What reward do you deserve?

January 8, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.
(Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV))

Do you ever search your heart and examine your own mind?

Self-examination can be painful!

No one likes to admit their shortcomings, their faults and the sinful nature that holds them captive. Even though we may have professed that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we still face the issues that we did before this profession. The only difference is that we have acknowledged that we cannot face them on our own. We are to turn to Jesus constantly to help us.

With that in mind, what are your thoughts? What are your deeds? Are they focused on the sinful nature or have you replaced them with thoughts of Jesus?

Without Jesus, none of us deserve anything.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Without Jesus, we are lost to our sin and will reap the fullness of what we deserve.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then your heart should be filled with the things that Jesus desires for you. It should be filled with the things that God desires. We should be like David who was known to be a man after God’s own heart.

When the Lord searches your heart, what will He find?

What reward do you deserve?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you yoked by the burden of slavery to sin?

April 3, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1 (NIV))

If you are caught in a trap and will surely die, how do you react if someone rescues you?

Do you turn away from the trap and promise to never go back there again, or do you fight the one who rescues you and jump right back into the trap?

Human nature is a funny thing!

When the dangers are physical and immediate, we have a tendency to thank the one who rescues us. We have a tendency to embrace the rescue and turn away from the danger, but we seem to be blinded when the danger is not immediate. The danger may be just as real, but because it is not immediately life threatening, we think that we have time to address the issue before it takes its toll.

We also seem to be blinded when the danger is spiritual.

Many times it is a spiritual danger that temps us into the physical dangers. The enemy knows that if he can trick us into believing that the spiritual side of things are not important at the moment then he can subject us to the physical dangers. He knows all too well that the physical dangers can lead to death. He knows that if we have not accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, then our physical death will also mean our spiritual death.

The enemy knows that sin leads to death!

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
(Romans 6:16 (NIV))

Are you yoked by the burden of slavery to sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How can we overcome human nature?

September 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
(Colossians 3:5-8 (NIV))

If you are like every single human that has ever lived, you probably read this and come to the conclusion that it would be easier to go live in a cave. The only problem with that approach is that it doesn’t solve the root problems that have plagued humanity since the fall from grace. We would still have our sinful nature, and our sinful nature would run rampant and unchecked in the solitude that we would run to. The solitude would take away the external stimulation, but the root cause would still be there.

On our own, we fail miserably at controlling our sinful nature. If we don’t live it out, we think about it. No one is capable of walking in righteousness because we are all sinners by nature.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We may be able to escape sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, but we will fail at anger, rage, malice, slander or filthy language. Living in a fallen world with a fallen, sinful nature doesn’t make it easy to walk in the ways that Jesus commands. If you are like me, you can look back on your day and see a multitude of events that you should have taken a different direction. Let’s face it, by the time you wake up, get ready and get out the door, you have probably done things that are better left unsaid. Then, there is the day at work or at school. How many incidents can you count from your last day at work or school? It also needs to be mentioned about family and friends. We seem to lash out at those we love the most. We take out the frustrations of the day on those we see at the end of the day.

I have come to the conclusion that being human is difficult!

We can’t do it on our own. We need help. We need someone to turn to. Someone who has inside track on the who, what, where, when, why and how of being human while still being righteous.

We need Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What has happened to the human race?

June 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

What has happened to the human race?

With what is happening all around the world and with what just happened in this country, what is going on that is driving people to act in such a manner? Regardless of what you think of the lifestyle of the victims, they were children of God and He loves them just as much as He loves those of His children who profess a faith in Jesus. In fact, it is for these people, and all sinners in general, that Jesus came into the world.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

He came to offer a way out of sin. He came to offer mercy and grace.

“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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

You never know when the world will take your life. You never know if the breath that you take will be your last. You never know when the moment will be too late!

Don’t wait until it is too late.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Turn your eyes upon Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our physician makes heart calls!

July 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
(Luke 5:31-32 (NIV))

Are you arrogant enough to believe that you are righteous without Jesus?

Sadly, there are people in this world who believe that they are good enough to go to heaven on their own merits. We know better.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

If all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, then everyone is a sinner in need of repentance. In other words, Jesus came to call everyone to repent, and not just your friends and people like you.

We are all sick and in need of a doctor. This doctor can heal anything. This doctor can even bring eternal life. All that any of us have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and turn away from the sin that has claimed you.

You may think that you are healthy, but we all know better than to believe this false claim. All have sinned. All are in need of a Savior.

This doctor makes heart calls. There are no lines, no waiting and no payment is expected. Jesus already paid everything for us.

Don’t wait to get healthy!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God?

October 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
(John 1:29 (NIV))

Are we like John was in that we can recognize Jesus for who He is? Can we confidently proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God? Can we confidently proclaim that Jesus can take away the sin of the world? Can we confidently proclaim that He has taken away our sin?

We think that John had an insight into God’s heart because of the things that God sent him to proclaim. I don’t doubt this at all.

What I do doubt is us!

We have written records of the things that Jesus has done, yet, we fail to recognize the power that He had. We have written records of the lineage and the prophesies concerning Him, yet, we fail to recognize the authority that He possesses. Our society has taken the power of His life, death and resurrection and watered it down so much that many believe that there is no power in the name of Jesus. Many believe that he was just a man. Sadly, too many believe that what He taught and came to do means condemnation and hate. In our society where love has grown to mean complete acceptance of everything about a person, this view of Jesus must be countered by the truth.

There is no other name that can save us!

There is no other name that can cleanse us!

There is no other name that has the power to reconcile us to God!

Only Jesus can take our sins and wash us white as snow. And no, this is not a racist remark. God’s grace and mercy are available to everyone regardless of the color of your skin or the amount of sin in your life.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

There is no such thing as a sinless person. There is no such thing as earning salvation through your works. There is no such thing as entering heaven in your sinful state. The price had to be paid to take away our sin. There had to be a sacrifice to settle the score. Humanity sinned. It required a perfect human to redeem us. It required a spotless lamb – the Lamb of God.

Contrary to what society says, the Lamb of God is Jesus!

Contrary to what false religions claim, the Lamb of God is Jesus!

Do you proclaim His glorious name?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s story gives us hope!

February 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Everyone knows the words written above. They have been used to condemn people for centuries. They have also been used as a springboard for the plan of salvation. These words are the first step someone must take in order to gain salvation. They must realize that they are sinners! Not a single one of us is capable of living a perfect life under the Law!

How many have taken the time to read the complete passage that Paul wrote to the Romans?

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-26)

Paul used these words as a part of a much more detailed writing in which he told of the grace that was available through Jesus Christ. He only used those words to convince everyone that no one was perfect, yet they had a loving God who sent His only Son to die for their sins as a means of atonement and grace.

The next time that you read or hear those words, remember the rest of the story, for that story gives us hope!

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