Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

April 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
(1 Peter 4:16 (NIV))

Have you ever faced anything simply because you are a believer in Jesus?

Perhaps I should ask if you have ever been in a situation where you would have suffered if it was known that you were a Christian? Think about that for a moment as you answer the following. Did you withhold the fact that you were a Christian or did you deny that you were a Christian? There is a difference! Regardless of how you handled yourself in that situation, do you regret not standing up and identifying as a follower of Jesus? Do you feel that you have abandoned Jesus through your actions and words?

Consider Peter.

He denied Jesus three times during the events between Jesus being arrested and being taken to Pilate. All of us can put ourselves into the events and justify the actions that Peter took that night. In all honesty, it is not told in detail how Peter truly felt. We can only imagine what Peter was facing within himself as these events transpired and afterward. What we do know is that after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter was able to put his shame behind him and accept the grace that Jesus was extending to him.

Think about that!

Peter denied Jesus three times. He had seen Jesus beaten so badly that He was not recognizable. Peter had seen Jesus crucified, dead and buried. The guilt of his denial of Jesus must have been unbearable. Even after Jesus arose, what was Peter thinking? Was he thinking that Jesus would never forgive him for what he had done? Was Peter thinking that he had committed something so bad that he would be condemned to suffer for all eternity?

Grace is amazing!

What Peter did discover is that Jesus forgave him. Three times he was asked if He loved Jesus and three times he responded that he did. I can almost imagine that with each response Peter gave Jesus, the burden of guilt was being lifted until it was completely gone!

That is what Jesus does! He lifts the burden of guilt and replaces that burden with a joy that comes from knowing that all of your sins are forgiven! There is nothing greater to give thanks for.

Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful that Jesus faced this hour?

March 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
(John 12:23 (NIV))

It is hard to imagine the idea of crucifixion as a means of glorification, but that is exactly what transpired!

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
(John 12:24 (NIV))

When Jesus went to the cross, He knew exactly what would transpire. He knew that He would die a painful death as an atoning sacrifice for all sin that had ever happened or ever would happen. He knew that Satan would think that he had won. Jesus also knew that the power of sin and death would forever be broken three days later when He would be resurrected. Jesus knew that He was the single seed of hope. In order for hope to mature and grow in this world, He had to make the ultimate sacrifice. Crucifixion is definitely not glorious, but overcoming the power of sin and death and being elevated to the right hand of God the Father is the ultimate glory.

It is a glory that we can share! It is a glory that removes condemnation!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

It is a glory that intercedes for those who believe!

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
(Romans 8:34 (NIV))

From a human perspective, it is difficult to be thankful for suffering. No one in their right mind would look on the sufferings of others as a good thing, but in the case of what Jesus did, it is an amazing thing. It is amazing how the sin of one condemned all to death and the sin free sacrifice of one settled the debt for the wages of sin and death. Personally, I hate the fact that my sin is why Jesus suffered and died, yet, at the same time, I am thankful that He faced that hour!

Are you thankful that Jesus faced this hour?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you want to live?

May 10, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For we live by faith, not by sight.
(2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV))

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to find that the power was out? As you lay there contemplating your next move, you decide to go ahead and get up knowing all too well that you will probably end up stubbing a toe or two. As you gingerly move to your destination, you start to realize that you are so familiar with the path that subconsciously you know how many steps to take in each direction. You can’t see a thing, but you find yourself at your destination completely unscathed. You have placed your trust in something besides what you can see.

Living a life where you decide to follow Jesus is a situation that is not too dissimilar to what I just described.

When we first believe, we step out all too gingerly not sure of our footing as we move forward. With each step that we take where Jesus leads, we begin to understand that our footing is on solid ground as long as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Just as in the situation previously described, we begin to trust. We begin to have faith that we will make it if we simply do not lose our focus. Walking by faith requires a focus. We may not see where Jesus is leading, but if we focus on Him and place all of our trust in Him, then we build the faith to walk where He leads even though we may not see where He leads.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live my life knowing that I can see the end from the beginning. I want to live my life having the faith that if I step out when God calls, then each step will lead to where He wants me to be.

How do you want to live?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Lead and guide me Jesus!

May 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
(Psalms 31:3 (NIV))

This should be the prayer of every believer. We made a decision to follow Jesus Christ, yet do we truly want Jesus to lead and guide us?

Our answer should be “YES”.

If we do not follow the lead of Jesus, then we are held more accountable than a non-believer. We will still have salvation, but we will not be rewarded for our faith. We call on the name of Jesus to be our Savior, yet we are reluctant to call Him Lord.

It is so hard to let human nature take a back seat. Human nature, due to the fall from grace, calls for us to be in control, for us to be our own lord and master. We must give this up and let Jesus truly be our Lord and lead and guide us in all that we do.

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