Just what is denial?

October 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (RSV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were with people that did not believe in Jesus? Perhaps you even found yourself in a situation that had you among people who ridiculed and mocked those who profess a faith in Jesus.

What did you do?

Did you give in to peer pressure and go along with the crowd of people you were with or did you stand firm in your faith?

Perhaps I am asking far too many questions, but I think that we have all found ourselves in situations similar to what I describe. It isn’t easy to always do the right thing. Sometimes it makes you feel awkward. Not doing the right thing makes you feel ashamed. Denial makes you feel ashamed.

Just what is denial?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one definition of denial is the refusal to admit the truth or reality.

Perhaps the best way to look at this is by realizing that even though we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are not perfect. We will still sin. We can repent. We can turn away from our moments of denial and ask for forgiveness. We need to strive to avoid these moments of denial, but we can rest assured that if we earnestly repent, then we will not be denied.

Jesus was once asked by someone how many times that they should forgive someone when they are sinned against.

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
(Matthew 18:22 (NIV))

If Jesus instructs us to do this, do you think that He would do any less if we are sincere in our request?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Practice acts of faith!

December 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you honestly hoped that the subject of Jesus did not come up? I don’t know if that is the same as actually denying Jesus before men, but it is too close for comfort.

This is a tough saying to deal with, for everyone probably has times when they at least thought about it. Only when your faith has matured do you face the question with a more stable attitude. Even so, everyone likes to think that they would not deny Jesus before men, that they would die rather than deny Him. I pray that this is true, yet no one really can say for certain until they are actually in that situation.

Faith is a strong thing if it is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Self preservation is also a strong thing, and unless faith is stronger, self preservation will win. How can you strengthen faith? Faith is very much like a muscle in that if you do not use it, it atrophies. If you practice acts of faith, your faith will increase.

Do not let your faith “muscle” atrophy from lack of use. If it does, the results may be denial. You will deny God and He will deny you.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can men offer in comparison?

December 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 6:1 (NIV))

Ouch!

Are we guilty of this?

Do we perform acts of righteousness so that others will see them?

It is human nature to want to draw attention to ourselves. We like to “show off” so that others will see us and praise us. We must remember that the things that we are called to do are not considered righteous if we have the attitude that tells people “Look what I am doing!”

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(Matthew 6:2-4 (NIV))

The praise of people is fleeting. It can change in an instant. It is worthless, for what good does the praise of people do us? Can it bring true joy? Can it bring peace? Can it bring true happiness?

What happens when we realize that the praise of people has stopped? Do we do things to regain that praise? Should we care about the praises of people?

People are fickle. Human nature seeks the next big thing to capture our attention and then we move on. When we seek the praise of people, we seek the wrong reward even if we seek the praise for doing something that is right in the eyes of God.

Think about that statement.

If we seek the praise of people, where do we stop? Do we start doing things that are sinful and outrageous to get the attention? I know that mental health professionals spend countless hours trying to help people who have done just that. What good does it do to receive temporary praise?

God is the only one that we should focus on pleasing!

God’s rewards are far superior to anything that man can offer. Only God, through His Son, Jesus, can offer grace and mercy that is eternal.

What can men offer in comparison?

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