How can He be our Savior?

March 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV))

With Easter very prominent in our lives at this time of year, we need to take a look at why we celebrate and what price was paid so that we can celebrate.

If we have accepted the grace and mercy that Jesus bought and paid for with His Blood, then our bodies are not our own. They belong to God, for we have willingly surrendered all of our being over to Him. If we have surrendered ourselves to God, then He should have the authority to have control in our lives. God does not desire for mindless obedience. He desires for a willful submission on our part to His authority. His authority is not one of force, for when do you remember ever seeing force give of itself freely as God, through Jesus, did at the cross?

Our salvation has been bought through a willful act of payment. We should respond in kind with willful acts of submission to God’s authority, for, if we are not willing to allow God to be our Lord and Master, how can He be our Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you see foolishness?

April 9, 2012

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. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
(1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (NIV))

I pray that you had a wonderful and joyous Easter celebration.

I have some questions to ask of you.

Do you think that the message of Easter and the cross is foolishness? Do you have faith to claim the saving grace that is found at the foot of the cross?

It is such a shame that we, as individuals, can become so educated and wise that we try to over analyze everything in this life. Where is the amazement and wonder that life can hold if you over analyze everything? I know that our curiosity causes us to seek answers, but what happens when the answers we seek keep us from seeing the beauty that was intended? What happens to society when we are able to twist things around and make words mean something different than they should or we try to redefine things? What happens when we utter statements like “That depends on what you definition of ‘is’ is”?

What do you consider wisdom? What do you consider intelligence?

We are taught that we need wisdom and intelligence in order to have a wordily career. We are told that this wisdom will help us to live successful lives. We are told that this wisdom will help us to make decisions that will help us to be better citizens. I agree that we need this wisdom and intelligence, however, there is much more that we need.

Have you ever seen someone who is very intelligent and they seem to be lost in their own little world? They are so focused on gaining knowledge for the sake of gaining knowledge that they have no practical life experiences in order to firmly ground themselves. They over estimate their own abilities and look down upon anyone who does not understand as they do. Sadly enough, it is they who have the limited scope of things. They miss the simple concepts in trying to understand the complex.

The message of the cross is foolishness to some, but that is the beauty of God’s plan. God created a simple way for each and every single person to receive salvation. It is because of this simplicity that it is looked upon as foolishness.

I want you to think about a few things.

Do you think that the concept of ‘hot’ is foolish? It is a simple thing to understand. Do you think that the knowledge that we must breathe is foolishness? Do you think that the law of gravity is foolishness? That is simple. It can be express in one sentence – What goes up must come down.

What happens when you spend too much time acquiring knowledge about any of these things? If you are not careful, you start to miss the simple beauty that is within each.

There is a simple beauty in the cross, even though the events on the cross were horrible. That beauty can be summed up with just a few words.

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))

When you look at the cross, do you see foolishness or do you see power and beauty?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The love that Jesus showed

April 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
(Mark 8:34 (NIV))

Easter is rapidly approaching. The day that we praise for it is the yearly celebration of the resurrection of the crucified Jesus. It is something to celebrate. It is the culmination of all of the promises, for without the resurrection, the cross means nothing. Without the empty tomb, we are all guilty sinners without any hope.

Have you ever thought about why Jesus said that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him?

The world thinks that following Jesus is a joke. They look upon those who proclaim a faith in Jesus as less than intellectual, as someone stuck in childlike fantasy. Following Jesus is not always the easy thing to do. We have influences from all realms of society that mock us and try to get us to do things that we know are not right. We are to stick to the path laid out before us as believers. We are to not only accept the grace and mercy but show this same grace and mercy to others.

Think about Jesus on the cross. Was it socially acceptable to do what He did? Was it politically correct to preach and teach as He did? Was is in His best interests as a human to be seen with tax collectors, adulterers and sinners of all types?

Jesus denied Himself in ways that we can only imagine. He said and did things that He knew would anger the Sanhedrin. He kept the company of those who were social outcasts. He did all of this without any regard for His well-being. He even went to the cross without any resistance.

This was the ultimate act of denying yourself. He placed others first.

We are to do the same. We are to seek the lost and offer them a path to grace. We are to see the hungry and feed them. We are to feel the pain of a lost world and pray. We are called to do things beyond ourselves.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35 (NIV))

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Think of the love that Jesus showed for all of creation.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God perfected the substitution idea

April 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:19 (NIV))

Easter is just about upon us. It is the day that we celebrate how the obedience of one man made many righteous.

Have you ever played team sports? Each team sport allows for substitutions. Take a look at baseball. You can have someone take your place and run the bases for you. Basketball allows substitutions for various reasons, including the simple reason of giving someone a much needed rest.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. God perfected the substitution idea and allowed His only begotten Son, Jesus, to take our place so that we would not have to face the ultimate penalty. Jesus took it all upon Himself. He went into the game so that we could face life without the penalty of sin and death.

Friday will soon be upon us. It is the anniversary of when Jesus bore the cross and died as a substitute for us.

Rejoice !

That is not the end of the story. On the third day, Jesus arose and forever changed the rules. Grace abounds because God sent Jesus to substitute Himself and bear the burdens of our sins.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:1-4 (NIV))

One man made many righteous. Rejoice in that amazing gift this coming Easter Sunday. Don’t stop there. Rejoice in that gift every single day.

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

March 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
(Luke 22:34 (NIV))

Most people think of this as an Easter event. True, the original words depict an event that happened some two thousand years ago, yet, we should face the fact that we deny Jesus on a daily basis.

Can you honestly say that you take every opportunity to present Jesus to everyone that you meet? I know that I have trouble doing or saying what should be done when I am offered an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to someone who needs it. This, too, is a form of denial.

Would we be able to accept these words if they were spoken to us, especially when we know that our actions, or lack of action, could actually be considered denial? We all want to think that we will respond just as Jesus wants us to respond. We like to put ourselves in the shoes of Peter. We like to think that we would be able to do better than the “rock” upon which Jesus built His church. If the “rock” did not have the strength and stability to avoid denial, then how can we do any better?

We must consider that Peter was told these words before the betrayal, crucifixion and the resurrection. After the resurrection, Peter was indeed the “rock” that Jesus called him to be. What made the difference? Peter was given a faith that knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He had seen it and the events made no sense from a physical perspective. He saw with the eyes of faith. Peter never again denied Jesus.

Perhaps it takes a faith changing event to achieve that in our own lives. Perhaps it takes an inward change. I know that in order to be a “rock,” you must have solid faith and a solid foundation.

If given the opportunity today, would you be guilty of denying Jesus or would you stand firm in your faith?

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