Have you come to your senses?

March 23, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God–I say this to your shame.
(1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NIV))

It is difficult to know what goes through the minds of people. I seriously doubt that most people wake up on a given morning and come to the realization that they will commit some serious crime, or that they will step out into sin so far that there is no turning back.

Still, it happens.

Why?

It isn’t because these individuals have their priorities in line with what God desires. It isn’t because these individuals respect the law and desire to live lives that will be of benefit to others.

It is simply a matter of sin.

Sin is a strange thing. We all do it. We all think nothing of it most of the time. Most of us realize that it is something that we should try to stop, yet, we still sin. Most of us simply commit what we refer to as the little sins. You know what I am talking about. The ones that no one really gets hurt because of, or the ones that no one really knows about. The sad thing is that sin, left unchecked, will escalate. We tend to rationalize it by telling ourselves that no one got hurt, so what is the harm. We then go one step beyond where we were. Soon, we find ourselves at a point that we would never have imagined we would reach.

Let’s face facts. Sin is addicting. The enemy uses sin to draw us in to things that seem fun or pleasurable. Only once we are caught in the embrace of our sins do we realize that it is spiraling out of control. Also, as humans, we long for verification. We long to know that what we are doing is accepted. We surround ourselves with those who will tell us that what we are doing is ok.

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

We may have the utmost of good intentions, yet, if we associate with those who support our sins, then where does that leave us? We have nothing to compare ourselves to. We have no righteous example to look upon.

It is God’s desire that we all turn from our sin. It is His desire that we come to our senses and accept the grace and mercy freely given through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.

Have you come to your senses?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Grace is not a license to sin

January 27, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
(Jude 1:4 (NIV))

Be very careful what teachings you follow. The enemy has followers who have even claimed to be followers of Jesus so that they can spread division and lies within the Body of Christ.

Test everything against the Word of God for His Word never changes. What was once considered sin is still a sin in the eyes of God. Contrary to what some may teach, God’s love and mercy does not mean that you can commit any sin and then be saved. Grace is a forgiveness of the sins that have been committed in the past. It is not a license to sin indefinitely.

When we accept the grace and mercy freely given to us through the sacrifice that Jesus made at the cross, we make a commitment to repent and turn away from our sin. That is the path that God intended. Nothing in the teaching of Jesus indicates that we can continue to sin and still follow Him.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:10-11 (NIV))

Don’t fall for the false teachings of those that are spoken of in Jude. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. He did not suffer and die on the cross so that you can continue to sin. He died to free us from that sin.

God’s grace is a grace to escape from sin, and not a license to continue to sin.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Devotion

January 7, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42 (NIV))

Devotion!

According to Merriam-Webster, “devotion” is the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal. The word “devoted” is a verb that means to commit, or to give over to a cause or activity.

I apologize for the vocabulary lesson, but I wanted to emphasize the strength of the commitment that the early church had with respect to fulfilling the teachings and the commands to fellowship and to love your neighbor, and to pray. They gave everything that was within them to the church. They did not simply attend a service for an hour one day a week. They devoted themselves to do anything and everything that the apostles taught.

What are you devoted to?

I am devoted to my family. I am devoted to doing what I promise that I will do. I am devoted to learning and studying and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. I am devoted to prayer. I am devoted to fellowship.

However, I am only human and my devotion often falls short. Still, it is my desire and I do all within my physical capabilities to fulfill what my heart calls me to do.

Sadly, devotion is often lacking in today’s society. Too many people are only committed to themselves. They are only committed to doing things if they are the center of attention or if they will benefit somehow in the physical world. Whatever happened to being devoted simply because it is the right thing to do?

Devotion!

Perhaps you could almost call it a priority, for the things in your life that are a priority to you will receive your time and attention. What are your priorities?

I would like to challenge each person reading this, including myself, to make sure that our personal priorities fall in line with those written of in Acts 2:42. Let’s devote ourselves to the apostles’ teachings and to the fellowship with each other, to the act of breaking bread, both as physical sustenance and as the act of communion, and to prayer. I think that we will find our devotion to these priorities will see the church as it was in the beginning.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


He is, and was and is to come

December 30, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

Human nature is such a funny thing.

What is your reaction when the grocery store that you normally go to is closed for some reason? Do you complain or do you simply adapt? What do you do when your favorite shirt is no longer suitable for public appearance? Do you throw it away or do you cling to it like a small child clings to a blanket? How do you react when your favorite magazine stops publication because the content is now readily available on the Internet? Speaking of the Internet, how do you react to reading something online versus reading it from a book that you can hold and feel?

Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit. We have our routines and we all have our favorite things that we think that we could never do without. In all honesty, most people do not like change. Change is something that we fear. It is unknown.

Too many of us do not like anything to ever change, yet we often are guilty of saying that God is not the same as He was in the Old Testament. We have a double standard for what we expect of ourselves and what we think that God is like. We have heard the stories and we have read the passages that tell of God’s laws, yet we find it difficult to comprehend that God could remain the same for all eternity.

Personally, I like knowing that God is constant, that He is, and was and is to come.

If we spend time getting to know God through His Word, then we will know the very heart of God for all time. He doesn’t change. I honestly would not like having to constantly second guess what I was supposed to do because of a constantly changing god. That is not our God. That is not our creator, our Father. God is a God of eternity.

January 1 will soon be here. It is the beginning of a new year. Many people look upon this day as the opportunity to start fresh, to change what they have been doing. For humanity, change for the better is good, especially when that change means that we repent of our sins and turn to God. When we desire to change, isn’t it good to know that the One who welcomes us in our change, never changes. God will welcome us with open arms any day of the year.

Today is that day.

Happy New Year !!!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Return to the joy.

December 27, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
(Psalms 51:12 (NIV))

Do you ever find yourself in need of restoration even though you are assured of your salvation?

It is easy to lose sight of the promises that we have been given, but we must not lose sight of the promise that validates all of the other promises.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
(2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (NIV))

When we are in need of restoration, we must turn to the Father who gave His Son so that we could have salvation. The need for restoration comes when we let the weight of the world and the circumstances that we find ourselves in overpower us and consume us.

What do we lose when we are in need of restoration?

We lose our joy – our joy that comes from knowing that we have been saved by grace! Without that joy, Satan can gain access to us and steer us further away from the joy that is ours.

Joy brings hope and an assurance that we are saved by grace. It also brings us a firm foundation and an assurance of what is to come.

Are you in need of restoration? Return to Jesus. Return to the joy.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: