Do you conform or are you transformed?

January 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2 (NIV))

Do you like to fit in? Do you like to conform? Do you like to go along with people so that you don’t make waves?

What happens when the things that you need to do to be able to fit in go against the things that you hold to be true and vital to your life? Do you find yourself abandoning your principles, your faith, so that you fit in? If so, what type of faith, what type of principles did you have that you could so easily abandon them?

As the Body of Christ, we must remember that humanity turned over authority in this world to Satan when Adam and Eve, and all of humanity, fell from grace in the Garden of Eden. Think about that for a moment and then honestly think about your answer to the following question.

Do you truly wish to conform to a world that has fallen to the enemy?

During World War II, after Germany invaded France, those who fought against the German enemy became known as the Resistance. They did not conform to what the enemy tried to tell them to do. They fought back! I believe that the Body of Christ could learn a lesson from the French Resistance. Instead of conforming to the world, we need to fight back against the enemy that has taken our world.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

Ours is not a physical battle. It is a spiritual war! The enemy’s deceptions are everywhere. We must test everything against God’s Word. We must be like the Bereans.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
(Acts 117:11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’

October 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: `Watch!’ ”
(Mark 13:35-37 (NIV))

Who is the owner of your “house?”

If you have proclaimed that Jesus is your Savior, you are on the way to proclaiming that Jesus is the owner. If you have completely surrendered to His authority so that Jesus is Lord and Savior, then He is the owner of your house.

There is a difference!

Jesus wants to not only be our Savior, He longs to be our Lord.

If you stop to think about this and the history of humanity, you will realize that Adam and Eve surrendered the lordship of their lives, and ours, to Satan. It was a choice that they made. To truly trust in Jesus, we must make the same choice, but in reverse. We must surrender the lordship of our lives to the One who was sent to redeem us from the sin that was committed. That is how we make Jesus the owner of our house.

We know that Jesus will return for his own. We know that we are instructed to live our lives as if He would return at any moment. We are to be ready. We are to watch.

How are we to be ready? How are we to watch?

We are to live according to the words that Jesus taught. We are to proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are to share the Gospel. We are to live according to God’s Word, and we are to do as Jesus told us. We are to watch!

Are you watching?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love this world and the sin that it brings?

November 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:25-26 (NIV))

Love and hate may seem to be extreme terms for the gift of life that God has given. How can Jesus say that we must hate something that God has given us?

Take a serious look at how God had intended for life to be. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they had to do no work or had no pain. It was through sin that they were forced to leave the Garden and enter into a world of hardship and toil.

We are not living life as God intended. Jesus came to show the way for us to get back to the original plan for life. If we hate this life as instructed, we long for a better life. If we love this life, then we have accepted the sin that has come into the world. We can be thankful for the life that God has given us, yet at the same time, long for the life that God intended for us.

Be careful not to confuse thankfulness with love of this world. We, as believers, have a much better life promised to us.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our society has perverted God’s concept of love!

September 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this” ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.
(Mark 12:29-31 (NLT))

I believe that our society has perverted this concept!

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do you love yourself in the manner that lets you justify all types of sin within your life?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Do you love yourself differently than you love your neighbor? Would you allow yourself to be put into situations that would result in your death? Most of us would not. We have a self-preservation instinct that kicks into gear. Most of us would run to rescue our neighbor from a calamity, but we fail to run to their rescue when it is sin that is sentencing them to death.

Why?

Unfortunately, it is very simple.

Society has perverted the meaning of the word love to imply that love means acceptance of the person. Since it implies acceptance, then it is society’s conclusion that love means that you accept the sins of the person.

People claim that Jesus is love and that God is love, and they are correct. Unfortunately, they are applying society’s current definition of love to the one who is love. God’s love is forgiving. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love means dying for those He loves. God’s love is not accepting of our favorite sins. We cannot keep them simply because they are part of us and if God loves us, then He will accept us as we are.

What a crock!

If God could accept us in our sin, why were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden? If God could accept us in our sin, why did He mix up our languages and scatter us at the Tower of Babel? If God could accept us in our sin, then why did He have to send Jesus to walk among us?

God cannot associate with sin.

God is perfection. Sin is corruption. God is love. Sin is death. The two cannot meet.

Society has embraced the lie of the enemy. Love is not acceptance. Love is caring for the well being of another to the point of sacrifice. A sacrifice designed to reveal true love to those in need of love and redemption.

God’s love is not accepting of sin. It is accepting of the sinner if we will only turn away from our sin. God’s love looks at eternity. Sin looks at the moment. Please don’t allow the moment to be a false love that leads to an eternity away from God.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

September 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
(Psalms 122:6 (NIV))

What do you know about Rosh Hashanah?

For that matter, what do you know about any of the roots of our Judeo-Christian ethic? Do you pray for the nation of Israel? Do you pray for Jerusalem? Do you understand the importance of the Jewish holy days? Do you realize that the prophesies that Jesus fulfilled all took place on the Jewish holy days that represented what He was actually doing? For this very reason, many people pay attention to the Jewish calendar since it is the basis for all things that have unfolded through Jesus up to this point.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sun down on Wednesday of this year. It literally means the “Head of the Year” and is often called the Jewish New Year. It is also looked upon as the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

There is so much to our faith that is not known simply because we, the Body of Christ, have chosen to ignore the history of the foundation of God’s Word.

I venture to say that we would be very surprised at the correlation of our current understanding with the historical understanding. Each can shed new light on the other. For example, we all know that Jesus is the bread of life, but did you know that Bethlehem translates as “the house of bread?”

There is so much that we should know about our Jewish history.

I can hear too many of you thinking that you are not Jewish so why should it matter.

Who was Jesus?

What lineage did He come from?

What lineage are His followers grafted into?

Where will Jesus physically return?

Do you know the family history of the troubles in the Middle East?

There is so much of what we believe that owes its existence to Israel, yet, too many of us don’t even realize that we worship a living Savior who came to this earth through the blood lines of Israel.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does the world think of you?

August 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 10:21-22 (NIV))

What does the world think of you? Does it welcome you with open arms as one of its own, as one who embraces the lies that the world passes as truth? Do you feel at home in this world or do you long for a place that God calls you to?

This world is beautiful, after all it was created by God, but we must not lose sight of the fact that we, through the sin of Adam and Eve, have relinquished this world over to the enemy. Because of this, the world is not what it may seem. When we see forests that God has created, the world sees a chance for monetary gain by “harvesting” the trees. When we see love, the world sees lust. When we see salvation through the gift of Jesus Christ dying on the cross, the world sees foolishness. The world sees us as fools and it will soon come to the point where the world will see us as criminals because of what we believe and whom we believe in!

When the world hates you, take heart, for the world hated Jesus!

Because of this hatred, Jesus was crucified. We must not forget that He arose, and because He arose, we have the gift of eternal salvation if we call upon His name.

It is true that the world hated Jesus when He walked among us. It is also true that those who hate Jesus today will hate you as well, but we must take heart, for we have overcome this hatred and this world through the blood of Jesus. There is one catch. We must tell others of this grace and mercy. We must identify ourselves with Jesus. We must open ourselves up to the world by proclaiming Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We must stand firm. We must not take our eyes off of Jesus.

Again, I ask you to stop and reflect on this one simple question. What does the world think of you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a viper?

June 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
(Matthew 12:34 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus called these people a brood of vipers. Carefully consider what a viper is and then carefully consider what deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Was Jesus comparing these people and their actions to the actions that deceived humanity and lead us into sin?

Satan was called a serpent in the Garden of Eden. A serpent is simply a snake, however, a viper is a deadly snake.

Was Jesus saying that the words and actions of this group of people were more deadly than those that originally lead humanity into sin? Let’s take a serious look at this concept. Satan introduced sin into the world by saying that man could be equal to God. How can the creation be equal to the Creator? These words and actions that lead to this deception have sentenced every person who has ever lived to live in sin and to suffer for it. In retrospect, I can see how a serpent fits.

Now, consider the people that Jesus was speaking to. He came into the world to bring grace, mercy and salvation from our sin. The people that He was speaking to were speaking what they, in their sin, wanted to be true. They spoke words that were intended to turn people away from the idea that there was a way to attain salvation. Now, consider what is worse, to lead someone into sin or to mislead someone by saying that they cannot escape from their sin. The first trapped us. The second attempts to keep us in the trap that leads to death. We know better than to be lured into staying in the trap of sin, for Jesus paid the price that allowed us to escape from the sin that has shrouded our lives.

Have you done anything that would be considered an act of a viper? Have you done anything that would cause someone to stay in their sin?

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