Will you confess or deny Jesus before men?

August 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV))

Have you ever been in a situation in which you honestly hoped that the subject of Jesus did not come up? I don’t know if that is the same as actually denying Jesus before men, but it is too close for comfort.

This is a tough saying to deal with, for everyone probably has times when they at least thought about it. Only when your faith has matured do you face the question with a more stable attitude. Even so, everyone likes to think that they would not deny Jesus before men, that they would die rather than deny Him. I pray that this is true, yet no one really can say for certain until they are actually in that situation.

Faith is a strong thing if it is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Self preservation is also a strong thing, and unless faith is stronger, self preservation will win. How can you strengthen faith? Faith is very much like a muscle in that if you do not use it, it atrophies. If you practice acts of faith, your faith will increase.

Do not let your faith “muscle” atrophy from lack of use. If it does, the results may be denial. You will deny God and He will deny you.

Will you confess or deny Jesus before men?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your sins are not so great that grace cannot be yours!

October 20, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
(1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV))

Do you believe that Paul thought that he was the worst sinner of all?

Does this sound like the man that history has shown to be the one who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles? Does this sound like the man who is responsible for writing numerous books from the New Testament? Does this sound like the man who went to prison for spreading the Gospel?

I realize that all of these things were after his Damascus Road experience. It was this experience that saw a change of heart and a conversion from Saul to Paul. I can understand Paul if he had stated that he had been the worst, especially when you consider all that he had done to persecute the church. Paul did not place his sin in his past. He did not try to say that he no longer sinned. Paul realized that he was human and human nature is sinful, even after accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Paul realized that his sinful nature was still very much a part of him!

Paul also realized that grace extended even to him after all that he had done.

He could have given in to the idea that God could not save him after all that he had done. Thankfully, he did not believe this. Paul realized that the gift of grace was freely given for everyone no matter how great the sin. If God can extend grace to someone who persecuted and killed believers, I find it hard to believe anyone when they claim that God can’t forgive them for what they have done.

It is so simple!

Admit that you are a sinner.

Believe that Jesus died for your sins.

Confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

If salvation was freely given to Paul, who thought of himself as the worst of sinners, it can be freely given to all.

Your sins are not so great that grace cannot be yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we surrendered our power and effectiveness?

June 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16 (NIV))

Have you noticed the sequence of events in this passage?

As the Body of Christ, we are to confess our sins to each other and to pray for each other. These steps lead to healing, but did you notice that there is a followup statement? It is actually a declaration. If you believe in logic, then what is presented makes perfect sense. Do steps A and B and then D will result. The reason is because A and B leads to C, which leads to D.

It looks like we have been given a roadmap on how to get to the power and effectiveness of a righteous person. If that is the case, do we truly follow these simple, yet profound, directions? Do we follow the roadmap that we have been given, or do we like to think that we can find our way on our own?

Do we confess our sins to each other or do we just get together and gossip?

Do we truly pray for each other or do we simply give lip service to the needs of others so that we can focus on our needs?

Do either of these sound like they would lead to healing?

Would a righteous person gossip? Would a righteous person focus on their own needs? Is this why our prayers are going unanswered?

Personally, I believe that we need to stop our detours and get back to the roadmap that has been given to us. Because we have strayed, we have surrendered our power and effectiveness.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Go and tell those who don’t know!

May 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.”
(Romans 15:20-21 (NLT))

Do Paul’s words sound like the church today?

Most people who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior do not have the boldness to do what Paul is talking about. I hate to say this, but most of us do not have the boldness to even speak the name of Jesus in situations that are less than ideal. By this, I mean in situations where we would face ridicule and rejection because we profess the name of Jesus. I have even seen people who are afraid to profess their faith in Jesus before the members of their own congregations.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 (NIV))

Faith in Jesus takes a boldness.

Sharing that faith with others takes a boldness.

Do we have the boldness to profess our faith? Do we have the boldness that Paul was writing of? Do we have what it takes to tell others of the grace and mercy that is theirs for the asking?

What if the people who shared Jesus with you had not possessed the boldness?

What if the people who left their homelands to seek a place where they could worship freely had not possessed the boldness? What if Paul did not have the boldness?

There are so many people who have come before us who did have the boldness to speak the name of Jesus and to share His Good News. Do we, as the church, as the keepers of the truth, own the boldness that is required to tell a lost and dying world about the saving grace of Jesus?

Go and tell those who don’t know!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you focused on the future or His presence?

April 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalms 91:2 (NIV))

Far too many of us say that we trust the Lord, but we still want signs. We still want to know what is going to happen in this world as God unfolds His plans.

We look at the news and see things unfolding that bear a striking resemblance to things written about the end times. We see things that go against God’s Word as they are accepted as truth by the world and we wonder how long this will go on before we see things unfold as prophesied. We look at the state of the world and we long to see righteousness. We long to see the truth proclaimed and every knee to bow and every tongue confess. Sometimes we get carried away with our desires to see Jesus that we focus more on the events that are transpiring than we do on spending time in God’s presence.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
(Luke 10:38-42 (NIV))

It is so easy to become like Martha in our preparations for the coming of Jesus and miss the fact that we can sit at the feet of Jesus at this very moment. I, like many people, like to study prophesy because it is the hope to which we hold. It is the truth that hasn’t come to be. It is the fulfillment of God’s promises. Even though this is all true, we need to be careful that we don’t focus so much on what is to come that we miss out on what God is doing in this moment. Perhaps it is best stated by what a friend said has become her daily prayer.

Lord, I just want to know what you want me to know when you want me to know it!

I would just like to add the following.

Lord, it is not my world. It is yours. I love you and I trust you. You are my refuge in times of trouble. You are my fortress in this world that has turned away from you. I praise you for your goodness and mercy!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you believed and have you confessed?

January 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 (NIV))

Have you ever known someone who confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet acted like they didn’t believe what they claimed?

Have you ever known someone who never publicly confessed that Jesus is Lord, yet lived what you would consider to be a good life?

Then there are those who have not confessed and live a life that is anything but good.

Finally, there is the group who are not ashamed to publicly confess that Jesus is Lord and they believe it in their heart! Their lives reflect the belief and the proclamation.

It is funny how that we, as a fallen creation, can see people and can seem to be able to put labels on them. Is this judging? Some might say that it is, yet I believe that if you truly have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it will reflect in all aspects of your life. Lip service by itself will not redeem you, for lips can lie. Believing in your heart can save you, but what about the simple fact that people like to share with others when something good happens to them? Does that mean that they are not saved? I believe that only God knows the heart. I also know that God created each of us to be unique and some people are not wired to express things publicly. I also know that this passage doesn’t put a number to the amount of people who must hear your profession of faith. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been made!

I suppose the thing that I am trying to convey is that only God knows the heart. We must stop worrying about did this person really mean it, or is this person lost for all eternity? Don’t get me wrong. We are to continue to spread the Gospel, but we cannot force someone to accept Jesus. That is the work of the Holy Spirit within each person. All that we can do is answer the call for ourselves. We cannot answer for anyone else!

Have you answered the call? Have you believed in your heart? Have you confessed with your mouth?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which side of God will you see?

July 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
(Revelation 5:13 (NIV))

One day, everything that God has created will bend a knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. We have a choice as to when we do it. If we come to Him freely and willingly, we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. If we ignore Him or deny Him in this world, then when He returns, we will bow not out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us, but out of fear and judgment. We will bow in submission like a convicted felon hangs his head before his jailer.

God has two sides. A loving Father is the side that those who have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, will see. Lift up your voice in praise of what God has done for you and be grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made on your behalf. Do not wait and take the chance that you will see the other side of God!

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