Have we become modern Pharisees?

August 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1:15-17 (NIV))

Paul was probably the worst person in the eyes of the church before his Damascus Road experience. Even afterwards, many believers did not trust him or want to associate with him.

Does this sound familiar? How many of us today do not want to accept people whom we consider to be worse than ourselves? We claim to want sinners to turn from their sin and to turn to God, yet, if they try to do it in our “church,” we feel uneasy and do not want them to be a part of us. This is not Godly.

We never know what God has in mind for those whom He has called out of their sin through Jesus Christ. God may have a plan for those whom we do not want, and through our un-acceptance of these people, we are actually standing in God’s way. When we stand before God, do we want to have to answer the question asking us why we did not accept someone whom God has called? I know that I don’t.

People need to realize that all of us are sinners, and in the eyes of God, no sin is greater than another, for all sin leads to death. It is our human nature that has labeled some sins more sinful than others. If we fall into this way of thinking, then we have become modern Pharisees in the eyes of God.

Before you dismiss this, remember how Jesus treated the Pharisees of His day!

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

November 6, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
(Exodus 18:21 (NIV))

We think that who we elect to our public offices doesn’t really matter, or, even worse, we don’t think that what we have to contribute will make a difference. God is calling us, just as He called righteous people in the days of Moses, to assume positions of Godly authority or to support people who will support Godly authority.

The people that have authority over us direct the way that our nation turns. They also direct the way that God will deal with us as a nation. If we have Godly authorities who desire to do God’s Will in all things, then God will bless that desire and bless us as a nation.

If we elect people who will appoint judges who say that there is no God and that anything is all right in our society, except the mention of God, then we will suffer and our children will suffer.

Truth is truth and is not dependent upon the circumstances. If we cannot be a nation that does not waiver on our convictions before God, then we will slowly cease to be in God’s favor. Perhaps we have gotten to the point were we are now rapidly descending into a place that is not only no longer in God’s favor, but rapidly turning to where we are considered as an enemy. I pray that we are not descending so rapidly that our descent cannot be reversed!

Pray for God’s guidance in how you vote this election. Don’t assume that God does not want His people in positions of authority. Our nation was founded by people who held fast to the very Word of God. How would they react to what they would see today?

How do you think that God is reacting?

Pray as if your future depends upon who has authority over us, for your future and that of your children’s children will be determined by the laws that they make and interpret.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Time for a personal inventory

March 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
(Luke 16:10-12 (NIV))

It’s time to take stock, to do a personal inventory.

What are the things that God has blessed you with?

Have you been given worldly wealth? Have you been entrusted with a spiritual gift, or perhaps a talent? Perhaps you have been entrusted with friendships that give you an opportunity to witness. It is even possible that you are a public figure who has the capability of impacting many people through your actions.

What have you done with the things that God has blessed you with? Have you used them to further His kingdom, or have you used them to further your own? Have you used the trust that has been given to you to in such a way that it is given to others? Do you hoard the wealth or do you use it for His glory? Do you embrace the influence that you have and welcome the accolades of the people, or do you use your position to influence others for Christ?

Worldly wealth seems to come in all different forms, from actual wealth to fame and power. What we do with what we have been given is vital in our walk with God. Think about that for a moment. Suppose your father gave you some money to pay off bills. What happens if you use the money for other things and he finds out? What happens if you need to ask your father for another sum of money?

The gifts and the worldly wealth that we have been given are gifts from God. We are to use them to further His kingdom.

Time to complete that personal inventory.

Are there things on your list that you need to be more honest about? Are there things that need to change with respect to your priorities? Wordly wealth is fleeting.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Godly riches are eternal.

Are we willing to give up the eternal because we can’t be trusted with the things that the moth and rust will destroy?

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

February 23, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
(Psalms 118:8 (NIV))

I find things so interesting these days, as I am sure that many of you do as well.

Far too many of us look to a particular person to have all of the answers. Too many of us look to a political party to have all of the answers. Society longs to look anywhere and everywhere for the answers except where the truth is. We seem to elect leaders who shun the idea that they are wrong if they do not place their priorities on the back shelf and make the Lord’s priorities theirs.

Has there ever been a single person that you know who has never broken your trust?

It happens to everyone. It happens because we all have our own interests at heart. The old saying “What’s in it for me” is true. I am sure that you have also heard the old saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Even the best of intentions fall short of complete trust. The best of intentions are easily swayed when you think that you are the absolute authority.

Even the most honest and trustworthy person will fail and fall short of the expectations – theirs and others.

Take a look at David. Even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he sinned. He did things that his power and position gave him the opportunity to do. His personal desires lead him down a path that lead to adultery and murder. When he was confronted and realized his sin, he repented, but how many people paid the price for his personal agenda?

Our nation and our world have turned so drastically from refuge and guidance from the Lord and we have turned to trust in man. It was man’s plans that led to World War I, World War II, and every single war throughout history. It was man’s plans that have led to the economic collapse of Greece. It is man’s plans that will lead us to many more problems if we do not repent and take refuge in the Lord.

Today, “man” tells us that we need to keep God out of everyday life and keep Him confined to our churches. No wonder we have so much trouble. God did not create only our Sunday mornings. He created everything. Why do we try to confine the Creator of all things to only a small portion of His creation?

That sounds like too many people have placed their trust in man.

Where do you place your trust?

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