Are you a person after God’s own heart?

May 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
(Psalms 25:1-3 (NIV))

David was very prolific. We have numerous writings by David and through his writings we can learn something about the man whom possessed a heart after God’s own. He was not ashamed to praise God. He was not ashamed to cry out to God. He was not ashamed to ask God for His protection and His mercy. He was not ashamed to admit when he had sinned.

I wonder what happened to the leaders like this?

The world is in great need of men and women who seek God in all that they do. The world needs people like this in positions of leadership and authority. Sadly, these positions seem to be relegated to those who despise God and all that is righteous. I realize that this last statement was a broad and sweeping generalization, and that there are people like this, but why are their voices silenced? Why does the world ignore them? Why do we not hear of world leaders falling on their knees and asking for God’s guidance, wisdom, strength and mercy?

Sadly, this type of behavior is now looked upon as a sign of weakness and a lack of intelligence. Where are the David’s? Where are the Solomon’s? Where are the people who call upon the name of the Lord?

We can start by having righteous men and women call upon the Lord wherever they are. We can unite in our desires to see God glorified.

I have a question that I want you to think about.

If someone had the ability to look back at your life through your writings, through the words of others and through the impact that you have had on others, would they come to the conclusion that you have a heart after God’s own?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ashamed of the Gospel?

September 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
(John 3:19-21 (NIV))

How can we be the light of the world and share the Light of Jesus if we remove God and Jesus from everything in our public life?

Too many have given up talking about Jesus because we do not wish to offend anyone. Are we ashamed of Jesus?

Paul was not ashamed.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Do we deny Jesus?

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
(Titus 1:16 (NIV))

Do we disown Jesus?

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

These passages are clear about what happens if we are ashamed, if we deny, or if we disown.

We have allowed God to be removed from public life. We have allowed prayer to be removed from school. We have allowed the removal of any reference to God or to Jesus from many aspects of our life and today, I read, and verified with several news agencies, something that completely broke my heart.

One of our political parties has completely removed any reference to God from their platform.

Are we, as a nation, ashamed of God?

Are we, as a nation, denying Jesus?

Are we, as a nation, disowning Jesus before men?

I can hear the comments already. Some of you are saying that this does not mean that these people are not believers. I do not know the people involved, so I am in no position to speculate. I am also not qualified to judge. What I do know is that which is written in God’s Word.

If we are ashamed of Jesus, or if we deny Jesus, or if we disown Jesus, then Jesus will not claim us as His own.

Sometimes what we omit speaks volumes more than what we say. If you proclaim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, do not fall into the mindset where you are ashamed of Jesus.

Would you intentionally deny Jesus?

Sometimes, what is not presented is the presentation. If we remove God, how can we call upon His name and how can we claim to be in His will? Our act of omission may cause us to hear these words from Jesus.

Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you boldly proclaim or are you ashamed?

August 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Paul, in the face of danger and death, proudly proclaimed the gospel. He said that it is something that you should not be ashamed of and he is absolutely correct. If you are ashamed of the gospel, then you are not truly a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself said:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
(Mark 8:38 (NIV))

It could not be simpler. We, as believers, must not be ashamed of the good news and we must proclaim it and not hide it from the world. It is the only thing that by which you can be saved. If you are ashamed of it, then you are not saved (re-read Mark 8:38). You have not accepted it completely, and will not be accepted by Jesus as part of His Body.

Take a serious look at what you believe and whether you would proclaim it to the world! Or, would you cower in shame and embarrassment at the thought of the world knowing? Your answer is very important, for it can mean your eternal life!

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

July 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Paul was not ashamed. Are you?

Think about everything that has ever meant anything to you. Chances are that you did not try to hide it from anyone. Honestly, every time that I have had something mean anything to me, I was very proud of it. I wanted people to know what I had done or what I had been selected to do. We are human, and ego does take over even when we don’t really want it to.

Have you ever reacted in this manner? Have you ever been proud of what you had done and you wanted everyone to know what you had done?

Is your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior one of these moments?

It should be !

If it is not one of these moments that you want everyone to know about, then closely examine yourself. Have you truly accepted God’s grace and mercy along with the willingness to reject the world?

Do you temper your references to God when you are at work or with your friends? Do you avoid situations where you will be called upon to exhibit your faith in public? Are you content to simply sit in church and then rejoin the world the rest of the time? Are you ashamed of Jesus? Consider the consequences.

I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
(Luke 12:8-9 (NIV))

Are you ashamed?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can you do to spread the Word?

July 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to reflect on just how powerful words can be?

Words can bring encouragement. They can destroy. Words can bring great joy or great sadness. Words can do tremendous good or bring tremendous harm.

There is one Word that brings eternal life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Consider the language that you speak. How many different words do you know? Do any of them carry the power to bring salvation? Only Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, can bring such a promise.

Every day, we speak hundreds, if not thousands of words. We must choose carefully what we say. We must speak the truth of the Word of God so that others may be brought to salvation, for only the Word can save.

Think about how powerful the Word of God has been in your life. What can you do to spread the Word?

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

April 20, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:7-11 (NIV))

Have you ever had a complete about face with respect to something? Was there something that you thought was so important that you knew beyond any doubt that it would always be front and center in your life?

Paul had just these same thoughts.

He valued position. He valued societal standards. He valued what he thought was God’s plan for his life and the importance of the temple. He valued his Judaism.

It only took a moment in time and Paul’s values changed!

Think about that for a moment.

How would you handle striving for something that you thought would make your life complete, only to have an epiphany that made you realize it was all wrong? In Paul’s case, he spent over thirty years devoting himself to being the perfect Jewish man. In his mind, he had become what he felt God wanted him to be only to find out that what he had become was not anywhere near where God was leading him.

Would you react as Paul reacted?

Would you have the strength to admit that you had a change of direction? Would you willingly admit that you had been wrong? Would ego and pride keep you from fully changing course and proceeding with the same energy in a different direction?

Would you simply give up and focus on the wasted time?

Human nature is a funny thing. How many of us would react as Paul reacted? How many of us would accept by faith and then simply live out the rest of our days in the shadows? Still, how many would simply refuse to change course because we have spent too much time going in one direction to stop going in that direction?

I don’t profess to know exactly what Paul felt, but I know that the words he wrote have left an impression on my life.

I consider everything a loss if it does not lead me closer to Jesus!

What do you consider loss?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Time to step out

February 24, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
(2 Timothy 1:8 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he was doing two things.

First, he had just finished reminding Timothy of the deep roots of his faith. He reminded Timothy of the faith of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Paul knew that Timothy would understand the value of the firm foundation of faith that was evident through his family.

Faith does not stop and rely only on its foundation!

A firm foundation is intended to support far more than itself. It is the building block upon which greater things are to be built.

Second, with this in mind, Paul was also encouraging Timothy to use his faith and step out to testify about our Lord. There is nothing to be ashamed of when doing God’s will. It is, perhaps, the test of individual faith, for it requires you to believe for yourself. You no longer can rely on the faith of those who have gone before you. It requires a personal commitment.

Paul’s words to Timothy were words of encouragement as Timothy begins to fully embrace the call that God had upon his life. It is difficult to be ashamed of something and still be willing to suffer for it. You cannot be willing to give everything you have if you are ashamed of what you are pursuing. It is human nature to not go after something that you are ashamed of. Paul knew this and was reminding Timothy that he must make that final commitment in order to step forward in faith.

Are you ashamed to testify about our Lord?

Are you ready to step out in your faith as God is calling you?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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