Good instructions then and now

June 12, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NIV))

Paul often wrote words of encouragement. The words just before this passage start off reminding people that they cannot know the hour or the day, for it will come like a thief in the night. Paul encouraged the church of Thessalonians to stay away from the darkness and to stay in the light. He urged them to encourage each other. He encouraged them to live in peace with each other.

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 (NIV))

Being a part of the Body of Christ is more than claiming Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That will give you salvation, but it is not all that Jesus asks of each of us. We are to live out our lives encouraging other members of the Body of Christ. We are to live by the teachings that we have been left, and that does include the Old Testament.

We are to be examples to each other and to those who are not part of the Body of Christ.

We are to also listen to the Holy Spirit. We must live our lives in such a way that we respond to where He is leading us. We must not turn away from that leading, and we must not do anything that will cause others to turn away from that leading. We must listen to those who are in authority over us spiritually, yet we must not take that authority blindly. We must know God’s Word.

We must be able to discern when something is not true.

As Paul so aptly put it, we must test everything, for the enemy can make a lie sound like the truth. The enemy can seduce us with lies that are pure evil coated in an appealing shell of partial truth. If we are not careful, we can be be lead astray.

Paul knew this and his words to the Thessalonians were good instructions then and now. They are extremely good words to live out your life of faith in Jesus.

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you pass the test?

July 12, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
(2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV))

We seem to test ourselves in everything. We test in school. We test to get out of school. We test to get into college. We test to receive professional certification. We test to get a drivers license. We are told to examine ourselves for certain health issues. We examine our financial health, and we examine our professional status, but do we truly examine, or test, ourselves with respect to our faith?

None of us like to think about this. We all think that we have our faith securely in place. We think that because we spend an hour a week in church that we are covered.

Let me ask you a few questions.

What do you spend your time on?

What do you spend your money on?

What do you do with your free time?

What do you do when you think that no one is watching?

Do you spend time daily in God’s Word?

Do you spend time daily in prayer, and I don’t mean the self-centered type of prayer that most of us typically utter?

Do you earnestly seek to know God’s own heart?

Do you fill your life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, or do you fill it with worldly and selfish things?

Let’s face facts. As sinful creatures, we do not like to have our faults pointed out to us. We do not like to see the things within us that are not what they should be. Yet, that is exactly what we must do. We must examine ourselves daily and seek to repent daily so that we do not stray away from our faith.

Faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior is a relationship. Relationships take constant work to make them successful Jesus is not tempted to stray for He is divine. We are the ones who always stray. We are the ones who must always return.

When you examine your faith, do you pass the test?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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