Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

April 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
(1 Peter 4:16 (NIV))

Have you ever faced anything simply because you are a believer in Jesus?

Perhaps I should ask if you have ever been in a situation where you would have suffered if it was known that you were a Christian? Think about that for a moment as you answer the following. Did you withhold the fact that you were a Christian or did you deny that you were a Christian? There is a difference! Regardless of how you handled yourself in that situation, do you regret not standing up and identifying as a follower of Jesus? Do you feel that you have abandoned Jesus through your actions and words?

Consider Peter.

He denied Jesus three times during the events between Jesus being arrested and being taken to Pilate. All of us can put ourselves into the events and justify the actions that Peter took that night. In all honesty, it is not told in detail how Peter truly felt. We can only imagine what Peter was facing within himself as these events transpired and afterward. What we do know is that after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter was able to put his shame behind him and accept the grace that Jesus was extending to him.

Think about that!

Peter denied Jesus three times. He had seen Jesus beaten so badly that He was not recognizable. Peter had seen Jesus crucified, dead and buried. The guilt of his denial of Jesus must have been unbearable. Even after Jesus arose, what was Peter thinking? Was he thinking that Jesus would never forgive him for what he had done? Was Peter thinking that he had committed something so bad that he would be condemned to suffer for all eternity?

Grace is amazing!

What Peter did discover is that Jesus forgave him. Three times he was asked if He loved Jesus and three times he responded that he did. I can almost imagine that with each response Peter gave Jesus, the burden of guilt was being lifted until it was completely gone!

That is what Jesus does! He lifts the burden of guilt and replaces that burden with a joy that comes from knowing that all of your sins are forgiven! There is nothing greater to give thanks for.

Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I pray that you have a “Mighty Christ Mass”

December 17, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
(John 7:33-34 (NIV))

Has Jesus been away too long? Do people find Him when they look for Him? Perhaps I should ask if people even bother to look for Him anymore.

We are in the time of year when we are preparing for the celebration of His birth. The Body of Christ is under continuous assault for saying Merry Christmas. Anybody who clings to traditional Biblical values is ridiculed and condemned. There is a mass movement by a very vocal minority to completely remove Jesus from all aspects of our lives. There is more falsely placed concern for tolerance as long as what you are asked to be tolerant of is against Biblical teachings.

Has the Body of Christ grown soft? Have we forgotten that we have a risen Savior and that we are called to be bold in the face of the enemy? Society has made us think that the meaning of Christianity is timidity. We are falsely told that in order to follow Jesus we are to accept each lifestyle choice that anyone makes.

I think not!

Jesus did not tell the men who caught the woman in adultery that it was okay for her to do what she did. He told them that if they were without sin, they could judge her by casting the first stone. Jesus did not tell the woman to go her way and live her life of sin because it is what she wanted to do. Jesus told the woman to leave her life of sin!

There is a lesson in this parable. We are to not be too quick to judge and condemn, but we are to not allow people to continue in their sin. That is a fine balance. Jesus loves the sinner, yet He cannot condone the sin. He cannot force them to repent. It breaks His heart to see people reject the gift of grace that He came to give.

I know that when Jesus spoke the words of John 7:33-34 He was saying them to His disciples in reference to His crucifixion. I also see a message for us today in these same words. It has become more and more evident in today’s society that we will look for Jesus and see less and less of Him. With this in mind, we need to double down on our resolve to celebrate the birth of Jesus as it truly should be celebrated. Christmas is the time that we celebrate the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Savior.

Just a reminder of the strength behind the celebration. When we say Merry Christmas, we are actually wishing someone to have a “Mighty Christ Mass” so that the power and the presence of Jesus is manifested mightily in our lives.

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is the only bridge to God!

December 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

It has been said that religion is humanity’s attempt at reaching to God. All throughout history, mankind has been searching for God in many different ways. No matter what we, as part of the creation, do to reach God, we can never acheive what we desire.

Now consider that the same people who say that religion is humanity’s attemtp at reaching out to God are the same people who state that Christianity is God’s way of reaching out to humanity.

God knew that we could never attain the goal that we had set for ourselves, primarily because we do not understand what our goal is. It is for this reason that God sent His Son, Jesus, to be the bridge that allows us to make that crossing that is impossible to cross without Jesus.

John 14:6 states what many in this world still fail to recognize. God wants us to be with Him in His kingdom, but we must come to Him through His Son. All of the world religions that do not recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior fail to recognize that they must come to God as part of His plan and not theirs.

How can we help the world to see this only bridge to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must teach the children so the next generation will know God

May 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
(Psalms 78:4-7 (NIV))

I hate to say this, but I believe that we, as a nation, have not done what God’s Word tells us to do. Since we have removed prayer from public schools, things have become increasingly anti-God and anti-Jesus. We have failed to teach our children about God and as a result, we have lost a valuable part of our society and our heritage.

We no longer trust in God. Just take a look at the latest coins that our treasury has introduced. They have officially removed the words “In God we trust.” Exactly who do we, as a society, trust in anymore? We can’t trust in ourselves. Just look at the state of this nation and this world. We can’t trust in governments that think that they are the highest authority, for they will take advantage of that authority.

I once heard a quote from the stepdaughter of George Washington. She had been asked about the faith of George Washington. Her reply was that it would be easier to question his patriotism than his Christianity. Now, our politicians skirt the issue of faith and do not openly admit to having faith. They claim patriotism, and then I seriously doubt that.

We have failed to teach our children of God’s greatness and of His deeds. We must pray that we can return to God and turn the hearts of those whom have not heard. We must not abandon the children to their own desires. Human desires are sinful. We will only do what benefits us.

What did Jesus benefit when He was on the cross? He suffered excruciating pain and torment along with separation from God. He gave it all so that others could benefit. We must put our trust in the things that He willingly laid down His life for.

I have heard that there is an insription at the top of the Washington Monument that only God can see. It supposedly dedicates this nation to God. I think that we need to copy that inscription so that we can see it. We must teach the children so the next generation will know God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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