Does your life preach the good news?

December 4, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
(Romans 10:15 (NIV))

Do you read this and think to yourself that you are thankful you aren’t called to preach? Are you silently thankful that you have trouble stringing words together in a way that will make people understand? Have you bought in to the false assumption that preachers minister and church members receive? Is this in line with the words that Jesus left us with?

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

When we think of preaching, we have a tendency to think of someone who stands in front of a congregation on Sunday morning. I honestly don’t think that this is what Jesus meant. I have read this passage in context many times, and nowhere do I see anything that indicates that Jesus was only speaking to those who were eloquent of speech. There are many ways to “preach,” or to share the Gospel of Jesus. Standing in front of a crowd and proclaiming the Gospel is only one way. Whether you believe that these words were spoken by St. Francis of Asisi, they hold much truth and wisdom.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
(St. Francis of Asisi)

We are not all gifted in the same ways, but as members of the Body of Christ, we are all called to the same task.

Let me ask a simple question for your consideration. How many remember having to write papers when you were in school? I remember all too well having to do this, yet, every time that a class was given an assignment, no two people did it exactly the same way. We readily accept this fact that we are all different in our lives, yet we feel that we have to follow a pattern to share Jesus. To be completely honest with you, if any of us had to convince someone else to follow Jesus based on our strengths, I seriously doubt that anyone would ever follow Jesus. It is when we allow Jesus to work through us and when we show what Jesus has done in our lives that people take notice. They will not pay any attention to our words or our strengths, but they will take notice of how Jesus turned our weaknesses into something wonderful. They will begin to see that Jesus can take their weaknesses and do the very same thing.

Take a serious look at your life. Do people see Jesus in you?

Does your life preach the good news?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

February 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
(Luke 9:1-6 (NIV))

There is so much good stuff in this passage!

This is the solid food that was spoken of when we are no longer infants in the faith.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrew 5:13-14 (NIV))

When we mature, we are in a position to accept the power and the authority and use it as it was intended. When we are infants in the faith, we don’t know what to do and we don’t know what God can do. With this power and authority, we are confident in our ability to be used by God in any manner that He may choose. We also learn to rely upon Him and “take nothing for the journey.”

The next part is one that many people have a problem with because of our human nature. We don’t want to look like we have given up. When we are told to shake the dust off our feet, we must be mature enough to realize that this is not a reflection on our faith and obedience. It is a reflection on those who will not receive. Jesus knows that some people will not be receptive. We are called to be mature in our faith to recognize when we are being called to move on.

Are you mature enough to receive God’s power and authority? Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to share God’s good news?

September 2, 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))

The world needs to hear what we have to tell. It is not because it is our story to tell, but because it is God’s story to tell.

God does not wish for any to perish, so He sent His Son, Jesus, as a means to grace and mercy. That is something that is worth telling.

When we hear the word “preach,” we think of someone who stands up in a pulpit on Sunday morning. All that this word really means is to tell the story of what God has done through Jesus Christ.

We are not eloquent speakers able to command rousing responses from large crowds, but we are able to tell people that we know what Jesus has done for us. In this sense, we are all preachers.

If you feel uncomfortable with this word, think of yourself as a teller of the greatest story to ever happen to mankind and then tell it to someone else.

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

July 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
(Isaiah 61:1 (NIV))

How do you define freedom?

Jul 4th is the day that we, as a nation, celebrate our freedom, but does freedom go deeper than what we have defined in our Declaration of Independence?

What can we, as humanity, be held captive by?

There is tyranny. There is political oppression. There is physical confinement. There is addiction. I am certain that if we try hard enough that we can come up with other things that are capable of holding us captive.

What about fear? What about death? What about the fear of death?

We can celebrate our freedoms that were signed into existence July 4, 1776, and we should rejoice over those freedoms, but there is another freedom that is far more important.

Humanity was condemned by the laws of sin and death, for we had sinned against God. In our sin, all were condemned to be captives of death. All were prisoners of a life that offered no escape from the consequences of this sin. We were, to use a line from a movie, “dead men walking.” We had no hope.

God had another plan!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Jesus came into the world to offer us grace and mercy. His willingness to go to the cross for us paved the way for His resurrection. His resurrection gives freedom to all who will profess that Jesus is Lord and Savior.

July 4th is an important date in our history, for it gave us freedoms that no other government had ever granted to its citizens. No matter how great these freedoms may be, they pale in comparison to the freedom that was given to us through the cross. As you celebrate with family and friends, don’t forget where true freedom comes from. It is not through a man-made declaration written in ink. It is from a God ordained declaration written in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. It is a declaration that was validated at the resurrection. It is a declaration that has no specific date. It is a declaration that each of us must accept for ourselves.

Only this declaration offers what no other can offer.

True freedom!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Nothing could be simpler

May 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
(Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV))

Did you catch what Paul was saying to the church at Philippi?

I find myself at a loss for words, except to say that Paul was asking the church if they felt anything from their relationship with Jesus to take what they have received and share it with others.

It is as simple as that.

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

We can preach through the same love, spirit and purpose that Paul spoke of. It is not our assignment to condemn, for we are not qualified to judge. It is our assignment to share what the love of Jesus has done for us.

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Do you have a smile on your face and a song of praise in your heart? Share it, for that may be the “preaching” that someone is waiting to hear.

Nothing could be simpler. It is we who have made it difficult.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In the face of unsound doctrine

March 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NIV))

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.”

Does this sound like the world in which we live? People who are comfortable in their sin, not longing to hear the truth, are seeking justification for their actions in any way that they can. It is human nature to want to be accepted. We all want confirmation that what we do is not wrong. We all want to be around others who will affirm us in our beliefs and support us in our chosen paths, even if that path is wrong.

That brings up another interesting issue. What is morally right and what is wrong? What is truth and what is a lie?

Sadly enough, the answers to these two questions, which go hand in hand with each other, have lost any solid answer in my lifetime. What is right and wrong is now subject to individual interpretation and truth is relevant. Does this fit into the words from 2 Timothy? Does this describe our society and enforce what is spoken of when we are told that people will gather around them teachers saying what their ears want to hear?

Human nature is a funny thing. Why do we seek what is not true? Why do we seek to do what is wrong? What is inside of us that makes us turn away from the truth?

In these days that we find ourselves living in, we, as the Body of Christ, must stay the course. We must stay focused, and according to 2 Timothy, we must keep our head, be willing to endure hardship, and tell people the truth whether they long to hear it.

I know that this may sound like I am telling you to be annoying to those who do not wish to hear, but keep in mind, everything is in God’s time. how many times did you hear someone telling you about Jesus before you finally came to the knowledge of God’s saving grace?

But wait!

And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.
(Mark 6:11 (NIV))

I know that this may sound like a contradiction, but think about that for a moment from this perspective. The story in Mark is told of what we are to do when we encounter any location where no one will listen. It does not tell us that there is no hope for those people. It tells us that we are to leave. It does not mean that others will not be able to reach them.

Some will plant. Some will water. Some will harvest.

We are to keep our faith. We are to spread the truth. We are to reach as many as we can with the Gospel. We must remain prepared to preach the Word both in season and out of season, when we are welcomed and when we are despised.

Are you prepared to do what you are called to even in the face of unsound doctrine?

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