Power and authority

September 26, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.
(Revelation 2:26 (NIV))

We should not seek power for the sake of power, however, Jesus has promised us that we would have authority.

Power that comes from the world is self-serving and is self-centered. It feeds a person’s ego and allows Satan to enter with lies about “no one will know, and you deserve it.”

The old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely is true. No single person in all of history has been able to resist the temptation that comes with absolute authority. Notice that I said no single “person.” Jesus was fully man and fully God. Jesus resisted the temptation, and as a result, if we can follow Him and allow Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior, then we, too, can resist temptation. By resisting this temptation in our lives and focusing on Jesus, we are placing all authority for our lives in His hands. By surrendering our authority, we will be given authority through Jesus Christ.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12)

Most people don’t think of authority as one of the things that they will do. However, it is. Jesus was given the authority. His authority He gives to those who allow Him into their lives.

It is promised. If we do the Will of God through the authority given to Jesus, then we will be given authority in a similar manner. This authority is not to be looked upon as the world looks upon authority, for even God given authority still requires a willing submission to the Father who has granted the authority.

Do not boast about authority, but pray for guidance in your authority that God has given you.

The passage speaks about the Millennial Kingdom, but the same principles apply today. Focus on Godly authority to enforce whatever authority you may have, and you will be blessed as well as be a blessing.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Join in the heritage of rejoicing

September 23, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV))

Take a look around you.

What do you see?

Do you see random chance and “natural selection” where we are simply the product of millions of years of impossible permutations, or do you see order and design?

How can we, as the Body of Christ, see anything but joy in all that God has created. He created everything for us! He created us to be in a relationship with Him. He created us out of love. He gave us authority over His creation because of His love.

Unfortunately, we rebelled against His love. We rejected God and allowed Satan into the world. Still, God loved us to the point where He wanted to redeem us from our sin and from Satan’s grasp. Because of His great love for us, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die as a sacrifice, one for all, so that we could be saved. We should be singing His praises in all that we do. We should be thankful for His faithfulness.

What did your grandparents have faith in? Was it God’s steadfast love?

What did your great-great grandparents have faith in?

It was probably also God’s steadfast love.

They rejoiced in His grace and mercy. For thousands of years, people have rejoiced in His grace and mercy.

Do you share this heritage of rejoicing with all of those who came before you?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


To what end do you labor?

September 22, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
(Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV))

I read this, and then I read it again. I read it one more time before it actually hit home.

Paul’s sole task after his Damascus road experience was teaching and admonishing, or urging, people to follow Jesus. Everything else that he did was secondary.

He did not live to work as so many of us do today.

He did not work to live. He had no vineyards to tend, or fields to plow. He had no business to run. He only labored to provide for his needs.

Paul’s mission in life was proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That was his passion. That was what consumed his time.

It is said that if you look at a person’s calendar and checkbook that you can clearly see what that person’s priorities are. I venture to say that Paul spent very little time and money on things that did not forward God’s Kingdom.

I know that not all of us are called to be another Paul, yet, I often wonder if we are falling short on what we are called to be. I enjoy my time within God’s Word. I am happy to see that God is using this to touch people’s lives, yet, I often wonder what I would be like, what we all would be like, if only we could labor as Paul.

What would our lives be like if we could double our labor for the Gospel? What would be the impact on family, friends, coworkers and even strangers? What would that do for the harvest?

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Luke 10:2 (NIV))

To what end do you labor?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Help us, for Your names sake

September 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
(Psalms 79:9 (NIV))

It is time for the church to arise to the occasion and earnestly seek after God. We must be ready to act as a willing and able instrument for God’s plans.

I am more appalled every day at what our society allows. I am more appalled every day at what governments are allowing to be removed. I am more appalled every day at what is called evil and what is called good.

If I, a mere speck in the greatness of God’s creation can find things so detestable, how do you think God feels about what this world has become.

I know that each generation has their moral and spiritual battles to fight, but gone are the days when the moral compass pointed to Jesus. That makes me groan deep within my spirit. The anguish that I feel is terrifying, yet I know that God is in control.

His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
(Luke 3:17 (NIV))

I recently heard of plans to do in this country what has happened in Egypt recently with their government, and not because of tyranny or oppression. What I have heard of is based on the idea that these people are demanding more handouts from the government, as if the government had an endless supply of money, food and luxuries to distribute to those who simply want them. We have gone from a country that was built on the principle of hard work, dedication and faith to one of entitlement and laziness.

I am sure that God is in control and that all of this is a part of His plan to bring about the return of Jesus. However, we as the church cannot simply sit by and allow sin to overcome us while we are waiting.

God is a God pf power and strength. When Jesus walked this earth, He did not turn a blind eye to sin. He also told us to do as He did.

We have His power and strength when we pray, when we speak, and when we act. It is time that the church do just that.

Lord, forgive us our sins for your name’s sake.

We do not want the world to think that we serve a weak God. He is the God of creation. Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. We need to start acting like it.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What defines your priesthood?

September 1, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

We must never forget that we have been called into the light through the blood of Jesus Christ! Ours is a calling that came with a price. A price too great for any one of us to have paid it on our own. A price, that, to this day, baffles those who do not understand and fills those who do understand with awe and reverence.

Some people use this to claim that our salvation was pre-ordained by God and that those who have been saved are an elite and special group of people. This also infers that those who have not found salvation yet are part of a group of people that God has cast aside as disposable. We know that God does not wish for any to perish. If that is true, then perhaps He has pre-ordained for all to find salvation. It is only our ignorance and pride that keeps us from finding what God has freely given to us.

We must not be a priesthood that looks upon those who have not found salvation as inferior in the eyes of God. We must look upon them as we once were – lost in our sin and our pride, searching for something that will make sense of our lives, after all, a priest is one who ministers to those who are in need of God’s touch. We must not lose sight of this calling.

Do you see yourself as a priest who is there to minister and bring people to God, or do you see yourself as separate and apart from those who still need God’s grace? Your answer will define your priesthood!

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Talents

August 23, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
(Matthew 25:14-18 (NIV))

What have you done with the talents that God has given to you? Have you used them or have you hidden them?

Perhaps we should take a look at the talents that have been used. Were they used for your own gain or did you use them for the gain of the one who gave them to you? It is so easy to get caught up in what the world is selling and get sidetracked from the true reason for your talents. The world tells us to make money and seek after fame. It tells us that we are better than others and our talents are to be used for our gain. How will this attitude be rewarded?

Consider those who have used their talents for the gain of the one who gave them the talents. What was their attitude? How was it rewarded?

What about the one who is afraid to use their talents? They lack faith. Perhaps it is the lack of faith that the talent they have been given is of any value. Perhaps it is a lack of faith in themselves. Either way, it is a lack of faith in God, for He has created both the individuals and the talents. It is a misguided fear that God will punish us if we do wrong, and so we do nothing.

Each of us falls somewhere within these three scenarios. Perhaps we can lay claim to each one of them at different times in our lives. Either we misuse our talents and fall short of what God intends, or we use them for His good. Perhaps the worst case is not using our given talents at all.

What talents has God given to you? How have you used them? How can you change to be a better servant using your talents?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What do you recognize?

August 12, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.”
(John 10:27-28 (NLT))

What is it that you recognize instinctively? I am talking about someone or something that you can recognize by sound when your eyes are closed. I am talking about someone that you can recognize by sight when they are too far away to even distinguish any characteristics. I am talking about the voice that you can always pick out of the crowd even in the midst of hundreds of voices.

Can you distinguish that still, small voice that God uses?

Can you recognize the subtle urgings of the Holy Spirit?

Can you recognize ultimate truth when all around you is a lie?

With all that the world throws our way, we must learn to recognize the truth in the midst of all of the lies. We must learn to recognize the shepherds voice. We must learn to listen to the truth that the shepherd brings. That shepherd is Jesus. We are His sheep.

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))

Each of us recognize different things in our lives. There is one thing that we must all recognize.

What do you recognize?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


There is no other way

August 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD.
(Haggai 2:16-17 (NIV))

I received an email today that referenced an earlier part of Haggai 2.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: `In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. `The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
(Haggai 2:6-8 (NIV))

Is it just me, or we facing the events in this world because we have turned away from God?

Governments being overthrown. Economic uncertainty in the whole world and economic collapse in some countries. Public riots because of racial and religious tension. Looting and burning because they want to show the authorities that they can do what they want.

Society treats the resources of this world as theirs. It is there only for them and not for anyone else, now or in the future. Society lives “high on the hog,” yet forgets that the future relies on wisely managing so that the hog will be able to reproduce.

Stewardship is long forgotten.

“I want it now!”

“I deserve it!”

“I have a right to do it!”

Selfishness has become the rule.

It is a scary world that has been so rapidly transforming right before our eyes.

Can we solve the problems that the world is facing if we turn to God?

There is no other way!

Everything is His. He is the Creator. He longs to bless us, but . . .

He will not bless us if we are foolish.

He will not bless us if we ignore Him.

He will not bless us if we spit in His face.

Think of a father who has lovingly purchased several toys for his children. He sits back and joyfully watches as his children play with the toys as they were designed. Slowly, the children begin to take these precious toys and do things that they shouldn’t. He gently reminds them that if they take care of the toys, they will last a long time. They will give joy for many years. Some time later, the children forget these words and start to do things that will break the toys. As a father, he reminds them again and tells them that if they do not stop, he will have to take the toys from them.

The father still loves the children, yet, he must do what is needed to reprimand and to teach. Only when the children return with a repentant heart does the father allow them to once again have the toys.

We, as a society, as a world, have mistreated what God has given to us. We have turned our back on Him. We have even gone so far as to expel Him from public life.

It sounds to me that we need to turn to God.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Join me in a rousing chorus of praise!

August 10, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV))

Most of us are very familiar with the words in Isaiah 6:3 – “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” These words are often spoken in churches to this very day, and rightly so. They are true.

What I want to take a closer look at is the seraphs, or angels, that are in attendance in the throne room of God.

What do you think of when you think of angels?

Do you think of beings that look human but have wings?

What do you envision angels doing?

Probably most of us envision the white robed, human looking creatures that act as messengers. Some even believe that angels are among us to protect us. Having never seen one, I will only speculate about their actual appearance, but I know beyond any doubts as to their function.

They glorify God!

Whether in the throne room, or on missions in this world, they glorify God in all that they do.

Do you believe that people, as created beings, are separate from the angels?

Do you not know that we will judge angels?
(1 Corinthians 6:3a (NIV))

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
(Hebrews 1:14 (NIV))

If we are to judge angels, then I only find it fitting and proper that we should do as they do and glorify God. How can we judge if we do not do?

Each one of us needs to sing within our hearts, and out loud when we can, the very praises that the seraph sing in the presence of God.

Join me in a rousing chorus of praise!

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Discernment

August 1, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
(1 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV))

What do you consider as foolishness?

Do you watch the news about removing the Ten Commandments from public buildings and think that this is wisdom or do you see the folly of our society and call it foolishness?

We, as a society, have turned our backs on the things of God. They are considered foolishness. What does that say about our society? What does that say about our so called leaders? More importantly, what does that say about us as believers? Are we too ashamed to call the folly of this world what it truly is?

We, as individual members of the Body of Christ must always strive to discern God’s Will for all things and not simply accept the will of the fallen world in which we live. We must not accept the lies of the prince of this world.

He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
(Daniel 8:24-26 (NIV))

Too many people will not discern the things from the Spirit of God, for they only want to see the lies of this world. We must pray for discernment for all.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: