How well do you follow these instructions?

November 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
(1 Chronicles 16:8 (NIV))

Pretty straight forward instructions, but how well do we follow them?

Let’s run through a quick checklist.

How often do we give thanks to the Lord? Do we take things for granted when we should be thankful for what we have been given?

How often do we call upon His name? It is common to say things every once in a while such as “Lord, help me,” but do we really cry to out to God? Do we open up our hearts and tell Him our inner most desires?

How often do we make God known among the nations? This is probably the one where we fail the most. If you stop and think about these three points, giving thanks is probably the easiest. Calling upon His name is a little more difficult since we like to think that we can handle things ourselves, and proclaiming God to the nations is the most difficult. It is with this point where we must verbalize, where we must get outside of our comfort zone and loudly profess our faith in God and proclaim what He has done.

If you had to fill out a check list, or rate these three points on a scale of 1 to 10, how well would each of us do at the end of each day? Would we find that we have responded as we should or would we find that a majority of events during the day would go completely unrecorded? Do we miss opportunities in our daily lives to give thanks, to call upon God’s name, and to proclaim Him to the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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God looks at the heart!

March 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52 (NIV))

What makes a person an expert?

An expert is someone who has skill or knowledge in an area. In other words, they study or practice a subject until they can slice it and dice it in ways that were probably never intended to happen.

Think about this for a moment and then think about what it means to follow the letter of the law.

Following the letter of the law means that you are more concerned with being legalistic and doing what the law says to do to the very last detail. You become more concerned with following the checklist of things that you think the law asks of you to the point that you don’t really understand what the law was created to do.

What do you think of speed limits?

What is the purpose of a speed limit? What is the intent?

First and foremost, the speed laws were intended to provide a level of safety to those who are traveling and to those whom they encounter. As a typical driver, I can honestly say that the last thing on my mind is the intent of these laws when I look in my rearview mirror and see a police car. My first response is one that everyone has. Make sure that I am not doing something wrong because I don’t want a ticket.

What does this have to do with the intent of the speed laws?

Now, think about the spiritual laws that we have been given. Think about the laws that God has given us through His Word. We must be very careful not to end up trying to obey the letter of the law and miss out on the intent of the law.

God gave us life. He gave us His Word and His Laws. He also gave us grace. He knew that we are prone to focus on the wrong things. He knew that what was the most important thing to understand would be relegated to a minor status once we got our hands upon it.

How many times have you seen someone miss out on a blessing because they were focusing on the wrong things. Don’t get bogged down in the details to such a point that you don’t understand the intent.

God intends for us to have abundant life through the grace offered at the cross. Don’t lose sight of the gift because you are trying to understand the details.

God looks at the heart!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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