Do you give thanks where thanks are due?

November 24, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
(1 Corinthians 10:16 (NIV))

Most of us just finished a meal, a feast, in which we gathered together with family and friends to give thanks for the blessings that we have. It is good to be thankful, especially when you consider that whatever you are thankful for can be gone in an instant. Loved ones can be taken from us. Health can be good one minute and forever a problem the very next. The homes that we have can go up in smoke and the finances that we store away for our future can be worthless the very next day.

No matter the state of the things of this world, there is one thing that we should be eternally thankful for. There is a treasure that lasts forever! That treasure is Jesus.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

We celebrate an earthly thanksgiving with a meal. We also celebrate an eternal thanksgiving by partaking of a holy meal, a holy communion. This participation in the cup and in the bread is a special symbol of our thanksgiving for what we have been given, but we should not limit our thankfulness to the Lord to just this particular moment. Every meal should be a reflection, a moment of thankfulness to God, for what we have been given. Not only every meal, but everything that is good should cause us to give thanks to the true source of all that is good.

Do you give thanks where thanks are due?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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True life is through His blood

November 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood–I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood.”
(Leviticus 17:10-12 (NIV))

Life is in the blood, and Jesus freely gave His blood (His life) for us. We partake of this life through the symbolic blood of communion. But, this is not the true symbol of our redemption. It is possible to partake of the symbolic blood of communion without having taken part in the spilled blood of Jesus’ gift of His life for our sins.

Perhaps it is communion that makes many people, including those of the Jewish faith, to shy away from belief in Jesus. After all, the thought of drinking blood is repulsive to most people even if it is only symbolic.

Just what is it that Jesus has given us? Life IS in the blood. Jesus freely shed His blood for us so that we may have eternal life. Jesus often set the traditions upside down. Perhaps it is for this reason that He chose to use the symbol of blood as the outward symbol of salvation. Accepting Jesus requires accepting all of Him, including the blood. If we can get past our societal hang-ups about the one, then we can accept the other, after all, when Jesus walked the earth, He often taught against the traditions of society without fully understanding the reasons behind them.

Have you freely accepted the blood of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have more than just the bread?

October 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.’ ”
(Luke 4:4 (NIV))

Let’s take another look at these words and how they effect our lives.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
(Matthew 26:26)

Jesus tells us that He is the bread that saves us from our sins.

For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
(John 6:33-35 (NIV))

If we do not live by bread alone, then is Jesus telling us that we need more in our lives than He can give us? He gave us grace and mercy. He gave us salvation. What else could we need?

We need daily guidance and communion with God!

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. The Holy Spirit indwells us and provides the daily “help” that Jesus knew that we would need. He comforts us in our time of troubles. He strengthens us in our time of need.

Do you have more than just the bread?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The bread and the wine

November 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIV))

Many of us know these verses and the other verses from Matthew, Mark and Luke describing what is called The Last Supper. It is this simple act that we have come to know as Holy Communion.

I wish to propose that, based on what is written, we do not partake often enough, for it says that we should do this in remembrance of Jesus. Should we, as believers, remember Jesus more than once a month, or once every 6 months? It does not say, as the Laws of Moses did, to have celebrations on certain days. Jesus commanded us to remember Him “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup”, not the first Sunday of every month. We can partake of the simple act of thanksgiving and remembrance whenever we sit down to a meal.

Jesus was, and still is, “… the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
(John 6:35b)

Perhaps, since Jesus is the bread of life and we are to partake of Holy Communion whenever we eat, does this mean that we are to partake of Jesus all of the time? Consider that without bread, we will physically grow weak and die. Is that also true of the spiritual bread that Jesus gives us?

We can be thankful and acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord and Savior in all that we do.

How often do you give thanks for the “bread” and the “wine”?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The bread and the cup

April 22, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”
(Mark 14:22-25 (NIV))

Have you really thought about what Jesus was doing in these passages? It is easy to go through the motions without realizing exactly what the whole thing means.

The symbolism is astonishing. The implications are crucial to our beliefs. The continuing practice is an important part of our ability to remember just what was done in our behalf. We must also remember that Jesus did this at the Passover Sader, which was and still is the Jewish holiday in which they remember the gift of salvation and freedom from their Egyptian captors. On the anniversary of the very night that God delivered Israel from a physical bondage, God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, was delivering the world from spiritual bondage.

In Egypt, God accomplished this through the Angel of Death striking the first-born of Egypt. For the salvation of the world, God again struck down the first-born! He allowed His only begotten Son to die in our place!

The Passover meal is a very ritualized meal so that the Jewish people do not forget what God did for them. It is a time of celebration for those who partake of it. Jesus instituted a new “Passover” tradition in which all who believe that He is the Son of God and their Lord and Savior can partake. This meal is different from the original Jewish Passover meal in that it can be taken anytime and anywhere that there are believers.

The next time that you have the opportunity to sit at the Lord’s table, remember the pain, suffering, grace and salvation that this meal represents.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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