Do you accept God’s authority?

August 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
(Romans 13:6 (NIV))

Too many people who are in authority seem to have forgotten that they are supposed to be God’s servants. Most of those people don’t even acknowledge that God exists, let alone serve Him. They do not give any respect to anyone or anything except their inner, sinful desires. Perhaps, if I may go out on a limb, this is why our society has sunk to new lows.

Even though many of the people who are in authority over us are there for selfish reasons, we must remember that they have been put there for a reason. We must pray that God will use them to His greater glory. Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that in the end times, the wheat and the tares are to grow up evenly and that maybe God is using these people to unknowingly fulfill His plans. Even so, we must pray that God’s Will be done. We must pray that we, on a personal level, may be able to accept God’s authority over that of human authority. We must be alert to the needs of the world and give what is needed when it is needed.

We must be prepared to give respect and honor for God loves everyone and does not wish for any to perish. God may plan to use us to show the love of Jesus to these people. We may be the one who plants the seed within their lives. If we do not honor and respect the authority, how can we expect them to honor and respect the authority that is God? We must teach by example. We may not like the actions of those in authority over us, but we must remember that no one is perfect and that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. What if you had not been shown enough respect and had not been shown salvation, after all, Jesus came to this earth not as a ruler, but as a common man?

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

July 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
(Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV))

Our understanding is like that of a very small child. We see the world through limited vision and understanding. When you were a small child, you looked to your parents for guidance, comfort and strength. We lean on their understanding to guide us and keep our paths straight. As adults, we are still very small children in the eyes of God. We see and understand in a very limited way.

God is our Heavenly Father. He desires to show us His creation through His eyes and through His understanding. He knows what guidance, comfort and strength we need better than our earthly fathers. We must turn to His understanding and rely on His guidance so that our paths do not wander into evil.

This is hard for many people to do. Human pride does not easily allow us to admit that we are not in control, and that we must turn to someone more powerful than ourselves for guidance and direction. God has given us a mind. He does not wish for us to waste that gift, yet, He wishes to guide us so that we will not misuse that gift. We must always look to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and not look upon ourselves as the source of that knowledge. If we look to ourselves, then we do not turn to the ultimate understanding, which, eventually will lead to evil.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must remember those who have gone before

May 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Also at your times of rejoicing–your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.
(Numbers 10:10 (NIV))

It is good to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty to country. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that others may know the freedoms that we enjoy and all too often that we take for granted.

Do you know someone who has laid down their life for you? Whether we know them personally or we only know of them, they have done this for each of us. They have laid down their lives out of a sense of duty, responsibility, gratitude, and love.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

We owe these people our respect and our thanks for what they have selflessly given. I don’t profess to say that each person gave with perfect intentions, yet, if man, who is sinful can give and we praise them for it, why can’t we praise God for His sacrifice. This sacrifice, through Jesus, bought so much more than physical freedoms. It brought spiritual freedom through grace and mercy. Jesus died so that all may come to salvation. Our country men who have fallen have done so to bring freedom so that we may have the freedom to worship and to profess our faith.

Freedom is a valuable thing to possess. It is so valuable that One died so that all may possess it and others die to defend it.

We must remember. We must never forget!

Freedom is to be cherished and those who bring it are to be remembered. Honor those who have defended our freedoms, but don’t forget who brings ultimate freedom and honor Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you seek?

October 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:33 (NIV))

What is it that you seek?

This world provides many options in the form of wealth, power, prestige, fame, family, honor, respect, and many more. There are so many options, that many of us change what we seek as often as we change clothes. It is no wonder when you consider that human nature longs for something that will fill an emptiness within us. We go from one thing to the next in hopes that the next thing will finally be the one that fills that emptiness, that void within us. We think that we will be happy when we make more money, or when we get that big corner office. We think that a big home will make us happy. I hate to say this, but some people even think that a new, younger spouse will make them happy.

Nothing that this world has to offer will fill that void. Nothing we long for is attainable through worldly treasures. Human nature seeks peace. We long for love and understanding. We desire mercy and grace when we know that we don’t deserve it.

We seek completeness!

Everything that we try to attain is simply our attempt to fill that void. It is a void that can only be filled when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and truly allow Him to enter into our lives – to enter into our very hearts and souls – and fill the void within us. When we realize that what we seek is not of this world, then we focus on what God intended for us. We focus on the relationship that He desires to have with us. When we truly realize this and seek it with all of our heart, then we will find that God provides each of us with all of the other things that we may need. God completes us!

Are you complete?

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

September 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
(James 3:9-12 (NIV))

It is sad that the words written in James are all too true.

How many times have you left a wonderful worship service only to have someone cut you off in traffic and you find yourself saying things that you know you shouldn’t?

Be honest with yourself.

How can we, as the Body of Christ, do such things? How can we expect the world to see a difference in our lives when this is the rotten fruit that our mouths produce? How can we praise God, yet curse a part of His creation?

I can hear some of the grumbling now.

You are probably thinking that God did not intend for people to behave like those who get you upset. Did God intend for you to curse someone else? How is this showing the love of Jesus?

Did Jesus ever get angry? What angered Jesus?

You may be thinking about the money changers in the temple.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” `My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a `den of robbers.’ ”
(Matthew 21:12 (NIV))

Jesus did not get angry at people for their sins against each or against God’s laws. He got angry over the fact that people took God for granted, or they did not respect God. Think of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Why did Jesus get angry with them?

In every situation in which Jesus did show anger, it is not recorded that He cursed them or blasphemed. Why do we do any different?

Think about that old question, “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

With some of the things that we all let slip, do we feel worthy of praising God with the same mouth?

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

August 24, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
(Romans 8:5-8 (NIV))

Hostility toward God!

Those three words seem to sum up much of what is going on in the world, and, in my opinion, much of what is going wrong. We have become polar opposites and the chasm seems to be getting wider. On one side you have those who faithfully cling to the Word of God as truth and life and on the other side you have those who mock God and all things associated with Him. They relentlessly cling to what they desire and boldly mock the truth.

They live for their desires and most pay a very high price for it in this lifetime, and all pay a very high price for it throughout eternity.

What is it about their desires that are so appealing to them? Most lead to poor health and premature death. Rebellion has its costs and as written in Romans, the mind of sinful man is death.

Think about that.

Have you noticed that many who seek their sinful ways live on the edge. One slip and they are gone. It is almost as if they hate the very gift of life that God has given them. They are controlled, consumed by their sinful nature.

Consumed.

What do you think of when you hear this word? There are many definitions, yet the one that stands out the most also applies here. The word literally means destroyed. Those who are controlled by their sinful nature are destroyed by it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV))

Those who are controlled by sin do not know any of these things. Sin literally steals love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Without these, life is not worth living. Imagine your life with all of these removed. How would you cope? How would you respond to life?

I find it saddening that the world is making choices every day that are based on the sinful nature. We truly have come to a time when good is considered evil and evil is considered good.

What controls you?

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