Can we rebuild our foundation?

July 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV))

We all know the song that is based on this verse. I bet you found yourself singing it as you read these words.

Have we, as a nation, allowed our foundation to be eroded? Is it as firm as it used to be? What has caused our foundation to become eroded? How can we repair our foundation?

I realize that I ask a lot of questions. These are questions that we have probably ignored for too long.

Are we still a nation based on Biblical principles? Do we still stand firm on God’s Word? Do we still uphold the truths that God has given to us?

As I watch things unfold in this nation, and in the world, I see our foundation being eroded more and more all of the time. It may simply be what is being reported, but the old saying is true – if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth.

Is there a remnant in this country who will stand firm in God’s word? Will we, as individuals, still build our own lives upon the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

Boast about Jesus!

July 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth.
(Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV))

Do you ever boast and brag?

Be honest!

It is human nature to boast about things. Even when we don’t mean to, we have a tendency to boast and brag. If you have ever written a resume or gone on a job interview, you have probably boasted about your accomplishments.

Have you ever been around someone who bragged so much that they were difficult to put up with?

Let’s face it, there is a fine line between being truthful and being prideful. It is a fine line that is very easy to cross.

What happens if someone asks you about your job? Do you tell them that you are part of a team or do you lay out your responsibilities to make it sound like you are the central core to all of the functions that are performed at your office?

What happens when someone asks you about your children? Do you respond with what they are doing or do you go on an on about how they are the center of every activity that they are involved in?

We all boast, but is there anything in our lives that we can truly boast about? Did we create our job? Did we build our house? Did we design our car? Did we teach our children all that they know? We have had a hand in none of these things, yet we boast about them all of the time.

What do you do when you are confronted about your faith?

What do you do when you are confronted about knowing Jesus?

Personally, I find it very disturbing that people do not boast about knowing Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The Creator of all things, God, the Father, has sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Jesus calls us by name. God calls us by name. The Creator knows my name and He has a plan to redeem me for a full relationship with Him.

If this isn’t something to brag about, I don’t know what is!

Our society has become too complacent, too jaded with God and with Jesus. We have gotten to the point where we simply take it for granted. We are not willing to share the good news. We are not willing to boast about our relationship with the Creator. We are not willing to boast that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin! Instead, we boast about things that are trivial. We boast about the football team that we support. We boast about the fish that we caught. We boast about our new car. We boast about everything but that we know and understand our Lord.

Will your car save you? Will your job bring you eternal life? Will your favorite football team pay you when they win?

Boast about Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Are we truly with Jesus?

July 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
(Luke 11:23 (NIV))

Do you simply sit in church, listen and then go about your life as if you hadn’t heard anything?

Do people even know that you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Are you afraid to share Jesus when you get the opportunity?

Or . . .

Do you listen and seek to apply God’s Word to your daily life?

Do people see Jesus when they look at you?

Do you embrace the opportunity to let people know what God has done in your life through your faith in Jesus?

Think about current events in the world. I am sure that we all can think of at least one thing that is happening that provides an opportunity for you to show that you are either with Jesus or against Him. I want you to keep in mind that whatever it may be, Jesus did not hate the people involved in the sin. He hated the sin and loved the people.

With this in mind, do you find yourself unable to differentiate between the sin and the people. In other words, does accepting the people mean that you accept the sin?

Do you try to appease people by accepting their sins?

If you do accept the sins, then are you truly with Jesus? Do you convey His message of grace and mercy if you don’t call people to repent of their sins? Simply telling someone that Jesus loves them is not enough. You have to tell them why He loves them and what He did for them. You have to tell them that Jesus came to forgive them of their sins. You have to tell them that His forgiveness is freely given to anybody, but they have to repent.

Think about the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus. Jesus told him to give away all that he had and follow Him. In this case, what held the young man back was the love of money. Did Jesus tell the young man that it was ok to love money and that he could follow him anyway?

Think about that for a moment.

What is your pet sin that you don’t want to give up? What is the pet sin of the person who proclaims that they follow Jesus?

I realize that we are all human, and that we will continue to sin. Jesus came to free us of our sins. If we are not willing to leave our sin, are we truly with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What is your mark?

July 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32 (NIV))

What would you say is the mark of a true follower of Jesus?

Is it faith? Is it hope? Is it love? Is it a willingness to forgive? Perhaps it is actually all of these, for when you have the first three, you inherit the willingness to forgive. Forgiveness comes from these three traits. Can you forgive and not have a faith that the person you are forgiving will not act in a similar manner again? Can you forgive and not have a hope for a different outcome in the future? Can you forgive and hate the person that you have forgiven? Can you love someone and not forgive them? There are certain things that are considered oximorons. I would argue the case that these are included in that group, for you cannot harbor hatred and still willingly forgive. You cannot love and be unwilling to forgive.

What is the mark of a true follower of Jesus? Did Jesus possess love? Did He possess a willingness to forgive? He certainly had faith and hope in what God has promised.

It is probably safe to say that the mark of a true follower of Jesus is a willingness to see others through the eyes of Jesus. It is a willingness to realize that Jesus died for them also, and that we are no different than they are. It is a willingness to share our faith and hope of salvation through Jesus Christ, for we too should not desire for any to perish.

What is your mark?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Will you join me as a watchman?

July 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,
(Isaiah 62:6 (NIV))

Are you content with the way things are in this world?

Have you accepted the sin and the wars as simply a part of life?

Do you go about your business with an attitude that says as long as it doesn’t effect me, then what does it matter?

Is this what the Body of Christ is called to do?

Is this what you think of as fulfilling the great commission?

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
(Mark 16:15 (NIV))

Are we fulfilling this commandment if we have an attitude similar to the questions that I asked previously? Are we truly watchmen if we ignore the sin that we are called to stand against? Are we truly part of the Body of Christ if we don’t fulfill what we have been told to do? Has the church become complacent in our responsibilities?

A watchman is supposed to alert people to danger. What is more dangerous than sin?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Sin can lead any of us to a point where we fall away from the faith. I promise that I will do all that I can to be a watchman. Will you join me?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What do you think of the Old Testament?

July 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4 (NIV))

What do you think of the Old Testament? Do you ignore it because it is boring reading through Deuteronomy and Numbers? Do you always turn to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and everything after these books?

Paul was a very devout Jewish man. In fact, he was probably what the Jewish society of his day considered to be the ideal Jewish man. He had been educated as a boy. He excelled at his education in the Torah and was selected to go on with additional studies. He excelled there and went on even further. He was what they considered to be the cream of the crop, or the best of the best.

Paul gave all of this up after his Damascus Road experience. He met Jesus and his whole world was turned upside down. All of his studying and knowledge had been misguided. Even though it was acquired through misguided endeavors, Paul realized that it was the Word of God and it still applied. He only had to come to terms with what it really meant. He came to the realization that all of the Law and the Prophets were there to teach us not only as he had learned, but so much more. Every word spoke of the way that God wants us to live. Every word spoke of the ideal that could never be achieved by man. Paul also realized that it taught us of Jesus. Every word that tells us how God wants us to live gives us an insight into the path of salvation that God is working. Achieving an ideal and perfect life can not be attained by man. As a result, in order to see salvation, an ideal and perfect life must have lived. Only God’s Son could live such a life.

Paul knew the Hebrew Scriptures extremely well. He knew them well enough to realize that they truly pointed to Jesus. How can we truly understand Jesus if we do not understand all of the signs that point to Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What do you think of the current situation in Israel?

July 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
(Romans 15:27 (NIV))

What do you think of the current situation in Israel?

Do you buy the media’s claims or do you rely on God’s Word for the truth?

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure
(Psalms 122:6 (NIV))

Jerusalem and Israel are key to what God has planned for this world. They are so important to God’s plan, that He restored Israel to their land after almost two thousand years of exile. They are so important to God’s plan, that He protected them during the wars that they have faced. They are so important to God’s plan, that He is still protecting them and He will miraculously protect them as things unfold.

Do you stand with Israel?

Think about that question. Think about your answer and what it means to your faith.

Do you believe that God chose Israel to be His people? Do you believe that God has blessed the nations through Israel? Do you believe that what Paul wrote of in Romans is true? The Jewish people are the people through whom God gave the world His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, for our redemption.

Why was Israel chosen to be the nation to bring forth our Lord and Savior, Jesus?

Look at the history of the nation of Israel. It can all be directly traced to the faith of one man, Abraham. Because of Abraham’s faith, God put into motion our redemption. He also put into motion the very things that we now see unfolding.

Is the nation of Israel perfect? Just like any nation, it is run by people and people are far from perfect. Israel, however, has one thing going for it that all other nations of the world do not. They have the promises that God has given. They have the written promises of what will happen. These promises seemed worthless until after World War II. Since that time, God’s promises have always been fulfilled.

We, as the Body of Christ, have been blessed through Israel. We must bless Israel as Paul has instructed.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery