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How to Get Your Prayers Answered—Psalm 79:9

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 79 through 82

Do you struggle in knowing how to pray?

Do you question the discipline of prayer when your prayers aren’t answered?

Then I would encourage you to read Psalm 79 out loud.

As you read this imagine Asaph as a mediator between the Israelites and God. His way of talking to God in this psalm reminds me of Moses.

Asaph gives God the gory details of everything that is going on in “His” (God’s) land.  It’s the same old story:  complaint, prayer, and promise to be good next time (Does this sound familiar?)

But in verse nine it takes an interesting turn.  Here’s the prayer we can learn from Asaph—

Help us, O God of our salvation!

Help us for the glory of your name.

Save us and forgive our sins

For the honor of Your Name.

Psalm 78:9

What could happen–

–if–

the only thing we cared about was making sure our life glorified and honored the name of Jesus?

I know Asaph wanted God to go in and kill their enemies, so his motive may not have been entirely pure, but there’s still a lesson for us to learn.

This life is not about our glory.

It’s not about our leaders’ glory.

It’s not about our country’s glory.

It’s about pointing EVERYTHING and EVERYONE to Jesus so that He receives the glory and the honor.

What if our prayers sounded something like this…

  • when we prayed for finances– we prayed for God to intervene so that He would receive glory and honor
  • when we prayed for a spouse– we prayed for God to divinely place us with the person in whom He could get the most glory
  • when we prayed for a career change– we believed God for His Glory and Honor to be noticed is His career choice for us
  • when we prayed for our healing –we first asked God what we needed to do to facilitate the healing process and then we asked him to intervene in our health in a way that would bring His Kingdom the most glory

Friends, make no mistake, I am not here yet!

But I want to be; I’m moving toward this goal by “Knowing Him More.”

The bottom line: 

If every prayer we prayed asked God to work the circumstances so that He received the glory and the honor, ALL of our prayers would be answered!

 

To God Be The Glory!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Psalm 83; 1 Chronicles 29:23-25; 2 Chronicles 1:1; 1 Kings 2: 13 through 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1: 2-6; 1 Kings 3: 5-15; 2 Chronicles 1:7-13

Are You Struggling With These Four Words? –2 Samuel 22:26-28

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 22:1-51; Psalm 18

“To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
You rescue the humble,
but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.. 
–2 Samuel 22:26-28

These three verses were repeated twice in today’s reading.

Do these four words describe your life?

    • Faithful
    • Integrity
    • Pure
    • Humble

What a promise!  Talk about a return of investment!

If I’m faithful, full of integrity, pure and humble the God of the universe will be faithful, full of integrity, pure, and humble to ME…AMAZING!

These four words should be our goal for our day and our life.

Where do we learn to be faithful, full of integrity, pure, and humble?

From the example of Jesus and the Word of God.

Are you struggling in either of these four areas?

Move closer to Jesus.  He will help you.  Spend time in His Word.  He will teach you.

Heavenly Father, we want to be our best for You. Lord, today help us to move one step closer to the person You have planned for us to be.  Make us more like You today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 24:1-9; 1 Chronicles 21:1-6; 2 Samuel 24:10-17; 1 Chronicles 21:7-17; 2 Samuel 24:18-25; 1 Chronicles 21:18-22:19

Sometimes it’s God’s Fight and Sometimes it’s Yours

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Joshua 12:7 through Joshua 15:19

I just love imagining God talking with Joshua and saying “Buddy, you’re getting old and there’s so much left to do, but don’t worry I’ll take care of it—you just relax; you deserve it.  I’ve got your back!”  –Joshua 13:1-7

I know, I’m embellishing a bit, but it probably happened just like that!    🙂

Sometimes God fights our battles for us so that we don’t even have to break a sweat…

but sometimes He doesn’t.

Remember the half tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben and Gad?  They were the guys who chose to stop short of the Promised Land and receive their land on the east side of the Jordan.  Well, they also stopped short of getting rid of their enemies.

But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continued to live among the Israelites to this day.  –Joshua 13:13

What battles are you trying to fight that the Lord has said to you, “Don’t worry about this one, I’ve got it.”

What battles are you wanting God to fight that have YOUR name on them?

I was a bit of a control freak when it came to raising my children.  I took that responsibility very seriously.  God made it clear to me that I had to lay my children on His altar, do my best as a parent and leave the outcome to Him.  Needless to say, “I” wanted to lead the charge in that battle…just ask my kids. I was fretting, worrying and ‘trying’ to control, as if their salvation depended on me instead of the Lord.  It is so amazing to me that once I was forced to let go of my children when they became adults– they began their own personal  journey to “know Him” and are becoming amazing men and women of God.  I sure wish I would have “let go and let God” when they were teenagers.  It would have been a lot more fun!

But what about the battles that have my name engraved on them?

You see, I have these “issues”

…a controlling nature

…pride

…a tendency to prejudge

…selfishness

The List could go on and on…  These are battles I’ve asked the Lord to fight for me.  I’ve said things like, “Lord, you made me, it’s up to YOU to change me!”

And the Lord said to me in 2 Corinthians 10:5.  This is “The Message” Translation…It just seemed to fit.

Dianne it’s your job to… use your powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

The New International Version says, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.

If I understand this correctly, “we” have to work on our warped philosophies, barriers, loose thoughts and emotions.  Ugh…I wanted a miraculous transformation; I wanted God to fight the battle of my mind. I wanted to walk away and come back and the battle be over.

Friends, if  you’re fighting a battle that only the Almighty God can win, “let go and let God”.  But if you  in the middle of a battle that has your name on it, know that you are not alone.  Yes, we may have to do some hard work but the good news is Jesus is coaching us and standing with us as we fight to take every thought captive.  Take comfort in these words whatever your circumstance:

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.   ~Isaiah 41:10

Let’s not be like the Israelites on the east side of the river and setting up housekeeping  with our enemies; let’s take them captive once and for all!

Praying for you!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Joshua 15:20 through Joshua 17:18

Lord, Can You Talk to Me Like Moses? Exodus 27:8

Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 25:1-28:43

Heavenly Father,

As I read Your detailed instructions for building Your Holy Place I couldn’t help but think, “I wish the Lord would give me those kind of instructions for my life.”

  • Turn left here
  • Say yes to that opportunity
  • No is definitely the answer to that question
  • Don’t do it, danger ahead!
  • Stop!
  • Go!
  • Yes!
  • No!
  • Wait!

As soon as the words walked through my mind, it was as if  You said, “My Word is your instruction book.”  “My Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit.”

If…

you go to the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40, Exodus 26:30, Exodus 27:8)

Heavenly Father, help us to “go to the mountain” each day to worship You and to get instructions for the day.  Help us to understand that daily time spent in Your Word, meditating on Your blessings, talking about the things that trouble us, asking for Your guidance and recording our thoughts as we spend time with You is just like Moses’ time spent on the mountain.

Lord, speak to us today!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 29:1-31:18

Can You Talk to God for Me? Exodus 20:19


Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18-21

As I read these words my first thought was one of judgment.  “Those dumb Israelites, they had the privilege of being in the “literal” presence of the one and only living God and they let fear steal that awesome experience.”

But once again observing the Israelites is like looking at ourselves in a mirror.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

  • Fear of being convicted of sinful choices
  • God is at the bottom of your priorities
  • You don’t really believe He hears you
  • “God time” doesn’t fit into your plans
  • It doesn’t seem like God is there
  • God’s always there, I’ll catch Him later
  • Distractions by media (phone, computer, TV, etc)
  • A busy brain, can’t seem to focus (this is me)

We have it so much better than the Israelites.

We have Jesus as our mediator.

He’s our constant connection to our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit is our constant connection to Jesus.

Yet, we would prefer to hear our preacher give us a one hour, once-a-week God update and then be on our way to the important things; pleasure and making a living.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being like the Israelites. Forgive us for all the missed opportunities.  Holy Spirit, don’t stop calling us, don’t stop reminding us.  Help us to overcome the carefully crafted distractions of our day, designed by our enemy to keep up from spending time with You.   Lord, teach us and guide us as we seek to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18

The Fall of the Hurdle-Jumper–Job 17:11

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 15:1-18:21

My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. —Job 17:11

I can’t imagine the depth of despair Job felt when he spoke these words.  It’s easy to read Job’s story and move through his losses as if it’s some Hollywood movie.

Friends, this really happened.

Stop for a minute and put  yourself in Job’s shoes.

What would you have done?

What if…

  • All your children were dead
  • All of your servants were dead
  • All of your animals were dead
  • All of your food was gone
  • All of your property was destroyed

Most of my life I naïvely thought seasons of depression, despair, and hopelessness could be avoided by Christian disciplines (prayer, Bible study, worship) and continual attitude adjustments. (Sounds like Job’s friends. Huh?)

Until…

Everything came crashing down.  I called it the fall of the hurdle-jumper.

As long is there’s enough space between the hurdles to recover, a hurdle jumper can go long distances, but let someone come and place all the hurdles side by side and even the best hurdle jumper will come crashing down.

That’s what happened to me.

In just about every area of my life I experienced a major loss: marriage, home, church, career, car, a great friend, and my Dad–all in a matter of a couple of years.

I said with Job, My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. –Job 17:11

This strong “hurdle-jumper” came tumbling to the ground and my misconceptions about depression fell as well. I needed a healing of this mental cancer that had zapped the life and joy out of me.  “I” couldn’t fix me.

That was seventeen years ago.  Through the grace of God, His healing power, and a good medical doctor I made it through that dark time. I’m so thankful for the lessons I learned.  I didn’t realize it at the time but at my lowest God was the closest. As I look back I see those as special times.

Today I vividly understand the power that hope plays in our lives. God is the giver of hope and just like Job we can be sitting in a pile of rubble scraping our wounds, thinking hope is gone forever, while our Heavenly Father is continually saying “Don’t loose hope.  Some things just take a little time.  You’ll understand when You see me face to face. For now just keep your hope in Me!”

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. –Psalm 39:7

Heavenly Father, we need Your hope today.  I pray for my friends who feel the way I did years ago, hopeless and depressed.  Touch them through your supernatural power and send the gift of hope their way.

Jesus, remind us of the needs of the hurting.  Show us who we need to call, write, or visit.  Use us as delivery agents of hope today.

In Your Name we pray.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 19:1-21:34

If Only There Were a Mediator–Job 9:33

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Job 8:1 through Job 11:20

In today’s reading we see that Job’s second friend Bildad is basically a repeat performance of Eliphaz, except  he is attacking Job’s children (8:4).

But today I focused more on Job’s response than his Pharisaic friends.

I was struck by the fact that Job knew God.  I mean he really knew Him.  Verse after verse Job describes the attributes of God.

Then I begin to question, how did Job get to know God Almighty at such depth, when there was no Bible at that time?

I think one way Job knew God was he “visited” with Him through stargazing.  In Chapter 9 verses 9 and 10, Job talks about the stars and the constellations.  The magnitude of the heavens caused Job to say “He (God) does great things too marvelous to understand.  He performs countless miracles.”

Last night my Husband Harry and I were outside “stargazing”.  It was a beautiful night, the stars were bright and each one seemed to have its own special attributes.  My thoughts always go to God when I look at the stars.

Taking the time to stare at the sky really puts you in your place.  You realize that the stars look like a dot but they are huge and you look huge but you’re really just a dot! I can just imagine Job sitting outside on a starry night and watching the sky, looking for God and saying, “Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him.  When he moves by, I do not see Him go (9:11).”

I have to say one more thing about star-gazing; it takes time.  We have to pull ourselves away from the noise of life and be quiet to get to know God. Whether, it’s looking at stars, enjoying nature, or reading the Bible and praying; it takes effort to know Him.  I’m so proud of you for making the commitment to take this journey to know Him more!

Job was grieving, but he was grieving with the knowledge that the God of the universe was overseeing his grief and somehow his God was bigger than all he had lost.  Yes, he questioned God; because he knew God knew the answers.  There’s comfort in that.

If Job had believed in the “Big Bang Theory” and not God, where could he have gone with his questions?

Job knew his limits:  “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial (9:32).”  Even so, Job wanted to get closer:  “If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together (9:33).”

This is huge.

This cry of Job for a mediator was answered when Jesus Christ came to earth:

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. –1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus Christ, whom Job knew nothing about, would come and be exactly what he requested, our mediator.

S-T-O-P

and let the impact of this thought permeate you

Job, knew he needed a Savior, a connector to God the Father; so that He could know God more–no one told him this, he just knew.

Dear Lord, thank you for answering Job’s request and giving us Your Son Jesus not only for the redemption of our sins but so that we could know You more!

Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Job 12:1 through Job 14:22

Lord, I Want to be Hotter than Last Year–Revelation 3:15-16

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

I know this is not your average run of the mill New Year’s Resolution.

Yet, when I read today’s scripture this is my desire for 2013.

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! —Revelation 3:15-16

HOT——————————————————————————COLD

As 2012 comes to an end, it’s a great time to do some self-reflecting…

What has first place, second place or even third place in our daily lives?

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.      —1 John 5:21

Are we striving to keep God’s Commandments?

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. —1 John 5:3

Are we living in fear?

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.   –1 John 4:18

Do we love our Christian brothers and sisters?

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?  And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. —1 John 4:20-21

Are we constantly improving in our love, faith, service and our patient endurance?

I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.   –Revelation 2:19

Do our actions meet the requirements of our God?

I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.   —Revelation 3:1-3

Heavenly Father, as 2013 approaches help us to be hotter than we were last year.  Help us Lord, to recognize our areas of lukewarmness and to seek Your help to grow closer to you in this new year!  We’re excited to serve you in 2013!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 7:1-10:11


Are You Thinking LIke An Animal? –Jude 1:10

 

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

Do you think Fido and Fluffy are as smart as humans?

At some point most of us have wished for a life as easy as our family pets.  While most of us don’t have it as easy as our pets, many of us think like our pets more than we realize.

But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction.  –Jude 1:10

They do whatever their instincts tell them…

Have you had a moment in the last few weeks when you did what your animal instincts told you?

I know I have.  I hate it!  You know, those times when your natural, fleshly, instincts get the best of you.

The animal instinct that’s on my mind this day after Christmas is eating.

Eating, Eating, and Eating–Have you ever seen your pet eat until they make themselves sick?  Their self-preservation instinct is to eat while there’s food;  just in case there’s none to be found tomorrow. They don’t understand things like moderation, calories, fat, etc.  That’s why our pets need owners to portion out their food.

I have had a stomach bug the last couple of days; I don’t need to eat anything but bananas and toast.  What do I want?  Raw oysters, horseradish and a coke.  Why would anyone in their right mind eat oysters a day after a stomach bug?  Because today I was at my brother’s and he had a bag of delicious, salty, Apalachicola oysters and was willing to shuck some for me.  Just like all the other Christmas treats, it’s my once a year chance; I better eat all I can, while I can.  Doesn’t that sound just like Fido or Fluffy?

I think I need an owner to supervise my food intake.

Seriously, in today’s culture we live by the “If it feels good, do it” mentality.  I think it’s more like were living by our animal instincts.  The more we override our conscience, the more our animal instincts become the norm. I don’t think that’s what God planned for His children.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” –Genesis 1:26

We’re supposed to reign over the animals rather than become like them.

Which animal instinct are you struggling with?

Heavenly Father, You are my owner.  Holy Spirit, as I move into a new year, please supervise my animal instincts, put me in my place.  Fill me with Your Spirit so that I will be drawn to Your ways instead of MY ways. Forgive me for succumbing to my fleshly desires.  Jesus, rescue me from myself.  Rescue me from the destruction Your Word talks about. Lord, You made me in Your Image; help me to be a reflection of You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

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

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!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

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

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