Have you allowed yourself to be cleansed?

July 3, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
(Psalms 51:1-2 (NIV))

Everyone desires mercy, but not everyone wants to be cleansed of the reason that they desire mercy!

Think about that in relationship to your own life. We all have something that we know that we shouldn’t do, but we do it anyway. We ask for forgiveness when someone brings it up, but do we truly desire to have this characteristic removed from our lives? Do we truly desire to be cleansed of what we continually ask for mercy for?

For some people, these traits are simply things that annoy those we love. We do them over and over again until someone says something and then we apologize by uttering a “Forgive me! I’m sorry!” For others, these traits are something much worse. They are so ingrained into our sinful nature that we do things that we know aren’t right by any stretch of the imagination. We know that our sins are forgiven and that we have been washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb, but we fail to do the one thing that will give us true freedom. We fail to do the one thing that the Lord desires for us to do.

We fail to surrender!

We fail to let go of our sins. We cling tightly to them even though we claim that we have left them at the foot of the cross. It’s just like old things that we have collected. We know that we should get rid of them, so we pack them up and take them away to be discarded. Far too many of us change our minds along the way. Why do we bring them back into our lives once we have gone through the motions? I often think that we are afraid of what our lives would be without these things. The fear of change keeps us from breaking free. Are we afraid of truly leaving our sins at the foot of the cross? Do we truly repent if we pick them back up? Jesus understood that we may desire to do what is right, but we face obstacles within ourselves. Jesus understands the human condition! He has walked where we walk.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
(Matthew 26:41 (NIV))

If you read Psalm 51 as a response to the words recorded in Matthew, they can and should be taken as a prayer that every believer presents to God when they are confronted with the sinful nature of the flesh. We should all desire to be cleansed. In order to be cleansed, we have to submit. We have to seek it. We have to allow God to cleanse us.

Have you allowed yourself to be cleansed?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you desire to have a clean heart?

December 13, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
(Psalms 51:10 (NIV))

Do you realize that the birth of Jesus took this passage, this prayer, and made it possible to have a clean heart in the eyes of God?

Think about that with respect to David’s desires when he wrote these words. David was described as a man after God’s own heart, yet he was not able to be made clean in the eyes of God. David’s salvation had not come into this world when these words were written. It may have been David’s desire, but because of humanity’s sinful nature, he, like all of us, was unclean in the eyes of God. Nothing that he could do could change that.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Thankfully, God had other plans!

God made it possible for David’s desires, and ours, to become reality. Through the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we have the ability to be washed clean.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
(Psalms 51:7 (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))

God’s love for us provided the plan. Jesus’ obedience provided the way. The Holy Spirit’s prompting us provides the question. It is our desire that provides the answer. With this in mind, do you desire to have a clean heart? Do you desire to be made clean in the eyes of God? Jesus is the way!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been cleansed and renewed?

October 21, 2016

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))

How many times have you heard this passage quoted or read this passage? If you are like me, you are probably well acquainted with the words contained in this short sentence.

Do you take them to heart?

Do you honestly desire to have a clean heart? Do you want God to search you and to cleanse you of anything that is less than righteous in His eyes? Take a look at your life. Take a look at your heart. What do you find yourself doing when you think that no one is looking or when you are by yourself? Do you need a clean heart?

What about your spirit? It is human nature to have a rebellious spirit. You can blame that on the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. Do you truly wish to get rid of the spirit that was in you at birth? Do you wish to rid yourself of the very nature that has condemned you, along with all of humanity, to an eternity away from God? Hopefully, your answer is a resounding yes.

Let’s be honest. We all need a clean heart. We need to rid ourselves of the things in this life that distract us from what God has called us to be. We need to replace our sinful spirit with a right spirit. We need to focus on God and His Word. We can do that by surrendering our lives. We can do that by professing a faith in God’s Word made flesh. We can accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. We can earnestly seek after God’s own heart.

We never know what tomorrow may bring. It may be too late. With the state of the world, we never know what day may be our last, or when Jesus will come to remove those who earnestly seek to follow Him. Shouldn’t we turn Psalms 51:10 into a daily prayer for our own souls?

Do you want a clean heart and a right spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is definitely power in the name of Jesus!

December 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:28 (NIV))

It would take something very powerful to cleanse the sins of everyone in the world. It would take something very mighty to cleanse the sins of all time.

I have shared before the that word “Merry” comes from old English and that it means “Mighty.” The birth of Jesus begins the blood line of salvation. A bloodline filled with power and grace. It is indeed mighty. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, remember that it is the birth that we celebrate, but the birth is only the beginning. A birth brings hope. A birth brings a promise for a better tomorrow. But, the birth is only the beginning. Growth and maturity must play a part. Without Jesus becoming a man and dying on the cross for our sins, His birth would be nothing special. It would simply be another human being out of billions who have lived.

There is definitely power in the blood of Jesus. That power is there because of His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection. It is indeed a life of might and power. It is intended to be shared by the whole world and at the very same time, it is personal.

This Christmas season, take time to reflect on the mighty deeds that Jesus has done and fully embrace the mighty power of His blood. I pray that you will truly have a very “Merry” Christmas and learn to fully rely on the might of His Holy Name.

Merry Christmas !

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Focus on Jesus and not on man-made theology!

October 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
(Hebrews 10:19-23 (NIV))

No matter what denomination you may be a member of, the true source of our faith is Jesus and Him crucified and resurrected. All else is trivial, for the differences that we have established in the name of our particular brand of faith in Jesus are all man made attempts at reaching God.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6(NIV))

We cannot reach God through our own righteousness. God had to reach us and pull us out of our sin. We could not lift ourselves out of it. We are completely helpless without God and His gift of grace and mercy through the blood of Jesus.

Reread Hebrews 10:19-23. There is even an illustration of one of the primary differences that marks our denominations today, the debate over baptism and whether to sprinkle or submerge. This passage clearly states that our hearts have been sprinkled and our bodies washed. Baptism is, first and foremost, an act of total submission to God. We cannot judge others in their outward expression of this submission. Only God can judge, for He sees the heart.

Consider John the Baptist. His methods and outward appearance were contrary to everything the established religion of the day said he should be. Who did God’s Will? John the Baptist or those who condemned him?

How can we, who are not worthy to judge, judge each other in the trivial issues yet ignore the true source of our common faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you despise your sinful actions?

July 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
(1 John 1:8-9 (NLT))

Do you still sin?

Too many people falsely believe that after accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you somehow stop sinning. Others recognize that they sin, but they believe that it is ok since they have accepted Jesus. There are still others who acknowledge that they sin and constantly seek forgiveness for their sins.

Which group are you in?

Perhaps I should ask which group would others say that you are in? What group would you say that Jesus places you in?

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior requires a commitment. It is a relationship that you must work to maintain. Jesus will freely give you grace and salvation, but He looks at the heart. Does your heart rejoice at the thought of Jesus? Do you find yourself giving thanks and praise for the grace that He has given you? Do you find yourself seeking to follow Jesus in all that you do?

Or, do you simply think that you can do whatever you want and then call upon Jesus to rescue you when you get in trouble?

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

All of us will continue to sin. Jesus looks at the heart. If we earnestly seek Him and desire to leave our sin behind, then we can be considered like David.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
(Acts 13:22 (NIV))

Do you still sin? Do you despise your sinful actions?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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