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Do You Want Jesus to Come in 2012? Rev. 22:20-21

Today we arrive at the end of the Book.  The last words.

It’s amazing how these two verses of scripture sum up the New Testament and the book of Revelation…

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 19:1-22:21

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!  May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.    Revelation 22:20-21

The last thing Jesus said was He is coming soon!

John encouraged Him to come.

Can we say with John that we want Jesus to come soon?

Or would we rather He wait until we have had our fill of the wilder side of life, get married, have children, see our children become adults, enjoy our grandchildren, or maybe when we’re a 100 years old; yeah, that would be a great time for Jesus to come again.

I don’t know about you, but I hold on to this world too tightly.  My daily life seems like more of a reality than heaven.

What can we do to make Jesus and heaven more of a reality in our lives?

  • Make our time with Him our highest priority
  • Read the scriptures that talk about heaven
  • Meditate on being with Jesus in heaven
  • Put this world in its place–it’s a very small piece in our timeline compared to the eternity we’ll spend with God
  • Realize there are people who will be eternally separated from God if we don’t share Jesus with them
  • Choose the things of God over the world’s trappings

When I was a kid my parents would watch gospel music on T.V. every Sunday morning before church.  I can still remember this song that the “Happy Goodmans” sang…

What A Beautiful Day

As I wake up with the morning, of each day that passes by,

and I listen to the sounds upon my ear,

I can’t help but keep a watch toward the eastern sky,

and I wonder if the trumpet will be the next sound that I hear.

What a beautiful day for the Lord to come again,

what a beautiful day for him to take his children home,

how I long to see his face and to touch his nail scared hand,

what a beautiful day for the Lord to come again.

All my earthly disappointments and my trials here below,

fade away when I remember his last words,

he said he’d return and receive his children unto him

and I’m longing to look upon the face of my dear Lord.

This song never fails to come to mind when I’m taking an early morning drive along the bay or across one of the bridges near where I live. As I look toward the beautiful eastern sky I sing “What a beautiful day for the Lord to come again!”

Lord, help us to look to Your second coming with excitement!

Oh that we could be like little children.  My fiveyear-old grandson Nolen said to his Dad after open one of his presents, “Dad, can I take this toy that Santa brought me to heaven and show it to Jesus?”

Jesus, help me to be like Nolen.  When I have a great day or a bad day, let my first thought be,  “I want to take it to Jesus!”

I say with John, “Come Lord Jesus!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

What Did You Lose in 2011? Revelation 18:19-20

What can come into our world and destroy life as we know it in a single moment?

  • Sickness
  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Job loss
  • A house fire
  • Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Stock Market crash

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 15:1-18:24

John prophesies in Revelation 18:19-20, about this type of loss.

And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out, “How terrible, how terrible for that great city! The shipowners became wealthy by transporting her great wealth on the seas.  In a single moment it is all gone.” Rejoice over her fate, O heaven and people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.

Can loss be good?

Have you ever looked back on a time of loss and realized it was the best thing that ever happened to you?

I’m not necessarily saying it’s good to lose something, but the changes that happened in our lives because of loss can be good.

To me the death of a loved one, friend, or mentor is the worst kind of loss, yet even in the worst circumstances good can come from it.

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Isaiah 6:1

I’m sure Isaiah continued to grieve for King Uzziah, but because of his death, Isaiah saw God in a new and much bigger way.

As the year 2011 comes to a close, take a minute and count your losses but don’t forget to record the good that has come from each loss.  My prayer is that with each loss you’ve experienced you’ve been like Isaiah and seen God in a new and much bigger way!

In gains or in losses, my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone!

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In Christ Alone,

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 19:1-22:21

4 Ways to Prepare for a Fight and Expect to Win–Revelation 12:11

How many fights did you have in 2011?

Who were they with?

What were they about?

Did you win or lose?

Did you win the battle and lose the war?

Maybe, you were fighting the wrong person…

Today’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 11:1-14:20

I can’t imagine what John must have thought and felt when he received the visions that later became the book of Revelation.  I wonder if he really understood the spiritual battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, God and Satan before God let him peek behind the curtain?

There’s really only one battle in this world and it’s not with family, friend, or foe; it’s with the enemy of our souls.  If we could fully grasp what John is telling us in Revelation we would change our fighting strategy and direct every ounce of our fighting power at the source of all anger, frustration, trials and troubles–Satan and his even schemes.

Revelation 12:11 shows us four things we must do to fight and win this spiritual battle that constantly affects our physical world:

  1. Understand, accept and proclaim the fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth and shed His blood to make us a winner
  2. Believe that somehow God will use every tough place and fiery trial we go through for His Glory and our good
  3. Tell others about the tough places and times our God has brought us through
  4. Value eternal life and winning this spiritual battle more than our short time on this earth

This is a tall order.  I guess it explains why so many Christian people live defeated lives;  we aren’t prepared to fight.

Friends, as we come to the end this one year study of God’s Word and the year 2011, let’s determine to be different in 2012, let’s get focused on the real enemy, prepare for a fight and expect to win!

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being so worldly, for allowing ourselves to be deceived by our real enemy.  Holy Spirit, show us how to fight and win for the Glory of Your Kingdom!  Help us to realize our testimony scares the enemy and sends him running!  Give us the courage to be bold in this new year!  Thank you for sending Your Son!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Revelation 15:1-18:24

Tattoos and the Book of Revelation–Revelation 7:3-4

Revelation talks a lot about seals.  Seals show ownership and approval through imprints or marks and provide security and denote endorsement.  I wonder if our 21st century obsession with tattoos is preparing the world for the “marks” to come?

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

In the days that John speaks of in Revelation seals or marks are going to tell the world …

  • Who owns you
  • Who’s approval you are seeking
  • Who makes you feel the most secure
  • Who’s endorsement is most important
  • What imprint or mark you want to carry for all eternity

In today’s reading we see  144,000 from the tribes of Israel being marked with the seal of God.  In Revelation 13, the beast representing Satan requires everyone to be given a mark on the right hand or forehead.  In Old Testament days circumcision was a sign of belonging to the God of Israel.  In the New Testament believers were sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

Will the seal of God be a tattoo?

Will the mark of the beast be a tattoo?

I have no idea, but I guess it could be.  What do you think?

The more important question is what displays our ownership to Christ to our everyday world?

Jesus told us in John 13:34-35 what our mark should be:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

The world will know that we are His by our love…

…it sure would be easier just to get a big Jesus tattoo, put a Jesus sticker on our car, or say, “I love Jesus, how about you” on Facebook.

Heavenly Father, help us to live a life today that displays Your mark on our lives!  Teach us to love like you love!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Revelation 11:1-14:20

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

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

Yet, when I read today’s scripture that is my desire for 2012.

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

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


As 2011 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 2012 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 2012!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Are You Thinking LIke An Animal? Jude 1:10

Do you think Fido and Fluffy are as smart as humans?  For many the answer is yes.

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.

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

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!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Do You Know What I Know? 1 John 3:16-19

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1-4:6

Do you see what I see?

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you know what I know?

Listen to what I say…

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. —1 John 3:16-19

Friends, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we KNOW what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.

My prayer on this Christmas Eve is that those who don’t know Him will see, hear, and know Christ because our love, compassion and actions!

Harry and I send Christmas love and blessings to you and yours!

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:7-5:21, 2 John 1:1-13, 3 John 1:1-15

What or Who’s Controlling You?–2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)

I know it’s a bad day to ask this.  It’s December 23; Christmas preparations and activities are definitely determining our plans for the day.  I have last-minute shopping and wrapping to do myself, but now that I think about it, maybe this is the best time of the year to ask this question…

What or Who’s Controlling you?

In 2 Peter 2:19, Peter says, we are a slave to whatever controls us.

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

I looked up the word control in my online dictionary…

Control: The power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

Here’s my paraphrase Peter’s statement:

We are a slave to whatever has the power to influence or direct our behavior or the events of our lives.

Who determines what or who has this special power?

Didn’t we take care of this question when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior?

Salvation is a gift God gave us.  Accepting the gift is the easy part.  Sadly, this is where many Christians stop and then they wonder why they go through life being controlled by people, situations, and sinful thoughts and behaviors.

Everyday WE make a choice, every day WE determine what or who has the power to control us.

Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

As we go through this day WE get to choose…

  • The joy of the Lord or the anger, sadness and depression of the world
  • The holiness of the season or the commercialism of the media
  • To spend time reflecting on the birth of our Savior or worry about everything that didn’t get bought, baked, decorated, or cleaned for the season
  • To focus on our blessings or our lack

The world tells us to take control of our lives, but the Bible tells us to give that control to Christ–it’s a choice.

If you have a few minutes, listen to Carrie Underwood’s thoughts on allowing Jesus to take control…

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Jesus, we choose YOU!  Heavenly Father, take control of our thoughts, plans, and outcomes of this day.  We give up the power to control, we trust you with our day, our Christmas, and our future.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 John 1:1-4:6

All I Want for Christmas is… 1 Peter 3:10-12

…To enjoy life and see many happy days.

In today’s reading Peter tells the early Church and us how make this wish a reality.

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

For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” —1 Peter 3:10-12

Once again we have a conditional statement;

something 21st century humans don’t like

If we…

  • Want to enjoy life
  • See many happy days

Then we must…

  • Keep our tongue from speaking evil
  • Keep our lips from telling lies
  • Turn away from evil
  • Do good
  • Search for peace
  • Work to maintain peace

Oh and here’s the icing on the cake…

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right

and His ears are open to their prayers.

One of the favorite sayings of my dear friend and mentor Cheryl Beyer was a quote from Edwin Markham:

All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.

I guess enjoying life and seeing many happy days isn’t a wish to be granted, but a choice to be made, one day at a time.

Heavenly Father, remind us of the part we play in our happy days.  Help us to remember that living a life of kindness, honesty, goodness, and peace will bring the happiness we’re looking for.  Jesus, for those who don’t know you, help them to realize that the first step to this Christmas wish is accepting You as their Savior (John 3:16).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

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

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
  • 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.

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

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.

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!

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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

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

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