Can you claim perfection in the eyes of God?

November 11, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
(James 3:2 (NIV))

Do you know anyone who thinks that they are capable of doing no wrong?

For those of you who have been married for a long time, I heard those comments that you just made!

Seriously, though, do you know anyone who thinks that they are capable of doing no wrong? Do you know someone who has an ego so big that they think they are perfect? Do you know someone who fits that description and looks back at you when you look in the mirror?

We are all fallen individuals who have surrendered to sin. Sin controls us. We long for pleasure and we long for things that personally benefit us. It is these desires that cause us to do things that we should not do. We fall short of what we are called to be. We miss the mark. We sin!

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

No one is perfect except Jesus. Contrary to what we may think, we sin more than we care to admit. We fall short in all aspects of our lives.

Fortunately, our salvation is not based on our perfection and on our ability to not sin. Our salvation is solely based on our acceptance of a gift of grace as presented through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Only Jesus had no fault. Only Jesus is a perfect man. It is through His atoning sacrifice that those of us who are not perfect can gain salvation.

Jesus never stumbled! Jesus never failed!

Can you truly make this claim?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.

November 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`Do not steal.
`Do not lie.
`Do not deceive one another.
(Leviticus 19:11 (NIV))

I think that it is safe to say that you can probably see each one of these events transpire before you see mid day. Perhaps, it is even safe to say that these events will happen before you see the beginning of your work day.

Isn’t it a shame that our society has stooped to such a state that these basic principles of life and Godly righteousness have become the exception instead of the rule. We have become a society so focused on “self” that we forget each other in our selfish struggles to attain what we desire. There is a saying that “He would sell his own mother if he could make a dime.” This saying used to be said of someone who was ruthless and conniving in a time when this was unusual. Now, it seems to have become the norm.

Perhaps we, as the Body of Christ, should take a serious look at ourselves! We are to be held accountable before God as well as man. We are also to be an example – a light unto the world.

Little things that may seem trivial in the eyes of the world are still sin in the eyes of God. Stealing, lying and deceiving are all sins, no matter how big or how small the item, the lie, or the deception.

No one is perfect, yet, we are called to follow Jesus as our example. Did Jesus steal? Did Jesus lie? Did Jesus deceive another? When we measure ourselves against Jesus as the example, we are all left lacking

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

I know that I am extremely thankful for grace!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What are you like on the inside?

July 11, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
(Matthew 23:25-26 (NIV))

How many people do you know that put up appearances? The way they look from the outside is all righteous, but when no one is around, or they are in different company, they are completely different. Jesus spoke of people like this. There were people like that then and there are still people like it now.

What are you like on the inside? Do you change or do you stay consistent in your words and actions? Be sure that your motives are of God on the inside, and then what the world sees will also be of God.

I find it interesting that far too many people only look at the outside. They look at what the world sees. Have you come to the realization that worldly attitudes call for false facades? We try to be perfect on the outside because we, as a society, have been shown a picture of perfection all of our lives. This is a perfection that calls for the perfect body, perfect hair, the perfect job, the perfect house and the perfect attitude all the while we ignore what really matters.

In other words, we are all show and no substance.

What happens when age takes the body and the mortgage on the perfect house ties you to a job that has lost its perfection. Life is not about appearances. Life is not about looking good to the world.

When all of the outside trappings have lost their luster, what do you have?

You have what is on the inside. If you have spent your whole life focusing on the outside, then your world is easily turned upside down. Jesus called the Pharisees out for their teachings, but I think that we can also look at what society teaches us in the same manner.

The old saying, “You are what you eat,” comes to mind. If we fill ourselves with greed and self-indulgence, then we are nothing on the inside but greed and self-indulgence. If we fill ourselves with Jesus, then what are we on the inside?

I honestly believe that when we fill ourselves with Jesus, we bear fruit!

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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV))

Once again, I think that I need to ask, what are you like on the inside?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What do you exercise?

May 9, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.
(1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT))

Our society places way too much emphasis on the physical appearances of people while the spiritual aspects of their lives is hidden from even themselves.

We are taught from an early age that we need to “put on a good face.” We are told that physical perfection is to be valued. We are constantly bombarded with media propaganda touting the virtues of the latest exercise craze or the latest diet, and, yes, even the latest cosmetic surgery technique. All of these are designed to make us feel good about out outward appearance while ignoring the inner spiritual issues.

We cannot hide behind physical facades forever. No matter what people can do with exercise and medical technologies, all of us will grow old. All of us will eventually die. Contrary to the saying, he who has the most toys does not win. We have not been placed on this earth to behave vainly and in a superficial and shallow manner. We have been lied to by Satan. God desires for us to seek Him and His Word!

We are to exercise our spiritual side, for it is eternal. We have accepted the lies of the enemy as the truth. We have been told to focus on the fleeting while ignoring the aspects of our existence that may last forever. We cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven if we have not prepared for this. How we are to prepare is simple. We must accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and then focus on following God’s Word. We must spend time within it on each and every day. We must exercise our faith.

What do you exercise?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do you long for the old days?

January 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.’
(Luke 5:37-38 (NIV))

Do you long for the old days?

Think about that statement!

Have you grown in your faith since the times that you long for? Have you matured in your walk with Christ since that time?

I would venture to say that each of us has come a long way in our faith and in our relationship with Jesus since the days that we tend to long for. Would you trade your maturity for the immature ways of that time? Would you trade your faith for the faithlessness that you probably had at that time? In essence, we would not pour the new wine of our new faith into the lives that we now have. That would ruin us. The wine of our “old” faith is much better than the immature wine of the faith that was then “new” to us.

God is slowly maturing us. He is slowly perfecting us. He has always loved us, but He did not like the sin and the faithlessness that we were in. We are “older” now, but not as “old” and mature in our faith as we will become. Once we are standing in the presence of God, the faith that we have now will be as if it were new for all things will be revealed to us and we will no longer have any longing for the old days.

Paul says it very well.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
(Colossians 1:10 (NIV))

We should all long for the perfection that will be ours through Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Whose strength?

November 17, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
(Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV))

When we have the Lord on our side, or should I say when we are on His side, it feels like we can do anything. We feel creation in a way that we could never feel it without God’s presence.

Without God, we cannot accomplish anything of significance. With God, He can accomplish anything at all through us. That is the difference. Without God, we make feeble attempts that rely solely on our limited capabilities. With God, He pours out His Spirit upon us and through us to accomplish things that are impossible for us to accomplish. You have probably heard it said that God does not call and use the able, but, rather, he calls those who are not able so that it is obvious that they are not the ones who are doing the act. With this in mind, God is our strength for we cannot do anything without Him.

Take a look at some of the people in the Bible. Take a look at David, for example. He fell into temptation and sinned. He took another man’s wife and then had that man killed. David fell short of what God had called him to because of sin. Even through this sin, though, David turned back to God and repented. He acknowledged his sin and placed his full trust in God. Of course David had to face the consequences of his actions, but, he still was considered a man after God’s own heart. David placed his limited strength in the unlimited strength of the Lord. Because of this, David was promised many things, even though in his own strength he could not keep from sinning.

Do you place your limited strength in the unlimited strength of the Lord? Do you allow God to take you to the heights so that He may be glorified, or do you simply look at what God is calling you to and back away from it because you cannot do it?

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


True branches and good fruit

May 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
(John 15:5-8 (NIV))

All good comes from God. We cannot do truly good things without God in our lives. When we become believers, we are grafted into the vine. We are not natural branches of “good” and “love”. Rather, we are allowed to graft onto the perfect vine and share in the fruits of that vine. We have the life of the vine flowing through us if the “graft” is true. If the “life” flows through us, then the fruit produced will also show the “life” of the vine. If the “graft” is not true, then the branch withers and dies and must be discarded.

Which branch are you? Do you bear the fruit of the vine, or do you wither and produce no fruit?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: