Have you given in to the wolves?

March 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
(Matthew 10:16 (NIV))

Once we become part of the Body of Christ, we , too, have the same directive as that which Jesus spoke in Matthew. We are to be wise to the ways of the world, but we are not to take part in the ways of the world.

We must go out into the world like sheep among wolves.

Think about that statement. When a wolf sees a sheep, it definitely gets the undivided attention of the wolf. The wolf sees something about the sheep that it wants and the sheep walks around knowing that it is in the watchful gaze of the wolf. It becomes a game of survival. The ways of the wolf are cunning and are out to trip up the sheep and devour it. The sheep longs to be at peace with the wolf. This is very similar to the way the enemy treats those who have called upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. We must walk very carefully so that we do not get devoured.

It is a fine line that we walk while we are still in this earth. Knowing the ways of the world does not mean that we need to be tempted to follow them. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus and follow Him each and every day.

Have you given in to the wolves?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we guilty of following these ideas?

March 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.
(1 Timothy 6:20`-21 (NIV))

Just what are the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge?

Are we guilty of following these ideas?

How can we recognize these ideas that are falsely called knowledge?

I don’t often look at the Amplified Bible, but the added notes and words make a lot of sense.

O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it). (1 Timothy 6:20, 21 AMP)

Do you see the wording used in this version?

Subtleties and contradictions are the key issues. Satan is the father of lies. What better lie to tell than one that sound almost true. A lie that has just enough wrong that it is not blatant. It is not obvious. Soon, everyone thinks the subtle lie is the truth, and then it is time for the enemy to introduce another subtle lie that contradicts God’s word.

If we do not stay in God’s Word, then we will not recognize the subtleties and the contradictions. We will accept the ideas that are falsely called knowledge.

Test everything to make sure that it is one hundred percent accurate with respect to God’s Word. We must realize that if it is one percent wrong, then it is totally wrong. God does not change. He does not place subtleties and contradictions within His Word to try and trick us. If something does not completely go along with God’s Word, then it is not God’s Word.

Take John 3:16 as an example.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

It would be so easy to change the meaning of this in numerous ways that would still sound almost right.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever knows his name shall not perish but have eternal life.

Close, but no cigar!

Test everything!

God’s Word does not change. We must know it so that we can be prepared to recognize the false knowledge.

I want you to think about this. Is there something that has crept into the church that is close to be God’s Word, but yet is wrong enough to be false knowledge? Are we strong enough in our understanding of true knowledge to recognize false knowledge? Do we know God’s Word well enough to know when lies are being introduced?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Love is a choice!

March 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
(Psalms 91:14 (NIV))

Does God protect you? Think about your answer. The psalmist tells us that God will rescue and protect those who love Him.

What is love?

Do you think of the emotional feeling that you get when you are around that special someone when you are dating? Is it the way your heart skips a beat when you hear the voice of your sweetheart? Is it the commitment that you have made to love and to cherish … until death do you part? Perhaps it is the attachment that you feel when you become a parent.

Godly love is a choice, for all of the other types of love will come and go. Some days you may feel in love and other days you will not. Some days you will love your children and then some days you will wonder what planet that they are from.

God longs for us to love Him because we are committed to His awesome authority and majesty even on the days that we don’t feel that We are His children. When we can honestly call upon the name of the Lord even on days that we don’t feel like we want to, then we can truly say that we love God. We are willing to acknowledge His glorious name even though we may not have the feelings that we rely on to tell us when we are in love.

Love is a choice.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

If Jesus had done what He felt instead of what He knew was right in the eyes of God, I would venture to say that He would have said, “I don’t feel like being crucified today.” Thankfully, He loved us with a godly love and not a worldly love.

Love is a choice. Who do you love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you long to dwell?

March 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
(Psalms 27:4 (NIV))

I think that David wrote the words that anyone earnestly seeking God truly holds as their one desire. Just as a young man in love does not want to leave the object of his affection, so, too, is the true believer and his Lord.

Are you in love with all of your heart, mind, body and soul? Do you long to stay with Jesus or are you in a hurry to get on to other things that you think are important? Any relationship takes time to build and maintain. Have you committed your time to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God looks at the heart!

March 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52 (NIV))

What makes a person an expert?

An expert is someone who has skill or knowledge in an area. In other words, they study or practice a subject until they can slice it and dice it in ways that were probably never intended to happen.

Think about this for a moment and then think about what it means to follow the letter of the law.

Following the letter of the law means that you are more concerned with being legalistic and doing what the law says to do to the very last detail. You become more concerned with following the checklist of things that you think the law asks of you to the point that you don’t really understand what the law was created to do.

What do you think of speed limits?

What is the purpose of a speed limit? What is the intent?

First and foremost, the speed laws were intended to provide a level of safety to those who are traveling and to those whom they encounter. As a typical driver, I can honestly say that the last thing on my mind is the intent of these laws when I look in my rearview mirror and see a police car. My first response is one that everyone has. Make sure that I am not doing something wrong because I don’t want a ticket.

What does this have to do with the intent of the speed laws?

Now, think about the spiritual laws that we have been given. Think about the laws that God has given us through His Word. We must be very careful not to end up trying to obey the letter of the law and miss out on the intent of the law.

God gave us life. He gave us His Word and His Laws. He also gave us grace. He knew that we are prone to focus on the wrong things. He knew that what was the most important thing to understand would be relegated to a minor status once we got our hands upon it.

How many times have you seen someone miss out on a blessing because they were focusing on the wrong things. Don’t get bogged down in the details to such a point that you don’t understand the intent.

God intends for us to have abundant life through the grace offered at the cross. Don’t lose sight of the gift because you are trying to understand the details.

God looks at the heart!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we above reproach in the eyes of God?

March 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
(1 Timothy 3:2-3 (NIV))

What does it mean to be above reproach?

The word reproach means an expression of disapproval or scorn. To be above reproach means that there is nothing that can cause someone to disapprove.

What are some things that we should disapprove of? Perhaps this question should be worded what does God disapprove of? Many people today are shifting what their thinking is on this topic.

Has God changed?

It is us who are changing!

Do we find ourselves trying to justify things in our mind that have been accepted as wrong by the Body of Christ for two thousand years? Do we think that we have a better understanding today because we are more compassionate and better educated than the people who wrote down what they saw God do? Have we allowed two thousand years to make us think that those words that were written in the Old Testament and those spoken by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament are now somehow different from what they meant when they were written?

Who wrote those words?

Who inspired those words to be written?

Did humanity suddenly become God? Since when did we become allowed to change the meaning of words to suit our desires?

I know that this is a touchy subject, but everything that I have read, and I am trying not to be legalistic, points to the simple fact that what we are allowing to be done to God’s Word is wrong. God’s Word is alive. It is intended to change society and not have society change it.

What are we doing?

Are we above reproach in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does God think of this?

March 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
(Jude 1:17-19 (NIV))

What do you think of the people who say that anything is ok as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?

What do you think of those who say that anything is ok between consenting adults?

What do you think of those who claim that God is love and that He wouldn’t condemn someone for following their heart?

Does this sound anything like the scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires?

I venture to say that in my lifetime, there has been a significant increase in those who follow this philosophy.

What does God think of this?

You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
(Malachi 2:17 (NIV))

God does not call evil good under any circumstances. He has not changed His opinion on the Ten Commandments. Why should we?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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