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Lord, I Need an Idea–Nehemiah 7:4-5


Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

I am continually amazed at the simplicity of the Bible.  Yes, there were times when God parted the waters, raised the dead, and killed the giants, but there were also times when He just gave someone an idea!

At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt. So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. Nehemiah 7:4-5

Nehemiah’s job was done. The wall was complete; everyone inside was safe, right?

Not exactly.

Nehemiah knew very well that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the number and valour of the inhabitants than upon the height or strength of its walls.

Nehemiah knew what was needed:

The Jews to return to the city, but what he didn’t know was how to get them to come home.

Until God gave him the idea…

When was the last time you had a great idea?

I wonder how many times God has given you or I an idea that completely changed the course of our lives or the lives of many others and we just thought,“we” had a great idea.

What if it was Him…

What if it was God speaking?

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Heavenly Father, forgive me for taking credit for “Your ideas.”  Help me to be like Nehemiah and recognize Your ideas and tell the world that You are the “idea giver!”

Holy Spirit, I’m working on several projects this week.  I know that if You gave Nehemiah an idea, You have ideas for me as well. Lord, thank You in advance for speaking to me.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

Can You Stay Focused for 52 Days? Nehemiah 15-16

Today’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1-7:3

Last summer my husband and I watched several documentaries on the part food plays in our overall health.  We decided to make some changes.  We truly thought we would never go back to our old ways. We began working feverishly to stick to our plan: 

  • Walking every other day
  • Juicing once or twice a day
  • Organic foods
  • Very little sugar
  • No fast food
  • In the bed by 8 and asleep by 9

We had our plan and were doing great.  We had lost weight, had more energy, and were pretty, stickin proud of ourselves! UNTIL… We had company come in for the weekend. It’s been over two weeks since they left and we’re haven’t gotten refocused. If only we could be like Nehemiah.

We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.  I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.  During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. —Nehemiah 4:21-23

Nehemiah had a lot more opposition than weekend house guests.  Under Nehemiah’s leadership the Jews were trying to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.  They weren’t adding the wall for architectural beauty; with every stone laid they were fighting for their lives and the lives of their families.

Nehemiah had to deal with…

  • Being mocked (Nehemiah 4:4)
  • Hearing rumors of being attacked (Nehemiah 4:8)
  • The complaints of his own people (Nehemiah 4:10)

What did Nehemiah Do?

  • Prayed (Nehemiah 4:4)
  • Kept working (Nehemiah 4:6)
  • Prayed (Nehemiah 4:9)
  • Guarded the city day and night to protect themselves (Nehemiah 4:9)
  • Placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas (Nehemiah 4:13)
  • Stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows (Nehemiah 4:13)
  • Called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes! (Nehemiah 4:14)
  • Had half the men work while the other half stood guard (Nehemiah 4:15)
  • Made sure every builder had a weapon (Nehemiah 4:18)
  • Listened to their complaints and took the time to consider them (Nehemiah 5:6)
  • Avoided people who were trying to distract him (Nehemiah 6:3)
  • Ignored accusations and continued the work with greater determination (Nehemiah 6:9)
  • Discerned false prophets (Nehemiah 6:12)

…And Kept Working!

So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. –Nehemiah 6:15-16

This story reminds me of a John Wesley quote: “Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.”

We can do amazing things in short periods of time, if we focus on our work and bring every obstacle to the Lord and ask for His help.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for thinking, “I” can do all things.  Help me to learn from Nehemiah’s example.  Thank you for reminding me that I have a part but nothing happens unless You give the increase.  Thank You for all the times You’ve “helped” me.  Help me to focus like Nehemiah on the projects You have called me to do.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Can Your Boss Say This About You?—Nehemiah 2:1

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

What’s one word your boss would use to describe you?

Nehemiah’s boss probably described him as happy.

Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I (Nehemiah) was serving the king his wind.  I had never before appeared sad in his presence. —Nehemiah 2:1 (explanation mine)

How important is a positive, happy attitude in the workplace?

Positive-attitude-tips.com says a resounding “it’s very important” and offered ten benefits of a positive attitude in the workplace:

  1. Career Success
  2. Stress Reduction
  3. Less sick days and better productivity
  4. Improved customer relations and/or sales
  5. Become a better leader
  6. Improve the attitude of other employees or those who report to you
  7. Improve teamwork
  8. Improve motivation for yourself and others
  9. Improve decision-making and overcome challenges
  10. Improve interpersonal relations

Nehemiah hadn’t been to business school and hadn’t read a book on success in the workplace, EXCEPT God’s Word (which is where all good leadership principles come from). Nehemiah knew enough to make sure he displayed a happy, positive attitude before the king. In his youth Nehemiah was appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer at the palace of Shushan; a privileged position.

In Nehemiah 2:1-10, the king noticed Nehemiah was unusually distraught and asked him why he was looking so sad.  When Nehemiah told him that Jerusalem, the city of his ancestors was in ruins the king said, “Well, how can I help you?” (v.  2-4)

And with a prayer to the God of heaven Nehemiah boldly asked the king

  • For a leave-of-absence from his job to build the wall
  • To provide endorsement letters instructing the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River to allow Nehemiah to travel safely  through their territories
  • For the needed timber to build beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for himself

And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on Nehemiah.

God’s favor in the workplace is an amazing thing, but we have to do our part.  If your boss has a choice between a negative, complaining employee or a positive, happy person, he will choose the positive person every time.  This is especially true when bosses are choosing their inner circle of leadership.  They want to feel better about themselves and their company and having people on their team who have a good attitude and enjoy life helps to build a great team.

 

There’s one more reason for having an attitude like Nehemiah; it’s what Jesus would do.

 

Heavenly Father, help us to live a life in our homes, workplaces, and churches that will cause others to know You more.  Help us to strive to be the best employers and employees so that the name “Christian” will be synonymous with character and integrity in the world today.

In Jesus’Name.  Amen and Amen.

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3:1 through 7:3

The Number One Predictor of Success—Ezra 7:8-10

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

Are you getting ready to begin a new project, business, or field of study?

Would you like to know if you will be successful in that endeavor?

We all know people who have started something and quit or “seemingly” failed.

Is there one predictor of success?

Paul Graham, an essayist, programmer, and investor believes there is…

The most important predictor of new business start-up success is determination. At first we thought it might be intelligence. Everyone likes to believe that’s what makes startups succeed. It makes a better story that a company won because its founders were so smart. The PR people and reporters who spread such stories probably believe them themselves. But while it certainly helps to be smart, it’s not the deciding factor. There are plenty of people as smart as Bill Gates who achieve nothing.

In most domains, talent is overrated compared to determination—partly because it makes a better story, partly because it gives onlookers an excuse for being lazy, and partly because after a while determination starts to look like talent.

Ezra agrees with Paul Graham:

Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in August of that year.  He had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year, and he arrived at Jerusalem on August for the gracious hand of his God was on him.  This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. —Ezra 7:8-10

How many times do we look at someone and think, “Wow, everything seems to come so easy for them!”

It’s never “easy” to be successful; easy means with little or no effort.  It certainly wasn’t easy for Ezra.

Most people in his day couldn’t read or write. The majority of the Israelites were disobeying the Law rather than obeying.

But Ezra was determined to be what God had called him to be.

If you’ve been on our journey one day or all year, you can personally attest to the difficulty of developing a habit of reading, studying, and applying God’s Word.  Compared to Ezra we have it so easy, Bibles are everywhere and study helps are in abundance, but it takes just as much determination in our day-to-day study to obey God’s Word as it did in Ezra’s day.

Friends, let’s make a choice to be an Ezra and determine to know God through His Word!

Heavenly Father, help us to determine to be a student of Your Word.  Holy Spirit, teach us how to apply it to our daily lives. Help us to live a life that preaches Your Word to others.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 9:1 through Ezra 10:44; Nehemiah 1:1 through 2:20

3 Ways to Have Infectious Influence—Daniel 6:1-28

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 6:1-28; Daniel 9:1-27; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11; 1 Chronicles 3:17-19a

I was doing a Google© search on the word “influence” and right below the word influence was the word “influenza”.

Humm…

I had to know more about these two words that have the same root yet stir up a completely different  reaction—one, very good and one, very bad (I have some bad flu memories!).

The word “Influence” comes from the Latin word, “influere” which means “to flow into”. And the word “Influenza” originally used in Italy, from the Medieval Latin word influentia, which meant influence of the stars.

So could we say that if a person of influence infects those in whom they “flow into” with their attitudes, values, and beliefs—they have infectious influence—influence that goes viral?

Daniel had this infectious influence.  When we read the story about Daniel in the lion’s den, we say,”YES, I will dare to be a Daniel!”  But, are we willing to do what Daniel did?

He had a great work ethicA set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence (answers.com)

  • Capable (6:3)
  • Faithful (6:4)
  • Always responsible (6:4)
  • Completely Trustworthy (6:4)
  • Respectful to those in authority (6:21-22)

 

He practiced spiritual disciplineA habit or regular pattern in your life that repeatedly brings you back to God and opens you up to what God is saying to you.(spirithome.com)

  • Consistent Prayer Life (6:10)
  • Purposed Not to defile himself (1:8)
  • Study the Word of God (9:2)
  • Fasting (9:3)

 

He trusted God with the areas that weren’t in his control

  • God gave Daniel great abilities (6:3)
  • God rescued him from an impossible situation (6:21)

 

Daniel woke up every day with a choice:

  • Infect/influence others
  • Be infected/influenced by others

 

What was the result of Daniel’s daily choice to influence others?

King Darius the Mede sent a message to the people of every race and nations and language throughout the world (6:25-28):

Peace and prosperity to you!  I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

  • For he is the living God and he will endure forever
  • His kingdom will never be destroyed
  • His rule will never end
  • He rescues and saves his people
  • He performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.
  • He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.

You and I can be a person of infectious influence, just like Daniel if we do these three things:

  1. Display a consistently strong work ethic
  2. Live a disciplined spiritual life
  3. Trust God through the hard times and impossible situations

Heavenly Father, help us to live a life that has infectious influence for Your Kingdom.  Anoint us with the abilities to accomplish the plans you have for our lives.  Help us to see our hard times and impossible situations as opportunities to trust You in a way that will cause others to want to know You and serve You.  Jesus help us to have the determination to live a life of integrity and spiritual discipline for Your Glory!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 2:1 through Ezra 4:5; 1 Chronicles 3:19b-24

4 Things to Do When You’re Worn Out—Daniel 7:25

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 7:1 through Daniel 8:27; Daniel 5:1-31

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. –Daniel 7:25 KJV (emphasis mine)

Recently I had the opportunity to pray with a friend.  She was completely worn out from fighting a seven-year battle to rescue an adult child from the pit of hell we know as drug addiction.  This woman of God was at her breaking point, ready to give up on her job, family, her God—

WORN OUT.

This weariness is spreading throughout the Christian world like a virus.  I am on the prayer team at my church.  Each week I pray with people with all kinds of needs but the one thing they all have in common is weariness.  The cares of this world (Mark 4:19) are wearing them down.

Daniel 7:25, is the only verse in the Bible that uses the words, “worn out.”  “Worn out” comes from the Hebrew word bala’, which means to wear away or to harass constantly. (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon)

  • I’m not an expert in Bible prophesy
  • I’m not sure where we are in the timeline of the second coming of Christ
  • I’m not saying we are living in the days of Daniel 7:25 (but we could be)

I am saying that the evil power that will drive this king that Daniel speaks about is Satan, the enemy of our soul…

Friends, this enemy—your enemy, and my enemy, is at work today and he is definitely working to wear us out.  Daniel’s visionary experiences give us a glimpse into the cosmic struggle between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom God is establishing. We are living in the midst of this struggle.

In Luke 21:34, Jesus warns us about the allowing the “cares of this world or worries of this life to dull our hearts.”

This weariness not only affects our quality of life, it affects our witness.  We are supposed to be different, but we’re just as tired as the next person.  Why would a non-Christian want what we have when we’re just as worn out as they are?

What do we do?

  1. Recognize our enemy.It’s not your family, friends, co-workers, or church family  (Galatians 5:17)
  2. Rest our body. When you’re physically tired you are the most vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy (Psalm 127:2)
  3. Read God’s Word so that you can recognize the voice of the Lord  (1 Timothy 4:7-8, Hebrews 4:12)
  4. Renew our mind through prayer,  meditation, and solitude  (Romans 12:2, Psalm 46:10)

We are more powerful in Christ than we think we are.  God says we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) and we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  (Philippians 4:13)

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Heavenly Father, allow us to see the spiritual battle that is raging.  Help us to recognize who’s talking to us.  Give us boldness to stand against the schemes of the devil, so that we can live a life that will cause others to want to know You more.

In  Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 6:1-28; Daniel 9:1-27; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11; 1 Chronicles 3:17-19a

Closed on Sundays–Jeremiah 17: 21-23

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 16:1 through Jeremiah 18:23; Jeremiah 35:1-19

This is what the Lord says: Listen to my warning!

Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day.  Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline. –Jeremiah 17:21-23

I love Chick-fil-A!  Their chicken salad sandwich is my favorite! But it sure is tough when I get a craving for a sandwich and some waffle fries on a Sunday afternoon and then remember, “They’re closed on Sundays.”

I grew up in the days when Sunday was a day of rest—you went to church in the morning and evening and then had a big Sunday dinner with your family—you didn’t mow the grass, clean, or do laundry. We never thought of going shopping. It was disrespectful to turn Sunday into an ordinary day.

In today’s world we try to “fit church in” the rest of our day.  Sunday is one of the most popular “eating out day’s” of the week. This makes Truett Cathy’s policy of closing his Chick-fil-A restaurants on Sunday a practice that leaves the business world and all chicken lovers asking, “Why would he do that?”

Chic-fil-A’s  “Closed-on-Sunday policy” and their company’s Corporate Purpose fit like a hand and a glove:

To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.

To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

Is closing on Sunday just a personal conviction of Truett Cathy or is there a lesson we can all learn about allowing God to be Lord of our lives?

I wonder how our lives would change if we made Sunday a holy day, a day of worship and rest?

I wonder what would happen if we gave the 4th commandment, “Remember the Sabbath…” the same respect as other commandments like “have no Gods before me” and “do not murder”?

Would we…

  • Be less stressed
  • Be healthier
  • Be more prosperous
  • Have more time for friends
  • Be closer as a family
  • Be closer to God

Friends, this isn’t about some legalistic Pharisaical practice.

  • It’s about looking for ways to honor God; not finding “what is the least I can do to get to heaven.”
  • It’s about believing that the God who made us knows what’s best for us.
  • It’s about knowing, understanding and allowing Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.
  • It’s about living a life that causes others to know Him.

How is honoring God by closing on Sundays affecting Chic-fil-A’s bottom line?

Chick-fil-A restaurants often generate more business per square foot in six days than many other quick-service restaurants produce in seven. Chick-fil-A generated more than $3.2 billion dollars in sales in 2009, and the chain has enjoyed sales gains for 42 consecutive years (every year since the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967). Cathy credits “blessings from the Lord” for the great success the company has enjoyed and he remains as committed as ever to maintaining the Closed-on-Sunday policy. “I feel it’s the best business decision I ever made,” says Cathy.  (Chick-fil-A’s Closed on Sunday policy)

We can never out-give God.  When we honor him with our time, talent, and treasure we will be blessed.

Heavenly Father, show us how to honor you on Your day and every day.  Help us to make our lives a testimony to your holiness!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 49:1-33; 2 Kings 24:5-7; 2 Chronicles 36:6-8; 2 Kings 24:8-9; 2 Chronicles 36:9; Jeremiah 22:24 through Jeremiah 23:32

3 Tips for Crisis Management, God’s Way–2 Kings 19

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 19:1-19; Isaiah 37:1-20; 2 Chronicles 32:9-19; 2 Kings 19:20-37; Isaiah 37:21-38; 2 Chronicles 32:20-23

Most of us…

  • Will never receive the kind of news Hezekiah got in today’s scripture reading
  • Will never be king over the City of David

But…

  • We may own a business
  • Lead a team
  • Pastor a church
  • Parent a family
  • Lead a household

What would you do if suddenly you got word that a natural disaster , a group of terrorists, or a financial crash was on its way to destroy everything you hold dear?

What did Hezekiah do?

We’ve seen a lot of kings over the last few weeks of our journey, but very few we can pattern our lives after.  Hezekiah is a king we can follow!

In today’s reading Hezekiah finds himself in a crisis.  The Holy Spirit allows us to be a fly on the wall to learn crisis management, God’s way.

There are 3 things Hezekiah did when he heard the news that the Assyrians were planning to destroy Jerusalem.

  1. He went to the place where he met God– the Temple (2 Kings 19:1)
  2. He sought the advice of Isaiah’s wise, Godly counsel (2 Kings 19:2)
  3. He took the letter he had received from King Sennacherib’s messengers and went to the temple a second time.  He spread it out before the Lord and prayed…  O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim!  You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth.  You alone created the heavens and the earth!  Bend down, O Lord, and listen!  Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!  Listen to Sennacherib’s word of defiance against the living God…now, O Lord, our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kings of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God. (2 Kings 19:14-16)

What is “the first thing you do” when you receive news of a crisis?

  • Call a family member
  • Call a friend
  • Call a doctor
  • Ask for somebody to pray
  • Take a pill
  • Take a drink
  • Escape in T.V.

“The first thing we do” in tough times is the most important thing. It shows where and in whom our faith lies.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.~ Hebrews 11:6

Since Jesus came to earth, died for us, went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit; we can meet our God anywhere, anytime.  We don’t have to go to the temple to meet him, pray some fancy “thee” and “thou” prayer, or call for someone to pray “for” us.

We just have to say, “Jesus, help me!”

 

Did God answer Hezekiah’s prayers?

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed about King Sennacherib of Assyria,  the Lord has spoken this word against him—see Isaiah 37:22-35.

The very same night Isaiah spoke this prophesy to Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.  King Sennacherib broke camp and returned to his own land.  Then, “one day” while the king was worshiping his god, his sons killed him with their swords.

Friends, GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!  When a Crisis hits; go to God, get a wise prayer partner who gives Godly counsel, and pray for God to answer your prayer and cause others to “Know Him More!”

Lord increase our faith!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 King 19:1-19; Isaiah 37:1-20; 2 Chronicles 32:9-19; 2 Kings 19:20-37; Isaiah 37:21-38; 2 Chronicles 32:20-23

I Just Found The Most Amazing Deal on a… Psalm 107:1-2


Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 107, Psalm 111-114

“I just got an amazing deal on a pair of shoes!”

“I just had the most amazing customer service experience at that new store!”

“That restaurant has the best food I’ve ever tasted!”

“Go get your hair done at my friend’s salon. You will love it!”

 

I do this all the time. When I have good experience, find a new product, get a great deal, or learn something new I want to share it.

 

For many of us when we find a great deal we tell everyone we know.

 

Except

 

When it comes to our relationship with God.

The greatest deal we will ever find is having Jesus Christ pay the price for our sins and make a way for us to have eternal life. (John 3:16)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!


His faithful love endures forever.

Has the Lord redeemed you?

 Then speak out!


Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. –Psalm 107:1-2

 

Why is it so easy to tell your neighbor about a great restaurant but so difficult to share the goodness of your God?

I’m sure there are many reasons, but one that comes to mind is political correctness. We have been programmed by our culture that we need to be careful not to offend anyone.

God is not telling us to push our beliefs on others, He’s telling us to speak out and tell others what He has done for US!

 

It’s all about attracting not attacking!

 

I promise you that if you share your story of the goodness of your God with others, at some point, usually when their life is falling apart they will come to you, asking for prayer, asking for counsel.

Is it hard for you to share your story? Why?

 

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not speaking out about our redemption. Give us courage to share our story with others. Holy Spirit, direct us. We need Your discernment to know when to speak and when to be silent. Lord give us boldness to proclaim your faithfulness.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 115-118

A Comparison We need to Make — Proverbs 30:1-6

 Today’s Scripture Reading: Proverbs 30:1-31:31

“Wow! I love hanging out with Judy (fictional name)! I always feel so smart and together after our visits!”

Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and walk away feeling downright good about ourselves. Sometimes, we leave one of our friends and have a week-long pity party because we’re not like them.

Yes, we need to take time to count our blessings and Yes, the Bible tells us that friends sharpen us like iron (Proverbs 27:17) but there are better ways to do that than gloating on the weaknesses of others or feeling like our friends are so superior they are doing us a favor by speaking to us.

Today I saw a comparison in Proverbs 30:1-6 that needs to happen often in my life.

I…

    • Am Weary
    • Am Worn out
    • Am To stupid to be human
    • Lack Common Sense
    • Have not mastered human wisdom
    • Don’t know the Holy One

 

But God…

    • Goes up to heaven and comes back down
    • Holds the wind in his fists
    • Wraps the ocean in his cloak
    • Has created the whole wide world
    • Proves His every word to be true
    • Is a shield to all who come to him for protection

Friends, it’s okay to lose this comparison game.

Throughout God’s Word we see the sin of pride causing the most noble and godly to fall. I know it has been my biggest struggle in my life.

You may be thinking, “I” don’t have a pride problem.

You may not, but here’s are 10 questions to help you do a pride checkup:

  1.   Are you controlling?
  2.   Are you judgmental?
  3.   Are you insecure?
  4.   Do you always have to be right?
  5.   Do you love to argue, always need the last word?
  6.   Have problems listening?
  7.   Are you irritable and impatient?
  8.   Hate being corrected?
  9.   Do you feel life is really “all about you?”
  10. Are you constantly comparing yourself to others?

I have and sometimes continue to struggle with these ten “pride” symptoms. God has used “life” to work on me. I’m not where I want to be but thanks be to God I’m not where I was.

If we continually remind ourselves of the vastness of our God and the smallness and frailty of our life and being, we won’t have time to compare ourselves to others and we won’t have anything to be “proud” about.

Heavenly Father, forgive me for seeing myself superior to others. Forgive me for seeing myself below others. Show me the areas of pride in my life. Continually remind me of how I compare to You, so I can forget about me and know You more and help others to know You too!

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalms 42-46

 

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