Contradictions!

July 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV))

Contradictions!

According to the world view, we are totally wrong in our faith, yet, according to God’s Laws we are totally right in all that we believe. Even though we are right in our faith, we must be humble and willing to endure whatever is presented to us for the sake of those who may be able to be reached. We should never act in such a manner as to give anyone cause to criticize us for making others stumble or fall in their faith.

Paul was an excellent example of what we are to do when faced with hardships because of our faith and our witness. Most of us will never have to face even a portion of the circumstances that Paul had to face for the Gospel. Still, in our everyday lives, we must strive to follow Paul’s example no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what we may face today, tomorrow, or whenever, we must always “REJOICE” for the grace and mercy of God has redeemed us!

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

April 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
(1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV))

Purity!

If we could only fulfill this simple command!

All too often we treat each other in ways that are less than desirable. We treat older men as if they are senile and foolish. We treat younger men as if they are not worth anything. We treat older women as if they didn’t matter. We treat younger women as objects. All of this is because of the way that society has taught us to look at people. Whether we like to admit it, we stereotype people.

What if Jesus had stereotyped people? What if He claimed that He did not need to go to the cross because no one was intelligent enough to make the connection between the prophecies and His life? What if Jesus had been stereotypical when it came to Saul? He could have easily looked at Saul and made the claim that Saul was a typical holier-than-thou person and would never change.

To put it simply, we need to treat each other with the respect, kindness and love that we would expect in return. There is a saying that Jesus loves each of us too much to leave us as we are. With this in mind, we need to respect the work in progress that God is doing within each other. You may be surprised at the calling that God is placing on that young man with the funny looking hair. You may be amazed at the spiritual warfare that nice older lady has been involved in. You may be caught off guard by the witness a young lady has on those around her, and you may be completely startled to learn that the older man who drives slowly is driving that way so that he may pray for those whom he passes.

Learn to look at people with the eyes of Jesus. Look at others as God is maturing them – with the love and purity that He has placed in their hearts and in yours.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which way do you want to reason?

September 29, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

According to human reasoning, this does not make sense. It is physically impossible for something to be red and then to be made perfectly white. The very nature of the material will not allow it. At best, the red would simply become faded, but it would never become perfectly white. In fact, the red, just like the sin that it represents, would stain anything cleaner and lighter than itself.

Fortunately, God works beyond the physical realm and is capable of far greater things than we can imagine.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

Our ability to reason is limited in understanding and scope. God’s ability to reason is infinite. His is the ultimate reasoning, for with a single thought, anything can be done.

When faced with the red stains of our sins, isn’t it nice to know that we have a fresh perspective on their impact upon our lives. We have the atoning blood of Jesus that will wash them away. In the natural world, the red of sin plus the red of blood does not make white. Thankfully, the atoning blood of Jesus is so much more than natural blood. By God’s way of reasoning, the red of Jesus’ blood washes away the red stain of sin.

Which way do you want to reason – man’s or God’s?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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