Do you have the faith to be justified by Jesus?

June 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We who are Jews by birth and not `Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
(Galatians 2:15-16 (NIV))

. . . by observing the law no one will be justified.

If God calls for us to observe His laws, many people don’t understand why we cannot be justified if we observe His laws. Sadly, humanity is a fallen creation and we are not capable of perfection. God’s laws require perfection. No matter how hard we may try, we will fail miserably. We will miss the mark. We will sin!

It takes a confident person to admit that they are less than perfect. It takes a confident person to admit that they need help. Too many of us are stuck in the mindset that reminds me of my daughter when she was two years old. I am sure you know what I am talking about. I can still hear her saying, “I do it!”

“I do it!”

Except for the grammatical errors, every one of us has been guilty of saying something similar to this. We think that we are capable of much more than we truly are. We don’t like to admit that we lack the ability to do anything.

I know that it is human nature to learn from our mistakes, but do we really learn if we fail to acknowledge that we make mistakes? I often wonder what the scene is in heaven and if God is shaking His head in disbelief as He watches us. I picture the same scene as Jesus points out someone who has accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. I can almost hear Jesus saying, “See that one who is acting like a stubborn child. He has placed his faith in me. He is mine! He may fail, but since he has accepted me, he will eventually learn to do the right things.”

Do you have the faith to be justified by Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that man can change God’s Laws?

May 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I keep seeing things reported that some denominations are voting to change Biblical law as they apply it to their teachings. Some denominations are even voting to allow certain sins to not only be allowed, but in some cases they are condoned.

I know that the following passage applies directly to Revelation, but I have a feeling that it also applies to all of God’s Word.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I plan on holding fast to the unaltered Word of God as it has been preached and taught for thousands of years. Just because it is old, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Just because we may not like some parts of it, doesn’t mean that God’s truth can be changed.

We already know what God has planned for those who alter the prophecy in Revelation. If you stop to think about Revelation, it is a culmination of the sins of man and God’s final plan being fulfilled. Just what is sin? Sin is anything that misses the mark that God has set before us. If we change God’s Laws, isn’t that more than missing the mark. It is a direct and willful thumbing of our noses at God. It is rebellion against God. It is my understanding that rebellion is much worse than sin. Sin is missing the mark. Rebellion is a deliberate fight against God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does the world think of you?

August 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 10:21-22 (NIV))

What does the world think of you? Does it welcome you with open arms as one of its own, as one who embraces the lies that the world passes as truth? Do you feel at home in this world or do you long for a place that God calls you to?

This world is beautiful, after all it was created by God, but we must not lose sight of the fact that we, through the sin of Adam and Eve, have relinquished this world over to the enemy. Because of this, the world is not what it may seem. When we see forests that God has created, the world sees a chance for monetary gain by “harvesting” the trees. When we see love, the world sees lust. When we see salvation through the gift of Jesus Christ dying on the cross, the world sees foolishness. The world sees us as fools and it will soon come to the point where the world will see us as criminals because of what we believe and whom we believe in!

When the world hates you, take heart, for the world hated Jesus!

Because of this hatred, Jesus was crucified. We must not forget that He arose, and because He arose, we have the gift of eternal salvation if we call upon His name.

It is true that the world hated Jesus when He walked among us. It is also true that those who hate Jesus today will hate you as well, but we must take heart, for we have overcome this hatred and this world through the blood of Jesus. There is one catch. We must tell others of this grace and mercy. We must identify ourselves with Jesus. We must open ourselves up to the world by proclaiming Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We must stand firm. We must not take our eyes off of Jesus.

Again, I ask you to stop and reflect on this one simple question. What does the world think of you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Submission, Pride and Authority!

April 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
(1 Peter 2:13-17 (NIV))

Submission is probably one of the hardest things that a human has to do! The very act requires that you admit that someone has authority over you and you are not the ultimate power in your life.

Just where does this “rebellion” come from?

It appears to be an inborn trait in each and every one of us. Perhaps it comes from the Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden. Let’s face it, Satan did not want to submit to God. He deceived us and now we have turned over the earth to sin and death. It was the sin of pride that made Satan not willing to submit. Now, the same pride permeates the world because of the incident that happened in the Garden long ago.

Perhaps it is exactly for this reason that we are called to submit. It goes against everything that the world expects of us in our sinful nature.

Do you submit willingly, or do you still fight the sin of pride that has caused so many to not submit to the ultimate authority within their lives. That authority is Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and the only King of kings and Lord of lords.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

December 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
(Jonah 2:2 (NIV))

No matter what we face, we can turn to God and He will be there for us!

We must turn to God in earnestly and in a sincere desire to turn from our ways and to turn to Him. We cannot follow both our sinful desires and God’s righteous, perfect plan for our lives. They are paths that lead down opposite directions. One path leads to sin and eternal separation from God. The other path leads to eternal life in God’s presence. It is our choice. The path we choose is of our own making. We can choose to follow our desires and end up in the consequences of our sins, or we can choose to follow God and escape the consequences of our sins.

Either way, we will still sin. The only difference is that, with God, all of our sins will be forgiven. With God, our desires will turn from our sin towards God’s righteousness. When we seek God, He will answer us and guide us. When we stumble is when we do not listen to God.

It is human nature to follow our own desires. It takes a conscious effort to turn and follow God, yet all it takes is a simple plea for God to enter your life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which man are you like?

September 16, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
(Proverbs 10:20 (NIV))

Consider two men.

One does not know the Lord and seeks after only his own desires no matter what the consequences. This person becomes more self centered and less compassionate as time passes. He thinks less and less of others except for the way that he can use them to further his own desires. By putting himself first in all matters, he alienates any true friends that he may ever have. No one can trust him. No one desires to be with that person. It becomes a viscous cycle in which the more he is self centered, the less people desire to be around him, and the more he rebels and says to himself that he doesn’t need people. This drives his heart to be more hardened and wicked, which eventually leads to this person cursing God or blaming God for his short-comings.

The other has placed Jesus Christ at the center of his life and allowed the Holy Spirit to inhabit his heart. His life is filled with the fruits of the Spirit and this shows in all aspects of his life: speech, actions and works. He is joyous all of the time because he has realized that nothing on this earth can make him happy. True happiness comes from knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Once this realization is made, this person will seek to do God’s Will for his life. By seeking God’s Will, this person opens himself up to the righteousness of God and the wisdom that accompanies this righteousness. Everything that comes from this person’s life will be God focused and beneficial to others.

Can you think of people who fall into both categories? In this imperfect world that man has allowed Satan to take control of, it is impossible to be truly righteous without God in your life. Reflect on the people that you have known that fall into the two categories. Who would you rather associate with in all aspects of your life? Who would you like to use as a role model?

Which man are you like?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know the difference?

August 16, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
(Titus 1:10-11 (NIV))

For the sake of dishonest gain.

When this was written, there was a big debate over whether Gentile believers must be circumsized. People were teaching false doctrine around this and led many people astrray.

Today, we have similar debates over many other things, such as denominations, prosperity, healings, speaking in tongues, and many more. Could we be in the same situation with these as was spoken of in Titus? Are we being deceived because someone is an eloquent speaker? Are we being led astray because someone is out to fill their bank account?

It is so easy to be led astray. It only takes a good sounding speach filled with quick references to things that we know catch our attention. Once we acknowledge that there is a spark of familiarity in what is being taught, we make an assumption that the speaker knows the material. It is with sadness that I fear this is where we fail to validate the message. We accept it as truth without testing it against God’s Word. We have the basic belief, but fail to verify eveything else.

Satan counts on this. His demons count on this. They know the truth.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
(James 2:19 (NIV))

They twist the truth.

They entice people to twist the truth.

Truth, once it is twisted, is no longer truth. It has become a deception.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

We must know the difference between truth and deception. We must be able to discern the lies of the enemy, even when they are shrouded in words that seem true.

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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:12-18 (NIV))

Do you know the difference?

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