Will our deeds be considered evil or good?

August 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to wonder why things that God calls evil are now coming out into the light of day?

I know, like many of you, that these things have always been in the world. They have been here ever since sin was introduced into the world. At times, some of them have ever become visible in certain parts of the world for a time, yet, today, it seems that sin is becoming a part of the whole world in ways that it never has before.

I can list countless things that I see, but I honestly don’t think it is necessary to go to that extreme. All that we have to do is know God’s Word and what God calls sin. With this knowledge, we then simply need to look at the state of the world to see that sin is running rampant.

Don’t get me wrong and try to take my words as meaning that righteousness is going away. That is far from the truth. I realize that we, as fallen creation, cannot be righteous on our own. what I do know is that churches that preach man made theology are dwindling in members while churches that preach God’s truth are growing in numbers.

We, as the Body of Christ, must decide where we will shine. Will our deeds be considered evil or will they be considered good?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you find yourself going?

August 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
(1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV))

Think about this passage for a moment.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is to replace the word aliens with the word tourists.

Let me explain.

The last time that you went on a vacation, did you seek out the sinful areas of the places that you visited or did you seek the places of beauty? A tourist does not go somewhere seeking to find the sin. They go seeking to see something of beauty that is different from what they are used to. Some love to go to the mountains. Some love to go to the beach. Others love to go on cruises, but no one goes looking to find the depravity of the areas that they visit.

We, as members of the Body of Christ, are aliens, we are tourists, in this world. We should not be focused on the sin that has overtaken the world or we may find ourselves falling into that very sin.

We are to remain blameless!

I know that this is impossible in our humanity, for we are all fallen. However, we have one who intercedes for us so that we can rely on His strength instead of ours. When we are facing temptations within this world, rely on Jesus to see you through them. Don’t allow the enemy to trick you into going somewhere that you don’t want to go.

Accountability, fellowship and community are important.

Think back on the tourist concept. When you are a tourist, do you go alone or do you go with other people? Being alone is dangerous. The enemy will recognize that you are alone and vulnerable. That is when sin has the opportunity to arise.

Where do you find yourself going?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our physician makes heart calls!

July 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
(Luke 5:31-32 (NIV))

Are you arrogant enough to believe that you are righteous without Jesus?

Sadly, there are people in this world who believe that they are good enough to go to heaven on their own merits. We know better.

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

If all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, then everyone is a sinner in need of repentance. In other words, Jesus came to call everyone to repent, and not just your friends and people like you.

We are all sick and in need of a doctor. This doctor can heal anything. This doctor can even bring eternal life. All that any of us have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and turn away from the sin that has claimed you.

You may think that you are healthy, but we all know better than to believe this false claim. All have sinned. All are in need of a Savior.

This doctor makes heart calls. There are no lines, no waiting and no payment is expected. Jesus already paid everything for us.

Don’t wait to get healthy!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our sin does not affect God’s nature!

July 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
(Ephesians 2:13 (NIV))

It was prophesied long before this was written that through Jesus, it would be:

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:12)

It is God’s nature that He cannot associate with sin. Sin will perish before God. Because of this and because of the sin allowed into the world through Adam and Eve, we could never approach God. We literally had to stay as far as the east is from the west from God.

Sin is diametrically opposite of the righteousness that is God just as east is diametrically opposite of west. The two could never meet, except through an act of divine intervention. Because of this intervention, we, who accept the grace and mercy offered through it, are allowed into the presence of God. We have an intercessor who sits at the right hand of God the Father on our behalf.

If you can imagine a straight wire that is not bendable. The two ends could never meet. Now, imagine if you will, a “superman” who is capable of bending the two ends until they touch. This ‘superman” was Jesus and the two ends that He was able to make touch are God’s righteousness and our sin.

Our sin does not affect God’s nature, but His righteousness effects ours.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t hold on to your sin! Repent!

July 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
(Romans 6:4-7 (NIV))

“So that the body of sin might be done away with!”

I find it interesting that far too many people believe that God would not condemn them for their sin because He loves them.

Did God love Jesus before He came to the earth?

Did God love Jesus when He was beaten?

Did God love Jesus when He was crucified?

Why would God put His only begotten Son through all of this if we could be with Him and still hold onto our sin?

Jesus did not go through everything that He suffered so that we can keep sin in our lives. Jesus came to bring forgiveness, but forgiveness requires repentance. To repent means to turn around, to turn away from what you are currently doing.

If you are driving and you see a sign that says that the bridge is out, do you defiantly keep going? Do you tell the people that you are with that you don’t believe the sign? Do you tell them that it no longer applies to the world because with today’s modern construction, why would the bridge be out? Do you keep ignoring the warnings and drive off into the chasm that the bridge was supposed to span?

I find it so ironic and sad that when it comes to salvation, far too many people are doing what I described the driver doing with the bridge.

We all sin. We all need redemption. We all need a way to escape the consequences of our sin. God has given us a way to turn away from the sin that leads to death. Don’t be like the driver who ignores the signs before him.

Don’t hold on to your sin!

Repent!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we return to One nation under God?

July 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Soon, we celebrate the birth of our nation. A nation that was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” A nation that prints “In God We Trust” on our money, yet disallows prayer in schools, the posting of the Ten Commandments, and any mention of Jesus in public places other than church buildings.

We have taken the words “freedom of religion” to mean freedom from religion. We have made the words “separation of church and state” mean that we cannot hold Judeo-Christian ethics at the heart of what we do in our government. We have allowed schoolbooks to be re-written to remove any reference to why this country was settled, often at a cost so great that it did not make sense. We have allowed our “One nation under God” to be taken from us little by little.

Reflect on what has made this country great and then reflect on where we are today in comparison to the standards that made it great. We have fallen a long way. Stop and pray for our nation, our leaders, and our people. Pray that the values that made this nation “One nation under God” can be resurrected before it is too late. True, we have not been a perfect nation or a perfect people. Only one person throughout all of human history was perfect, and it is this “perfection” that we need to call upon again.

We, as a nation, must turn, or return, to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you still living in sin?

June 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.
(Deuteronomy 18:10-13 (NIV))

Today’s society draws a fine line when it comes to these practices. Some people say “as long as it is intended for good, it is okay.” God did not say do them only for Him or only for good! He said that they are detestable in His sight. This means no matter what the intentions are. The old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions is true. Everyone thinks that they can do things their way or better than what God had planned. God has given us explicit instructions that these things are not from Him and are detestable to Him. Nowhere does it say that these practices are good.

When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”
“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
(2 Kings 9:22(NIV))

He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
(2 Chronicles 33:6(NIV))

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21(NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that man can change God’s Laws?

May 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I keep seeing things reported that some denominations are voting to change Biblical law as they apply it to their teachings. Some denominations are even voting to allow certain sins to not only be allowed, but in some cases they are condoned.

I know that the following passage applies directly to Revelation, but I have a feeling that it also applies to all of God’s Word.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I plan on holding fast to the unaltered Word of God as it has been preached and taught for thousands of years. Just because it is old, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Just because we may not like some parts of it, doesn’t mean that God’s truth can be changed.

We already know what God has planned for those who alter the prophecy in Revelation. If you stop to think about Revelation, it is a culmination of the sins of man and God’s final plan being fulfilled. Just what is sin? Sin is anything that misses the mark that God has set before us. If we change God’s Laws, isn’t that more than missing the mark. It is a direct and willful thumbing of our noses at God. It is rebellion against God. It is my understanding that rebellion is much worse than sin. Sin is missing the mark. Rebellion is a deliberate fight against God.

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

May 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Did you know that yesterday was the National Day of Prayer?

Does it even matter to you?

There is so much that is wrong with society now. It breaks my heart to see things that go against what God has commanded. I honestly believe that people take great pleasure in finding ways to flaunt their favorite sin in ways that will get attention. It is as if they are deliberately telling God that they don’t care what He thinks. It even looks like they are trying to outdo each other with who and what is the most vile.

Things have been set in motion since the beginning of time that only God knows when they will reach the culmination. It appears that they are rapidly escalating. It wasn’t that long ago that everything that is now being flaunted in our faces wasn’t even mentioned at all. Now, common sense and any ideas of righteousness have all but died. We are seeing things happen that I would never have believed would happen in my lifetime.

To be honest, it scares me!

I am not scared for myself, for I know where I have placed my faith and I know how the story ends. I am scared for those who don’t know that they are caught in a terrible cycle of sin and death. I am scared for those who will realize too late that they have made an eternal mistake.

I see things every single day that make me saddened, that make me groan in agony. I try to put my feelings into prayers, but all that I can do is groan. I know that our heavenly Father understands the groans, but from a human perspective, I long to put things into words so that I can understand. I am sure that I am not alone in this desire.

I wonder how many of the prayers that have been lifted up on the National Day of Prayer were the groanings of the members of the Body of Christ? Can we agree to groan in the spirit continually so that the Lord will hear us continually?

pray continually;
(1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV))

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 6:18 (NIV))

If my people will pray!

Are you praying?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What good is the church if we condone sin?

April 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I just saw something that made me wonder what is going on with people in this world!

To be more specific, what I saw makes me wonder if some churches even believe in the Gospel anymore.

I am certain that you are aware of the debate about homosexual marriage. Let’s take that one step further and completely stop focusing on sin in church! That is the very report that I just saw. A pastor has decided for himself that the church focuses too much on sin and salvation.

That is the very reason for the church!

The Body of Christ is called to be the church. We are to let people know about sin and God’s plan for salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus. The job of the church is to preach the good news. How can we tell people that they can be saved from their sin if we don’t tell them about sin?

Jesus did not come to make everybody feel good about themselves. He did not come to bring social justice. He did not come to promise earthly prosperity to those who follow him. Jesus came into this world to live a sinless, perfect life. He came to offer himself up as the sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. He died so that He could be resurrected and sit at the right hand of God, the Father.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We must be aware of the false teachers. We must be aware of the lies from the enemy. We must be aware of the thief that has found his way into the pulpits. We must test everything that we hear against the Word of God. We cannot pick and choose what we believe and what we ignore.

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.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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