Do you accept the mystery of godliness?

April 5, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
(1 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

Many people find the words expressed in this passage difficult to comprehend. Some even deny that it could have ever happened at all. The simple fact is that the way that a person accepts these words and their meaning is the direct determination to the relationship that they have with God. If someone believes God is a loving Creator who cares about each one of us, then they readily accept the fact that He sent Jesus Christ to this earth for us. If someone does not comprehend that God the Father is a loving Creator, then they have difficulty grasping the concepts presented here.

Still, there are those who deny that God even exists because they choose not to believe, or they cannot see Him. These are the people who won’t accept because they don’t want to believe that there is a God, let alone one who loves us.

Isn’t it sad how people will not acknowledge the truth even when it is right in front of them? Those people who saw Jesus perform all of the miracles when He was on this earth rejected Him when He did not fit their expectations of what the Messiah should be. People are still rejecting Him because of the same reason.

Rejection of Jesus is a matter of pride and arrogance. People feel that either they are not worthy of God, or they have the attitude that they do not need (or want) a superior entity in charge of their lives. They will not make an effort to approach God, even though He made a great sacrifice to approach us!

Do you accept the mystery of godliness?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you let yourself be sharpened?

May 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27:17 (NIV))

Do you like to be held accountable?

Do you like to have your feet held to the fire?

Each and every one of us have a set of expectations placed on us by our families, our friends and our employers. Have you ever stopped to think about the expectations that the Body of Christ has for you? Have you ever stopped to think about your responsibility to other members of the Body of Christ?

As members of the Body of Christ, we are to hold each other accountable. We are also called to support each other in times of need. We are called to keep each other accountable not only to each other, but also to God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son. We do this by getting involved in the lives of each other. We can’t simply just gather together for an hour on Sunday and possibly think that this is all we need.

We are called to be community. We are called to be the Body of Christ!

Does a body only exist together for a short time and then go separate ways? Does a hand get up and leave the body? Each member is there to provide support and to be supported.

We get our strength from each other. As one member grows, all members grow. As one member is sharpened, all members are sharpened. All of this occurs because we learn from each other. We mature in our faith when in community.

We are told to fellowship with other believers. We are told that fellowship is part of the Gospel.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

Do you let yourself be sharpened?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you do what God hates?

March 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the LORD.
(Zechariah 8:16-17 (NIV))

Based on this, what does God think of our society and our world today?

I know that the world is in great need of Jesus, but what about His body? What about the church?

Do we speak the truth to each other or do we tell each other lies because it is easier to lie and then move on? Truth requires work. It requires commitment. Do we, as the people who profess a faith in Jesus, commit ourselves to the task of being truthful in all circumstances?

Is there such a thing as true and sound judgment anymore? Our laws and our courts are in a pitiful state when they are more concerned with the perpetrator instead of the victim, and the letter of the law instead of the intent. Do we, as the Body of Christ, live up to God’s expectations or do we fall to humanity’s expectations? Do we accept the fact that we are to be held to a higher standard than the world’s standards?

Do we plot against our neighbors like the world plots, or do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Sometimes this is a difficult thing to do, but regardless, we must seek to do what God has called us to do. Can you imagine if the Body of Christ did as we are instructed?

Do we swear falsely? Perhaps I should ask if we lie and curse. Do we take the Lord’s name in vain? Do we say things with an angry heart?

I want you to think about these questions and be honest with yourself. If you are like me, you are guilty of most of these on a regular basis. What makes us different from the world?

Grace!

It has been freely given. We have freely accepted it. We strive to live according to it. We will falter. We will fail, but it is by the grace that is ours through the shed blood of Jesus that we are different. We have a hope that is eternal. We have a faith that our hope is not wrongly placed. We have a light that has been shared with us, and now it is our turn to share it with others. We will not be trusted by others if we don’t speak the truth. We won’t be trusted if we show faulty judgment. We will not be trusted if we plot evil, and we will not be trusted if we swear falsely. Not only does God hate this, but it also makes our witness unbelievable.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I am reborn through the power of His birth!

December 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:5-8 (NIV))

During this time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we have to stop and consider the things that Jesus spoke of in this passage and the true meaning of what He spoke of.

If you stop to think about the birth of Jesus, it is not the typical birth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
(John 1:1-2 (NIV))

Jesus existed before His physical birth. He has existed since the beginning and will exist for all eternity. Why did He go through the physical birth when He already existed? Why did He come to take a physical, human form? Why did He give up the heavenly to put on the frailty of humanity? Why did He do any of the things that He did?

Love!

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

I find it amazing and I am deeply humbled by the fact that Jesus gave up everything so that He could offer us redemptive grace and salvation. He is eternal. We are dust. Yet, He loves us enough to have come to this world and live as one of us. He loves us enough to have suffered and died for the cleansing of all of our sins. He loves us enough to intercede for us with the Father.

I realize that what we know as Christmas is a joyous time for the reason we celebrate is joyous. I also find it to be a time of self reflection. Do I live up to the expectations of Jesus? Do I have the faith to do the things that He has done? I know that I fail daily. I also know that I can repent and rest assured that I am still loved and forgiven. I know this because of the promises that were fulfilled when Jesus was born into the physical world!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your expectations?

May 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

What did you do yesterday?

Did you end the day with expectations for today?

Do you have big plans for tomorrow?

Are you planning something special for next week, next month or next year?

Everyone has expectations for the future, but how often do your expectations actually come true? With that in mind, there is one thing that I need to ask. What are your expectations with respect to salvation? Have you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you confident in your faith? Do you live out your faith as if your life could end at any moment and eternity depended on Jesus acknowledging you as a faithful follower?

Are you confident that you would not hear these words from Jesus?

`I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23b (NIV))

Let’s face the truth. None of us want to hear these words. None of us want to face the consequences of these words. Can you honestly look at your life in relation to what God has written and what Jesus has taught and find yourself righteous in the eyes of God? No one can!

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

It is for this reason that Jesus came into the world. It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross. It is for this reason that Jesus died. It is for this reason that Jesus was resurrected. It is through the acceptance of this gift that anyone can be saved. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All that we can know is that we have called upon Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. We must live for Him. We must commune with Him. We must seek His face in all that we do. We cannot simply call upon Jesus only when we need rescuing.

What are your expectations of your relationship with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you placed God in a box?

February 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:5 (NIV))

Many people say that God is dead. On the contrary! They only are ignoring what is right before their eyes. Just because His actual works are not yet recorded in the Bible, people fail to see the obvious. If they would only attempt to understand the prophecy that God has placed in the Bible, they would see that God is not dead. He is alive and in control.

Sometimes, even believers need to be reminded that God is faithful. We tend to put God in a box and expect Him to live up, or should I say “down”, to our expectations. God has a plan for His Creation, and His plan does not waiver. God is faithful to those who call upon Him in His Will, not their will.

Have you placed God in a box, or is God the God of Creation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your expectations of Jesus?

November 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.

But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
(Luke 24:28-32 (NIV))

How many times have you longed to see and hear Jesus, only to be “let down” at the moment when you thought that He wasn’t there. You were not let down by Jesus, you were let down by your own expectations of Jesus. These two men on their way to Emmaus had Jesus with them the whole way, yet, they did not see Him. How many times have you looked back on times in your life when you thought Jesus had not been there only to find that He was there and you did not recognize Him, just as these two men did not recognize Him?

We must learn to see Jesus for who and what He is, and not for what we expect Him to be!

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