What are you trying to hide?

November 18, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
(Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV))

Why do we seem to ignore this?

All too often, we think that no one will see the things that we do that are less than ideal. We try to hide the shortcomings that we have. To make matters even worse, we will do unimaginable things to hide the sins that we commit. We will start off with something that is bad and in the process of trying to hide it, we will commit things that are far worse than the original misdeed. We try to hide everything that we are ashamed of.

Perhaps it is human nature, after all, take a look at Adam and Eve after the fall from grace. They hid in the garden and tried to cover up their sin.

Over the course of human history, nothing has changed even to this day. We all do things that are less than what we would like, and then we do even worse things trying to cover them up. God sees it all. We cannot hide anything from Him. Just as He knew the fall of Adam and Eve, He knows all of our sins as well. We cannot hide anything from Him.

There is a saying that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. We all need to take this to heart.

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

Admission goes a long way. It takes hold of the heart and turns you toward God. It makes you realize that you are not bigger than your sin and that you need help. It eventually leads to salvation for those who accept God’s gift of grace and mercy that was freely given through the atoning blood of His Son, Jesus.

Are you still trying to hide?

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

November 17, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
`What are you making?’
Does your work say,
`He has no hands’?
(Isaiah 45:9 (NIV))

Humanity is nothing more than potsherds. Each of us is simply a broken part of the creation that God intended for us to be. We inherited that brokenness from the actions of Adam and Eve in the fall from grace. Before sin entered into the world, each of us was destined to be a magnificent, one of a kind creation that glorified God. Now, we are simply broken shards of what we were created to be.

Just as the broken parts of a clay pot can hint at the beauty that it once had, we only hint at the beauty of what we may have been if sin had not entered into our lives. The only difference between us and an actual clay pot is the skill of the Creator. A potter can only repair a broken pot if all of the pieces are still there. He cannot make it as it was when it was new, but it may still be able to function as it was intended.

We have a Creator who is far more skilled than any earthly potter ever will be. We have the God of the universe as our “Maker.” He can take any of the pieces of our broken lives and recreate them to be what He intended for us to be. All we have to do is be willing to surrender to His Will. It is foolishness to think that we, the mere creation, can tell the Creator what to do. We must surrender to His Will and the skill of His hands, after all, he had a plan for us. He created us for a certain purpose. He “wired” us for that purpose. When we allow Jesus into our heart and we allow God to recreate our lives, then we are willfully surrendering to His authority as Creator.

Do you honestly believe that you can know more than the Creator of the whole universe?

Stop trying to quarrel with God and let God mold you into the creation that He intended.

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

November 16, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you–they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
(Deuteronomy 32:46-47 (NIV))

The Word of God is more than just a book. It is the very essence of a life fully lived.

God is the Creator and maker of all things. When have you seen anything complicated hat someone has made that did not have instructions? Let’s face it, life IS complicated. Every day we are faced with choices that have the potential to lead to either sin or to grace. It is not always easy to recognize which direction will lead to which result. Take heart, for the Creator has given us an instruction manual. He has given us His Word to read and reflect upon and to follow.

He has also done something much better than giving us a written account of what we should do. He has sent His Son, Jesus as His Word made flesh to show us an example of what we are to do.

Perhaps we should take another look at the passage under a new light. We are told to take all of the words to heart so that they will have an impact on our lives. We must remember that Jesus is the Word made flesh. This places a whole new meaning to the concept of inviting Jesus into your heart. Jesus literally inhabits your heart as the Word of God. He is there to guide and direct us so that we can live long in the land and in the grace and mercy of salvation in heaven.

Have you taken the Word to heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you treat Jesus?

November 15, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”
Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, `Go,’ and he goes; and that one,`Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, `Do this,’ and he does it.”
(Matthew 8:5-9 (NIV))

How many of us, as the Body of Christ, think that we deserve blessings because we call upon the name of Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. We think that we deserve the blessings because of who we claim as our Savior. Sometimes, we probably even border on being arrogant. Perhaps we should rethink that position.

Take a look at the centurion. He was in a position of authority and power. He was in a position of authority and power in multiple ways. First, he was over soldiers who had to answer to his every command. Secondly, he was over soldiers who were an occupying army in Israel. All of Israel was subject to whatever the Romans decided. He could have asserted this authority. He could have been arrogant and demanded that Jesus come to his house and heal his servant. He could have looked upon the situation from a worldly point of view. Instead, this centurion realized that he, in all of his worldly authority, was not worthy to be in the presence of Jesus. He also realized that it was against Jewish custom to enter the house of a Gentile. He honored the customs and respected the power and authority. He simply came as a humble man standing before Jesus. He came with a desire for something that was not directly for him.

Today, we have a habit of doing whatever we want to do with little or no regard for what Jesus wants us to do, then we approach Jesus as if He were a genie whose sole purpose is to grant our every wish. Even though we call upon the name of Jesus to be our Savior, do we call upon Him to be our Lord? We do not show Jesus the same respect that this centurion showed.

How do you treat Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What’s in it for me?

November 12, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
(1 Corinthians 14:13-19 (NIV))

What is it that we should desire from our relationship with Jesus Christ? Is it a closer and stronger spiritual life? Is it gifts of the spirit such as speaking in tongues? What is it that you desire from your relationship with Jesus?

Are you desires all self centered in nature? Do we look to Jesus to give us blessings upon blessings while we ignore the needs of those around us? Do we have a tendency to think of our attendance at church from a perspective of “What can I get out of it?”

Have we become the exact opposite of what we profess to believe? Do we focus on how God can bless us more than what God has done for us and can do for others? Have we taken the ultimate selfless sacrifice of love, grace and mercy and turned it into a self-centered, me first philosophy?

Paul may have been able to boast that he was able to speak in tongues more than anyone else, but he also immediately countered that by saying that it was more important to speak so that others will understand and come to a knowledge of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is not a self-centered, “what’s in it for me” mentality. It is the reason that we should be willing to serve as disciples of Jesus. We MUST share the good news with anyone and everyone in a manner that can be understood. We MUST NOT focus on us. We MUST keep our eyes on Jesus.

Have you accidentally become a “what’s in it for me” Christian?

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

November 11, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
(James 1:17 (NIV))

Are you the same person that you were ten years ago? Do you still look upon things the same way that you did ten years ago? Looking back, think of the things that you used to consider to be good in your life. Has your opinion of these things changed? Has your opinion shifted with time?

Humanity is a funny creation. We have a tendency to shift with time. We have a tendency to change, yet, claim that we do not. Think about that. We even lie to ourselves. Eventually, we will come to the conclusion that we have changed, but only reluctantly. I honestly think that we admit that we have changed because of our change in physical abilities. When we were young enough to be able to stay up all night, we thought nothing of it. As we grow older, and our stamina has diminished, we may find ourselves saying that old saying that “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

We have shifted in our opinion of what is good.

Does God ever change? Does God’s definition of good shift with time? There are many passages that say that He does not, but my favorites sum it up best.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

God has been since the beginning of time. Jesus was with God. He was God. He is God. He never changes. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now, I want you to honestly think about the good things in your life. Think about them from God’s perspective. Have they changed? I honestly can say that what God has placed in my life that He has called good,, is still good. The number of these things may have changed with time, but God’s definition of good has not changed.

Do you consider life to be good? What about family? What about love? What about friendship? What about God’s grace and salvation? What about the gift of Jesus?

Have any gifts that you call good truly come from anyone else but God?

Praise God for His good and perfect gifts!

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

November 10, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD”–
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Selah
(Psalms 32:5 (NIV))

Have you ever truly reflected on this simple, yet profound fact of God’s grace and mercy?

All we have to do is acknowledge that we are sinners, confessing our sins to God, and He will forgive them! Nothing could be simpler and nothing could be so complicated at the same time! It is so simple and elegant that we, in our efforts to make things more than they are, have come to the conclusion that because it is so simple that it must not be true. I suppose that you could say that this fits into the same category as the saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Perhaps we should take a look at the Word of God and what happens to those who acknowledge their sin and ask for forgiveness. They will be at the wedding feast of the Lamb! There is the free lunch. Not only are we, as sinners, not worthy of forgiveness, but after God forgives us, He invites us to the ultimate feast as part of the Bride of Christ.

God is good and His grace endures forever.

Have you taken the time to acknowledge your sins, confessing them before God? Have you accepted His grace and mercy?

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