Jesus is the Lamb of God!

April 25, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
(1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV))

A lamb without blemish or defect!

Do you understand the reason for the quest for perfection?

When a gift was presented to royalty, it was expected to be the best that you could give. When a gift is given to God as an offering, does this not merit even more than an earthly king? I have often wondered if God’s instructions for the original Passover were actually intended to be a gift to God, for these lambs were also to be without blemish. The blood from these animals was to be presented on the door posts of the homes. I realize that this was as a sign, but could it have also been a thank you offering for what God was about to do? Was it a teachable moment? Every person who could claim that they were Jewish knew the importance of the blood. They knew the importance of without blemish or defect. When they were told that Jesus was a lamb without blemish or defect, they knew exactly what it meant. When they were told that they had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, they knew exactly what it meant.

Jesus became the perfect lamb. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life. He, like a lamb led to the slaughter, was crucified, dead and buried. But, nothing can hold Godly perfection. Through His resurrection we have been made clean.

It took someone who could be without blemish or defect. It took the only Lamb of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Is God perfecting you?

June 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV))

We should rejoice in the fact that none of us are completed in God’s sight. What God started in Genesis was a fore-taste of what He had planned.

Salvation through Jesus Christ, His Son, is a wonderful gift that none of us deserve. God did not plan on stopping with only saving us. He wants to perfect us in His sight. Every day that we live in this world is another day that we come closer to God’s image for us. We will not see perfection in this life, though, since this world has been turned over to the powers of the air. God is perfecting us and will complete this task, one by one, when we stand before Him.

We as believers, have a strong and mighty God who is in control, and who is working His ultimate plan. We must pray for each other and for those who are not yet in The Kingdom.

Let God work in you today to perfect you and to pray for others that He is perfecting.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I look forward to what God desires to give!

May 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
(Luke 11:11-13 (NIV))

Would you intentionally give your children something harmful? It is human nature to want to give those we love the best that we can give. Even so, our best is still as filthy rags in the eyes of God for we give from a sinful nature and sin is not capable of producing anything that is truly good.

If God is our Father and He is perfect, how can the things that He gives to us be anything but perfection? God is not capable of anything less than righteousness and perfection. The things that He gives to us out of this perfection are far above the things that we can give in our sinful imperfection.

We must learn to trust God the same way that most of us have learned to trust our earthly parents. We know that they desire good things for us and we accept them without question. Why do we question and sometimes even reject what God desires to give us?

I look forward to what God desires to give. What is your attitude towards His gifts?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Where there once was law, there is grace!

April 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned– for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.
(Romans 5:12-13 (NIV))

“But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.”

This passage can be taken different ways, but stop and read it again from the perspective where Jesus came to give us grace. In effect, He removed the law, or should I say that He removed the consequences of the law?

I suppose that the meaning of these words can be argued, especially when you consider what was written in Matthew.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

Jesus did not abolish the law. Rather, He came to abolish application of the consequences of the law within our lives. He fulfilled the law by fully accepting those consequences upon Himself. He also opened the door for still another gift. He made the way clear for the Holy Spirit and all of the teachings of the Holy Spirit to come into our lives.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

If we live by the fruit of the Spirit, then we cannot be judged by the law for there is no law against these things. If we live by these, we do not sin. We cannot be judged. We cannot be held accountable for missing the mark if we don’t miss the mark.

But wait!

We are human and not capable of hitting the mark.

Doesn’t that put us back into sin and, consequentially, the law?

Are you beginning to see the dilemma that we face? We are to keep God’s laws and live by the Spirit, but since we are a fallen race, we cannot meet these expectations and are condemned.

Since one member of the human race condemned us to this dilemma, we needed one member of the human race to redeem us from this dilemma. That is why God sent His perfect Son, Jesus to live as one of us and to die as one of us. Through that one perfect life, there is now no more consequences of the law, for Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements of the law.

There is one thing for those who will simply accept it.

Where there once was law, there is grace!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Broken part of creation

November 17, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
`What are you making?’
Does your work say,
`He has no hands’?
(Isaiah 45:9 (NIV))

Humanity is nothing more than potsherds. Each of us is simply a broken part of the creation that God intended for us to be. We inherited that brokenness from the actions of Adam and Eve in the fall from grace. Before sin entered into the world, each of us was destined to be a magnificent, one of a kind creation that glorified God. Now, we are simply broken shards of what we were created to be.

Just as the broken parts of a clay pot can hint at the beauty that it once had, we only hint at the beauty of what we may have been if sin had not entered into our lives. The only difference between us and an actual clay pot is the skill of the Creator. A potter can only repair a broken pot if all of the pieces are still there. He cannot make it as it was when it was new, but it may still be able to function as it was intended.

We have a Creator who is far more skilled than any earthly potter ever will be. We have the God of the universe as our “Maker.” He can take any of the pieces of our broken lives and recreate them to be what He intended for us to be. All we have to do is be willing to surrender to His Will. It is foolishness to think that we, the mere creation, can tell the Creator what to do. We must surrender to His Will and the skill of His hands, after all, he had a plan for us. He created us for a certain purpose. He “wired” us for that purpose. When we allow Jesus into our heart and we allow God to recreate our lives, then we are willfully surrendering to His authority as Creator.

Do you honestly believe that you can know more than the Creator of the whole universe?

Stop trying to quarrel with God and let God mold you into the creation that He intended.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Good and perfect gifts

November 11, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
(James 1:17 (NIV))

Are you the same person that you were ten years ago? Do you still look upon things the same way that you did ten years ago? Looking back, think of the things that you used to consider to be good in your life. Has your opinion of these things changed? Has your opinion shifted with time?

Humanity is a funny creation. We have a tendency to shift with time. We have a tendency to change, yet, claim that we do not. Think about that. We even lie to ourselves. Eventually, we will come to the conclusion that we have changed, but only reluctantly. I honestly think that we admit that we have changed because of our change in physical abilities. When we were young enough to be able to stay up all night, we thought nothing of it. As we grow older, and our stamina has diminished, we may find ourselves saying that old saying that “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

We have shifted in our opinion of what is good.

Does God ever change? Does God’s definition of good shift with time? There are many passages that say that He does not, but my favorites sum it up best.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

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

God has been since the beginning of time. Jesus was with God. He was God. He is God. He never changes. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now, I want you to honestly think about the good things in your life. Think about them from God’s perspective. Have they changed? I honestly can say that what God has placed in my life that He has called good,, is still good. The number of these things may have changed with time, but God’s definition of good has not changed.

Do you consider life to be good? What about family? What about love? What about friendship? What about God’s grace and salvation? What about the gift of Jesus?

Have any gifts that you call good truly come from anyone else but God?

Praise God for His good and perfect gifts!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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