How do you see Jesus?

October 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
(Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV))

I think I understand some of the nonbelievers mindset when it comes to Jesus!

Think about human nature and then think about what most people spend a lifetime trying to do. If you came to the conclusion that most people spend a lifetime trying to prove that they are better than everyone else, then I think you may be thinking what I am thinking.

Human nature, in its sinful, fallen state, wants to think that we are better than everyone else. We spend a lifetime trying to elevate ourselves to a place of being worshipped and served. Jesus took the exact opposite approach. He lowered Himself to our level. He left heaven and became a servant. This is a very difficult concept to grasp, especially for those who fail to recognize that being worshipped and served is not what life is about.

We want to have control. We want to be in a position of authority. We want fame. We want people looking to us and worshipping us. In essence, we want to be the god of our little world. We just can’t comprehend the fact that Jesus did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped. He was willing to surrender what each of us have strived for in one way or another.

Jesus came from heaven and lived among us. He did not seek to be worshipped. He came to serve. He did not seek glory. He came in humility. He did not seek power. He deliberately left all power and authority behind. He did not come to be rich. He was born in a stable!

Too many people simply cannot comprehend the idea of deliberately lowering your status to help and serve others. We are always looking for the next pat on the back, the next promotion and the next raise. Where is Jesus in any of these activities?

The attitude of a believer should be exactly opposite of what the world says. Jesus turned the world upside down. Believing requires us to see things as Jesus sees them and not in the way that the world sees them. To many people, this makes absolutely no sense.

Pray for them, for they see Jesus through their senses and the so called logic of this world.

How do you see Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What prize do you really seek?

May 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV))

What is the prize that you seek in this race that we call life? Is it fame, fortune, wealth, power? Or is it something of far greater value?

If you look at life through the eyes of the world, you may be asking yourself what is of greater value than these things. Look inward! God has created something of far greater value that He watches it daily.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
(Matthew 6:26 (NIV))

What value do birds have? How could that be more valuable than fame, fortune, wealth or power?

God looks at things very differently than the world does. He can make gold if He desires. He can perform miracles that bring fame if He desires. God does not love these things. He loves the birds of the air and He feeds them. The good news is that He loves each of us more than He loves the birds.

With this in mind, the prize that we seek should not be of this earth. It should be an earnest and sincere faith in God, in Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. This faith will get you the ultimate prize – eternal life. What prize could compare with that?

What prize do you really seek?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you learned the secret that Paul wrote of?

September 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
(Philippians 4:12 (NIV))

Nothing is certain in this life. We will all face ups and downs. Money cannot guarantee a happy and a comfortable life. Power and prestige will not. Fame will only result in being forgotten. Some days will simply seem like they last forever and it will all be due to your circumstances.

Far too many people believe that when you accept Jesus as your Savior, all things will miraculously become perfect. In fact, the biggest obstacle that the body of believers known as the church faces is the fact that we are not perfect . Things don’t always go the way we want them to. In fact, the non-believing world watches and waits for us to have the bad times. They watch to see how we react. When we react the same way that they would, they claim that Jesus could not be who He says He is because He has not made a difference.

Paul knew better. He knew that Jesus makes a difference. In all the troubles that he faced, Paul knew where his strength came from. He knew where his happiness came from. His strength was not in his abilities. His happiness was not in his circumstances. Paul drew his strength and his happiness from Jesus. Paul faced many circumstances in his life that we can only read about, many of which would have caused us to simply give up. No matter what he faced, Paul did not swerve in his faith. He kept his eyes upon Jesus. When you are earnestly seeking a prize, you are willing to go through anything because that prize is of great value. You may go through circumstances that are tough, but you do not stop seeking the prize. You realize that your circumstances are temporary and you keep striving. You keep focusing on that prize. Jesus is the greatest prize. He gives us eternal life. He gives us hope. He gives us peace.

What is it that Paul relied upon to stay content in any and every situation? Have you learned the secret that Paul wrote of?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

March 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Mark 14:38 (NIV))

Things happen in this world. Some of them are good and some of them are not so good. Often, the things that look good on the surface are only deceptions. They are temptations to lure you into things that aren’t good. It is these temptations that we must learn to discern and stay away from. Ironically, it is often the things that look uncertain that often turn out to be good. From a worldly perspective, putting your faith in a man who was crucified two thousand years ago on a cross does not look like a good thing. However, this is the very way that God works. He uses what the world calls foolish and makes it bring blessings. These blessings are far greater than those promised by the temptations that the world throws at us.

It is easy to fall into the temptations of this world when they you are constantly being presented to you in very alluring packages. Fame, wealth, prestige, power, and, yes, sex all are powerful temptations that the enemy uses to lure us away from what God has called us to. All temptations come from Satan. No one has escaped them.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
(Matthew 4:1 (NIV))

We must learn to do what Jesus did when He was in the desert.

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

If we train our spirit, we will be able to face temptation and turn it away. Once we have trained our spirit through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we must pray that we will be able to resist temptation in the flesh. No one is perfect. If we let down our guard, Satan will attack. Like a good soldier, we must constantly watch. Like a good follower of Jesus, we must constantly pray.

Are you willing to resist temptation?

Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you seek?

October 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:33 (NIV))

What is it that you seek?

This world provides many options in the form of wealth, power, prestige, fame, family, honor, respect, and many more. There are so many options, that many of us change what we seek as often as we change clothes. It is no wonder when you consider that human nature longs for something that will fill an emptiness within us. We go from one thing to the next in hopes that the next thing will finally be the one that fills that emptiness, that void within us. We think that we will be happy when we make more money, or when we get that big corner office. We think that a big home will make us happy. I hate to say this, but some people even think that a new, younger spouse will make them happy.

Nothing that this world has to offer will fill that void. Nothing we long for is attainable through worldly treasures. Human nature seeks peace. We long for love and understanding. We desire mercy and grace when we know that we don’t deserve it.

We seek completeness!

Everything that we try to attain is simply our attempt to fill that void. It is a void that can only be filled when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and truly allow Him to enter into our lives – to enter into our very hearts and souls – and fill the void within us. When we realize that what we seek is not of this world, then we focus on what God intended for us. We focus on the relationship that He desires to have with us. When we truly realize this and seek it with all of our heart, then we will find that God provides each of us with all of the other things that we may need. God completes us!

Are you complete?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Time for a personal inventory

March 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
(Luke 16:10-12 (NIV))

It’s time to take stock, to do a personal inventory.

What are the things that God has blessed you with?

Have you been given worldly wealth? Have you been entrusted with a spiritual gift, or perhaps a talent? Perhaps you have been entrusted with friendships that give you an opportunity to witness. It is even possible that you are a public figure who has the capability of impacting many people through your actions.

What have you done with the things that God has blessed you with? Have you used them to further His kingdom, or have you used them to further your own? Have you used the trust that has been given to you to in such a way that it is given to others? Do you hoard the wealth or do you use it for His glory? Do you embrace the influence that you have and welcome the accolades of the people, or do you use your position to influence others for Christ?

Worldly wealth seems to come in all different forms, from actual wealth to fame and power. What we do with what we have been given is vital in our walk with God. Think about that for a moment. Suppose your father gave you some money to pay off bills. What happens if you use the money for other things and he finds out? What happens if you need to ask your father for another sum of money?

The gifts and the worldly wealth that we have been given are gifts from God. We are to use them to further His kingdom.

Time to complete that personal inventory.

Are there things on your list that you need to be more honest about? Are there things that need to change with respect to your priorities? Wordly wealth is fleeting.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Godly riches are eternal.

Are we willing to give up the eternal because we can’t be trusted with the things that the moth and rust will destroy?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Money, fame, prestige and power

August 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Genesis 1:1 (NIV))

Take a long hard look at what it is that you have allowed to take the place of God.

Did money create the heavens and the earth? Was fame there in the beginning? Did prestige and power subjugate the emptiness and cause it to form the universe?

Only God was able to do all of these things!

God existed long before the heavens and the earth and long before money, fame, or prestige and power. All of these things are man-made creations that have come about out of the depravity that arose because of the fall from grace. None of these things are worthy of our worship. None of these things should become our god. None, of these things are righteous in the eyes of God.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:3 (NIV))

Too many of us replace the one true God with our own personal gods. These gods can be anything that takes priority in our lives. When we find that this is happening, we must remember that none of these things were around in the beginning. None of them were around when God created the heavens and the earth. It was only God in His Triune glory, and He …

…is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

If He created “in the beginning,” then we must reevaluate our gods and repent. We must turn to the God of creation.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(Revelation 22:13 (NIV))

Can your “gods” of money, fame, or prestige and power make such a profession?

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