Have you been born again?

January 11, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:5-8 (NIV))

I once saw a bumper sticker that said “Born OK the first time.” After two thousand years, it is hard to believe that people still do not fully grasp what Jesus was speaking about. Either that, or they prefer the sin that the flesh has them in.

The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Matthew 26:41b (NIV))

The body, or the flesh, is weak and prone to sin. Sin cannot be overcome by the flesh. How can weakness overcome sin? It take a stronger presence to overcome the power of sin. Those who reject the Holy Spirit are rejecting God’s Grace and telling the world that they love their sin. Only righteousness can stand before God. Righteousness comes only from accepting Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to enter into your life. This is what Jesus spoke of when He said that “You must be born again.” Those who reject this, reject God.

Take a close look at your life. Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to enter into your life in such a manner that the world sees the difference? Have you been born again?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Christ is the reason for the season!

December 14, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
(Psalms 98:1-2 (NIV))

I know that this is a repeat, but it is important to remind ourselves what it is that we choose to celebrate during December.

Do you celebrate family? Do you celebrate peace on earth? Perhaps you may be receiving this because someone wants you to read something to try to convince you to celebrate something at all!

First and foremost, we must always remember that the reason for the season is Jesus. For several hundred years, tradition has made it known that this is the time of the year to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We call it Christmas, but the roots of the name are much more meaningful than today’s society can even imagine. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

God has made His salvation known!

He has revealed his righteousness to the nations!

That salvation and that righteousness is one and the same!

It is through Jesus!

I pray that you will truly have a Mighty Christ’s Mass this Christmas!

Christ is the reason for the season!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We should never stop praising our God who loves us!

February 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
(Revelation 4:8 (NIV))

Have you ever read this passage and thought that it was easy for these creatures to praise God because that is what they were created to do?

Have you ever come to the realization that we, as humanity, were created to lift up praise to God? We were created to walk with God and to be in fellowship with Him, but that all came to a drastic change when Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden. Because we had sinned, God in all of His holiness, His righteousness, could no longer walk with us and be in fellowship with us. Perfection cannot be in the presence of sin!

I can only imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt after having that intimate relationship with God only to lose it because of a lie.

Thankfully, God had a plan of restoration, of redemption, that would allow us to trade our sinful nature for His righteousness.

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:14-17 (NIV))

In other words, God reached down from heaven with a way to redeem us and bring us back to a loving relationship with Himself. All that we have to do is choose to accept that redemption. We have a choice because God made a choice to send His Son to redeem us to Himself! If that is not worthy of our praise, then I don’t know what is!

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” should be forever upon our hearts and our lips.

We should never stop praising our God who loves us!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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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What do you truly need?

February 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
(Revelation 3:17-18 (NIV))

Do you need anything?

The world has so many distractions, so many things that we consider to have great material value. We spend all of our lives struggling to accumulate these material possessions and we call them wealth. We look at gold and long for its accumulation. We look at fancy cars and long to own and drive the ones that make people turn their heads as we go by. We want big homes so that we can impress people, and then we have to build a wall and put up a gate to keep out the very people whom we want to impress.

In all of this, we focus on things that are of this world and can easily be taken away from us. We focus on what will make us look better than our neighbor. We focus on what will cause our family, friends and neighbors to devise plans to take what we have.

What good will a big bank account do you when you are standing before God? What good will a huge home do you when you are standing before God?

What is truly important to God? Does God care about your riches or does He care about your eternal salvation? He did not send Jesus to die on the cross so that we can accumulate more earthly wealth. God sent Jesus to show us how to attain true wealth, a wealth so great that it lasts all of eternity.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
(Mark 8:36 (NIV))

What is truly important to you?

What do you truly need?

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