The Bread of Life was broken for you!

April 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
(Matthew 26:26 (NIV))

All people who claim their faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior recognize these words. They know that these words are a portion of the words that we now know as the Last Supper and we remember when we take Holy Communion.

I have recently only begun to understand the full meaning of Jesus as the bread. The Jewish Passover feast calls for the middle loaf of bread to be hidden or buried for a while. This is exactly what happened to Jesus. Jesus (the Bread) was crucified between two thieves. He was the middle loaf. He did not stay buried, just as the middle loaf does not stay hidden,

Another interesting tidbit of information is that in Hebrew, Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” Jesus refers to himself as the “Bread of Life.” Isn’t it interesting that the “Bread of Life” should be born in the “House of Bread” and that the middle loaf should be hidden for a short time. God has a sense of humor. He is probably laughing at us for not recognizing the obvious. At the same time, He is crying for those who do not recognize and partake of the “Bread of Life.”

The Bread of Life was broken for you!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are your walls strong?

August 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
(Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV))

In Biblical days, a city relied heavily on its walls for protection from its enemies. Today, nations rely on military strength and other means for security and protection, yet, the idea is the same. This idea consists of being prepared for whatever the enemy may throw at you at any time of the day or night. Many times, the enemy is unknown until it is too late.

The same thing is true of our spiritual lives and spiritual enemies that we may encounter. Our spirit, when guided by the Holy Spirit, is our primary defense against the attacks of the enemy, Satan. We must keep our spirit in top condition just as a city’s walls had to be maintained. If a city’s walls deteriorated, then the city was vulnerable to attack and defeat by an enemy. If we allow our spirit to become weak and “deteriorated,” then we are also vulnerable to attack by the enemy.

Strengthen your spirit daily by feeding on the Word of God. Test all things against God’s unwavering standards. Do not be deceived by false appearances as the residents of Troy were with the “gift” of the Trojan Horse. Satan is a master at deception and lies. Arm your spirit with the proper implements of battle.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Broken and loved by God!

December 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

” `The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone’ ?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.
(Luke 20:17-18 (NIV))

Which would you rather be – broken or crushed? Let’s face it, neither one of them sound like it will be good for anyone. Both options have drastic overtones that resound with pain.

Carefully consider the options from a two thousand year old perspective. To fall to the ground, or prostrate yourself, meant to throw yourself at the mercy of the one who was in authority. The authority was thought of as strong and as powerful as stone. Out of humility, people would prostrate themselves on the stone of the authority seeking mercy. In the situation where a faith in Jesus is professed, Jesus is that stone. He is that authority. It is at His feet that we prostrate ourselves seeking mercy. Fortunately, all who seek it will find it. Through our brokenness and humility, we will be strengthened. We will be made whole.

Consider those who did not throw themselves at the mercy of the authority. That stone of authority came down upon them and crushed any chances of mercy that may have existed. The same is true of Jesus. If we are too proud to turn to Him in brownness and humility, eventually, His authority will come down upon us and crush us. We will be broken and cast away without any hope. I know that this sounds harsh, but we must remember that God loves us and does not desire for any of us to face this. He calls us to Him, but our pride causes the separation.

In my opinion, it is much better to be broken than to be crushed. Brokenness implies that we can be restored. We can be made as good as new. To be crushed implies the return to the dust from which we came.

All of us must come to terms with the power and the strength of the stone that is Jesus. We can humbly approach Him in our brokenness and seek mercy, or we can deny Him in our pride and be crushed by His authority. One thing that we must never forget is that with the authority that belongs to Jesus comes the love and mercy of God. It is this love and mercy that kept Jesus on the cross. He faced the brokenness so that we can turn to Him in our brokenness and find love and mercy.

As for me, I would prefer to be broken and loved by God, instead of being proud and crushed by the weight of my sin.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Placement of Trust

February 23, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
(Psalms 118:8 (NIV))

I find things so interesting these days, as I am sure that many of you do as well.

Far too many of us look to a particular person to have all of the answers. Too many of us look to a political party to have all of the answers. Society longs to look anywhere and everywhere for the answers except where the truth is. We seem to elect leaders who shun the idea that they are wrong if they do not place their priorities on the back shelf and make the Lord’s priorities theirs.

Has there ever been a single person that you know who has never broken your trust?

It happens to everyone. It happens because we all have our own interests at heart. The old saying “What’s in it for me” is true. I am sure that you have also heard the old saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Even the best of intentions fall short of complete trust. The best of intentions are easily swayed when you think that you are the absolute authority.

Even the most honest and trustworthy person will fail and fall short of the expectations – theirs and others.

Take a look at David. Even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he sinned. He did things that his power and position gave him the opportunity to do. His personal desires lead him down a path that lead to adultery and murder. When he was confronted and realized his sin, he repented, but how many people paid the price for his personal agenda?

Our nation and our world have turned so drastically from refuge and guidance from the Lord and we have turned to trust in man. It was man’s plans that led to World War I, World War II, and every single war throughout history. It was man’s plans that have led to the economic collapse of Greece. It is man’s plans that will lead us to many more problems if we do not repent and take refuge in the Lord.

Today, “man” tells us that we need to keep God out of everyday life and keep Him confined to our churches. No wonder we have so much trouble. God did not create only our Sunday mornings. He created everything. Why do we try to confine the Creator of all things to only a small portion of His creation?

That sounds like too many people have placed their trust in man.

Where do you place your trust?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Broken part of creation

November 17, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
`What are you making?’
Does your work say,
`He has no hands’?
(Isaiah 45:9 (NIV))

Humanity is nothing more than potsherds. Each of us is simply a broken part of the creation that God intended for us to be. We inherited that brokenness from the actions of Adam and Eve in the fall from grace. Before sin entered into the world, each of us was destined to be a magnificent, one of a kind creation that glorified God. Now, we are simply broken shards of what we were created to be.

Just as the broken parts of a clay pot can hint at the beauty that it once had, we only hint at the beauty of what we may have been if sin had not entered into our lives. The only difference between us and an actual clay pot is the skill of the Creator. A potter can only repair a broken pot if all of the pieces are still there. He cannot make it as it was when it was new, but it may still be able to function as it was intended.

We have a Creator who is far more skilled than any earthly potter ever will be. We have the God of the universe as our “Maker.” He can take any of the pieces of our broken lives and recreate them to be what He intended for us to be. All we have to do is be willing to surrender to His Will. It is foolishness to think that we, the mere creation, can tell the Creator what to do. We must surrender to His Will and the skill of His hands, after all, he had a plan for us. He created us for a certain purpose. He “wired” us for that purpose. When we allow Jesus into our heart and we allow God to recreate our lives, then we are willfully surrendering to His authority as Creator.

Do you honestly believe that you can know more than the Creator of the whole universe?

Stop trying to quarrel with God and let God mold you into the creation that He intended.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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