Are you able to discern God’s truths in this less than truthful world?

June 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
(Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s society, it is so easy to fall into the traps of the wicked. it seems like wickedness is increasing and the line between righteousness and wickedness is rapidly blurring. If you are like me, you encounter things that are less than righteous in God’s eyes practically all of the time.

How do you handle what the world throws at you?

How do you handle the things that are contrary to the law of the Lord?

Are you able to discern what is contrary to God’s law or have you been swayed by the counsel of the wicked?

Sadly, too many people who profess to be part of the Body of Christ live in a bubble in which they let the world in but not enough of God’s Word. There is an old story about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Everything appears to be okay on the surface, but once you look deeper, there is a major problem. Not enough people take the time to look deeper into the things that sound good on the surface.

Take the concept that God will not condemn anyone to hell because He loves everyone. On the surface, this sounds good because we do know that God loves everyone. However, we fail to realize that we, through are sin, are the ones who are condemning ourselves to hell. We miss the mark that God established as righteousness. Too many miss it because they do not know the full truth to be able to test what the enemy sends our way. We do not recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

We must do as David said and take delight on the law of the Lord. we must meditate on God’s Word day and night. We must know God’s truths in order to discern the lies and the counsel of the wicked.

Are you able to discern God’s truths in this less than truthful world?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Honesty and integrity

August 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your `Yes’ be `Yes,’ and your`No,’ `No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV))

I am not against attorneys and legal agreements, but, what does this say about contracts? If everyone simply followed these truths, would we need to go to such great lengths to protect ourselves and our interests? Think about this. I am sure that many of you remember people who conducted business with a handshake. They made a commitment and they lived up to that commitment. They did not need documents to protect themselves and others. They simply lived by the philosophy that Jesus was teaching.

Take an honest look at society today. How many people do you know who still live by this philosophy? If they make a commitment, they fulfill that commitment. They keep their word. I would venture a guess that these types of individuals are few and far between, especially since the society in which we live now almost dictates to “Get it in writing.”

What have we become?

Honesty and integrity have to be documented, signed and witnessed. And then, if anything arises where there is uncertainty, litigation wrangles over the meanings of the words.

What would you do if God treated us in that manner?

How would you react if upon accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, God says, “Wait a minute. I have some documents for you to sign so that we can make this legal. That way, if you don’t uphold your promises, I can revoke your salvation.”

It sounds strange when you put it in this context. Now, think about the deals and the promises that we make to each other. Do we truly need to show such a level of distrust that we have to swear, or that we have to put it in writing. We need to treat each other in our dealings as God treats us – expect us to do what we say we will do and if we fail, allow redemption, allow a second chance. We are not perfect. We are a fallen race. We sin by nature. But, by God’s grace, we are forgiven. We have been shown mercy. We must extend that mercy to others.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
(Ephesians 4:1-2 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you willing to do likewise?

June 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. `Look after him,’ he said, `and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
(Luke 10:30-37 (NIV))

I experienced something over the weekend that brings this parable to light in today’s world.

I had pulled into a McDonalds to get something to drink and I noticed a car that was in a very precarious predicament. The front tires had gone over a poorly marked construction barricade and had dropped off the edge until the only thing touching the concrete was about 1/4” of the frame leaving the driver side rear tire about a foot off of the ground. The occupants of the car were okay, but there was no way that they could get the vehicle out of the construction ditch.

During this time, I saw countless people drive by and look, but only two fifty-three year old men even thought of coming to help. They looked and drove on by. Many even actually hung out of the passenger windows to get a better look. Still, no one bothered to offer assistance.

It is a sad commentary on society and on the hearts of people when they see someone in need and only think of it as a situation to be gawked at. Thankfully, the other fifty-three year old lived nearby and he was willing to make several trips to his house to get additional tools as they were needed. Some people simply looked and drove right on by. This man went out of his way to offer assistance. He was inconvenienced. He offered to do things that were not in his plans. He went the extra mile to do what was right.

Thousands of people go by this place every single day. In the two hours that it took to get the car out of the ditch, there were probably hundreds of people who went by. What does that say about our society? What does that say about our priorities?

With the assistance of a young police officer, we finally got the car out and I drove it around the parking lot to make sure that everything was okay. The lady and her 8 year old grand daughter were very happy to be rescued from their predicament. After she thanked us, I got in my car and drove the last hour to get home.

I am not relaying these events to draw attention to myself, Rather, to point out the way in which most of the people simply ignored the situation, or they looked and went on about their business. It was a bother to them. It was inconvenient for them to help.

We are to be neighbors to those in need. We cannot have a society that turns a blind eye to those in need. We must be good neighbors to all. We must be the hands and feet of Jesus to all who are in need.

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
(Luke 10:37b (NIV))

Are you willing to do likewise?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Does the world think of you as a fool?

February 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

This seems to be coming more and more true in today’s society. When I was in high school, it was still possible to pray in school. The ruling had been passed down, but many school systems were still having prayer time or a moment of silent prayer in the morning. The movie, “Oh, God” was about to be released and it had many churches up in arms because it presented God in a different way than traditional church theology. The movie turned out to be not what they thought, but it still caused a major controversy. People did not even dare to think of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle because the Bible plainly states that it is wrong. Today, we have media celebrities openly saying things such as “F___ Jesus.” For the most part, they get away with it. They are looked upon as trendsetters and open-minded. They proclaim that Jesus and the church are foolishness and that anybody who believes is a close-minded bigot and a hate monger.

What has caused this drastic change? Could this be the time that is written of in 2 Timothy 3?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

Don’t give in to the ways of the world. Hold fast to your faith.

There is a saying that it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

When you open your mouth, does the world think of you as a fool because you speak of Jesus? When you speak of the cross, do you speak boldly and confidently about the grace that the cross brings?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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