Is God warning you about sin?

March 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
(Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV))

Could God use these words if He had a conversation with you?

If only Cain had heeded these words and taken a different direction.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
(Genesis 4:8 (NIV))

I take this as proof that God truly does know what is in our hearts. He knew what Cain had within him. He even warned Cain to change his course and to not let his anger turn to sin. I also take this passage to reaffirm the fact that God loves everyone and desires for no one to perish. He reached out to Cain before he killed his brother in an effort to turn him away from sin. It was up to Cain to respond. It was his choice. He chose to ignore God and we all know what happened as the consequences of this action.

If God speaks to you in this manner, take heed of what He has to say, for it is being said out of love. Perhaps we should remember another passage before we think that God is not speaking to us.

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

God is calling out to us in much the same way that He called out to Cain, for we, too, are sinners prone to anger. Sin is crouching at our door. Have you mastered it?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t Compromise

June 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.
(Exodus 34:12 (NIV))

How true this is!

The land where we are going is the world in which we live. Every day we face things that we either have to turn away from, or we allow them to have an influence in our lives. What are some of the things that you have allowed to have an influence in your life? Were they as harmless as they appeared to be when they first materialized in your line of sight?

The same warning that God gave to the nation of Israel during the exodus from Egypt still holds true today. We may not face the same issues, but the results can be just as catastrophic in our lives if we give in when we know that we shouldn’t. What seems like a harmless compromise often will lead to issues that we will only live to regret at a later date.

What have you compromised on lately?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Focus on the True Blessings

March 20, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you–a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant–then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
(Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (NIV))

This warning applies to us today.

It is so easy to turn to God when things are not going so well. It is human nature to cry out in despair when things don’t look so great. When things begin to look better, we get very thankful. It is when things have been going well for a while that we begin to lose site of where the blessings have come from. We start to take them for granted. We forget to pause and give thanks and praise to whom they are due. Soon, we start to think that we are the reason things are good.

What is it about human nature that makes us turn our backs on the very One whom we should be praising? Do we get so awestruck by the good things that we get blessed with that we can’t see beyond our blessings? Don’t get me wrong. Blessings are wonderful. They show that God truly does love us. It is our reaction to the blessings that cause all of our problems. All too often we become so engrossed in the blessings that they become our god.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:3 (NIV))

It is a matter of perspective. It is a matter of priority. God knew that we would be tempted by His blessings. He knew that we would seek after the blessings. He knew that we could be easily distracted, and He warned us. We are to focus on Him. We are to praise Him. When we are in the midst of the blessings, we must not be tempted by the blessings. We must remember that He is the blessing that we desire. Through Him, grace, mercy and salvation are ours. This blessing is of far greater worth than any physical blessings.

We must focus on the true blessings and keep the earthly blessings in perspective.

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