What if Jesus decided that He was not fully committed?

May 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
(Hebrews 13:4 (NIV))

Today’s society seems to have forgotten this. Everywhere you look, you see the results of marriages that have seen the effects of unfaithfulness. According to the politically correct way of thinking, many people are saying that it just isn’t working, or they no longer want to be with their spouse, regardless of the consequences on anyone but themselves. Is this just another result of the “me first” mentality that has permeated our society lately? What has happened to the concept of for better or for worse?

What if Jesus decided that He did not want to stay around and fulfill the promise of salvation for you because He needed “space”? He made a committment to be our atoning sacrifice that would give us grace and mercy. He had the most to lose of anyone who has ever lived, yet, Jesus did not stop while He was on the cross and say that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore. He stuck with it and did what was best for everyone. It eventually was even best for Him. Perhaps we should focus more on Jesus and each other as a society and not on “me.”

Who do you focus on?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I look forward to what God desires to give!

May 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
(Luke 11:11-13 (NIV))

Would you intentionally give your children something harmful? It is human nature to want to give those we love the best that we can give. Even so, our best is still as filthy rags in the eyes of God for we give from a sinful nature and sin is not capable of producing anything that is truly good.

If God is our Father and He is perfect, how can the things that He gives to us be anything but perfection? God is not capable of anything less than righteousness and perfection. The things that He gives to us out of this perfection are far above the things that we can give in our sinful imperfection.

We must learn to trust God the same way that most of us have learned to trust our earthly parents. We know that they desire good things for us and we accept them without question. Why do we question and sometimes even reject what God desires to give us?

I look forward to what God desires to give. What is your attitude towards His gifts?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared to rely on Jesus in times of trouble?

May 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV))

Jesus told us that we would have troubles in this world. He did not promise that following Him would be easier than following the world. He did promise us, though, that He had overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Jesus overcame the ruler of this world, Satan. Satan spreads sin and death. Jesus overcame sin and death. True, we will die a physical death, but the physical death now does not have the finality that Satan intended when he deceived Eve. Instead of a permanent separation from God, the physical death is merely a transition from this world to heaven.

Be prepared for the troubles that this world brings. Rely on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that man can change God’s Laws?

May 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I keep seeing things reported that some denominations are voting to change Biblical law as they apply it to their teachings. Some denominations are even voting to allow certain sins to not only be allowed, but in some cases they are condoned.

I know that the following passage applies directly to Revelation, but I have a feeling that it also applies to all of God’s Word.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I plan on holding fast to the unaltered Word of God as it has been preached and taught for thousands of years. Just because it is old, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Just because we may not like some parts of it, doesn’t mean that God’s truth can be changed.

We already know what God has planned for those who alter the prophecy in Revelation. If you stop to think about Revelation, it is a culmination of the sins of man and God’s final plan being fulfilled. Just what is sin? Sin is anything that misses the mark that God has set before us. If we change God’s Laws, isn’t that more than missing the mark. It is a direct and willful thumbing of our noses at God. It is rebellion against God. It is my understanding that rebellion is much worse than sin. Sin is missing the mark. Rebellion is a deliberate fight against God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Would you step up to answer the call?

May 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:23-26 (NIV))

This may seem off target for this verse since it speaks of Jesus telling His disciples that His time has come. However, the words that Jesus uses speak to all of us.

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:25 (NIV))

Memorial Day started back in the 1860s as a way to remember those who had given their lives in battle. Originally it was called Decoration Day since the way that people honored the fallen was to decorate their graves. Regardless of what it is called, we owe these men and women a debt of gratitude and honor for their sacrifice. Many people do not agree with war, but the truth is that these people stepped up to take the responsibility of righting something that they did not agree with and they were willing to give their lives for that calling.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Most of us never knew these people throughout our history, yet we owe them so much. I can honestly say that it is a certainty that not all were believers in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, still, I believe that they carried a spark of the Light that Jesus brought to this world. You cannot be exposed to the Light without having some of it take root.

Jesus laid down His life so that we could have life. These men and women did the same thing in their own ways.

We must never forget to honor those who have gone before us and stood for the truths that we, as the Body of Christ, hold fast to. They answered the call when an answer was needed. Would we be willing to answer a similar call today? Would we rely on the Light of Jesus to guide us in that answer?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t allow the thorn in your flesh to keep you from God!

May 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV))

I can relate to what Paul wrote about. He was afflicted with a “thorn in his flesh” that he prayed for God to remove. It did not happen. Instead, God answered with the passage quoted above.

Sometimes the answer that God gives us when we pray is not what we want to hear. It is a difficult lesson to learn, but many times what we pray for is self centered and we do not see the bigger picture of what God has planned. This hit home all too hard today. I know that God has everything under control. Still, from our limited, human perspective, it is difficult to comprehend the bigger picture when we are so engrossed in the details that are front and center in our every day lives.

This is when faith kicks in. After we go through the denial phase that is so typical of human reaction, we must step back and look at the situation through God’s eyes. Instead of asking “Why did this happen?” we must ask “What do you want me to learn from this?” “How can I be a witness through this?” “How can your Light shine through this situation so that it is obvious that it is you, Lord?”

Even though it is not I who have to face this particular “thorn in the flesh,” I can relate to what Paul wrote. I am also learning to relate to how God’s grace will produce results that we cannot begin to imagine.

We all have our “thorn in the flesh” that keeps us from being what we want to be. The question that we must ask ourselves is have we turned that “thorn in the flesh” over to God for Him to use? Do we rely fully on God’s grace?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Just how much wisdom can the clay possess?

May 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,
“He did not make me”?
Can the pot say of the potter,
“He knows nothing”?
(Isaiah 29:16 (NIV))

We think that we possess so much knowledge. We think that we can think and reason and overcome anything. Society has gotten to the point where too many people look at flawed reasoning and accept it simply because it is professed as scientific. These same people who claim scientific reason are the very same ones who reject faith because it can’t be explained by science. Even when there is no scientific evidence to support their position, they claim that human intelligence will eventually be able to unlock the scientific explanation for everything. It appears to me that they have placed their faith in the wrong place. They have placed it in the ability of the creation to know more than the Creator.

We have become the very essence of the words written of in Isaiah. I know that not each and every one of us is like that, but our society has become much more human-centric in the grand scheme of things. We have become a society that is saying that we, as the clay, know more than He who cast the clay and created these earthen vessels that we inhabit. How can humanity, which cannot even determine how many hairs are on our head, claim to know more than God, or even claim that there is no God?

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
(Matthew 10:30 (NIV))

Our so called wisdom has made us foolish in the eyes of God. Our wisdom and our ways are nothing close to the truth.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

It appears that we have come to the point where we must pray earnestly that we do not get so wrapped up in our own so-called intelligence that we forget who created us. True wisdom is knowing God and knowing your relationship to Him through Jesus, His Son.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
(Isaiah 5:21 (NIV))

Spend time daily within God’s Word and your wisdom and understanding of the ultimate truth will grow.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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