Are you on watch for bad fruit?

October 10, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
(Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV))

Think about this the next time that you hear of something that is just too good to be true, or is just a little off of what God’s Word says that it should be. Most of the time, lies are obvious, but deception is a trick of the enemy. When things sound almost right with respect to God’s word, they are totally wrong.

It should be easy for believers to realize that the “fruit” does not match the source. We should be able to easily distinguish that the things the enemy tells us are too good to be true, especially when they contradict everything that we should know to be true according to God’s Word.

Why do people fall for the deceptions of the enemy?

Are we, as a fallen, sinful race, too far removed from the truth to even recognize it?

The words in Matthew are amazing and sadly amusing if you stop to actually understand what is being said. We have enough common sense to not look for grapes on an apple tree, yet, we easily fall prey to the small lies of the enemy in hopes that the promises are true.

Test everything against God’s Word. If something is supposed to bear goodness, but it lies to do so, does it really follow God’s Word? If you are promised that it is only a small digression and no one will know about it, can it be the correct fit?

We have been told what the things of God will bear.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

Think of this passage when validating the truth about something. Does it produce according to the fruit of the Spirit?

Are you on watch for bad fruit?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What will return upon your head?

August 10, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The day of the LORD is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.
(Obadiah 1:15 (NIV))

There is an old saying, “What goes around, comes around.” I am sure that we all know exactly what this means. It is common sense to treat each other the way that you would want to be treated. Unfortunately, this is not the way things are done anymore.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 (NIV))

This concept applies not only to us as individuals, but it also applies to us as the people groups, or nations, to which we belong.

God has seen all that has been done. God knows the intentions of the hearts of men and the deceptions of the ones who rule over the nations. He knows who truly seek Him and He knows who follow the lies and the deceptions of the enemy. Far too long, the societies and nations of the world have removed God from their policies and practices. They have embraced different things as multiculturalism and now God has sat back and allowed our nations to have exactly what they have asked for. All throughout history, I honestly don’t think that it has ever been this bad.

This does not mean that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be cast aside like the very nations to which they belong. God will provide for His people even in the midst of the day of the Lord.

No matter what may happen in the world, keep your focus on Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

March 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Mark 14:38 (NIV))

Things happen in this world. Some of them are good and some of them are not so good. Often, the things that look good on the surface are only deceptions. They are temptations to lure you into things that aren’t good. It is these temptations that we must learn to discern and stay away from. Ironically, it is often the things that look uncertain that often turn out to be good. From a worldly perspective, putting your faith in a man who was crucified two thousand years ago on a cross does not look like a good thing. However, this is the very way that God works. He uses what the world calls foolish and makes it bring blessings. These blessings are far greater than those promised by the temptations that the world throws at us.

It is easy to fall into the temptations of this world when they you are constantly being presented to you in very alluring packages. Fame, wealth, prestige, power, and, yes, sex all are powerful temptations that the enemy uses to lure us away from what God has called us to. All temptations come from Satan. No one has escaped them.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
(Matthew 4:1 (NIV))

We must learn to do what Jesus did when He was in the desert.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

If we train our spirit, we will be able to face temptation and turn it away. Once we have trained our spirit through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we must pray that we will be able to resist temptation in the flesh. No one is perfect. If we let down our guard, Satan will attack. Like a good soldier, we must constantly watch. Like a good follower of Jesus, we must constantly pray.

Are you willing to resist temptation?

Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

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

July 15, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

False teachings abound!

When so-called believers say that Jesus is not the only way to salvation, we need to be prepared. When our leaders say that faith does not matter in public office, we need to be prepared. When terrorists are willing to kill us if we will not accept their belief system, we need to be prepared.

We are in a time when we need to know God and His Word so that we do not fall prey to the lies of the enemy. We must not turn here and there in search of what we already have. We simply need to be able to recognize God’s truth and turn away the lies and the deception.

At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible.
(Matthew 24:23-24 (NIV))

How do you get to where you cannot be deceived?

You must spend time with God and within God’s Word. God has so much that He wants to share with us if we will only take the time to be still in His presence and listen. He wants to tell us about ourselves and why He created us. He wants us to achieve our purpose in life. He also wants to tell us about Himself. He wants to tell us about Jesus. He wants to tell us about the Holy Spirit. The more that we know about God in His Triune persona, the harder it will be for us to be deceived by the enemy. He does not want us to fall away from His grace and mercy.

Salvation is a free gift available to all who will simply ask for it. However, once we accept that gift, we must learn. We must pray. We must study. Satan would like nothing more than to deceive us into rejecting our salvation. There is an old saying about all that glitters is not gold. Consequently, all is not always as it appears.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NIV))

Be still !

Prepare yourself !

Know God !

Reject the deceptions when they confront you !

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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