Do you love God’s law?

July 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I hate and abhor falsehood
but I love your law.
(Proverbs 119:163 (NIV))

I wish more people in the world today would claim this statement as the truth in their lives. To be honest with you, I wish that more people who claim to be a member of the Body of Christ would truly understand this passage and claim it as the truth in their lives.

Think about that for a moment.

It is said that if something is only 99% true, then it is a lie. Satan twists God’s Word and God’s law to the point where they sound correct, but they are not. We, as the Body of Christ, must be able to discern the smallest of lies from the enemy, for it is the smallest of lies that will entrap many who claim to be believers.

Can you think of any teachings that are being presented as God’s Word, but fall short of what God truly says?

Can you honestly tell the difference?

Do we, as the Body of Christ, know God’s Word as we have been instructed to know His Word?

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV))

How can we hate and abhor falsehood if we do not know what the truth is? Do we love God’s law so much that we know it and can discern it from a lie?

Satan is counting on the Body of Christ to not know God’s Word well enough to discern his lies.

Can you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your motives?

June 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV))

The Bible states that a person can not gain access to heaven through good works. All of the things that are described here are useless if your heart is not right.

Take a look at the Pharisees. They did everything by the “book” in the eyes of the nation of Israel. To others, it looked like they did everything right. Yet, God knew their hearts. They did not do things out of love, but, rather out of ego and pride so that they could say that they were better than others. Their hearts did not reflect their actions. They were doing the right things for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes I think that it is possible to do the wrong things for the right reasons. In our fallen state of humanity, we are not perfect. If we earnestly seek after God’s own heart and do things out of OUR love, we are bound to make mistakes. Even with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we will lapse into thinking that we know what is best and do what we think out of “love” or concern for others.

Even if we have love, we must not allow our own hearts to guide us. We must look to the Father who is perfect in Will and in Love. If we continually look to God for guidance, then we have placed our hearts in the hands of the Father who will teach us to do what is best in His site and provide us the proper motives for all that we do.

What are your motives?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s not dead. He’s surely alive.

January 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

Based on these words, you could easily question at what point does God begin and at what point does He end. The ultimate conclusion from these words is that He is forever.

Have you ever thought about the symbol for infinity? This sideways figure 8 has no beginning and no end and the three-dimensional representation of it only has one side due to the way that it twists around and rejoins itself.

Does God have a beginning and an end? Does God ever change? God was there in the beginning and He will be there forever.

It is so fascinating that with every end comes a new beginning. No where is this more evident than now with the start of a brand new year. Was God there on December 31? Was God there on January 1? Is He there today? Will He be there tomorrow?

God is eternal!

Did God perform great things in the past? Is God the same forever?

Do you expect great things from God?

He has the end planned from the beginning.

Many people are looking forward to what God has planned in the future. Ironically enough, I saw something in a headline today where a Muslim astrologer was predicting that Israel would be strong in 2014. Has God given the enemy a glimpse of what He is going to do?

God has given us details of His plans. All that we have to do is pray and study His Word. To quote a line from a song – “God’s not dead. He’s surely alive.” It is time that the Body of Christ act like He is alive and strong!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Take a look at your life of worship

November 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
(2 Kings 17:35-39 (NIV))

As the Body of Christ, we have been grafted into the root of Israel. We are to worship God in the same manner as the instructions that He gave to Israel.

Do we?

Are we guilty of worshipping other gods? If you stop to think about this question, it is very easy to fall into this mindset.

Do you spend more time shouting and praising your favorite football team than you do for the Creator of all things? Do you sit in a church service and watch the clock because you have someplace better to be? Do you spend more time on your boat than you do in worship? Do you spend more time pursuing money than you do pursuing godly righteousness? Are you more concerned with the stock market than you are with where you will spend eternity?

Just what is worship?

I have heard someone say that worship is the act of showing respect and love for God. I have also heard if explained as excessive admiration for someone or something.

Which definition of worship applies to what you practice? Is it the love and respect for God or is it the excessive admiration of something or someone? We have to be careful that we do not cross the line from loving God to admiring something else. When we do, we lose sight of where our worship truly belongs!

Take a serious look at your worship life. Are you overjoyed and desire to praise God or do you sit there with your arms folded thinking about anything else that occupies your mind?

Is worship confined to within the walls of a church building? Do you worship God wherever you may be or do you leave it behind when you walk out the doors of the church? Is this what we are called to do?

With all of the distractions that we have in this world, we need to focus on God.

Worship!

In all things that we do, we should worship God! We should praise His name. We should focus on the one who created all things and gave us life and not focus on the things that God created! The creation will fade. God is eternal.

Take a look at your life of worship.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we recognize God’s season?

September 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
(Mark 13:28-34 (NIV))

We are told that no one knows the day or hour, but we are also told that we will know the season.

What season are we in?

I recently saw a report that indicated that 77% of the church in the United States believes that we are seeing the signs of the season of the end times. All of the people who are biblical scholars that I keep track of are also saying the same thing. They recognize the season. Many say that the season started when Israel became a nation after almost two thousands yours of nonexistence.

I could spend hours going over the things that I have seen reported. Signs and wonders in the skies, good being called evil, the persecution of the Body of Christ in all parts of the world, the sudden arise of the problems in Syria, Israel completely surrounded by enemies, the increase in unexplained mass animal, bird and fish deaths, a religion that is intent on killing all who do not convert, and many more all coming down to a single point in time.

I recently read that some state governments are preparing disaster drills for the consequences of very large earthquakes. I realize that these types of reports can be considered “prepper” talk and can often be taken at face value, but why all of the sudden talk about such things and how to prepare for them?

No one knows about that day or hour.

Sometimes I think that we, as humanity, are blinded to what is going on around us. We are focused entirely on what influences our lives directly and ignore all else. What are we ignoring that we should be paying attention to?

Do we recognize God’s season?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How can you make the true Jesus known to others?

September 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
(John 1:16-18 (NIV))

How do you make Jesus known?

Is it in a way that glorifies God and His Son?

For those who claim Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, the way that we behave each and every day is often the only reflection of Jesus that some people will ever see. Do you reflect Jesus in a way that makes Him know for who He truly is and for what He truly offers or do you reflect a Jesus that is limited by human frailties and sin? If we rely on human nature to show Jesus to others, then we do not do a good job of reflecting the light. We cannot make known perfection when we rely on our own imperfection.

How can we truly reflect the light of Jesus without fully embracing that light with a desire to glow brightly?

The next time that you find yourself in a situation where you have two paths to choose from, stop and reflect. Which path would best reflect Jesus to those around you? Which path will make Jesus known?

The nation of Israel has longed for their Messiah for thousands of years. When He came, He did not fit their expectations. He came as innocence. He came as a baby. He came to preach the good news of grace and salvation. Today, many people think of Jesus only from what they have seen portrayed through certain elements of society. They see a Jesus who is hypocritical and is a reflection of the sin that He came to save us from. Their perceptions are all wrong. They have never been shown the true Jesus.

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

How can you make the true Jesus known to others?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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True Freedom!

July 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV))

On this 4th of July, the day that we as a nation celebrate our freedom, we must remember who really gives us our freedom. No matter what the political climate in the country where we may live, true freedom comes only from knowing Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

Look at the nation of Israel. They are the nation that God used to give us Jesus. Yet, despite this favorite nation status, to use a term from our society, most of the people living at the time did not accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. They were looking for a different type of freedom and this blinded them to the real freedom that was readily available to all who would accept it.

What is your view of true freedom?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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