Do you let yourself be sharpened?

May 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27:17 (NIV))

Do you like to be held accountable?

Do you like to have your feet held to the fire?

Each and every one of us have a set of expectations placed on us by our families, our friends and our employers. Have you ever stopped to think about the expectations that the Body of Christ has for you? Have you ever stopped to think about your responsibility to other members of the Body of Christ?

As members of the Body of Christ, we are to hold each other accountable. We are also called to support each other in times of need. We are called to keep each other accountable not only to each other, but also to God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son. We do this by getting involved in the lives of each other. We can’t simply just gather together for an hour on Sunday and possibly think that this is all we need.

We are called to be community. We are called to be the Body of Christ!

Does a body only exist together for a short time and then go separate ways? Does a hand get up and leave the body? Each member is there to provide support and to be supported.

We get our strength from each other. As one member grows, all members grow. As one member is sharpened, all members are sharpened. All of this occurs because we learn from each other. We mature in our faith when in community.

We are told to fellowship with other believers. We are told that fellowship is part of the Gospel.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

Do you let yourself be sharpened?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Men who fear God

November 6, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
(Exodus 18:21 (NIV))

We think that who we elect to our public offices doesn’t really matter, or, even worse, we don’t think that what we have to contribute will make a difference. God is calling us, just as He called righteous people in the days of Moses, to assume positions of Godly authority or to support people who will support Godly authority.

The people that have authority over us direct the way that our nation turns. They also direct the way that God will deal with us as a nation. If we have Godly authorities who desire to do God’s Will in all things, then God will bless that desire and bless us as a nation.

If we elect people who will appoint judges who say that there is no God and that anything is all right in our society, except the mention of God, then we will suffer and our children will suffer.

Truth is truth and is not dependent upon the circumstances. If we cannot be a nation that does not waiver on our convictions before God, then we will slowly cease to be in God’s favor. Perhaps we have gotten to the point were we are now rapidly descending into a place that is not only no longer in God’s favor, but rapidly turning to where we are considered as an enemy. I pray that we are not descending so rapidly that our descent cannot be reversed!

Pray for God’s guidance in how you vote this election. Don’t assume that God does not want His people in positions of authority. Our nation was founded by people who held fast to the very Word of God. How would they react to what they would see today?

How do you think that God is reacting?

Pray as if your future depends upon who has authority over us, for your future and that of your children’s children will be determined by the laws that they make and interpret.

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

October 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, `You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die forn his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
(Ezekiel 3:16-19 (NIV))

When God spoke to Ezekiel and told him to warn Israel of their wrongdoing, God made it clear that if He sends someone to deliver His Word, that person carries the weight of those people as his responsibility. That is also true for today.

When God sent Ezekiel, Ezekiel did not have the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to deliver. He had the teachings of the Law to deliver. God sent Ezekiel to deliver prophetic words that would greatly impact their lives.

Today, we have words that will impact lives even more than in Ezekiel’s time. We can speak in general terms, not as prophets, but as people empowered by the Holy Spirit to warn people of their impending danger if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Where we differ from Ezekiel is that we have a direct route to God that we can offer to anyone who is willing to receive it.

If God places us in situations that He desires for us to warn and to witness, we need to respond. If we do, then the decision and the consequences are the responsibility of the person we witnessed to. If we do not tell them, then the responsibility is ours to bear.

If we have truly accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we need to heed what God asks of us to do. It has a far greater impact than we realize.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting

September 24, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

“This is what these words mean:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
(Daniel 5:25 (NIV))

I have wrestled with this passage for a few days. I feel that I am being led to use this passage, yet, at the same time, I have this feeling in my stomach that this is going to make some people angry.

Here goes!

Think about the words “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”

Who is doing the weighing? Who is making the decision that we could be found wanting? This is not the only place that we are given a stern message like this.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

Just how can someone be found wanting in the eyes of God?

I think that we see a glimpse of this in the above passage from Matthew.

Jesus warned against those who claimed the power of His name, but did not have a personal relationship with Him. If we have that personal relationship with Jesus, our hearts will seek after what is on His heart. We will seek to do His will. We will be in step with what He is calling us to do.

We can get out of step easily. We can follow false teachings. We can accept only part of Jesus, the part that most people like to think about – Savior. If we do not accept Jesus as both Lord and Savior, then we are refusing to listen and to follow. In other words, we will not know Him, and He will not know us!

We will be evildoers in His sight!

What happens when many get out of step with God?

Is it possible for a nation to get out of step with God?

The story from Daniel shows us that it is possible. They were shown the handwriting on the wall.

I often wonder what things we will be asked about when we stand before God. I know that we will be asked about our personal sins.

When I say to a wicked man, `You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
(Ezekiel 3:18-19 (NIV))

Could we be found wanting because we did not take action to intervene for others, out nation and our world?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Here am I. Send me!

August 31, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

Here am I. Send me!

How many of us would be willing to step forward and take on this responsibility?

Most of us probably sit looking around and thinking that somebody needs to step up and do something. Why do we always look for someone else to go where God leads and to do what God wants? Why have we become spectators in our faith?

Do we feel inadequate?

Do we feel overwhelmed?

Do we feel that we will fail miserably?

Are we afraid of stepping outside of our comfort zone?

Even Paul had his problems.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
2 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV))

What would have happened if Paul had sat back and reasoned to himself that because of this problem he was not qualified to do what God called him to do? Paul had a turning point that left him with a miraculous faith, yet faith without obedience is not what God desires. Jesus appeared to Paul and converted him, but how many did Paul convert after this experience? How many throughout history owe their salvation to Paul’s obedience?

How many people are you impacting by not stepping forward? Think about that? You may not be an evangelist who will lead thousands to Jesus, but you may be the one who leads the future evangelist to Jesus.

I want to ask a simple question. It will probably be painful if you answer it honestly.

Have you ever felt that you were supposed to answer God’s call and when you didn’t answer, you had a strange feeling within? Was it easy to get rid of that feeling?

I pray that we will all be willing, able and ready to respond with these words.

Here am I. Send me!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What should we do?

January 20, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
(Mark 6:12-13 (NIV))

This sounds pretty amazing especially when you consider that the miracles that were being done were not done by Jesus!

He had given them instructions to go out and take nothing with them. They were to take nothing; no money, no food, no extra clothes. They were simply to put into practice what Jesus had been teaching them.

Can you imagine the anxiety that the disciples must have felt when Jesus told them this? They probably felt panic and fear, as well as an instant knotting of the stomach. What would you have felt if Jesus had told you to do this? What would be your response? What would be the first words out of your mouth back to Jesus? Would you try to get out of doing what He asked? Would you fake the excitement and then go and do nothing? Would you have the faith to embrace the instructions and do what He asked?

Two thousand years ago, people probably had trouble following what Jesus asked, even though He was walking the earth with them. They had not yet seen the most astonishing aspect of the life of Jesus. They had not seen Him in His resurrected glory, yet, they still obeyed and were able to perform great things in the name of Jesus.

We have the privilege of knowing that Jesus did get resurrected and that He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. What do we do with that knowledge? Do we embrace it as the disciples did and drive out demons and anoint the sick and heal them?

God’s Word is powerful. We must learn to trust in it the way the disciples did. We must learn to listen and trust in Jesus.

Do you truly have faith in Jesus? What did His disciples do?

What did Jesus do?

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

What should we do?

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

January 11, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:12-14 (NIV))

Esther became queen of a foreign land at a time when the Jews were not in their own land. She probably felt out of place in this land and in this role she was given to play.

How many times have you been placed in a situation that you felt was not your place? Take a look at Esther. God had her there for a purpose. She was placed there for “such a time as this”. She had to recognize that fact before she could act and do God’s will.

Mordecai was right, if she had failed to act, deliverance would have come from another hand of God. If that had happened, it is possible that when we read about Esther, we would be reading about her blindness and inability to hear God’s voice, instead of how she became God’s servant in delivering the Jews.

Do you feel out of place and unsure of what you are to do? Listen to God. He places people where He wants them in order to do His will.

Are you listening or are you stumbling through blindly?

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