Have you believed and have you confessed?

January 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 (NIV))

Have you ever known someone who confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet acted like they didn’t believe what they claimed?

Have you ever known someone who never publicly confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet lived what you would consider to be a good life?

Then there are those who have not confessed and live a life that is anything but good.

Finally, there is the group who are not ashamed to publicly confess that Jesus is Lord and they believe it in their heart! Their lives reflect the belief and the proclamation.

It is funny how that we, as a fallen creation, can see people and can seem to be able to put labels on them. Is this judging? Some might say that it is, yet I believe that if you truly have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it will reflect in all aspects of your life. Lip service by itself will not redeem you, for lips can lie. Believing in your heart can save you, but what about the simple fact that people like to share with others when something good happens to them? Does that mean that they are not saved? I believe that only God knows the heart. I also know that God created each of us to be unique and some people are not wired to express things publicly. I also know that this passage doesn’t put a number to the amount of people who must hear your profession of faith. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been made!

I suppose the thing that I am trying to convey is that only God knows the heart. We must stop worrying about did this person really mean it, or is this person lost for all eternity? Don’t get me wrong. We are to continue to spread the Gospel, but we cannot force someone to accept Jesus. That is the work of the Holy Spirit within each person. All that we can do is answer the call for ourselves. We cannot answer for anyone else!

Have you answered the call? Have you believed in your heart? Have you confessed with your mouth?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Confess! Repent! Worship!

October 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They took turns confessing their sins and worshipping the Lord their God.
(Nehemiah 9:3 (NLT))

This passage just stopped me in my tracks!

Do you realize what was going on?

All of the people of Israel were gathered together in one place. They were fasting. They were dressed in sackcloth. They were asking for forgiveness of their sins. It was not just a few people. It was not just the members of one town.

It was the whole nation!

What do you think would happen if our whole nation would gather together and confess their sins? What would happen if everyone worshipped the Lord?

I hate to say this, but I believe that we have become so self centered that we will never come together if we don’t think that there is something in it for us. We are too worried about the personal pronouns me, myself and I to see beyond our own greed, ego and pride.

It is a shame. We know what happens when we, as a people, turn to God.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Even though I find it difficult to believe that something like this could happen, I also believe that nothing is impossible with God. I know that times are strange. Good is called evil and evil is called good. Still, we must pray. We must not give into the world and the prince of the world.

We serve a risen Savior. Whether Jesus comes for His church tonight or one hundred years from now, we must hold fast to the promises. We must hold fast to the hope that this nation can be turned back to Jesus!

Confess! Repent! Worship!

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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Pray!

May 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

The national day of prayer is upon us.

Stop and think about that for a moment.

Just what does that mean to you? Is it simply another day that you go about your hectic life? Is it a day that you stop for a moment or two and actually pray?

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 5:13 (NIV))

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Timothy 1:11-12 (NIV))

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Timothy 5:16-18 (NIV))

Do you see a trend with the verses listed above? Prayer is important. We are to pray for each other. It is powerful and effective. People are praying for you. We are to pray continually. I know that it is important to have a national day of prayer, but it is obvious that God wants us to pray at all times. We, as the Body of Christ, must set the example. We must pray without ceasing.

We must pray for God’s Will and not our will.

Prayer is not selfish. Pray is not a check list of things that you ask God to do for you. Prayer is a powerful and effective way to grow closer to God and to understand His Will.

My favorite passage has always been Psalm 46:10.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalm 46:10 (NIV))

If we will be still and talk to God – truly talk and listen – we will grow to know His heart. We will seek Him in all that we do. We will know our Father and His deepest desires for us. All it takes is an effort on our part. We must be humble. We must be sincere. We must listen, and we must pray, and not just one day a year.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Just whose body is it?

January 12, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
(Romans 12:1 (NAS))

What we do with our bodies and what we put into our bodies is as important as what we do in the spiritual world. God created us in His image, and we, as believers, must respect not only God for the spiritual salvation that He has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ, but we must also respect, or fear, God for what we do to His creation.

God created us in his image. Would you expect God to defile His image with things that are un-holy as we defile our bodies in the name of personal habits? We must take the attitude that life, both physical and spiritual, is a gift from God.

How many people do you know who would destroy a precious gift after it was given to them? Life is more precious than any gift that this world has to offer, yet, many people do just that. They destroy that gift by sinful acts that they may not see as sinful. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He takes us where we are and does not expect us to be able to change ourselves. The Holy Spirit enters into our lives and works within our lives to guide us towards the image that God had intended for us.

Re-read the first sentence of the first paragraph. Have you ever thought that by defiling your body, you may actually allow Satan a stronghold that may not have otherwise been there. If you are addicted to drugs, when that “urge” for another “fix” has you in its grasp, the last thing that you may be thinking about is “What Would Jesus Do?”

It is through this worldly body that we inhabit that many sins have taken hold of the spiritual side of a person. It is for this reason that Paul wrote these words.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fully dressed?

July 19, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

We all think that we could recognize the devil’s schemes. Sometimes I wonder if that is possible without putting on the full armor of God.

Think about that for a moment.

When we put on the full armor of God, we clothe ourselves in God’s Word. We fully embrace the Holy Spirit’s presence within our lives. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah. He is our personal Lord and Savior. In other words, we long to know God and His commands. We should be able to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy. It should be second nature to us. We should know the voice of our Lord, Savior and Master.

Now consider that Satan will often masquerade as an angel of light. Is our faith and understanding of God strong enough to distinguish a false angel of light from the voice of God? I would like to think that each of us is to that point in our faith. I would like to think that we are fully clothed in the full armor of God so that Satan cannot catch us off guard through one of his deceptions. Unfortunately, none of us is perfect. We can fall if we let down our guard.

We must be prepared!

Study God’s Word. Pray for guidance and discernment. Pray for wisdom. Be ready to recognize God’s voice and reject the devil’s schemes.

Are you fully dressed in the armor of God or do you have areas that leave you vulnerable to attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Confess and believe!

July 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 (NIV))

Two things – confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. Nothing could be simpler, yet, we, as His church, have made it difficult. We have placed all types of rules and regulations on what Jesus intended to be easy.

Some people believe that only their denomination is going to be saved. Some people claim that only those whom God has predestined will be saved. Some people believe that only those that have been water baptized will be saved. Still, others believe that only those who keep the Jewish Sabbath, which is Saturday, will be saved.

I do not see any of these stipulations in this passage. No matter how many times I read it, I still only see two things – confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

The word “fulfill” means to make full, to put into effect, to measure up, and to convert into reality. The reality of the Law before Jesus was that no one measured up. No one could fulfill the requirements of the Law. So, Jesus came as a man and fulfilled the requirements. He provided a way for us to fulfill the Law in our lives. It is grace that allows that.

It is not a denomination. It is not predestination. It is not baptism. It is not observing man made traditions.

Everybody is familiar with the crucifixion story. Consider these events from Luke.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Luke 23:39-43 (NIV))

Did Jesus make the thief belong to a certain group? Did Jesus tell him that he had been predestined to be saved? Did Jesus have an opportunity to baptize this man?

He simply told him that he would be with Him in paradise.

Traditions are important, but we must be careful to not let them take the place of the true meaning and grace that faith brings.

Faith is simple. Salvation is simple. It requires two things – confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.

Have you confessed? Do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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