Are you eager to do what is good?

December 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
(Titus 2:11-14 (NIV))

Are you eager to do what is good?

Think about that question for a moment. This means that we are eager to do the right thing in all circumstances and not only when we are among other believers. It means that we live up the title of “Christian” all of the time. Think about that title. Followers of Jesus were given this name by the Romans because of the way that they acted. It literally means “little Christ.” It was meant as a sarcastic label, but the believers took the name as a name of honor.

They took the name with grace. They said “No” to what the Roman world was doing and they were willing to take a stand for what they believed. The were willing to give their lives if necessary. They relied upon the promises of God and the blessed hope of the glorious appearing. They desired to do what was good in the eyes of God no matter what the circumstances.

Today, too many people profess a faith as long as it does not mean that they will be hindered or ridiculed in any way. These type of people are in it only as long as nobody in the other crowd knows that they are Christians. They follow Jesus only when it is convenient. They change their persona as if they were changing a shirt. Their definition of good changes depending on how it fits in with what they need at the moment. They do not possess self-control. They sway with the wind and give in to wickedness.

If someone sarcastically calls you a “Christian,” would you eagerly confirm their sarcasm or would you deny Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 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 bold or are you timid?

October 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV))

Many people think that being a Christian is an act of timidity and that we are supposed to roll over and take what ever comes our way. That is a lie propagated by the enemy, for Satan knows that if we boldly seek what has been promised to us through Jesus Christ, then he does not have the ability to control us the way that he has with his lies and deception.

It was said that we have not because we ask not! We have been too timid to ask for the things that burden our hearts. We have been told that where two or more agree in Jesus’ name, it shall be done. This is boldness. This is fantastic!

Think back to your childhood. Did you ever get anything by timidly waiting for it. You probably nagged your parents to death until they relented. This brings to mind the story of the corrupt judge and the old woman. She would not relent in asking him for protection. He eventually gave in because of her persistence. If a judge who did not have love for anyone would relent, how do you think our Father will react to those whom He has called to be His own? We have not because we ask not!

Do you treat God as your Father, or do you treat Him as someone who doesn’t care?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you serve wholeheartedly in your circumstances?

August 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
(Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV))

In all that you do, do it the best that you can.

If you are a teacher, commit yourself to teaching. If you are called to be a pastor, do it for the glory of the Lord. If you are to be a waitress, be the best waitress that you can be. Do whatever you do with the joy of the Lord in your heart and it’s visible expression on your face and in your actions so that everyone that you encounter will ask why you are filled with such joy.

I have heard of a Christian who was imprisoned in China simply because he was a Christian. His job in prison had him waste deep in human excrement. All day long he sang about the joy of the Lord and had a smile on his face. If this man could face this situation with joy and do his job wholeheartedly, how can we, in this country, who have the freedom to worship, do any less? A man who literally was in what many would consider hell on earth had joy that went beyond his circumstances because he lived for Jesus and served wholeheartedly in whatever situation he was placed in.

What are you waste deep in? Do you serve wholeheartedly in your circumstances?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is the condition of your heart and spirit?

February 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(Psalms 51:10 (KJV))

Is that your desire? Do you wish for God to create a clean heart within you? Do you long for the things that are of God, or do you only pay “lip service” to God and do whatever you want to the rest of the time.

Acknowledging God does not make you righteous. Acknowledging that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God does not make you a Christian. Satan and his legions acknowledge both of these facts, yet, they continue to do whatever they desire in their sinful, arrogant and prideful hearts. You could even say that they have dirty hearts, for they do exactly opposite of what God desires. Their spirits are evil and bad.

Take a look at yourself. Do you follow after God in all things? Do you desire what God desires? What is the condition of your heart and spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD

May 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
(Psalms 33:12 (NIV))

Contrary to what the media, the courts and our elitist universities say, this country was founded upon a firm belief in God. It is true that the early explorers were looking to get rich, but the people who did settle here came so that they could worship as they were lead, instead of how the government or the church told them to.

I am sure that all throughout our history, many people who were not believers came to this country, however, they all had a solid core of values that they shared.

I find it interesting that many people are trying to interpret our founding documents based upon modern meanings of words, and in that interpretation, they lose the true meaning of what was written. We don’t have to look very far into our past to see how this can happen. There was a time not too long ago when the word “gay” meant happy. Go back and read some of the written word from that time period with today’s meaning of the word and see what you can misunderstand. I seriously doubt that our daily use of the English language has not altered the meaning of many words and phrases since our nation was founded.

I could quote several of the founding fathers. A great majority give credit and praise to God for His sovereign authority and guidance. Many of our historic monuments bear inscriptions, and many of the founding fathers formed the American Bible Society immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence. It is said that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. Many people claim that they could not have been Christians because they never use the word “God.” There are references to the Almighty, and other such names. How many times have you heard believers refer to God in this manner? Have you ever called God by one of these names?

I want you to consider something for a moment. Let’s take a long trip back in time to when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. Now fast forward to when they first started to interpret them. The scholars may know the language, but do they know the dialect and meanings? Now, take another journey in time with me. Think of when you were a teenager. What was the “cool” saying? Does it mean the same thing today?

People will always twist words to fit into their understanding. Some will even omit things that are contrary to what they want to believe. The following is a quote from John Marshall.

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.” John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835.

Can you imagine a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme court saying this today?

I honestly believe that this is our problem. We, as a nation, need to repent.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

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