What are the consequences?

June 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
(Hebrews 12:14-17 (NIV))

I have to honestly ask myself if I can remember the last time I lived through a day when I did not witness a conflict. I also wonder if society has completely forgotten what it means to be holy, or if most people even care anymore?

Everyone is concerned with what is in it for them and as a result, too many people simply will do whatever it takes so that they come out on top. With this type of mentality, people fail to see that any of their actions are sinful and have consequences. It’s almost as if people have become ignorant and arrogant as opposed to thoughtful and well mannered. I may be naive, but when I was a child, if I even thought about doing any of the things that I see children and teenagers doing, I would have been taught otherwise.

Consequences!

These still exist no matter what society may say.

Can a person commit murder, ask for forgiveness, and simply walk away?

Can a person rob a bank, say that they needed the money to feed their family, and get to stay out of prison?

What is true in the physical world is true in the spiritual world.

God will forgive you if you accept Jesus and earnestly repent, but He does not alter the consequences of your sin. If you have committed sinful acts that have altered your health, your health will probably still be the same after you repent. Decisions that you make in life are things that you have to live with. Just like Esau, things that we do will come back to haunt us. Grace and mercy are there for all who will simply ask, but the physical consequences of an imperfect life in an imperfect world will be a reminder of the sins that we have been set free of. I know that God will restore what the locust has destroyed, but it may never be the same.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you in harmony with Jesus?

September 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
(Matthew 9:12 (NIV))

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

Do you consider yourself to be a healthy member of the body of Christ? Are you someone who never has any difficulties and always does what a member of the body of Christ should do? Are you in harmony with the rest of the body of Christ? Are you in harmony with the head, which is Jesus?

Using what we take as common knowledge about someone being healthy, we know that a healthy person is considered to have all parts of their body working in harmony with each other. For example, the lungs breathe in the air and the blood carries the oxygen to the different parts of the body. An unhealthy body would have difficulty breathing through the lungs and could not pass the oxygen to the blood.

As such, do you ever have times when you are not in the perfect will of God and you do something that causes another part of the body of Christ to stumble? Is this considered being a healthy part of the body? Think about your last twenty-four hours. I would venture to say that each of us has had several moments when we did not function as a member of the body of Christ.

Fortunately, we have the Great Physician to help us become healthy. He has sent His Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in what a healthy life in Christ is all about.

When you are sick and go to the doctor, do you always take his or her advise? What about when it comes to spiritual health? Do you always take the gentle proddings of the Holy Spirit and put them into action? We are only human. We will always need doctors in this physical world just as we will need healing in the spiritual world. Thankfully, we have grace and mercy through Jesus.

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))

Open up your life to the healing that is yours through Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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May we reflect that light for all to see!

November 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
(John 9:4-5 (NIV))

Does anyone else relate this passage to Genesis?

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.
(Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV))

We think of physical light and darkness when we read Genesis 1:3-5, but is there more to the meaning of light in this passage that we have overlooked? Is there more to day and night than we understand?

All throughout history, people have had to take precautions at night from things such as attacks from an enemy. It is also difficult to see where you are going and easier to stumble and fall in the dark, It has always been safer to be out during the day then at night. Cities built fortified walls to protect themselves. They posted guards at night to alert the inhabitants of an attack. Even in the history of our own country, the enemy came at night by surprise often leaving death and destruction.

Do you see any similarities between the physical world and the spiritual world?

We are more prone to attacks from the enemy when we are in spiritual darkness. It is much easier to get lost when we are already going down a dark path of sin. What looks good in the darkness of sin rapidly overtakes us. If we saw this in the light, we would be totally revolted at what we see, for it leads to death and destruction.

God declared that light is good. Jesus came as the light of the world. If we profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we help to shine His light. One day, that light will be removed and those who are left who have not helped to shine His light will be totally surrounded by darkness. With the things that I see and the reports of things that I read, the removal of the light may be closer than we think.

Until that time, let there be light! May we reflect that light for all to see!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your spiritual aptitude?

August 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

Have you ever taken an aptitude test? You know the tests I am talking about. You answer a bunch of questions by filling in a circle under a number that represents how much the question sound like you. Perhaps you have taken something similar to this that was labeled a personality test. These tests are designed to help you figure out what you are good at and how you see the world. They try to label you with terms that can be used to fit people into the proverbial box. These tests use terms like Type A, Administrator, Caregiver, Visionary, and whatever else you can imagine.

It is interesting that we are told that God gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. We recognize the fact that each of us is not the same when it comes to spiritual gifts and completely fail to allow that concept to apply to our physical world and the gifts that we have.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:19 (NIV))

Is Jesus telling us that the spiritual world and the physical world are closely connected? Do our spiritual gifts manifest themselves in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of administration perform an administrative task in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of discernment operate in the physical world as a counselor? Can someone who has the gift of prophecy do things that are contrary to God’s Word?

I recently took a test to discover my spiritual gifts. The results gave me mixed emotions. I suppose that I knew beforehand what the outcome would be, but it still surprised me to see the results. They confirmed what I had felt, but never really accepted.

God gave us each unique gifts that He desires for us to use in both the spiritual and the physical, for the two are not separate. They are closely tied to one another. What gifts you are given can manifest themselves in both aspects of your life.

Are you gifts united in your life for the glory of Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must pray!

June 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

No matter what side of the political fence you may sit, today was a day that had many feeling the ramifications of something that just doesn’t feel right. Christians being stoned by Muslims – in America. Contempt charges. Supreme Court rulings. Heated and bitter discussions using language that all of us should know better, yet it happened.

This verse came to mind.

Today seemed to have a heaviness that surpasses basic human differences. Today, I saw humanity reduced to name calling and finger pointing, while ignoring the real battle that we are facing. Something is dividing us and it is using anything and everything that it can bring to bear as a tool.

Race. Religion. Social status. Financial status. Government.

You name it, it divides us.

It is said that actions that happen in the physical world are mirrored, or start, in the spiritual world. If that is true, and I believe that it is, then something is brewing that we, as the Body of Christ, need to be prepared for.

How do we prepare?

We must seek God’s Word. We must seek to do His will. We must be willing to take a stand for what God is calling His church to do while we are in this world.

We must be that light upon the hill. We must be the lamp that lights the way.

We must pray!

I realize that this verse has become cliché lately, but I feel that it applies more and more each day.

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 7:13 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, must pray without ceasing. We must pray, not for our will as we see things unfolding, but for God’s Will. Our will is clouded by our limited understanding.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

Pray for God’s Will in this battle against the spiritual forces.

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