Will He find us righteous?

April 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.
(Genesis 6:11 (NIV))

I often wonder what we look like in the eyes if God in this day and time.

Think about that for a moment. Do you think that our world does what is pleasing to God when there are wars, rumors of wars, murder, violent crimes, rape, greed, lust, and countless others that are too numerous to mention? How do you think that we compare to the world before the great flood? At that time, God only found Noah and his family who were righteous in His eyes. Prayerfully, today there are more people than a single extended family whom God is pleased with.

Is that what makes today different than in the days of Noah? Is it the number of people who earnestly and sincerely call upon the redeeming grace offered by God through His only begotten Son, Jesus? Noah gives us a clear picture of how God cares for His own during times of trouble. He provides a path of redemption from the sins of this world. God has done this countless times. He provides a path of redemption by providing a ram, by providing a burning bush, by providing a parting of the Red Sea, and by providing the ultimate sacrificial lamb – His Son, Jesus.

How do you think that God will respond when His plans for the future actually unfold?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

With this in mind, we know that God did send destruction to the unrighteous and we know that He saved those whom He found to be righteous. He will work the same way when His plan finally unfolds. My question to you is simple.

Will He find you righteous and provide a path of redemption for you?

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

January 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you–
for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.
(Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (NIV))

It is human nature to think and say things under your breath. Things that you would not want anyone to even know that you knew. These are the things that are secretly holed away in your heart.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
(Matthew 15:19(NIV))

Perhaps it is this characteristic of humanity that lead Jesus to say:

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
(John 8:7b(NIV))

Not a single one of us is above reproach. Not a single one of us is capable of leading the perfect life that God wishes for us to live. Our thoughts condemn us. Our thoughts manifest themselves as words and deeds. Our words and deeds condemn us. Only one thing that we can do will remove the condemnation from our lives.

We must accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. We must accept His righteousness in exchange for our condemnation. He willingly takes our sin upon His shoulders and gives us His grace and mercy.

We are not perfect. Even if we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we will stumble. We will curse others in our heart and sometimes, even, under our breath. But, we have a Savior who is living within us, and teaching us that we must follow Him and not give in to that side of our nature.

Do you curse or do you accept righteous instruction?

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

November 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’ ”
(Luke 18:18-20 (NIV))

People are still asking the same question today. The answer has not changed.

We are to keep the commandments, but we have been bought by grace for the times when we stumble.

This does not mean that we can apply the current feel good philosophy to these principles. We cannot take a look at ourselves and say that we had a difficult childhood, so that excuses my behavior. We cannot take a look at ourselves and proclaim that the reason we have sexual sin is because we were neglected as a child and are seeking love. We cannot claim that we were made fun of as a child because we were poor and that is the reason that we steal. We cannot claim that we were not told the difference between right and wrong and that is why we lie.

Society has taken the personal responsibility out of everything and look where it has gotten us.

The Bible did not tell us that we should not commit adultery or sexual sin unless we were born that way. The Bible did not tell us not to murder unless we were born with rage inside of us. The Bible did not tell us not to steal unless we were born with a disorder. The Bible did not tell us not to lie unless we would benefit from the lie.

We are told plain and simply “Do not” with no disclaimers and no exceptions.

If the Bible tells us not to do something, man has no right to claim that we are not bound by His instructions because we were created differently.

There is one sin that people are claiming that they were born that way. Consider another sin in comparison.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
(Ephesians 5:18 (NIV))

If people who are prone to alcoholism claim that they are born that way, does society, does the family and does the individual excuse the behavior and the sin? Does God excuse the behavior and the sin?

Each person has something that Satan uses to trap you. God does not tell us to stay strong in all areas of our lives except what Satan is attacking us with. We are told to turn from all attacks of the enemy whether they are pride, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, or any other thing. We are not told to pick a favorite and embrace it.

God gave us instructions for a reason. He gave us grace for when we truly desire to but cannot fulfill these instructions.

Grace is a choice. Fighting the temptations from Satan is a choice. We know that we are sinners, but if we accept the lie that we are born that way and cannot change, we have already lost our salvation.

God did not send Jesus to teach and to die on the cross so that we could claim a false reason to keep on sinning.

Stay strong in God’s Word.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Would you be convicted?

June 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You shall not murder.
(Exodus 20:13 (NIV))

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
(Matthew 5:21-22(NIV))

God clearly defined for us that to take another life is a sin, yet, how many times have we said things in anger that could convict us just the same? We may have learned to put up a front to society and to ourselves, yet, our thoughts can be just as sinful, if not more so, than our actual actions.

Sin is a matter of the heart. A heart that longs to do the Will of God will still sin, but it will not be as sinful as someone who does not long to be like God. Their thoughts will focus on God and the things that are righteous in nature. Someone who does not focus on God focuses on themselves. I have heard it said that sin has as its basis the human desire to be at the center of all things. Sin focuses on “me” and what “I” can get from things quickly. It is this type of an attitude that makes a person’s thoughts stray from what God would have you think about. “Me” turns to anger and anger into actions. The only difference is the physical act, yet, the heart still had the very same intentions. Perhaps it is the intention that convicts us of our sins.

What thoughts have you had recently? Would you be convicted?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you seek your refuge?

June 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
(Psalms 118:8-9 (NIV))

It seems like the world is looking for someone to save us from all of the issues that we now face, and we do face countless issues that seem to be ever increasing.

The world is facing economic uncertainty. Many regions are facing political uncertainty. The whole world is facing escalated violence due to race, religion, crime, and sheer evil. In this country, we are facing issues that seem to be polarizing us as a nation. We are choosing sides due to various different reasons and nobody is willing to meet in the middle and discuss the differences. We are placing our trust in men instead of relying on God for guidance. And, in the process, we are destroying ourselves.

We need to turn to God. We need to place our trust in Him.

Man will fail.

Take a look at the history of humanity.

We failed miserably in the Garden of Eden. We turned to murder within one generation. We were so sinful, that God chose to start over through one man, Noah, and his family. We tried to elevate ourselves to God at the tower of Babel. We kill each other over money and power. We will kill each other over religion. We will kill each other over race. It was God’s plan, carried out by human hands, to have His Son, Jesus, die for our sins.

No human is perfect. No prince of this world can save us. In fact, the Bible refers to Satan as the prince of the air. We turned over authority to him in the Garden of Eden. Satan cannot save us. Man cannot save us, no matter how the media may spin it.

Don’t trust the spin. Don’t trust the princes. Don’t trust the men who claim to know how to save us.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalm 20:7 (NIV))

Where do you place your trust?

Where do you seek your refuge?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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