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Lord, Why Am I Always Surprised? —1 Peter 4:12

 

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

Heavenly Father, I am not comparing myself to the early Christians who suffered tremendous persecution. I haven’t been persecuted for my faith, ever. But I’ve walked through some things that felt like fiery trials and I was definitely surprised and yes Lord, it felt as if something strange was happening to me.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world, —1 Peter 4:12-13

Jesus, I want to be glad but I haven’t been. Now that the storm has passed and the lessons are becoming clear, I’m at least thankful. I’m thankful for the lessons and I’m thankful You didn’t leave me but I’m still working on being glad.

Thank You for Your grace.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Lord, Thank You for Understanding My Groanings—Romans 8:26-28

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-10:21

Heavenly Father, Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses. It has carried me through many difficult times. But today the verses preceding this well-known verse jumped out like a neon sign.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  —Romans 8:26-27

Lord, this year has been a season of weakness. I have been weary physically, emotionally, and mentally. Yet, this will go down as a year of extreme closeness to You. You were there through it all. As my human defenses were stripped away, I was left with my spirit (wo)man. I had no words, I had no solutions, I had no brilliant ideas. I was just here and You were very close and somewhere is the trauma, You became enough.

Lord, I’m beginning to understand this verse:

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. —John 3:30

Holy Spirit, You are helping me in my weakness. You have translated my pain, tears, sadness, and brokenness into groanings my Heavenly Father understands. Thank You for praying prayers that are in harmony with God’s will for my life–

Because…

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. —Romans 8:28

Lord, I trust You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-14:23

Lord, I Need Your Courage—1 Thessalonians 2:2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11

Heavenly Father, I’m not a doomsday prophet but it’s easy to see the day is coming when a line in the sand will be drawn and I will have a choice, Your Son or serious negative consequences.

Lord, I want the courage of Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. —1 Thessalonians 2:2

Jesus, the last couple of nights as I’ve drifted off to sleep, thoughts have crossed my mind about what it would happen if I had to choose You or death.

Jesus, You chose me over death. I want to have the courage to stand tall and strong for You, in spite of the great opposition.

Holy Spirit, You know the future, equip me with supernatural courage to boldly declare the good news of Jesus whatever the consequences.

In the mighty Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

Lord, Just For Today…—John 14:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 13:31-38, Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, John 14:1-15:17

Heavenly Father, I’m living on an emotional roller coaster. One day I’m up, the next day I’m down. One day I’m calm the next day I’m crazy. I really don’t know how to keep my heart from being troubled for more than a day or two at a time.

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. —John 14:1

I think I trust You, but my actions look more like panic than trust.

Lord, I surrender…again. Help me to trust You just for today…

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen.

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 15:18-17:26

Lord, Give Me Strength to Escape and Stand—Luke 21:34-36

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Heavenly Father, for months I have been in a season where my heart has been dulled, not by carousing and drunkenness, but by the worries of life.

Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” —Luke 21:34-36

Lord, the circumstances haven’t changed. In the natural realm things look pretty bleak but I’ve changed. This past Sunday at Niceville Assembly You removed the scales from my eyes and allowed me to see my circumstances for what they truly are, the enemy of my soul’s attempt to steal the destiny of my family. It’s almost as if I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and You pulled back the curtain and let me see that all the destruction that is happening is just smoke and mirrors. It’s the evil wizard’s attempt to deceive and keep me paralyzed, to keep me from using the mighty power afforded to every Christ follower.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.   —Ephesian 6:10-12

Lord, last night these words came out of my mouth to a friend and I immediately knew they weren’t my words but Your words:

We are the church! We aren’t supposed to stand by and let the enemy win.

The fight isn’t with people, politicians, social agendas, countries, or terrorist organizations. The fight is with the enemy of our soul, whose desire is to destroy us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As Christie Love, the founder of LeadHer, an international women’s ministry says in an upcoming teaching on spiritual warfare, “God gives us two offensive weapons: The Word of God and prayer.” Lord, teach me how to us Your Word and prayer to fight our real enemy!

Holy Spirit, continuously walk me through these steps so that I can escape the strategies of the devil and stand strong in the coming days.

1. Watch out

2. Guard my heart

3. Watch for traps

4. Keep Alert

5. Pray for strength to escape and stand

 

Lord, thank You for Your Word! Help me to guard my heart!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:1-2, Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2, Mark 14:1o-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:12-16, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-13, John 13:1-17, Mark 14:17-26, Matthew 26:20-30, Luke 22:14-30, John 13:18-30

Lord, I Don’t Want to Panic—Mark 13:5-11

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:1-23, Matthew 24:1-25, Luke 21:5-24, Mark 13:24-31, Matthew 24:26-35, Luke 21:25:33

Heavenly Father, I’ve never been one to panic. I’m usually pretty level-headed in a crisis but we all have our areas of vulnerability and I have discovered that when one of my areas is touched I can move in to full-on panic mode.

Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:5-11

Lord, these verses spoke volumes to me.

1. This life is not about my comfort. It’s about knowing You and causing others to know You.

2. I have to be alert. It’s easy to be deceived.

2. There is a purpose in EVERY trial.

3. There are opportunities in EVERY trial.

4. I do not have to worry. I do not have to panic. You have it all planned out, even down to the words I will say.

Jesus, You were talking to James, John and Andrew, three of your most committed disciples. Many of today’s Christians would never say to You, Tell us when this will happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled? (Mark 13:3-4) It’s too negative and depressing—after all, ignorance is bliss! As Dewey Moede said in his post, in today’s world “many think they are walking with God, but too many are not, they are dating God, not committed to God.”

Lord, dating You won’t get us through the tough times. It takes total commitment. It takes running to You instead of giving in to panic. It takes having Your plans and Your kingdom at the top of our priorities rather coming in last place behind earthly pleasures.

Jesus, the final thing these verses say to me is the trials I’m facing today are preparing me to stand strong in the days ahead. These trials are opportunities to strengthen my faith and tell the world about You.

Holy Spirit, help me not to waste these opportunities living in panic.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46

Lord, “What if” is Not My Problem—Matthew 6:31-34

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-7:6, Luke 6:37-42, Matthew 7:7-20, Luke 6:43-45, Mathew 7:21-29, Luke 6:46-49

Heavenly Father, I’ve never really been a person who worries about things that might happen. “What we will eat, what we will drink or what we will wear” isn’t something I think that much about. I trust You to meet my needs but I have different kind of worry problem.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. —Matthew 6:31-34

Lord, my problem isn’t the “what-ifs.” My problem is reality.

My problem is the now, not the future.

It’s not imaginary, it’s real.

It’s happening as I write these words.

I’m living in a battleground. Casualties are everywhere. I’m too weak to fight. I know it’s a spiritual problem, I know spiritual warfare is the answer but worry and fear are my default positions. I want to be strong and courageous…but I’m not.

Lord, refresh me and replenish my energy to stand strong in this battle. Teach me how to find peace in the turbulent times. I release my worries to You. Jesus, fight for me.

Jesus, thank Your for standing with me.

For God has said,“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”—Hebrews 13:5

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-17, Matthew 11:1-19, Luke 7:18-35, Matthew 11:20-30, Luke 7:36-50

Lord, Revive Me for Your Purpose—Ezra 9:9

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 9:1-10:44, Nehemiah 1:1-2:20

Heavenly Father, You spared a remnant of Your people for a purpose. They may have thought they were coming home to settle down to a way of life that was secure, familiar, and comfortable but You had other something bigger in mind. Your people were revived for a purpose.

For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery. Instead, he caused the kings of Persia to treat us favorably. He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem. —Ezra 9:9

Lord, when I think of the word revive, my first thought goes to the defibrillator machines hospitals use to shock a person’s heart into beating properly. I would think the Jewish exiles needed a supernatural jolt to revive them to have the energy, passion, or strength to rebuild the Temple.

Holy Spirit, like the Jews returning from exile, I need to be revived. The world is a hard place these days and it’s easy to allow discouragement to leave us feeling overwhelmed.  I need to be revived by Your supernatural power.  Lord, I don’t just ask this for my comfort. My greatest desire is to be revived and anointed to carry out the plans You have for me.

Lord, I know You have a purpose for this day. Revive me, then use me for Your Glory!

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:Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Lord, Help Me to Listen to Your Warning—Ezekiel 33:4-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 32:17-33:20, Jeremiah 52:28-30, Psalm 137, 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:17

Heavenly Father, spending time in the book of Ezekiel causes me to think about this world being destroyed and Jesus return.

Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. —Ezekiel 33:4-5

Jesus, I don’t know when You’re returning but I know You are and it’s getting closer every day. The warning signs are everywhere.

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you,  for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. —Matthew 24:1-2

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. I don’t want to miss the warning signs. I pray that this sinful world will shake itself from the spell of the evil one and turn to You. Lord, I pray that Your people will wake from their sleep and see the destruction  that’s crouching at our door. Holy Spirit stir us to do what You instructed us to do.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

Jesus, You are coming soon! We need to be about the business of knowing You and causing others to know You!

 

In Your strong and powerful Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b, 49, 4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28

Lord, I Don’t Want to Ignore the Obstacles You Put in My Way—Ezekiel 3:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 3:16-4:17, Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, Jeremiah 51:59-64

Heavenly Father, while this verse concerns a particular time in the Jew’s captivity and it’s before Jesus came and redeemed us, I see a clue into Your nature.

“If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. —Ezekiel 3:20

You,

the God of the Universe,

the One, True God who knows the beginning, middle, and end…

puts obstacles in our way to get Your Will accomplished in our lives.

So, sometimes when I’m rebuking Satan for getting in my way, it might be You using obstacles to goad (an instrument shepherds used to direct the sheep) me in the direction You want me to go.

The apostle Paul (Saul before his conversion) learned this lesson on the road to Damascus. Saul, was a Pharisee, one of the very religious of the day. He continually fought every obstacle that came his way in the name of religion, until this “come to Jesus” meeting…

We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’ —Acts 26:14

Lord, I know I have an enemy who uses obstacles to attempt to destroy my soul, but I also know You use obstacles to change my direction. Holy Spirit, give me supernatural wisdom to recognize Your leading and submit to Your obstacles and not turn away from righteous behavior.

Jesus, I trust You to get Your Will accomplished in my life.

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 5:1-9:11

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