What would it be like to have walked with Jesus?

October 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
(Mark 9:30-32 (NIV))

I often wonder what it would be like to have walked with Jesus. I know that grace and mercy are freely given through His sacrifice, but what is it about Him that drew people to Him to begin with? Was it His knowledge? Was it His love? Was it His demeanor or was it His ability to enthrall large crowds with His public oration? It is something that I think most people have had in their minds at one time or another.

Consider the words from Mark. Jesus spoke in such a way that those who chose to follow Him did not understand. To me, this is an unusual occurrence, for human nature gravitates to what it knows. If someone doesn’t understand something, they have a tendency to stay away from these things and stay with what they know. Human nature does not place you in situations that make you feel inferior. You stay with what you know and understand. Yet, on many occasions, these men did not understand what Jesus taught. Still, they stayed with Him. They clung to every word that He taught just as a young child will cling to its father. They may not understand what is being said, but they recognize the voice and the comfort that it brings.

I can only imagine the commanding persona that Jesus had. What type of personality would the Son of God possess? Did He laugh? Did He cry? Did He play jokes on people? Did His disciples play jokes on Him? Jesus was fully human. I can imagine that He did the things that we do, only without allowing sin to take control.

Jesus was also fully God. He did things that people could not understand.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

We have already thought about the characteristics that drew people to Jesus, but what would draw Jesus to humanity and ultimately to the cross? We say that love drove Him to the cross. I am sure that it did, but, can we even begin to understand this great of a love?

What did He see in you and love so much that made Him willing to suffer and die?

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

March 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
(Matthew 16:27 (NIV))

How many times have you heard someone say that Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon, or, some have even said that He will not be coming back at all?

We know better than that. We have the promises that God has made to us as proof. Every promise that God has ever made to humanity has been kept in His time. Some are still waiting to be kept, but they will be kept. If you study the laws of probability, the odds of these promises fulfilling themselves is astronomical, especially when you consider that not one promise or prophecy has been wrong.

With that type of a track record, if I were a betting person, I would say that my money is on this promise being fulfilled. If that is the case, then how do you want to be rewarded for what you have done? Do you need to take a serious look at your actions and ask for forgiveness and guidance?

Remember that parable of the bridesmaids and their lamps. You never know when the groom will return, so be prepared in thought and action.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we willing to be a servant?

February 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
(Mark 10:42-45 (NLT))

I can see very clearly that this concept has become unknown in our current society. Many of our leaders feel that they are in absolute authority over us, yet they proclaim to be Christians. Based on this passage from Mark, we see that this is clearly not the case. It states that those who wish to be a leader must be a servant. They are not to be elevated above others, but must have a servant’s heart. They must be willing to sacrifice for those whom they are called to lead.

This applies not only in government, but also in our work, and in our local church assemblies. We must not allow ourselves to exercise authority over each other is such a way that we subjugate those around us. The Body of Christ has only one head. The last time that I checked, no one has professed to be Jesus and has come visible in the clouds with an army.

It is our sinful human nature that wants to elevate ourselves to positions of authority. I am sure that everyone has, at one time, had a fantasy of having our every wish and whim fulfilled. For most people, this is just a fleeting idea. However, there are those who cling to this concept even though they may not realize it.

Do you find yourself thinking that you are better than others?

Do you ever find yourself thinking that as long as you get yours, you couldn’t care what happens to others?

Human nature can be harmful. Ego can be harmful. To truly be a leader, you must be willing to serve. You must be willing to put the well being of others before your very own. It is this characteristic that Jesus displayed when He willingly went to the cross.

Would we do the same, or would we say to take someone else in our place? Are we willing to make the sacrifices that truly say that we are a follower of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Celebrate His Resurrection and our salvation!

April 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
(Matthew 20:18-19 (NIV))

In the next few days leading up to Easter, we need to remember what happened in Jesus’ life during these days. He knew what was coming and He went into it willingly. He laid down His life for us. Even though He was, and is, the Son of God, He paid the ultimate price for us willingly. He could have avoided the cross, yet He went through the torture and agony because He loves us.

As Easter Sunday draws closer, remember the agonizing death that Jesus went through so that we could celebrate His Resurrection and our salvation.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for His return?

September 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(Luke 12:35-40 (NIV))

Is Jesus your Lord and master?

Are you ready for His return?

Will He find you prepared and looking for His return?

Things are happening in the world today that appear to be very prominent signs that the season is rapidly approaching when Jesus will return. Are we prepared for His arrival? Will He find us diligent in our faith and living as He taught?

Will we be ready or will we be caught off guard?

The parable that we are told in Luke shows servants who have been assigned the responsibility to keep watch over the house. The gates or doors were locked and the servants who stood watch had the responsibility of alerting the whole household if trouble came or if an important event happened. The return of the master of the house was such an event. It was their responsibility to keep watch for him and to let him in when he arrived.

Are we keeping watch for Jesus?

Will we be ready to let Him in when He arrives?

We do not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season. I pray that the Body of Christ will look beyond their circle of influence and seek to learn what is going on throughout our country and the world. There are things happening that will send you to your knees. We do not have an exclusive claim to Christianity in this country. The Body of Christ is worldwide. The Body of Christ is being persecuted worldwide. Members of the Body of Christ are losing their lives simply because they profess a faith in Jesus.

Are you ready to stand watch? Are you ready to profess Jesus?

Are you ready for His return?

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

April 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
(Luke 24:1-8 (NIV))

We just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.

This celebration marks the yearly remembrance of why our faith has meaning!

Contrary to those who claim that his body stolen, and to those who say that Jesus was not real, we know better. We, as the Body of Christ, through faith, know the truth.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

We are certain of the resurrection. We know beyond all doubt that Jesus is alive!

Christianity is built upon this foundation. If you do not accept that Jesus is alive, you cannot accept that He is your Savior. If He is not alive, you cannot possibly believe that he has come to rescue us from our sin. If He is not alive, His power and authority are nonexistent.

However, if we simply stop there, we lose site of why He came to suffer and to die.

He did not come to this earth to be an atoning sacrifice so that we could continue in our sin. He did not come into this world to tell us that it was okay to live our lives against the Will of God. He did not preach that we could call upon His name as savior and then go about our sinful ways. He came to be our Lord and Savior. We are to submit to His teachings.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11 (NIV))

Too may people falsely claim the first part as the whole teachings of Jesus. It is true that Jesus does not condemn. He came to bring life. He did not stop there. He told us to leave our lives of sin. Sadly, too many in the church have forgotten this.

If Jesus came and taught that it was okay to continue in our sin, why did He have to go to the cross and die? Why would He tell us to leave our lives of sin? If we did not need someone to pay our debt of sin, then His death had no meaning. If His death had meaning and His resurrection is true, then it logically makes sense that we are to leave our lives of sin.

It is impossible to accept the teachings of Jesus, His death and resurrection and ignore where He tells us to go and leave our lives of sin.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Jesus is alive!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world

March 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalms 46:1 (NIV))

I want to start this off a little differently than usual. I want to be up front and state that this is not political in any manner.

Now, I know that there is a saying that you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet. I firmly adhere to this saying. However, in the midst of things that are happening in this country and in the world, sometimes you have to consider alternate sources of information.

I have seen things that sound too far fetched to even consider to be true, yet, they do catch your attention. They catch your attention in the same way that the book of Revelation gets your attention. I am seeing warnings of foreign troops on US soil. I am seeing photos of UN tanks on US soil. I am hearing reports of financial collapses worldwide. I am seeing the stage being set for the antichrist to step in and, in the eyes of the world, save the day.

If any of this does happen, where would you place your trust? Where would you place your faith?

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV))

“and they knew nothing about what would happen”

Do you want to be one of the people who knew nothing about what will happen?

I know that we will not know the day or the hour, but we need to be prepared. Jesus may not return for another hundred years or he may return tonight. We don’t know when, but we do know that we are to be ready. We are to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. We are to fully place our trust in God as our refuge and our strength, for we are not capable of facing this world alone.

No matter when we may face troubles or how big those troubles may be, God is there. He is our refuge. He is our strength. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 john 4:4 (NIV))

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