Do you claim to be wise?

September 2, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
(Proverbs 3:7 (NIV))

Do you see any wisdom in the world?

Based on this passage, perhaps I should rephrase that question.

Do you see people shunning evil and fearing the Lord, or are they more interested in mocking and ridiculing the Lord and anyone who seeks to follow Him? Are these people trying to claim that they are wise? Contrary to what they may think, the Lord doesn’t agree.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
      and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 (NIV))

The present state of the world reminds me of the parable of the wheat and the tares. The bad seed that produces the tares are those who do not fear the Lord. They are doing all that they can to disrupt God’s plans. We have known that this time would come. We have known what the people would be like who do not fear the Lord. They claim to be wise in their own eyes. They feel a false sense of self-worth. They feel that only they are right and anyone who doesn’t agree is an enemy.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
(2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV))

As members of the Body of Christ, we must pray that we not fall into the traps that the enemy has set. We must fear the Lord and shun all evil. We must not think that we are more than we are – filthy rags.

Do you claim to be wise?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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It is time we let the Lord define who He is!

September 3, 2019


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
(Luke 13:10-16 (NIV))

Do you try to put limits on Jesus? Are you guilty of doing what the synagogue ruler did in this situation?

Instead of praising God for what He has done through Jesus, do you find yourself trying to put your own rules and regulations on what He is doing? Do you find yourself trying to put God into the confines of what you believe He should be instead of letting Him be who He is?

This is human nature. We try to define our limited understanding through things that we do understand. We are all guilty of it.

Consider those who believe in evolution. They cling to something because they want a “scientific” explanation for how life came to be. They cling to what they consider to be logic because they do not want to accept the truth. Their only desire is to be able to clearly define everything based on their own understanding. They want to be able to have things so well classified that they can predict what will happen. They ignore faith for a false knowledge that they have defined. Their definition is not God’s definition. They want definitions that clearly state what can be expected only as long as it meets their version of what can be expected.

What about your definition of God? Would Jesus call you a hypocrite because you fail to see beyond your definition of what can be expected? It is time we let the Lord define who He is!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you a walking contradiction?

August 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
(Psalms 15:1-5 (NIV))

If these do not offer great insight into how we should live, then I don’t know what does. These verses tell us exactly how we should live each and every day. In other words, we should treat each other as we would want to be treated. We should love each other as we would want to be loved. We should turn our eyes toward the things that are of God and turn away from things of this world. We should read and study God’s Word so that we may be well prepared to react in a righteous manner.

And …

We should pray. We should pray for guidance. We should pray for discernment. We should pray for understanding. We should pray for wisdom. We should simply pray that we may lead our lives so that they are an example of God’s grace and mercy in all that we do. Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi stated it best when he said:

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Our lives are very visible signs of what we truly believe in. If we profess a faith yet do things that are opposite of those spoken of in the passage from Psalms, we preach something different with our actions than we do with our mouths. We send out contradictory messages. How can the world believe what we say when we do otherwise?

Are you a walking contradiction in the eyes of the world and of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Embracing evil is a rejection of God!

December 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
(Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV))

Too many times in our society, we, as the Body of Christ, tell ourselves that it is only a small thing that we put up with. We tell ourselves that we must do it in order to have a job and put food on the table. Satan has tricked us into a permissive state in which he tells us that it is only a “little white lie” and no one will be hurt by it, after all, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

Evil comes in many forms. Some may even appear to to be for the good of a specific group of people.

Do not be deceived!

Evil, even when wrapped in the guise of being politically correct is still evil!

We, as the Body, should do all within our power to defeat the enemy at every chance we get. We should not be willing to compromise our faith to make a dollar simply because it is a good opportunity and if we don’t do it, someone else will. We should depart from evil no matter how enticing it may be according to the world’s standards. More importantly, we must run to God’s Word and embrace everything that it teaches, and not simply just what supports our position on any given spiritual issue.

Departing from evil without accepting God’s grace and mercy is no different from simply departing from evil. Without accepting God’s grace and mercy freely given to us through His Son, Jesus, we still belong to Satan.

Is it possible to accept God’s grace without departing from evil?

Just what is evil? It is a deliberate rebellion against God. Sin is defined as missing the mark that God has established for us to aim for. Evil means that we don’t even try to hit the target. We go off in a direction that is completely against God. Isn’t that arrogance and pride? Isn’t this what resulted in Satan being cast out of heaven?

Embracing evil is a rejection of God!

God cannot associate with sin. If you willingly embrace what God calls evil after supposedly accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, how can you take part in God’s grace? Calling upon the name of Jesus is not enough! We must turn from our evil ways. Calling upon the name of Jesus is not a free ticket to sin. It is a plea of guilt and a humble desire for Jesus to change us.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I have some questions for you to think about in relationship to these thoughts.

Can a murderer accept Jesus? Can a person continue committing murder and truly follow Jesus?
Can we continue to steal? Can we continue to commit adultery? Can we continue to lie? Can we continue to curse God? Can we continue to lust after something or someone?

Can you knowingly commit things that are called evil in the eyes of God and enter the kingdom of heaven?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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