What are you teaching your children?

September 30, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

We put our children in the hands of others for a majority of their day and think nothing about it. They are receiving an education that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.

What about educating them for eternal life?

We must instill within our children a firm foundation that goes far beyond the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. We must teach them of things that have eternal value. We must instruct them in the fruits of the spirit. We must instruct them in God’s grace and mercy. We must teach them a principle that our society now chooses to ignore.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We must teach them that God loves them. We must teach them what Jesus did for them.

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:28 (NIV))

We must teach them the principles behind Psalm 46:10 so that they will know how to “Be still, and know” that He is God.

What are you teaching your children? Does it have eternal value?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your “blank?”

September 29, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime–a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.
The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:6-9 (NIV))

Is this what you pray for?

Zechariah described what this world will be like once God’s Kingdom comes down upon the earth. It will be a marvelously beautiful world. God will have remade it and everything will be absolutely perfect.

Can you picture yourself in this setting?

Does it sound idealic or does it sound boring?

Think about that last question. When you read the words written in Zechariah, did you find yourself thinking that it would be wonderful, but you hope that they have ____________ ? What is the one thing that you think you simply cannot live without? That is your “blank,” that is your sin.

We all have things that we think we cannot do without. To some people, these center around wealth. Others – power. Others focus on food, entertainment, or even frivolous activities such as video games or computer activities.

I want you to honestly think about that for a moment. For those who have held steadfast in their faith, we will find ourselves in a wonderful place and in the presence of God. Yet, we, as frail humanity, find ourselves thinking that this is not enough. We need our “blanks.” In my opinion, we may be breaking a commandment.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 10:3 (NIV))

We must carefully watch our thoughts, for Satan is always trying to trick us into giving up our salvation. When we are promised heaven, he will slyly bring up things and make us think we cannot live without them.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
(Matthew 16:23 (NIV))

Don’t let Satan use your “blank” to become your stumbling block. After all, whatever God has promised is far better than what man or Satan can bring.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you blessed?

September 28, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:29 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to question your faith? What about the faith of the disciples who actually walked with Jesus? They had to step out on a limb and accept someone who, by today’s standards, many would consider to be a radical. We have the advantage of looking back at the events with certainty of knowing what happened. They did not know what would happen. With this in mind, when they first started following Jesus, they did not know where they would go. They simply stepped out on faith that Jesus was different, and they were proven right with His crucifixion and resurrection. All they had to go on from the beginning were the teachings of Jesus and the promise of the hope that He might bring.

We have the evidence of the hope that He has delivered through His resurrection. We have more evidence to support His resurrection than many other events in the history of the world, yet, we have not seen Jesus nor the actual evidence ourselves. We are blessed because we have not seen and we still believe. The disciples were blessed because they accepted on faith that Jesus held the keys to something wonderful.

Looking back at those who walked with Jesus, would we have been part of that group who accepted Him on faith and saw things unfold, or would we have been cynical and walked away from the hope that He came to deliver?

It is true that we are blessed because we have not seen Jesus, yet we believe. It is also very true that those who took that step of faith almost two thousand years ago were blessed. In essence, anyone who believes is blessed.

Are you blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you accept the proof?

September 27, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.
(Acts 17:31 (NIV))

Far too many people simply think of Jesus as the baby in the manger. They see the sweet innocence and gladly embrace a child. Some even fully embrace that He was sent by God.

Some see more than this.

Some see a teacher. Some see a prophet. Some see a martyr. Some see even more than this.

I fully embrace the description that the Bible gives to Jesus. This is a combination of Old Testament prophecy that is mirrored in New Testament fulfillment. I see Jesus as all of these things and more. He was a sweet and innocent babe. He was a teacher. He was a prophet. He was a martyr in that He came to die for our sins. But, there is more.

He is God’s only begotten Son. He is the son of man. He is both fully God and fully human. Jesus came to teach us. He came to show us God’s plan for salvation. He came to die so that plan of salvation could be realized. He died and was buried. On the third day, He arose again to being hope and fulfill the promises that had been made. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, and He will return to judge the world.

There, I said it. Too many people simply do not want to admit that God’s plan also includes a day of judgment. They don’t want to admit that there will be consequences for their actions.

Think about that for a moment, though.

Who would you rather be judged by – a perfect Creator in God, or God made man so that He could fully understand our temptations? In order for God to set a day of judgment, He had to have appointed someone to act as judge. He had to appoint someone to act as a mediator between Himself and sinful man. He had to come into this world to live as we live and to set an example for each of us. He had to face the same temptations that we face. he had to overcome them and offer Himself as a replacement for our punishment.

Judgment is something that we all dread. It is something that we would rather not think about. It is something that we will face if we do not turn to the One whom God sent.

The first time that Jesus came into this world, He came to offer salvation. He came to show us how to avoid judgment. We can accept this offer or we can face judgment.

Do you accept the proof?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Worship in truth and in love.

September 24, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
(Ephesians 4:2-6 (NIV))

If this doesn’t say it clearly, then nothing does!

Methodist, Baptist, Pentacostal, Catholic, or non-denominational, we are all part of the Body of Christ. The Body is made up of many parts, each of them unique, but we are all members of the same Body. We must follow what the head (Jesus Christ) says to do. We must go where we are lead. We must not argue amongst ourselves, but be united in Jesus Christ, for we are all called and reconciled to God through the same source of salvation.

There is only one way that God has given man so that they may be saved. Man has given God multiple ways within that one way. Should we not say that we are members of the Body of Christ instead of saying that we are Baptist or Methodist? Denominational doctrine just gets in the way. Worship in truth and in love.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you under attack?

September 23, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
(2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV))

What would make someone deliberately choose to live a life that would get them persecuted?

From a worldly point of view, the fact that people will deliberately choose to live a life that will result in their persecution is extremely hard to comprehend. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance. Self preservation is a very strong human instinct. Even so, there have been millions of people since Jesus walked the earth who have chosen to live a godly life in Christ.

What makes this choice go against basic human nature?

Why do we make this choice?

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

We have a promise of something much better than anything this world has to offer. If it were offered by a mere man, it would have no merit. The choice would be a foolish one. But, Jesus was no mere man. He was fully human and fully God. He alone holds the power to save us from our persecution.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.
(1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NIV))

Because He is the only way, the enemy attacks those who call upon the name of Jesus. Think about it. If Satan were not afraid of us living a godly life, would he attack those who follow Jesus?

Are you under attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your definition of “good?”

September 22, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
(Psalms 73:28 (NAS))

When you think of things that are good for you, what comes to mind?

There was a time when I thought that fame and fortune would be good for me, after all, the people who are in the spotlight and who have wealth never seem to go without! They are always getting the attention and adoration of people no matter where they may go.

I am so glad that I came to my senses!

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.
(Mark 10:18 (NIV))

I have learned to see things in a much different light. Perhaps I should say that I have learned to see things in the Light of Jesus Christ. The things that I used to think would be good for me I now see the “dark side” of and want nothing to do with this. If we seek after these things first, then our heart is going to strive to attain and hold on to these things no matter what the cost. Perhaps this is key to what we are told in Matthew.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

If we attempt to place anything before us as good except for God, then we will fall prey to the enemy and will soon start to accept that other things are good for us. When did any of these other things willingly sacrifice anything for our good? Think of what God gave to us? Did He ask anything from us before He gave it to us? Only a good and loving Father would do this. Nothing else or no one else would pay such a great price.

What is your definition of “good?”

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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