Can you claim perfection in the eyes of God?

November 11, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
(James 3:2 (NIV))

Do you know anyone who thinks that they are capable of doing no wrong?

For those of you who have been married for a long time, I heard those comments that you just made!

Seriously, though, do you know anyone who thinks that they are capable of doing no wrong? Do you know someone who has an ego so big that they think they are perfect? Do you know someone who fits that description and looks back at you when you look in the mirror?

We are all fallen individuals who have surrendered to sin. Sin controls us. We long for pleasure and we long for things that personally benefit us. It is these desires that cause us to do things that we should not do. We fall short of what we are called to be. We miss the mark. We sin!

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

No one is perfect except Jesus. Contrary to what we may think, we sin more than we care to admit. We fall short in all aspects of our lives.

Fortunately, our salvation is not based on our perfection and on our ability to not sin. Our salvation is solely based on our acceptance of a gift of grace as presented through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Only Jesus had no fault. Only Jesus is a perfect man. It is through His atoning sacrifice that those of us who are not perfect can gain salvation.

Jesus never stumbled! Jesus never failed!

Can you truly make this claim?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must take a look at our actions

August 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
(Romans 14:21 (NIV))

Do we ever stop to think about our actions and how they effect those around us?

We tend to think that our actions only have an impact on us, but that is far from the truth. Most of us realize that our actions have a direct effect on those around us, after all, our outlook on life can impact other people. Have you ever stopped to think that what we do, and what we don’t do, can have a very big impact on people?

Would you have an alcoholic drink in front of someone that you knew was battling this temptation? Would you be so callous as to partake of a very large meal in front of someone who hadn’t eaten in several days? Would you encourage someone to steal something because they can’t afford it?

What if you were battling an eating disorder and someone accidentally tempted you? What if you were a drug addict under control and someone left something at your home?

Would you have the will power to resist? Would you be upset with those who left the temptation there for you?

Why do people sin?

It is a matter of personal addiction to something. If the temptation is removed, many can people can focus enough to ignore the sin. It is the introduction of temptation that leads to the person falling. Not everyone has the same temptation. What may cause one person to sin may not be what will cause another to sin. We, as the Body of Christ, must be careful that our actions do not lead others to sin. Contrary to what society may say, we should not only think of ourselves. We must think of others. We must be observant enough to know what may cause others to sin.

We, as the Body of Christ, have a responsibility to lift each other up. We must not be a hindrance. We must take a look at our actions.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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And that is what some of you were!

July 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV))

“And that is what some of you were!”

Do you like to be reminded of the mistakes that you have made in life? Do you like to be reminded of the terrible things that you have done?

Better yet, do you like to be reminded that all that has happened is in the past? It is forgiven!

The enemy likes to twist things around and remind us of what we were. He drives it home. He uses it to keep us from the grace and mercy that we have been given through Jesus.

Have you ever stopped to contemplate that Satan also twists this in such a way that he gets people to ignore the part about “And that is what some of you were?” He uses the concept that Jesus came to redeem us, to offer us grace and mercy. However, he twists this to the point where people believe that they can stay in their sin because God is love. I believe the biggest lie that the enemy uses is the one where people think that God will allow them entry to heaven because they are a good person. I know many so-called “good people” who live a life of sin but refuse to even consider giving up that sin.

God is love, but He did not send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we can continue to sin. He sent His Son to provide an example of how we should live and to offer us grace when we fail to live up to the standard. Jesus did not come into this world and tell us that we could do whatever we wanted. There is not a single scripture passage or quote where this concept is even suggested.

Pray that those who believe the lies will have their hearts opened so that they will know. Pray that they will have their eyes opened so that they will see. Pray that they will have their minds opened so that they will understand. It is my prayer for both those lost in the lies and for those who strive to walk daily with Jesus that all may claim this passage for themselves.

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you walk or do you stumble?

March 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Who is wise? He will realize these things.
Who is discerning? He will understand them.
The ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.
(Hosea 14:9 (NIV))

I have one simple question to ask, but your answer may cause some personal reflection and hopefully, it will be honest.

Do you walk or do you stumble?

If you are like me, you probably desire to say that you walk in the ways of the Lord, but, be honest. We all have times that we stumble. We all have times that we fall short of God’s desires and our own. The difference between those who desire to walk and those who stumble is just that – it is their desire. It is their priority.

Let me ask another question for you to consider.

Does a professional basketball player always hit the three pointer? It is their desire, but they often miss the mark. That does not mean that they are intentionally stumbling. It simply means that they are not capable of such a task. Now, does a person who professes a belief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior always do what Jesus would have them do. I know that in my frail humanity, I am not capable of it, yet I still try just as the basketball player still tries to make the three point shot. Sometimes I will fail, but the times that I succeed, I give praise where praise is due.

For those who profess a faith in Jesus, the failed attempts are not the same thing as when a rebellious person stumbles. Perhaps it would be better to put it this way. A rebellious nature is knowing that you aren’t supposed to do something, yet you do it anyway. There is no attempt at having a desire to do what is right. To a rebellious person, placing what is right and true in their path will only make them lash out and bring attention to the fact that they have no desire to follow what is right.

A rebellious person does not desire to walk. They desire to stumble.

With that in mind, let me rephrase my initial question like this.

What do you desire? Do you long to walk in the ways of the Lord, or do you desire to stumble against God in an attempt to avoid Him?

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

March 1, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,”
and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for
(1 Peter 2:7-8 (NIV))

Just what are the uses for a stone?

Think about that question, for just like anything else, the uses are a matter of attitude.

If you are walking and not paying attention to what you are doing, a stone in your path could be very bad. Now, imagine that you are living your life without any thought to your actions. All of a sudden you encounter a stone. This stone is set firmly and will not alter its stance with respect to how you live your life.

What if you are a passenger on a boat that is drifting aimlessly. The boat has no course or sense of direction, no sense of right or wrong. What happens when the boat hits a stone and goes down? Again, the stone will not alter its stance with respect to how you live your life.

Suppose that you desire to build a firm foundation and a firm shelter that will stand up to whatever the world will throw at it. What would you choose as the building material? Once again, the stone will not alter its stance with respect to how you live, but it will offer protection and salvation if you are willing to alter your relationship to it.

You can beat your head against the stone or you can accept the stone and allow it to become your foundation. That foundation is Jesus. That stone is Jesus. You can beat yourself against Him by denying His status as Lord and Savior or you can accept that He is the rock of our salvation and accept God’s offer to stand firmly upon Jesus.

It is a matter of perspective and attitude. You can curse the stone that you stumble upon or you can embrace the stone and cling to it for safety. How do you look upon the stone that is Jesus? You can accept Him or you can curse Him. Either way, He is not changing. It is His desire to change you and your attitude about Him.

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