Do you long to do as He says?

August 3, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

Does that passage hit you in the same way that it hits me?

Far too many times it convicts me, for I know that no matter how hard I try, there will be times that I fail. I listen to the word. I long to do what it says. And still I fail.

Failure is not deliberate. Failure is not my goal. Failure is a setback and an obstacle to overcome.

God’s word is alive. It is the truth and it is how we should live our lives. It is a choice and it is one that I take very seriously. I desire to live my life the way that God desires me to live. Yet, I find myself in the same predicament as Paul when he wrote to the Romans.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
(Romans 7:14-20 (NIV))

We all have times when we do what we know we shouldn’t. It is our recognition of these times that helps us to mature in our faith. If we desire to do what God’s word says, then we will hate our failures. We will long to be obedient. If we only listen and do not have a desire to do, then we do not hold God’s word in our heart. We do not long to be what God calls us to be.

We can listen to God’s word in the same way that we listen to the radio. When you turn off the radio, do you honestly remember the songs that you heard? Or, we can listen to God’s word in the way that you listen to things that are close to your heart. It is a matter of priorities.

When you listen to God, do you long to do as He says?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is faith?

March 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see. God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith.
(Hebrews 11:1-2 (NLT))

What is faith?

Perhaps I should ask it in this manner: What is faith to you?

If you are like me, faith has always been a vague concept where you probably confused faith with a wish. There is a very big difference, or at least there should be.

When you wish for something to happen, in most cases you realize that it is a long shot and will probably never happen. People make wishes all of the time such as “I wish I could win the lottery!” I want you to be honest with yourself and tell yourself what you think the odds are of this ever happening to you. They are probably astronomically high.

If a wish is what people think of when they think of faith, then what is the real meaning of faith?

Do you have faith that you will wake up in the morning, or is that still a wish?

Do you have faith that you can retire when you reach 65, or is that still a wish?

Do you have faith that the sun will rise in the morning?

What is it that you have faith in? What in your life are you confident beyond all doubt that it will happen? Is there anything in this physical life that you are confident of?

Besides my faith in God, I can say that I have faith in myself. I know beyond all doubt that I will fail to live up to my standards and, more importantly, I will fail to live up to the righteous standards that God has established for everyone who has or will ever live. I have faith that I will fail my God. I also have faith that God sent His Son, Jesus, to save me from my failures, my sins, and all that I have to do is accept the gift that was freely given on the cross!

I am so overwhelmingly glad that my faith in the redeeming power of Jesus is ultimately far greater than the faith that I have in my failure. I have faith that the redeeming blood of Jesus has saved me and I will see Him face to face.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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March 30, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
(Psalms 119:5 (NIV))

Do you ever waiver in your faith? Do you ever do things that you know God does not like? As a result of this, do you ever feel unworthy of God’s love and His grace?

If you are like me, I fail to be in God’s perfect Will many times a day. Even David, who is thought to have written Psalm 119, failed many times a day. He longed to do better. Even through his failures, God saw David’s heart.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
(Acts 13:22 (NIV))

Perfection is not something that we are capable of attaining on our own. In fact, in our physical existence, we never will attain perfection. We will falter and fail in what we earnestly seek. It is our heart that God looks at and not our success rate. Human nature does not allow us to be perfect, for we have fallen from grace. The world judges us by our successes. God judges us by our heart. If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then He will live within us. In our natural, physical existence, we will fail. Even those who walked this earth with Jesus failed many times.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
(Matthew 26:40-41 (NIV))

Don’t let your failures keep you sidetracked. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will find your obedience to God’s Will increasing. You will become steadfast in His ways.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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