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Lord, Give Me Cause for Great Joy—Nehemiah 12:43

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 12:27-13:6, Nehemiah 5:14-19, Nehemiah 13:7-31, Malachi 1:1-2:9

Heavenly Father, I can’t imagine the feelings of the people of Judah as they gathered to celebrate the completion of the new wall of Jerusalem. Yes, they were happy because things were getting back to normal and the finished wall made them feel safe but I think there was another reason for their joy.

Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away. —Nehemiah 12:43

Lord, You knew this project would be something that would unite this divided group of people. You knew the power of working towards a cause that is so big that it’s impossible for one or two people to make it happen. You knew the power of teamwork. Nehemiah was Your chosen leader for this project and You gifted him with a supernatural understanding of the power of joy.

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” —Nehemiah 8:10

Jesus, when you came to earth and died for us, Your message and Your kingdom became our “cause for great joy!” Help us to unite and work as a team to help others to know You more.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

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©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Malachi 2:10-4:6, Joel 1:1-3:21

Lord, You Will Go to Great Lengths to Humble the Proud—Daniel 4:28-33

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1a, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37

Heavenly Father, the story of Nebuchadnezzar leaves me shaking my head. Did this really happen?

A mighty king goes from wealth, power, and pride in all “he” had built to a grass-eating, wild animal driven from human society. (Daniel 4)

Surely not.

But when I put this into a modern-day scenario, it’s something that happens all the time.

A wealthy, successful person who seems to have it all—intelligence, charisma, looks, and a beautiful family quickly builds a name for themselves and starts to believe “they” singlehandedly made it happen. As my mama says, “they get to big for their britches.” They take all the credit, want all the glory, and see themselves as unstoppable.

Until…

The stock market crashes, their business goes bankrupt, or their spouse gets fed up and leaves. They go from daily opportunities to zero opportunities. In desperation they turn to alcohol, sex, or drugs to num the pain and before You know it they’re living on the streets eating out of dumpsters–180 degrees from the person they were. It happened so fast they didn’t know what hit them.

Lord, You talk a lot about pride. You actually say you hate it.

There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family. —Proverbs 6:16-19

Yes Lord, You hate pride but You don’t hate us. You love us and You see the potential that’s hidden below our prideful exterior. You will go to great lengths to humble us so we can we useful to Your Kingdom.

“When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” —Daniel 4:36-37

Lord, thank You for putting Nebuchadnezzar’s story in Your Word. It gives us hope—anyone can change, with Your help.

Redeem our lives in spite of our prideful hearts. Help me to identify prideful areas in my life. I would rather correct them with Your help than to be sent to the pasture to eat grass for pride removal.

Make me like You Jesus.

In Your Great Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 40:38-43:27

Lord, Thank You for the Boasting Instructions—Jeremiah 9:23-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 8:4-11:23

Heavenly Father, boasting and bragging have always gotten on my nerves. It irritates me so much that I constantly analyze my conversations (after I’ve had them) to look for any possible slip ups and yes, I slip up. I’m not saying that I’m so humble I don’t ever have prideful feelings. I just know how annoying it is and I don’t want to be “that girl!”

I looked up boasting in the dictionary and it means to talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities. Lord, You know Your creation so well. You knew we would think we were “all that” so You gave us boasting instructions.

This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken! —Jeremiah 9:23-24

Lord, I accepted You as my Savior when I was 10 years old. I’ve known about You all my life but to boast that I truly know You and understand that You are the Lord is hard for me to do. Please don’t misunderstand that statement, every day my desire is to know You more but I feel You are so magnificent, mighty, and holy that I’ve barely begun to know You and barely understand what Your Lordship over my life and this world encompasses. I love to boast about who You are and what You have done in my life but boasting about my knowledge of You…Lord, I need You to show me what that looks like.

Thankfully, You added to these instructions through Apostle Paul in Galatians:

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. —Galatians 6:14

 Jesus, crucify my interest in this world and show me how, when, where to boast about the sacrifice You made for me. Help me to know You more so that my life and “boasting” will cause others to know You.

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: Jeremiah 12:1-15:21

Lord, Don’t Put Me in Charge—Isaiah 3:1-15

images-5Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1:21-5:30

Heavenly Father, I know that Isaiah was speaking of the coming devastation of Judah by the Babylonian army in these verses but I couldn’t help but think about leadership in today’s world, especially the church.

In those days a man will say to his brother,“Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!” But he will reply,“No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”  —Isaiah 3:6-7

Gone are the days when people decide to become leaders because of a strong moral conviction to do the right thing. Now days there’s usually an ulterior motive– power, money, climbing the ladder, or personal agendas.

What happens when all the “perks” of leadership go away?

No money, no fame, no success plan?

Who would want to be a leader if there are no benefits?

Lord, as Your people, help us to rise to the occasion in these days of leadership famine. Help us put our selfishness aside. Make us givers instead of takers. Help us to serve others with a pure heart.

Lord, help us to say “yes, I’ll be in charge and lead others to You.”

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 16:19-20, 2 Chronicles 28:26-27, Isaiah 13:1-16:14

Lord, My Motivation for the Good Life has been Wrong—Ecclesiastes 2:24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12

Heavenly Father, the older I get the more I understand Ecclesiastes. I used to think this was one of the most depressing books of the Bible but now I see it as a book that has as much wisdom as Proverbs. Solomon had it all, did it all and owned it all. From the beginning he was driven to succeed, very goal oriented and never settled for less than his high expectations.

Here’s what he says about success during the later years of his life:

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. —Ecclesiastes 4:4

Lord, in our 20s, 30, and 40s most of us would never admit that our motivation for success is to be like our neighbors. Now that I’m in my late 50s I will confess that more than likely that was my motivation for most of my life. In today’s world it’s even worse. We are tempted, stimulated and manipulated by the media and advertising from the time we are born (how many 3 year olds know what McDonald’s looks like?), so we don’t just envy our neighbors we envy advertisements, air-brushed people on magazine covers, celebrities, movie characters, and our social media friends’ pretend lives.

Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible got caught up in the success myth so we’re in good company, right? Here, I go again Lord, using the mistakes of people in Your Word to make me feel better about myself. While it does give me comfort, the purpose of Your Word is for us to learn from the mistakes of others, not feel better about our poor attitudes, desires, and choices.

From everything Solomon experienced this is what’s on his mind in his golden years:

So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. —Ecclesiastes 2:24

Lord, help me to enjoy each day’s work, food, and drink. Help me and my friends who are striving for “the good life” to stop striving and just enjoy the simple pleasures You provide. Forgive us for envying the lives of our neighbors, both the real and pretend ones.

In Jesus name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:1-11:6

Lord, Help Me to Know When to Quit–Proverbs 23:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:17-24:34

Heavenly Father, Your Word tells me that Solomon was very wise and very rich. Most of the rich people I’ve observed in my life are always trying to get richer, yet Solomon gave us advice that seems to contradict that philosophy:

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.  —
Proverbs 23:4-5

Father, I’m sure many people are like me and thinking, “I will never be rich, so this is not my problem.”

But

Aren’t most of us just like rich people…always wanting just a little more than we have now?

Lord, I know I’m guilty of this.  “If I just have this, t-h-e-n I’ll be happy.”

Lord, help me to simplify my life.  Help me to simplify my needs.

Help me to know when enough is enough.  Lord, help me to know when to quit.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Song of Songs 1:1-8:14

Lord, Give Me Passion for My Calling

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 7:1-51, 2 Chronicles 3:15-4:22 

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading Solomon was a man on a mission. He was hard at work. He was in tune with Your desires and plans. His brain was is project manager mode for years. There was no sitting on the throne, eating grapes and being fanned by beautiful women in his daily life (I’m sure he managed to squeeze in some time in for this 🙂 ). Between building the Temple and building his palace, Solomon worked on building projects for 20 years.

How did he keep his motivation high over that many years?

Lord, from reading Your Word it seems that Solomon was in the center of Your will for his life. I’ve seen this in my life and the lives of many others, when humans get in their sweet spot–where Your plans, our talents and abilities and a noble cause align–there is a supernatural fire or passion and causes ordinary people to accomplish extra-ordinary things.

Solomon was a great example of living life with passion but Jesus, You were the greatest example. EVERYTHING You did on this earth was because of Your passionate love for us and Your desire to give us eternal life.

Father, during this season of my life there are many things I “can” do, but my desire is to passionately live out my calling until my time on this earth is done. Lord, give me the wisdom of Solomon to live out my calling.

Anoint me with passion today!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 8:1-11, 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, 1 Kings 8:12-21, 2 Chronicles 6:1-11,1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

Lord, I Want the Confidence of David–1 Samuel 17:32

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17:32-19:17; Psalm 59; 1 Samuel 19:18-24

Heavenly Father, David amazes me!  I’ve read this passage many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed his extreme confidence.  The wonderful thing about David’s confidence was it was in You, not himself.

Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!  The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!” —1 Samuel 17:32-37

Lord, David made stepping out in Your service look so easy.

Your Word doesn’t show him

Praying…

Pleading…

Bawling and squalling… (very southern term)

Waiting…

to find Your will for this season.

He just did it!

He looked to his preparation and level of expertise, the current situation and the bigness of his God and just did what needed to be done.

Lord, is it really that simple?

Is serving You really this simple?

Talents, gifts, abilities

+ Preparation, training  from my day-to-day life

+ Current situation and need

+ Confidence in Your Power in my life

= Your Will for my life today

Holy Spirit, I know that serving You is a moment-by-moment experience, not a mathematical formula but it helps me to simplify it in this way. Lord, use me today. Like David, my confidence is in You!

David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord

was with him. –1 Samuel 18:14

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; Psalm 34

Lord, Teach Us to Realize the Brevity of Life—Psalm 90:12

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52, Psalm 90

Heavenly Father, Moses was 120 years old when he died. Few people in today’s world live to be that old and no one in today’s world leads a nation of a million plus people until their 120 years old! In human standards Moses’ life wasn’t brief but in eternity’s standards it was just a blink.

Lord, Moses lived life to the fullest. Help me to learn from his wisdom.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. –Psalm 90:12 

Jesus, if it’s left up to me, I will waste my days. Lord, guide, direct and teach me like You did Moses. Help me to go to You daily so that I may grow in Your wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. Lord, guide my days. Get Your plan accomplished in my life.
Lord, help me to walk out this scripture each day so that Your plan for my life comes to pass:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Lord, I give this day to You.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Joshua 1:-2:24

Lord, What’s My Assignment? –Exodus 31:1-6

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

Heavenly Father, I love the fact that You, the God of the universe chose, appointed, and assigned particular people to do particular things to build the Tabernacle.  What’s just as exciting is You “filled them with Your Spirit,” which gave them the “wisdom, ability, and expertise” to complete their “calling” with excellence! (Exodus 31:1-6)

Lord, I know the same holds true today.  Many times throughout my life You have given me wisdom, ability, and expertise to do something that needed to be done; something I had no idea how to do in my understanding.  I’m sure Bezalel and Oholiab were honored to be chosen, but they may have left like Moses (and me)… “Lord, I don’t think I can do this.”  Just like Moses, they did it “afraid” and it turned out to be “exceedingly, abundantly, more than they could have expected.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Jesus, I pray that today, we will be looking for Your assignments.  Help us to realize that, “You qualify those You call.”

Holy Spirit, speak loudly.  We don’t want to miss our opportunity of a lifetime.  Help us to see any task great or small that has been assigned by our Heavenly Father as an honor and a privilege.  Help us to jump at the chance to be used!

Jesus, give us supernatural discernment to know when the enemy of our soul is trying to keep us from accomplishing our “divine assignments.”  Help us to be strong in You and Your power (Ephesians 6:10-12).  Use us for Your Glory today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 32:1-34:35

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