Are you still trying to earn what is freely given?

December 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV))

There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. This implies that anything of value has a great cost for the one who possesses it. It also implies that if you didn’t pay anything for it, then it is worthless. The thought is that anything of worth and value requires a sacrifice of something of worth or value in order to obtain it.

There is another old saying about something being too good to be true. This actually piggybacks onto the other saying. In essence, if it is supposed to be so valuable and there is no sacrifice to receive it, is it truly worth anything?

There is profound truth in these sayings, but too many people fail to recognize that they only apply to a limited understanding of the world, and that limited understanding is ours! I am certain that everyone reading this can describe at least one situation in your life in the last year in which these old sayings were proven to be true. Get rich quick scams come to mind as one potential situation. However, there is one area in the lives of each and every one of us where we can throw our limited understanding out of the window!

God’s grace is that one and only time!

Are you ready and willing to get what you pay for when you consider that all of us are sinners and the consequences of sin is death? Is this what you want to pay for and receive? Grace is a gift that comes at a great price, but the price was paid by Jesus. None of us have to pay the price that we should rightfully pay. Jesus paid it all. We pay nothing, yet we receive everything! I realize that this sounds too good to be true, but it is far from that. It is our limited human understanding that makes us think that we must pay the price or it is not a valid exchange. On the contrary, the price was so high that no one could ever pay what they owe. We were doomed by our sin with no way of redemption. God saw this and devised a way to pay this high price once and for all for each and every one of us. We can’t earn it. We owe nothing to receive if. All that we have to do is accept!

Are you still trying to earn what is freely given?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s gift to us is amazing . . . grace!

December 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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))

Have you ever thought about this passage as a Christmas passage?

We have been given the ultimate gift through God’s love for us. When a gift is given, someone has to pay the price. It is free to the recipient, but the one who gives the gift takes it upon themselves to pay the full cost no matter what that cost may be.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

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

When was the last time that you took it upon yourself to give good gifts to several people? I am sure that it cost you a considerable amount, yet, you willingly paid the price so that you could freely give the gifts that you gave. Jesus willingly paid the cost needed to give grace and mercy to every person who has ever lived. That cost was more than we could bear just for our own sins, yet Jesus took all the sin of the world upon Himself for our sakes.

In this time of year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must never lose sight of the reason that Jesus was born. It is at this time of year that we see the innocence of a baby, but we must not forget about the power and authority of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

August 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.
(Exodus 7:16 (NIV))

Have you ever wondered what happens to people when they don’t listen to God?

Ask Pharaoh.

He and his country endured plagues, locusts, and a river of blood because Pharaoh refused to listen to God. God eventually got his attention, but it cost Pharaoh and his country a tremendous toll. It cost them their first-born sons.

God doesn’t always work like this. He started off with smaller miracles, but Pharaoh was not inclined to listen. God racheted up the intensity of the miracles, yet, Pharaoh still would not listen.

Are we like Pharaoh? Do we ignore God when He desires to get our attention with His still, small voice? Does He have to rachet up the visibility a bit when we ignore Him? If we are not careful, our circumstances get to the point where we ask God how it could have gotten so bad. Isn’t it interesting that we blame God for making things bad when, all along, He was trying to get our attention so that He could lead us out of where we were heading?

We will never know what would have happened to Pharaoh and to Egypt if the Pharaoh had softened his heart and listened to God. We do have the opportunity to know what will happen in our lives if we will only listen to that still, small voice when He is trying to guide us through and away from our hard times.

Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

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

January 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV))

I have a large database of scripture passages that I have made notes on. I arbitrarily turned to this passage and immediately got chills. This is the third time today that this passage has come up. Lord, I may be slow, but I get the point.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Do you long to have your thirst for righteousness quenched?

Do you find that the things of this world leave you empty and still longing?

What you are seeking is grace. What you are seeking is God’s perfect will in the world. What you are seeking is the exact opposite of what the world has to offer.

God’s gifts are free!

Only God’s gifts will satisfy your longing.

We cannot buy these gifts. Jesus paid the cost for all to partake. All that we have to do is earnestly ask to receive through the atoning blood of Jesus.

The world offers us so much that can distract us. Everything that the world offers has a cost. We will pay financially and we will pay spiritually. When we remove our focus from Jesus, our hearts harden and our lives suffer. When was the last time that you saw a famous person who was a devoted to their family and to God? Most are devoted to other things. This goes for any walk of life in which things become the goal. They take control and they cost more than just the financial price.

Jesus gives us peace. Isaiah spoke of these gifts before Jesus came, yet, he knew they would come. Isaiah did not get to see Jesus fulfill the prophesies. He did not get to go to the source of the living waters, yet he believed. He had faith.

Things in this world are far from what God intended. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are storms that destroy whole parts of the world. There are people who are determined to kill people simply because they believe in Jesus.

I know that to those who do not understand, this may seem like an escapist mentality, but it is far from that. We, as the Body of Christ, have a promise that God will prevail. Personally, I long for the day when all who are thirsty will drink from the living water of Jesus.

Are you thirsty?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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