Be sure you do it in the correct order!

May 24, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7 (NIV))

We have a tendency to see things and ignore the obvious. This passage is one that often falls into that category. We read this and all that most of us come away with is that if we resist the devil, he will flee. That is true, but there is a crucial step that is vitally important that it happen in the sequence as presented in this passage.

Submit yourselves to God!

First and foremost, we need to submit ourselves to the Lord and His will, for without this submission, without this relationship, there is no power to force the devil to flee! We cannot do it on our own. We do not possess the power or authority to make the prince of the air do anything. I would venture to say that the enemy finds it humorous when we try to do this relying on our own power. But, when we submit ourselves to God, we become more than conquerors. Through the presence of the Lord in our lives, we inherit the power and authority to make the devil flee. We have the authority to rebuke the devil. We have the authority to bind the enemy. That authority can only be found in one name.

But, there is a catch! There is an order. The enemy knows when you don’t know the Lord. The enemy knows when you fake it!

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
(Acts 19:13-16 (NIV))

That authority is yours when you call upon the name of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. No other name has such power! Don’t forsake the power and go straight for the warfare.

Be sure you do it in the correct order!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the message of the cross foolishness or power?

April 3, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

Ever since it happened, the crucifixion and the resurrection have been points of contention in the minds of millions, if not billions, of people. It is either looked upon as the most amazing gift and the most amazingly simple way for God to restore a lost creation to Himself, or it is looked upon as a childishly simple lie and a fairy tale. Ironically, both camps recognize the simplicity involved. Those who profess a faith in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross understand the Gospel, or good news, in such a way that they realize God made it simple to receive salvation. All that you have to do is repent and ask Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior. Those who look upon the cross as foolishness cling to the old saying, “If it looks too good to be true, it is!” They also often think that it doesn’t make sense that one man could save me by dying on a cross. What they fail to recognize is that one man was not just any man. He was the Son of Man. He was fully man and He was fully Lord.

I realize that there are many possible shades between these two ends of the spectrum, but in essence most can be included. Even those who profess that there is no God fall into the foolishness category. Many of those who profess this think that any and all concepts of a god, let alone the one true God, are all signs of an uneducated mind. They fail to see the evidence that is right in front of them. In all of their so-called wisdom, they fail to see the obvious.

Do you recall your life before you came to faith in Jesus?

Think about your attitude towards those who professed a faith in Jesus. If you are like most people, you probably bought into the stereotypical characterization of believers that the world wants you to believe. You probably had a tendency to look at all believers with a very jaded perspective. Now that you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, that characterization has hopefully been long gone. Looking honestly back at these periods in your life, which one was the foolish period?

The cross divides many aspects of this world. It divides time – B.C. and A.D. It divides families. It divides societies. Nothing in all of human history has been the source of so much division. It all comes down to a simple matter of perspective.

Is the message of the cross foolishness or power?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you embraced the power of the Gospel?

July 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV))

For those who don’t believe in the Gospel, we are given a good description of what they think of the message of grace and mercy. To them, it is foolishness.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

To those who believe, it is power. It is the power to change lives. It is the power to free us from the laws of sin and death. It is the power of grace and mercy. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not foolishness!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

I love how each of these passages talk about the power of the Gospel. It is more than mere words. It is power! It is not foolishness. It is power! It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is power! No matter what the world may say, the Gospel is power!

Have you embraced the power of the Gospel?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you look to the strength of man for help?

June 9, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.
(Isaiah 31:1 (NIV))

It is human nature to seek help from those whom we consider stronger, more financially endowed, in positions of power, and, oh, yes, that we can see!

Even though someone’s power and authority may be more than ours, in God’s scheme of things, just how much more power and authority can any human have? Can the mayor of a large city mandate that all will be fed and it happen? Can the commander of an army go into battle and tell his army that they will all survive? Can we turn to the President of the United States for assurance that natural disasters will not harm or kill anyone within our borders? Can we turn to any person and ask them to miraculously heal us of a deadly illness?

We are only human!

In our humanity, even the mightiest among us is nothing compared to the Lord our God. No one can compare with Jesus who brought salvation and healing. No one can compare with the Holy Spirit who brings comfort and guidance. No one can compare to the Father, who loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us and the Holy Spirit to guide us.

When we have all of this, why do we turn to man when they are not capable of any of the things that the Lord has done for us and will do for us!

The next time that you find yourself in need of strength, turn to the only source of strength that is eternal and all powerful. Don’t look to the strength of man. Humble yourself. Bend your knees and lift your hearts to the Lord.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalms 46:1 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you recognize the authority of Jesus?

October 10, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
(Matthew 28:18 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, should be bold in our faith after reading these words!

We should cling to the truth that our Lord and Savior has absolute and final authority over all of creation. We should never let the threats of the enemy and the world make us lose sight of this fantastic truth. When the world mocks us for proclaiming the name of Jesus, we should stand firm in the power of these words from Matthew.

There is more to the authority that Jesus has. He has allowed us, the Body of Christ, to utilize that authority. Jesus left us with instructions. He left us with a “Therefore.”

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

Have you ever thought about the meaning of the word therefore? According to Merriam-Webster, the word therefore means for that reason.

Think about the words from Matthew 28 in this context.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. FOR THAT REASON go and make disciples of all nations.

In essence, since Jesus has been given all authority, He wants us to tell everyone that He has that authority. He wants everyone to know and understand that this authority permits Him to offer salvation, grace and mercy to any who recognize and accept that authority.

To borrow a line from a famous movie from several years ago, “There’s a new sheriff in town” and His name is Jesus. He has the authority to forgive and forget. He has the authority to bind or release. He has the authority to pardon us from our sins or condemn us for our sins.

I have just one more question and it is an important one.

Do you recognize the authority of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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