Do you worship like you are truly thankful?

November 28, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near
    with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me
    Consists of tradition learned by rote,
Therefore behold, I will once
    again deal marvelously with
    this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed.”
(Isaiah 29:13-14 (NASB))

Are we guilty of “tradition learned by rote?”

Are our church services merely a series of traditions that we do because they are the way that we learned them? Do we understand the true meaning behind the traditions?

God spoke through Isaiah against meaningless traditions. Judgment was poured out on the descendants of Israel for simply doing “what they have always done.” They had forgotten that these traditions were actually acts of worship. Worship is not the act of doing things because that is the way they have always been done. It is a sincere reverence for God. It is a “thanksgiving” for what God has done for us, and not a series of rituals done in a certain sequence. God wants us to follow the intent of the Law, and not the letter of the Law. Jesus spoke against the Pharisees for following the letter of the Law without following the intent.

Are you bound by tradition learned by rote?

Are you truly thankful?

Do you worship like you are truly thankful?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Why do we fail to remember what God has done?

March 23, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.
(Deuteronomy 7:18 (NIV))

In case you haven’t noticed, human nature is a strange thing!

We have a tendency to forget things that have happened and, at the same time, we are likely to remember things that didn’t happen.

If there was ever a group of people that should have no problem remembering things, it was the Israelites that Moses lead out of Egypt. They had witnessed the plagues. They had lived through the Angel of Death at the first Passover. They had watched God part the waters of the Red Sea so that they could walk across dry land. They had been given manna to eat in the desert. They had seen water gush forth after Moses struck a rock at God’s command.

Still they muttered and were afraid of what lie ahead!

They and their descendants had all too quickly forgotten all that the Lord had done for them to get them to that point. They looked at the problems before them and failed to remember the huge problems that God had delivered them from and through in the not so distant past.

What is it about being human that makes us forget and makes us worry? Perhaps it is the very same thing that makes us look at our surroundings when we are driving on a high and curvy mountain road. We know that we should have nothing to worry about, but there is something about the potential danger that makes us forget successful endeavors in the past. We simply overreact in fear when we should fully realize that we have nothing to fear.

We panic!

And in our panic, it’s as if all of our memories and ability to reason go flying out the window!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Why do we fail to remember what God has done?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there anything that God cannot do?

September 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
(Jeremiah 32:27 (NIV))

I have had this verse at my fingertips for a few days. I have been thinking about it. Something in these words has made me stop and reflect on them. Several things have made me pause on this passage.

The biggest question that I have is why do we even need to be reminded of this? Is humanity so completely idiotic that we have forgotten what has been common knowledge since creation? Of course we are! All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well, humanity has ignored God. We have rebelled against God. We have embraced evil and called it good. We have embraced false gods. We have created our own gods when we couldn’t find one that we liked that someone else had created. We have limited God in so many ways that by the time that Jeremiah walked the earth, God had to speak through Jeremiah to remind creation that only He is Lord. Keep in mind that this was not the first time that God had to remind people exactly who He is. God used Noah to let creation know that He is Lord. God used Moses to let people know that He is Lord.

These are just a few of the instances when God reminded His creation that He is Lord, still, there is something about the words from Jeremiah that stand out!

“Is anything too hard for me?”

Why is humanity so fickle? Why do we place limitations where no limitations can be placed? Why do we try to define God in terms that we can understand? If we can understand everything about whom we worship, then it is not the one true God, but a god of our own creation.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord,
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

Do you try to limit God?

Is there anything that God cannot do?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you forsaken God?

May 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:14-16 (NIV))

We may forget God, but He will never forget us.

Isaiah was given the words that bring comfort to all who belong to the Lord. It is not possible for God to forget us or forsake us. When we depart slightly from the ways that God wishes for us, He does not cast us off. He waits patiently for us to return to Him, and when we do, all of heaven rejoices. The promise that He gave to Zion (Israel) also holds true for believers.

Jesus said that He is the vine and that we are the branches. We, as Gentile believers, have been grafted into the vine that is Jesus. We are a part of Him. We have a big brother interceding for us at the right hand of God. How can God forget us or forsake us? We are better off today than when Isaiah was given these words. Jesus had not yet come to earth or ascended back to the Father.

Today, both of these have happened, and Jesus does sit at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding in our behalf. The only thing that could be better is to have direct access ourselves, but that time has not come yet. Jesus must return again for His faithful and establish His kingdom on earth.

Will you be among the faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to forgive and forget?

January 30, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
(Proverbs 17:9 (NIV))

God has willingly forgotten all of our sins. He remembers them no more once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We are to be Jesus to the world. Jesus, as God’s Son, forgave sins when He walked among us. He told people to go and sin no more. These two aspects should guide us in our relationships with others, even those who have done wrong to us. We should forgive them just as God has forgiven us.

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 (NIV))

What is forgiveness without forgetting the transgression? Just as God forgets our sins, we must forget the transgressions of others against us. If we do not forget the transgression, then we are bound to resurrect it when it is better left buried. No one, except Jesus, is perfect. We all have things that are better left forgotten. We must do as God does and forgive and forget!

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