Jesus is the reason for the season!

December 20, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

With all of the activities at this time of year that constantly keep us busy, we must not lose sight of the reason that we celebrate, the reason for the season.

Contrary to what many in our society claim, Christmas is not about family togetherness, although it does bring families together. Christmas is not about peace on earth and good will, although it usually promotes these traits. Christmas is not about gift giving, although there is something about it that makes you want to give.

Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The very name says it clearly. The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas).

Today, society is more interested in the mighty dollar than in the MIGHTY Savior. We need to remind each other that Christmas is a celebration of our salvation. That salvation comes through only one source – faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus is why we have Christmas. It is not a time for Happy Holidays. It is literally a time for a Very Merry Christmas in the original meaning of the words.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fulfilling you job description?

November 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NRSV))

God did not send His Son to be our salvation so that we can continue to do the things we did when still under the Law. God has called us out of our sin to a new way of life. A way of life that He has planned for us so that will be an example to others.

Once we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are unique. We are different from the unbelieving world in which we live. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in reaching and teaching the world about God’s love.

We must remember that a priest is God’s representative to the people, and, at the same time, is the people’s representative to God. It is a part of the call that God has upon our lives after we accept His grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. We have accepted a new position in life, a new job description.

If you were to have a job review in this new position, how well would you rate in this capacity?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been rejuvenated by the water?

February 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
(John 4:14 (NIV))

It is certain that no matter what you do in this world – eat, drink, sleep, or rest, it will not suffice for more than a few hours. The hot summer sun makes us thirsty. We need food to sustain us physically. We need sleep when we are worn out by the toils of this world.

There is only one sure thing in this world that will sustain us. Jesus Christ is that sustenance. He is the Word of God made flesh. He offers us something that comes from God and does not know the worldly laws that say nothing lasts forever. Jesus offers us grace and mercy and a peace that passes all understanding.

Water is said to be able to rejuvenate someone when they are weak, yet this rejuvenation does not last. The gift that Jesus Christ has brought to us is the Water of Life for salvation which never loses its ability to rejuvenate. Once you drink from this fountain, your eternal life is promised and you will never thirst for salvation again.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God always keeps His promises!

December 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiahn and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
(Matthew 1:1-17 (NIV))

It is important to remember that God foretold that from Abraham’s line would come the promise. God also told that from David would come a king whose reign would never end. With Christmas upon us, we need to remember these promises and remember that Jesus came from these lines. These are only a few of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. Lineage is important to God and it is important to remember God’s faithfulness. God always keeps His promises. That is why the lineage of Jesus is so important. It shows us that God does keep His promises to the very smallest detail.

Merry Christmas

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Whose rules do you follow? Man’s or God’s.

August 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

” `These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ ”
(Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV))

It is so easy to get side tracked by rules that men make. We like to come up with a vast multitude of rules for everything that we do. Sometimes these rules are good. Can you image any football or basketball game without rules? It would be utter chaos.

Man has even tried to create rules for how we can approach God. These rules have become rituals that often get repeated without end and eventually lose the meaning and the reason why they were created to begin with. When this happens, following the rules often becomes more important than the reason the rules were implemented. Following the rules becomes legalism and we soon miss out on the freedom originally intended.

We can be thankful that God has only given us ten basic rules to live by. These rules are the foundation for our society and our faith. However, we have had some problems keeping these rules. God gave us some additional rules to live by. These additional rules, if followed, allow God to overlook our shortcomings on the other rules.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:38 (NIV))

Whose rules do you follow? Man’s or God’s.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who is worthy of your praise?

April 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds – his name is the Lord – and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
(Psalms 68:4-5 (NIV))

All things good are from God. He is Creator. He is Father. He is Savior.

If we cannot praise God, then we have nothing to praise in our lives! God has given us life. He has given us breathe. He has given us everything that we know as good. Even when we rebelled against His goodness, He remained faithful. Even when we turned from Him and sought after other gods, He remained there patiently waiting for the right moment to call us back to Him in repentance.

He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a personal atonement for our sins. Just as the prodigal son was welcomed with open arms when he returned to his senses and to his father, God welcomes us with open arms when we turn to Him through Jesus. Jesus came to bring forgiveness so that we could be reconciled to God the Father. If this is not worthy of praise, then nothing else ever will be. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us when we were still sinners and only worthy of death. Jesus came to pay the ultimate price so that we would not have to.

Picture the cross and the agony of the crucifixion. Is that something that you would want to go through? Now, imagine an eternity of pain and suffering just like that. Jesus suffered for us so that we would not have to suffer. Through His suffering, we are cleansed and allowed grace and mercy. That is something to shout to the top of the mountains about!

Do you show praise and gratitude for your salvation? Sing it out so that those whom you see will know that you belong to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your greatest treasure?

April 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV))

What is your greatest treasure?

Are you like some people and have a car that you keep spotless and in perfect condition? Do you have a home that is the epitome of what you have spent your life in pursuit of? Does your position bring you prestige and stroke your ego?

Sadly enough, these treasures are the misguided and fleeting possessions of someone who places their faith and trust in the wrong things. They are the treasures of someone who has their priorities all wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having these type of possessions if God has blessed you with them. What is wrong is an unhealthy obsession with these possessions that results in an exclusion of God’s Kingdom from your life.

Are you willing to give up your earthly treasures for what God has freely given to us through His son, Jesus Christ? Would you willingly give up your car that will eventually rust and stop running for a treasure in heaven that will never fade or diminish in value? Think about that question. What God offers us is far more valuable to possess than any possession that man can make, yet, we are often so reluctant to let go of what will rot and fade for something that will last for ever.

Are you willing to do what the people in this parable were willing to do?

They realized the uncompromised value of what they had found and realized that they needed to sell everything in order to obtain it. They were willing to let the things of man be set aside to allow the things of God to be obtained. It was a matter of priorities.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
(Luke 9:25 (NIV))

Are you willing to let go of your worldly treasures for the treasure that God has waiting for you?

Is that your final answer?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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