I don’t ever want to be like this again!

May 25, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
(Titus 3:3 (NIV))

Do you ever look back at your life before you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

No matter how “good” you may have been, it was a far cry from what we have been called to as followers of Jesus. In this current state of our faith, we are by no means mature and perfect. We still have human nature to contend with. We still have times when we fall and find ourselves having moments that remind us of this passage. No matter how close we try to follow Jesus, on our own we are still unclean.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Thankfully, we have been saved by grace. We have been saved from ourselves. We have been saved from our sinful nature by the only one who is perfect.

I know that I am far from perfect. I know that I have a long way to go. I know that I am being matured in the image of Christ. I also know that what I was is someone that I don’t ever want to be like again!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you see yourself in this list?

April 24, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us want to make lists? What is it about human nature that makes us want to place ourselves right at the top of the lists that we make?

We like to classify and identify almost every aspect of our lives as well as the lives of others. Have you noticed that if someone likes to make lists of the faults of others, they are usually trying to hide their own faults? We like to think that by pointing out the problems in the lives of others, we draw attention away from our faults and make ourselves look much better than we truly are. In essence, we like to toot our own horn! We like to be the center of attention.

Does this sound anything like the characteristics listed in the passage above?

We are told the characteristics that people will possess in the last days. In today’s world, are people lovers of themselves and lovers of money? Are people boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful and unholy? Are people loveless, unforgiving, slanderous, lacking self-control and brutal? Do people love good or are they treacherous, rash, conceited and lovers of pleasure? If you answered yes to these questions, then by logical reasoning, what can you claim is true of the times in which we live?

As previously stated, people like to make lists. God also makes lists. He has defined the characteristics that He despises in humanity and how they will be very evident in the last days. These are characteristics that we do not wish to possess. This is a list that we do not wish to be on.

Do you see yourself in this list?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you want to be like?

March 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
(Titus 1:16 (NIV))

Do you know anybody like this? I bet that all of us could name a few names of people that we think fit this description. People who think that they have to run everything. People who blatantly ignore God’s Word. People who never find time to help out when it is needed.

Now, for the blind sided hit. Are you like this? Think about it. We all are like this at one time or another. We all have our pet idiosyncrasies that we tend to overlook but may get on the nerves of everyone else. Could we all be guilty of claiming to know God, but denying Him by our actions? Even Peter denied Jesus.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
(Matthew 26:34 (NIV))

What is the difference between people whom Titus 1:16 speaks of and people like Peter? It is a matter of their actions. People who truly know God will reflect this in their actions and in a heart of repentance. People who do not truly know God think that they can do anything they want and by saying a few words, they will be forgiven. Forgiveness is conditional. It is based on the single condition that the person asking truly desires it with all of their heart. If this is true, then you are not like those people written of in Titus 1:16. You are like Paul.

Who do you want to be like?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does this sound familiar to you?

February 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:1-6 (NIV))

Does this sound familiar to you?

Take a look at society today, and then compare what we are going through with what was written by Paul. The “good life” has turned us into the “me” society where most people are only concerned about themselves. We, as a society, are definitely boastful, lovers of self and money, abusive to everyone, ungrateful, and everything else that is wrong in the eyes of God. Take a look at road rage. That is a good example of the manifestation of this attitude.

Consider the acquisition of knowledge. We have become a knowledge driven society. This knowledge is based on things that are fleeting and have a value only because we are looking for a “richer” life. We can make a car that protects people during an accident. We can send people into space to study the effects of weightlessness on seeds. We can produce a round, flat disk that is capable of entertaining us, yet, we seem to have lost the ability to truly grasp what type of knowledge is important.

Another piece of knowledge for you – it has been determined that the human body was designed to react at speeds much slower than our cars travel. Perhaps this is part of what God means when He told us to

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

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm in your faith even if the world thinks you are a fool!

February 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
Even as he walks along the road,
the fool lacks sense
and shows everyone how stupid he is.
(Ecclesiastes 10:2-3 (NIV))

Have you ever encountered someone who just did not seem to understand how foolish they were to everyone else?

Did these people rebel against God? Did they deny God?

The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
(Psalm 14:1 (NIV))

Foolishness is different things to different people. To the believer, those who deny God are foolish. To those who deny God, we appear foolish.

Who do you think God considers to be foolish?

I have seen too many things in my lifetime that I thought I would never see. All of these are centered around what God considers foolishness and how it has become the societal norm. We have moved far past foolishness into areas that are pure evil. We, as the Body of Christ, must take a stand. We must recognize the things that God calls foolish and stay as far away as possible from these things. We must pray for those who are doing foolish things. We must pray for those who are caught in the evils of this world.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
(Titus 3:3-8 (NIV))

The time has come when professing a faith in Jesus Christ is considered foolish by many in this world. We must remember that we do not embrace the things of this world. We are to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to live the Gospel, even if it means looking foolish in the eyes of the world.

Now is not the time to falter in our faith!

Stand firm even if the world thinks you are a fool!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does the world think of you as a fool?

February 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

This seems to be coming more and more true in today’s society. When I was in high school, it was still possible to pray in school. The ruling had been passed down, but many school systems were still having prayer time or a moment of silent prayer in the morning. The movie, “Oh, God” was about to be released and it had many churches up in arms because it presented God in a different way than traditional church theology. The movie turned out to be not what they thought, but it still caused a major controversy. People did not even dare to think of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle because the Bible plainly states that it is wrong. Today, we have media celebrities openly saying things such as “F___ Jesus.” For the most part, they get away with it. They are looked upon as trendsetters and open-minded. They proclaim that Jesus and the church are foolishness and that anybody who believes is a close-minded bigot and a hate monger.

What has caused this drastic change? Could this be the time that is written of in 2 Timothy 3?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

Don’t give in to the ways of the world. Hold fast to your faith.

There is a saying that it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

When you open your mouth, does the world think of you as a fool because you speak of Jesus? When you speak of the cross, do you speak boldly and confidently about the grace that the cross brings?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm and shine our light

May 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

Having a form of godliness but denying its power!

What do you think could be traits that do this? Could it be acknowledging that God exists but not allowing Him into you life? Perhaps it is making money so that you can stockpile it in the bank. Perhaps it is even something else. Whatever it is, we all potentially have at least one of these traits. It could only take a very subtle nudge in that direction to make us fall into the category of people that deny God’s power.

Perhaps it is our busy schedules that keep us on this very edge. We think that everything that we have is by our own hand and that if we do not keep moving, we will lose everything that “WE” have spent our efforts building. Even our very existence seem to deny God’s power in today’s world. Too few of us stop to praise God and to thank Him for our blessings. We have become a society very much like what is written. Perhaps we are too like what is written.

We allow certain aspects of our society to remove God from anything and everything, then we complain about the shape that our society is in.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV))

No matter what the times may hold, we are to remain constant in our faith. We must share our faith with a dark world. We must be willing to shine our light as a beacon for those who may still be searching. If the last days begin soon, we must be willing to stand firm and shine our light – the light of Jesus that shines within each of us.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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