What have you crucified?

January 22, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:24 (NIV))

When we commit to following Jesus and claiming Him as our personal Lord and Savior, we are expected to turn over our lives to His guidance. We are expected to have a desire to put an end to our sinful nature. It is true that we can turn to Jesus while still in our sin, but we are expected to allow Jesus to work in our lives and help us to remove the sinful passions and desires. Just as Jesus laid down His perfect life to bear the burden of our sin, we are expected to lay down our sinful life in order to embrace the grace that is freely given.

We are to crucify our sinful nature.

We are to desire to lay our sins and our burdens at the foot of the cross!

It is an even exchange. Jesus picks up our sins and we pick up His righteousness. I know I said that it is an even exchange, but it is not a fair exchange. All of us are sinners condemned by the very nature of sin. Jesus, by His very nature, is righteousness.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

If Jesus is willing to give all so that we may have all, we should be willing to surrender ourselves in this exchange. We should be willing to crucify the sinful nature that has condemned us.

What have you crucified?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our physician makes heart calls!

July 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
(Luke 5:31-32 (NIV))

Are you arrogant enough to believe that you are righteous without Jesus?

Sadly, there are people in this world who believe that they are good enough to go to heaven on their own merits. We know better.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

If all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, then everyone is a sinner in need of repentance. In other words, Jesus came to call everyone to repent, and not just your friends and people like you.

We are all sick and in need of a doctor. This doctor can heal anything. This doctor can even bring eternal life. All that any of us have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and turn away from the sin that has claimed you.

You may think that you are healthy, but we all know better than to believe this false claim. All have sinned. All are in need of a Savior.

This doctor makes heart calls. There are no lines, no waiting and no payment is expected. Jesus already paid everything for us.

Don’t wait to get healthy!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the return of Jesus your biggest hope or biggest fear?

May 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
(Revelation 22:12 (NIV))

This either is a blessed hope or a cause of extreme fear. How you look upon it is how you look upon Jesus Christ.

Even though these words speak of His return to bind Satan and judge those left on the earth or who have died without accepting Him, it is still a cause of fear or denial for many. True followers of Jesus will not have to face the judgement that He will dish out. Their judgement has been one of complete pardon by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. All others who will face the judgement will have no where to turn to escape the consequences of what they have done in their lives, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Knowing that no one has lead a perfect, sinless life, how do you want to be judged? Do you have the hope and assurance of a complete pardon or do you have the fear of damnation?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will Jesus know you as someone whom He has set free?

April 30, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1 (NIV))

Freedom from what?

Why did Jesus come into this world? Why did Jesus die on the cross? Why was He resurrected three days later?

Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin that humanity has been under since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. He died on the cross to bear the pain and to pay the price for all sin for all of humanity so that we could find grace and mercy. Through His resurrection, Jesus broke the power of sin and death. The grave no longer holds power over those who profess the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

Does this mean that we are perfect?

Does this mean that we will never make mistakes?

Does this mean that we can do whatever we want including continuing in our sins because Jesus loves us and He wants us to be happy?

If we could continue in our sins and still find salvation, why did Jesus die?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus, you will follow His teachings. You will seek to live according to the example that Jesus left.

“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))

Will Jesus know you as someone whom He has set free?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a part of that great multitude?

March 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV))

A great multitude that no one could count!

Have you ever been part of a large crowd? Have you ever seen photos of a large crowd? Perhaps the ones that come to my mind are of the crowds that gather on the mall between the Capital Building and The Washington Monument. If you have ever been there, you know just how big of an area this is and just how many people it can hold. They even have ways of estimating a count for the number of attendees in that area.

Now, imagine that crowd. Picture in your mind a crowd so great the no one can count or even begin to estimate the numbers.

God is good!

It is by His grace and mercy that this scene can and will unfold.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

No one can be a part of that crowd based on their own merits. No one can be in the presence of God in their sinful nature, yet, we know that an unimaginable number of people will be in the presence of God. The great multitude is the Body of Christ. The great multitude are the individuals who have called upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. It is these people who have had their sins washed white as snow. It is these very people who will sing praises and give thanks for the gift of salvation that they have received.

Are you a part of that great multitude?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God warning you about sin?

March 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
(Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV))

Could God use these words if He had a conversation with you?

If only Cain had heeded these words and taken a different direction.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
(Genesis 4:8 (NIV))

I take this as proof that God truly does know what is in our hearts. He knew what Cain had within him. He even warned Cain to change his course and to not let his anger turn to sin. I also take this passage to reaffirm the fact that God loves everyone and desires for no one to perish. He reached out to Cain before he killed his brother in an effort to turn him away from sin. It was up to Cain to respond. It was his choice. He chose to ignore God and we all know what happened as the consequences of this action.

If God speaks to you in this manner, take heed of what He has to say, for it is being said out of love. Perhaps we should remember another passage before we think that God is not speaking to us.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

God is calling out to us in much the same way that He called out to Cain, for we, too, are sinners prone to anger. Sin is crouching at our door. Have you mastered it?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Godly love is tough love calling for repentance!

February 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
(1 John 3:11 (NIV))

I honestly believe that our society has twisted what it means to love each other.

Think about that for a moment. We used to correct and discipline each other because we loved each other. We, as a society, did not want to see each other fall into sins that became habits that became lifestyles. We loved each other enough to try and offer guidance and correction so that no one would stumble and fall. We literally took each other on as a responsibility because we understood the concept that it is easier to guide than it is to recover from a fall. We also understood the consequences of sin, both short term and eternal.

Sadly, in today’s society, we are considered hateful if we try to offer guidance. We are only looked upon as loving if we completely accept everything about each other.

If that is how love works, then we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we hate ourselves. After all, everybody has something in their lives that they hate. By that logic, if we can’t accept everything about ourselves, then we must hate ourselves.

Human nature proves that statement to be incorrect, after all, self-preservation is a very strong human characteristic.

Godly love is not acceptance, but a desire to see what is best for each other.

Is addiction good for anybody?

Is hatred good for anybody?

Is rebellion against God good for anybody?

Is sin ever in anybody’s interests?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Is eternal separation from God good for anybody?

It is for this reason that we must tell people about Jesus, and not the watered down Jesus that accepts our sins without asking us to repent. Jesus showed tough love.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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