Who do you see when you look up?

July 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
(Matthew 17:1-8 (NIV))

When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus!

Think about that statement.

Peter, James and John were Jewish. The core of the Jewish faith hinges upon what God did through Moses and Elijah. Peter, James and John were probably awe struck. The men whom God used to lay the foundations of what they had been taught all of their lives were standing supernaturally right in front of them. They wanted to commemorate this moment. They wanted to be able to have a place where they could relive this very moment.

Isn’t it interesting how these three men had spent several years with Jesus and this is the moment that probably made them truly aware of who He was and who He is. I love the symbolism of their faith traditions being overshadowed by Jesus. When they looked up, all that they saw was Jesus. Moses and Elijah were no where to be seen. Traditions can not save you.

Moses can’t offer salvation. Elijah can’t offer salvation. They brought God’s Law and His prophetic Word, but they can not bring salvation. That is available through only one source.

Jesus!

Moses and Elijah were only human. Jesus has a much higher authority as the Son of God. Only Jesus can save.

When you seek grace, mercy and salvation, whom do you see?

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

April 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
(Ezekiel 1:1 (NIV))

It sounds like Ezekiel was completely overwhelmed with his visions of God. He did exactly as I would do. He memorized the exact time and place that God came to him. I know that I would never forget such an experience, and it is human nature to want to create points of reference so that we can remember our special moments. However, we must be careful not to make the location more important than the encounter.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
(Matthew 17:4 (NIV))

Just like Ezekiel, Peter had an experience where he witnessed something that God desired for him to see. Peter was so moved by the experience that he wanted to build what basically would have been a set of shrines, or places of worship. The only problem is that Jesus knew the shrines would become more important than what actually happened there.

Ezekiel did not dwell on the location. He did not turn it into a place of worship. He knew that God was and is to be worshipped in truth and in spirit.

Take a serious look at your worship life. Have you turned your worship into a routine dictated by a place? Have you become so rooted in your habits that the place of worship is more important than the worship? We must learn not to dwell upon the insignificance of the place, but rather, we must learn to focus on the importance of “Who” we worship. God is not limited to only one place. He is everywhere. We must worship at all times and when we come together on Sundays, we must worship in unity as a single Body of Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your decision obvious?

March 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
(1 Kings 18:21 (NIV))

Elijah built an alter and soaked it with water to the point where it would not burn in order to show the people that the Lord was God.

The priests of Baal pleaded with their “god” for hours and nothing happened. Elijah had patience. He knew what would happen. Elijah had faith. Again, he knew what would happen. He knew that the priests of Baal would fail miserably no matter how much time he gave them. He also knew that the one true God would prevail even against seemingly impossible odds. With this in mind, Elijah called the people to make a decision based on the outcome of the days events before they even happened.

The decision was obvious. After God came down and consumed the wet offering, it was impossible to come to any other conclusion. They chose to worship God.

Have each of us come to that same, logical conclusion? We may not have seen the first hand evidence as presented that day, but we have proof of more evidence than these people ever had. There is enough evidence, if you choose to accept it, that there is a God and that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins. If God can consume with fire a thoroughly soaked alter and sacrifice, He can perform an act of salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son. The only difference is the question. God is asking each of us, “How long will you waver between the two options? If you accept Jesus as my Son, accept salvation. If you do not, accept the consequences.”

What do you accept?

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