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Lord, Put Your Plans In My Mind in 2015—Revelation 17:17

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

Heavenly Father, I know I’m pulling this verse out of context but it shows me something about Your sovereignty and Your ways.

For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. —Revelation 17:17

Lord, as I approach a new year, my mind thinks about what these next 365 days will bring. I know You are bringing change in my life. I’m sure there is change ahead for my fellow travelers on the Journey. Reading Revelation, especially today’s reading, causes me have feelings of fear of the unknown. But this verse gives me peace for the coming new year.

Lord, put Your plans in my mind in 2015. Let those plans carry out Your purpose for my life.

I trust You with this new year!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Lord, I’ve Done Some Agonizing in 2014—Colossians 2:1-4

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:24-4:18

Heavenly Father, I guess it’s true that “misery loves company,” because when I saw that Paul agonized, I suddenly felt righteous in my “agonizing” of the past year.

I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. -Colossians 2:1-4

Lord, I’m sure my agony isn’t in the same galaxy as Paul’s but his desires for the Colossians and Laodiceans and my desires for my loved ones are the same.

Jesus, You know about agony. I’m learning that the best prayer to pray during life’s agonizing times is the same prayer you prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, not what I want but what You want.”

Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “You sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him. He began to have much sorrow and a heavy heart. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sad. My soul is so full of sorrow I am ready to die. You stay here and watch with Me.”

He went on a little farther and got down with His face on the ground. He prayed, “My Father, if it can be done, take away what is before Me. Even so, not what I want but what You want.” —Matthew 26:36-39

Jesus, as I move into this new year, teach me how take my struggles, concerns, and agony to You in prayer and then trust You with the outcome.

In Your Name. Amen and amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

Lord, It’s Useless to Fight Against Your Will—Acts 26:13-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 27:1-44

**This prayer is for December 4th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, as Paul re-told the story of his conversation to King Agrippa and his wife, I thought, “who wouldn’t serve You with a conversion like this one!”

About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 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.’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ —Acts 26:13-18

Lord, I didn’t have a dramatic conversion like Paul. I became a Christian when I was ten years old. I didn’t see a light and hear a voice but there’s one thing that Paul and I have in common…

It’s useless for us to fight against Your will.

Lord, like many Christians I’ve spent much of my life searching, looking, and even fretting over Your will for my life. Sometimes we’re “working” so hard trying to find Your will that we actually are fighting against Your will. I definitely don’t have it all figured out but I know this–

I will arrive at Your will for my life with a less wounds and bloody knees if I just release MY will and rest in the fact that You will get Your will accomplished in my life.

I am learning that my greatest prayer is…

Lord, Your will be done–

on earth

on this day

and

in my life

–as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Lord, please anoint my desires so that they line up with Your will.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

 

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

Lord, I Believe It Will Be Just As You Said—Acts 27:23-26

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32 

**This devotion is for December 5th’s scripture reading

Heavenly Father, forty-plus years of being a Christian has taught me many things but this truth is one that I’m continually learning through life’s challenges:

Believing in God and believing God are two different things.

 Paul believed in You AND He believed You would do what You said You would do.

For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” —Acts 27:23-26

Lord, You said it and that settles it…

But sometimes it doesn’t.

What I mean is, sometimes it doesn’t settle it for me. I allow fear, and doubt to cloud my thinking. Thoughts like “Lord, You meant that for Paul but You didn’t really mean it for me. You really aren’t going to come through and rescue me from my storm.”

Holy Spirit, coach me when I get in these places. I want a supernatural gift of faith to believe when I’m tempted to doubt.

Lord, it will be, just as You said…

I trust You. In Jesus Name. Amen an Amen

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22

Lord, This Blows my Mind! —Acts 23:11-35

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Heavenly Father, I can’t stop thinking about Paul’s nephew. He “just happened” to be in the right place, at the right time to hear of a plan to kill his uncle.

But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. Paul called for one of the Roman officers and said, “Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him.”

So the officer did, explaining, “Paul, the prisoner, called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” —Acts 23:16-18

The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?” 

Paul’s nephew told him, “Some Jews are going to ask you to bring Paul before the high council tomorrow, pretending they want to get some more information. But don’t do it! There are more than forty men hiding along the way ready to ambush him. They have vowed not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him. They are ready now, just waiting for your consent.”

“Don’t let anyone know you told me this,” the commander warned the young man. —Acts 23:19-22

Holy Spirit, thanks to You and Paul’s nephew the plot to kill Paul was stopped (Acts 23:23-35) but there’s more to this miraculous coincidence. Holy Spirit, this is amazing! The night before Paul’s nephew heard of the plot to kill Paul, You appeared to Paul to encouraged him and give him his next assignment:

That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” —Acts 23:11

So basically You took what Satan meant for evil (Genesis 50:20)and the very next day got Paul a free, escorted trip to Rome (Acts 23:23-25)

Holy Spirit, can I say, this just blows my mind!

Lord, get Your will accomplished in my life today. I trust You!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-26:32

Lord, I Don’t Know What Awaits, But…—Acts 20:22-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 20:13-21:36

Heavenly Father, as this year comes to a close, a season of ministry is ending. While I certainly don’t compare my ministry with Paul’s, I do know what it’s like to hear the Holy Spirit say go, start, leave, or stop.

And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. –Acts 20:22-24

Lord, it took obedience for Paul to leave Jerusalem and it took obedience for him to return. Five years ago I heard a quiet, kind, an loving thought bounce around my heart, “I want you to lead and online Bible study through the One-year Chronological Bible and I want you to write a devotion for each day’s reading and post it on a blog.”

Holy Spirit, I knew it was You because I would have never had that thought and Satan certainly would never tell me to do that! Up until this point I had only been posting on my blog once a month. Lord, in my natural mind I didn’t think what You were asking me to do was possible but with You all things are possible.

Lord, as this journey comes to a close, it’s taking as much obedience to stop as it did to start. I have learned so much. Leading this Bible study has taught me that You will open my eyes to the truth and relevancy of Your Word, when I spend time with You. Some days You gave me the words in an hour, some days it took three or four hours. Because of my commitment, I waited and You know that I’m the kind of person who needs a commitment. It amazes me that You work with the way You made me!

Lord, because of what I’ve learned and because of the intimacy I’ve had with You, I really don’t want to stop, but I will—because You said so. I will, knowing that the learning and the intimacy will continue, just in different ways.

Jesus, I don’t know what awaits me in this next season but I know my life is worth nothing unless I spend my time telling others about You.

Lord, I trust You. Use me for Your glory!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 21:37-23:35

Lord, I Need to Stop _______ Before I Can Start ________ —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-16:27, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

Heavenly Father, I have always been strong, independent and self-reliant. You have used hard times to chisel away my strength and force me to rely on You. The funny thing is I “thought” I was relying on You before those hard times hit. Little did I know…

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Holy Spirit, in this verse Paul tells us that relying on You is learned, it doesn’t come natural. Like Paul I had to reach the point where no human, including myself could rescue me, before I released control.

Lord, I know I still have a way to go, but I am learning to stop relying on myself and rely only on You.

Thank You for Your grace while I’m learning.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

Lord, Change the Way I Think—Romans 12:2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Romans 11:1-14:23

Heavenly Father, the behavior and customs of this world can be a huge distraction. As I sit here with You, my mind wants to wander to social networking sites and plans for the day. I’m constantly pulling my thoughts back to You. I’m sorry. You deserve my full attention.

Lord, I don’t want to think and behave like the world. Please change the way I think.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. —Romans 12:2

Holy Spirit, I feel You’re leading me to make some drastic changes in 2015. I believe You’re answering this prayer. Change is scary. Lord, I’m nervous, but I’m willing.  I believe You are directing me to Your will for my life in this coming year. Good, pleasing and perfect sounds wonderful. Let it be so in my life!

I trust You.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
 

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Romans 15:1-17:27, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4

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 Want to Forget Everything, Except…—1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading:Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

Heavenly Father, as a speaker and teacher it’s easy to get caught up in the work of preparing “clever and persuasive speeches.” Thank you for this reminder from Paul:

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. —1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Jesus, Paul was extremely educated, plus he had one of the most dramatic and powerful conversions of the Bible. He knew that Your power was what changed him and it was the only thing that would reach the world. He made a conscious choice to focus and rely on You not his religious training.

Lord, whether we are public speakers or battle shyness everyday of our life, we all find ourselves in situations where we need the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” —Luke 12:10-15

Holy Spirit, I’m relying only on You to give me the words to say as I go about my day. I’m trusting in Your power.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40

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