Are people willing to die for something they know is a lie?

September 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
(Galatians 1:11 (NIV))

Contrary to what certain books and movies would have us to believe, what we know to be the truth was not created by man in some plot to trick the whole world. Isn’t it interesting that Paul faced the very same type of obstacles when he was spreading the Gospel. Some people simply don’t want to believe it, so they will make up anything to try to convince themselves that it is not real.

Paul wrote these words several hundred years before the church held the conference that solidified and clarified what it believed in. Jesus as the only begotten Son of God was preached hundreds of years before this conference. It was preached long before Dan Brown attempted to change history when he claimed that this conference deified a mortal man.

Satan does not want anyone to come to the realization that Jesus truly is who He claims.

When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44c (NIV))

The face of the liar may change, but the lies are always the same. They always attempt to discredit Jesus as the Son of God.

I would like for you to reflect upon a simple statement.

No other person in all of the history of the world has caused so many people to take so wide a stance as to who He is.

Even after two thousand years, the lies are still spreading. If the claim that Jesus is the Son of God were a lie, I strongly believe that those who saw the crucifixion would not have been willing to lay down their lives. It is human nature to seek self preservation. To live a lie is insane. To die for a lie is insane.

Keep the faith and remember Paul’s words.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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A greater love than the love of ourselves!

April 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“You have heard that it was said, `Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
(Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV))

This goes against everything that our human nature tells us to do. Who in their right mind would allow someone to take advantage of them in some way, let alone offer to do more for the person who is the perpetrator? The human trait of self preservation tells us to run from situations like this, or, at least to be angry.

Anger!

Perhaps it is the anger that is the motivating factor in these situations. It is not the anger of the victim, but the anger of the perpetrator against himself and God that is the element that needs to be overcome. Anger can make people do things that no one in their right mind would really ever consider doing. Locating this anger and addressing it is exactly what we are told to do in Matthew.

By willingly doing more than what is forced upon us, we turn the tables from one of a controlling anger to one of a willing love. If we do what is forced upon us, and then do more, it shows that we are not bound by the anger that drives the force. We are bound by the love of God through Jesus Christ, which has overcome the greatest anger – the anger and wrath of a sinful nature let loose upon this earth to kill and destroy.

How do you react when you are forced to do something that you do not wish to do? Do you fight it or do you offer yourself to the task and do more than is expected? What if Jesus was reluctant when He was forced to go to the cross? Whenever He was presented with an opportunity to extract himself, He would have taken it. Where would that leave you and I?

Sometimes we must do things out of a greater love than the love of ourselves!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Practice acts of faith!

December 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you honestly hoped that the subject of Jesus did not come up? I don’t know if that is the same as actually denying Jesus before men, but it is too close for comfort.

This is a tough saying to deal with, for everyone probably has times when they at least thought about it. Only when your faith has matured do you face the question with a more stable attitude. Even so, everyone likes to think that they would not deny Jesus before men, that they would die rather than deny Him. I pray that this is true, yet no one really can say for certain until they are actually in that situation.

Faith is a strong thing if it is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Self preservation is also a strong thing, and unless faith is stronger, self preservation will win. How can you strengthen faith? Faith is very much like a muscle in that if you do not use it, it atrophies. If you practice acts of faith, your faith will increase.

Do not let your faith “muscle” atrophy from lack of use. If it does, the results may be denial. You will deny God and He will deny you.

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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Have you accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made for you?

August 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

We have all had them.

We all need them.

We aren’t meant to live our lives in a vacuum. We need each other. It is in our nature to be social. We seek the company of others, yet, just how far will most of us take the friendship? How many of us would lay down our life for our friends?

We all want to believe that we would, yet self-preservation is a strong instinct.

I want you to be honest with yourself and think about this question.

Would you do something knowing that when you started it, you would lay down your life so that others would live? I can think of a few groups of people who face the possibility at times, but even these brave men and women do not go into a situation planning to lay down their life.

Jesus came to this earth to do just that!

Everything that He did during His time on earth pointed to the cross and His crucifixion. He knew what He was going to face when He came? He knew that He faced a painful end to the physical body that He came to us in.

He knew all of the details and yet he chose to lay down His life so that we may live!

I know that the Romans had become experts at creating pain during a crucifixion. I don’t think that we can even imagine just how excruciating the experience was. We see movies, yet even the most realistic portrayal probably only hints at what it was really like.

Would you willingly go to the cross?

Would you willingly bear the pain?

Would you, or perhaps I should say could you, follow through with such a premeditated task?

Think about the sacrifice that Jesus made so that you and I can know grace and mercy.

Have you accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made for you?

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