Have you believed and have you confessed?

January 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 (NIV))

Have you ever known someone who confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet acted like they didn’t believe what they claimed?

Have you ever known someone who never publicly confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet lived what you would consider to be a good life?

Then there are those who have not confessed and live a life that is anything but good.

Finally, there is the group who are not ashamed to publicly confess that Jesus is Lord and they believe it in their heart! Their lives reflect the belief and the proclamation.

It is funny how that we, as a fallen creation, can see people and can seem to be able to put labels on them. Is this judging? Some might say that it is, yet I believe that if you truly have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it will reflect in all aspects of your life. Lip service by itself will not redeem you, for lips can lie. Believing in your heart can save you, but what about the simple fact that people like to share with others when something good happens to them? Does that mean that they are not saved? I believe that only God knows the heart. I also know that God created each of us to be unique and some people are not wired to express things publicly. I also know that this passage doesn’t put a number to the amount of people who must hear your profession of faith. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been made!

I suppose the thing that I am trying to convey is that only God knows the heart. We must stop worrying about did this person really mean it, or is this person lost for all eternity? Don’t get me wrong. We are to continue to spread the Gospel, but we cannot force someone to accept Jesus. That is the work of the Holy Spirit within each person. All that we can do is answer the call for ourselves. We cannot answer for anyone else!

Have you answered the call? Have you believed in your heart? Have you confessed with your mouth?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are people willing to die for something they know is a lie?

September 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
(Galatians 1:11 (NIV))

Contrary to what certain books and movies would have us to believe, what we know to be the truth was not created by man in some plot to trick the whole world. Isn’t it interesting that Paul faced the very same type of obstacles when he was spreading the Gospel. Some people simply don’t want to believe it, so they will make up anything to try to convince themselves that it is not real.

Paul wrote these words several hundred years before the church held the conference that solidified and clarified what it believed in. Jesus as the only begotten Son of God was preached hundreds of years before this conference. It was preached long before Dan Brown attempted to change history when he claimed that this conference deified a mortal man.

Satan does not want anyone to come to the realization that Jesus truly is who He claims.

When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44c (NIV))

The face of the liar may change, but the lies are always the same. They always attempt to discredit Jesus as the Son of God.

I would like for you to reflect upon a simple statement.

No other person in all of the history of the world has caused so many people to take so wide a stance as to who He is.

Even after two thousand years, the lies are still spreading. If the claim that Jesus is the Son of God were a lie, I strongly believe that those who saw the crucifixion would not have been willing to lay down their lives. It is human nature to seek self preservation. To live a lie is insane. To die for a lie is insane.

Keep the faith and remember Paul’s words.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which side of God will you see?

July 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
(Revelation 5:13 (NIV))

One day, everything that God has created will bend a knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. We have a choice as to when we do it. If we come to Him freely and willingly, we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. If we ignore Him or deny Him in this world, then when He returns, we will bow not out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us, but out of fear and judgment. We will bow in submission like a convicted felon hangs his head before his jailer.

God has two sides. A loving Father is the side that those who have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, will see. Lift up your voice in praise of what God has done for you and be grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made on your behalf. Do not wait and take the chance that you will see the other side of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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An amazing gift to be shared!

December 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:21-32 (NIV))

Did you breathe a big sigh of relief yesterday? Or maybe yours came this morning because you went out to the after Christmas sales yesterday and you didn’t have time to do anything else. Whatever may have happened, many people look upon the day after Christmas as being the end of the season.

It is only the beginning! Just as Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of our promised hope and salvation, Christmas marks the beginning of our celebration of this gift from God. Simeon knew that Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of salvation, and not the salvation itself. Many things needed to happen before the promise would be fulfilled.

Jesus did not come into the world in a miraculous manner and then spend the next thirty years in quiet solitude preparing for His ministry and crucifixion. We know that He amazed the scholars and priests before His baptism and the temptation in the wilderness.

We do not need to celebrate His birth and the promise that He fulfilled only on the days that we have set aside to remember His birth and His resurrection. We need to look at Christmas as the start of our opportunity to present His light to others as it was presented to us. We have several months until we celebrate His resurrection at Easter. What can we do to show the world the amazing gift that God gave us through Jesus Christ, His only Son? What can we do that will make those around us amazed at the resurrection and the promise fulfilled by it?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray that we know what to watch for

August 23, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
(Psalms 127:1 (NIV))

Every night that I sit down to write, I pray for guidance as to what God wants me to convey. I have a database of scripture verses that I have selected and tonight, I closed my eyes and “randomly” stopped on this verse. I do not think that this is an accident or a coincidence, for right before this happened, I was reading about the two conventions coming up for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. These two parties will officially select the individuals who will be in contention for the White House.

God is up to something in this world. He is up to something big!

Israel is surrounded by people who want to destroy her. Iran is threatening just that. Israel is preparing it’s citizens for 30 days of shortages and is giving out gas masks. They are also preparing their citizens for massive amounts of missile strikes in retaliation IF they decide to be preemptive with Iran. Russia is standing firm in their lack of support for Israel and support for Iran.

Does this sound familiar?

There are countless things that I see that trouble me with respect to how our world is heading. At the same time, these things intrigue me for they offer glimpses into the things that the prophets have written about. Could these things that are unfolding be the very things that we have read about?

We, as the Body of Christ, must stand firm in our faith. We must pray for God’s guidance and seek to follow His will for our lives, our families, our neighborhoods, our country and the world.

You are probably asking how this ties in with Psalm 127:1 and the current state of things.

We have been given God’s plans for His creation. It will be His plans that prevail. We may not like the state of things or the things that must happen, but they all part of God’s plans.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
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 16:21-23 (NIV))

Jesus rebuked Peter for wanting his agenda and not God’s. We see things from a different perspective and even though we see things that go against what we have been taught to believe in, God has an eternal plan.

Think about that for a moment from Peter’s persepctive.

If you had been in Peter’s shoes, how would you react if Jesus told you the details about the painful death that He would face? Would you have stood as Peter did and try to physically protect Jesus? I honestly think that we would not, nor do we, understand exactly what God is unfolding. We see glimpses and we wonder if this is what we have been told to watch for.

Pray for God’s guidance and follow Him.

Pray for God’s Will and wait for miraculous things to happen.

Pray for wisdom to discern the worldly from the Godly.

Pray that the Lord watches over us as we stand in watch.

Pray that we know what to watch for.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessed because of our faith

August 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:10 (NIV))

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are very well aware of what is going on with how the Body of Christ has been coming under attack from many different sides.

Christians are being labeled as hateful and bigoted. We are being ridiculed in the media at every opportunity that they get. Any show of faith is considered a violation of the so-called separation of church and state. And, I honestly believe that it may get worse.

Are you willing to stand up for your faith?

Are you willing to face persecution for what you believe?

Are you willing to boldly proclaim that Jesus is Lord of all even in the midst of the enemy?

I pray that we may never really face this scenario, but I also pray that if we do, each person who calls upon Jesus as Lord and Savior will not renounce His name.

Faith is a funny thing. When tragedy happens, those who did not have it suddenly find that they need it. I hope that the opposite is not true. When persecution happens, will those who profess a faith in Jesus suddenly find themselves rethinking their position.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Is it time for a faith checkup?

Are you sure of what you hope for?

Are you certain of what you do not see?

I pray that no matter what we may face in life, that we, as the Body of Christ, face it with unwavering faith. I pray that we will be called blessed because of our faith.

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