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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Are you still a servant to sin?

October 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is servant to the lender.
(Proverbs 22:7 (NIV))

Do you owe anyone anything?

Are they pressing you for payment?

I know that in today’s society, it is impossible to do anything without owing someone. You need to have a job to earn money to live off of. In order to get to work, you have to have a car. Most people have to borrow money to buy a car. You need someplace to live. you either rent because you are borrowing a place to live, or you pay monthly payments because you borrowed money to buy a home. I could go on and on.

Is this biblical? Are we borrowing against our future and paying it back over time so that we become indebted to those whom we borrowed from?

If we plan our personal budgets, we can make it work, but what happens if we over borrow? Can we go on borrowing and never expect to pay it back?

Think about this from a different perspective.

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

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 we have all sinned and the wages of sin is death, then all of us, until we accept Jesus, are living on borrowed time!

Think about that. Humanity, in its sinful nature, owes a debt that we could only pay with our lives.

Jesus paid that debt for all who would simply ask for forgiveness of their sins. Jesus is now that one that we are indebted to. We should be proclaiming this wonderful gift of grace every moment of every day. We are no longer bound by our indebtedness to sin and death. Our debt has been paid. Jesus has set us free.

Are you still a servant to sin?

Are you living on borrowed time?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is hard to forgive!

September 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,’ forgive him.
(Luke 17:3b-4 (NIV))

It is hard to forgive!

Just what is it about forgiving someone that is so difficult? Is it a characteristic of the person that you do not want to forgive? Is it simply that they do not deserve forgiveness?

Let’s face the truth! None of us deserve forgiveness:

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

Could it be that we are too proud and arrogant to offer forgiveness even though it was freely offered to us? Perhaps human ego plays a bigger part in this than we truly care to admit. Take a look at the words in Luke. Not only are we to forgive each other, but we are to do it freely and without hesitation. Forgivenss is not something that is earned. It is something that is given. If we are to be truly like Jesus, then we are to give of ourselves.

One of the greatest ways to freely give of ourselves is to forgive others, for that places our desires, goals and feelings below those of the one whom we forgive. If we choose not to forgive, then we have wrongly elevated ourselves to a position of authority over the other person. The only person who has ever walked the earth who has that authority was Jesus, and He freely gave it up to obey God the Father.

Have you given up your authority over others?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted your freedom?

July 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
(1 Peter 2:16-1 (NIV))

We have just celebrated another July 4th. It is a day of celebration for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. It is a day that we celebrate the resolve of our founding fathers to break the chains that tied them to a king and country that did not see them as equals.

What was done by our founding fathers was great, but I want you to think about what Jesus did.

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

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

God the Father had the resolve to break our captivity to sin. Jesus the Son had the resolve to do what was needed to break our chains of bondage. He willingly went to the cross so that we could be free; so that we could have salvation. He freed us from a far greater bondage than any physical oppression. He freed us from sin!

“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))

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Please think about the fact that nothing in this world lasts. It is possible that something will happen and we will lose some or all of our freedoms that our founding fathers fought for.

The freedoms that are given through the Blood of Jesus can never be taken from us. We, in our human frailty, can turn our backs on the freedom from sin, but Jesus will never take it from us.

Jesus has broken every chain that can bind us to the law of sin and death!

All that you have to do is accept it.

Have you accepted your freedom?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.

November 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`Do not steal.
`Do not lie.
`Do not deceive one another.
(Leviticus 19:11 (NIV))

I think that it is safe to say that you can probably see each one of these events transpire before you see mid day. Perhaps, it is even safe to say that these events will happen before you see the beginning of your work day.

Isn’t it a shame that our society has stooped to such a state that these basic principles of life and Godly righteousness have become the exception instead of the rule. We have become a society so focused on “self” that we forget each other in our selfish struggles to attain what we desire. There is a saying that “He would sell his own mother if he could make a dime.” This saying used to be said of someone who was ruthless and conniving in a time when this was unusual. Now, it seems to have become the norm.

Perhaps we, as the Body of Christ, should take a serious look at ourselves! We are to be held accountable before God as well as man. We are also to be an example – a light unto the world.

Little things that may seem trivial in the eyes of the world are still sin in the eyes of God. Stealing, lying and deceiving are all sins, no matter how big or how small the item, the lie, or the deception.

No one is perfect, yet, we are called to follow Jesus as our example. Did Jesus steal? Did Jesus lie? Did Jesus deceive another? When we measure ourselves against Jesus as the example, we are all left lacking

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

I know that I am extremely thankful for grace!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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