Let God fill you with His Spirit in the coming year!

December 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

With the new year rapidly approaching, what are we going to fill ourselves with?

Society looks at the new year as a chance to make a clean start. We make resolutions about things that we plan on doing differently. We tell ourselves and others that we will lose weight, that we will exercise, that we will go to church more, that we will . . .

I could go on and on and list the things that we say we are going to do. Have you ever stopped to think that what we say we are going to do is comparable to the new wine and that we are the old wineskins? We cannot handle the new things without changing ourselves first. It is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of priorities.

If you go into an activity to lose weight and get in shape and you try to start full throttle, it usually doesn’t last long. We must start slowly and build up to what we long to do. The same is true of our spirituality and our relationship with Jesus. We must learn to crawl before we can walk. We must learn to walk before we can run. To use the concept that we are familiar with, we must be fed milk until we are mature enough for solid food.

Walking with Jesus, just like anything in this life, is not an activity that we can achieve perfection instantly. We will stumble. We will fall, and we will all have times when we will think that Jesus must really be shaking His head because of all of our failures.

Don’t give up!

A life spent walking with Jesus is just that. It is a life long event. It is a journey and not a destination. You can’t simply arrive at a point where you are perfect in your walk. You will be made new every single day of your life. You will be filled with new wine as your old wineskin is made anew.

I pray that we go in to this new year with the attitude that we will stand firm and stay the course that is laid out before us.

I like the way that Paul described it as a race and that he was in it to win it!

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

February 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
(Luke 9:1-6 (NIV))

There is so much good stuff in this passage!

This is the solid food that was spoken of when we are no longer infants in the faith.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrew 5:13-14 (NIV))

When we mature, we are in a position to accept the power and the authority and use it as it was intended. When we are infants in the faith, we don’t know what to do and we don’t know what God can do. With this power and authority, we are confident in our ability to be used by God in any manner that He may choose. We also learn to rely upon Him and “take nothing for the journey.”

The next part is one that many people have a problem with because of our human nature. We don’t want to look like we have given up. When we are told to shake the dust off our feet, we must be mature enough to realize that this is not a reflection on our faith and obedience. It is a reflection on those who will not receive. Jesus knows that some people will not be receptive. We are called to be mature in our faith to recognize when we are being called to move on.

Are you mature enough to receive God’s power and authority? Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

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

September 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:13-14 (NIV))

Satan has tricked our society and our churches into focusing on the “milk” of salvation. We do not spend enough time teaching how to distinguish good from evil. This is evident in our society when the courts can remove a judge for acknowledging where our laws come from and do so in the name of “ethics.” It is evident when an unborn baby can be killed because it is not yet a human life.

I could go on and on with examples. We are too soft and do not call evil what it is. We would rather ignore it in the hope that it will go away. It will not go away. It wants to control. I saw a sign on a church that stated this truth extremely well. “Don’t give Satan a ride. He wants to drive.” Satan wants control. He tries to gain control in any way that he can. Trickery is part of his arsenal. He has tricked us into shying away from the full promise that God has given us through Jesus. Satan knows that people will turn to Jesus. Some will fully understand. They will nourish themselves on the solid food of God’s Word. Others will try it and shy away. Still others will never desire to try the solid food. They are content in the “feel good” aspects of Christianity where they do not have to do anything and they are not held accountable for anything. These people are referred to as luke warm Christians in Revelations. I don’t think that I need to remind anybody about what awaits the luke warm believers.

Solid food is essential for both the physical body as well as spiritual growth. There comes a time when milk is simply not enough to sustain us. This is only natural for any person who is growing and maturing. I have never seen a forty year old who survived solely on milk. I have never seen a mature Christian who only ate of the salvation. Maturity requires deeper understanding. It requires a conscious effort to draw closer to God.

Are you on solid food?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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