Which spirit have you received?

June 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
(1 Corinthians 2:12 (NIV))

Sadly, too many people who claim to be a member of the Body of Christ still cling tightfisted to the spirit of the world. We have become afraid to let go of the sin that we have embraced in our lives. Is this due to familiarity with the world or is it due to the simple fact that we are comfortable in our sin?

Are you conformable in your sin?

Are you afraid to let it go because you don’t know if you can face your life without it? Are you afraid to see what God has in store for you if you do leave your sin? I once heard a story of a little monkey who reached into a jar to get what was in it. Unfortunately, when he tried to pull his hand out of the jar, his closed fist was too big to fit through the opening. Instead of letting the object go, he clung to his prize and remained stuck in the jar. Are we like that monkey? Do we cling to things even though they entrap us?

Take a long, hard look at your life. Is there anything that you refuse to let go of even though it has you trapped in sin? Sin is of the enemy. Sin is of the spirit of the world. In order to truly follow Jesus, we must be willing to let go of anything and everything that will keep us from Him? We cannot be a vessel for both the spirit of the world and the Holy Spirit!

Which spirit have you received?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

Are you afraid to encounter the risen Jesus?

March 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: `He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
(Matthew 28:5-10 (NIV))

Are you afraid to encounter the risen Jesus?

Aside from the obvious fear that someone had stolen the body, or that they were in the presence of someone or something that they did not understand, these women experienced something that I often wonder if I would react in fear if I experienced it. Even though they knew Jesus as a friend when He walked the earth, they encountered the resurrected Jesus face to face!

I want you to think about that concept and how you would react.

What would you do if you encountered the risen Jesus face to face?

What would you do if He suddenly appeared in your living room?

What would you do if He suddenly appeared to you in your back yard?

What would you do if He suddenly appeared to you at work?

We like to think that we would be overjoyed with such a visit, but how many of us would actually be afraid? How many of us would fear that we had done something so bad that Jesus came to tell us that we had messed up? Would we be overjoyed with what Jesus did come to tell us?

I long to see Jesus, but I am like everyone else. How would I honestly react? Would I be fearful? Would I truly understand what would be happening? Would I faint from fear? Would I cry from fear? Would I cry for joy?

Would I . . .

To be honest, I like to think how I would react, but in my frail humanity, would I truly be able to react in that manner?

I just know that no matter how I react, it will not be a reaction of denial. I will not deny my Lord and Savior. It may be a reaction of shame, for I know that I fail Him daily. Even in my failures, I have waited too long to see His face!

He is risen!

Are you ready to see a resurrected Jesus face to face?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

October 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
(Mark 4:35-41 (NIV))

Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through the minds of the disciples? We know that they asked “Who is this,” but what else were they thinking?

Were they afraid? Did they realize who was with them and then realized that their lives were not worthy of His company?

Were they arrogant? Did they start to think that they were special because the Creator of all the universe had chosen them to spend His time with?

Were they dumbfounded? Did they have so many emotions and thoughts that they didn’t know what to do?

Personally, I believe that I would have been all of the above and then some. Fear would have gripped me once I realized that He was God. Arrogance and pride would have come next for the very reasons that were mentioned. I probably would have then sank into a deep and reflective mood where I would question everything I had ever known and everything I had ever thought, said or did. In other words, I would have done exactly what I would assume each of us would have done.

Think about that for a moment.

One day, we will all stand before Jesus and come to the full realization of who He is. For some, it will be a moment of great despair. For others, it will be a moment of great joy. The difference will be decided by timing. When did each of us come to the realization that Jesus is the Son of God? If you already profess that, then great joy will fill your heart. If you have not, your realization will come too late and you will be filled with great despair.

How will you greet Jesus on that day?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


This world is in need of what God has called you to do!

October 11, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
(Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV))

It has been said that Jesus stands at the door to our heart and knocks. God longs for a saving relationship with us through His Son, Jesus. He patiently waits for us to hear that knock and allow Him in.

Can you imagine the delight that God experiences when one of His children turn that knock around, when one of His children actively seek His face, His truth, His grace and His salvation?

Jesus came into this world to offer grace and mercy to a sinful and arrogant people. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit patiently wait for someone to hear their gentle knock and to open up their life to the grace and mercy that is freely given to them. Now imagine someone who seeks this aggressively, who seeks God with all of their heart. If God is willing to give grace and mercy to those who are not answering God’s gentle knocking, imagine what God is willing to give to someone who seeks after Him with all of their heart.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.
(Exodus 14:15 (NIV))

It is a shame that too many people are like the Israelites from Exodus. We expect God to provide for everything, yet we are too afraid to step out in faith. I dare say that those who are afraid to step out in faith may also be the very same ones who do not turn to God and knock.

God rewards faith. God rewards those who knock.

Recently, I was speaking with some clergy friends and discussing the idea of pursuing some advanced Biblical education. Many of these friends told me to be prepared for things to start happening that I would not be able to explain. Each one confirmed that if we take a step in faith, God will meet us there and He will guide us and take us places that we could not imagine going.

He has given us a purpose. Now, He is waiting for us to embrace that purpose. Have you knocked at God’s door and asked what He has in store for you? Have you embraced your purpose?

If the Body of Christ will rise up and embrace that purpose, I believe that we will see God made manifest among the nations.

This world is in need of what God has called you to do!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Whom shall I fear?

November 10, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is my light and my salvation–
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life–
of whom shall I be afraid?
(Psalms 27:1 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting how we can allow things of this world to cause us fear and worry.

Think about that for a moment.

Who created this world and all things in it? Who loves us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to save us from our sins? Who has promised that Jesus is preparing a place for us? Who has promised that He will return to gather us to Him?

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Why do we still fear things of this world? Why is our faith shaken so easily? Why do we slip into the physical world and allow it to overcome our joy with fear? Why do we take our eyes off of the prize?

What is our prize? Is it physical or is it spiritual and eternal? Paul wrote that he presses on toward the prize – a prize that cannot be seen – but is of far greater worth than anything that is physical.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 (NIV))

Why do we still allow ourselves to fear the things of this world when we have a glorious Savior and all of the promises? I will admit that no one is truly certain how they will react when presented with physical danger because of our faith. I pray that each of us will trust in the Lord.

Whom shall I fear?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Just believe!

January 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
(Mark 5:36b (NIV))

Do you know the first part of this story?

Jesus was asked by a ruler of a synagogue to come and heal his daughter. Along the way, a woman touched the hem of his robe and was healed. Jesus was sidetracked from his plans. During this time, some men came and told the ruler of the synagogue that his daughter had died. It appeared that Jesus was too late. It appeared that all hope was lost.

With that scene laid out before you, can you imagine the feelings of despair that the ruler of the synagogue probably felt. I can also imagine that he was probably also feeling anger toward the woman who had distracted Jesus. He was afraid that he had failed his daughter and that he had failed his family and himself. I can imagine the deep anguish that I would feel if I had gone to get someone who could save my son or daughter only to discover that circumstances had delayed the saving grace that I had been so sure of.

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
(Mark 5:36b (NIV))

Words.

Words that are so easy to say, yet, are so difficult to hold on to when all around you seems to be falling apart.

I want you to ask yourself this one question – Have any of the promises that God has made ever been broken?

Jesus, the word made flesh, had willingly gone with the man to heal his daughter. He had promised to go. It is not in his nature to break a promise, even when in the eyes of the world, things are too far gone for anything to happen. But, happen it did.

Jesus healed the girl. He brought her back from the dead. According to all worldly knowledge, it was too late, but according to God’s timing, it was not. In fact, the timing of this resurrection was perfect, for it magnified God through the actions that transpired.

With God, things may never be too late. Is there something in your life that just will not change, something that has been troubling you for a very long time? It is not too late for God to turn that around. Is there a dream that you feel that God has given to you, but it has not come to fruition and you are getting older? It is not too late for God to make it happen.

In all honesty, I believe that these five words can be used to define a faith in Jesus. They can be used to help us walk through the darkest shadows of life. They can be used to encourage us when we walk through whatever wilderness we find ourselves in.

Don’t be afraid.

For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
(Isaiah 41:13 (NIV))

Just believe!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: