Are you truly free?

July 2, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV))

This was written to the church at Ephasus when Gentiles were not looked upon by Jewish believers as true heirs to the promises of God. Paul’s words were meant as a reassurance to those people at Ephasus, as well as to those of us today, who had heard all of the legalistic requirements that some people were trying to impose upon them.

Other people were saying that the promises fulfilled through Jesus Christ were only available to the Jews. Paul corrected these wrongs and set the record straight so that the freedom from the Law that Jesus brought would not be compromised by people who did not understand.

Jesus came as a means of God’s grace. Grace does not require legalism or any other human intervention in order to work. It does not apply only to a certain group of people. It is available to everyone who will ask. As we remember a day that is celebrated for our political freedom, we must not lose sight of the true freedom and the one who brings it!

Are you truly free?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you answered the call to follow Jesus?

September 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
(Matthew 9:9 (NIV))

What made Matthew leave behind his very lucrative job as a tax collector and follow Jesus?

Think about that question. Tax collectors had a certain amount that they had to collect for Rome. Anything that they collected above that, they could keep. It is thought that many people got very wealthy by being a tax collector for Rome. With this in mind, Matthew walked away from certain earthly wealth. He saw something of far greater value in what Jesus had to offer. He saw that he, too, could be a part of God’s plans and a part of God’s kingdom. Jesus, in telling Matthew to follow Him, was telling Matthew that God valued him, even when society looked upon him as an outcast. Tax collectors, even though they got very wealthy, were social outcasts. They were Jews in a country that was occupied by the Roman army. The Romans looked upon the Jews as second class citizens and the Jews looked upon the tax collectors as traitors to the nation of Israel. They couldn’t win.

Then Jesus came!

Matthew saw an opportunity to place his past behind him. He saw a voice calling to him in spite of what he had done. Matthew was being asked to forget his past and become someone new. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus offers each of us today? We are no different than Matthew. We have all done things in our lives that have placed us in situations where we feel like we do not belong. Through Jesus, we are offered redemption. We are offered cleansing. We are offered forgiveness. All that we have to do is what Matthew did. We have to get up and follow Jesus.

Jesus is telling each of us to follow Him. Will you do as Matthew and follow Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Out of place

March 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household
(Ephesians 2:19 (NIV))

Have you ever felt out of place? Have you ever felt like you simply didn’t belong where you were?

What was it that made you feel out of place? Was it language? Traditions? Surroundings? Perhaps it was something as simple as your favorite beverage was not available and they didn’t even know how to make it.

There are many reasons that we may feel like foreigners and aliens in this world, but don’t get discouraged. We have a home where we will never feel out of place. We will never feel like we do not belong. Feeling like foreigners and aliens comes when we do not feel that we are understood. Familiarity makes us feel at home. We feel at home when we are welcomed as part of the family. God welcomes us in this manner. He welcomes us as part of His family. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He makes us feel at home and at peace.

He gives us a peace that passes understanding!

The next time that you feel out of place, stop and thank God for this reminder. We will often feel out of place in this world that has been turned over to sin. If we felt at home in this world, we would not have a home as a member of God’s household.

If we felt at home in this world, we would be happy in our sin.

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