Are you ready to offer the sacrifice that God seeks?

August 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Psalms 51:17 (NLT))

Have you ever found yourself asking why God would want us to have a broken spirit?

Think about that question for a minute. It may come to you.

Most of the time, a person’s spirit is driven be ego and pride. It is always about them. It is about what they can get and what they can do.

Does this sound like an attitude that God wants us to have?

To God, a broken spirit means that the individual realizes that they can do nothing without God’s guidance and grace.

I can hear the thoughts, Many of you are thinking things like, “What about my career? God has had nothing to do with that.” Or you may be thinking something like, “I pulled myself out of poverty by hard work. God had nothing to do with that.”

In other words, many of you are thinking that you accomplished these things.

Who gave you the talents?

Who gave you the personality?

Who gave you the determination?

And, who gave you life?

We, as part of creation, have no control over many things. In fact, we have control of far fewer things than we may like to admit. When we come to realize that whatever we have in this life could be gone in an instant, that our very lives could be gone in an instant, it puts a whole new perspective on things.

When we stop trying to place ourselves at the center of the universe we quickly realize just how small and insignificant we are. Once we realize this, our hearts are ripe for the harvest. We become a part of God’s plan and not the center of our own.

Are you ready to offer the sacrifice that God seeks?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

If we do not repent, what could await us?

August 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
(Revelation 2:2-6 (NIV))

Far too many people claim salvation and then, eventually, they let the world back into their lives. They live as if they never accepted the grace and mercy freely given to them at Calvary. They seldom think of the great gift that they have been given. They seldom think of anybody but themselves. They have forgotten their first love!

When these people proclaimed their faith, they were enthusiastic and very much in love with their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Soon, just like any relationship, they let it slip and stopped spending time with Jesus. They soon lost what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. They started following the ways of the world once again.

Jesus warned us about becoming someone like this. He told us to repent and to return to following Him.

If we do not repent, what could await us?

If we continue on our path to the point where we not only ignore Jesus, but completely turn away from Him, we are given clear results. We will have our “lampstand” removed. In the tabernacle, the lampstand is the light in the Holy Place. We will have our light removed! We will be removed from God!

We, as believers, must stay focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must not allow the world to come back into our lives and make us lose sight of our first love.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


The victory is Yours! Come Lord Jesus! Come!

August 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
(Psalms 60:12 (NIV))

Do you believe this?

I know that with all that is going on in the world, sometimes it may be difficult to believe this. What is fundamentally wrong with this thought process is the simple fact that we don’t rely on what is going on in the world. We, as the Body of Christ, should only rely on God’s promises and not on the fallen nature of the world around us.

I know that this is a hard thing to do especially since humanity has fallen and is sinful by nature. In our sinful nature we rely on what we can see instead of relying on the promises that God has given to us.

Lord, I pray that You will open our spiritual eyes so that we can see Your grace, Your mercy and Your power as it readies to defeat the enemy once and for all. Jesus came to conquer sin and death. When He returns, He will come as a mighty warrior who will defeat the enemy and his followers.

Come Lord Jesus!

Come!

Your bride is growing tired of the conditions that have been unleashed in Your world. We long for Your return and the righteousness that You will bring!

The victory is Yours! Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What type of fruit do you bear?

August 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:43-45 (NIV))

What type of fruit do you bear?

Do you speak of God’s grace and mercy and bestow anger and wrath? Do your actions reflect what you truly desire for others to see? With that question asked, exactly what is it that you want others to see in you?

If a tree bears the type of fruit that it has the genetic code to produce, that means that it is not capable of producing anything else. It is predestined to produce what it produces. We have an advantage over the trees. We can make a conscious decision to change our fruit. We can change the fruit that we bear from bad to good. It must start from within. It is not impossible to change. We must simply be willing to change. We must desire to produce good fruit. We must desire to produce the fruit that represents the righteous characteristics that we wish to possess and store on the inside.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

The fruit of the Spirit is an outward presentation of what is truly stored within your heart.

What do you have stored in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Have you accepted God’s way to grace and mercy?

August 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’
(Numbers 14:18 (NIV))

We need to be thankful that God is slow to anger. If he were not, there would be many of us, if not all of us, who would not be where we are now. We would not be part of the grace and salvation that God offered through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. God is abounding in grace and salvation, yet, He is also a just God. If you reject Him, He will punish you by the actions that you have committed. He gives you every opportunity to accept His gift before He acts.

Sadly, far too many are not only rejecting God’s gift, they are blatantly turning against God in all that they do. It seems that if the Bible calls something a sin, then the world embraces it. If the Bible calls something righteous, then the world rejects it.

I know that the Lord is slow to anger, but I often wonder just how much longer He will wait before the things written of begin to unfold. Whether that is tomorrow or a thousand years from now, our frail human existence could end any minute. We must be prepared. We must be ready to meet God on His terms.

God’s terms call for repentance through accepting His Son, Jesus, as your personal Lord and Savior. There is no other way!

Have you fully accepted God’s way to grace and mercy?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Will our deeds be considered evil or good?

August 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to wonder why things that God calls evil are now coming out into the light of day?

I know, like many of you, that these things have always been in the world. They have been here ever since sin was introduced into the world. At times, some of them have ever become visible in certain parts of the world for a time, yet, today, it seems that sin is becoming a part of the whole world in ways that it never has before.

I can list countless things that I see, but I honestly don’t think it is necessary to go to that extreme. All that we have to do is know God’s Word and what God calls sin. With this knowledge, we then simply need to look at the state of the world to see that sin is running rampant.

Don’t get me wrong and try to take my words as meaning that righteousness is going away. That is far from the truth. I realize that we, as fallen creation, cannot be righteous on our own. what I do know is that churches that preach man made theology are dwindling in members while churches that preach God’s truth are growing in numbers.

We, as the Body of Christ, must decide where we will shine. Will our deeds be considered evil or will they be considered good?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Are you a walking contradiction?

August 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
(Psalms 15:1-5 (NIV))

If these do not offer great insight into how we should live, then I don’t know what does. These verses tell us exactly how we should live each and every day. In other words, we should treat each other as we would want to be treated. We should love each other as we would want to be loved. We should turn our eyes toward the things that are of God and turn away from things of this world. We should read and study God’s Word so that we may be well prepared to react in a righteous manner.

And …

We should pray. We should pray for guidance. We should pray for discernment. We should pray for understanding. We should pray for wisdom. We should simply pray that we may lead our lives so that they are an example of God’s grace and mercy in all that we do. Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi stated it best when he said:

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Our lives are very visible signs of what we truly believe in. If we profess a faith yet do things that are opposite of those spoken of in the passage from Psalms, we preach something different with our actions than we do with our mouths. We send out contradictory messages. How can the world believe what we say when we do otherwise?

Are you a walking contradiction in the eyes of the world and of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery