Do you desire to be holy?

January 11, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV))

When you were growing up, was there someone whom you wanted to be just like?

We all have people that are role models for us at various times in our lives. As we grow and mature, some of these people lose that place while others step in to fill the void. Even so, there is something about each of these individuals that fill a need, that fill a hole in our lives at a certain time. Some of us looked up to one or both of our parents. Some looked to a certain grandparent as the role model. As we matured and our interests took on their own personality, we soon began to look upon individuals who had made a name for themselves in the areas that held our interest. All along the way, we saw something in each of these individuals that we recognized as unique and worthy of emulating.

What characteristics caught your attention?

For some, it is such traits as love and kindness. For others, it is a steadfast focus on the goal. For some, it is the willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed in the area of expertise.

When I read today’s passage, something made me realize that we have been seeking to emulate the wrong role models most of the time. Think back on those whom you desired to be like. Did they focus on Jesus? Did they strive to be holy and to bear fruit that reflects that holiness?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

I know that we have a tendency to reference these traits quite often, but do we truly stop to reflect on the source? If you notice that Spirit is capitalize. This references the Holy Spirit aspect of God. These are traits that we should recognize as holy. These are traits that we should desire to emulate. We have been given instructions on how to be holy!

Do you desire to be holy?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are the consequences?

June 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
(Hebrews 12:14-17 (NIV))

I have to honestly ask myself if I can remember the last time I lived through a day when I did not witness a conflict. I also wonder if society has completely forgotten what it means to be holy, or if most people even care anymore?

Everyone is concerned with what is in it for them and as a result, too many people simply will do whatever it takes so that they come out on top. With this type of mentality, people fail to see that any of their actions are sinful and have consequences. It’s almost as if people have become ignorant and arrogant as opposed to thoughtful and well mannered. I may be naive, but when I was a child, if I even thought about doing any of the things that I see children and teenagers doing, I would have been taught otherwise.

Consequences!

These still exist no matter what society may say.

Can a person commit murder, ask for forgiveness, and simply walk away?

Can a person rob a bank, say that they needed the money to feed their family, and get to stay out of prison?

What is true in the physical world is true in the spiritual world.

God will forgive you if you accept Jesus and earnestly repent, but He does not alter the consequences of your sin. If you have committed sinful acts that have altered your health, your health will probably still be the same after you repent. Decisions that you make in life are things that you have to live with. Just like Esau, things that we do will come back to haunt us. Grace and mercy are there for all who will simply ask, but the physical consequences of an imperfect life in an imperfect world will be a reminder of the sins that we have been set free of. I know that God will restore what the locust has destroyed, but it may never be the same.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you feel like you are set apart?

May 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
(Ephesians 5:3-7 (NIV))

I was reminded today about the meaning of the word “holy.” It was something that I knew, but, like many things, it got relegated to the back of my mind. The true meaning was slowly replaced with the way society looks upon the word, and unfortunately, society has ruined the true meaning of the word.

The word “holy” means to be set apart. What the world thinks of is a twisted and convoluted take on this meaning. The world looks upon the word as a sarcastic jab at someone who wants to follow Jesus. What the word truly means has nothing to do with sarcasm at all. In fact, if you truly are set apart from society because you wish to follow Jesus, then you are not sarcastic toward the world. You long to see the world follow Jesus and you do not act as the world expects you to act. You do not portray a holier than thou attitude.

Think about the people that you consider to be holy. What characteristics do they portray that makes you think of them as holy? Think about Jesus. He was, and is, definitely holy. Did He rub it in people’s faces? Did He have an attitude of arrogance?

Just what characteristics did Jesus portray.

Do you portray those characteristics?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone

November 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle–I am telling the truth, I am not lying–and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
(1 Timothy 2:1-7 (NIV))

Paul received a great mission from Jesus, and he undertook that mission with humility and an earnestness that have lead to us, the Gentiles, being grafted into the vine of Israel. We are not the vine, nor the root. We are there through grace and mercy. We do not have a right to condemn or judge others, for we were not condemned or judged when we deserved it.

We must pray for those in authority that they will do the will of God and come to a realization and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Peace is a wonderful thing. All of us want peace in our lives. This peace can only come through a knowledge of Jesus Christ and the grace and mercy that He has given us. Grace is not cheap, but it is free to all who would ask for it. Pray, like Paul did, that all those whom you have contact with will see that you are also a herald and an apostle, and that you speak the truth of the Word of God through Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do your actions show?

April 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
(Romans 12:1 (NIV))

We are God’s creation. We have been bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ, therefore, we are not our own. God has paid the price for us twice, yet, we continue to act as if we are solely responsible and accountable only for and to ourselves.

This “ownership” is not one of servitude, but one of faith and salvation. In many societies, if someone saves another person’s life, the person who was saved “belongs” to the person who saved them. This is a “belonging” of gratitude and thankfulness, and not a “belonging” of bondage. If these societies can claim such an act as rightful, how can we, who have been saved far beyond the capabilities of any human savior, do any less for the One who has saved us? This is accomplished through the instructions that Paul wrote to the Romans.

We ARE living sacrifices. People see our daily sacrifices. What do you show to God and to the world on a daily basis?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray for our leaders, but more importantly, pray for God’s Will to be done

January 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle–I am telling the truth, I am not lying–and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
(1 Timothy 2:1-7 (NIV))

I watched countless critiques both for and against the administration today as they took office for the next four years. I even saw one comment from someone that made me pause in disbelief. To be honest with you, I saw several like this, but one really caught my attention.

It is sad that we allow politics to divide us. I also find it sad that it divides the church, and at the same time we hear people saying that faith has no place in our government.

What do we, as the Body of Christ, do? Are we supposed to sit back and not enter in to public life? Are we to read the Bible and apply it only to our lives behind closed doors? Are we to ignore the Bible because it is not politically correct with today’s world view? Do we pick and choose what we believe and what we ignore because of societal pressures?

If we do any of these things, are we truly the Body of Christ?

We are to hold steadfast to what we have been taught. We do not waiver in our faith or in the application of that faith. We do not waiver in standing firm on God’s Word no matter what society may say about our stand.

And . . .

In the midst of all that we face during our faith, we must pray for those around us. We must pray for those in authority over us. We must pray for peace.

Think about that for a moment.

Have you ever prayed for someone and your prayers were answered? Imagine prayers for our leaders to follow Godly counsel and make decisions based on biblical truths. Do you want those prayers to be answered?

If we pray for God’s Will, we cannot go wrong. God has set things in motion that we cannot understand. All that we can do is pray for those who are in authority that they will make decisions that will glorify God. Please keep in mind that we do not always see the big picture and many times the things that we see happening are not what we would want, but they are what God will use to bring about His Will.

Think about this.

What if you are praying for a great revival to change our world while God is planning something different that will usher in the return of Jesus. The prayer is a personal desire based on circumstances. God’s plan is a plan that will bring about His glory. Pray for our leaders, but more importantly, pray for God’s Will to be done. Pray that you are able to discern His Will.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God calls us to pray. How often do you answer that call?

November 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
(1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV))

No matter what the outcome of the elections, this should be the prayer of every believer. We should pray for just what as we are told. We should pray for all of those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Unfortunately, our society and our world is far from peaceful and quiet. Godliness and holiness seem to be fading from public view. These have been replaced with self-centeredness, greed and lust for power. Gone are the days when people could disagree about things and still be friends. We are becoming a divided society and a divided world.

What caused this division?

Did we wake up one morning and it had changed overnight? We let it happen gradually. We didn’t even see it coming. We can fix the problem. We can pray for those in authority. We can pray for peace. We can pray that God will be allowed back into our public lives.

Regardless of the outcome of the elections, we can pray!

if my people, who are called by my name, will 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))

God calls us to pray. He calls us to pray for our leaders. He calls us to pray for our country. He calls us to pray for godliness and holiness. Voting is important, but we are called to do more than vote. We, as the Body of Christ, are called to pray for those in authority.

How often do you answer that call?

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