How do you desire to love?

March 2, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:18 (NIV))

How many times a day do you say the words, “I love you.”?

Do you always mean it when you say them?

Do you have varying degrees of meaning behind what you say?

If you are like most people, these words could carry a meaning of anything from a strong like to a feeling of complete and total devotion. We say that we love ice cream. We say that we love puppies. We say that we love our families. We say that we love our spouse. We say that we love Jesus, and we say that we love God. When we say any of these, how do our actions reflect the statement? Do we say that we love puppies and then kick the next dog that we see? Do we say that we love our families and then spend all of our time at work? Do we say that we love Jesus and then use His name as a profanity? Do we say that we love God, yet choose to not spend time in His Word and in His presence?

It is said that talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words. I truly like the following statement about how we are to convey the greatest love of all.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
(St. Francis of Asisi)

Gospel means good news. It is the good news of God’s great love for us.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice to save us from our sins. Even though Jesus was the Word made flesh, it took action on His part to redeem us and to claim us for the truth. God said that He loves us, but He showed us just how much He loves us through actions. Think about that concept as it applies to your own life. What garners more results? Telling someone that you love them, or going out of your way to show them that you love them? The Lord went way out of His way to show us!

We can follow His example and show love or we can simply utter a few words.

How do you desire to love?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you known?

November 13, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35 (NIV))

After reading this passage, I have a very difficult question for you to consider!

Is there someone in the church that you do not love?

I started to ask this question using the following words. Is there someone in your church that you do not love? I quickly realized one thing that was drastically wrong with that wording, for it is not your church. It is not my church. It is THE church. It is the Body of Christ! It is not your body. It is not my body! We cannot claim ownership.

What we can claim, by the grace and mercy shown on the cross, is membership in the body!

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
(Romans 12″3-8 (NIV))

Do you hate your physical body?

We may have parts of our physical bodies that grow weak with age, but do we hate these parts? If we have a knee that can no longer support the weight that it once could, we do not inflict damage and hurt upon that knee. Do we hate the knee and reject it because it is not capable of doing what it once could? On the contrary, we bandage the knee. We treat the knee with care and sympathy. We do not inflict more pain and anguish upon it.

Why do we even think about doing this with other members of the Body of Christ? We should love each other just as Jesus has loved us! Do you wish to be known as the member of the Body who hates the knee?

How are you known?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we truly with Jesus?

July 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
(Luke 11:23 (NIV))

Do you simply sit in church, listen and then go about your life as if you hadn’t heard anything?

Do people even know that you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Are you afraid to share Jesus when you get the opportunity?

Or . . .

Do you listen and seek to apply God’s Word to your daily life?

Do people see Jesus when they look at you?

Do you embrace the opportunity to let people know what God has done in your life through your faith in Jesus?

Think about current events in the world. I am sure that we all can think of at least one thing that is happening that provides an opportunity for you to show that you are either with Jesus or against Him. I want you to keep in mind that whatever it may be, Jesus did not hate the people involved in the sin. He hated the sin and loved the people.

With this in mind, do you find yourself unable to differentiate between the sin and the people. In other words, does accepting the people mean that you accept the sin?

Do you try to appease people by accepting their sins?

If you do accept the sins, then are you truly with Jesus? Do you convey His message of grace and mercy if you don’t call people to repent of their sins? Simply telling someone that Jesus loves them is not enough. You have to tell them why He loves them and what He did for them. You have to tell them that Jesus came to forgive them of their sins. You have to tell them that His forgiveness is freely given to anybody, but they have to repent.

Think about the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus. Jesus told him to give away all that he had and follow Him. In this case, what held the young man back was the love of money. Did Jesus tell the young man that it was ok to love money and that he could follow him anyway?

Think about that for a moment.

What is your pet sin that you don’t want to give up? What is the pet sin of the person who proclaims that they follow Jesus?

I realize that we are all human, and that we will continue to sin. Jesus came to free us of our sins. If we are not willing to leave our sin, are we truly with Jesus?

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