Category: <span>thoughts by Sylvia Gunter</span>

You are your Beloved’s and He is yours.

He called you His beloved from eternity. Your Father was pleased to make you His own (1 Samuel 12:22). The voice of your loving Father resonates in you in a deep place. He is blessing you every day with Himself, nothing less. He is there for you. Your Father wants you to know His deep bonds with you, His deep attachment to you with cords of never-ending love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Hear Him speak to you about trust, faith, and love that is much deeper than the mindset of survival. Listen to Him say,

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12).

He is holding you close to Himself. He is whispering to you,

I care for you. I know every detail about you, and wherever you go, I go with you. Wherever you rest, I keep watch. I give you food that will satisfy all your hunger, and I quench all your thirst. I will never hide My face from you. Nothing will ever separate us. Wherever you are, I am.”

 Taste deeply of the love, of God, and of truth. Hear Him speak to you about your deepest yearnings, your wishes, your hopes, and your dreams. Know the treasure you are to your Father. You are a chosen one, a special person, noticed in your uniqueness, eternally valued. You are priceless and irreplaceable, safe in His everlasting embrace, at rest in His non-comparing love. Let your Abba protect your emotions, as He surrounds you with the shield of His presence (Psalm 5:12).

Be blessed by your Father who can never leave you or forsake you

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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•   The Fathers Beloved

•  You are Secure as the Beloved

  How to be Saved


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

It is exciting to get to know the One who fathered us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16). With an open Bible, meditate on your awesome Father. This is the ultimate revelation of His heart. Let the One who is Holy Love re-parent you in His love, so that you see all that He does in your life through the filter of His love (1 John 4:16). This is greatly abbreviated from Prayer Portions. Your Father wants you to know Him, love Him, and enjoy Him!

A – My Father is my Abba, Papa-God. I am His beloved child. (Romans 8:15, Gal. 4:4-7, John 1:12, James 1:18)

B – My Father blesses me with every heavenly gift. (Ephesians 1:3)

C – My Father gathers me in His arms and carries me all my life. (Isaiah 40:11, 46:3-4; Deuteronomy 1:31).
My Father chose me from the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4-6)

D – My Father disciplines me with love and justice. (Hebrews 12:6-11, Deuteronomy 32:4, John 5:30)

E – My Father exults over me with joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)

F – My Father is father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5).

G – My Father has given me an inheritance, making me a fellow heir with His Son. (Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:11-14, Colossians 1:12-14)

K – My Father knows all my needs (Matthew 6:8).

L – My Father loves me with the same love with which He loves His Son. (John 17:23, Ephesians 2:4-5).
He lavishes me with His grace. (Ephesians 1:7-8)

M – My Father meets all of my needs according to His riches in Christ. (Psalm 23, 36:8; Philippians 4:19, Proverbs 3:9-10)

N – My Father will not abandon me. He will never, no never, leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 4:31, 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5)
No one can pluck me out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29)

P – I am precious in My Father’s sight. (Isaiah 43:3)
My Father was pleased to make me His own. (1 Samuel 12:22)

R – He redeems my life from all my past. (Isaiah 63:16)
My Father rejoices over me with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

S – My Father is absolutely stable. He never changes. (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17)

T – When I am afraid, I can trust my Father. (Psalm 56:3-4, 11)
My Father is absolutely trustworthy. (Psalm 9:10, 30:20-22; Isaiah. 12:2, Jeremiah 17:5-8, Matthew 12:17-21)

V – My Father will vindicate me. (Deuteronomy 32:36, Psalm 7:8)

W – My Father only wants the highest good for me. (Romans 2:4, 2 Thessalonians 1:11)
My Father is always with me. (Matthew 18:20, 1 Chronicles 28:20)

Exodus 22:27, Psalm 103:11-14, Isaiah 9:6, 1 Corinthians. 6:16-18.

by Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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More by Sylvia Gunter

Be Still, My Daughter

Your Father’s Heart Longs for You

Intimacy with God


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Be blessed to know your identity as your Father’s beloved son or daughter. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

Be blessed with fully realizing the life-changing truth of the Spirit living in you, so that you can know you are the beloved of your Father, and He is yours. Be blessed with His exquisite fathering and receive it as His special child. Be blessed to know His Spirit speaking to you that you are a delight to Him.

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Your Father wants to bless you with growth that is mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational. Receive from your Father the love and acceptance you have been seeking. Your Father’s heart is passionate for your full identity as His child, based purely on relationship, not performance.

Be blessed as He calls you to fully live as the son or daughter you are. You do not have to work for it. You can’t earn that relationship. Be blessed with perfect love that casts out fear that you aren’t enough or you don’t have what it takes.

Be blessed to know without doubt that your Father is extending His favor toward you. This is the time of your Father’s favor, a time to receive His gift to you of security in His house.

Be blessed with knowing this new grace place with your heavenly Father. He wants you to receive it. Be blessed as He calls you to life, nurture, and enlargement. Be blessed with a rich gold mine of identity and legitimacy from which to live confidently and purposefully in God’s design of you and His purposes for you.

Be blessed to be released into the full rights of your true identity and legitimacy in your Father.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Be Blessed, Beloved Child – by Sylvia Gunter

• Seven-fold Blessing – by Sylvia Gunter

Blessing of the Fruit of the Spirit – by Sylvia Gunter

thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Offence is the act of provoking, annoying, irritating, or causing pain or injury.

It is also the reaction the offense produces, like indignation, resentment, or anger, which can lead to breach in a relationship.

When someone sins against us, our flesh rises up and demands retribution.

But the way of grace must watch over our hearts, guard our mouths, and release the offender.

The writer of Proverbs urges us to respond to offenses by giving evidence of the grace of God. Read these pairs of statements from a very wise man, and ask God to reveal how you responded the last time you were offended.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11).  Patience is wisdom, and wisdom lets an offense pass by without responding sinfully. Love keeps no record of wrongs suffered.

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).  It is better to be patient than warlike or contentious. A Spirit-controlled response wins battles.

An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel (Proverbs 18:19).  A hostile relationship is hard to win back. Contention separates people into opposing sides. Jesus died to break down the dividing walls.

 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity (Proverbs 21:23).  When our unguarded mouth gives vent to our unhealed heart, we unleash words that hurt deeply.

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, Do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared (Proverbs 22:24-25). Don’t take personally the anger of angry people, or you will find yourself reacting to them in the same destructive way.

Calmness can lay great errors [offenses] to rest (Ecclesiastes 10:4). A quiet spirit will overcome great anger and turn aside the hurtful actions of others.

“Let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle (offense or occasion to fall) in your brother’s way” (Romans 14:13). Identify the redemptive purpose of Jesus in each situation and relationship. Our motivation is in the great forgiveness of Jesus. We overlook offenses because Jesus took our offenses and bore them to His cross.

“He was delivered over to death for our sins (offenses)” (Romans 4:25). Those who have been forgiven much will forgive much.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

•  Bitterness in the Garden of our Hearts | by Francis Frangipane

•  Salvation Explained

thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Hear God’s Word in Mark 1:11.

And a voice came from heaven: ‘

You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

God told his Son how he felt about him. He fed him with his words that nourished him with the vital emotional nutrients of sonship. If the Son of God needed these words from his Father, how much more do we.  Jesus stood in victory when he was confronted three times by Satan in the wilderness because he was strengthened in his inner being by these affirming words. Be blessed to be so formed and nurtured by your heavenly Father’s words, “I am pleased with you,” that you can face any battle and be victorious. Be blessed to hear your heavenly Father’s voice first-person, saying to you “You are my son, or my daughter, whom I love; I am well pleased with you.”

Let your heavenly Father, father you. Be blessed to know by his Spirit speaking to you that you are a delight to him. Be blessed to know without doubt that you are his favorite son or daughter. Be blessed with fully realizing the work of the Spirit of sonship in you, working continuously to bring you to live in your birthright as your Father’s beloved child. From that strength you can receive healing, recovery, and restoration from all wounding. You can go forward into all the potential that God planted in your DNA, both spiritually and naturally.

Your Father was pleased to make you his own (1 Samuel 12:22), and he is blessing you every day. Be blessed with a safe place in your Father to be who he intends you to be. Be blessed to receive a love letter from your Abba today and every day, so that you will know that you have worth, you are valued, and you are cherished. Be blessed to know that you are a treasure to him. Be blessed with knowing that he never stops being your dear tender Abba. He affirms, welcomes, loves, heals, comforts, coaches, guides, delivers, and corrects you for your good and his glory. He never loses his pleasure in you as the son or daughter he uniquely designed.

Your Father recorded in writing the intention of his pleasure in you. Hear and receive his heart for you in Ephesians 1:5-14 (NLT) (personalized for you). God’s unchanging plan has always been to adopt you into his own family by bringing you to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. So we praise God the Father for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on you, because you belong to his dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that he purchased your freedom through the blood of his Son, and your sins are forgiven. He has showered his kindness on you, along with all wisdom and understanding. God’s secret plan has now been revealed to you; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything in heaven and on earth together under the authority of Christ. Furthermore, because of Christ, you have received an inheritance from God your Father, for he chose you from the beginning, and all things  happen just as he decided long ago. God’s purpose was that you who trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. When you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give you everything he promised and that he has purchased you to be his own. This is one more reason for you to praise your glorious God.

This, beloved one, is the pleasure
that your heavenly Father takes in you.

Be blessed with the seal of his pleasure
in his promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

With all the negative news in the media, today I want to share with you some good news. God is still God, and he knows the plans that he has for you. That doesn’t mean that life will get easier. The famous verse in Jeremiah we like to quote was written to people in captivity for seventy years! But it is still true. Regardless of what today brings, God is still God.

Hear God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:11.

I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Precious one, be blessed with the love of Christ for emotional healing. The psalmist said that his body was troubled, and his soul was greatly troubled (Psalm 6:2-3). Be blessed with peace and hope being restored to you. The mind may have witnessed an event it can’t cope with. The body may react physically under duress, the soul weeps. It is a total body reaction. Be blessed, spirit, soul, and body, to be healed in the root cause of all disturbance of your peace. Be blessed to reject all lies at the root. Let the power of the Holy Spirit address the lie, and be set free.

Hear the Good news: It’s not too late. In the defining message of his life in Luke 4:18, Jesus said that he would set the captives free. If you feel captive in any way because of emotional wounding, be blessed with his love, redemption, and power to flood you and release you. Be blessed in your brain, your mind, and your memory, particularly the part that is holding on to any issues. Receive the compassion of Jesus to address any emotional concern. He is mighty to deal with any depression or other aftermath or backlash. Receive the light of his healing grace into everything that is out of God’s order.

Jesus opened the minds of the travelers on the way to Emmaus so that they could understand him in the Scriptures. Understand his words to you. Jesus said to Paul,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul replied, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9-12).

Precious one, boast in your wounds by declaring that the power of Jesus is in you to heal them. You have the treasure of your life in a human “jar of clay” to show that he is your all-surpassing power to accomplish his plans for your welfare (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Hear Jeremiah 29:12-14.

“‘In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land.‘”

God’s thoughts toward you are for peace. His plans in you are for healing, not for hurt or negativity or sadness. He promised the all-surpassing power of his love. He will accomplish his hope, his future, and his well-being in you. When you seek him, he hears you. He lets you find him to bring you back from your captivity, whatever it is. His best for you is peace, wholeness, and security.

Be blessed today in the name of the Prince of peace
(Isaiah 9:6).

by Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

Do you want to experience God’s love and forgiveness?

Action point:  On a piece of paper, ask God to show you all the sins He wants you to confess.  As they come to your mind, write them down.  When no more sins come to mind, write 1 John 1:9across them.  Then know for sure that ALL your sins are forgiven.  If you start feeling guilty about them again, know that it is the Enemy harassing you.  God won’t convict you of those sins again.

Then ask Jesus to come into your life and be the director of your life from now on.

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

God has forgiven your sins, past present and future!

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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Further Reading

God’s Plan or My Plan? – Don Myers on Discerning God’s Will

God’s Strength God’s Plan – by Laura Rath

 How to be Saved


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

For those of us who grew up celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Christmas story can become too familiar. It easily slips from a story of awe to simple facts of history. We rattle off these events, such as Mary gave birth to Jesus and then the shepherds and wise men came to see Him, with the same ease that we describe what we did last weekend. When you stop to really consider it, the story of Christmas is anything but normal. It is absurd. It is full of biological impossibility, strained family dynamics, emotional turmoil, supernatural encounters, a failed assassination attempt, and people asked to do the craziest things.

This is an invitation to deeply experience the Christmas story.

How would you feel if God told you that you are bearing His Son? Feel the fear of telling your fiance and parents that you are pregnant, and Joseph is not the father. Sense the shame as the village whispers about you. Imagine the weight of knowing you are carrying God’s son, hoping that you don’t mess the whole thing up.

Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. How would you feel if your beloved comes to you and says she is pregnant and you know that the baby is not yours? Feel the betrayal, rejection, and heartbreak of Joseph, based on the wrong conclusions about Mary, until God sends the angel who straightens things out.

How would you feel on a ordinary night at work taking care of your sheep if an angel of the Lord showed up to say, “Drop what you are doing and go“? Feel the fear of such a supernatural event, followed by the doubt that creeps in to say, “Did I make that up?” What about leaving the sheep which are your sole source of income? Sense the wonder, fear, uncertainty, and hope of the shepherds as they come to meet their Savior.

What if you were one of the servants in the entourage of the magi? You are following your master who is basing his journey on a star. It is not a short journey either. It was weeks, months, maybe even years before you arrive at your final destination. How long would you keep walking to a place you don’t know to meet a person no one else seems to know about with only a star as a guide?

Then as the story continues, when is the last time you had a dream that you woke up from and knew that you, your wife, and child were to leave immediately to live in a foreign country? What was that discussion like? Would you leave friends and family behind, based solely on a dream your spouse had to go to Egypt?

The story is full of one crazy event after another. Beyond recording the details of Jesus’ birth, the Christmas story reveals to us the otherness of God and how He longs to partner with big-spirited people to do the impossible. His reality is so much greater than ours. While we are thinking about getting married and settling down with a family in our hometown, He is planning to partner with us to fulfill His plan for the world.

The joy of this season is that with each twist and turn in the story God finds people who choose to live from their spirit and follow when they are challenged to believe what they have not seen and do what they have never done before. That is the adventure He is calling each of us to live.

This Christmas marvel at the outrageous and awesome lengths to which God the Father will go to give you the perfect gift.

Give Him the gift of the same reckless abandon of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the magi to pursue and follow your King Jesus.

May your spirit be so large and in tune with the Holy Spirit that when God shows up in the middle of your ordinary day with an extraordinary plan, you are ready to follow Him regardless of how absurd it might sound.

As 2015 approaches, open your heart to God-size dreams. Wait expectantly for God-sized visions, and don’t be surprised as He does exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.
(Read Luke 1-2)

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

You have prepared your gift list. You have begun preparing your house for the holidays. Take time to prepare your heart to make room for the One whose birthday we celebrate. My purpose in writing this devotional is to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

Read Luke 2:1-20. Open your eyes anew to really see the Christmas story. Through these questions, meditate on its present-day personal applications. What does it say about God’s ways and your response? Ask God what he wants to reveal to you. You may want to do this meditation over a period of several days.

Luke 2:1-5 Examine the setting: Jesus came to a city. How would Jesus like to come to your city?

Luke 2:6 Compare this verse with Galatians 4:4-5, the Christmas story according to Paul. What does this say about God’s timing? Ask, What do I need to surrender to Your timing, Lord?

Luke 2:7 Reflect on the words “no room.” Where are your “no vacancy” signs?

Luke 2:8-9 Note that ordinary people were doing everyday things, and they saw the glory of God. Where do you need to see the glory of the Lord shine in your regular routine?

Luke 2:10 Fear not and joy no matter what! Ask yourself, How is this real for me?

Luke 2:11 Meditate on the third verse of “Silent Night.” How personal is the phrase “born for you?” Have you seen Him as Savior-babe as well as Christ the Lord?

Luke 2:7,12 Compare this description of Jesus with the one in Hebrews 1:2-3. What does this say about humility?

Luke 2:13 How can you praise God as a lifestyle?

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest and on earth– Have you ever seen the world vision in the Christmas story? What will it take for the glory of God to be seen in all the earth? What will it take for everything in your life to say “Glory in the highest?

Luke 2:15,16a Instant obedience. The shepherds saw Jesus because they obeyed immediately. What has God shown you lately that calls for instant obedience?

Luke 2:16 Surrendered expectations. The King of the universe came into this world in a smelly stable! What expectations of how God is working do you need to surrender?

Luke 2:19 Do you have a “Mary heart“? Do you ponder God’s ways in your heart?

Let God prepare your heart with fresh joy, anticipation, renewed peace, vision… with whatever you need most. As you sing “Joy to the World” this season, really hear the words. Don’t let the familiarity of this great carol lull you into neutral. Receive your King who has the right to rule in the hardest circumstances of your life.

Submit, bow your knee to Him, and say,

Yes, King of my life, I prepare You room and receive You. Reign in the midst of the world’s temporary insanity of the season and beyond. Rule in my heart and my family with truth, grace, righteousness, wondrous love, and glory.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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Further Reading

Christmas Articles

Christmas Prayers

Christmas Quotes


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

A lot of days don’t you feel like Simba in The Lion King?

Simba’s evil uncle (the enemy) has led him to believe that he’s alone in the world, he has failed in such a way that he can never be forgiven, and he no longer has a purpose or identity. Simba believes that he has to live out his days in the jungle as a failure. One night as he sits by a lake, he hears his father’s voice say, “Remember who you are.” Suddenly Simba sees a reflection in the water of who he truly is, a strong, courageous lion who is the rightful heir to the kingdom. He receives his true identity and takes off to fulfill his destiny of restoring life to the kingdom.

Our loving Father gave us hundreds of Scriptures of who we are in Christ. Over and over He is saying through the Word,

“Remember who you are. You are a reflection of Me.”

Take some time to gaze into the Living Water and see the reflection of who you are.

You are Abba’s child.
Galatians 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
He is Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15 You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

You are on the winning side.
Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
He is the victorious warrior.
Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

You are crowned with love and compassion.
Psalm 103:4 … who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…
He is a glorious crown.
Isaiah 28:5 The Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown.

You are rich in his grace.
2 Corinthians 8:9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor…
He is God of all grace.
1 Peter 5:10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ… will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

You are free from condemnation.
Romans 8:1 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
Jesus is the friend of sinners.
Mathew 11:19 The Son of Man [is] a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”

You are heard.
Isaiah. 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
He is God who hears.
Exodus 22:27 When he cries out to me, I will hear…

You are seen by God.
Psalm 33:13-14 The LORD looks… he sees all the sons of men. He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth.
He is God who sees (Elroi).
Genesis. 16:13 You are the God who sees me…

You are prayed for.
John 17:20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.
He is your intercessor.
Hebrews 7:25 He always lives to intercede for them

You are filled with joy.
John 17:13 … that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
He heals the brokenhearted.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

You are satisfied.
Isaiah 58:11 The Lord … will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land.
He is satisfaction.
Psalms 107:9 He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

You are not afraid.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
The LORD is your light and your salvation.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

You have authority to overcome.
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to … overcome all the power of the enemy.
He has all authority.
Matthew 28:18 All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

You are a tree planted by streams of water.
Jeremiah 17:8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
He is the Living Water.
John 7:37-39 Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit…

Remember who you are…because of who your Father is!

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Taken from Revealing The Treasures © 2005 by Sylvia Gunter.

Further Reading

• Reflected Glory – by Kathy Cheek

Reflecting God’s Character – by Allan Mitchell

God’s Mirror A Devotional by Rich Vega


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

In the movie The Patriot, Benjamin Martin is a loving father who reluctantly goes to fight in the Revolutionary War. His youngest daughter Susan is too young to comprehend why her father has to go away and refuses to speak to him when he returns for a visit. He begs her to say something, anything. But she refuses. As he rides off on his horse to fight once again, Susan screams for her Papa not to go. All he has to do is tell her what he wants her to say, and she will say it. The father jumps of his horse and takes Susan in his arms and assures her that she doesn’t have to do anything. He delights in her because of who she is. He looks her in the eye and says, “You make me happy.”

What a blessing to receive from a father!  Receive this blessing from your Father as he kneels down to look you in the eye and say, “You make me happy.”

Listen with your spirit to Ephesians 1:3-6.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

Precious one, receive the defining love and grace of your God and Father of your Lord Jesus Christ.

You existed in God’s heart from eternity as a precious being before time was. You abide in his everlasting love that adopted you as his child through Jesus Christ.

Be blessed to hear your Father speak his blessings to you.

Be blessed to discover many deposits of his blessings in your inner being. Let them trickle down to soul, heart, emotions, will.

Be blessed to live and move in tune with your Father’s heart for your identity, legitimacy, and birthright. Jesus living in you is the unique glory of your life. He created you for the praise of his glorious grace. This is God’s final word on who you are. Be blessed as you receive all the good gifts of life-giving incarnation from the Spirit of the Life-giver in you. Receive his faith, hope, and love.

Your life is like a treasure map, and you are on a journey of discovery of your true identity, legitimacy, and confident freedom. Feel God’s light shining upon you, revealing the seven colors of the rainbow of his covenant to you.

Be blessed as your God and Father creates new pathways of significance where none has consciously existed.

Be blessed as you discover how the seven colors of God’s covenant are displayed in you.

Be blessed with deepening significance that you can sense should be there. Receive the gentle voice of your Father speaking in the core of your essence, “You are my beloved.

Don’t find your identity and legitimacy from any human person, thing, or accomplishment. Only your spirit connection with your Father is significant to your identity and legitimacy. That’s the truth of your life. Claim it, and live it.

Precious one, be blessed as you live your life as a redeemed eternal child of your eternal Father. His will for you is that you know that you are beautiful, his own special creation.

Be blessed to know that he determined for you an appointed place and time and purpose and that in him you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:26,28).

Be blessed to live and move in tune with your Father’s heart for your identity, legitimacy, calling, authority, and birthright. Today is the day of his favor for you.

Be blessed as you stand tall in all your legitimacy as a covenant right from your Father the King.

Be blessed as you choose to live from his heart and in your authority in him. Be blessed in Jesus’ name as a child of his God and Father (Ephesians 1:3).

Be blessed in the name of the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15 NKJV – Spirit of sonship in NIV).

by Sylvia Gunter
used by permission

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Further Reading

• Seven-fold Blessing –  by Sylvia Gunter

Blessed are the Merciful  by Bill Bright

God’s Blessings by Alec Niemi


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Top 10 Ways Not to Hear From God

1.  Take no time for margins in your life. Fill your life with so much activity that there is no room to “Be still, cease striving, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). When we live in the tyranny of the urgent, we can be so busy that two-way conversation with God is not a priority.

2.  Don’t admit that you have any needs. Be so self-sufficient that you don’t need a prayer base. We all need personal intercessors. Yet, as I ask most Christian leaders if they have a prayer base as a necessity of their life and ministry, they reply blankly, “Uh… no.”

3.  Respond to every need as if you are the only one who can fix it. Jesus did not respond to every need. From our people-pleasing natures, it is not easy to see that every need is not our call. Our valid call is only from God, not from the pleading voices around us.

4.  Don’t ask God any questions. People have questions, and they will look for the answers somewhere: psychics, self-help books, friends, talk-radio shows, the internet, etc. Only God is the source of eternal Truth. He is available for our questions, toll-free, unlimited access.

5.  Be so exhausted that your physical, mental, and emotional fatigue cries out to be satisfied louder than the still, small voice of God. To hear from God, we must take adequate time off to get much-needed rest and refreshment. Burned out, we are no good to ourselves or anybody else, much less to God.

6.  Completely ignore the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks words of truth and comfort and enables us to grow in spiritual awareness. By slighting His work and failing to rely on Him, we short-change our ability to hear from God.

7.  Insist that God must conform to your comfort zone. Be so comfortable that if God did speak, it would upset your status quo. Self-satisfaction kills our hunger to hear from God. So does lack of vision that there’s more beyond where we are. When we are busy perpetuating a personal agenda, we will not hear the voice of God, especially if it means change.

8. Be religious.Religion” is characterized by tunnel vision that thinks it has all the answers. Religion does not deepen us in the grace of God. Look at the Pharisees. They were preoccupied with keeping every jot and tittle of the law.  Jesus called them whited sepulchers, full of dead men’s bones. They kept a form of godliness and missed God walking among them. God calls us to cultivate a living relationship in intimacy with Him at all costs.

9. Be ignorant of the warfare. We must not see only the surface of things. We are not fighting flesh and blood but unseen spiritual battles (Ephesians 6:12-13). Paul instructed us not to wage war on the horizontal level as the world does. The informed and armed soldier overcomes everything that sets itself up against the righteousness, peace, and joy of the kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Romans 14:17).

10.  Tolerate unconfessed sin in your life. The psalmist said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). Our sin and flesh must not be allowed to dominate so loudly that they drown out God. We must draw near God with a clean conscience (Hebrews 10:22).

Follow the example of Jesus, who often slipped away from
the crowds to spend time with the quiet loving voice of his Father.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

• Hearing God’s Voice – by Charles Stanley

Listening to God – by John Grant

Hearing Impaired – by Alisha Ritchie


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Listen with your spirit to the Word of God in Ecclesiastes 3:1.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Beloved, your Father has appointed time as the stage for his eternal purposes in your life. I bless you with knowing that he has appointed and oversees your point in history, the times and seasons, the events and the experiences, the character and significance of all things that pertain to you. I bless you with knowing his direction of your life, when he doesn’t let you see the end from the beginning, so that you will seek him, his heart, and his wisdom at all times. Time serves his overarching plan, even when life seems senseless and without aim or explanation. I bless you with knowing that everything unfolds under the eye of his providence, even when the pieces don’t seem to fit, and his ways are a mystery to you. I bless you with knowing the certainty of how you fit into his time and space, history and the future. As it was said of Queen Esther, “Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

I bless you with knowing that your Father’s appointed and anointed time for everything is beautiful from his perspective of eternity. I bless you with trusting his bigger picture, when you can only see some of the particulars. I bless you with being right in step and on time, not running ahead or lagging behind. I bless you with sensitivity to the seasons of the Spirit, the movement of the Spirit, and the moment of the Spirit.

I bless your spirit with an anointing for time and timeliness. I bless you with knowing your Father’s birthing seasons and with letting die those works that are not his. I bless you with knowing his timing to plant a new vision or dream and to pluck up something that is past its season. I bless you with not erecting idols or monuments to works that he is not presently blessing.

I bless you with your Father’s time to laugh about what makes him laugh and to weep about those things that break his heart. I bless you with your Father’s time to dance with abandon with the Lover of your soul. I bless you with your Father’s time to scatter seed and time to rejoice gathering in the harvest. I bless you with your Father’s time to embrace those people, values, and purposes that he blesses and to refrain from affirming anything that is not his vision for you. I bless you with his time to search for the hidden treasures of love and wisdom, for hope and faith, and to give up as worthless all self-effort and striving. I bless you with his time to keep that which is silver, gold, and precious stones and to throw away all that is wood, hay, and stubble.

I bless you to mend some relationships and to tear away from soul ties which your Father did not author. I bless you to know his time to be silent, and when it’s time to speak, I bless you with knowing the time of his dealing in another person’s life and whether you are to be involved and how. I bless you with your Father’s time to love what he loves and to hate what he hates with righteous passion. I bless you with his holy time for war with the real enemy and his time for peace because of the grace of the cross.

Beloved, your times are safely in his hands. I bless you with enjoying your Father’s good gift of time. I bless you with savoring all the richness of the present moment. I bless you and entrust you to God and the word of his grace, the message of his heart that builds you up and gives you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself. I bless you in Jesus’ name.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Strength to Equal Your Days – by Sylvia Gunter

•   Hope Changes Everything – by Laura Rath

•  Seeing God’s Fingerprints – by Sylvia Gunter

thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Use this prayer as a guide to pray for whatever is concerning you to day. 

He is the God of the impossible, and He is near.

Lord, I choose to do whatever it takes to be able to pray the following prayer in complete surrender to Your perfect will regarding (this person, situation, or problem).

Lord, help me to learn everything You are trying to teach me in (this), and please don’t stop until I have learned everything You want me to receive.

Help me to seek You and not just relief from (this). I pray that You and only You will be glorified and that I will know You better as You give me greater revelation of who You are.

Holy Spirit, I humble myself before You and ask You to search my heart and convict and cleanse me of pride and any other spiritual darkness that might hinder me from repenting of my sins. I relinquish myself to You and ask You to do whatever it takes so that I might walk in the light of truth. I want to pray effectively for (this); therefore, expose to me my sins, so that I can confess, repent of them, and cover them with the blood of Jesus.

Lord, do what it takes to get my complete attention. I put on the altar my entire family and those you have knit me together with in the Spirit. I surrender myself and all those you have brought close to me and dedicate them to You. In Jesus name, I ask You to bring revival to my life and theirs.

Remove from me all bitterness, resentment, and anger. Give me Your total love even if (this) should never change. Help me to confess, repent, and make restitution where necessary for Your honor and glory and my release from all bondage.

Lord, help me to obey you completely. As You direct me to pray and fast, speak to my spirit clearly concerning (this).

As I stand against the enemy, I am clothed in Your full armor covered with the blood of my Redeemer in whom resides all power and authority. I thank You, Father, that You defeated Satan and all the powers of darkness when Jesus died for me on the cross.

I plead Your promises and character over (this). I acknowledge that Your Word never comes back void, and I stand on the following Scriptures and promises to which Your Spirit has lead me. (Make note of the Scriptures God leads you to pray).

I offer up to You my sacrifice of praise and acknowledge by faith that You have already won the victory. I choose to rest in You whatever the outcome, however You choose to answer. Thank You that You never change and that Your goodness and mercy are everlasting. I ask You in faith to do Your will, to reveal Yourself, to turn hearts and put a godly fear in all concerned about (this) and to bring Your Word to bear on all involved.

Father, I give You all praise, honor, and glory for what You are doing and are about to do. I thank You for the blessings of obedience and acknowledge that every answer I receive is from You, through You, and for Your glory alone. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Sample Prayers

•  A Prayer for When you are Fearful

 A Prayer for Those Carrying Heavy Burdens

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Time and again God brings me to my knees over my heart attitude expressed out of my mouth. More than once, God has led me to fast of negative, critical, judgmental, and complaining words. Why a fast of words? Is that a legitimate application of fasting? The Hebrew word fast means to cover the mouth. For me, it is harder to fast from words than from food. Abstaining from negative words may be as powerful as fasting from food, because it is a particular battlefield for most of us.

A fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and no wicked words as conditions of great blessings listed in verses 10b-12.

I remember the first time God led me to fast for 40 days of all negative, complaining, critical, and judgmental words. At first, it was one of the hardest experiences of my Christian life. The problem is not my mouth but my heart. Proverbs 4:23 says

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

About two weeks into my fast, I was treated haughtily at a store. As I left the store, I said to myself, “I’ll just take my business elsewhere. That is the second time she has had an attitude with me.” Immediately I heard in my spirit, “No, you are the one with the attitude.” I wanted to fall to my knees on the sidewalk, crying out, “I am so sick of me!” I know how Isaiah felt when he told God, “Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). O God, take a coal from the altar and purge this wicked heart of mine. God showed me that He was dealing with a root of pride (Isaiah 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5-6). I was puffed up, with no sense of my own spiritual need.

I struggled for a while in this fast of words in what felt like hand-to-hand warfare, but God softened and sweetened my heart. After that season, I felt like a dog in a yard with an invisible electric fence. Every time I opened my mouth to say anything critical, I would get a zap from my loving Father. I reviewed my prayer notebook and was amazed at how many Scriptural insights God gave me during that time. God was being faithful to reveal more of Himself.

For several months I have been keenly aware of living with a grateful heart, thankfully noting God touches great and small. Recently I read a devotional on a thankful heart. The author set up a contrast between thankfulness and negativity. He quoted Paul, when he said

And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10).

That puts the choice all of us have in very stark contrast: choose thankfulness in all things or choose sides with destruction.

Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words. You may be amazed what God will do through it. At the very least, your family and friends may be amazed at the change in you, from destruction to blessing.

by Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  The Power of Kind Words – by Laura Rath

•  Lessons from Life: Words –  by Mike Woodard

•  Words –  by Katherine Kehler


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

I heard the car door slam in the driveway, and I raced to the front door.  I was just in time to see my granddaughter’s fabulous blue eyes under cupped hands, above an ear-to-ear grin, peering through a window pane of the French doors.  I was opening the door from the inside as she was pushing it open from the outside.  I reached down to her, and she leaped up toward me as I picked her up.  She locked her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck.  We hugged each other fervently.  I kept saying, “I am so glad you came to see me,” while she smothered me with kisses.  She did not want to let me go.  She kept saying, “I want to stay here with you always.”  So we sat down on the stairs, with her still entwined around me, and we continued our life-and-death embrace for minutes on end.

That is worship.

Do you feel the passionate heart connection that marks worship?  Each day your Abba Father in Heaven awaits that type of connection with you.  Worship means to throw kisses toward.  Jesus told us that people who “throw kisses to God” are the kind of worshipers God seeks.  The Greek word “worship” in John 4:23-24 is proskuneo, to throw a kiss toward someone in token of respect or homage, to adore, to show respect, or to kneel or fall prostrate before in reverence.  The ancient manner of greeting between persons of vastly different ranks was that the one who was inferior fell to his knees and touched his forehead to the ground, throwing kisses toward his superior.

My prayer for you is that as you awake every morning, your heart would be full of worship for our almighty and loving God.  May you press your face up to your Abba with anticipation of connecting with Him in a real and powerful way, locking onto Him, not wanting to let Him go.

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  What is Worship? – by Sylvia Gunter

•  A Time of Praise and Worship – by Elfrieda Nikkel

•  Worship Changes Our Face –  by Max Lucado


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