Discipline–Proverbs 5:12


Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 5:1-7:27

Heavenly Father, it must be part of the human condition to hate discipline.  Solomon discusses the consequences of an undisciplined life throughout the Proverbs. Here’s a few verses that stood out in today’s reading:

Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”  –Proverbs 5:10-14

In this instance Solomon is discussing immorality, but his words apply to any type of undisciplined behavior.

Lord, I heard a saying years ago that seems to hold true to Your Word.

If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us. – William Feather

Lord, help me to welcome any form of discipline that You choose to bring into my life. Help me to discipline myself according to Your Word.

Use me for Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 8:1-10:32

Lord, Show Me My Boundaries–Numbers 34:1-2


Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 34:1-36:13

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading You defined the physical boundaries of the country of Israel.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries.” –Numbers 34:1-2

Father, in today’s world we don’t like boundaries.  We don’t want to be told something is unacceptable in all circumstances.  We think having boundaries make us prisoners.

Jesus, Your Word defines our boundaries.  Every line was drawn with the extreme love that only a parent can feel.  Father, your love abounds in Your boundaries.

Holy Spirit, help us to look for Your boundaries.  Help us to see them as signs of love.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:20

When’s the Last Time You Cried Like a Baby? –1 Peter 2:1-3


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3

When was the last time you had a really good cry?  Yes, guys, I’m talking to you too!

What caused you to “cry like a baby?”

  • A sad movie or book
  • A relationship gone sour
  • The loss of someone important to you
  • Hurt feelings
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of life

After reading today’s scripture I’ve got a feeling God sometimes wonders why we have a full-on crying session over earthly things and never shed a tear over the things He commands us to “cry out” about.

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.  Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,  now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. —1st Peter 2:1-2

When was the last time you got so frustrated with your own deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy and unkind speech that your cried like a baby for “pure spiritual milk” ?

The King James Version translates pure spiritual milk as the “sincere milk of the Word.”

I like to think that most Christ followers want to grow in the “full experience of salvation,” but statistics show that most Christians don’t read the Bible.

What would happen to our spiritual lives, our families, our churches, and our workplaces if we wanted the full experience of salvation so much that we cried out to God to be taught by Him through His Word?

Heavenly Father, help me to desire the things that you want me to desire.  Give me a heart that craves spiritual milk.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 2:4-5:11

What’s Your First Thought When You Hear the Word “Discipline?”–Hebrews 12:6

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:1-12:29

What’s your first thought when you hear the word discipline?

  • Pain
  • A spanking as a kid
  • Self-control or the  lack thereof

How about extreme love?

Love = discipline

Discipline = love

…that’s what the Bible says.

God’s discipline proves His love for us.

For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one

he accepts as his child.  —Hebrews 12:6

So if…

  • God doesn’t give us everything we want, exactly when we want it, and allows hard things to come into our lives to make us strong
  • Parents hold their children accountable to daily chores, respect for adults, and keeping their word
  • Employers expect an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, which includes completing tasks on time with a high degree of excellence
  • Humans push away from fleshly addictions (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, caffeine, T.V., Computers, etc) and implement healthy habits such as exercise, life-long learning, and helping others

…we are somehow loved by God, others, and ourselves?

Hummmm…

What are your thoughts on the connection between love, discipline and a healthy, productive life?

Heavenly Father, the average person in today’s world doesn’t want to discipline themselves or others and they certainly don’t want to be disciplined by anyone, including You.  Holy Spirit, show us the importance of loving and being loved through discipline. Help us to hold out for the greater good rather than settling for a mediocre life.  Help us to follow your example Jesus. Lord, help us to accept Your discipline.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-25, 1 Peter 1:1-2:3

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