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Lord, I Don’t Believe These Are Just Clever Stories—2 Peter 1:16-18

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

Heavenly Father, it’s two days before Christmas. Your Christmas story is being told around the world. Lord, it’s not just a story to me, it’s a historical fact.

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. —2 Peter 1:16-18

Jesus, I didn’t see Your majestic splendor with my own eyes. I didn’t hear that voice from heaven but because Your Holy Spirit makes Your Word come alive, I know You and I know Your Word is true.

Father, thank You for Jesus!

Amen and amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

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

Lord, I Want the Skill to Recognized the Difference Between Right and Wrong—Hebrews 5:11-14

 

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 4:14-7:28

Heavenly Father, we don’t know who wrote Hebrews but it sure sounds as if he was tired of dealing with Christians who acted like babies. He had a deep desire was to see these believers have a personal passion to know You through Your Word.

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. —Hebrews 5:11-14

Lord, I saw a statistic that said 80% of church goers don’t read the Bible daily.  Very few Christians attend Bible studies. Most churches don’t have Sunday School anymore. This really scares me. Where’s the training these verses speak about? If we compared the first-century believers study time to today’s average believer we would be shocked.

Lord, how are we going to make it?

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. —1 Timothy 4:1

Jesus, knowledge of You and Your Word doesn’t come from church attendance, it comes through training–individually and through the local church. Unfortunately, these verses are today’s reality. Everyday, countless Christians are making choices that go directly against Your Word.

Holy Spirit, as we transition to a new year, I pray You will draw us to Your Word. Give us a supernatural hunger to know You through Your Word.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Hebrews 8:1-10:39

Lord, Do We Still Have to Obey the Old Testament Laws? —Galatians 3:19

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 14:21-28, Galatians 1:1-3-23 

Heavenly Father, I love Your Old Testament! The stories of the patriarchs and prophets build my faith. But it can be challenging to understand how the law of the Old Testament and the free gift of salvation Jesus died to give us fit together into today’s world.

Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. —Galatians 3:19

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Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. —Galatians 3:21-22

Lord, the Bible I’m using has some commentary on this question—do we still have to obey the Old Testament Laws?

When Paul says that non-Jews are no longer bound by these laws, he’s not saying that the Old Testament Laws are of no value to us today. One way to think about the Old Testament laws is to think about three categories:

Ceremonial law-Related to Israel’s worship. While we are no longer bound by ceremonial laws, the principles behind them—to worship and love a holy God—still apply.

Civil law-Dictated Israel’s daily living. Because modern society and culture are so radically different, some of these guidelines cannot be followed specifically. But the principles behind the commands should guide our conduct.

Moral law-A direct command of God—for example the Ten Commandments. It required strict obedience. It reveals the nature and will of God, and it still applies to us today. We are to obey this moral law, not to obtain salvation, but to live in ways pleasing to God. —Chronological Life Application Study Bible

Holy Spirit, I know these are man’s thoughts. Give me Your wisdom and Yours alone to apply Your Word to my daily life.

Jesus, thank You for releasing me from the prison of sin. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your law. Teach me how to know You more through both.

In Your mighty and awesome name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:24-6;18, Acts 15:1-21

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 Make This Mistake—Mark 12:24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:28-32, Mark 12:1-12, Matthew 21:33-46, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:13-17, Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40

Jesus, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. A person can’t live 50 plus years without making their fare share. When I first saw this verse my mind immediately saw these as two mistakes but right before I hit the post button I noticed that it’s really one mistake with two components.

Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. —Mark 12:24

“Word Studies in the New Testament” paraphrases this verse as The reason of your error is your ignorance of the scriptures and of the power of God.

Lord, many of the mistakes I’ve made are because of my ignorance of Your Word and Your power. I can’t understand Your Word without Your Power and I can’t understand Your Power without Your Word. Yes, I see it! It really is just one mistake!

Holy Spirit, even though I’ve served You many years and studied Your Word, there’s still only one way I can avoid these mistakes— It’s with Your supernatural power.  The Sadducees (Mark 12:18-27) were highly intelligent and known as the brilliant minds of the day. They must have been insulted by this verse.

Knowing Your Word and Your power has nothing to do with intelligence. I cannot “know” the scriptures and “know” Your power without Your guidance, intervention, and counsel.

Lord, give me discernment. Remind me of the many times I’ve seen Your supernatural power displayed in my life and the lives of the people around me.

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. —John 14:26

Holy Spirit, I just experienced Your power as I studied this verse. I am in complete awe!

Holy Spirit, thank You for being my teacher.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:35-37, Matthew 22:41-46, Luke 20:41-44, Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, Luke 20:45-47, Matthew 23:13-39, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4

Lord, is the Fear of Being Labeled Judgmental Silencing the Church? —John 12:37-43

images-4Today’s Scripture Reading: John 12:37-50, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48, Mark 11:20-33, Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8

Jesus, I know that John was describing Your time on earth in these verses but they have an uncanny resemblance to our current times.

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:

“Lord, who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”
But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,

“The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”

Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.* For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. —John 12:37-43

Lord, pages could be written about this passage but the thoughts that are consuming my mind today are around *the people who loved human praise and acceptance so much that they kept their belief in Jesus quiet for fear of being expelled from their synagogue. For the Jews their synagogue wasn’t just their church, it was their family, friends, school, religion, ethnicity, and political affiliation. Today’s sociological challenges of peer pressure and bullying were also alive and well in those days.

Jesus, it seems to me that peer pressure progresses to bullying and when not addressed it leads to persecution. It’s ironic that the very reason the believing Jews kept quiet was to avoid persecution, yet over the years they have been severely persecuted. Is this what is going to happen to today’s church?

Lord, Christian persecution has arrived in America, a country founded on religious freedom is now a place where Christians are beginning to keep quiet about their convictions for fear of peer pressure, bullying, and persecution. Fear of being labeled “judgmental” is silencing the boldest and largest Christian voices in our country.

Lord, I really don’t know how to react. I’m confused and feel this desire to pull away and keep my mouth shut. I see the world pulling one or two scriptures out of Your Word and using it to silence the church. I’m afraid it’s beginning to silence me as well. Holy Spirit, please speak loudly. Give me supernatural boldness. My heart is racing as I title this post, fearing that I will be misunderstood. I do not want to succumb to the enemy’s tactics. I do not want to desire human praise and acceptance more that Yours. It scares me to read in Matthew 24:20-24 that in the last days the very elect will be deceived. Holy Spirit, I don’t want to be deceived.

Lord, give our pastors, teachers, prophets, and Christian leaders supernatural discernment, wisdom, and boldness to lead Your people in these difficult times.

Lord, judging is a delicate subject. I know I’ve judged when I shouldn’t and haven’t judged when I should. I know we don’t win the lost by judging them but “not judging” within the church is dumbing down the gospel. We have adapted the same philosophy as the world, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Holy Spirit, without Your help  we will get it wrong every time. Show the church when and how to judge today’s complicated world.

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.

If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?”

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. —1 Peter 4:12-19

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
 
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:28-32, Mark 12:1-12, Matthew 21:33-46, Luke 20:9-19, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:13-17, Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40

Lord, This Is a Struggle For Me—Luke 8:26-56

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28-34, Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56

Heavenly Father, in today’s reading there were three miracles.

1. After You healed the demon-possessed man You instructed him to go back to his family and tell them everything You had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).

2. After You healed the woman with the issue of blood you instructed her to go in peace (Luke 8:43-48).

3. After You raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead You instructed her parents not to tell anyone what happened (Luke 8:40-56).

Lord, these are amazing and faith-building to read but there’s another piece of these stories that fascinates me. In the first miracle You instructed the man who was healed to tell the world, in the second miracle You left it up to the woman who was healed; You only told her to go in peace. In the third miracle You told the parents to be silent. No reason was given for these different responses.

I have no problem telling the world when You’ve taught me something or given me wisdom or discernment on an issue. But I really have a problem keeping quiet when You’ve done something amazing or shown me something. Every time I see a great quote or scripture I want to tweet it or post it on my Facebook page. I ALWAYS want to share the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes. The problem is just because I know it doesn’t mean I need to share it.

Holy Spirit, if You prompt me to share , I know You will use it but if I’m just out there on my own, without Your blessing, it’s like spitting in the wind!

Lord, there are several areas in my life right now where I have strong opinions. I have strong convictions. I have experiences and scriptures constantly floating around in my head. I’m really having a problem knowing when it’s You and when it’s me.

Holy Spirit, speak loudly. Tell me when to be silent, when I have freedom, and when I am definitely supposed to share.

Lord, please forgive me. Use my mistakes to grow me into the servant You’ve planned for me to be.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Matthew 9:35-38, Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:1-6

Lord, Am I Paying Attention? —Mark 4:21-25

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-3, Mark 3:20-30, Matthew 12:22-45, Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:10-20

Heavenly Father, I need Your understanding. It’s easy to get distracted. There are so many voices fighting for my focus. Teach me to pay attention to what I hear.

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”—Mark 4:21-25

Lord, some days I want to run away from all the noise. You are the only answer to my confusion.

Holy Spirit, warn me when I’m being distracted. Help me to fight through the jungle of opinions and get quiet with You.

Jesus, help me to carve out time in each day to spend time with You in prayer, Bible study, and meditation so I can gain Your understanding.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:10-23, Luke 8:9-18, Mark 4:21-29, Matthew 13:24-30, Mark 4:30-34, Matthew 13:31-52, Mark 4:35-41, Matthew 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25

Lord, How Can I Be a True Worshiper?—John 4:23-24

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Today’s Scripture Reading: John 3:1-4:45, Luke 3:19-20

Heavenly Father, I’ve been mediating on these verses for a couple of weeks. I’ve heard them and quoted them for years but one day I just stopped and said, “Lord, what does it really mean to worship You in spirit and in truth?”

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” —John 4:23-24

These verses in yesterday’s reading added to my questions.

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. —John 2:23-25

The commentary in my Bible used this verse to further explain John 2:23-25

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is? —
Jeremiah 19:9

It scares me to think of the hundreds of devotions and prayers I written and shared over the last four years. Lord, how many times have I misinterpreted Your truth?

Lord, if You don’t trust my human nature, how can I trust it?

I was at a loss.

Until.

You led me to these verses:

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. —John 16:5-13

The Spirit of truth will guide me into all truth!

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WILL GUIDE ME INTO ALL TRUTH!

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WILL GUIDE ME INTO ALL TRUTH!

Jesus, this is how I can worship You in spirit and in truth. This is how I can trust that I’m communicating Your truth instead of my own personal musings. This is how I can walk in confidence that my sinful, human nature isn’t directing me. Your Holy Spirit that You sent to this earth will guide me in all truth!

Holy Spirit, fill me with Your Spirit of Truth so I can be a true worshipper!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:12-17, Luke 3:23a, John 4:46-54, Luke 4:16-30, Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Mark 1:29-34, Matthew 8:14-17, Luke 4:38-41, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44, Matthew 4:23-25

Lord, Prepare Me for Satan’s Next Opportunity—Luke 4:13

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

Heavenly Father,You faced Satan with Your head held high and overcame his temptations with Your Word.

When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came. —Luke 4:13

Your Word clearly shows us who You are, who we are, and who Satan is. Our power to defeat the enemy is in this knowledge. No wonder Satan does everything within His power to keep of from reading and studying Your Holy Scriptures.

Lord, thank You for Your Word! Holy Spirit, draw me to it more and more each day.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 3:1-4:45, Luke 3:19-20

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