Lord, Show Me the Pagan Shrines in My Life –2 Kings 15:34-35

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chronicles 27:1-9; Micah 1:1-16; 2 Kings 16:1-9; 2 Chronicles 28:1-15; Isaiah 7:1-25

Heavenly Father, as I read through 1st and 2nd Kings there seemed to be many “godly” kings who did not destroy the pagan shrines and allowed their people to offer sacrifices and burn incense in these places.

Jotham son of Uzziah is one example:

Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. He rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord.  –2 Kings 13:34-35

Lord, do we do the same thing in our lives today?

What do pagan shrines look like in the 21st century?

Father, I don’t want it said of me…

Dianne did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but she did not destroy the pagan shrines in her life.

Holy Spirit, show me the idols in my life.  Show me the things I unknowingly worship more than the One, True, God.  Remind me Lord that anything I desire more than You is an idol.

Jesus, I want to be more like You today.  Help me.

In Your Name I pray.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 8:1-11:16

Lord, I Want to See You–Isaiah 6:1

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29, 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Heavenly Father, I want to see You; REALLY see You, like Isaiah.

Are there things that are hindering me?

I know Isaiah REALLY didn’t see You until King Uzziah died.  I don’t want to have people, plans, or things between You and me.  Show me my heart.

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.  Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.  They were calling out to each other,

   “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
      The whole earth is filled with his glory!”  —Isaiah 6:1-4

Lord, before Isaiah could be used he had to be cleansed.  Show me the things in my life that aren’t pleasing to You.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

   I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,

   ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
      Watch closely, but learn nothing.’  —Isaiah 6:5-9

Father, let me see You. Reveal my sinful ways, and then cleansed me and use me for Your Glory today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29; 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Lord, Help Me to Run From Hypocrisy–Amos 5:21-24

Today’s Scripture Reading: Amos 1:1-6:14

Heavenly Father, when You use the word “hate” it really gets my attention…

I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies
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(Amos 5:21)

Lord, showiness, pretense, and hypocrisy build walls between You and me. That’s the last thing I need.

If I’m a hypocrite You will say to me…

  • I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
  • I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
  • I will not listen to the music of your harps.  (Amos 5:22-23)

Holy Spirit, point out my thoughts and actions that are showy, pretentious, or hypocritical.  Speak louder than my ego.  I don’t want anything to come between You and me.

I want to live a life that’s pleasing to You.

A life that follows Your desires…

Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. (Amos 5:24)

Justice and righteous living; Lord, help me to run toward them and away from hypocrisy!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1-9:15; 2 Kings 14:28-29; 2 Kings 15:8-29, 6-7; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13

Lord, Please Use My Mistakes to Save Others–Jonah 1:16

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 14:1-14; 2 Chronicles 25:1-24; 2 Kings 13:12-13; 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27; 2 Chronicles 25:25-28; 2 Kings 14:17-22; 2 Kings 15:1-5; 2 Chronicles 26:1-21; Jonah 1:1-4:11

Jonah purposely rebelled against the Lord by heading in the opposite direction of Nineveh, his next “ministry opportunity.”

This wasn’t an optional assignment.  God went after Jonah and some innocent bystanders, the crew of a ship headed to Joppa, got caught in the middle of Jonah’s mistake.  

At first it looked as though they were going down with Jonah…

But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.  —Jonah 1:4

The crew came to the conclusion that Jonah was the problem:

Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit.  “Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?”  —Jonah 1:7-8

Once Jonah told them he was a Hebrew and a worshiper of the Lord, the God of Heaven who made the sea and the land (Jonah 1:9) AND that he was running away from the Lord (Jonah 1:10), they knew they were going down unless they did something quick.  They asked Jonah what they should do…

“Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” —Jonah 1:12

The sailors tried everything they could think of to save Jonah, the ship, and themselves.

Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it.  Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.”   —Jonah 1:13-14

Everything they tried failed.  So…

Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once.  —Jonah1:15

The storm was about Jonah’s mistake, it wasn’t about the sailors.  But God used Jonah’s mistake to show Himself to the sailors, so that they could know Jonah’s God.

The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.  –Jonah 1:16

Friends, even our mistakes aren’t just about us.  God can use our biggest and greatest mistakes for His Glory and His Plan.  Give Your mistakes to God and watch Him use them to cause others to know Him and serve Him .

Heavenly Father, I have made some “Jonah-size” mistakes.  I give them to You.  Use them for Your Glory!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 1:1-6:14

Lord, What About the Waiting? —2 Kings 13:1-5

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 13:14-25

Heavenly Father, as I read this scripture passage I began to see a process unfold:

Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.

Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans. Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days. —2 Kings 13:1-5

Lord, in today’s culture we like processes. The most read posts throughout the blogosphere are the ones with lists and processes. We don’t want the long story, we just want the steps. These steps jumped out to me in this passage:

1. We sin

2. We disappoint You

3. We realize our mistake (when the consequences come flooding into our lives) and pray and ask for Your help

4. You hear our prayer (You always hear us)

5. You provide for our rescue

This looks like a great 5-step formula, a “get out of jail free” card. But my relationship with You isn’t neat and tidy. My life is messy and it doesn’t stay in the lines. You don’t always provide for my rescue in the timeframe I like or the way I expect and desire. Everything does not fit neatly in my process-driven, black and white world.

Lord, I see a fallacy in this process. I don’t see a waiting step. Waiting is a big part of my relationship with You. It doesn’t say how long Jehoahaz had to wait before You provided for his rescue but I’m pretty sure he had to wait.

I’ve learned many things in my life of serving You; the most important thing I’ve learned is You are God. You can do whatever You want as long as You honor Your Word because You are the god who does not lie. You are too big to be locked into some time-bound 5 step plan. Your plans are bigger than my plans. You operate from the long view not the daily drama view.

I’ve walked through these five steps many times but it wasn’t smooth and easy. Many times it was one step forward and two steps back. And there was a lot of waiting, is a lot of waiting…

Lord, it’s my desire to trust You more than the process. Help me to stay strong when I’m tired of waiting and my faith is weak. Thank You for the thousands of examples, including today’s passage, of  Your faithfulness You gave us in Your Word. They give me hope and confidence that You will rescue me.

Lord, forgive me when I try to make You fit into a process or formula. Forgive me for seeing You much smaller than You are.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 14:1-14, 2 Chronicles 25:1-24, 2 Kings 13:12-13, 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27, 2 Chronicles 25:25-28, 2 Kings 14:17-22, 2 Kings 15:1-5, 2 Chronicles 26:1-21, Jonah 1:1-4:11

Lord, Am I Keeping Myself From Prospering? —2 Chronicles 24:20

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16:21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, 2 Kings 10:32-36

Heavenly Father, Your timing is perfect! If I had not attended last night’s LeadHer meeting and heard my friend Haylee Weedn give an amazing talk on the first step to financial freedom I may have skipped over this verse. Haylee said that first step is knowing YOUR purpose for my life and then Your purpose should determine how I spend my money.

 

Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!” —2 Chronicles 24:20

After last night’s message this is what this verse says to me:

Dianne,

Why do you neglect our relationship?

Why do you stay so busy rushing around doing things that are meaningless?

I have a plan and purpose for your life and your day. Your money, time and talents are what funds My purpose for you. When you don’t communicate with Me, You don’t know how to best use your money, time, or talents so you are keeping yourself from prospering.

Lord, my desire is to have every area of my life, including my finances support Your plans. Speak Lord, I am listening.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 13:1-11, 2 Kings 12:17-21, 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 13:14-25

Lord, Help Me Encourage My Children to Do Right—2 Chronicles 22:3

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:8-20, 2 Kings 8:23-29, 2 Chronicles 22:1-7, 2 Kings 9:1-10:17, 2 Chronicles 22:8-9, 2 Kings 10:18-31

Heavenly Father, this verse jumped out like a flashing,neon sign as I read today’s scripture:

Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.                      —2 Chronicles 22:3

What a terrible thing to have said about a parent!

My first thought was Lord, “I” would never encourage my children to do wrong! I take my role as a parent very seriously. While that is true, I felt a pause come over me and I thought,”No, I don’t encourage my children to do wrong with my words but do I encourage them to do wrong by my example?”

I love to read about great leaders and look for leadership lessons in the lives of all kinds of people.  I’m so passionate about leadership that I’m a part of a  national women’s ministry called LeadHer that equips women to be the leaders You have called us to be. One of the founding principles of this organization is every woman is a leader. We all have people we influence but for those of us who are parents our greatest opportunity to influence is in the lives of our children.

Lord, the number one thing I’ve learned about leadership through secular study and following You all my life  is there’s only one way to lead:

By example.

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Holy Spirit, show me the areas where my words and my actions don’t line up. Allow my life with all it’s twists and turns, successes and failures, to lead my children straight to You.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 11:1-3, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12, 2 Kings 11:4-12, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11, 2 Kings 11:13-16, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15, 2 Kings 11:17-21, 2 Chronicles 23:16-21, 2 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22, 2 Kings 10:32-36

Lord, Help Me Trust Your Timing—2 Kings 8:1-6

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-8:15

Heavenly Father, one of the things I’ve learned from reading The Bible cover-to-cover is that Your will and Your plan are all about timing. Over and over we see life-changing events that only happened because the timing was perfect. This story in today’s reading is a great example:

And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.

“Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!”

“Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence. —2 Kings 8:5-6

At that very moment…

Father, I’m a planner, organizer, project manager, and frequent control freak and I love to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. It’s hard for me hit the bull’s-eye of getting things done and putting people, events, and situations together in a week’s time and it usually NEVER turns out the way “I” planned it but You make miracles happen down to the second!

Wow!

When I really think about it, everything in my ordinary, daily life is a result of Your perfect timing.

I’m amazed.

Jesus, there is a down side to Your perfect timing. You are never one second early and “I”  don’t know Your plan or Your time frame. May times its easy to look back and see Your amazing timing but when I’m waiting and waiting and I don’t know how or when Your going to come through, it’s anything but easy.

I wonder if the Shunemite woman was fretting about getting her house back? My first thought is no way! After all, she’s seen many miracles: she gave birth to a child when her husband was very old, Elisha prayed and her son was raised from the dead, and Elisha told her ahead of time there was going to be a seven-year famine in Israel and instructed her to move to the land of the Philistines so she would have food to survive.

But then I thought about my life. Lord, I too, have seen many miracles. I’ve seen Your perfect timing many, many times. Yet, I still fret and “stress out” because “I” don’t know when or how You are going to do it. If I’m truly honest, there have been times when I’ve prayed and prayed and haven’t seen You answer that I’ve wondered “if” You’re  going to come through.

Maybe the Shunemite woman was as human as me. Maybe she had she her doubts…

Lord, thank You for Your Word. Forgive me when I fail to trust You.

Have YOUR will in my life today. Make it happen in YOUR perfect time.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:8-20, 2 Kings 8:23-29, 2 Chronicles 22:1-7, 2 Kings 9:1-10:17, 2 Chronicles 22:8-9, 2 Kings 10:18-31

Lord, Help Me to Be Loyal Like Elisha–2 Kings 2:2

Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-25; 2 Kings 4:1-44

Heavenly Father, in today’s world loyalty is a lost art.  When the going gets tough, most people just pack up and leave.  Whether we’re talking about marriages, families, friendships, churches, the workplace, or one’s dreams and goals…

“till death do us part”

isn’t cool in the 21st century.

Elisha was extremely blessed because he committed himself to being by Elijah’s side till the end of his ministry:

And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” So they went down together to Bethel.  –2 Kings 2:2

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Jericho.” But Elisha replied again, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together to Jericho.  —2 Kings 2:4

Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.” But again Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together.  —2 Kings 2:6

Lord, Elisha was hungry for Your Spirit:

When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.”

And Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.”  

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah replied. “If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won’t.” —2 Kings 2:9-10

Father, did You grant His request because of his loyalty, commitment, and desire?

As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.  Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.

Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River.  He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.

When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.  –2 Kings 2:11-15

Heavenly Father, show me where to place my loyalty.  Show me where and when to give my total commitment. I want a double portion of Your Spirit.  I want to succeed in all that You’ve called me to do.  I want the spirit of Elisha!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-8:15

Lord, Help Me to be Humble—2 Kings 1:1-18

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Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 1:1-18, 2 Kings 3:1-27, 1 Kings 22:41-49, 2 Chronicles 20:31-37, 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Chronicles 21:1-4, 2 Kings 8:16-22, 2 Chronicles 21:5-7

Heavenly Father, humility is one of those virtues that is hard to define, hard to pursue, and easy to lose. In today’s reading we saw a great example of what true, humility looks like.

 

Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!”

Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king. —2 Kings 1:13-15

Two captains and their men tried to bring Elijah to the king but failed and were killed by fire from heaven. The third captain succeeded and lived to tell about it. He approached the situation in a completely different way. Some may say he came to the king in a cowardly manner. I say he completed his mission when two other captains failed and he was a hero!

Lord, how many times do I walk through things,  experience stress and aggravation and lose a battle because I’m not willing to ask for or give grace, admit I’m wrong, or show respect to someone who may not really deserve it?

I have learned that I will never be humble if I’m worrying about who “deserves” what. We all deserve death but Lord You spared us.

Lord, continue to show me examples of humidity and help me to strive for this virtue that is so pleasing to You.

 

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

 

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-25, 2 Kings 4:1-44

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