Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

May 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Have you ever truly given thought to the meaning of condemnation?

It means blame!

To put it simply, we are not blamed for our sin if we are in Christ Jesus! We are not found at fault. We are not held responsible. We are not found guilty.

I realize that this sounds like we can get away with anything, but it actually means that we are forgiven for what we have done. It does not mean that we can continue to willfully sin. The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was not a free pass to continue sinning. It was and still is an offer of a way to escape the life of sin and the consequences of sin.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Do you like the idea of no condemnation?

Do you like the idea of a fresh start in the eyes of God? With everything that is going on in the world, time to accept this fresh start may be running out. Don’t wait!

It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus loves me this much!

April 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

With just a few days left before we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, there is not a better passage to explain why Jesus went to the cross. We were lost in our sin and in need of a Savior, so God sent Jesus to save us by paying the debt owed for our sin. Our sinful nature separated us from God, so the Lord devised a plan to take all the sin upon Himself so that we could be free from the bondage of sin and death. There is no greater love that has ever been shown than this act of loving redemption and salvation.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

When you were a child, did you ever stretch your arms way out to the side and tell someone that you loved them this much? That is exactly what Jesus did when He hung on the cross for you and I. He was telling the whole world that He loves us this much. His outstretched arms also tell us that He is waiting with open arms to embrace us as we embrace the grace and mercy that He freely gives to all who will simply accept. His open arms welcome us into the family of God as brothers and sisters and not as servants or slaves.

The next time that you need to remind yourself of just how much the Lord loves us, simply stretch out your arms like you did when you were a child and simply say, “Jesus loves me this much!”

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you allowed Jesus to truly live in you?

April 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
(Galatians 2:20a (NIV))

I can safely say that I don’t know anyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior who does not firmly believe this passage. It is very assuring to think that the Son of God is resident within our lives. Too many people stop at this part of the passage and ignore the remaining aspects that we are to then live accordingly. We are to live out our lives with a confidence, with an assurance that we have placed our faith correctly.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 (NIV))

We are to give up our previous lives. We are to surrender our sinful nature and exchange it for His righteousness as we walk out each moment of each day of our new lives. We are a new creation and our lives must reflect that! If Christ lives in you, you must allow Him to go to the fullness of His remaking of you in His image. You must wholeheartedly live out the concept of He must increase and I must decrease. Fully submitting to this allows the old, sinful you to be replaced with the righteousness of Jesus.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV))

Have you experienced the removal of old habits from your life? Have you experienced a renewing of our heart? Have you experienced a desire to grow in your faith in Jesus? Is Jesus fully at home within you?

Have you allowed Jesus to truly live in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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But, on the third day . . .

April 7, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

We are at that time of year when everyone knows of the celebration of what we call Easter. To be honest with you, I don’t like that name for the greatest event in all of history. We have allowed the name of an Assyrian goddess of war and sexual love to be the namesake of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Isn’t it just like the enemy to pervert and lie about something so wonderful and glorious as the resurrection of the Son of God?

But, enough of my ranting!

Let’s look at all that Jesus did and why we, as the Body of Christ, have a day to remind us of the greatest gift of all time.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

I could add many more passages, but we know that Jesus came into this world to pay the price for our sins through His death on the cross. He came to redeem the descendants of Adam, who condemned all to sin. He came to free us from the law of sin and death. He came to set the captives free!

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:18-19 (NIV))

I am eternally thankful for what Jesus did when He died on the cross, but that is not the end of the story.

But, on the third day . . .

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your answer has eternal consequences!

March 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

‘What about you?’ Jesus asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
(Matthew 16:15 (NIV))

How important is this question in your life?

Perhaps I should ask in this manner. How important is your answer to this question that Jesus asked Simon Peter? How important is your answer to the question that He is asking each and every one of us since that day? There are many different answers that people will give in response to this question.

Do you deny that Jesus ever walked this earth and believe that all of the accounts of His life are simply made up stories? If this is you, I earnestly hope and pray that there are people in your life who are praying for your eyes to be open and your heart to be receptive to the amazing grace offered through Jesus.

Are you one who simply admits that Jesus was a good teacher and nothing more? Is it possible for someone who is only a good teacher to be raised from the dead? Is it possible for someone who is only a good teacher to offer grace and salvation through His death, burial and resurrection? Are you denying the power simply because you find it difficult to believe that someone who was dead is now truly alive? Are you denying the power because you don’t see it being manifested in the world today? His miraculous power is all around us. It simply requires a willingness to see what is right before your eyes.

Are you unfortunately like many people and have put off your answer because you don’t feel that it is important in your life at this moment in time? Don’t fall victim to the lie that you have all the time in the world. You are not guaranteed your next breath!

Are you counted in the numbers of those who have answered as Simon Peter answered?

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
(Matthew 16:16 (NIV))

If you have made this profession, was it because you read all of the accounts and found the evidence to be overwhelmingly in support of this decision? Was it due to a spiritual intervention from the Holy Spirit? Was it the result of a moment of desperation when you truly realized that you are a sinner in need of a Savior? Was it the result of the realization of the following truth?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

With all of the uncertainty in this world, now is the time to truly seek out the truth and answer this question for yourself. If you are ready to tell Jesus that you truly believe that He is the Christ and that He is the Son of the living God, do it without delay!

Who do you say that Jesus is?

Your answer has eternal consequences!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you motivated to press on, run the race and overcome?

February 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Have you truly stopped to reflect on all of the action verbs that are used to describe the Christian walk? Words and phrases such as press on, run the race, and overcome are just a few that come to mind. In essence, professing a faith in Jesus and following Jesus are not passive endeavors. It takes commitment. It takes a determination. It takes a desire and a motivation to see Jesus face to face. It takes a desire to be faithful to Jesus as not only your Savior, but also as your Lord and master.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:23 (NIV))

Do you desire to hear Jesus say this to you?

Have you ever truly stopped to think about what motivates you in your walk with Jesus? What makes you put your faith into action? What actions do you take? Do you press on even in the face of adversity and troubles? Do you run the race because quitting the race is not something that you have even considered? Do you overcome because you realize what Simon Peter realized?

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
(John 6:68 (NIV))

My motivation for pressing on comes from my realization that I have no one else to turn to.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Have you come to that realization? Have you allowed this realization to motivate you to put your faith into action and fully rely on the Lord?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Are you motivated to press on, run the race and overcome?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has the new you arrived?

January 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV))

What were you like before you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Now that I have asked that question, and hopefully you have given it some thought, I have another question to ask.

Is there any difference in you before you accepted Jesus and after you accepted Jesus?

Let that question sink in. Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is supposed to be made at the point where you realize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. It is supposed to be the acknowledgment of the fact that you cannot change yourself. It is the point at which you fully understand the following passages.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

I realize that for many who read this, it is a truth that you have already accepted and embraced as part of your new life in Christ, but there are those who profess a faith in Jesus and still continue to do the very things that they did before that confession. They just can’t seem to let go of the old. Not only do some refuse to let go, they choose to embrace the old even when they profess that they are a new creation in Christ. They fail to realize the one important thing that Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that still applies to us today.

Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11b (NIV))

We must repent. We must turn from our sins. We must deliberately choose to leave the old behind so that the new grace and mercy freely given through the cross may manifest itself in our lives.

Has the new you arrived?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you one in Christ?

January 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28 (NIV))

How do you see yourself?

How do you think the world sees you?

Based on this passage, how do you think the Lord sees you?

Out of these three questions, which one really matters in the final outcome? We can see ourselves as invaluable, but the Lord knows our value. He died on the cross because we are of value to Him. The world can see us as invaluable, but, again, the Lord knows our value. The world weighs us down, but He has overcome the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

In essence, when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, all of your past sins are washed white as snow. He sees us as His. He sees us as someone worthy of saving. It doesn’t matter what your background may be, He loves you. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, He loves you. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, He loves you. There is an invitation to all who will come, but you must respond. What is your response?

Are you ready to put your past behind you and walk into the light?

It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you one in Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared for this test of faith?

October 27, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
(2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV))

What would make someone deliberately choose to live a life that would get them persecuted?

From a worldly point of view, the fact that people will deliberately choose to live a life that will result in their persecution is extremely hard to comprehend. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance. Self preservation is a very strong human instinct. Even so, there have been millions of people since Jesus walked the earth who have chosen to live a godly life in Christ.

What makes this choice go against basic human nature?

Why do we make this choice?

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

We have a promise of something much better than anything this world has to offer. If it were offered by a mere man, it would have no merit. The choice would be a foolish one. But, Jesus was no mere man. He was fully human and fully God. He alone holds the power to save us from our persecution.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.
(1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NIV))

Because He is the only way, the enemy attacks those who call upon the name of Jesus. Think about it. If Satan were not afraid of us living a godly life, would he attack those who follow Jesus?

With all of the uncertainty in the world today, we need to hold fast to the only one who is unchanging. We should be honored when we come under attack for being someone who follows Jesus. The early church faced many hardships and much persecution. We are told that this will come once again as God’s plan unfolds to completion. If we hold fast to our faith in Jesus, we will face persecution. We will come under attack!

Are you prepared for this test of faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you still feel the weight of guilt and shame?

September 2, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
(Hebrews 9:14 (NIV))

What weighs on your conscience?

Every single one of us is guilty of so much in our lives. We can’t seem to go a single day without adding something more to the already overwhelming burden of sin that we have accumulated during our time on this earth. If you ever truly stop and reflect on the sin that has permeated your life, it is staggering.

In your opinion, what is the worst thing that you have ever done in this life?

Do you try to bury it so deep inside that you never have to think about it? It is still there. It is still ammunition that the enemy can use against you. It is one of his primary tactics to get you to think that the grace offered by Jesus on the cross could never be for someone like you! The enemy loves to make you feel guilty and then drive that guilt home. The enemy loves to take the guilt and then turn it into shame. When this happens, you lose all hope, for you have not only accepted the lie, you have embraced the lie of condemnation as your own story.

Stop right there!

That does not have to be your story!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Do you believe?

If you answered that you believe, then you are not condemned. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty for and you have absolutely nothing in your life that needs to cause shame. Jesus took these sins and covered them with His blood. The blood of Christ has cleansed you. You have been washed white as snow.

Do you still feel the weight of guilt and shame?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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