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Lord, You Are My Strength—Zechariah 12:5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

Heavenly Father, I don’t feel strong.

You’re probably thinking, “Finally. Just like the people of Jerusalem, she’s worn herself down and come to the end of her false sense of strength. Now I can be her strength. Now I can take over.”

And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, their God.’ —Zechariah 12:5

Lord, I will find strength in You alone.

 

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When I am weak, You are my strength.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22, Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-4:17

What Will You Do When You Hear The Whistle? Zechariah 10:8

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Zechariah 9:1 through Zechariah 14:21

There was a family in my neighborhood growing up who had three boys.  In the summer the boys played outside all day, every day —baseball, football, basketball, forts, and riding bikes.  Their parents allowed them to play anywhere in the neighborhood, as long as they could hear “the whistle.”  During the day their Mom had a police whistle she used to call them for lunch, but the most important whistle was their Dad’s.  He didn’t need any kind of special instrument, he just put two fingers to his mouth, pushed air  through his lips and his special sound went into every nook and cranny in the neighborhood and found all three boys EVERY TIME!

When they heard their Dad’s whistle they stopped what they were doing and ran home as fast as they could because they knew the best part of their day began when their Dad got home.

In the days of the prophet Zechariah each family owned a couple of sheep for personal use. The animals stayed at night in the courtyard of the family’s house. Families on a given street agreed as to who would shepherd their combined flock, often designating one or more of the children. In the morning this shepherd would go down the street to gather the sheep. The person at the door recognized the shepherd and opened the door for the sheep to pass through. The shepherd had a distinct call or whistle, sometimes using a small flute, which the sheep recognize and follow. When several flocks end up at a watering place at the same time and mingle together, they were easily separated again by the shepherd, who gives his call as he starts to walk away. (http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentary)

On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep…  When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them.  From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before.  –Zechariah 9:16, 10:8

Can you imagine being an Israelite in those days?

  • Their temple had been destroyed
  • They had been exiled from their country for 70 years
  • They had been judged by God for their sins

And then they heard the Word from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, “God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.”  Not only did they know they would be rescued, they understood the depth of love God had for them because they understood the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

Friends, we too have been rescued and redeemed.  In Galatians 3:13 NKJ, God tells us that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us.  When He cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) our redemption was guaranteed.

It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (God’s whistle) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  –1 Corinthians 15:52 (explanation mine)

Just like my child-hood friends, when our Heavenly Father “whistles” we will run to meet Him  because being with Him is what we’ve been waiting for!

Blessings in Jesus!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 6:14b-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1 through 4:17

Two Words That are Big Deals to God…Zechariah 8:14-17


 

Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15; Ezra 5:3-6:14a; Zechariah 7:1-8:23

Have you ever wanted to do something special for someone but because you know them so well, you are concerned they will either–

  • Not appreciate it
  • Use it for harm
  • Brag about it and cause dissension
  • Lie about the reason you did it to them

In today’s reading our Heavenly Father had  those same feelings about His people, the Jews.  He had been so angry with them that He abandoned them to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who destroyed the Temple and exiled the people to Babylonia (Ezra 5:12). After 70 years God’s heart is once again tender towards His people.

“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. 

But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!

For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 

But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 

But this is what you must do: 

  1. Tell the truth to each other. 
  2. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 
  3. Don’t scheme against each other. 
  4. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. 

I hate all these things, says the Lord.”  —Zechariah 8:11-17

 

Friends, this isn’t the first time God mentions justice and mercy. These 2 qualities are a big deal to our Heavenly Father; He doesn’t use the “hate” word that often.

 

Today’s Christian has a way of prioritizing sin, deciding which ones are worse than others.

God’s priorities are different than ours.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:

  • To do what is right, 
  • To love mercy,
  • And to walk humbly with your God.  –Micah 6:8

Heavenly Father, help our hearts to be tender to the things that are most important to You.  We want Your blessings. Help us not to tie Your hands.  Help us to do what’s right; to love mercy and show it to everyone we come in contact with and to walk humbly before You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

Be Strong All You People Still Left in the Land– Haggai 2:3-5

Today’s Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:1-9; Zechariah 1:1-6; Haggai 2:10-19; Ezra 5:2; Haggai 2:20-23; Zechariah 1:7-5:11

Like most of you, I have been reflecting on that day twelve years ago that changed our world. As I read today’s reading I noticed something that God said through the prophet Haggai that could be said to Americans on September 11th:

Does anyone remember this house–this Temple (this country)–in its former splendor (before 9/11)?  How in comparison does it look to you now?  It seems like nothing at all! But now the Lord says:  Be strong, Zerubbabel.  Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.  Be strong, all you people still left in the land.  And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt.  So do not be afraid. –Haggai 2:3-5 (explanation mine)

The Israelites experienced their own type of “September 11th” when their country was taken over by the Babylonians and most of their nation exiled to Babylon.  For 70 years they were waiting; waiting to go home.  One of the things they missed the most was worshiping at the temple. But for many the new temple was no comparison to the old one and they griped and complained as they saw it being built (Ezra 3:12).

They wanted life to be like it was before the day that changed everything, and when it wasn’t they chose to sow discord, pain, and negativity into the already dismal atmosphere.

Since the world began God has given us a choice to either be part of the problem or part of the solution.  That’s the message the prophet Haggai spoke to the Israelites and us for those times when going back isn’t an option.

The Lord says:

  • Be Strong Leaders
  • Be Strong People
  • Get to work, for I am with you
  • My Spirit remains among you
  • Do not be afraid

 

Heavenly Father, I know Your heart grieves for the families who lost their loved ones in the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001.  I also know Your heart grieves for every person who planned and carried out those attacks. How it must break Your heart when Your creation chooses eternal death.  Lord, help us today to choose to be strong people and strong leaders and get to work, without fear and make our corner of this world a place where You reign.  Lord, thank You for being with us.  Holy Spirit, work through us to cause others to know Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15; Ezra 5:3-6:14a; Zechariah 7:1-8:23

What Will You Do When You Hear The Whistle? Zechariah 10:8

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Zechariah 9:1 through Zechariah 14:21

There was a family in my neighborhood growing up who had three boys.  In the summer the boys played outside all day, every day —baseball, football, basketball, forts, and riding bikes.  Their parents allowed them to play anywhere in the neighborhood, as long as they could hear “the whistle.”  During the day their Mom had a police whistle she used to call them for lunch, but the most important whistle was their Dad’s.  He didn’t need any kind of special instrument, he just put two fingers to his mouth, pushed air  through his lips and his special sound went into every nook and cranny in the neighborhood and found all three boys EVERY TIME!

When they heard their Dad’s whistle they stopped what they were doing and ran home as fast as they could because they knew the best part of their day began when their Dad got home.

In the days of the prophet Zechariah each family owned a couple of sheep for personal use. The animals stayed at night in the courtyard of the family’s house. Families on a given street agreed as to who would shepherd their combined flock, often designating one or more of the children. In the morning this shepherd would go down the street to gather the sheep. The person at the door recognized the shepherd and opened the door for the sheep to pass through. The shepherd had a distinct call or whistle, sometimes using a small flute, which the sheep recognize and follow. When several flocks end up at a watering place at the same time and mingle together, they were easily separated again by the shepherd, who gives his call as he starts to walk away. (http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentary)

On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep…  When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them.  From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before.  –Zechariah 9:16, 10:8

Can you imagine being an Israelite in those days?

  • Their temple had been destroyed
  • They had been exiled from their country for 70 years
  • They had been judged by God for their sins

And then they heard the Word from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, “God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.”  Not only did they know they would be rescued, they understood the depth of love God had for them because they understood the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

Friends, we too have been rescued and redeemed.  In Galatians 3:13 NKJ, God tells us that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us.  When He cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) our redemption was guaranteed.

It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (God’s whistle) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  –1 Corinthians 15:52 (explanation mine)

Just like my child-hood friends, when our Heavenly Father “whistles” we will run to meet Him  because being with Him is what we’ve been waiting for!

Blessings in Jesus!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 6:14b-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1 through 4:17

Two Words That are Big Deals to God…Zechariah 8:14-17


 

Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15; Ezra 5:3-6:14a; Zechariah 7:1-8:23

Have you ever wanted to do something special for someone but because you know them so well, you are concerned they will either–

  • Not appreciate it
  • Use it for harm
  • Brag about it and cause dissension
  • Lie about the reason you did it to them

In today’s reading our Heavenly Father had  those same feelings about His people, the Jews.  He had been so angry with them that He abandoned them to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who destroyed the Temple and exiled the people to Babylonia (Ezra 5:12). After 70 years God’s heart is once again tender towards His people.

“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. 

But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!

For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 

But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 

But this is what you must do: 

  1. Tell the truth to each other. 
  2. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 
  3. Don’t scheme against each other. 
  4. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. 

I hate all these things, says the Lord.”  —Zechariah 8:11-17

 

Friends, this isn’t the first time God mentions justice and mercy. These qualities are a big deal to our Heavenly Father; He doesn’t use the “hate” word that often.

 

Today’s Christian has a way of prioritizing sin, deciding which ones are worse than others.

God’s priorities are different than ours.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:

  • To do what is right, 
  • To love mercy,
  • And to walk humbly with your God.  –Micah 6:8

Heavenly Father, help our hearts to be tender to the things that are most important to You.  We want Your blessings. Help us not to tie Your hands.  Help us to do what’s right; to love mercy and show it to everyone we come in contact with and to walk humbly before You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

Can You Talk to God for Me? Exodus 20:19


Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18-21

As I read these words my first thought was one of judgment.  “Those dumb Israelites, they had the privilege of being in the “literal” presence of the one and only living God and they let fear steal that awesome experience.”

But once again observing the Israelites is like looking at ourselves in a mirror.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

  • Fear of being convicted of sinful choices
  • God is at the bottom of your priorities
  • You don’t really believe He hears you
  • “God time” doesn’t fit into your plans
  • It doesn’t seem like God is there
  • God’s always there, I’ll catch Him later
  • Distractions by media (phone, computer, TV, etc)
  • A busy brain, can’t seem to focus (this is me)

We have it so much better than the Israelites.  We have Jesus as our mediator.  He’s our constant connection to our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit is our constant connection to Jesus.

Yet, we would prefer to hear our preacher give us a one hour, once-a-week God update and then be on our way to the important things; pleasure and making a living.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being like the Israelites. Forgive us for all the missed opportunities.  Holy Spirit, don’t stop calling us, don’t stop reminding us.  Help us to overcome the carefully crafted distractions of our day, designed by our enemy to keep up from spending time with You.   Lord, teach us and guide us as we seek to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

Click here to visit blog

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18

The Whistle–Zechariah 10:8

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Zechariah 9:1 through Zechariah 14:21

There was a family in my neighborhood growing up who had three boys.  In the summer the boys played outside all day, every day —baseball, football, basketball, forts, and riding bikes.  Their parents allowed them to play anywhere in the neighborhood, as long as they could hear “the whistle.”  During the day their Mom had a police whistle she used to call them for lunch, but the most important whistle was their Dad’s.  He didn’t need any kind of special instrument, he just put two fingers to his mouth, pushed air  through his lips and his special sound went into every nook and cranny in the neighborhood and found all three boys EVERY TIME!

When they heard their Dad’s whistle they stopped what they were doing and ran home as fast as they could because they knew the best part of their day began when their Dad got home.

In the days of the prophet Zechariah each family owned a couple of sheep for personal use. The animals stayed at night in the courtyard of the family’s house. Families on a given street agreed as to who would shepherd their combined flock, often designating one or more of the children. In the morning this shepherd would go down the street to gather the sheep. The person at the door recognized the shepherd and opened the door for the sheep to pass through. The shepherd had a distinct call or whistle, sometimes using a small flute, which the sheep recognize and follow. When several flocks end up at a watering place at the same time and mingle together, they were easily separated again by the shepherd, who gives his call as he starts to walk away. (http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentary)

On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep…  When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them.  From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before.  Zechariah 9:16, 10:8

Can you imagine being an Israelite in those days?

  • Their temple had been destroyed
  • They had been exiled from their country for 70 years
  • They had been judged by God for their sins

And then they heard the Word from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, “God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.”  Not only did they know they would be rescued, they understood the depth of love God had for them because they understood the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep.

Friends, we too have been rescued and redeemed.  In Galatians 3:13 NKJ, God tells us that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us.  When He cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) our redemption was guaranteed.

It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (God’s whistle) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  1 Corinthians 15:52 (parenthesis mine)

Just like my child-hood friends, when our Heavenly Father “whistles” we will run to meet Him  because being with Him is what we’ve been waiting for!

Blessings in Jesus!


Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 6:14b-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1 through 4:17

I Am Determined to Bless You, But…Zechariah 8:14-17


Today’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15; Ezra 5:3-6:14a; Zechariah 7:1-8:23

Have you ever wanted to do something special for someone but because you know them so well, you are concerned they will either–

  • Not appreciate it
  • Use it for harm
  • Brag about it and cause dissension
  • Lie about the reason you did it to them

In today’s reading our Heavenly Father had  those same feelings about His people, the Jews.  He had been so angry with them that He abandoned them to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who destroyed the Temple and exiled the people to Babylonia (Ezra 5:12). After 70 years God’s heart is once again tender towards His people.

“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. 

But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!

For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 

But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 

But this is what you must do: 

  1. Tell the truth to each other. 
  2. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 
  3. Don’t scheme against each other. 
  4. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. 

I hate all these things, says the Lord.”  Zechariah 8:11-17

Friends, this isn’t the first time God mentions justice and mercy. These qualities are a big deal to our Heavenly Father; He doesn’t use the “hate” word that often.

Today’s Christian has a way of prioritizing sin, deciding which ones are worse than others.  God’s priorities are different than ours.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:

  • To do what is right, 
  • To love mercy,
  • And to walk humbly with your God.

Heavenly Father, help our hearts to be tender to the things that are most important to You.  We want Your blessings. Help us not to tie Your hands.  Help us to do what’s right; to love mercy and show it to everyone we come in contact with and to walk humbly before You.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:1-14:21

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