Are you truly prepared to follow Jesus?

January 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

” `a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–

a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
(Matthew 10:34-39 (NIV))

When most people think of Jesus, they think of peace and love. Even the modern church thinks of Jesus in this way, but there is a side to Jesus, or should I say a side to proclaiming a faith in Jesus, that is far from what the world thinks.

Jesus came to this world out of love for God’s creation. He came so that sinners could be set free from the bondage of sin and death. Sadly, though, not everyone will accept that free gift. Not everyone will acknowledge that Jesus has the authority to offer the gift of grace. It is this aspect that brings the sword. In most cases, it is only a figure of speech, but in some cases, it is a literal result of the rejection of Jesus.

We have all seen families where some members of the family are very firmly rooted in their faith in Jesus while other family members vehemently deny Jesus. They are at odds. They are at war with members of their own family. In some cultures, proclaiming that you are a Christian and follow Jesus is a death sentence. Contrary to societal beliefs, following Jesus is not all acceptance, love and Kumbaya.

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
(Matthew 13: 37-39 (NIV))

There is a growing hatred in this world for anything that points to Jesus. The enemy is planting weeds in the hearts of people while Jesus is planting good seed.

There is a battle taking place. That battle may divide families. It may divide friends. Don’t let that battle find you opposing Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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This world is in need of what God has called you to do!

October 11, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
(Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV))

It has been said that Jesus stands at the door to our heart and knocks. God longs for a saving relationship with us through His Son, Jesus. He patiently waits for us to hear that knock and allow Him in.

Can you imagine the delight that God experiences when one of His children turn that knock around, when one of His children actively seek His face, His truth, His grace and His salvation?

Jesus came into this world to offer grace and mercy to a sinful and arrogant people. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit patiently wait for someone to hear their gentle knock and to open up their life to the grace and mercy that is freely given to them. Now imagine someone who seeks this aggressively, who seeks God with all of their heart. If God is willing to give grace and mercy to those who are not answering God’s gentle knocking, imagine what God is willing to give to someone who seeks after Him with all of their heart.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.
(Exodus 14:15 (NIV))

It is a shame that too many people are like the Israelites from Exodus. We expect God to provide for everything, yet we are too afraid to step out in faith. I dare say that those who are afraid to step out in faith may also be the very same ones who do not turn to God and knock.

God rewards faith. God rewards those who knock.

Recently, I was speaking with some clergy friends and discussing the idea of pursuing some advanced Biblical education. Many of these friends told me to be prepared for things to start happening that I would not be able to explain. Each one confirmed that if we take a step in faith, God will meet us there and He will guide us and take us places that we could not imagine going.

He has given us a purpose. Now, He is waiting for us to embrace that purpose. Have you knocked at God’s door and asked what He has in store for you? Have you embraced your purpose?

If the Body of Christ will rise up and embrace that purpose, I believe that we will see God made manifest among the nations.

This world is in need of what God has called you to do!

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