This is what the gift of the cross means!

April 10, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“. . . he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped and we were healed!”
(Isaiah 53:5 (NLT))

Nothing comes without a price!

Have you truly stopped to reflect on the great price that Jesus willingly paid in order to save us from our sins? Have you thought about how you would attempt to pay the price for yourself? It is impossible for us to pay the price for our own sins. We are guilty of far too many to even stop to think about. Multiply that by the number of people who have or will ever live and you begin to see the magnitude of the weight of the sins of the world. It is a burden that no man can bear.

At this time of year when Easter approaches, it is necessary to remember that Jesus was not simply a man.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

This does not sound like a simple man. Just as John said, Jesus was with God because He was God.

Only God could save us from our sins. Think about the pain and suffering that He endured in order to give you salvation.

Nothing comes without a price! Either you try to pay it yourself or you allow God to pay it for you.

This is what the gift of the cross means!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you endure?

February 17, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow . . .for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”
(James 1:3-4 (NLT))

What are you ready for?

Is your faith as strong as it should be? I cannot answer that question for anybody but myself. I can honestly say that I like to think that my faith is strong, yet, I doubt what my actions would be if I were to face certain situations. If someone were to hold a gun to my head and tell me to deny Jesus or die, I pray that I would have the faith to do what I know that I should.

Think about what I just stated.

If our faith were not tested and our endurance not given a chance to grow, I know exactly how I would react if I would be placed in the situation I described earlier. It is a learning process. When we are in school, we do not take college calculus in kindergarten. We start off with lessons that we can grasp fully and then we move on to another, bigger lesson. Our spiritual maturity follows a similar path. If, as a new believer, we are faced with major situations, we will fail. It is by God’s grace that we can be redeemed when we do fail, but we will fail. Each test of our faith gets us closer to what God desires for us, but we must embrace the faith lessons that we are being taught.

There will come a day very soon when each believer will face a test so big that we MUST fully rely on our faith to see us through. We must allow our Godly character to be developed now so that when we do face this test, we will know exactly how to respond. We must be ready to face the enemy head on and confidently denounce and rebuke his plans no matter what the consequences may be to us. We must embrace our faith and head fully into the power of Jesus’ name.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV))

Can you endure?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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By His blood He paid the price!

April 14, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
(Revelation 1:5 (NIV))

By His blood!

We take so much for granted. We, as the Body of Christ, have a habit of glossing over exactly what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. We trivialize the price that He paid for us. It was not a pretty picture!

Have we become so accustom to the story of the crucifixion and resurrection that we take it for granted? Do we even begin to realize the excruciating pain that Jesus endured so that we, in all of our sinful nature, could know grace and mercy?

Think about the worst physical pain that you have ever experienced. What was it? How does that compare to being flogged and having the flesh torn off of your back? How does that compare to having nails driven through your hands and feet? How does that compare to having to decide whether the pain of not being able to breathe is greater than the pain it takes to lift yourself up to take a breath? When was the last time that you bled so profusely that almost all of your blood left your body?

Jesus endured all of this and much more than our humanity can imagine. Jesus endured all of this because He loves us. Jesus did all of this because it was God’s plan to offer Himself as a living sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus did all of this just as John 3:16 says.

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))

What Jesus endured on the cross was endured willingly. What Jesus offers through the cross is offered freely.

By His blood He paid the price and by His blood we are saved!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you truly understand the love that He has for us?

March 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
(John 17:1-5 (NIV))

We are rapidly coming up on Easter, the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.

I am thankful for the resurrection! I am thankful for the defeat of death that the resurrection brought, yet, we, as the Body of Christ, have glossed over the pain and suffering that Jesus endured before and during the crucifixion.

Jesus knew exactly what was coming!

We see images from reenactments of the passion, yet, we still don’t truly understand what He went through in order to redeem us, to bring us salvation from sin and death.

Have you ever caught your arm in the thorns of a rose or bush? Did it draw blood? It probably hurt. Now, think of the flesh being ripped from your back with each lashing of the scourge. Think of the crown of thorns being driven into your head. In comparison to what you have experienced, can you even comprehend the pain that Jesus endured so that you could claim salvation?

Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? It hurts. In comparison, can you imagine the pain that Jesus endured when they drove the nails into and through his hands and feet?

Jesus knew that all of this, and much more, was waiting for Him. He willingly went through all of this just so that each of us could be offered grace and mercy through His shed blood. The price that Jesus paid was far greater than many of us can even imagine, yet, He paid it willingly. I want you to stop and think about the passion. I want you to stop and think about the pain. I want you to stop and think about the love that drove Him to the cross.

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

Do you truly understand the love that He has for us?

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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