Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

April 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
(1 Peter 4:16 (NIV))

Have you ever faced anything simply because you are a believer in Jesus?

Perhaps I should ask if you have ever been in a situation where you would have suffered if it was known that you were a Christian? Think about that for a moment as you answer the following. Did you withhold the fact that you were a Christian or did you deny that you were a Christian? There is a difference! Regardless of how you handled yourself in that situation, do you regret not standing up and identifying as a follower of Jesus? Do you feel that you have abandoned Jesus through your actions and words?

Consider Peter.

He denied Jesus three times during the events between Jesus being arrested and being taken to Pilate. All of us can put ourselves into the events and justify the actions that Peter took that night. In all honesty, it is not told in detail how Peter truly felt. We can only imagine what Peter was facing within himself as these events transpired and afterward. What we do know is that after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter was able to put his shame behind him and accept the grace that Jesus was extending to him.

Think about that!

Peter denied Jesus three times. He had seen Jesus beaten so badly that He was not recognizable. Peter had seen Jesus crucified, dead and buried. The guilt of his denial of Jesus must have been unbearable. Even after Jesus arose, what was Peter thinking? Was he thinking that Jesus would never forgive him for what he had done? Was Peter thinking that he had committed something so bad that he would be condemned to suffer for all eternity?

Grace is amazing!

What Peter did discover is that Jesus forgave him. Three times he was asked if He loved Jesus and three times he responded that he did. I can almost imagine that with each response Peter gave Jesus, the burden of guilt was being lifted until it was completely gone!

That is what Jesus does! He lifts the burden of guilt and replaces that burden with a joy that comes from knowing that all of your sins are forgiven! There is nothing greater to give thanks for.

Are you thankful to be called a Christian?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God has not turned His back on you!

August 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.
(1 Samuel 12:22 (NAS))

Too many people feel that God has turned His back on them. They think that He has abandoned them in the middle of their troubles and simply left them there to flounder in their situation. What they don’t realize is that it is not God who has abandoned them, but they who have abandoned God.

God has made a covenant with His creation through the atoning blood of Jesus, His Son. This covenant means that He will always be there for those who call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We have access to God the Father through Jesus, the Son. God’s covenant was made so that those who call upon the name of Jesus would have eternal life with God the Father. If God has given us a means to spend eternity with Him, why would He abandon anyone? Even those who have not called upon Jesus to be their Lord and Savior are under the covenant, they simply have not claimed it for themselves, yet.

It is us who has broken the covenant relationship with God. Even those who have claimed salvation through Jesus may loose sight of God occasionally. When this happens, God is not the one who has abandoned us. We have abandoned Him for earthly objectives and distractions. He is still there, we simply choose to not acknowledge His presence in our lives. He can never break His promise made through Jesus to be with us to the end of the age. God cannot lie.

The next time that you feel God has abandoned you, simply look around you. God is still there. He is still in covenant with you through the atoning blood of Jesus.

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