Are you sanctified? Are you blameless in the eyes of God?

December 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV))

In a little over a week, we will be celebrating the first coming of Jesus. We will be celebrating the birth of a baby who came to this world to free us from the law of sin and death! It is through the birth and life of Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection, and the ascension that we have been sanctified.

Sanctify.

This is a word that most people don’t use. In fact, most people probably don’t truly understand the meaning of the word. Sanctify means to make holy. It means to give official acceptance or approval.

Think about that for a moment.

God sent Jesus into the earth in order to make us holy, in order to officially accept us and approve of us. We all understand salvation, but God’s love goes far beyond salvation. It goes far beyond washing away all of our sins. By accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have been made holy. By accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we have been given official acceptance by God.

I find it amazing just how much we take for granted. We have lost so much understanding of God’s love simply because we have become ignorant of the meanings of the words that describe God’s love. We over simplify it to say such things as “God is love” and “God will forgive.” It seems that we are still infants when it comes to understanding who God is.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
(1 Corinthians 3:2 (NIV))

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV))

Are you sanctified? Are you blameless in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you long to be someone that people thank God for?

September 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NIV))

What a testimony of faith this passage is!

Paul, the man whom Jesus picked to be His messenger to the Gentiles, praises the church of the Thessalonians.

Faith, hope and love!

They held fast to these precepts and did it well enough to be lifted up to God in prayer as an example of how it should be done.

Do we live up to that example?

Would Paul thank God for us in the same way that he thanked God for the church of the Thessalonians?

In self-reflection, I find myself lacking. I find myself not always responding the way that I desire to respond. Human nature takes over just when you don’t want it to. It is a constant struggle that every person has no matter what you desire to do. Still, it is a goal that we should all have.

It is a matter of priorities!

Do you long to be someone that people thank God for?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared to rely on Jesus in times of trouble?

May 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV))

Jesus told us that we would have troubles in this world. He did not promise that following Him would be easier than following the world. He did promise us, though, that He had overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Jesus overcame the ruler of this world, Satan. Satan spreads sin and death. Jesus overcame sin and death. True, we will die a physical death, but the physical death now does not have the finality that Satan intended when he deceived Eve. Instead of a permanent separation from God, the physical death is merely a transition from this world to heaven.

Be prepared for the troubles that this world brings. Rely on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we still recognize His majestic splendor?

February 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes.
(2 Peter 1:16 (NLT))

I have often thought what it would have been like to walk with Jesus and to see the miracles that He performed. I bet that I am not the only one who has had these thoughts.

What is your favorite point in Jesus’ time on this earth?

Would you like to see Jesus turn the water into wine? Perhaps you would like to see Him raise Lazarus from the grave. Would you like to hear the Sermon on the Mount firsthand? Perhaps you would like to see the many healings that He performed. I would love to have witnessed the Last Supper, but not from Judas’ perspective. Would you have the faith to be in the Garden? Would you understand that the crucifixion had to happen?

Would you rejoice at the resurrection?

I have often wondered if my heart would hold out. Would I have the strength to see Jesus suffer and die knowing that He was doing it for me?

We have an advantage that the early church did not have. We have the compiled written testimonies of the ones who witnessed these very events. We also have a disadvantage that the early church did not have. They still had the original eye witnesses. They had the very people who walked with Jesus and experienced these things firsthand. They could ask questions. They could get clarification and understanding directly from those whom God tasked with spreading the Gospel.

The written Gospel is amazing. It is power and it is truth. It has lasted the tests of time. When we need clarification,, we can go to God in prayer. We can ask for wisdom and understanding. We can bask in God’s glory and in His presence.

Too many people today say that God’s Word is no longer relevant to the world in which we live. They no longer seek God or His wisdom. They no longer seek to know why Jesus came into this world. They no longer acknowledge sin as sin.

Do we still recognize His majestic splendor in our world today?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your encouragement found?

January 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV))

The words that Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonia still have a very powerful meaning to the church today. In this world, we will face trials and tribulations. We need encouragement to face these on a daily basis. This encouragement is found in Jesus Christ and God the Father. This encouragement comes in the form of the Holy Spirit to help us face the world. All we have to do is listen. It comes from a small, still voice that gently and quietly leads us in the path that God has set for us. To hear this encouragement, we must be willing to listen intently and do what we are encouraged to do. Do not forget that:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

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