Freedom does not mean that we are to continue to sin!

September 13, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
(1 Peter 2:16 (NIV))

Godly freedom is not how the world thinks of freedom. Too many people in this world think that true freedom is the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want. There are consequences!

Imagine that you have done something that ends up with you being put in prison. You have committed an act that was contrary to the laws of the land. For several years you sit in your prison suffering the consequences of your actions. As fortune would have it, someone comes along and pardons you for your actions. You are released. You have been set free from the consequences of your actions.

What do you do?

Do you return to the very same behavior that put you in prison to begin with? Do you do this knowing that the outcome will be the reinstatement of your prison sentence, or do you make a commitment to follow a new path that leads to a much better place?

I’m sure that you understand that each of us are guilty! Each of us are bound by the sinful nature that we are born with and the sinful actions that we continually do.

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

By all legal accounts, we face an eternity separated from God in a place that is far worse than any earthly prison.

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))

We have been pardoned! We have been shown grace and mercy. We simply must make a choice to follow Jesus and repent of our sin just as Jesus told the woman caught in adultery.

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

We have been set free from the consequences of sin, but we must make a choice to leave our life of sin. We cannot willfully continue in our sin or we will not like the eternal consequences.

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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV))

Freedom does not mean that we are to continue to sin!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you count yourself blessed?

February 22, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
(Luke 10:22-24 (NIV))

We should also count ourselves as blessed, for, through the faith of those before us, we have heard of the wondrous things that Jesus spoke of. It is true that we have not seen or heard directly, but, we have the words of Jesus and those who spent time with Him. These words teach us the things that the prophets and kings longed to hear.

What do we do with these bits of wisdom that Jesus spoke of?

Do we keep them to ourselves? Do we hear them and never use the pearls of great price that they contain? What do you do with the words that Jesus spoke?

Consider just how blessed you truly are, for you have the words of Jesus from a perspective that those who originally heard them did not have. You have the proof that He arose from the grave! All they had was faith!

Do you take the words of Jesus as seriously as you should? Do you place your faith in them?

Do you count yourself blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When we truly forgive, then we can truly receive.

January 18, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
(Mark 11:22-25 (NIV))

Jesus has told us that if we have faith, then anything that we ask will be ours. We can petition God with prayer and believe that it will be done. God has never broken His promises. Sometimes, they are not what we would want to happen, but they fit into God’s perfect Will.

Jesus has told us that there is only one thing that could possibly cause this to not happen! Do you have anyone that has done something to you in your life that you have not forgiven? If you petition God in prayer, yet do not have a forgiving heart in ALL matters, then God cannot forgive you and reward your faith with your prayer request.

God is a just God. What you seek from Him, He expects you to freely give to others. If God had not granted you forgiveness from your sin, you would be forever lost and separated from God.

Take a look at the “big picture”. God forgave you much more in order for you to receive salvation than you will have to forgive someone else. It is true that people inevitably will sin against you in your lifetime. But, keep in mind that sin is ultimately against God. Every sin that has ever been committed, God is willing to forgive. How can we expect to receive God’s forgiveness if we cannot forgive one sin done to us by someone? After all, God has already extended forgiveness to them for the sin that they committed against you and Him. If God, the Creator of the universe, can extend forgiveness, we must also.

When we truly forgive, then we can truly receive.

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Press on!

June 26, 2017

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))

Has God called you heavenward in Christ Jesus?

Have you answered or are you answering that call?

Human nature makes it difficult to stay on track. I started to say that we like to be sidetracked, but I think it is not so much as we like to be sidetracked, but it is more like we don’t know how to avoid being sidetracked. Anything that we do, we lose focus. How do we stay focused? How do we keep from going down the proverbial rabbit hole chasing after each and every distraction that comes our way?

Paul knew human nature. He also knew that he had to deal with the same problems that we all have to face if he was going to be able to share the Gospel with the Gentiles. He recognized the fact that he stilled sinned even when he didn’t want to. He recognized the fact that to answer God’s call and to follow Jesus required a commitment that did not end the first time that he failed to do what he should. Paul used athletes as an example to teach others how to persevere. He pointed out how athletes train to win the prize and they don’t give up simply because they encounter an obstacle or they don’t do as well as they would like to. They are committed to achieve their goals. They are committed to winning the prize.

As followers of Jesus, the prize that we desire to win is of far greater value than anything given as a prize in an athletic competition, yet, we have a tendency to not be willing to go after what we want. We don’t press on. We don’t press through the difficult times. If you are a runner, there is a saying that you have hit the wall when you have reached a point where you feel as though you can’t go on. An avid runner will not stop when this happens. An avid runner will press on toward the goal that they have set. They press on and press through!

Just because you may falter in your daily walk, press on!

Just because you may not see yourself the way that God sees you, press on!

Just because the world does not see you as God sees you, press on!

God is calling each of us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Are you pressing on?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How long did it take you to respond when Jesus called?

March 8, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
(Matthew 4:22 (NIV))

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew immediately that you were committed for the rest of your life?

Some people will say that they knew instantly when they first met their spouse. How long would that have lasted if that person had turned you down? Some people may say that they knew immediately that they had to help with programs such as Compassion International. What happens when you are called home? There are very few times that everyone can agree that you realize you are committed for all of your life. Personally, I can count three times: the birth of our three children. The first time that I saw each of them, I knew immediately that I would always be committed to them.

I can hear some of you asking, “What about your wife?”

I can honestly say that I was instantly enthralled with her, but I was not able to make a lifelong commitment immediately. I love my wife very much, but it is a love that grew and continues to grow. From the day I knew that she felt the same, my commitment and my love has been unwavering. Next to my faith, she is the most important part of my life.

Still, it was not immediate!

Can you imagine what Peter and Andrew experienced that made them follow Jesus immediately?

Thinking back on my acceptance of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, it was not immediately upon hearing the Word. It took time for me to think. It took time for me to understand. It took time for me to fully embrace my sinful nature and the tremendous gift of grace. Looking back, I wonder what took me so long! I often wonder what type of faith is required to follow immediately as Peter and Andrew did?

How long did it take you to respond when Jesus called?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What in this world is worth more than Jesus?

June 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
(Philippians 3:7 (NIV))

Are you willing to say the words that Paul spoke?

Are you willing to give up all that you have that is of this world for the sake of Jesus Christ?

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 (NIV))

Paul was committed to living for Jesus. He was willing to give up everything, including his own life, so that others would know of the saving grace that is only available through the atoning blood of Jesus.

This is one hundred and eighty degrees opposite of what Paul was doing to the early church before his Damascus Road experience. Sometimes it takes a huge revelation to turn someone around so that they live for Christ. It seems that many times the bigger the conversion experience, the more boldness, the more dedication to living for Jesus a person has. In Paul’s case, he was, in his own words, a Pharisee. He was, by his own admission, guilty of persecuting the Body of Christ. He willingly gave up his position in society and in the Temple to spread the Gospel.

Paul realized that whatever he had in this world was worthless in comparison to having Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

What did Paul give up?

What did Paul gain?

What are you willing to give up in order to gain what Paul gained?

What in this world is worth more than Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you long to dwell?

March 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
(Psalms 27:4 (NIV))

I think that David wrote the words that anyone earnestly seeking God truly holds as their one desire. Just as a young man in love does not want to leave the object of his affection, so, too, is the true believer and his Lord.

Are you in love with all of your heart, mind, body and soul? Do you long to stay with Jesus or are you in a hurry to get on to other things that you think are important? Any relationship takes time to build and maintain. Have you committed your time to Jesus?

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