Be on your guard against false teaching!

August 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:6 (NIV))

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the two different schools of thought about the interpretation of the scriptures. It is interesting that neither group had been able to interpret the scriptures the way that they should. They had introduced different teachings that had their origins from man and these teachings had spread through the temple and the nation like yeast through bread.

Jesus warned his disciples to watch out for these teachings and to not allow them to enter into their lives again. It is so easy to replace God’s Word with human interpretation of it. Humanity has been taking God’s Word and twisting it for their own reasons for as long as history has been recorded. The sad part is that we can all fall prey to this. Even those who proclaim to desire to know God’s Word are susceptible to twisting it for their own selfish desires. Take a long look at your life in faith. Has there ever been a person or group of people that you know who have twisted God’s Word? Now comes the hardest question of all. Have you been guilty of this yourself?

I hate to say this, but I would venture to say that all of us have done that at one point or another. We are sinful and selfish in nature. Even though we claim grace through the blood of Jesus, we are not instantly perfect. We are, however, instantly forgiven. We are being made perfect.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV))

Even as we are being transformed into His likeness, we can also stumble and fail because of false teaching. We must be on our guard and test what we hear and see against God’s Word. We must not allow anything to make us falter in our course. We must not fall for the false teachings of today’s Pharisees and Sadducees.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you face judgement or Salvation?

January 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
(Hebrews 9:27 (NIV))

People live their lives as if they would never die. They are too engrossed in the “here and now” to think about eternity. When they do think about eternity, they do not think about the judgement that they must face after they die.

All throughout their lives they have been mislead by false religions and false teachings such as reincarnation, Buddhism, karma and a vast number of others. It is common in today’s culture to hear people speak of “It must be karma” or something similar. But, among non-believers, you never hear of someone speaking of judgement. It is not a concept that they wish to believe in.

The world has been successful in spreading the lies that there is no judgement after death. According to God’s laws, there is no reincarnation, no karma, or any other such thing. We have one life after which we will be judged based on one criteria. Did we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior? Those who answer “Yes” will receive eternal life in the presence of God. Those who answer “No” will receive the same judgement as Satan and the Anti-Christ: eternal separation from God and the Lake of Fire.

Without Jesus, there is no hope. With Jesus, we have God’s promise of eternal life.

Judgement is a Biblical principle. Salvation is a Biblical principle. Salvation comes through only ONE source, Jesus Christ. Will you face judgement or Salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

July 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Are you holding fast to your faith? Are you secure enough in your faith and understanding to not be deceived?

Each generation has felt that they are the generation that is seeing wars and rumors of wars. Each generation since Jesus said these words has looked for His return.

Think back over the course of your life. Do you remember every war that has been fought? Do you remember every earthquake that has happened? Do you remember every famine? God does. Many people who keep records of these things say that they are increasing.

Now, I want you to think about something.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Our understanding of a nation today is very different from what it was when this was written. A nation has always referred to a group of people, such as the Israelites or Canaanites. What we think of as a nation today is a political kingdom in the Bible. In other words, we are told that different people groups will fight each other. We see this escalating in today’s world with the cries of racism in our country. We see members of each group of people straining the bonds that we should all have through Jesus. We see riots between different people groups within our own political kingdoms. We see political kingdoms at odds with each other.

In essence, we are all rising against each other.

Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

Are we being deceived by false teachings and deliberate lies so that we will be a part of what Satan is doing in this world? There are far too many things going on in this world to keep up with all of them, but I do know that what I see appears to hold true all across the world. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are fights between different people groups and there are other things happening that simply make me wonder how humanity has become so depraved so fast.

No matter what happens, the Body of Christ, which crosses all nationalities and political kingdoms, must hold fast to Jesus. We must not fall for the wars. We must not fall for the racism issues. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting

September 24, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

“This is what these words mean:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
(Daniel 5:25 (NIV))

I have wrestled with this passage for a few days. I feel that I am being led to use this passage, yet, at the same time, I have this feeling in my stomach that this is going to make some people angry.

Here goes!

Think about the words “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”

Who is doing the weighing? Who is making the decision that we could be found wanting? This is not the only place that we are given a stern message like this.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

Just how can someone be found wanting in the eyes of God?

I think that we see a glimpse of this in the above passage from Matthew.

Jesus warned against those who claimed the power of His name, but did not have a personal relationship with Him. If we have that personal relationship with Jesus, our hearts will seek after what is on His heart. We will seek to do His will. We will be in step with what He is calling us to do.

We can get out of step easily. We can follow false teachings. We can accept only part of Jesus, the part that most people like to think about – Savior. If we do not accept Jesus as both Lord and Savior, then we are refusing to listen and to follow. In other words, we will not know Him, and He will not know us!

We will be evildoers in His sight!

What happens when many get out of step with God?

Is it possible for a nation to get out of step with God?

The story from Daniel shows us that it is possible. They were shown the handwriting on the wall.

I often wonder what things we will be asked about when we stand before God. I know that we will be asked about our personal sins.

When I say to a wicked man, `You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
(Ezekiel 3:18-19 (NIV))

Could we be found wanting because we did not take action to intervene for others, out nation and our world?

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

June 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:5-6 (NIV))

Why do you think that Jesus told the disciples this?

In our grocery store society, some of us may have lost touch with what yeast actually does.

Yeast is a small, single-celled fungus that is used to make several different foods. In this context, Jesus was referring to how yeast is used as leaven in bread to make it rise. Yeast completely changes the appearance and use of the flour dough from the inside. A small organism can work from the inside out and completely change how the dough will actually cook.

There are two important things to consider in this context. Something does not have to big big to invoke a major change. The second thing to consider is that a small piece of something can cause a major change from the inside.

The yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees were the false teachings and the hypocrisy. Jesus was warning his disciples to watch out for these false teachings. He was warning them that it only takes a little piece of falseness to implant itself inside of you. It will be like the yeast and grow and change you from the inside.

In today’s world, we have our own groups of people who are twisting God’s Word, They are spreading false teachings. Don’t allow these false teachings to come into your lives. Truth is truth. Test everything. If something appears to be biblically correct but has a few things that seem strange, be careful. Those few small things are the yeast that will take hold of you and change you from the inside.

Have you looked at all of the definitions of the word “yeast?” One of them is literally something that causes ferment or agitation. In other words, something small can cause unrest, excitement or commotion. False teachings are yeast, for they fulfill every aspect of the definition.

Is this something that you want inside of you?

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