Am I where Jesus is?

February 1, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:26 (NIV))

Do you follow Jesus?

Perhaps I should ask that in a different way.

Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Do you serve Him as your Lord?

Where is Jesus in your life? Have you followed Him there, or have you gone your own separate way?

So many questions, yet they all have a very relevant impact on the relationship that each of us have with Jesus. The answers to these questions are the measure of how we see Jesus. The answers tell more about us than we probably care to admit.

Now come some even more telling questions based on “where I am, my servant also will be.”

If Jesus is working in your life to lead you to help the poor, and you fight this leading, are you His servant?

If Jesus is wanting you to witness to the lost, and you don’t leave your comfort zone in front of the TV, are you His servant?

If Jesus is calling you to be a friend to the new people in your neighborhood, and you refuse because they are different than you, are you His servant?

Far too many of us look upon Jesus only as our Savior. We embrace the grace and the mercy and ignore the aspects that we don’t like, such as Lord and servant. It is impossible to have one without the other. Jesus is Savior because He is Lord. His authority as Lord is the authority that was able to grant the grace and mercy.

Think about this and then ask yourself one simple question.

Am I where Jesus is?

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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They devoted themselves!

November 3, 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))

They devoted themselves!

Do you ever wonder why people say that miracles don’t happen today? Do you wonder why we see a problem and it stays a problem? Do you understand that our current understanding of church and being the Body of Christ is far from what it used to be?

Why do you think that is true?

One simple word.

Devotion.

We, as the modern Body of Christ, look at Jesus as a filler for the parts of our lives that are empty. It is true that He is there to fill the emptiness, but He is so much more. The early church knew that professing a faith in Jesus meant more than simply acknowledging Him as savior. They knew Him as Lord and they devoted themselves to each other and to His teachings.

They devoted themselves in four areas – teachings, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. It does not say that they devoted themselves to their work. It does not say that they devoted themselves to their families. It does not say that they devoted themselves to their favorite sports team.

Could you image how the Body of Christ would be today if we all gave the same amount of devotion, both public and private, that we give our college football teams? Can you imagine large stadiums of people to pray and to study God’s Word? In some countries it happens. People come from far and wide to hear the Gospel. Ironically, it is usually an American ministry that reaches out to these countries. It is sad that we do not do as the people to whom we send ministers and missionaries.

What is your idea of devotion?

Is it sitting in a church pew for an hour on Sunday? Is it adding a Bible study to your weekly schedule? Is it placing God first in all that you do? Does it mean that you willingly help those in need?

I often think that devotion is directly related to faith.

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV))

If we have the faith and the devotion to see that faith through, then both will grow to enormous proportions. As we devote ourselves to the four areas – teachings, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer – we will see things begin to happen that will strengthen our faith. We will see the results of our devotion. As a result, we will grow our devotion and our faith.

It is amazing what devotion, or dedication, can do, especially when it is focused on Jesus and God’s Word.

I think that we need to take a lesson from the early church and try devoting ourselves to Jesus. You will be amazed at what happens.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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And of which I have become a servant

October 4, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
(Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV))

Think about those last words – “and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”

What does that mean to you? Just what is your definition of a servant?

Do you have the attitude that is so prevalent in the church these days that basically asks what can Jesus do for me? To me, this is not servanthood. It is a selfish attitude that ignores the very heart of the Gospel. It turns the Gospel upside down. It forgets one simple truth.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We are not worthy of being selfish. What have we ever done that merits thinking that God would ever do anything for a sinner such as us?

It is true that Jesus came to serve, but His service was to die for our sins. He did not remain a servant. He will return much different that when He left.

On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
(Revelation 19:16 (NIV))

In the order of things that Revelation 19:16 speaks of, who will be worthy of having servants? Who will owe their eternal salvation to whom?

How is your servanthood to the one who bought you with His blood?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Help us, for Your names sake

September 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
(Psalms 79:9 (NIV))

It is time for the church to arise to the occasion and earnestly seek after God. We must be ready to act as a willing and able instrument for God’s plans.

I am more appalled every day at what our society allows. I am more appalled every day at what governments are allowing to be removed. I am more appalled every day at what is called evil and what is called good.

If I, a mere speck in the greatness of God’s creation can find things so detestable, how do you think God feels about what this world has become.

I know that each generation has their moral and spiritual battles to fight, but gone are the days when the moral compass pointed to Jesus. That makes me groan deep within my spirit. The anguish that I feel is terrifying, yet I know that God is in control.

His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
(Luke 3:17 (NIV))

I recently heard of plans to do in this country what has happened in Egypt recently with their government, and not because of tyranny or oppression. What I have heard of is based on the idea that these people are demanding more handouts from the government, as if the government had an endless supply of money, food and luxuries to distribute to those who simply want them. We have gone from a country that was built on the principle of hard work, dedication and faith to one of entitlement and laziness.

I am sure that God is in control and that all of this is a part of His plan to bring about the return of Jesus. However, we as the church cannot simply sit by and allow sin to overcome us while we are waiting.

God is a God pf power and strength. When Jesus walked this earth, He did not turn a blind eye to sin. He also told us to do as He did.

We have His power and strength when we pray, when we speak, and when we act. It is time that the church do just that.

Lord, forgive us our sins for your name’s sake.

We do not want the world to think that we serve a weak God. He is the God of creation. Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. We need to start acting like it.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Fearless in the face of intimidation

August 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
(Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV))

Today, this is my prayer for myself. It is also my prayer for any and all who proclaim the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

I have never been one for not saying what I think. Just ask my wife!

I firmly believe in God, His Word, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I also firmly believe in standing my ground in my beliefs. I pray that this never changes.

Recently, through the email addresses that are associated with this devotional and other Bible related organizations, I have begun to be inundated with spam and other unwanted email, including daily Q’ran verses. All of the other emails are fake friend requests and they are increasing every day. Every single name is Arabic.

This, in and of itself, is not bad, for I know many believers who are of Arabic descent.

What has come to my attention is that appearances could be intimidating and cause someone to stop spreading God’s Word and the truth of the grace and mercy that is found only through His Son.

The intimidation can come from many sources. Pier pressure. Friends. Employers. Media. Movies. Music. Government.

The key is that we pray for each other as Paul requested. Pray that we may all declare the gospel fearlessly, as we should.

Do you pray that you will willingly and fearlessly profess the mystery of the gospel no matter what may happen?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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 6:10-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to go where Christ is not known?

August 18, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
(Romans 15:20-21 (NIV))

Paul did just that. He spread the Gospel as far as he could travel. He did not keep it to himself, nor did he keep it only for his close friends and family. He didn’t even keep it only for those who looked and acted like him.

Paul willingly and eagerly took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to what was then the far reaches of his world.

We owe our very heritage and faith to his eagerness to make sure that those who had not heard would hear.

What if he had decided that blindness was his fate? What if he had decided to stay in Jerusalem? What if he gave up after the first time that he faced persecution? Would we be alive in the faith? Would we even be alive at all, for the events that God set into motion through Paul’s ministry have impacted lives throughout history. We have no idea what this world, what our own individual lives would look like if Paul did not go where he was sent.

Paul had a heart for God’s Word. He had a burning desire to see that God’s grace and mercy were shared with everyone.

Think about Paul the next time that you find yourself saying, “Someone needs to tell them about Jesus.” What if Paul said that?

Today’s society has such a wrong understanding of God’s grace and mercy. They have such a wrong image of Jesus. Because of these misconceptions, many people ridicule anything remotely associated with Christianity.

They have not been told the truth about Him.

They have not heard, so therefore they do not understand.

What if we all got out of our comfort zones and took it upon ourselves to help one person to understand? What if we relied on the Holy Spirit to help us to tell someone about Jesus? What if we all prayed for some of Paul’s enthusiasm for the Gospel to fall upon us?

The world would be a different place with each of us starting with one person who does not know the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone?

Are you ready to go where Christ is not known?

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