Do you let yourself be sharpened?

May 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27:17 (NIV))

Do you like to be held accountable?

Do you like to have your feet held to the fire?

Each and every one of us have a set of expectations placed on us by our families, our friends and our employers. Have you ever stopped to think about the expectations that the Body of Christ has for you? Have you ever stopped to think about your responsibility to other members of the Body of Christ?

As members of the Body of Christ, we are to hold each other accountable. We are also called to support each other in times of need. We are called to keep each other accountable not only to each other, but also to God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son. We do this by getting involved in the lives of each other. We can’t simply just gather together for an hour on Sunday and possibly think that this is all we need.

We are called to be community. We are called to be the Body of Christ!

Does a body only exist together for a short time and then go separate ways? Does a hand get up and leave the body? Each member is there to provide support and to be supported.

We get our strength from each other. As one member grows, all members grow. As one member is sharpened, all members are sharpened. All of this occurs because we learn from each other. We mature in our faith when in community.

We are told to fellowship with other believers. We are told that fellowship is part of the Gospel.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

Do you let yourself be sharpened?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God instructs us through the Holy Spirit!

September 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
(Titus 2:11-14 (NIV))

Walking with God is more than just having the Creator as our champion. We also have a teacher.

God instructs us, through the Holy Spirit, on how we should act in all situations. We, as students, need to pay more attention to the “teacher” and do as instructed. Even when we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is still a ‘gentleman”. He will not force us to do anything.

We must submit our wills to God’s Will. If we willingly do this, then we will be matured in our faith and prepared for Jesus’ return to gather the church together in the clouds. That is something that I do not want to miss.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you find yourself going?

August 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
(1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV))

Think about this passage for a moment.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is to replace the word aliens with the word tourists.

Let me explain.

The last time that you went on a vacation, did you seek out the sinful areas of the places that you visited or did you seek the places of beauty? A tourist does not go somewhere seeking to find the sin. They go seeking to see something of beauty that is different from what they are used to. Some love to go to the mountains. Some love to go to the beach. Others love to go on cruises, but no one goes looking to find the depravity of the areas that they visit.

We, as members of the Body of Christ, are aliens, we are tourists, in this world. We should not be focused on the sin that has overtaken the world or we may find ourselves falling into that very sin.

We are to remain blameless!

I know that this is impossible in our humanity, for we are all fallen. However, we have one who intercedes for us so that we can rely on His strength instead of ours. When we are facing temptations within this world, rely on Jesus to see you through them. Don’t allow the enemy to trick you into going somewhere that you don’t want to go.

Accountability, fellowship and community are important.

Think back on the tourist concept. When you are a tourist, do you go alone or do you go with other people? Being alone is dangerous. The enemy will recognize that you are alone and vulnerable. That is when sin has the opportunity to arise.

Where do you find yourself going?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Today’s church needs to embrace the power of prayer!

June 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16 (NIV))

The early church knew the power of prayer. The apostles had watched Jesus pray and had seen the results of His prayers. They had prayed and seen the results of their prayers. They had seen first-hand what prayer can do. They were used to confessing one to another and praying for each other. When they lifted each other up in prayer, God gave them strength and increased their faith.

In today’s society, we have all but stopped this practice. Our hectic life-styles have become a burden. We seldom meet with each other. When we do, it appears that most of us put on a false front and say that everything is alright, while inside we are hurting. We need to return to the practice that James spoke of. We need to have a group of believers that we can turn to on a weekly or a daily basis. This group is our accountability group. They are there to listen and encourage, and most of all, pray for each other. When we meet together in this manner to fulfill God’s will for our lives, our prayers will be heard. A righteous man is one who seeks the will of God. If we seek the will of God, then God will hear.

Are your prayers powerful and effective or are they just quick and meaningless “hellos”?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you teach truth?

September 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 (NIV))

Does this scare you?

If you are in a position of teaching God’s Word, it should.

If you knew that you were being held to a higher level of accountability in your job, would you do what went against the employee handbook? Would you be employed for very long if your employer found out that what you were doing was contrary to what was expected of you? Think about that. If you were in charge of training the quality control employees and you frequently taught that it is okay to cut corners, what would happen to your employment status?

Teaching is a position of authority, for you not only are responsible for your own thoughts and actions, you are held accountable for those who follow your teachings.

Now, put this in perspective in relationship to God’s Word and His eternal truth. Put this in relationship to God’s plan of salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. What do you think will be God’s reaction to you leading His children astray? Not only are you lost, but you are responsible for leading others into the same state as yourself.

God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to seek and to save the lost. He paid a very high price to achieve this. If we who teach are contradicting His work, we are actually working for the enemy. If we are working for the enemy, do we really follow Jesus?

Do you teach truth?

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

July 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth.
(Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV))

Do you ever boast and brag?

Be honest!

It is human nature to boast about things. Even when we don’t mean to, we have a tendency to boast and brag. If you have ever written a resume or gone on a job interview, you have probably boasted about your accomplishments.

Have you ever been around someone who bragged so much that they were difficult to put up with?

Let’s face it, there is a fine line between being truthful and being prideful. It is a fine line that is very easy to cross.

What happens if someone asks you about your job? Do you tell them that you are part of a team or do you lay out your responsibilities to make it sound like you are the central core to all of the functions that are performed at your office?

What happens when someone asks you about your children? Do you respond with what they are doing or do you go on an on about how they are the center of every activity that they are involved in?

We all boast, but is there anything in our lives that we can truly boast about? Did we create our job? Did we build our house? Did we design our car? Did we teach our children all that they know? We have had a hand in none of these things, yet we boast about them all of the time.

What do you do when you are confronted about your faith?

What do you do when you are confronted about knowing Jesus?

Personally, I find it very disturbing that people do not boast about knowing Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The Creator of all things, God, the Father, has sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Jesus calls us by name. God calls us by name. The Creator knows my name and He has a plan to redeem me for a full relationship with Him.

If this isn’t something to brag about, I don’t know what is!

Our society has become too complacent, too jaded with God and with Jesus. We have gotten to the point where we simply take it for granted. We are not willing to share the good news. We are not willing to boast about our relationship with the Creator. We are not willing to boast that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin! Instead, we boast about things that are trivial. We boast about the football team that we support. We boast about the fish that we caught. We boast about our new car. We boast about everything but that we know and understand our Lord.

Will your car save you? Will your job bring you eternal life? Will your favorite football team pay you when they win?

Boast about Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We will be held accountable!

May 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:12-13 (NIV))

We just finished a three day weekend in which we were supposed to stop and remember those who have given their lives so that we could have the freedoms that we have. I am extremely thankful to those who have served in the US military and have fought for our freedoms. We, as a nation, owe them more than we can ever begin to repay.

There is another group of people whom we need to be thankful to. A group that we, as the Body of Christ, must remember for their sacrifices that helped to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We must remember the heroes of the faith. Some call them saints. Some call them out as torchbearers. Whatever you may call them, the people who have gone before us and paved the way for our faith must be remembered. They must be thanked, for without them, we would not have been handed the mantle of faith that we possess.

We, as the current standard bearers in the faith, must be vigilant in our faith. We owe it to the next generation to pass the truth of God’s Word to them. We must not alter it to meet society’s expectations. We must not alter it to meet our own desires. We must not change what God is saying.

We will be held accountable!

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

Our generation are the apostles. We are the prophets. We are the evangelists, pastors and teachers. It is our responsibility to pass this on just as we received it. Society may try to change God’s Word, but we must be steadfast and use God’s Word to change society.

Think about these questions.

Do you want future generations to look upon us as the ones who corrupted God’s Word?

Do you want God to look upon us as the ones who corrupted His Word?

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