Are you covered by grace?

July 14, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17 (NIV))

If you were pulled over for speeding, would you want to be dealt with based on the laws that you broke, or by the grace of someone in authority over you?

Think about the ramifications of that for a moment and consider that laws are written and enforced with exact wording. Using the speeding example, if you were driving 56 miles an hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, you are guilty of breaking the law. A strict adherence to the law would mean that you would suffer the consequences of your actions. Is that truly what we would want to happen to us in that situation?

Now, consider the laws that God has given through Moses. Unlike our traffic laws, these were written in stone by the hand of God. How do you think that these would be enforced if there was no hope of grace? We would be, and we all are, guilty of breaking every single one of God’s laws. How could we expect to uphold such a high standard when we can’t even keep from driving 56 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone?

Since the fall from grace, every single person who has ever lived has broken God’s laws. We are all guilty!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

I am so thankful for grace! God’s amazing grace!

We are held accountable by the law of Moses and vindicated by the grace of Jesus!

When God sees you, does He see you as covered by grace?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you filled with God’s new wine?

December 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

This time of year can be a time of renewal. It can be a time of repentance. It can be so much more than the commercialization of the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the beginning of a new year.

Jesus came to bring new life to those who would call upon His name as Lord and Savior.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

That fullness is celebrated yearly to be thankful for His birth, which brought grace. I am not privy to all of the reasons that December 25th was chosen, but I do like the symbolism that it presents to those who call upon His name. We celebrate the birth of forgiveness, mercy and grace and then we move right in to the celebration of a new year. In essence, we are renewed by grace and then begin a new year on the promises that grace has brought. We shed the old, worn out skins of our lives from that last twelve months and prepare ourselves with newness to face the world and to share His Gospel. Our lives are the wineskins. Sometimes, even the best of us need to have new wine poured into our lives. Sometimes, we need to be remade to accept that new wine.

Are you ready to face the new year?

Are you ready to be filled with the new wine from God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you recognize your salvation?

December 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 2:28-32 (NIV))

What do you do now that you have seen your salvation?

We just celebrated the birth of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Unlike Simeon, we don’t have to wait our entire lives to see God’s promise fulfilled. We can see it every single day of our lives. We should see it in everything that we do. We have grace and mercy given to us in all circumstances of our lives. All that we have to do is repent and seek forgiveness for our sinful actions.

Have you ever thought that this is why we have things in our lives that we shouldn’t have? Let me ask this in a slightly different approach. Have you ever had something so readily available to you that you took it for granted? Have you ever gone to the extreme and waited until it was too late to realize just what you had available to you?

It is human nature to miss what is right before us. We do it with missed relationships, missed job opportunities, missed witnessing opportunities, and so many more. I have seen people, and I have also been one to miss opportunities. We all do it. Why do we miss things right in front of us while we long for the very things that we miss? Do we think things have to be complicated and because of this, miss the simple things that will have the most meaning and impact?

Simeon knew what he and the whole world were missing. He had prayed for salvation all of his life. He knew what it was that he was expecting and he knew it when he saw it. Why don’t we know God’s grace and mercy when we see it? Why do so many people look right at Jesus and see something else than what He truly is?

Do you recognize your salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you truly thankful that you have been made blameless?

December 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
(Psalms 119:1-2 (NIV))

Christmas is rapidly approaching. This is a time to reflect on what God has done for us and reflect on our attitude towards this gift. Do we truly keep His statutes and seek Him with all our heart? This Christmas morning, I pray that you are truly thankful and joyous, celebrating the true meaning of the day.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are your eyes open to the birth of Jesus?

December 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
(John 9:39 (NIV))

Do you think of judgment when you think of Christmas?

You should!

For it is through the birth of Jesus that we, who are guilty of sin, have the promise of redemption from the judgment that we should face. Christmas is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise where the death on the cross and the resurrection is the completion of the promise. Without the birth, we would have no hope of redemption. Without the birth, we would have no hope of a life free from the consequences of sin.

We would be judged based on what we truly deserve and not on the grace that God so freely gives to any and all who will simply accept that grace!

Grace required that an atoning sacrifice be made by someone who was without sin. Only God could fulfill that, so Jesus came to earth to live as one of us and to take upon Himself the sins of the world.

Jesus came for judgment!

To those who call Him Lord and Savior, they are judged righteous in the eyes of God. To those who reject Him, they will be judged according to their deeds.

How do you want to be judged?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you fully embrace all of the gifts of Christmas?

December 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
(Galatians 4:7 (NIV))

Christmas is first and foremost a celebration of the birth of Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, but if you actually stop to think about it, Christmas means so much more!

Because of Christmas, we are no longer lost to our sin. We are no longer without hope of redemption. We are no longer without faith in the promises of God being fulfilled. We are no longer slaves to the power of sin and death. We can be redeemed by the sacrifices that Jesus would later make for us.

We are no longer cast away, but are welcome into the very presence of God the Father because Jesus has paid the price for our salvation. We have been promised that faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior makes us heirs to the kingdom. If we are heirs to the kingdom, then we are part of the family, for only family is eligible to be heirs.

I want you to slow down and think about all of this when you are caught up in the middle of the hecticness that we have made Christmas. I honestly think that we need to follow a different passage at this time of year so that we don’t lose sight of what we celebrate.

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

We must make ourselves stop and reflect on exactly what it is we celebrate. It is a gift beyond measure.

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))

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s gift to us is amazing . . . grace!

December 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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))

Have you ever thought about this passage as a Christmas passage?

We have been given the ultimate gift through God’s love for us. When a gift is given, someone has to pay the price. It is free to the recipient, but the one who gives the gift takes it upon themselves to pay the full cost no matter what that cost may be.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

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

When was the last time that you took it upon yourself to give good gifts to several people? I am sure that it cost you a considerable amount, yet, you willingly paid the price so that you could freely give the gifts that you gave. Jesus willingly paid the cost needed to give grace and mercy to every person who has ever lived. That cost was more than we could bear just for our own sins, yet Jesus took all the sin of the world upon Himself for our sakes.

In this time of year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must never lose sight of the reason that Jesus was born. It is at this time of year that we see the innocence of a baby, but we must not forget about the power and authority of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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