I am so thankful for grace!

August 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52 (NIV))

I am afraid to say that we still have people alive today who fall into this category. These people take what should be simple, God-given guidelines on how we are to live our lives and turn them into legalistic ritual controlled by man.

God did not intend for us to spend so much time worried about the details that we miss the grace and the joy that He has freely given to us. How can we be joyful in our salvation if we are worried about following legalistic rituals that are human traditions and not required of God? If you remember, the word “sin” is an archery term that means to miss the mark. Legalism holds us to the judgement of missing that mark.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
(1 Corinthians 15:56 (NIV))

Jesus came into this world so that we would be free from the law of sin and death. He did not mean that we could continue to sin. He gave us freedom to escape the consequences of sin and death. We are to follow the law, but since we are not perfect, we cannot uphold the law in all things. Legalism requires that we be letter perfect in all things and at all times. People who become experts in the law seem to like to point out the flaws of others. They don’t offer guidance and grace, only condemnation. Through the law, there is no victory.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is forever my hope and my strength!

November 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.
(1 Peter 3:14 (NIV))

With the events that are going on in the world, and the so called experts saying that we are on the verge of World War III, are you prepared to do what is right in the eyes of God?

I don’t want to come across as an alarmist, but as the Body of Christ, we should be aware of the things that are going on in this world and their relationship to God’s Word. I know that I have been saying that things are getting worse in the world for quite some time. I believe that now more than ever. I also believe that things will get far worse than they are. Still, I do not fear what the world has to throw at me. My strength is in Jesus! My hope is in Jesus! I pray that I have the physical strength and the strength of character to always proclaim that Jesus is Lord!

I know that no one wants to suffer, but we must remember the words that Jesus spoke.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Jesus also told us that we should expect to encounter the same treatment as He was given, both good and bad.

Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
(John 5:20 (NIV))

We have so much to pray for with the current state of the world, but we also have so much to be thankful for as well. God will not forsake those who love Him. When things get bad, look to the heavens and call upon the name of the Lord.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God looks at the heart!

March 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52 (NIV))

What makes a person an expert?

An expert is someone who has skill or knowledge in an area. In other words, they study or practice a subject until they can slice it and dice it in ways that were probably never intended to happen.

Think about this for a moment and then think about what it means to follow the letter of the law.

Following the letter of the law means that you are more concerned with being legalistic and doing what the law says to do to the very last detail. You become more concerned with following the checklist of things that you think the law asks of you to the point that you don’t really understand what the law was created to do.

What do you think of speed limits?

What is the purpose of a speed limit? What is the intent?

First and foremost, the speed laws were intended to provide a level of safety to those who are traveling and to those whom they encounter. As a typical driver, I can honestly say that the last thing on my mind is the intent of these laws when I look in my rearview mirror and see a police car. My first response is one that everyone has. Make sure that I am not doing something wrong because I don’t want a ticket.

What does this have to do with the intent of the speed laws?

Now, think about the spiritual laws that we have been given. Think about the laws that God has given us through His Word. We must be very careful not to end up trying to obey the letter of the law and miss out on the intent of the law.

God gave us life. He gave us His Word and His Laws. He also gave us grace. He knew that we are prone to focus on the wrong things. He knew that what was the most important thing to understand would be relegated to a minor status once we got our hands upon it.

How many times have you seen someone miss out on a blessing because they were focusing on the wrong things. Don’t get bogged down in the details to such a point that you don’t understand the intent.

God intends for us to have abundant life through the grace offered at the cross. Don’t lose sight of the gift because you are trying to understand the details.

God looks at the heart!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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