What is your “blank?”

September 29, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime–a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.
The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:6-9 (NIV))

Is this what you pray for?

Zechariah described what this world will be like once God’s Kingdom comes down upon the earth. It will be a marvelously beautiful world. God will have remade it and everything will be absolutely perfect.

Can you picture yourself in this setting?

Does it sound idealic or does it sound boring?

Think about that last question. When you read the words written in Zechariah, did you find yourself thinking that it would be wonderful, but you hope that they have ____________ ? What is the one thing that you think you simply cannot live without? That is your “blank,” that is your sin.

We all have things that we think we cannot do without. To some people, these center around wealth. Others – power. Others focus on food, entertainment, or even frivolous activities such as video games or computer activities.

I want you to honestly think about that for a moment. For those who have held steadfast in their faith, we will find ourselves in a wonderful place and in the presence of God. Yet, we, as frail humanity, find ourselves thinking that this is not enough. We need our “blanks.” In my opinion, we may be breaking a commandment.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 10:3 (NIV))

We must carefully watch our thoughts, for Satan is always trying to trick us into giving up our salvation. When we are promised heaven, he will slyly bring up things and make us think we cannot live without them.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
(Matthew 16:23 (NIV))

Don’t let Satan use your “blank” to become your stumbling block. After all, whatever God has promised is far better than what man or Satan can bring.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you still have your “comfort sins?”

August 17, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV))

It is impossible for the wicked to be a part of God’s kingdom. Yet, God does not wish that any should perish! How can this be? Once we have accepted God’s grace through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, He works within us to change us to His image. All things that do not fit His image, He cleans up and replaces with His righteousness.

Sin is what we were lost in before God’s grace. Sins are the things that go against the Word of God. Unfortunately, sin is what we are comfortable with. Too many people simply stand on the promises of grace and mercy but they ignore the simple truth that God does not want you to stay in your sin. You must allow the Holy Spirit to free you from the sin that enslaves you. Once you truly accept grace, you are no longer any of these – neither sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders not thieves nor the greedy nor drunkard nor slanderers nor swindlers. You have been washed in the blood of Jesus. You are no longer that same person. Still, you must willingly let these sins go. You must relinquish your life to the one who died for you.

Many people, and some so-called church members, who are saying that same sex marriage is okay are misreading what God has said within this passage. We are to hate the sin, but love the sinner. We are not to accept the sin. That would be a sin in and of itself. Do we accept thieves? Yes, but we do not tell them that it is ok to keep stealing. Do we accept swindlers? If we follow what Jesus taught, we do, but we do not tell them that it is ok to keep up with their sinful ways. Do we accept the drunkard? Out of God’s love, we accept the drunk, yet, we do not tell them to keep drinking.

In the scripture, it states “that is what some of you WERE.” It is not what we are. The people who are pushing acceptance are not willing to embrace all of God’s Truths. They are only embracing what they wish to embrace and are rejecting the parts that convict them of sins that they are unwilling to give up. God loves each of us too much to allow us to stay in our sin.

Stop and think about that for a moment. Are you the same as when you first accepted Jesus? Have you forgotten events of your life before God’s grace? Do you still cling to certain things because you simply don’t want to give them up? Do you still have your “comfort sins?”

Do you accept all of God’s Word, or only the parts that don’t convict you?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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American or not, do not cling to idolatry

February 5, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
(1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV))

The dictionary defines idolatry as the worship of a physical object as a god.

Is there anything in your life that could qualify? Think about that for a moment. We can create our own little gods out of just about anything. Our houses. Our cars. Our jobs. Our recreational vehicles. Our toys of any shape and size. Any of these can become our god if we place them about the true God of this universe. All that has to happen is we become so attached to these things that we begin to believe that we cannot live without them. Perhaps we even begin to believe that they are the very reason that we live.

Is there anything in your life that has taken this place of unmerited worship? Could there be a fine line between washing that new car and having a fit because of a bird’s target practice?

Perhaps there is a human characteristic that simply is trying to fill a void. We long to have someone or something that we focus our existence upon. To some people, it is family. To others, it is God. To far too many of us, that focus is something that is man-made. It is fleeting and can offer nothing in return. The newest, fanciest car will soon grow old and rust. The biggest, most expensive house will soon become run-down. Nothing that we possess can grant us the fulfillment that we long for. Far too often, they soon possess us. We become bound to these idols and forget who truly is worthy of our worship and praise.

Faith is a choice. God does not force us to turn to Him. He allows us to walk down the path of our own making. He offers guidance and repentance, but He allows free will. That free will means that we have choices. We can choose to worship idols of our own creation or we can choose to worship the one who created us.

Have you allowed something to come between you and God? Has it become your idol?

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