Is there freedom in your life?

April 30, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of God? Are you prone to apply human understanding and limit God as a result? Do you have a mental image of how you think God looks? Does your mental image apply human characteristics to God?

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
(John 4:24 (NIV))

No one knows what the Father looks like. His glory cannot be comprehended by human minds. All throughout human history, people have made a vain attempt at creating a likeness of God or what people have called gods. We are told not to worship idols. Nothing that we can imagine comes close to the majesty that is our Lord! He has no physical limitations. He has no spiritual limitations except that He cannot associate with sin.

We think that we have a good idea of what Jesus looked like. Even so, nobody is completely certain. God sent Jesus into this world at a time when people and events were not recorded for all to see. I would probably venture to say that it was never God’s intention to have a perfect likeness of Jesus be a part of His legacy. I can already imagine the human ego being exactly what it is if we knew that Jesus had a certain look or a certain ethnicity. We do know that He was Jewish, but we don’t know how dark His skin was. We don’t know what color eyes He had. All that we do know and all that we need to know is recorded in the Gospels. God wanted us to believe in Jesus on faith and not because we saw a video of Him performing any of His miracles.

Did God exist before creation?

Did Jesus exist before He came to earth?

Does God exist now?

Does Jesus exist now?

In case you are wondering where I am going with this, the answer is simple. God is Spirit – always has been and always will be.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

He stepped out of eternity and took on human form in order to bring us freedom! This does not mean that we are to worship the form. We are to worship the Lord in all of His majesty and not in the limitations of the form that He took. When you see the cross, what do you see? Do you see a man who was nailed to it or do you see the Spirit of God come to earth to set us free?

Is there freedom in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe?

August 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
(John 14:10 (NIV))

Jesus spoke these words to Phillipi when he asked Jesus to show them the Father, but they could easily be directed at any one of us.

We all have needed to be reminded of the nature and persona of Jesus. Too many people still fail to truly understand who Jesus is. Some still say He was a prophet. Some still say that He was just a man, and, sadly, some say that He never lived at all. To those who know the truth, we know that Jesus is much more than anyone can comprehend. Jesus is the one foretold by the voice of one calling in the wilderness.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-14 (NIV))

Do you fully understand who Jesus is? Do you fully understand who the Father is? Do you fully understand that Jesus is the only way to the Father?

Do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have trouble with your confession?

June 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever stopped to truly reflect on this passage?

We know that if we confess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior before men, then Jesus will not deny us in heaven.

Do you have a difficult time confessing that Jesus is your Lord and Savior? Perhaps you have a few friends that you simply never mention Jesus when you are with them. Do the people that you work with even know that you profess a faith in Jesus? Are you too ashamed to even put a Christian emblem on your car?

We currently live in a nation where we might be looked at strangely for our faith, but we really don’t suffer any physical threats or death because we profess a faith in Jesus. At most, we might be called a few not so nice names. I find it all too sad that far too many people will not take the step of faith to publicly profess Jesus in relative safety. How can these same people think that if and when they will be put to the test of faith when it truly means something, they will respond with a boldness that they don’t have now? That happens when they are before a group of people who desire nothing more than to kill them if they profess Jesus?

Think about those questions and then think about this simple, yet true concept.

When you are learning anything in life, do you start off with the most difficult aspect or do you start off with something simple so that you can build up confidence? If you are five years old and want to play baseball, do you start off facing a pitcher who can throw 90 plus miles per hour, or do you start off hitting the ball off of a T?

How can we expect to profess Jesus when the enemy is coming at us at 90 miles per hour when we haven’t even been able to get to the point where we can profess Him in the safety of friends?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the strength of your pride keeping you from Jesus?

July 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

People have a strange sense of themselves. Young people think that they are immortal, or at least they will be around for a long, long time. As people get older, they still have a tendency to think of themselves as in control. Many people go to their grave thinking that they are their own masters.

Isn’t it a shame that people’s pride is so strong that they do not want to admit that there is a God and that He has always been and will always be?

God created us to have a relationship with Him not as a servant but as a child to a loving father. The church is based on this principle. Jesus is the head of the church, and each of us are members of the body.

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
(John 14:9-10)

This means that God is the head of the church. He has always been and will always be, constant, never changing and always loving.

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

June 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
(Colossians 2:8 (NIV))

Remember that the world was turned over to Satan and all things of the world are his. This includes human tradition, false religions and many of the things that we take for granted as routine. With this in mind, it can be easy to be deceived. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and follow His tradition of doing only what the Father does.

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me
(John 6:38)

Jesus did only what the Father instructed him to do. We should keep this in mind when we go into the world for our daily lives and routines.

Listen for God. Listen to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s Word is the only judge!

January 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
(John 12:47-50 (NIV))

Did this passage catch anybody off guard?

Think about that for a moment.

How many people, including believers, have this notion that Jesus is to be our judge? This is easy to come to this false realization if you picture Jesus as He is during the Second Coming. We see Him dishing out justice on the world as He defeats the armies of the world in the Valley of Megiddo. Still, He is not the judge. There is one piece of information that we fail to bring to mind.

Jesus is wielding the Word of God as His sword. It is the Word of God that judges.

Perhaps we should think of Jesus as our defense attorney, and I know that I need one.

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

For those who call upon His name, Jesus is our Lord and savior. He is our defense attorney for when we stand before God to be judged. He knows God’s Laws and our sins, and He will stand in the gap for our benefit. He will claim the true believers as His own.

He will get our sentence pardoned.

Looking back at this passage, would you rather have Jesus as your judge or defense attorney?

I know that I want Him on my side.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have what the Father is offering?

June 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`My son,’ the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
(Luke 15:31 (NIV))

We know these words from the story of the prodigal son, but do we truly take them to heart?

Do you proclaim a faith in Jesus? Is it your heart’s desire to be with the Father? Can you be described in a manner similar to David in that you seek to know God’s own heart?

Do you have everything that the Father has?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV))

The things of the Father are not of this world. The things of this world will rot and rust. The things that the Father has to give are worth far more than anything in this world.

Can the world offer unconditional love?

Can the world offer true peace and joy?

Can the world offer patience and kindness?

What about goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

The world can never offer anything close to these. Anything that the world has to offer are simply cheap imitations of the real things. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the world’s definition of love, or better yet, Google it. I am afraid to think of what it will return if you turn off your search filters.

Do you have what the Father is offering?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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