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Lord, I Have No Excuse—Romans 1:18-20

images-3Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Heavenly Father, I want to know You more. The truth about You is everywhere.

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. —Romans 1:18-20

Help me to stop and take in Your qualities as I go about my day. I don’t want to miss a thing!

 

In Jesus Name! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 2:1-4:25

Lord, Am I Too Casual?—Jeremiah 5:24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 5:20-6:30, 2 Kings 22:3-20, 2 Chronicles 34:8-28

Heavenly Father, we live in a day of casualness. Casual clothes, casual meals, casual homes, casual parenting and casual relationships. As Christians we talk about our relationship with You like a friend we meet for coffee once a month. We say things like “it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” Lord, from everything I read in Your Word I think a relationship is what You desire.

But Lord, have we gone too casual in our relationship with You?

Have you no respect for me?
Why don’t you tremble in my presence?
I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline
as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross.
The waves may toss and roar,
but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned away and abandoned me.
They do not say from the heart,
‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings.
Your sin has robbed you of all these good things. —Jeremiah 5:22-25

Lord, I want to be as close and intimate as possible in my relationship with You but I never want to forget that You are the God who made me and I’m a little spec in Your Kingdom. I never want to take the beauty of Your world for granted. I want to stand in awe of You when I see a new-born baby, the sunrise, a full moon, our beautiful white-sand beaches, the mountains, the seasons changing…my list could go on and on.

Lord, I never want to take Your provision for granted. A house to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, my health, family, friends and church.

Jesus, I want to continually be in awe of the sacrifice You made for me. I’m amazed that eternal life and heaven are in my future!

Father, if I’m disrespecting You or being too casual in Your Presence please show me. Teach me how to live in awe of 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: 2 Kings 23:1-20, 2 Chronicles 34:29-33, 2 Kings 23:21-28, 2 Chronicles 35:1-19, Nahum 1:1-3:19

Lord, Teach Me to Fear You–Deuteronomy 14:23

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 13:1-16:17

Heavenly Father, in our western-thinking, modern world, being “fearless” and being willing to take risks are signs of success, so when we read Your Word and it says…

You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year.  Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God. —Deuteronomy 14: 22-23

…we have a hard time understanding this kind of fear.  When we plug-in our twenty-first century definition of fear it seems like You want us to be afraid of You like some kind of abusive father, which we know is incorrect.  I guess it’s just one more example of the importance of understanding the history and context of the Bible.

I looked up the Hebrew definition for this type of fear in Deuteronomy 14:23.  The actual Hebrew word is  yare’.  A more accurate way for us to interpret this word to reverence or stand in awe.

Malachi 2:5 helps us to understand this further: The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name.

Heavenly Father, from my own personal experience I can say, Your provision in my life throughout my years of tithing has caused me to reverence You and stand in awe of You. Time and time again I have seen You make a way when there was no way! When You make a promise, it will come to pass.

Lord, teach us about this kind of fear.  Forgive us for our lack of respect and reverence.  Holy Spirit, show us the areas in our lives that aren’t pleasing to You.

We trust You, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 16:8-21:9

Lord, Thank You for Life–Job 10:8-12

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

Heavenly Father, in the midst of Job’s suffering he reminded himself, his friends, and us  that You are the ultimate Creator. We were made by You and for You.

You formed me with your hands;

you made me, yet now you completely destroy me.

Remember that you made me from dust—will you turn me back to dust so soon?

You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.

You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together.

You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.

My life was preserved by your care. —Job 10:8-12

Lord, these amazing verses that Job penned in the depth of despair are a gift to every human being.

  • You formed me
  • You guided my conception
  • You formed me in the womb
  • You clothed me with skin and flesh
  • You knit my bones and sinews together
  • You gave me life
  • You showed me your unfailing love
  • My life was preserved by Your care

Jesus, help this to sink into our spirits.  We were designed and created by You.  We are not a mistake.  Lord, help us not to criticize Your work.  Help us to see ourselves as You see us.

Help us to trust You, our Creator to complete the work You began in us (Philippians 1:6).

Father, thank You for life!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!



©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

March 11, 2010—I Live There

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

You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself.  I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.  –Numbers 35:34

I know the Lord was addressing murderers in the above scripture, but I had three thoughts as I read this.

  • Murder pollutes the land (verse 33b) In our world there are so many senseless deaths, especially of the unborn.  Are we seeing the results of a defiled land polluted by death?
  • God lives here Do we really get it?  He lives in our world, our country, our region, our state, our city, our neighborhood, our house.  We live in the same space as the God of the Universe!
  • God lives in me Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.   –1 Corinthians 6:19

Jesus, help us and show us how to pray and do all be we can to protect the holiness of human life because You live here. Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve forgotten that you were here.  You hear everything I say, know everything I think, and see everything I do and don’t do.  Holy Spirit, make that real to me today!  Father God, remind me today that YOU, live in my physical body and it doesn’t belong to me.  Holy Spirit, show me how to honor You through my body.  Teach me how to take care of your temple. Jesus, help me to remember that it’s not about what the temple looks like but who lives in the temple.  Holy Spirit, may it be a place where You are happy to dwell…

Let’s read this a second time but out loud, and this time insert your name at the beginning:

Dianne, You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself.  I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.  –Numbers 35:34

Holy Spirit, You are welcome in this place!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

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

A Heart-Shaped Cloud–Exodus 40:34-38


Today’s Scripture: Exodus 39:32-40:38; Numbers 9:15-23

Once again (Genesis 1:1-2) we find the Spirit of God hovering over the earth.

Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it.  But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it.

This continued throughout all their journeys. —Exodus 40:34-38

It’s so easy to read something in the Word of God and zoom right past it, but today the image of the Spirit-filled cloud lingered in my mind. It made me think of an early morning fog on an almost spring day.

In the South we have a lot of foggy evenings and early mornings, especially this time of year.  I live about a 100 yards from the bay; it’s amazing to watch the fog roll in and settle in the trees between our house and the water.  If you stay outside for more than a minute you can actually feel the mist from the fog.

I wonder…

  • If the cloud of the Spirit of God was like the misty fog rolling in across the bay?
  • If the Israelites could feel the of Presence of God as He hovered over the camp?
  • If the Israelites saw God’s Spirit hovering over them as a sign of His love?
  • If the Israelites took God’s presence for granted?

Can we have the Spirit of God hovering over us today?

And I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. –John 14:16-17

New Testament Christ Followers have it so much better than the Israelites.  We have the Spirit of God in us, not just hovering over us.

But there is a problem.

It’s easier to follow something tangible like a cloud than to get quiet enough to listen and wait for the Spirit of God within us to direct us.

No wonder Satan, the enemy of God, works so hard to keep us mentally engaged with the things of the world; he doesn’t want us to get quiet enough to hear the “still, small voice” of the Living God.

What is God saying to you today?

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Love.  Thank You for making a way for me, a sinful, ordinary human being to know the love of my amazing God, Creator, Savior, and soon coming King!  Lord, speak to me today; show me Your way. Holy Spirit thank You for going with me on all my journeys.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture: Numbers 7:1-89

So that Everyone Will Know–Exodus 7:5

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Exodus 4:18 through Exodus 7:13

Today’s  passage has had significant impact on my life.  This very spot is where God inspired me to lead the first “Journey” through the Word of God in 2010.  In this passage God Himself shares the reward for taking the journey; so that we will know that Yahweh is the Lord!

In these three chapters knowing or not knowing God is mentioned three times:

1.  After Moses and Aaron first told Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Pharaoh made a statement that lets us know exactly where he stands:  “I don’t know the Lord…” (Exodus 5:2)

2.  In the second mention of “knowing,” the Israelites had their hopes of being rescued crushed by Pharaoh and  the Egyptian slave drivers.  Pharaoh decided that they had too much time on their hands since they wanted to go and offer sacrifices to the Lord, so he increased their quotas and made them find their own straw.  The Israelites confronted Moses and Aaron and then Moses confronted the Lord.  God told Moses to tell the Children of Israel:

    • I am the Lord
    • I will free you from your oppression
    • I will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt
    • I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment
    • I will claim you as my own people
    • I will be your God

Then God shared the icing on the cake:  “Then you will know that I am the Lord your God…” (Exodus 6:7)

3.  In the third and final “know” God began to reveal additional details of his plan for the rescue:

    • I will make you (Moses) seem like God and your brother Aaron will be your prophet to the Egyptians
    • I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.
    • Even after the signs and wonders Pharaoh will refuse to listen
    • I will bring down my fist on Egypt
    • Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites

Not only did God plan to rescue the Children of Israel, He also wanted to make sure the Egyptians knew who He was:  “When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 7:5)

God wasn’t just rescuing the Israelites, He was introducing Himself to Pharaoh and the Egyptians and teaching  the Israelites that Yahweh** was, is and forever will be their God.

God could have killed all the Egyptians with one blink and transported the Israelites to the Promised Land using a “Star Trek transporter”—He’s Yahweh, He’s God, He can do whatever He wants!  But God chose to use it all– the suffering, the plagues, the wanderings in the desert; so that the Israelites, their enemies and everyone who reads the Bible until Jesus comes will know that Yahweh is the Lord!

Could this be one the reasons we go through difficulties in life?  So that our family, our friends, our circle of influence in this generation and others to come will know that Yahweh is the Lord?

Have a blessed day!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

**Click here for an interesting article on the names of God.  Scroll down until you get to Yahweh–Very Interesting!

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Exodus 7:14 through Exodus 9:35

Is God Your Imaginary Friend or The Almighty Ruler of the Universe? Job 40:1-2

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 38:1-40:5

For about ten days we’ve been in the midst of Job’s tests and trials. I don’t think many people have gone through as much pain as Job did and lived to tell about it.  Job is one of those stories that you definitely don’t want to read when everything in your life is going great.  You certainly don’t want to read the book of Job if you believe Christians don’t suffer.

But, if you are a child of God and your life is falling apart all around you and it just doesn’t make sense, Job is the book to read.

Why?

It lets us know–

  • Bad things happen to good people (Job 1:1-2)
  • Trials and tests don’t necessarily mean we’ve sinned or been punished (Job 1:8-12)
  • Evil comes from Satan (Job 1:6-7)
  • Everything that happens to us is filtered through the fingers of a loving God (Job 1:8-12)
  • Christians are tested (Job 1:12)
  • God is still in charge and defines the boundaries (Job 1:12)
  • God’s ways aren’t our ways (Job 1:12)
  • We are very small and God is very big (Job 38)

Today, Job found out just how small he was:

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them. Job 38: 1-3

God asked Job 53 questions of which Job had no answers.  His last statement to Job summed up the one-way conversation:

Then the Lord said to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” Job 40:1-2

Sometimes I think today’s Christian culture has made God more like an imaginary friend than the one, true, living God; the Creator of the universe and Savior of the world.

I think when we come face to face with God our words will probably sound something like Job’s:

Then Job replied to the Lord,

“I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.”  –Job 40:3-5

Heavenly Father, forgive us for thinking You are our servant.  Forgive us for questioning your plan.

Teach us the balance

Between

Petitioning You to–

  • Meet our needs
  • Rescue us from our trials
  • Heal our bodies
  • Protect those we love
  • Prosper us financially

While

Trusting Your Sovereignty.

Help us to remember Your ways aren’t our ways.  Help us to have faith to believe You will answer our prayer AND then trust You enough to say,  “Your will be done, O Lord.”

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 40:6-42:17

If Only There Were a Mediator–Job 9:33

In today’s reading we see that Job’s second friend Bildad is basically a repeat performance of Eliphaz, except now 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?

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

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!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Are You Expecting a “Divine Set-up?” Esther 6:1-2

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Esther 5:1 through 10:3

That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him.  In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king’s private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes.

In Eastern courts, there were scribes or officers whose duty was to keep a journal of every occurrence worthy of notice.  It was a custom with Eastern kings, to frequently have these journals read to them.   It wasn’t only a pastime to while away a sleepless night, but it was a source of instruction to the monarch; by reviewing the important incidents of his own life, as well as those of his ancestors. So it wasn’t at all uncommon for a king to call for the court journal.   (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments)

But, for King Xerxes to…

  • be unable to sleep on that particular day and time
  • order the book to be read to him
  • have his attention specially directed to the important and yet unrewarded services of Mordecai

…causes us immediately suspect a divine setup.

Now add to that the fact that for “some reason” Esther waited until the second banquet to make her request known.

If…

She had immediately exposed Haman

or

King Xerxes had slept like a baby

or

The king had read a novel, People magazine, or the newspaper instead of the court journal…

The whole Jewish race could have been killed on March 7th, during the 13th year of reign of King Xerxes.

Friends, things like this don’t just happen, they aren’t “coincidences.”  EVERY DAY a divine plan is unfolding.

The question becomes, will we work with the Lord or work against Him? Esther called for a 3-day fast to put her humanness in its place so she could hear God’s voice instead of her own.  It would have been easy for her to have allowed fear to overcome her and to have fought against the plan of God rather than worked within it.

I encourage you to put on your HS-D glasses (Holy Spirit Dimension) and begin to see the amazing things God is doing to get His will accomplished in your life.

Heavenly Father, You are the one and only true God.  Your attention to detail is amazing!  What you did for Esther and Mordecai You will do for us.  We trust you to divinely “set-up” our day!  We’re expecting it!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 4:7-23; Ezra 7:1 through Ezra 8:36

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