Are you willing to forgive and forget?

January 30, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
(Proverbs 17:9 (NIV))

God has willingly forgotten all of our sins. He remembers them no more once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We are to be Jesus to the world. Jesus, as God’s Son, forgave sins when He walked among us. He told people to go and sin no more. These two aspects should guide us in our relationships with others, even those who have done wrong to us. We should forgive them just as God has forgiven us.

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 (NIV))

What is forgiveness without forgetting the transgression? Just as God forgets our sins, we must forget the transgressions of others against us. If we do not forget the transgression, then we are bound to resurrect it when it is better left buried. No one, except Jesus, is perfect. We all have things that are better left forgotten. We must do as God does and forgive and forget!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How long do you think that you will live?

January 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
(1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV))

How long do you think that you will live? If you are one of the rare few who make it to see one hundred years, you will probably wonder why you are still around.

Let’s face the truth. We, as humans, do not have a long life span in comparison to eternity. We don’t even have a long life span in comparison to world events. If you are like me, it probably seems like only yesterday that you were impatiently waiting for the day that you would graduate from high school. Now, thirty years later, it doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. Time passes and things change. Only God is the same.

One day, each of us will only be a memory. How you are remembered will be the only thing that matters. Will you be remembered as a person who followed the word of the Lord? Will you be remembered as a person who pointed others to God? Hopefully, none of us will be remembered as that grumpy person that hated everybody. How will God remember you? I pray that it will not be as Jesus spoke.

Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23 (NIV))

What makes the difference between being grumpy and being a loving person who is kindly remembered and known by Jesus? It is a simple matter. Allow Jesus into your heart. Allow the word of God to take root and to grow within you. God’s Word is eternal. God’s Word, through Jesus, is our only hope of breaking the bonds of sin and death. Even though our physical days may be as grass that withers, through Jesus, our spiritual life is forever.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

January 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Hebrews 11:1-12 (NIV))

How is your faith? If someone were to write about your life, would it be something that you would be proud to claim? Would it be something that God would be proud to claim? It only takes “faith as small as a mustard seed” for God to use you.

Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s Word is the only judge!

January 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
(John 12:47-50 (NIV))

Did this passage catch anybody off guard?

Think about that for a moment.

How many people, including believers, have this notion that Jesus is to be our judge? This is easy to come to this false realization if you picture Jesus as He is during the Second Coming. We see Him dishing out justice on the world as He defeats the armies of the world in the Valley of Megiddo. Still, He is not the judge. There is one piece of information that we fail to bring to mind.

Jesus is wielding the Word of God as His sword. It is the Word of God that judges.

Perhaps we should think of Jesus as our defense attorney, and I know that I need one.

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

For those who call upon His name, Jesus is our Lord and savior. He is our defense attorney for when we stand before God to be judged. He knows God’s Laws and our sins, and He will stand in the gap for our benefit. He will claim the true believers as His own.

He will get our sentence pardoned.

Looking back at this passage, would you rather have Jesus as your judge or defense attorney?

I know that I want Him on my side.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who or what do you flatter?

January 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
(Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV))

It is human nature for children to imitate their parents. That is how they learn what they are to do and the difference between right and wrong. How can we, as children of God, do any different than we did when we were little?

Jesus is our big brother and God is our Father. They are the role models that we should be looking to in all aspects of our lives. How many times have you heard a child say that they wanted to be just like their father or mother when they grow up? How many times have you heard of a younger sibling wanting to be like the older sibling?

I am guilty of wanting to be like my big brother, Jesus. We should all strive to be like Jesus in everything that we do. God sent His only Son to show us how we are to live. In Jesus’ own words, He called those who do the will of The Father His brothers and Sisters. We should actively seek to earn this title by imitating God and Jesus in all that we do.

Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Who or what do you flatter?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we truly being what Jesus is calling us to be?

January 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
(Ephesians 5:3-5 (NIV))

I want you to read the passage again. I know that I have read it multiple times to let it sink in.

Did Paul actually mean what he wrote?

Were these words Paul’s or were they the teachings of Jesus and the early church?

How do we live up to these words?

Would we be considered sexually immoral? Would we be considered impure? Are we greedy? Are we guilty of foolish talk and coarse jokes?

We may not think so, but what do we know? We can’t see the log in our own eye!

It is so difficult to read passages like this and be honest with ourselves. We simply fail to recognize our own sins for what they are. We can easily spot someone else’s sins, but ours are a different matter. To be honest, we have rapidly moved away from being able to spot someone else’s sins. We look at sin as an alternative lifestyle. Doesn’t that sound so much more acceptable to say an alternative lifestyle instead of labeling it what it truly is in the eyes of God?

I often wonder what Paul would write to the church today in this country. I often wonder what Jesus thinks of His church today in this country. Are we living up to the standards that have been laid out before us?

Are we truly being what Jesus is calling us to be?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What has happened to our priorities?

January 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
(Acts 4:29-30 (NIV))

Do we speak God’s Word with great boldness, or have we become complacent in our faith?

The book of Acts tells us of the great things that the early church did. They did them because they had the faith to be bold. They knew with certainty that what they believed was true. They were not ashamed to boldly profess their faith. They were not too timid to stand firm on the promises that they had been given. They were not too engrossed in the trivial issues that surround us in our daily lives.

Sure, they worked to provide for themselves, but they did not become workaholics and so focused on achievement that they ignored what they knew to be true.

Why do we, in our so-called advanced society, lose focus of the very things that the early church boldly embraced? We no longer are bold in our faith. We are bolder about our support for our favorite sports team than we are about the grace and mercy that is freely given through the Blood of Christ. We can spend hours talking to each other about the game we saw yesterday, but we are not willing to even talk about Jesus at all.

What has happened to our priorities?

Are we the church? Are we the Body of Christ? A body is in motion and doing all that it can to make sure that it not only survives, but thrives. Is the Body of Christ in motion? Is the Body of Christ just surviving or is it thriving?

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