Which type are you?

September 13, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
(Job 23:11-12 (NIV))

We are all familiar with the trials and tribulations that Job faced.

Think about that for a moment and then consider whether you would have been able to proclaim what Job proclaimed.

How would you react to losing all of your wealth? How would you react to losing all of your property? How would you react to losing your social status? How would you react to losing all of your family? Personally, I believe that I could face anything in this world, except the thought of losing my family. I pray that I would have the strength, but I pray more that I am never faced with knowing what Job faced.

We, as created beings, are weak in our faith. We proclaim that we believe, yet many of us have never truly been tested. Job was a remarkable man. He faced every trial imaginable short of facing his own death, yet, he had the courage to stand firm in his faith. Human nature, when faced with circumstances similar to what Job faced, has a tendency to seek to blame someone for their misfortune. All too often, that someone is God. We seek to blame Him for the bad things that come upon us. In our hour of need, we turn upon the one who offers us grace and mercy.

I know that I am oversimplifying this, but there are four basic types of people when it comes to faith.

The first type, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t believe at all.

The second type professes a faith until something happens and then they blame God.

The third type don’t even think about God until something bad happens and then they try to make up for lost time.

The fourth type are those who are steadfast in their faith no matter what may come their way, for they know one thing that they can hold firmly to no matter what they may face.

Job was an excellent example of the fourth type. He never wavered in his faith. Even when all around him was bad, he never blamed God. He did question God, but he never blamed Him. Even when pressured by friends, he never gave up his faith.

It is my prayer that I will always be the fourth type. I also pray that I may never have to face such trials and tribulations, but if I do, I pray that I will be able to hold fast to my faith no matter what.

Which type are you?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you flatter God?

September 7, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
(Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV))

When you were growing up, was there an adult that you wanted to be just like? Perhaps it was a parent, or perhaps a grandparent, or even an aunt or uncle. No matter who it may have been, chances are very good that you did have someone in your life that you tried to model everything after.

I can safely say that you probably imitated what they did down to the smallest of details.

What, in your mind, made that person such an object of your devotion?

There are probably two main reasons. They loved you and they did not hesitate to let you know.

Think about God in that perspective.

He created you. He sent His only begotten Son to die for you. Again, love and a strong way of letting you know.

Do we imitate God in the same way that we imitated that special adult when we were younger? Do we strive to be just like Him? Do we impatiently wait to be in His presence? Do we find joy in His presence? Do we eagerly go with Him wherever He may lead?

Simple questions, yet the answers are not so simple.

What is the difference?

As we became adults, have we “outgrown” the ability to imitate? Have we spent so much time trying to establish our own identity that imitation is the farthest thing from our minds?

We do not lose ourselves in imitation. It is how we learn. We imitate our teachers as they tell us about what we must learn. We imitate our peers in social environments so that we can learn what is appropriate. We imitate our bosses so that we can work more efficiently and get that much wanted raise and promotion.

If we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and a faith in God, then we should strive to learn all that we can. The best way is by imitating what Jesus said and did.

There is an old saying that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Do you flatter God?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is your perspective?

August 5, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The angel of the LORD also said to her:
“You are now with child
and you will have a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the LORD has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
(Genesis 16:11-12 (NIV))

Do you know who the sons of Ishmael are?

Do you know who his brothers are?

Knowing the answers to these two questions puts a whole new light on the events of the world, for the sons of Ishmael are the Arab nations. His brother was Isaac. Isaac’s descendants are the children of Israel.

What does that do to your understanding of the way things have been unfolding in the Middle East? God foretold of the continuing and ever increasing troubles that the “brothers” have been having. Did God have this planned from the beginning of time? Perhaps He just took advantage of the mess that He knew humanity would make of things. Whatever happened in His planning, God knew exactly how things would unfold.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
(Isaiah 46:10 (NIV))

God does have it all planned out. Perhaps it is because He is not bound by time and space. He can move about freely in His creation. He sees all things at once no matter where they happen, and even no matter when they happen.

Knowing God’s Word puts a whole new and fresh perspective on the events of this world. Without God’s Word, everything looks random and chaotic. With God’s Word, everything has a purpose.

What is your perspective on worldly events?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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