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Are You Having a Bad Day? Get Up–Joshua 7:10

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Joshua 7:1, 1 Chronicles 2:7, Joshua 7:2 through Joshua 9:27

The last words from yesterday’s reading were “so the Lord was with Joshua, and his reputation spread throughout the land.”

And then

The first word in today’s reading is BUT.

It’s crazy that things could turn that fast.  It is so “real life”.

Can you imagine how Joshua must have felt?

It was his first battle and his warriors ran like little girls.  Joshua sounded like Moses as he fell face down before the Lord, “Oh Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us?  If only we had been content to stay on the other side!”

God’s response has had me smiling all afternoon… “Get Up.”  “Why are you lying on your face like this?”  In other words stop bawling and squalling, it’s time to do something.

Now one “Get Up” from the God of the Universe is powerful but two would stop a train!  Yes, God told Joshua to get up twice.

Sometimes we have to put some action with our prayers.  Sometimes we need to get up and do something!  God told Joshua exactly what had happened:  “Israel has sinned and broken my covenant!  They have stolen some of the things that I commanded to be set apart for me.   They have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings.” –Joshua 7:1

As we read the rest of today’s scripture we find that the problem wasn’t the stuff.

After Achan’s sin was discovered God told Joshua to go back and attack Ai again.  He specifically said, “but this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves.”

The real problem was lack of obedience to the Lord’s instruction.

Joshua made the same mistake that Moses made; making a move without consulting the Lord.

When the spies came back and told Joshua that they only needed 3,000 men,  there is no mention of Joshua asking the Lord what to do.   At the end of today’s reading there’s another example of Joshua moving on his own instincts without asking the Lord’s advice…the Israelites made a covenant with the Gibeonites.  If only they would have consulting with the Lord.  But the good news is they honored their word.  It sounds like being a person of your word was very important to the Lord:  This is what we must do.  We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath (Joshua 9:20).

Here are my lessons from today’s scripture:

  • If God tells me to do something either through His Word or through the Holy Spirit’s prompting; I need to do it.
  • When in doubt; ask God what to do
  • Be a person who honors my word; it’s a reflection of God through my  life to others

Ummm.  It seems like we’ve heard this before (Numbers 20:1-13)

Father God, I want to honor you through my obedience but I’m weak. Sometimes I move without asking. Speak loudly Lord.

I trust you!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Joshua 10:1 through Joshua 12:6

2 Things to Do When You Are Afraid–Deuteronomy 7:17-19


Today’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-9:29

In today’s reading the Israelites were facing challenges and fears that were humanly impossible to overcome.  Moses knew the Israelites so well. He knew their fears could keep them from entering the Promised Land. In his final instructions he encouraged them to remember…

Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’  But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the Lord your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the strong hand and powerful arm with which he brought you out of Egypt. The Lord your God will use this same power against all the people you fear. —Deuteronomy 7:17-19

In the last few days we’ve talked a lot about remembering, journaling, and reading God’s Word.

Today’s message is just one more reminder of why we need to…

  • Know God
  • His Word
  • His promises
  • His prophesies

Fear is paralyzing.  Fear is life-altering. Fear confuses the evidence. Fear shortens our lives.

Fear is…

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Our Heavenly Father knew fear would be one of our greatest enemies, especially the closer we get to Christ return; that’s why He gave us these words:

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

Moses told the Israelites to do two things:

1. Remember (8:2-5)

2, Obey (8:1, 6-10)

We live in a troubled world.  My heart breaks for the suffering of so many.  We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.

Put Your faith, trust and hope in God and…

Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.

“But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed.  Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the Lord your God. —Deuteronomy 8:18-20

Heavenly Father, we need You.  We’ve never been in the place we’re in today.  We don’t want to live in fear.  Help us to remember Your sovereignty.  Help us to obey Your Word.  Use our lives for Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 10:1-12:32

Do You Have an Israelite Attitude? Numbers 14:1-4

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Numbers 14:1 through Numbers 15:41

After the Israelites heard the report from the twelve spies the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night…Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt.” (14:1-4)

When I read today’s passage I thought, “How stupid can you get?”  My hindsight vision was a perfect 20/20 as I critiqued the Israelites’ many mistakes.  But what if I change the name, situation, and outcome and insert my story…

How many times have I heard a report and immediately began to cry, bawl, kick, and scream and THEN take matters into my own hands and craft a plan with my limited information?

…Too, too many times I’m sad to say.

The first mistake that comes to my mind is about 18 years ago, I felt the Lord speak to me to resign from my position as a Mary Kay Sales Director and wait on Him for the next step.  At first I was obedient but when a major life change came along I thought, “surely God doesn’t want me to resign NOW”, so I changed my mind and retained my status as a Senior Sales Director.  After two years of struggling in areas that had always been so easy, having no passion for my job, and getting myself into serious debt; I finally realized I had to resign.  Things would have worked a lot better if I had just listened to the God who parted the Red Sea!

Thanks to Moses’ intervention the Lord forgave the Israelites.  This is huge!  God was ready to disown and destroy them (14:12).  This is a picture of God’s forgiveness of our sins today…

Jesus is in heaven interceding to God on our behalf!  I love that!

Let’s face it, we mess up and need God’s forgiveness just like the Israelites.  And just like the Israelites there are consequences (not one of those people entered the Promised Land) to our disobedience.

Thankfully God forgave my disobedience just like He did the Israelites.

But just like the Israelites I had to deal with the consequences.

It took years for me to recover from that time both emotionally and financially, but I did recover.  I think too many times we ask and expect God to get us out of places we got ourselves into.  Sometimes He does but many times, especially in the area of finances we have to grow our way out of it!

Thank you Lord for your forgiveness!

 

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©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Numbers 16:1 through Numbers 18:32

What If God’s Special Purpose For Me Isn’t What I Want It To Be? Numbers 4:31


Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 4:1-5:31

“I know God put me on this earth for a special purpose!”  “Who knows, I may be the next Billy Graham, Rick Warren or Beth Moore!”

Am I the only one who’s ever thought this?

I’m pretty sure God’s special purpose for me isn’t to be the next “anybody.”

He has plans that only I can fulfill.

But what if God’s purpose for me isn’t what “I” want it to be?

I wonder if the Merarites were disappointed when they were given their “special purpose”?

As we’ve learned in Exodus, the Levites were chosen by God to take care of the Tabernacle.  Today we saw the Lord hand out duties for the different divisions of the Levites. All Merarites who were between the ages of 30 and 50 and eligible had one duty…one job…one ministry:

Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name.  So these are the duties of the Merarite clans at the Tabernacle. They are directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.” —Numbers 4:31-33  (Emphasis mine)

What if my special purpose or your special purpose in life is to carry loads?

Not like the Merarites, who carried the pieces of the Tabernacle but carrying the loads of the hurting, lost, orphaned, or widowed of our families, churches, communities or world.

It took strong backs for the Merarites to hand-carry the Tabernacle each time God said, “It’s time to pack up and move.”

What does it take to carry the loads of the lost, hurting, orphaned, or widowed?

Here’s the questions God asked me today:

  • Dianne, are you willing to carry the loads of the hurting?
  • Are you willing to suffer so that you can truly understand the pain of others?
  • Are you willing to walk a hard road so that your experiences will help someone who literally wouldn’t survive without you?
  • Is another person worth that much to you?

These are very hard questions.  I’m really glad God is carrying out His plans and purposes for my life without asking my permission. I most likely would have said, “No” to the hard times in my life, if I were given a choice. I’m just not that self-sacrificing.

Who do you know that needs a word of encouragement, a hot meal, some groceries, their house cleaned, to be taken to the doctor, to have a real friend?

Who do you know that needs someone to help carry their load?

Maybe, your purpose for today is to carry their load.

Heavenly Father, I want to carry the load of those who are suffering.  Touch my heart.  Make me willing.  Give me eyes to see what You see!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 6:1-27; Numbers 10:1-36

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!

 

 

©2013, 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

A Real Fairy Tale Ending– Job 42:12

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

Then they lived happily ever after!

Now that’s my kind of story line!

I don’t think we’ll ever find the book of Job in the fairy tale section of the bookstore, but if you really stop and think about it, the book of Job has a fairy tale ending:

…the Lord restored his (Job’s) fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.

Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.  Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life. —Job 42:10-17

Job’s life sure doesn’t read like a fairy tale: Forty-one chapters of disaster, despair, and disillusionment and one chapter of repentance, restoration, and rejoicing.  Shouldn’t that be just the opposite?  Lots of rejoicing and just a little disaster…

Can’t we just have the ‘Once upon a time’ and then go straight to the happily ever-after ending?

Can’t we skip the hard stuff?

Can’t we just live in the land of rejoicing?

I did a word search on the word rejoicing and was surprised to find that most of the time when the Lord talked about rejoicing, He was commanding us to rejoice; it wasn’t an option.  My favorite one is in Paul’s writings.   By the way, he was writing from prison.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! –Philippians 4:4

Paul wasn’t rejoicing in his conditions, which I’m sure were terrible.  He was rejoicing in knowing and being comforted by the God of the Universe.

In my “Job” times I have felt as if God had forgotten about me, only to realize when the trial was over that God was closer than He had ever been before and I knew more about Him than ever before. Now that’s something to rejoice about and that’s a real fairy tale ending!

What are you facing today?

Rejoice!  You are not alone!  God is with You and He will never leave you or fail you (Hebrews 13:5).

Heavenly Father, thank You for including Job’s story in Your Word.  Thank You for the assurance that You are with us.  Help us to really believe that in our darkest hours You are carrying us!  Jesus, help us to realize the ultimate fairy tale ending won’t happen until we meet you face-to-face!  We rejoice that our names are written in Your book of heaven (Luke 10:20).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 1:1-2:25; 1 Chronicles 6:1-3a; Exodus 3:1-4:17

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Job 30:1 through Job 31:40

In today’s reading a pattern seemed to develop.  I counted nineteen questions Job asked in these two chapters.

When Job finished his list of questions and realized he had done all the things he thought God wanted him to do, he couldn’t understand why he felt so unloved and abandoned.  From everything we have read it seems that Job’s greatest desire was to please God.  Job must have felt heart-broken when he “thought” God wasn’t pleased with him.

We know about God’s conversation with Satan.  We know God was so proud of Job that he bragged about ‘his servant Job’ to the Accuser (Job 1:6-8).  But Job didn’t know.  If Job could have been a fly on the wall during that conversation he would have walked through this trial with his head held high.

But he didn’t know…and neither do we.

We do the same thing as Job.  We say things like, “God, why is this happening to me?

I

  • Go to Church
  • Give to the poor
  • Pay my tithe
  • Am honest
  • Don’t cheat on my taxes
  • Care for my neighbor
  • Read my Bible
  • I pray everyday

…Well, I guess God doesn’t  love me or He has forgotten me.

…just like Job.

Maybe, just maybe God has said, “Satan, have you noticed my servant   __ (insert your name) __?

He/she is the finest man/woman in all the earth.

He/she is blameless—a man/woman of complete integrity.

He/she fears God and stays away from evil (Job 1:8).”

Because Job didn’t know about Jesus he didn’t realize  “there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you  less.”  (A quote I’ve heard many times over the years)

If you’re going through a “Job-like” season of life, run to your heavenly Father, climb up in his lap and wait out the storm.  Settle the question once and for all, HE LOVES YOU (John 3:16)!

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©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Job 32:1 through Job 34:37

A Test to Check your Emotional Healing

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Job 26:1 through Job 29:25

I noticed something in today’s reading that has gotten me thinking…

In verses 1-25 of chapter 29, Job uses the word

  • Me- 13 times
  • My- 10 times
  • I   – 19 times

I know these verses are a discourse of Job’s defense, but I thought it was interesting that there were so many personal pronouns in this short section of scripture.

I certainly never want to compare myself to Job because my life looks like a walk in the park compared to his, but there was a time when I lost a lot in a short period of time.  During that season it was definitely “all about me.”  It was all I could do to survive so there was no energy, time, compassion, or finances to help anyone else.

I was so caught up in my pain that anyone who stopped by, including the U.P.S. man got an ear full!  Someone could say, “It’s sunny outside” and I could turn it into a conversation about my misery.

Now that I am many years past that difficult time, here’s my observation:

When we continually talk about and  rehash our problems it’s a sign we’re still hurting.

I’m not sure if psychologists would agree, but what I’ve experienced in my own life is…

The best way to check your level of healing is by observing how much your past hurts are discussed.

Don’t feel bad…

…talking about it is part of the healing process but there comes a time when we have to let it go. 

If you’ve been deeply hurt by another person make it your mission to get free of the bitterness as soon as you can.  For me, the bitterness, hurt, and anger came off like layers of onion skin.  It took a long time, but one day it was gone.

For you folks who don’t talk about your problems don’t get to feeling too confident here; if you’re thinking about it all the time, it’s just like talking about it.

There’s a positive side to Job’s willingness to “get his pain on the outside.”  Because Job talked through the pain and the healing you and I are learning from it today.  Just think about how many people Job has helped over the years.

What if he would have gone into a cave, disappeared and died of a broken heart?

Isn’t that what we want to do when we are hurting?

But just like Job, we can’t do that because God has a plan for the pain.

“The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.”   ~ Job 28:28

Blessings in Jesus!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Job 30:1 through 31:40

Four Ways to Trust God More–Job 23:10


Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 22:1-25:6

For years I’ve kept a journal of my conversations with God and I’ve always signed it, “I trust you Lord.”

But

just like Job “life” tested that trust.

When things happen in your life that just don’t make sense it let’s you know where you really are in your ability to trust God.

I found that I had not arrived in the trust department

But

  • I want to trust God completely.
  • I want to have confidence in my trust of God, like Job.
  • I want to say with Job, “You know where I am going.  And when you test me, I will come out as pure gold.” (Job 23:10)

In Job’s monologue in Job 23:11-12, he gives us 4 things that can help us  trust God more:

  1. Stay on God’s paths
  2. Follow the ways of the Lord and do not turn aside
  3. Do not depart from his commands
  4. Treasure God’s Words more than daily food

To be able to trust God more we must to keep our eyes on Him and not be distracted by other people and other things.  

I believe distraction is one of the tools the enemy of our soul uses to pull  us away from God–we can’t quiet our mind enough to spend time with Him and develop our relationship with Him.

Job knew God because he spent time with them.  That’s what saved him during those dark days. When the circumstances looked as if God had deserted Him, Job knew enough about God and His nature to trust His sovereignty, even when things didn’t make sense .

Lord, I want to know You like Job.

Help me to trust you more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 26:1-29:25

4 Ways to Stay Strong on Your Worst Days–Job 19:25-27

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

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!  I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!  -Job 19:25-27

What a declaration!

It sounds like someone standing on the mountain-top of their life

but

it was Job at the worst time of his life.

How did Job stand firm during the worst days of his life?

  1. Job personally knew his God.  He didn’t rely on his parents, teachers or pastors to know him.  He took personal responsibility to know his Heavenly Father.
  2. Job believed that his God was alive and in charge of the earth
  3. Job believed he would see God when he died; with his own eyes
  4. Job was thrilled with the thought of seeing his God.

In the good times of Job’s life he develop a trust in his God.  He not only believed in God, he believed in living for God. That belief carried him through life’s hard times.

Would you like to stand for God in the worst of times?

Make a decision today not only give your life to Him, but to give today to Him.

Heavenly Father, I say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives!”  Jesus, help that belief to guide my day. Lord.  Bless our week.  Give us wisdom to live for You in our homes, workplaces, and communities.  Help us to trust that You are in charge of the earth.  Strengthen us to live a life of excellence that causes others to see You through our lives.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 22:1-25:6

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