Our society has perverted God’s concept of love!

September 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this” ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.
(Mark 12:29-31 (NLT))

I believe that our society has perverted this concept!

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do you love yourself in the manner that lets you justify all types of sin within your life?

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

Do you love yourself differently than you love your neighbor? Would you allow yourself to be put into situations that would result in your death? Most of us would not. We have a self-preservation instinct that kicks into gear. Most of us would run to rescue our neighbor from a calamity, but we fail to run to their rescue when it is sin that is sentencing them to death.

Why?

Unfortunately, it is very simple.

Society has perverted the meaning of the word love to imply that love means acceptance of the person. Since it implies acceptance, then it is society’s conclusion that love means that you accept the sins of the person.

People claim that Jesus is love and that God is love, and they are correct. Unfortunately, they are applying society’s current definition of love to the one who is love. God’s love is forgiving. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love means dying for those He loves. God’s love is not accepting of our favorite sins. We cannot keep them simply because they are part of us and if God loves us, then He will accept us as we are.

What a crock!

If God could accept us in our sin, why were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden? If God could accept us in our sin, why did He mix up our languages and scatter us at the Tower of Babel? If God could accept us in our sin, then why did He have to send Jesus to walk among us?

God cannot associate with sin.

God is perfection. Sin is corruption. God is love. Sin is death. The two cannot meet.

Society has embraced the lie of the enemy. Love is not acceptance. Love is caring for the well being of another to the point of sacrifice. A sacrifice designed to reveal true love to those in need of love and redemption.

God’s love is not accepting of sin. It is accepting of the sinner if we will only turn away from our sin. God’s love looks at eternity. Sin looks at the moment. Please don’t allow the moment to be a false love that leads to an eternity away from God.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you want to be accepted by?

September 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:18-19 (NIV))

Everyone longs for acceptance. It is human nature to want, or should I say to need, to fit in and be accepted. It is almost as if our very existence needs verification and that verification only comes from the acceptance of others.

Who do you want to be accepted by?

Do you think that acceptance by others who are also seeking acceptance is a wise choice, after all, their perceptions of what is good and lovable are jaded just as your perceptions are jaded? Their acceptance will only allow you to receive a temporary place of peace. You are looking for a lasting acceptance and a lasting peace from someone who has the authority to grant acceptance and peace. Only God has that authority.

It is okay to let the world hate you if you have the acceptance of God, for, when all is said and done, no other acceptance really matters.

Who do you really want to be accepted by?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you decided to walk humbly with your God?

September 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 (NAS))

If it were only that simple!

We, as fallen humanity, cannot follow this simple truth without the world trying to distract us. All too often, it succeeds no matter what we do. Still, we must strive to keep these truths as the central focus of our lives.

It is made easier since Jesus came to suffer and die for our sins. Since His resurrection, we have had the Holy Spirit in the world to guide us and keep us in touch with God’s plan for our lives. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us. Even before we became believers, God, through His prevenient grace, worked through the Holy Spirit to bring us to Him. Now that the Holy Spirit is within us, we have an “internal, eternal” guide to listen to in order to help us fulfill the words from Micah.

But, we must desire to listen. The Holy Spirit is a “gentleman” and will not force us to do anything. He will guide us, but the decisions are ours alone. Every day is a new decision. Every minute of every hour of every day.

What is your decision?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is an ultimate truth!

September 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
(John 8:32 (NLT))

Just what is truth?

Is truth relative or is there an ultimate, unwavering truth that overrides everything else?

According to today’s society, truth is relative. It changes with the situation. What may be true one minute may not be true the next. If you ask me, that is entirely too complicated. Who decides the rules that let you know what truth applies and when? Is there a class in high school that you need to take? Is it a college course? What happens if you fail? Isn’t it interesting that ever since the Supreme Court said that we have to remove prayer from our schools, truth has become relative?

There is an ultimate truth!

The Word of God is that truth. It is constant. It is unchanging. It is not relative! We have God’s Word to steer our lives by. In addition to God’s Word, we have Jesus, who was God’s Word made flesh.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

If Jesus is God’s Word made flesh and God’s Word is the ultimate truth, then we have the gift of ultimate truth providing us with grace and mercy! Isn’t God good?

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

We also have another aspect of Jesus that we must look at. Jesus is also our brother who sits at the right hand of God. Our brother is God’s truth!

The next time that you hear someone say that truth is relative, you can tell them that it is. Tell them that Jesus is the truth, and that He is your brother. Tell them that He can be their brother as well. All they have to do is accept His gift of grace and mercy.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to see the glory of God?

September 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
(John 11:40 (NIV))

With recent events, it is often hard to imagine how God can be glorified in the midst of all of the issues that we now face.

Take heart. God is working in and through everything.

When we feel that things are going wrong, look up. God can and will turn them around. When we feel that all hope is lost, look up. God has given us a hope that cannot be taken away. When we feel that the enemy is winning, look up. Satan thought he was winning once before when Jesus hung on the cross, but it didn’t turn out the way he thought it would. With that in mind, why do you think that Satan will get the upper hand in any other attacks that he tries?

We know how it ends. We know who wins. If things seem a little bad now and then, we must simply remember who holds the future and thank God for that all important fact and pray. We must pray for peace. We must pray for understanding. We must pray for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Then, when we believe, we will see the glory of God as He works miracles.

Are you ready to see the glory of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

September 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

What do you know about Rosh Hashanah?

For that matter, what do you know about any of the roots of our Judeo-Christian ethic? Do you pray for the nation of Israel? Do you pray for Jerusalem? Do you understand the importance of the Jewish holy days? Do you realize that the prophesies that Jesus fulfilled all took place on the Jewish holy days that represented what He was actually doing? For this very reason, many people pay attention to the Jewish calendar since it is the basis for all things that have unfolded through Jesus up to this point.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sun down on Wednesday of this year. It literally means the “Head of the Year” and is often called the Jewish New Year. It is also looked upon as the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

There is so much to our faith that is not known simply because we, the Body of Christ, have chosen to ignore the history of the foundation of God’s Word.

I venture to say that we would be very surprised at the correlation of our current understanding with the historical understanding. Each can shed new light on the other. For example, we all know that Jesus is the bread of life, but did you know that Bethlehem translates as “the house of bread?”

There is so much that we should know about our Jewish history.

I can hear too many of you thinking that you are not Jewish so why should it matter.

Who was Jesus?

What lineage did He come from?

What lineage are His followers grafted into?

Where will Jesus physically return?

Do you know the family history of the troubles in the Middle East?

There is so much of what we believe that owes its existence to Israel, yet, too many of us don’t even realize that we worship a living Savior who came to this earth through the blood lines of Israel.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The Lord, God Almighty!

September 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah
Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah
(Psalms 46:1-11 (NIV))

No matter what the future may bring, always rely on God as your firm foundation. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The events of this world may shake our physical foundations, but we should never let them shake our spiritual foundations, for they are built upon the Rock of Ages and nothing can move that.

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