Do you love as Jesus loved?

August 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(1 John 4:11-12 (NIV))

It is God’s desire that we love one another as Jesus has loved the church. We claim to love God, whom we can not see, yet, many people who claim this do not love the people that they can see. God wants us to love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35)

We need to work on our ability to love one another the way that Jesus loves us.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

April 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
(2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV))

Are you ashamed to testify about Jesus?

Are you willing to suffer for the Gospel?

Chances are very good that if you are ashamed of Jesus, then you will not be willing to suffer for the Gospel. Let’s face the truth. Are you even willing to tell someone about Jesus or do you change who you are depending on who you are around?

Faith in Jesus is not something that can be turned off and on to suit your needs. In fact, I would venture to say that this is not a true faith at all. We already know what will happen if we deny Jesus before men.

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

That group of words should be enough of a reason to stand firm in your faith. It should be enough of a reason to make you be consistent in testifying about Jesus. Sadly enough, though, there are many people who will change their story depending on whom they are around.

Did Paul waiver in his faith? Think about all of the times that he was stoned or ran out of town because of his faith in preaching the Gospel. Think about the house arrests and the imprisonments. Think about his martyrdom. Paul did not waiver in his faith. He did not change depending on who he was around even though there were times, from a physical human perspective, where it could have benefited him.

How would God have treated Paul if he had wavered? How would the church that grew from his faith look today if Paul had wavered?

I honestly don’t think that we will see too many more years pass before we see Jesus return for His bride. With this in mind, what do you think that the members of the Body of Christ in your circle of influence would look like if your influence is all they see and they see that you are ashamed of the Gospel?

Your testimony matters! Your story matters! Your faith matters!

If you are the only representative of Jesus that people will see, what will be their impression of the Gospel?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What good is the church if we condone sin?

April 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I just saw something that made me wonder what is going on with people in this world!

To be more specific, what I saw makes me wonder if some churches even believe in the Gospel anymore.

I am certain that you are aware of the debate about homosexual marriage. Let’s take that one step further and completely stop focusing on sin in church! That is the very report that I just saw. A pastor has decided for himself that the church focuses too much on sin and salvation.

That is the very reason for the church!

The Body of Christ is called to be the church. We are to let people know about sin and God’s plan for salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus. The job of the church is to preach the good news. How can we tell people that they can be saved from their sin if we don’t tell them about sin?

Jesus did not come to make everybody feel good about themselves. He did not come to bring social justice. He did not come to promise earthly prosperity to those who follow him. Jesus came into this world to live a sinless, perfect life. He came to offer himself up as the sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. He died so that He could be resurrected and sit at the right hand of God, the Father.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We must be aware of the false teachers. We must be aware of the lies from the enemy. We must be aware of the thief that has found his way into the pulpits. We must test everything that we hear against the Word of God. We cannot pick and choose what we believe and what we ignore.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you belong to the body, or are you a virus?

March 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, need unity. Can a hand do any different than what the head asks of it? Jesus is our head, we are His body. We must do what the head does. Jesus is our example. All that we do should be in accordance with the will of the Father as expressed through Jesus.

The Church needs to unify and glorify God and Jesus Christ. We should not be bickering and fighting amongst ourselves. If the body is invaded by a virus, this virus is not welcomed, it is repelled because it will not do the body good. This is what must be done when the Body of Christ is invaded by dissention and false teachings. We must present a unified message to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Do you belong to the Body of Christ, or are you a virus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What has happened to our priorities?

January 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
(Acts 4:29-30 (NIV))

Do we speak God’s Word with great boldness, or have we become complacent in our faith?

The book of Acts tells us of the great things that the early church did. They did them because they had the faith to be bold. They knew with certainty that what they believed was true. They were not ashamed to boldly profess their faith. They were not too timid to stand firm on the promises that they had been given. They were not too engrossed in the trivial issues that surround us in our daily lives.

Sure, they worked to provide for themselves, but they did not become workaholics and so focused on achievement that they ignored what they knew to be true.

Why do we, in our so-called advanced society, lose focus of the very things that the early church boldly embraced? We no longer are bold in our faith. We are bolder about our support for our favorite sports team than we are about the grace and mercy that is freely given through the Blood of Christ. We can spend hours talking to each other about the game we saw yesterday, but we are not willing to even talk about Jesus at all.

What has happened to our priorities?

Are we the church? Are we the Body of Christ? A body is in motion and doing all that it can to make sure that it not only survives, but thrives. Is the Body of Christ in motion? Is the Body of Christ just surviving or is it thriving?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your encouragement found?

January 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV))

The words that Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonia still have a very powerful meaning to the church today. In this world, we will face trials and tribulations. We need encouragement to face these on a daily basis. This encouragement is found in Jesus Christ and God the Father. This encouragement comes in the form of the Holy Spirit to help us face the world. All we have to do is listen. It comes from a small, still voice that gently and quietly leads us in the path that God has set for us. To hear this encouragement, we must be willing to listen intently and do what we are encouraged to do. Do not forget that:

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)

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You can’t follow Jesus on your terms!

January 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, ” `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and `love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Matthew 19:16-22 (NIV))

Some theologians say that this man’s sin was greed. Others say that it was placing something above God. No matter what his sin truly was, there was an unwillingness to give up that sin, for he was comfortable within his sin. He wanted to follow Jesus on his terms.

It is true that Jesus came preaching that God is love, yet, He also wanted people to repent of their sins when they chose to follow God. God does love everyone. He desires for everyone to be saved, yet He does not want them to stay within their sin. Those who say that it is ok to continue to live in sin and be a follower of Jesus are simply not facing the truth of God’s Word.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Take a serious look at the last word in that passage. “Repentance.” He does not want us to come to Him and stay within our sin. The rich young man was not willing to repent and turn away from his sin. He wanted his sin to be justified. He wanted Jesus to tell him that he was “good enough” and that his “little” sin was not enough to keep him away from God.

We know that God cannot associate with sin. Sin is direct disobedience of God’s will. God cannot be disobedient to His own self.

Take a look at society today. What do you think of when you see groups of people wanting to change the teachings of the church because they are no longer relevant to today’s society? Basically, they are attempting to do what the rich young man was trying to do. They are trying to validate their sin. They are trying to have the church, which represents Godly authority, change what sin is so that they can continue to live the way they want.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

Jesus is the Word made flesh. God’s Word does not change. God’s Word speaks of righteousness. If we attempt to change what is considered righteous, what does that truly mean?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

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