Lord, Bring Peace to this Place—Haggai 2:6-9

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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

Heavenly Father, on this somber day as we remember the tragedy of 9-11, my heart longs for peace.

“For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” —Haggai 2:6-9

Lord, there’s so much hope in these verses. The exiles were returning home. They were looking at a temple leveled to ground zero, wondering how to begin again and You promised to bring peace. You promised the future glory to be greater than the past glory. Lord, let this come to pass in our nation. Bring peace to this place. Let our reputation as a Christian nation who worships and serves You be greater in the future than it’s been in the past.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

In Jesus Name. Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15, Ezra 5:3-6:14a, Zechariah 7:1-8:23

 

Lord, I’ve Lost My Enthusiasm—Haggai 1:14-15

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

Heavenly Father, I know the power of enthusiasm. God-given enthusiasm has been one of the most important tools in my life as a leader. But these days I’m at a place where my enthusiasm fire has almost burned out.

So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign. —Haggai 1:14-15

Lord, I believe Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the remnant of Your people who were returning from exile were burned out as well. I can just imagine what it must have been like to dream for years to return to their homeland, only to find the city, temple, and walls completely destroyed when that day finally arrived.

They must have thought, “where do you start when everything around You has been leveled to the ground?”

Lord, I understand this feeling. Just like Your people returning from exile, You’ve given me knowledge, skills, and abilities to do what You’ve called me to but the job seems overwhelming, especially since I’ve lost my passion and enthusiasm—My “want to” is gone!

Jesus, spark my enthusiasm, like You did for Your people returning to their homeland. Fan the ambers of my heart and get me going again. Ignite my love for people and my desire to help them. Move me from burned out to fired up. Lord do this for the honor of Your Name and the Glory of Your Kingdom.

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: Haggai 2:1-9, Zechariah 1:1-6, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra 5:2, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra, 5:2, Haggai 2:20-23, Zechariah 1:7-5:11

Lord, Why is There No Unity? —Ezra 3:1-2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 2:1-4:5, 1 Chronicles 3:19b-24

Heavenly Father, every time Your people unite great things happen.

In early autumn, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose. Then Jeshua son of Jehozadak joined his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his family in rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel. They wanted to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as instructed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. —Ezra 3:1-2

Lord, it must break Your heart to see division, discord, and strife among Your children. In my natural mind unity of believers seems like something only reserved for heaven. I’ve been a Christian all my life. It seems with every passing year Christians are becoming more polarized. Today’s Christians have different ideas about EVERYTHING! Some things don’t really matter, but many of our differences are changing our world.

Lord, what do You think about this?

Is this part of the downward spiral pointing to Your return?

What can I do about it?

I feel the number one thing I need to do is to get as close to You as I can. Your Word is very complex. It can easily be manipulated to support any cause. Holy Spirit, without Your direction, coaching, and counsel, I can easily be deceived.

Jesus, You kept Your message very simple. In our day of information overload, we have a tendency to complicate things. Help me to simplify my life and my message. The more information we have the more opportunities we have to disagree.

Lord, one more thing that comes to mind is the power of living a peaceful life.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. —Romans 12:18

It’s no wonder the enemy of our soul works tirelessly to steal our peace. Peace unifies! Lord, help me to promote peace instead of discord.

Jesus, I need Your discernment. I need Your wisdom.

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: Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

Lord, I Need Insight and Understanding—Daniel 9:22-23

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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

Heavenly Father, last night in a moment of frustration the thought crossed my mind, “Lord, every day gets tougher—are You there?”

Lord, You heard Daniel the moment he began praying.

He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision. —Daniel 9:22-23

Not only did You hear Daniel, but as soon as he prayed a command was given to send insight and understanding to him.

Lord, there are so many things going on around me that make no sense. I need Your insight and understanding. I need to know…

–when to pray and when to listen

–when to speak and when to be silent

–when to act and when to wait

Lord, I’m believing Your insight and understanding are on the way!

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 2:1-4:5, 1 Chronicles 3:19b-24

Lord, Guard My Heart and Mind—Daniel 5:20

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

Heavenly Father, there’s so much attacking our hearts and minds these days but from everything I read in Your Word, pride and arrogance are the worst.

But when his heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. —Daniel 5:20

Lord, I pray with David…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. —
Psalm 139:23-24

In Jesus Name. I pray. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
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

Lord, Thank You for Three More Reasons to Trust You—Ezekiel 27:17-20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, Ezekiel 29:17-30:19, 2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-34

Heavenly Father, these four verses show me three things about Your character:

1. You don’t miss a thing

2. You see our hard work

3. You always pay your debts

On April 26, the first day of the new year, during the twenty-seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, the army of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon fought so hard against Tyre that the warriors’ heads were rubbed bare and their shoulders were raw and blistered. Yet Nebuchadnezzar and his army won no plunder to compensate them for all their work. Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He will carry off its wealth, plundering everything it has so he can pay his army. Yes, I have given him the land of Egypt as a reward for his work, says the Sovereign Lord, because he was working for me when he destroyed Tyre. —Ezekiel 29:17-20

Lord, thank You for three more reasons to trust You.

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: Daniel 7:1-8:27, Daniel 5:1-31

Lord, Am I Encouraging Your People to Sin? —Ezekiel 44:10-14

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 44:1-46:24

Heavenly Father, living the Christian life is a huge responsibility. Our example can cause someone to follow or abandon You.

And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness. They may still be Temple guards and gatekeepers, and they may slaughter the animals brought for burnt offerings and be present to help the people. But they encouraged my people to worship idols, causing Israel to fall into deep sin. So I have taken a solemn oath that they must bear the consequences for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord. They may not approach me to minister as priests. They may not touch any of my holy things or the holy offerings, for they must bear the shame of all the detestable sins they have committed. They are to serve as the Temple caretakers, taking charge of the maintenance work and performing general duties. —Ezekiel 44:10-14

Holy Spirit, convict me if I’m saying or doing anything that would cause one of Your children to stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:9)

My desire is to cause others to know You more. (Philippians 3:10)

Lord, teach, guide, and counsel me.

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: Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, Ezekiel 29:17-30:19, 2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-34

Lord, Your Glory is Everywhere! —Ezekiel 43:1-2

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 40:38-43:27

 

Heavenly Father, after I read these verses I closed my eyes and tried to imagine hearing and seeing Your glory.

After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. —Ezekiel 43:1-2

The roar of rushing waters, the whole landscape shone with Your glory…Amazing! My first thought was Ezekiel was a privileged human being to get to hear and see Your glory.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I get to see Your glory too!

  • The waves rushing to shore at the pristine, emerald waters and sugar white sands of the beaches near my house
  • The calm, glassy bay waters on my early morning drives
  • The glorious sunsets I see from my back porch every afternoon

Lord, everywhere I turn I see Your glory. It’s such a gift. Help me to take time to worship You when You show me Your glory.

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: Ezekiel 44:1-46:24

Lord, You Will Go to Great Lengths to Humble the Proud—Daniel 4:28-33

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1a, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37

Heavenly Father, the story of Nebuchadnezzar leaves me shaking my head. Did this really happen?

A mighty king goes from wealth, power, and pride in all “he” had built to a grass-eating, wild animal driven from human society. (Daniel 4)

Surely not.

But when I put this into a modern-day scenario, it’s something that happens all the time.

A wealthy, successful person who seems to have it all—intelligence, charisma, looks, and a beautiful family quickly builds a name for themselves and starts to believe “they” singlehandedly made it happen. As my mama says, “they get to big for their britches.” They take all the credit, want all the glory, and see themselves as unstoppable.

Until…

The stock market crashes, their business goes bankrupt, or their spouse gets fed up and leaves. They go from daily opportunities to zero opportunities. In desperation they turn to alcohol, sex, or drugs to num the pain and before You know it they’re living on the streets eating out of dumpsters–180 degrees from the person they were. It happened so fast they didn’t know what hit them.

Lord, You talk a lot about pride. You actually say you hate it.

There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family. —Proverbs 6:16-19

Yes Lord, You hate pride but You don’t hate us. You love us and You see the potential that’s hidden below our prideful exterior. You will go to great lengths to humble us so we can we useful to Your Kingdom.

“When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” —Daniel 4:36-37

Lord, thank You for putting Nebuchadnezzar’s story in Your Word. It gives us hope—anyone can change, with Your help.

Redeem our lives in spite of our prideful hearts. Help me to identify prideful areas in my life. I would rather correct them with Your help than to be sent to the pasture to eat grass for pride removal.

Make me like You Jesus.

In Your Great Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 40:38-43:27

Lord, I’m in a Battle. I Need Your Help—1 Chronicles 5:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b, 49, 4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28

Heavenly Father, it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Some nights I just can’t turn off my brain. I’m fine until I get in the horizontal position and then it starts. The lists; to-do lists, project lists, and lists of things troubling my mind. No, I’m not in a physical battle like the armies of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh but there’s a battle—it’s in my mind.

They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him. So the Hagrites and all their allies were defeated. —1 Chronicles 5:20

Lord, I’m crying out to You. There are some really big needs in my life. I can’t solve these problems. If You don’t show up we will be lost. We will lose the battle.

During my sleepless times I analyze these needs, looks for ways to fix them, tell myself to “let it go,” pray, and attempt to rest in Your peace.  I tell myself to trust You–You’ve got this.

But, sometimes I can’t “let it go.” I can’t rest in Your peace.

I know it’s my problem. I know it’s a lack of trust.

Lord, You are trustworthy. You’ve proven over and over that You always have my best interest in everything You allow to come into my life. You work this out for Your Glory and my good. Holy Spirit, I know there are things You are trying to teach me during these battles. I want to be a fast learner. Speak loudly and clearly.

Help me to trust You with my whole heart.

Lord, I give my list of battles to You. I am trusting You with the outcome.

Jesus, hear my prayer.

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading; 1 Chronicles 8:29-9:1a, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37

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