Are you deceiving yourself?

December 19, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
(1 John 1:8 (NIV))

I find it interesting that human nature is so quick to point out the faults in others, yet so slow to recognize the faults in ourselves. It is not uncommon for people to not acknowledge that they are sinners. It is a completely different matter to think that you are without sin even when we are told differently.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Deception is just another name for a lie, and we all know who the father of all lies is. Satan would like nothing better to convince us that we are okay just as we are and that we don’t need someone to save us from our sins. I want to present you with a few questions. If the enemy is correct that we don’t need a savior, then why did he spend so much time trying to kill Jesus at his birth? Why did he try to tempt Jesus to give up on His mission? Why did he nail Jesus to the cross?

If you look at yourself and think that you are the exception to Romans 3:23, then you have been deceived, you have believed the biggest lie of all time. If you think that you are without sin, then you are placing yourself equal to Jesus and you are deceiving yourself!

Are you deceiving yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you guilty of bending God’s truth?

April 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
(1 John 2:3-4 (NAS))

What is truth?

Is it what you say it is? Is it what someone else says it is? Is truth relative or is a fixed target that is defined by someone with a higher authority than you or I?

Sadly, far too many people believe that there is no such thing as absolute truth. I was recently made aware of the irony of that statement. People who utter the words that there is no absolute truth expect you to believe what they say in that statement. What makes that statement true? If someone emphatically states that there is no absolute truth, they are breaking their own beliefs by claiming that statement as an absolute.

Don’t you just love the irony that the human mind can conjure up something that makes no sense and then convince themselves of its validity?

What do you believe to be true?

Who is the creator, who is the holder of absolute truth? Why does humanity choose to deny that there is such a thing as absolute truth?

Ego and pride come to mind as two of the most guilty reasons. We, as human beings, all are very prone to possess these traits in a negative manner. We all like to think that we are right and that no one else knows better than us. My wife claims that I have a hard time admitting when I am wrong. Have you ever been accused of having that trait?

We have a tendency to twist the truth when it makes us look good. We also have a tendency to believe a lie when it makes us look good. I know that it is difficult, but we must focus on Jesus and keep His commands to truly possess the truth. Anything less than that is a lie. A lie is anything that is not true. It can even be a simple bending of the truth, or a little white lie.

Are you guilty of bending God’s truth?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 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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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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Do you follow the good shepherd?

February 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
(John 10:1-5 (NIV))

Sadly, in today’s society, it has come to the point where more and more people do not recognize the shepherd.

Do you recognize the shepherd?

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
(John 10:11 (NIV))

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
(John 10:14-15 (NIV))

Too many people are turning to whatever they think will make them feel good, whatever will satisfy the emptiness that they feel. All too often, what they turn to is just that – it is something that they turn to and in the process, they turn away from Jesus. Sadly enough, far too many never knew Jesus to begin with.

How many different lies about Jesus have you heard recently? I am sure that it is far too many to count, yet, these lies are what people believe. The lies have come from the thief. They are a very focused effort to steal and keep as many people from receiving salvation as possible. In my opinion, it was a very well orchestrated plan that relied heavily on removing prayer from public schools. It doesn’t end there.

We have seen circumstances that have allowed the thief to enter in and falsely lead people into things that are not of God. They have listened to false shepherds. They have listened to the thief. Pray that they quickly learn to recognize the true shepherd’s voice.

Do you follow the good shepherd?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you bold or are you timid?

October 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV))

Many people think that being a Christian is an act of timidity and that we are supposed to roll over and take what ever comes our way. That is a lie propagated by the enemy, for Satan knows that if we boldly seek what has been promised to us through Jesus Christ, then he does not have the ability to control us the way that he has with his lies and deception.

It was said that we have not because we ask not! We have been too timid to ask for the things that burden our hearts. We have been told that where two or more agree in Jesus’ name, it shall be done. This is boldness. This is fantastic!

Think back to your childhood. Did you ever get anything by timidly waiting for it. You probably nagged your parents to death until they relented. This brings to mind the story of the corrupt judge and the old woman. She would not relent in asking him for protection. He eventually gave in because of her persistence. If a judge who did not have love for anyone would relent, how do you think our Father will react to those whom He has called to be His own? We have not because we ask not!

Do you treat God as your Father, or do you treat Him as someone who doesn’t care?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

July 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Are you holding fast to your faith? Are you secure enough in your faith and understanding to not be deceived?

Each generation has felt that they are the generation that is seeing wars and rumors of wars. Each generation since Jesus said these words has looked for His return.

Think back over the course of your life. Do you remember every war that has been fought? Do you remember every earthquake that has happened? Do you remember every famine? God does. Many people who keep records of these things say that they are increasing.

Now, I want you to think about something.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Our understanding of a nation today is very different from what it was when this was written. A nation has always referred to a group of people, such as the Israelites or Canaanites. What we think of as a nation today is a political kingdom in the Bible. In other words, we are told that different people groups will fight each other. We see this escalating in today’s world with the cries of racism in our country. We see members of each group of people straining the bonds that we should all have through Jesus. We see riots between different people groups within our own political kingdoms. We see political kingdoms at odds with each other.

In essence, we are all rising against each other.

Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

Are we being deceived by false teachings and deliberate lies so that we will be a part of what Satan is doing in this world? There are far too many things going on in this world to keep up with all of them, but I do know that what I see appears to hold true all across the world. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are fights between different people groups and there are other things happening that simply make me wonder how humanity has become so depraved so fast.

No matter what happens, the Body of Christ, which crosses all nationalities and political kingdoms, must hold fast to Jesus. We must not fall for the wars. We must not fall for the racism issues. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

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