Are we good ambassadors?

January 9, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
(2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think about this passage from the perspective of the definition of the word ambassador?

The word ambassador means a diplomatic agent of the highest rank, an authorized representative or messenger.

Does this sound anything like the role that you have been filling while you live your life? Does this sound anything like the witness that you have had for Jesus on a daily basis?

A diplomatic agent of the highest rank stands firm and resolute for the interests of those who sent him. They constantly present the case of the one whom they represent. They are sent with authority and under authority. What they say and do is supposed to be the very words and desires of those who gave them that authority. They do not falter or fail in delivering the message that they were sent to convey!

Sadly, if you are anything like me, I have failed miserably at my assigned tasks. I can imagine a performance evaluation of my lackluster representation of Jesus. Do I do all that I should be doing to point people to the grace and mercy that is freely given through the atoning blood of Jesus? Do I do all that I should to tell people that they can be forgiven of their sins? Do I step outside of my comfort zone and share the good news?

We have been sent out as ambassadors.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
(Mark 16:15 (NIV))

Are we good ambassadors?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What have you done with the good news?

July 3, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
(Luke 4:18 (NIV))

Do you like good news?

I have never met anyone who didn’t like good news. I have met some people whose definition of good news was not the same as mine. With that said, what do you consider to be good news? Is your definition that same as what the early church considered good news? I am sure you know this, but perhaps you, like myself, need a refreshing of your memory every now and them. The word Gospel means good news. When you read the Gospel, you are reading the good news of Jesus Christ. In this particular passage, we are reading the Gospel according to Luke. Even though Luke did not walk with Jesus when He was on the earth, Luke made it his mission to compile accurate accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus. Luke didn’t know Jesus, yet he believed the good news when he heard it. He believed that Jesus was and is the Son of God and that He is the Messiah. He believed that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, and on the third day He arose from the grave. He believed that Jesus ascended into heaven and that He is preparing a place for those who call upon His name as Lord and Savior.

Luke loved the good news so much that he not only believed it, but he recorded it so that it could be shared with others. He took the good news and made it possible for generations of people to know the good news as well.

What have you done with the good news?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a servant of Christ or a people pleaser?

April 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
(Galatians 1:10 (NIV))

On its own, it appears that Paul is asking himself if what he was doing was to please people or to serve Christ?

I realize that he was writing to the church at Galatia and was asking them why they had deserted what he had taught as the true Gospel of Jesus. He wanted to know why they started believing something that apparently had been created to sound pleasing to people. His letter reprimanded the church at Galatia for following a false teaching and was trying to convince them to repent and return to the truth.

In this setting, Paul asks those who have strayed if what he is doing is pleasing to them or pleasing to God?

Think about that for a moment! He was asking them if what he was saying made them feel good or if it made them feel guilty. Was it pleasing to their ears to hear his words or was it pleasing to God to hear Paul say these words in the hope of their repentance?

Human nature and God’s nature are polar opposites. They are as far apart as possible. It is impossible to please both God and man. Paul knew this and in the light of this, he made sure that the church at Galatia knew it as well.

Do you know it?

When God’s Word calls something a sin, do you call it a sin? Do you sugar coat the truth in order to make it more palatable and pleasing to those who hear it?

I want you to think about this next statement with respect to Paul’s letter. When people used to leave a church service years ago, they would feel convicted and possibly guilty with a desire to repent. Is this what happens today? Too many churches are more concerned about making people feel good about themselves and some even about their relationship to Jesus. Don’t get me wrong! We should feel good about our relationship to Jesus, but we are still sinners. We must be given solid food in order to mature. We are not going to grow in Christ if all we ever do is come away with a feeling of being pleased. There is a fine line that we must be careful not to cross.

We must serve Christ in truth and not change His truth to make it pleasing to people.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you preserve Godly knowledge?

July 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction–because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty.
(Malachi 2:7-8 (NIV))

This makes my heart hurt and my spirit groan!

I realize that this is Old Testament, but it brings something to light that has always been a problem. That problem is that some people who claim to be priests, preachers or teachers are not preaching and teaching the truth. As a result, many people have been led astray.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us think that we can change God’s Word and have it mean what we want it to mean? Why do some people think that the Bible is no longer relevant in this day and time? Truth is truth no matter when and where it is spoken. Sadly, too many people no longer speak the truth. They preach and teach what man wants to hear and not what God wants us to hear. Too many people preach a feel good theology that cannot save.

What did Jesus preach and teach when He walked among us?

Did He preach social justice? Did He preach good works? Did He preach legalism? Did He preach prosperity?

Jesus did not preach any of these things, so why do so many stray from the true message of the Gospel? He preached the good news of salvation through repentance of sins. He preached that He is the only way to the Father. He taught us that there would be false teachers. His disciples taught that there would be false teachers.

It saddens me to the point where my spirit groans to think that someone could take such a fantastic gift of grace and distort it so that people are caused to stumble. It is a sad reflection on society when so many of those who are supposed to preserve Godly knowledge are the very ones who are perverting it.

We, as the Body of Christ, must study and understand God’s Word. We must hold each other accountable. It is often said that the members of the Body of Christ are to be priests to one another. What does that say to you with respect to preserving Godly knowledge?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are to always be prepared to preach the Word

May 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV))

We are to always be prepared to preach the Word. There is a saying, “At all times preach the Gospel, if you have to, use words.” Actions speak louder than words. Speak through your actions, but be prepared to give testimony as to the reason you do what you do.

God has given us a tremendous gift. A gift that He wants to share with the whole world. Jesus spent three years preaching and teaching about that gift, and then He paid the ultimate price so that the gift could be bestowed. It is a gift that is to be shared. Do not keep it to yourselves. Give it to anyone and everyone who will hear it.

Remember that many people are influenced by actions. Be an example to them of what God’s great mercy and love has done for you, and then be prepared to share it with them in words as well as actions.

How will you explain the reason for your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for whatever may happen today?

April 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:14 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, been able to preach the gospel in the whole world? Is it close? Are there certain areas that have not yet been exposed to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is difficult to say exactly what has been accomplished and what still has to be accomplished.

I do know that every day we are getting closer to the moment when this will be true. Perhaps satellites and television will play a big role in the fulfillment of this scripture. Perhaps it will be solely through person to person contact. We do not know. The only thing that is certain is that God wants every nation, tribe and tongue to have the opportunity to know grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

I was watching something on television the other day that stated that many Muslims are accepting Jesus! The reason that this is happening is that they are claiming visions where Jesus appears to them. Could it be that Jesus is actually appearing to people who are persecuting His church today in the same way that Saul was persecuting the church? An appearance by Jesus would change even the hardest skeptic into a believer. Is Jesus taking a hands-on role in the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14? If He is, then could it be too far off from when the rest of Matthew 24:14 will come about?

Are you ready for whatever may happen today? Only by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will you be saved from the fate of Satan in the end.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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