Is this the meaning of Christmas to you?

December 6, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
(John 10:14-15 (NIV))

Does this passage make sense to you with respect to the upcoming celebration of the birth of Jesus?

Think about the words that are recorded by John. Think about the amazing fact that Jesus knows who belongs to Him and they know it as well. Think about the amazing gift that was freely given to all who will simply accept. It was freely given through the laying down of His life.

We take it for granted that Jesus knows us, but have you ever stopped to think about how we have gotten to know Him? In all of the infinite wisdom that is our Lord, it was decided that the best way for people to actually get to know Him was for Him to become one of us. This removed any misgivings. This removed any false concepts and false teachings. This allowed for the creation to live with and get to know the Lord. Instead of books dictated to humanity, the Gospel accounts are recorded by people who knew Jesus when He walked among us. They were written by people just like you and I. They had doubts. They had fears. They had heartache and troubles, yet, they chose to record something out of the ordinary. They chose to record their first hand encounters with the Lord of all creation.

Pretty amazing!

I have one more thing that I want to point out, and it is contained in the words “and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

What is your definition of life? Does your definition include death? Think about that for a moment. In order for Jesus to lay down His life for us, He had to have a life like ours. The eternal nature had to be put on hold so that He could have a physical nature and ultimately suffer a physical death. Have you ever stopped to think about the process of going from eternal Lord to a mortal infant? Have you ever stopped to wonder just what the baby Jesus possessed as far as infinite wisdom?

Jesus came into this world to lay down His life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. As I stated previously, He had to have a physical life that He could willingly give up. Could you imagine being in the splendor of heaven one moment and then the next you are being placed in a manger? You go from King of all kings to a helpless baby!

That is the message of Christmas! That is the redeeming love of God.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give freely and it will return to you measure upon measure!

March 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
(Mark 4:24-25 (NIV))

This doesn’t sound very fair, does it? It sounds like those who are rich will be greatly rewarded while those who are poor will be stripped of what little they do possess.

Think about that concept, though, from a different perspective and not from a worldly perspective.

If you have compassion, you will be given compassion. If you have love, you will be given love. If you have joy, you will be given joy. If you have peace, you will be given peace.

If you do not show compassion, what little you do have will eventually be taken and none will be shown to you. If you do not show love, what love that may be around you will soon be withdrawn and replaced with contempt and hatred. If you do not have joy, what joy that may be around you will also be chased away the minute that you enter a room. If you do not have peace, your presence will soon take the peace of others.

There is an old saying that you reap what you sow. If you want a bountiful harvest, sow graciously. Be willing to freely give away that which you desire to possess. There is something about this concept that draws measure upon measure. If you want to be loved, then freely love all that you see. If you desire to surround yourself with great joy, be extremely joyful in all that you do. Do not allow yourself to be beaten down by the world. Turn to Jesus and let Him keep full the measure that you are able to give. Do this by giving freely of what He has given to you. Don’t hoard what He has given to you, for how can He give you more if you don’t use it wisely and you don’t make room for it?

What do you desire to be blessed with? Give it freely and it will return to you measure upon measure.

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