Stand firm and pray!

October 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
(2 Peter 3:3 (NIV))

Are you getting tired of all of the people who are scoffing and mocking Jesus and the Body of Christ? It has become so rampant, that there are very distinct battle lines being drawn between those who profess a faith in Jesus and those who think that they are too educated to believe in such things. It has even come to the point in our country where the two major political parties appear to have taken sides. One party refuses to mention Jesus or God and the other party acts like they expect everyone to be perfect like Jesus. I am not trying to be political, but there are now reports of one of the presidential candidates saying extremely bad things about people who profess a faith in Jesus.

I am so ashamed of what we have become. I am so tired of seeing these things increasing in what seems like a very rapid and very public change.

With what we are seeing, are you convinced that 2 Peter 3:3 is coming to pass if it is not already here?

My heart is heavy. My spirit is burdened, for I see what is going on and I fear for those who do not know Jesus. Are their hearts so hardened that they cannot be softened by the truth of the Gospel? Are they blinded by the false delusion and beyond hope?

We may see that the times are rapidly changing into the times that the Bible calls the last days, but we are not called to sit back and wait when we see this happening. If there was ever a time to be bold in our faith, it is now. We may be the one that Jesus uses to reach someone who is currently scoffing. We may be used by the Holy Spirit to soften a hardened heart and turn that heart to Jesus.

I earnestly pray for God’s will to unfold, but I am still human. My heart still breaks for those who need Jesus even if they are currently scoffers.

Stand firm and pray!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you ever felt ashamed of Jesus?

September 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:26 (NIV))

Have you ever been in a situation where you earnestly hoped that no one pointed you out as a follower of Jesus?

Perhaps you were in a situation where you knew that someone would criticize you or even threaten you if they knew you proclaimed a faith in Jesus? What did you do?

I honestly think that all of us have been in predicaments like this. It is a matter of how you handle it. It is a matter of your priorities. Is there a difference between these two possible responses: not speaking of your faith in Jesus; and denying Jesus if you are confronted? We have all been in situations where we feel uncomfortable. We have all been in places that we could tell were not friendly to those who follow Jesus. It is human nature to not divulge information that would put you in danger. In these types of places, we simply find a way to exit as soon as possible.

Do you think that Jesus sees our actions as being ashamed of Him?

Many people see this as an act of self-preservation. To quote a phrase used in today’s society, “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” How do you see this type of action? What happens if they ask? Do you keep quiet and not answer? Do you deny your faith? Do you boldly proclaim that you believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is?

Where does Jesus draw the line as far as what He considers as being ashamed of Him? Is our silence an admission of shame? Is our denial an admission of shame? Are any of these situations justified as self-preservation?

We all remember the story of Stephen being stoned to death. He did not deny Jesus and, as assurance, he saw heaven open up. Most of us remember the young lady at Columbine High School who was asked if she was a Christian. She did not keep quiet. She did not deny her faith. Her answer cost her life. She was not ashamed.

I know that we are only human and our actions are not perfect, even after we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. All that we have to do is look at how Peter denied Jesus and how Jesus forgave him to see grace in action. Then, as now, it is a matter of priorities. Peter repented and was forgiven. He went on to help spread the Gospel. We can repent when we deny Jesus. We can still be used to fulfill His will. The key is a repentant heart!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you confident and unashamed in your faith?

November 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
(1 John 2:28 (NIV))

It has been almost two thousand years since these words were spoken, yet the message is as true today as it was then. We must stay focused on Jesus. We must keep our eyes on the prize. We must not forget that He is coming again.

When Jesus returns, are you confident that you will be rewarded? Have there been times that you did less than you should have simply because you were in a group of people and you did not want to be thought of as a Christian? Have you been ashamed to show the world that you have been bought by the Blood of the Lamb? It seems that no matter how hard we may want to do what Jesus asks of us, we falter and we deny Him. We are not alone.

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
(Matthew 26: 34-36 (NIV))

We all know what happened to Peter a few short hours later. He did just as Jesus said He would do. Thankfully, Jesus did not come to condemn us in our sins. He came to forgive us of our sins. He looks at the heart. Just as He forgave Peter, He will forgive you if you simply ask for it. Even when Peter felt that he couldn’t be forgiven for his betrayal, he found that Jesus would not betray him. He fulfilled His promise. He encouraged Peter’s faith. He embraced Peter as if he had never sinned.

Are you as confident and unashamed in your faith as Peter?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ashamed of the Gospel?

September 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
(John 3:19-21 (NIV))

How can we be the light of the world and share the Light of Jesus if we remove God and Jesus from everything in our public life?

Too many have given up talking about Jesus because we do not wish to offend anyone. Are we ashamed of Jesus?

Paul was not ashamed.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Do we deny Jesus?

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
(Titus 1:16 (NIV))

Do we disown Jesus?

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

These passages are clear about what happens if we are ashamed, if we deny, or if we disown.

We have allowed God to be removed from public life. We have allowed prayer to be removed from school. We have allowed the removal of any reference to God or to Jesus from many aspects of our life and today, I read, and verified with several news agencies, something that completely broke my heart.

One of our political parties has completely removed any reference to God from their platform.

Are we, as a nation, ashamed of God?

Are we, as a nation, denying Jesus?

Are we, as a nation, disowning Jesus before men?

I can hear the comments already. Some of you are saying that this does not mean that these people are not believers. I do not know the people involved, so I am in no position to speculate. I am also not qualified to judge. What I do know is that which is written in God’s Word.

If we are ashamed of Jesus, or if we deny Jesus, or if we disown Jesus, then Jesus will not claim us as His own.

Sometimes what we omit speaks volumes more than what we say. If you proclaim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, do not fall into the mindset where you are ashamed of Jesus.

Would you intentionally deny Jesus?

Sometimes, what is not presented is the presentation. If we remove God, how can we call upon His name and how can we claim to be in His will? Our act of omission may cause us to hear these words from Jesus.

Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you boldly proclaim or are you ashamed?

August 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Paul, in the face of danger and death, proudly proclaimed the gospel. He said that it is something that you should not be ashamed of and he is absolutely correct. If you are ashamed of the gospel, then you are not truly a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself said:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
(Mark 8:38 (NIV))

It could not be simpler. We, as believers, must not be ashamed of the good news and we must proclaim it and not hide it from the world. It is the only thing that by which you can be saved. If you are ashamed of it, then you are not saved (re-read Mark 8:38). You have not accepted it completely, and will not be accepted by Jesus as part of His Body.

Take a serious look at what you believe and whether you would proclaim it to the world! Or, would you cower in shame and embarrassment at the thought of the world knowing? Your answer is very important, for it can mean your eternal life!

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

July 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Paul was not ashamed. Are you?

Think about everything that has ever meant anything to you. Chances are that you did not try to hide it from anyone. Honestly, every time that I have had something mean anything to me, I was very proud of it. I wanted people to know what I had done or what I had been selected to do. We are human, and ego does take over even when we don’t really want it to.

Have you ever reacted in this manner? Have you ever been proud of what you had done and you wanted everyone to know what you had done?

Is your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior one of these moments?

It should be !

If it is not one of these moments that you want everyone to know about, then closely examine yourself. Have you truly accepted God’s grace and mercy along with the willingness to reject the world?

Do you temper your references to God when you are at work or with your friends? Do you avoid situations where you will be called upon to exhibit your faith in public? Are you content to simply sit in church and then rejoin the world the rest of the time? Are you ashamed of Jesus? Consider the consequences.

I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
(Luke 12:8-9 (NIV))

Are you ashamed?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can you do to spread the Word?

July 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to reflect on just how powerful words can be?

Words can bring encouragement. They can destroy. Words can bring great joy or great sadness. Words can do tremendous good or bring tremendous harm.

There is one Word that brings eternal life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Consider the language that you speak. How many different words do you know? Do any of them carry the power to bring salvation? Only Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, can bring such a promise.

Every day, we speak hundreds, if not thousands of words. We must choose carefully what we say. We must speak the truth of the Word of God so that others may be brought to salvation, for only the Word can save.

Think about how powerful the Word of God has been in your life. What can you do to spread the Word?

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

January 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Paul had it all in the eyes of Jewish society; education, position, authority and power. Yet, he abandoned it all after his experience on the road to Damascus. He was among the elite of “God’s Chosen People,” but, after a true encounter, he saw the foolishness of the path that he was on.

If Paul can say that he is not ashamed of the gospel after persecuting believers, we must be able to do the same. When he was converted, people did not trust him at first. It was actually several years before he embarked on what we now know as his ministry to the Gentiles. It took this time to grow in the faith and to gain the trust of other Jewish believers. Until this trust was gained from the believers, he was literally shunned by both believers and his old “friends” in Jewish society. He gave up everything for the sake of Jesus. His actions speak of what we must strive for.

If we are in a situation where it is not “politically correct” to be identified as a believer, do we stand firm in our faith, or do we avoid the issue? Do we let people know that we are committed to Jesus, or do we secretly pray that nobody asks or gives us away?

Think about Paul. He gave up everything that he had ever strived for in his life. He was not ashamed of the gospel. Are we?

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