Have you turned God’s Word into something less?

November 7, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

“You shall not murder.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
(Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV))

Controversy surrounds these simple, yet profound statements in today’s society. All of the Judeo-Christian ethic lies on this foundation which states that there is only one God, life is sacred and to respect others. Many people do not wish to acknowledge these truths as truths, or, even worse, that they even exist at all. They have tried to turn them into the 10 suggestions. Let’s take a look at the wording and how it’s meaning would change if they were not stated as they are.

You shall not murder.

Simple enough! But what would be the ramifications if it were worded differently? Try to remove the “negative” aspect of the Commandment. It might read something like this: Respect all human life.

It doesn’t carry the same impact as “You shall not murder.” Try to restate the others in a positive aspect and see what the meanings sound like when you are through. They do not carry the same message. They become what society has tried to turn them into, the 10 suggestions and not the 10 Commandments.

We, as believers, have a responsibility to uphold these basic premises of faith and life. Truth is not relevant. Truth is always the truth, no matter when and where it may apply.

Have you turned God’s Word into something less?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is impossible for God to fail!

July 18, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For no word from God will ever fail.
(Luke 1:37 (NIV))

You can look at this passage from several different perspectives.

God’s word is truth.

God never lies!

Anything that God decides to do will come to fruition.

God does not simply attempt to do something. He does it!

God’s word does not return empty.

I could go on an on, but I think that you understand the concept of the power of God’s word as truth.

If we can agree upon this, why do so many people find the following passages so difficult to believe?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Jesus is God’s word made flesh! He was sent to redeem those who believe.

Think about that in context to the passage from Luke.

For no word from God (Jesus is God’s word made flesh) will ever fail. Jesus came into this world to redeem those who simply believe. He is calling people to God through a redeeming grace bought by His blood on Calvary. This act of redemption will not fail. God is calling His children to Himself through Jesus. God is washing away the sins of those He calls through the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus! I love the way that Paul conveyed this truth.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 (NIV))

It is impossible for God to fail!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is amazing power in God’s Word!

May 29, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

Do you truly realize just what this passage is saying?

We all know that Jesus is the Word made flesh. From this passage we also know that Jesus existed from the beginning. We know that Jesus was with God from the beginning. We also know, based on logical deduction, that Jesus was and is God!

Still, there is one very important realization that each of us, as the Body of Christ, must fully embrace, and that is that for us to know God we must get to know Jesus. In addition, we come to the realization that in order to know Jesus, we must know the Word! This passage clearly tells us that what we call the Bible is how we get to know God, for it is a direct reflection of God’s character.

Now that we have established some fundamental principles, I want to ask a few questions.

Do you believe that God is all powerful?

Is He able to do things beyond your imagination, or have you put God into a box and limited Him to what you can understand?

Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

Did you have to think about your answers or were you able to quickly affirm that God is all powerful and that the Bible if the Word of God? If you were able to do this, I want you to logically think about what this implies based on what John 1:1 says about the Word was God. This implies that the Bible is all powerful since it is the Word of God and that the Word is God!

Do you realize the amazing power that is God’s Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you able to say that you know God?

June 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

I read an article today by Don Finto, a man that I have a lot of respect for. He was writing about the word “Selah” and it’s use in Psalms. Something struck me about the words that he wrote about the word that no one can agree on what it actually means. I confirmed that some translations are actually removing this because no one truly knows what it means. This brought this passage to mind.

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
(Matthew 5:18 (NIV))

I realize that the Psalms are not the Law, but it struck me as odd that someone would take it upon themselves to remove something from the Bible just because they don’t know what it means. I know that people may not like the meaning and the message behind many parts of the Bible, but they don’t remove something because of it. I also know that people have a tendency to pick and choose what they believe and what they choose to apply to their lives, but they don’t remove anything. I then realized that there are new translations that have come out that have completely changed any and all references to God and Jesus to a less threatening and more politically correct narrative.

I then realized that people have been removing things from God’s Word for a very long time. It has just become much more prevalent now than ever before.

With the direction of this topic, you may ask why I chose Psalms 46:10 as the verse that it is based on. The reason is simple. Now, more than ever, the Body of Christ must be still and know God. We must seek His truth and not the altered lies that the enemy has created. We must be prepared both in season and out of season to stand firm on God’s truth. In order to do that, we must know what God’s truth is. We must know God’s heart! We must be able to know if something is of God or is from the enemy without any hesitation, for the day is coming when hesitation may mean we fall for the lies of the enemy. We must know God intimately.

Are you able to say that you know God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t let temptation hold you captive!

March 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
(Colossians 2:8 (NAS))

I never thought of it like this, but this is exactly what the enemy is doing!

He is using lies and the worldly philosophy to take people captive. They have become prisoners of war! They are held captive by lies. They are held captive by partial truths that are deceiving people because they don’t know the full truth. They are held captive by a love of their own sins, and they are held captive because they are following a crowd.

We must be prepared to fight the good fight so that we are not taken captive by the enemy. We must know God’s Word. We must know God’s heart, and we must know God’s Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior. We must know God so well that we can tell when something is a lie from the enemy.

Think about the lies of the enemy.

He knows God’s Word and can twist it. He knows God’s heart and can make you think that God doesn’t care what you do. He knows God’s Son, Jesus, and he will trick you with teachings that are so close, yet they will lead you astray.

When you are in a battle, most prisoners are taken because they are in the wrong place or they are overwhelmed. Satan tries to get you to go to that wrong place. He tries to overwhelm you so that you will fall.

Stay strong in the Lord. Focus on Jesus! Meditate on God’s Word so that you will know God’s heart. Open your heart and life to allow Jesus full access. Allow the Holy Spirit to indwell you so that you have guidance and instruction.

Don’t allow temptation to lure you to a wrong place!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay focused on Jesus!

March 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
(2 Peter 3:10-11 (NIV))

I was given a phrase today that just will not let me go.

Mindless entertainment.

Think about that. I also prayed to know what verses to write about and I stopped on these. At first I did not see the correlation, but then I read the passages again.

We ought to live holy and godly lives!

We all have an the idea that we live as closely as humanly possible to how God calls us to live. We pray. We attend church. We read our Bibles. We try to treat other as Jesus would. We realize that no one is capable of living a perfect life and we try as hard as we can to follow what Jesus has taught us.

Still, we have those moments.

We all have them.

Moments when we drop our guard and simply allow the world to creep in. These moments often are a result of a desire to relax, to simply let go and enjoy something mindless for a little while. We treat our minds, our spirits and our bodies the same. All three seek a rest now and then. It is what we fill this time with that is often the problem, especially for our mind and spirit. If we are not careful, when we let our guard down, the things that we allow to fill us during these times can be very detrimental.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
(Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV))

In other words, know God’s Word so well that even when you are in need of a rest, the mindless entertainment will not plant seeds of wickedness within your heart. I am sure that you are all familiar with the saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” Don’t let the world’s garbage change what is in your heart. Stay focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Follow the Good Shepherd

January 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
(John 10:27 (NIV))

What do you think of when you read this passage?

Do you think of someone blindly following a master or do you think of someone who knows the loving voice and trusts that voice?

In our society, we have developed the term “sheeple” to mean someone who blindly follows. Jesus does not want us to blindly follow. We follow Jesus because we know His teachings and God’s Word. We are told to test everything against God’s Word. We are told that if a teaching does not follow God’s Word, then we are to stay away from it. This is in stark contrast to what the world thinks of Christians. Those who have an honest relationship with Jesus will listen for His voice. They will confirm that what they hear does not contradict God’s Word.

Let’s use an example as reference. This comes straight from today’s headlines and the big discussions about the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. What if, instead of the government wanting to register guns, they wanted to register Bibles? Would you comply? Would you trust in the power that the information would give to the holder? Would we listen to this voice and be the “sheeple” or would we listen to Jesus and hide God’s Word?

We, as the Body of Christ, must listen with all that we are to discern the voice of Jesus. We do not want to be lead astray because of a lie from the enemy. We do not want to hear Jesus speak these words to us.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44 (NIV))

We must be able to discern what Jesus is telling us and verify this against God’s Word.

We, as the Body of Christ, want to follow the good shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
(John 10:11-13 (NIV))

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