What is the Body of Christ declaring to the nations?

June 5, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
(Psalms 96:3 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the so-called Body of Christ, just what are we declaring to the nations?

One group claims that the Bible is outdated and doesn’t apply to today’s society. Another group claims that certain sins are no longer sin. Another group has rewritten the Bible to call God the same name as the Muslim god and they have referred to Jesus only as a prophet. Another group is now claiming that the Bible has it wrong when everyone calls God Father. They want everyone to refer to God as a she.

And then there is the group that holds fast to the truth that has always been. The Bible is God’s Word dictated to man and recorded for all to use. This group clings to the promises of God and to the truth found in the following passage.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but this passage instructs me to believe, and not alter, the passages that call God our Father. I also believe that this passage instructs me to believe if a sin is called an abomination in the eyes of God, then no matter what society may say, it is a sin. I firmly believe that the Bible tells me that God has many names, and I have still to find where it calls Him by the name of the Muslim god. I also firmly believe that because the Bible calls Jesus the Son of God, He is not simply a prophet or a good man.

Are we seeing something unfold before our very eyes just as Jesus told us?

At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
(Matthew 24:23-25 (NIV))

Man cannot change God and God’s Word. That is a sin. We may not like some things that are in the Bible because they hit a little too close to home, but that does not mean that we can simply ignore them or change them. If God did not condemn sin, then why do people try so hard to say that what they do is okay? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross if God will embrace us as sinners?

Think about that!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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So be on your guard!

August 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“When you see `the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now–and never to be equaled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:14-23 (NIV))

Do you know what to look for? Do you know the signs?

I don’t profess to know, for no one knows the day or the hour, but many people strongly believe that the season is very ripe for God’s plans to unfold.

I know that we all have limited life experiences and that there are not too many people left who can remember the events of World War II. I do know that what we are facing today seems to be just as ominous, if not more so, than the things that have been faced by previous generations. Never before in the history of the world has there been a group of people who are willing to kill the whole world because they do not believe as they do. To be honest with you, the reports of children being beheaded are horrendous. Who would be so evil that they would do such a thing?

We are told to be on the lookout for the abomination that causes desolation. We are told to flea when we see this. Do you know what to look for?

Sadly, I have read reports, and you should pray for discernment about these and anything that you hear, that state that Israel is being cut off. No mail service or bank transfers from many countries, including the US, and weapons shipments to Israel are being cut off as well.

The evilness in the world is trying to isolate Israel. It is also trying to turn believers in Jesus into a thing of the past. Whole cities are being told to convert to Islam, leave or die.

There are things going on in this world that without a faith in Jesus, I would be terrified and rightly so, but I know who wins! I know that Jesus will return. I know that what we face here on this earth will probably get a lot worse before the church is removed. I also know that it will literally be hell on earth after the church is removed.

I know that many people do not like to think about end-time prophesies because they either don’t understand them or they are scared of the events. I have a question for you. Do you live in a home with smoke detectors? You take the precautions necessary to avoid a scary situation in your home. You should be willing to take the precautions necessary to avoid a scary situation in your life.

We live in a time when things are unfolding rapidly, so be on your guard!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do not be deceived

February 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s world, deceit is everywhere. The prince of this world tries to deceive the faithful by wrapping his deception in a cloak that imitates the Truth.

Be careful in what you allow into your heart. Test everything. Satan can also appear as an angel of Light. If something does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, run from it.

All of God’s Truth throughout the history of the Bible has pointed to one man through many prophecies. If something professes to be from God, yet does not acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son, it is not from God.

Jesus foretold of this and left us a warning.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:22-23)

Do not be deceived, but keep your eyes focused on God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

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

December 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
(1 John 4:1 (NIV))

What was true for the early church is still very true today. Not everyone who claims to speak the truth is actually speaking the truth as God and Jesus have established it. Many people will distort the truth for their own gain. Some just do not care about the truth and will tell you anything just because they can.

This also is very true about “spirits” as well. Not everything that you have a “hunch” or an inspiration about is from God. Keep in mind that Satan and his legions are roaming the earth and can disguise themselves as angels of light. The Holy Spirit will not tell you to do anything that goes against the Word of God.

Test everything!

The best way to test whether something is from God is to know His Word and have it written on your heart. In this manner, you will know quickly whether something is from God and is the truth. God will never do anything that is contrary to His Word.

But what about Jesus?

Didn’t God change His plan for mankind when Jesus came into the world?

No!

God had foretold of this plan ever since Abraham. He spoke of the promise to all generations. He even used the prophets to tell of the details of Jesus’ life and the fulfillment of His plan. Man did not fully understand the plan, and spent the years in anticipation of another kind of leader instead of the one that God had promised us. Perhaps, they even listened to false prophets who did not want them to fully understand what God was doing!

Do you fully understand God’s plan?

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

February 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 24:10-13 (NIV))

I have read this passage many times, and like all of God’s Word, it speaks differently each time. God’s Word is living. You can read something many times and each time, something new comes into view.

This time, what came to light is something that I honestly hope is just a translation issue. However, I honestly do not think that it is.

Did you see the word “most” in this passage?

“the love of MOST will grow cold”

This brings to mind that we, as the Body of Christ, have allowed false teachings in. We have started following human desires within the church instead of following God’s Word and Jesus. It also means that as we get closer to God’s ultimate plan for humanity, more and more will fall away. They will cling to human desires and understanding instead of relying on what we have been told in the Bible. We already see divisions and teachings that are based on social issues instead of Biblical truth.

Most!

That implies more than half of the people who profess a faith in Jesus will fall into wickedness!

As important as social issues appear to be, they are not what Jesus came into this world to address. He told us that we would always have the poor. He told us to stop sinning. He told us to love one another. Jesus did not preach social justice. He even told us that He would be the divisive factor even among families. Social justice does not bring salvation. Only a true profession of faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior will bring salvation.

Don’t misunderstand my thought process.

The church is to be the light of Jesus in the world, but we are not to let the social issues divide us. Satan uses anything and everything that he can to make a believer turn away from the truth, even something that has a good purpose.

I also want you to think about this passage with respect to another point.

There are those who believe that once you are saved you are always saved. The words of Jesus in Matthew contradict that idea.

We must stand firmly upon God’s Word and not be swayed by the lies of the enemy, no matter how good they may sound.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Worship the Lord your God and serve him only

February 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
(Luke 4:8 (NIV))

I just saw something that sent chills through my body. It also brought great sadness to my very soul.

I know that many people place things before God, such as fame, fortune and power. Each of these is a small “god” that some of us allow to be our priority. Others will put God in a box and try to limit Him by their understanding of him. People think that they are worshipping the God of the Bible, but in essence, they are worshipping a god of their own creation. This was phrased very well by my friend and pastor, Bill Jackson, when he said that we worship the god we want instead of the God who is.

There are times that we are all guilty of this. It is human nature to place things as a priority even when we do not mean to do so. When this happens, we must repent and place God as our only Lord.

What happens when someone deliberately worships a god that is not God?

That is what sent chills through my body!

A large number of people are worshipping the president as the second coming of Jesus. In fact, they have formed a legal church and have over 50,000 members!

We are told that Jesus will return to the earth to battle Satan and his armies in the Valley of Megido. It does not say that Jesus will return physically to the earth before this. It does not say that He will be a political leader.

There are many things in this world that we can allow to replace God. We must be careful that we stay true to God’s Word. Test everything. If something is 90% correct, the 10% is wrong and we, as the Body of Christ, must recognize this and stay away from the subtle lies that can entrap us.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus.

“So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand– then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
(Matthew 24_15-25 (NIV))

Stay firmly rooted in God’s Word.

Be vigilant!

Pray for God’s guidance.

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
(Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t allow the world to change you!

May 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV))

I find it saddening that far too many people say that the Bible is no longer relevant in this modern world. I also find it very comforting that God’s Word is steadfast. It is true no matter what society or nonbelievers may say.

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
(Matthew 5:18 (NIV))

Did you notice that Jesus referred to the Law. There are many definitions for the word “law,” such as a binding custom or practice; a rule or order that you observe; and the revelation of the Will of God. Today, we have man-made laws that we tend to follow. Why do people willingly obey man-made laws and ignore God’s Law? It has not changed. It will not change. What was once a sin is still a sin, no matter how the media or any other group try to spin it.

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
(Matthew 24:10-11 (NIV))

I see many people being deceived. I see things in this world that I could never have imagined just thirty years ago. There are wars and rumors of wars. Our society had become polarized. We can no longer meet on a common ground. We must be careful to not fall for the traps that the enemy has set. We must not allow our focus to shift away from Jesus.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:12-14 (NIV))

Stand firm in your faith. Do not allow the world to convince you that the sin that is being publicized is ok, after all the Bible was written such a very long time ago. Jesus gave us assurance that God’s Word would not change and that His Law would not change.

Don’t allow the world to change you!

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