Let God fill you with His Spirit in the coming year!

December 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

With the new year rapidly approaching, what are we going to fill ourselves with?

Society looks at the new year as a chance to make a clean start. We make resolutions about things that we plan on doing differently. We tell ourselves and others that we will lose weight, that we will exercise, that we will go to church more, that we will . . .

I could go on and on and list the things that we say we are going to do. Have you ever stopped to think that what we say we are going to do is comparable to the new wine and that we are the old wineskins? We cannot handle the new things without changing ourselves first. It is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of priorities.

If you go into an activity to lose weight and get in shape and you try to start full throttle, it usually doesn’t last long. We must start slowly and build up to what we long to do. The same is true of our spirituality and our relationship with Jesus. We must learn to crawl before we can walk. We must learn to walk before we can run. To use the concept that we are familiar with, we must be fed milk until we are mature enough for solid food.

Walking with Jesus, just like anything in this life, is not an activity that we can achieve perfection instantly. We will stumble. We will fall, and we will all have times when we will think that Jesus must really be shaking His head because of all of our failures.

Don’t give up!

A life spent walking with Jesus is just that. It is a life long event. It is a journey and not a destination. You can’t simply arrive at a point where you are perfect in your walk. You will be made new every single day of your life. You will be filled with new wine as your old wineskin is made anew.

I pray that we go in to this new year with the attitude that we will stand firm and stay the course that is laid out before us.

I like the way that Paul described it as a race and that he was in it to win it!

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we claim to have such faith?

March 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
(Matthew 9:18-19 (NIV))

What faith this man had! Even when, according to all human knowledge, he had no hope for his daughter, he stepped out in faith. Some people say that he took that step of faith because he had no other options and that he was desperate.

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Would you have a need to take such a step of faith if there was no pressing circumstance that gave you no other option? Would you take that option or would you simply give up and accept what the world says must happen?

What if this man had not gone to Jesus?

What if this man had not boldly approached the Son of God with the faith that Jesus could give him what he longed for? What if he simply gave up and accepted the fact that his daughter was dead?

Instead of rejoicing, there would be mourning. Instead of grace, there would be grief. Instead of life, there would be death.

Isn’t it in our desperation that we reach out to God?

Desperation!

The loss of all hope!

I love the way that God works. When we lose all worldly hope, we have the hope that overcomes the world. This hope comes from faith, and faith from knowing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

This man had faith. Can we claim to have such faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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