Do you delight in what brings delight to Jesus?

March 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV))

Is this your definition of love?

Did you notice that this passage doesn’t say that love is accepting of the evil that is sin? Love does not delight in evil, so why do we think that if we love someone, then we accept the sin that they are involved in? Love means that we want the best for the person. Why would we accept evil and claim that evil is what is best for any person?

Jesus loves each of us, yet He didn’t say that it was okay for us to stay in our sin. He didn’t condemn us when He came to this world. He called us to repent. He called us to leave our life of sin.

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11 (NIV))

I often wonder if this is how people have come to believe that Jesus will allow sin? Do people think that because Jesus didn’t blast sin while He was on the earth that we won’t face judgment for our actions? When Jesus came to this world, He didn’t come to judge. He came to offer salvation. He came to offer hope. He came to offer a way to repent before the judgment happens, and it will happen.

Jesus came to bring truth so that the truth would conquer evil. He came in love. He came so that we can overcome the evil of sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

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 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you delight in your walk with God?

May 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.
(Proverbs 23:24 (NIV))

What is wisdom?

Do you think of it as the world thinks of it? Do you look upon wisdom as the ability to deal with people and come out better off than they do? Do you look upon wisdom as knowledge and power? Take a serious look inward and reflect on what is wise in your eyes.

What is righteousness?

Do you look upon this the way our society now looks upon it? Righteous now means something completely different in today’s slang than it does to God.

Righteousness and wisdom are traits that should denote a fear of God. This fear is not one that makes you stay away from God, but, rather it is a healthy respect and reverence for the Creator by the creation. The worldly definitions of these words place the creation above the Creator. Leave it to the enemy to turn what God has called good and make it have a meaning that is completely opposite of the truth.

Don’t give up hope. There is true wisdom and true righteousness! It is available only through God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Accepting this gift of grace and mercy truly makes you wise no matter what the world thinks of you or what your IQ may be. This wisdom is the only wisdom that matters, for it is a wisdom of recognition of authority and submission and not a wisdom that seeks its own authority and for everyone to submit to it.

The words written in Proverbs 23:24 are true. Righteousness and wisdom do bring great joy and delight. Do you delight in those whom you love? Do you delight in your walk with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you strong in your weakness?

June 29, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV))

Once again, we are told of things that don’t make sense, that go against human nature.

Why would anyone delight in these things? It almost sounds like Paul is saying that he would rather face these types of conditions than to face peace. What was he thinking?

Think about that for a moment and then think about your life. I know that when I think about my life, I have a new understanding of these words. Once again, it is a matter of perspective.

I think that Paul hit upon the concept of his strength and his faith and the relationship that the two have to each other. Before his Damascus road experience, Paul thought he had the world under his control. He felt that he was the ideal Jew and that he had done everything right, yet he lacked true faith and understanding. In his strength, Paul was weak in his faith.

After his Damascus road experience, Paul had a change of heart. He realized that his strength meant nothing. He realized that what he so proudly boasted of meant nothing in God’s kingdom.

Then, as now, too many people make the mistake of wanting strength, money and power. I know that there are always exceptions, but having strength, money and power often results in selfish desires with no thought to others or to God. Paul was driven, but for all of the wrong reasons. He was doing everything that society said that he should do.

Paul, during his evangelism to the gentiles, faced many things. Things that a good Jew would not have faced. Paul was going against the grain. Because he was doing what God called him to do, he faced ridicule and persecution from people who did not understand. In his weakness in the physical world, he relied more and more on his relationship to Jesus and God. His faith grew stronger. When he was weak in the physical world, he grew stronger in his faith.

If you are like me with what you face, and who isn’t in this life, then you face many weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. It is my prayer that we may all grow stronger when we are weak.

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

May 30, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
(John 15:13-14 (NIV))

Jesus must have counted the whole world’s population, before, then and in the future, to be His friends. He did exactly what was stated in John 15:13, and He did it without any hesitation. He could have easily changed the course of events that lead up to His crucifixion, yet, He let them play out exactly as God the Father had intended for them to happen.

Why would anyone be willing to do such a thing? Faith, hope and love! Faith that you are not ending your existence, but are placing your eternal existence in the hands of God the Father. Hope that those who receive the benefit of your sacrifice will turn from their ways and follow the Will of God. Love of others to such an extent that you do not think of the consequences to yourself if you follow through with your actions.

We think that we would be able to lay down our lives for those that we love, such as spouse and children, yet, how many of us would be willing to perform the same act for someone we do not know? We may never know the truth about our intentions versus our actual actions, yet, we must be ready to do whatever is called on from us no matter what or who is involved.

What if Jesus had stopped to think and came to the realization that Bob, Joe, Mary, and Sue will never amount to anything, I will not do what I need to do. They do not deserve it. But, he did not do this. He went to the cross for all of us. Are we ready to do what we must do when the time comes?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you hungry?

May 20, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

What is your favorite Scripture passage? What makes it your favorite? Did God use it to reach out to you at a time of terrible trouble? Did He speak to you through that passage when you were alone and lost? Did He use it to call you to Him and confirm your salvation?

God has given us so much of Himself through His Word. Think about your favorite Scripture passage. At best, it is only a few words. A few select words that God has used to touch your life. If God can soften your heart with only a few words, imagine what He can do with every word that is recorded as part of His Word. If we took to heart every morsel that is freely given to us, how would we be different? If we studied and memorized more of Scripture the way that we memorize our favorite passage, imagine how our lives would be changed!

If your favorite passage is looked upon as an appetizer to a grand feast, are we missing all that God has laid out before us? If you are offered an appetizer, do you simply stop with one morsel? An appetizer is simply the thing that awakens your hunger for what is to come. Your favorite passage is that appetizer. It should be looked upon as the morsel that awakens your hunger for all of God’s Word.

Are you hungry?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be Still

May 9, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

I once asked the question, “How often can you take the time to sit in silence?” If you are like me, the hectic lifestyles that we live do not allow many times like this. I still find myself struggling to find time each day to spend quietly with God. Many times it is only for a few minutes an evening as I sit in my office and my family is in another room. I read through the verses that have caught my attention and I find myself reflecting upon what God has placed upon my heart.

Many times, the events of the day will open up an avenue that God will use to reach out to me and ask me if I have done the best that I could possibly do in a situation. Just like any one of us on any given day, I fail miserably when I think about what I should have done. When this happens, I thank God for showing me what a fool I can be and then I praise Him for His grace and mercy. Tomorrow is a new day! It is another day that I, a mere toddler, can attempt to walk with God in all of His glory. I know that each day I will fall short of what He desires for me, but I also know that He will allow me to get back up. He will allow me once again take my place in my lifelong walk with Him.

Many times I miss the queues that tell me where He is going. I fail to hear that still small voice when He tells me to venture outside of my comfort zone. I long to get better at being able to discern His voice. I long to sit in His presence. I long to feel His guiding hand upon my life in all that I do.

There is no substitute for being in God’s presence and discerning His voice. It is something that we must learn. It takes patience. It takes practice. It takes a conscious effort each and every day. How can you know something if you do not take the time to study, if you do not take the time to learn? If we desire to know God, we must take the time. We must make a decision each and every day to make the time.

What will be your decision for today and every day for the rest of your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Prayer

May 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
(Luke 5:15-16 (NIV))

Jesus was and always will be. Yet, when He was on this earth, He did not gloat or boast or brag. He taught humbly, yet powerfully. Even though all knowledge was with Him, He did not forsake His quiet times that He spent in prayer. We can only imagine what His prayers were, but the important thing is that Jesus DID pray. He prayed constantly. As part of the Trinity, He had been with God the Father from the beginning, yet He still felt the need to pray.

Prayer! What do you think that prayer is?

Is it a one sided request that God do something for you?

Is it a one sided advice giving session?

Or is it a two-sided conversation where you freely talk with the Father? Jesus held conversations with God the Father. We know the contents of one side of one of His conversations. The prayer in the Garden of Gesthemene is probably the most intense prayer ever recorded, yet it was not a request, it was not advice, it was an earnest discussion with God the Father to discern His Will.

If Jesus, who was with God and who is God, felt the need to pray to God the Father, how can we do any less?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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