What would Jesus Do?

December 9, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me,
O Lord, the LORD Almighty;
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me,
O God of Israel.
(Psalms 69:6 (NIV))

Do our actions reflect the fact that we proclaim salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus?

Do you ever find yourself doing things that embarrass other people? Do you embarrass other believers because of your actions? We are all representatives of Jesus. Have you ever heard the saying that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus until He returns? Would the hands of Jesus do what we sometimes do? Would the feet of Jesus walk where we sometimes walk?

I know that it has become a very worn out saying, but it is very true – What would Jesus do? We must always remember that we are to be ambassadors of salvation, grace and mercy and not ambassadors of embarrassment and disgrace.

The next time that you find yourself in a situation that is difficult or could potentially place you, and therefore place Jesus, in a disgraceful dilemma, reflect upon these words.

What would Jesus do?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Holy and Glorious

October 14, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:3 (NIV))

There are two basic premises outlined in this passage. Two very true details that we need to fully embrace. How we embrace them determines our whole outlook and understanding of God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

First and foremost, the LORD is holy. I am not certain if the word “holy” is repeated three times because of a subliminal reference to the Trinity, or whether it is repeated simply as a matter of driving the concept home. It may even be both. No matter why it is repeated, we must never forget that the LORD is holy. If we treat God in any way less than holy, we have sinned. We have taken the Creator of all things and redefined Him within our comfort zone. We do not praise Him if we make Him less than He is.

Ouch!

I hate to say this, but human nature finds us doing just that. We have a tendency of not understanding just how magnificent that He is. We tend to define God and our relationship to Him by our own thought processes and our own relationships. God is holy.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

We cannot comprehend God. We must simply trust Him and accept that He is holy.

The second premise that is presented is the fact the the whole earth is full of His glory.

Everywhere that you look, you see wondrous things that God has created. Can man imagine a rainbow into existence? Can humanity divide the waters above from the waters below? Can anybody create a continent and clothe it in the vast splendor that we see?

God’s glory is manifested through His creation. Not only is He holy, but everything that He creates is glorious.

I hope that you fully caught what I just said. Everything that God creates is glorious. God created you and I. It is simple deductive reasoning that allows us to draw the conclusion that we are intended to be glorious. Even though we have fallen from grace through our sin, we are intended to be glorious. Even though we may not always follow God’s call, we are intended to be glorious.

God sent His glory into the world so that we could gain salvation and grace. Jesus, the son of God and the son of man, came into this world so that we could be washed clean and reunited with God in all of His glory.

Holy. Glory.

How do you see God in relationship to these two simple words?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray for forgiveness. Pray for healing.

October 6, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Is God a God of miracles?

Do we, as a nation, need miracles and healing?

How many of you see a nation and a society completely different from what it was when you were a child? Do you like what you see? Do you shudder when you see God’s commands being broken and God’s name taken in vain?

We, as the body of Christ, have a choice to make. For too long we have heard the falsehood of “separation of church and state,” but that is not what the founding fathers said, and it is not what God desires. We face attacks from every side and our religious freedoms that were originally written as “Freedom of Religion” have taken on the meaning of “freedom from religion.” How can our society, which statistics show that over 80% profess to be Christian, allow rule of the minority. We have allowed so much to be removed simply because we did not want to offend.

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
(1 John 2:3-6 (NIV))

Did Jesus sit idly by while His Father was blasphemed? Did Jesus ignore the little sins because they were not worth His time to teach and correct? Did Jesus allow sin to run rampant in the world, or did He come into the world to do something about it?

Would Jesus have allowed the removal of prayer from schools? Would Jesus have allowed the killing of unborn babies? Would Jesus have allowed the sinner to continue to sin?

Why are we not doing as Jesus did?

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Jesus prayed !

He prayed for God’s will. He prayed for His disciples. He prayed for the soldiers who crucified Him. He prayed for us!

We, as a nation who proclaim to be a majority of Christians, must do as we are told. We must pray. We must pray and take action. We must return our nation to the principles upon which it was founded. We must also turn from our wicked ways. We all have little “private” sins that we think will hurt no one. We must repent of all sin, both public and private.

Pray for forgiveness. Pray for healing.

Pray that we may once again become the nation that holds our religious history as the truth and not something that we can allow to be changed by simply editing textbooks.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you teaching your children?

September 30, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

We put our children in the hands of others for a majority of their day and think nothing about it. They are receiving an education that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.

What about educating them for eternal life?

We must instill within our children a firm foundation that goes far beyond the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. We must teach them of things that have eternal value. We must instruct them in the fruits of the spirit. We must instruct them in God’s grace and mercy. We must teach them a principle that our society now chooses to ignore.

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

We must teach them that God loves them. We must teach them what Jesus did for them.

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:28 (NIV))

We must teach them the principles behind Psalm 46:10 so that they will know how to “Be still, and know” that He is God.

What are you teaching your children? Does it have eternal value?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Worship in truth and in love.

September 24, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
(Ephesians 4:2-6 (NIV))

If this doesn’t say it clearly, then nothing does!

Methodist, Baptist, Pentacostal, Catholic, or non-denominational, we are all part of the Body of Christ. The Body is made up of many parts, each of them unique, but we are all members of the same Body. We must follow what the head (Jesus Christ) says to do. We must go where we are lead. We must not argue amongst ourselves, but be united in Jesus Christ, for we are all called and reconciled to God through the same source of salvation.

There is only one way that God has given man so that they may be saved. Man has given God multiple ways within that one way. Should we not say that we are members of the Body of Christ instead of saying that we are Baptist or Methodist? Denominational doctrine just gets in the way. Worship in truth and in love.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Listen to Godly advice

September 21, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:20-21 (NIV))

Satan tries to deceive us. He feeds us lies often enough until we start to believe them. One of these lies is that we are all capable of being in charge of our own destinies. He knows that God has a unique plan for each one of us. He thinks that if he can get us to believe that we can follow our own sinful plans, we will be happier.

Think about that concept for a moment.

How often have you seen a group of people all follow their own plans? Does anything ever get done? Do God’s plans come to fruition? Chaos results. That is exactly what the father of all lies wants to have happen. When he can create chaos in the church, he keeps the church from fulfilling the great commission.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
(Mark 16:15-16 (NIV))

In Satan’s mind, he has stolen that many more souls from God’s salvation. The bad thing about this is that we unwittingly may have helped him because we were not unified as a body.

When we are not unified as the Body of Christ, then we slowly find ourselves sinking into chaos. We may not realize it at first. We may not even realize it until something bad has happened. Still, we end up in chaos. We lose sight of our Father and we lose sight of His Son, Jesus. And, we find it more and more difficult to acknowledge the Holy Spirit, let alone hear Him. Sadly, we still think that we are doing God’s will, but we are straying from His will in an attempt to follow ours.

Think back upon your life. Have you ever been truly happy chasing after your plans and schemes? Personally, the happiest that I have ever been was when I fully trusted in God and fully relied upon His plans and purposes.

I know that the world thinks that this takes away personal choice and freedom, and in their perspective, I can see how the world can say that. However, and it is a big “however,” we are the Body of Christ. We are not here to follow our plans. We should know that we are here to bring others into God’s Kingdom. That is God’s purpose. That is God’s plan. I believe that the parable of the talents is appropriate at this point.

“His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“The man with the two talents also came. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
“His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
” `Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(Matthew 25:21-30 (NIV))

We are all given talents that we rare to use to fulfill what God has called us to do. God gave us those talents for a reason. If we hide our talents, or even worse, if we try to usurp the talents of others, we are not being good and faithful servants. We will find that our talents will be taken away from us because we have misused them.

We, as humans, have a tendency to lash out when we lose something. It is a cover-up for our own inadequacies. We blame others. When we start to do this, it is an attack from Satan. He uses this to further strain the bonds of unity that we, as the church, should have.

Listen to advice. Listen to Godly advice. Wisdom is not in worldly knowledge. Wisdom comes from knowing God and following His commands.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do my current actions glorify Jesus?

September 20, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:24-26 (NIV))

I hope that I don’t step on anybody’s toes with this, but I have seen far too much division lately. Division in our churches. Division in our society, and division within our government. Division that I do not know how it got started or what rumors are true. Frankly, I don’t care. What I do care about is the body of Jesus Christ.

I commend those who are called to serve and are willing to serve in whatever capacity that is needed. Some of the tasks of administration are thankless jobs. For those of you who serve in your churches or in your communities in those positions, I thank you.

Now, on to the subject close to my heart.

If we all focus on Jesus, then unity will follow.

We must remember the words that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NIV))

How can we move as a body when we are divided? How can we fulfill God’s commands when we are not following God as a body?

From now on, I am going to ask myself one simple question. I pray that you will join me.

Do my current actions glorify Jesus?

If my answer is “no,” then I plan on rethinking my actions.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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