What do we see?

August 14, 2018

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NKJV))

Have you ever had the opportunity to look into an old mirror that has faded and cracked? The image that you see is a very poor reflection of reality. If someone could only see life through this poor reflection, they would have a very distorted view of reality. The same is true for what we see of God’s Kingdom.

We can only see “glimpses” of what is to come, and compare these to the promises that God has made about the coming Kingdom. Consider the old story about the three blind men and the elephant. Each of the men touched a different part of the elephant and all three of them came away with a different view of what an elephant really is. We are like the blind men in that story. Each of us receives different glimpses of God’s Kingdom and we miss the big picture.

There will come a day when those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will enter the Kingdom and will see clearly and understand clearly. That is to be our reward. Jesus gave us a little glimpse of heaven in these words. It is built upon our faith, our hope, and our love. He went one step further and told us that the greatest of the three is love.

God’s Kingdom is built on love!

If God’s Kingdom is built on love, then we should practice this at all times in our daily lives while still on this earth. It is true that our idea of love is only a dim reflection of heavenly love, but it is where we are to start.

What do we see?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see the things of God?

August 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

Did you watch the solar eclipse? Are you glad that it is over? If you are like the majority of people in the United States, you have seen enough information about the solar eclipse to where you could probably write your own research paper solely from memory. To be honest with you, it was an amazing event to see.

I find it interesting that humanity is so obsessed with these types of events, yet they fail to recognize that these types of events are clearly defined and foretold in the Bible. Society tries to explain them based on scientific reasoning. Please don’t misunderstand me and try to draw any false implications. There is nothing wrong with science. Science allows us to explore and try to understand creation. It allows us to form a hypothesis about a particular subject and then test that hypothesis to see if it is accurate. Over the course of human history, scientific conclusions have often changed when addressing the same subject. In essence, a hypothesis is only an assumption that someone makes for the sake of argument. They then have to defend that assumption. What I find so perplexing, based on this definition, is that when someone comes to a different assumption and tries to have a civil argument over the different assumption, someone is always labeled as ignorant and uneducated. Based on historical record and the very definition of hypothesis, science is man’s attempt to correctly explain what we see when how we interpret what we see is influenced by our less than perfect ability to perceive the truth.

The solar eclipse was a fantastic example of humanity trying to explain what we see when what we see is so far beyond our comprehension. If Jesus delays His return, humanity might get better at explaining things. However, we will never understand creation the way that the Creator does. If God said that something is to serve as signs, then we should take that at face value. I, like may people, are intrigued by the “how” with respect to what God does, but it will never be more important than the “why.”

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

How do you see the things of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn towards the light.

February 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
(1 John 2:9-11 (NIV))

It is so easy to be blinded in this life. We still may be capable of seeing with our physical eyes, but we are not capable of discerning with our sprit. Sometimes it is those who have perfect physical vision who see things poorly, for they let their physical eyes divert their spirit towards the things of the flesh.

Just what is darkness?

Is it the lack of light that we all have come to understand, or is there something much deeper and complex in its nature? According to this passage, light has something to do with love and darkness has something to do with hate. Isn’t that interesting, because if you hate you become blinded to anything but your hatred. You live in darkness with respect to being able to see anything of value in the object of your hatred. Soon, this blindness spreads to everything that you touch. It spreads and soon takes control of every aspect of your life.

Light can overcome darkness.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

Do you long to see?

Turn towards the light.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see?

July 28, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV))

How many times are we guilty of the same thing as Elisha’s servant? We see only with the natural and do not even acknowledge the supernatural that God is doing all around us. We do not stop to realize that God is capable of doing anything and that we do not have to see it happen in order for it to happen.

Could you imagine how Elisha’s servant felt after his eyes were open and he was allowed to see what God was actually doing? I can honestly say that I would have been humbled and humiliated especially when you stop to consider who I would have been serving. Elisha was a man of God. He was a prophet with a track record that just would not quit. It should have been obvious to his servant that God had something in the works, after all, Elisha had walked earnestly with God and God had honored that walk with allowing Elisha to speak His Will to the people. God always delivered what He said would happen as told by Elisha.

Has something happened recently that has made you feel like Elisha’s servant? Did you come away from that episode or event with a clearer understanding of God? Will you look at future situations with more faith as a result of that event?

How do you see?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you one in Christ Jesus?

June 22, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28 (NIV))

To those who do not profess a faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, this sounds like all believers are called upon to give up their individuality. They see all believers in Jesus Christ as too weak to be their own person.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Professing a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior requires tremendous courage. It requires each of us to take that step that says “I am placing all of my hope in someone that lived two thousand years ago.” I requires us to believe that He has overcome death and sits at the right hand of God the Father. In the eyes of the world, this is a decision made by fools, but it is the best decision that you will ever make.

What about being one in Christ?

One not only means a single quantity, it also means being in unity. It is very common to speak of a crowd being of one mind. Along these same lines, the Body of Christ is of one mind. We all profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. This profession unites us against the enemy. It unites us against the sins of this world. It unites us as the church, the bride of Christ. Once we accept Jesus, we open up ourselves to His Will and to His unifying grace and become one in His desires to see God’s Will completed. It does not matter what we have done before we came to Jesus, for all of our sins have been washed away. We approach God’s throne through the atoning blood of Jesus in unity – washed by the blood of the Lamb. We are one with Jesus since He paid the price for our transgressions.

Are you one in Christ Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you see?

February 9, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
(Matthew 24:32-34 (NIV))

Is it possible that we need to learn a lesson?

Is it possible that we are oblivious to what God is unfolding right before us?

This brings to mind that old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Are we so focused on the individual events that are unfolding before us that we cannot see that they are all related? Have we become so indignant that we think we make our own history, that our own plans will shape the course of history?

I look at Egypt as another sign of God’s plans unfolding. I do not pretend to know the details of what He is doing, but many believe that Isaiah 19 is beginning to unfold right before us.

I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian–
brother will fight against brother,
neighbor against neighbor,
city against city,
kingdom against kingdom.
(Isaiah 19:2 (NIV))

I know that you can argue that this could be interpreted in such a way that you could say it happens every day. However you look at it, it is very interesting to look at the world and the events within it from a perspective of “What if?” I am not professing an escapist theology, but I am professing that we need to heed the words that Jesus spoke and Matthew recorded. We must not hide our heads in the sand. We must not ignore the signs that God is showing us. We must not be ignorant of what those signs are. We must be able to recognize the season just as anybody can tell when summer is near.

The signs of summer are obvious. I firmly believe that Jesus was telling us that the signs He spoke about are also obvious. We simply must learn to recognize them.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
(Matthew 24:36 (NIV))

Just as with the fig tree when we see the twigs get tender and the leaves come out, we know that figs will soon appear. We do not know exactly when they will appear, but we know that it will come because the sings that foretell of the arrival have already come.

Do you see the forest as well as the trees?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

With the approaching new year, we must be prepared for whatever God sends to us that is new to our way of thinking. Just like the old wineskins that will burst if they attempt to hold new wine, our hearts will not contain what God has in store for us if we do not soften our hearts.

Look forward to the new year with much anticipation of what God can and will do.

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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