Do you have the faith to please God?

April 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 (NIV))

Reflect on those words for a moment.

Nothing could be more true. It requires faith to believe that God exists. It requires faith to want to please someone that you cannot see and many people say doesn’t exist. I have a question for you. Which shows more faith – believing in a God that you cannot see, or not believing in Him because you cannot see Him? Can you see the air? Do you believe that it exists? Do your lungs still fill up with each breath?

Just because you cannot see it does not mean that it is not there. Those who claim that there is no God have faith in their convictions, but who stands to lose the most when their faith is overturned by the truth? The only difference in their faith and in the faith of a believer is that they place their faith in themselves. They are not willing to admit that there is someone greater than they are. As believers, we place our faith in the fact that the Bible is true and that God exists. We know by faith that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We know by faith that we can claim salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus. We know by faith that as we claim this salvation, God will draw us closer to Him and that as we draw closer to God, we long to please Him.

Faith can take us down different paths. One path leads to pleasing ourselves. One path leads to wanting to please God. Who do you want to please?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we become modern Pharisees?

August 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1:15-17 (NIV))

Paul was probably the worst person in the eyes of the church before his Damascus Road experience. Even afterwards, many believers did not trust him or want to associate with him.

Does this sound familiar? How many of us today do not want to accept people whom we consider to be worse than ourselves? We claim to want sinners to turn from their sin and to turn to God, yet, if they try to do it in our “church,” we feel uneasy and do not want them to be a part of us. This is not Godly.

We never know what God has in mind for those whom He has called out of their sin through Jesus Christ. God may have a plan for those whom we do not want, and through our un-acceptance of these people, we are actually standing in God’s way. When we stand before God, do we want to have to answer the question asking us why we did not accept someone whom God has called? I know that I don’t.

People need to realize that all of us are sinners, and in the eyes of God, no sin is greater than another, for all sin leads to death. It is our human nature that has labeled some sins more sinful than others. If we fall into this way of thinking, then we have become modern Pharisees in the eyes of God.

Before you dismiss this, remember how Jesus treated the Pharisees of His day!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is true for you?

April 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
(Psalms 25:8-14 (NIV))

God is good! He will provide for those who fear Him. This fear is a fear of respect, not a fear of punishment and retribution. God wishes for us to be in a relationship with Him, but He wishes it to be of our own decision. When it is our decision, it will be honest and true. If it were truly based on fear of retribution, then it would not be an honest yearning to be with God.

God will reward those who seek His face and wish to live after His own heart. If you are sincerely seeking God’s will, then God will allow you into His heart by revealing His Truth to you. His Truth will become your truth.

What is true for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you allowed God to give you grace?

February 17, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
(Romans 5:8-11 (NIV))

If God loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ to die for us so that we may be reconciled to Him when we were in sin, how much more will His grace and mercy be poured out upon us after we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior?

Isn’t it amazing that the One who created us saved us from ourselves. We allowed sin into this world, yet, through God’s grace and mercy, He has allowed us to be redeemed from that sin and reconciled to Him.

Have you allowed God the opportunity to allow you to have grace and mercy?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

February 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
(Galatians 6:7 (NKJV))

It is not possible to deceive God. Many people think that they can do things that are not in God’s Will, and they have convinced themselves that they are allowed to do them because of their particular situation.

God does not bend His Will or Laws because of someone’s feeble attempt to justify their actions. They will still be held accountable. No one is above the law, and no one is above God’s Law. You may think that you can get away with something, but God sees all and knows all.

We are all sinners and are all sentenced to eternal separation from God. Yet, God has given us a way to be redeemed so that we may spend eternity with Him. Not one person in all of human history has ever been perfect in the sight of God. This perfection is what God seeks and requires. Since no one was capable of this perfection, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this world and pay the price for our redemption.

There is only one way to escape what we deserve. There is only one way to spend eternity with God. There is only one name on which we can call that has the authority to save us from our sin. Jesus is that name. Without Jesus, we will inevitably face the “reward” for what we have sown. With Jesus, we have someone who can stand in the gap and help us to be “perfect” through His perfection.

Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you feel that you are too sinful to receive grace?

October 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, `Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
(Luke 15:1-7 (NIV))

Some people believe that they have done so many terrible things in their life that there is no way that God could forgive them. They feel that God’s grace is for everyone but them.

Have you ever felt that way?

I think that it is human nature to fall prey to the lies of the enemy. He tells us that we are so vile a sinner that God has abandoned us. If we hear it often enough, we start to believe it. Isn’t human nature a sad thing sometimes? Repetition can change the minds of many people and make them believe the worst of lies.

Even though we may feel that we are too bad for grace, God never feels that way. God reached out to all sinners through His Son, Jesus, so that none should perish. All of heaven rejoices when a soul that is close to eternal separation from God returns to the Father. This passage should tell people that they are not too far removed from God’s grace. All that has to be done is to turn toward God and He will meet you with open arms and rejoicing. Don’t let the enemy tell you any different.

Rejoice in your salvation! Rejoice in the saving grace as it reaches others. Join all of heaven in rejoicing when a fellow sinner returns to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you be changed?

January 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
(1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (NIV))

Too many people still think in the natural when it comes to heavenly matters. We will all stand before God as either redeemed believers in His Son, Jesus Christ, or as fallen sinners who are to be cast into the lake of fire with Satan.

If we are to be there as redeemed believers, then we must be transformed from our current natures. God cannot associate with sin, and since Adam and Eve let sin into the world, our physical bodies are corrupted by sin. We must be made new in a body that has not been corrupted by sin. All things will be transformed when we, as believers, stand before God as His redeemed. Those who are not transformed will be judged according to their sin in this world.

Moses was not allowed to see the face of God when he was on Mount Sinai because it would have meant instant death for him in his earthly body. If our earthly bodies cannot handle the glory of God, then those who are to spend eternity with God must be given a new body that will be pure and holy.

Will you be changed so that you can spend eternity with God, or will you face God in your earthly rags and die?

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