What if Jesus decided that He was not fully committed?

May 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
(Hebrews 13:4 (NIV))

Today’s society seems to have forgotten this. Everywhere you look, you see the results of marriages that have seen the effects of unfaithfulness. According to the politically correct way of thinking, many people are saying that it just isn’t working, or they no longer want to be with their spouse, regardless of the consequences on anyone but themselves. Is this just another result of the “me first” mentality that has permeated our society lately? What has happened to the concept of for better or for worse?

What if Jesus decided that He did not want to stay around and fulfill the promise of salvation for you because He needed “space”? He made a committment to be our atoning sacrifice that would give us grace and mercy. He had the most to lose of anyone who has ever lived, yet, Jesus did not stop while He was on the cross and say that he didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore. He stuck with it and did what was best for everyone. It eventually was even best for Him. Perhaps we should focus more on Jesus and each other as a society and not on “me.”

Who do you focus on?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is an ultimate truth!

September 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
(John 8:32 (NLT))

Just what is truth?

Is truth relative or is there an ultimate, unwavering truth that overrides everything else?

According to today’s society, truth is relative. It changes with the situation. What may be true one minute may not be true the next. If you ask me, that is entirely too complicated. Who decides the rules that let you know what truth applies and when? Is there a class in high school that you need to take? Is it a college course? What happens if you fail? Isn’t it interesting that ever since the Supreme Court said that we have to remove prayer from our schools, truth has become relative?

There is an ultimate truth!

The Word of God is that truth. It is constant. It is unchanging. It is not relative! We have God’s Word to steer our lives by. In addition to God’s Word, we have Jesus, who was God’s Word made flesh.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

If Jesus is God’s Word made flesh and God’s Word is the ultimate truth, then we have the gift of ultimate truth providing us with grace and mercy! Isn’t God good?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

We also have another aspect of Jesus that we must look at. Jesus is also our brother who sits at the right hand of God. Our brother is God’s truth!

The next time that you hear someone say that truth is relative, you can tell them that it is. Tell them that Jesus is the truth, and that He is your brother. Tell them that He can be their brother as well. All they have to do is accept His gift of grace and mercy.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you embrace?

July 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV))

Just what is good and what is evil?

In today’s society where everything is relative, that simple question does not get a simple answer from man.

Why do you suppose that this simple concept of good and evil has been lost?

Perhaps it is because we, as humanity, lost site of what is good in the Garden of Eden and the more time that passes since this happened, the more we embrace evil as good and good as evil.

How can we recapture the truth behind good and leave evil behind?

We have been given a redemptive gift through Jesus. This gift allows us to experience grace and mercy when we really don’t have a concept of what grace and mercy are! We are given a wonderful gift when we don’t understand or have the ability to appreciate this gift. Even so, God gave it to us anyway!

Why did God give us grace and mercy when we don’t understand it or deserve it?

God created us! God loves us! He longs to embrace us in His sinless perfection, but we are sinful. For this reason, God provided a “graft” that allows us to escape the knowledge of evil and embrace the good that He has given us.

We are now free once again to embrace the good that God desires for us even though we have embraced the evil in the past. We can turn from the evil and embrace the good.

When you hold out your arms, what do you embrace?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your desire?

June 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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 3:12-17 (NIV))

Many people believe that Jesus promised a life of ease if you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. It is true in heaven, but it is not true in this world.

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, stated clearly that those who seek after God will be persecuted. Today, many preach that God wants to prosper believers, but they do not preach the fact that Satan wishes to crush believers.

All will be persecuted at some time in their lives. What we, as believers, must remember is that we are to be an example of God’s grace and mercy even during times of persecution. The sign of a true believer will be the way that we handle the persecution that is to come.

Stay in God’s Word so that you may be strong in the faith for when those times come. Paul is an excellent example of strong faith and great persecution. He was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked and left for dead on many occasions.

I do not know what persecutions that each of us may face, but I do know that Jesus said that in this world we would have troubles. Jesus always spoke the truth, no matter how harsh it may sound. Paul spoke what he had learned from studying and his desire to know Jesus more.

What is your desire?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for whatever may happen today?

April 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 24:14 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, been able to preach the gospel in the whole world? Is it close? Are there certain areas that have not yet been exposed to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is difficult to say exactly what has been accomplished and what still has to be accomplished.

I do know that every day we are getting closer to the moment when this will be true. Perhaps satellites and television will play a big role in the fulfillment of this scripture. Perhaps it will be solely through person to person contact. We do not know. The only thing that is certain is that God wants every nation, tribe and tongue to have the opportunity to know grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

I was watching something on television the other day that stated that many Muslims are accepting Jesus! The reason that this is happening is that they are claiming visions where Jesus appears to them. Could it be that Jesus is actually appearing to people who are persecuting His church today in the same way that Saul was persecuting the church? An appearance by Jesus would change even the hardest skeptic into a believer. Is Jesus taking a hands-on role in the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14? If He is, then could it be too far off from when the rest of Matthew 24:14 will come about?

Are you ready for whatever may happen today? Only by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will you be saved from the fate of Satan in the end.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your way pure!

January 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.
(Psalms 119:9 (NAS))

In today’s society it is easy to stray from what should be done into what is detestable in the eyes of God. With all of the influences of our society taking their toll on practically every aspect of our lives, it is difficult to stay away from these very things that are begging for our attention. People growing up today face problems that previous generations did not even dream about. It is our responsibility to provide a strong presence and grounding in the faith for those who are trying to keep pure. This requires knowledge of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and God’s Word. Test everything against these as benchmarks. If they do not pass these tests, then it is something that will eventually lead to destruction. Provide guidance to anyone and everyone who needs it. Do not turn from someone in need because of their circumstances. No one is above the possibilities of falling. No one is above the bounds of grace and mercy that God has granted us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
(Philippians 4:8)

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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“Do you believe this?”

November 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Salvation comes down to four simple words!

“Do you believe this?”

Each of us believes in something. Some of us believe that they will win the lottery. Some of us believe that they will have a perfect life. Some of us believe that they can do no wrong. No matter what you believe, these beliefs will eventually leave you disappointed and heart broken.

There is only one thing that you can believe in that will absolutely never leave you disappointed in the long term. That is a belief that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and that through His redemptive sacrifice on the cross, we have eternal life with God the Father if we only believe and act on our belief.

All of eternity comes down to four simple words. How and where you spend eternity depends on your personal answer.

Have you fully embraced the grace and mercy that is yours if you only profess a belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you prepared to fully embrace the consequences of your beliefs?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we listening?

August 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
(Revelation 2:7 (NIV))

Are we listening?

Do we, as the Body of Christ, truly listen to the Spirit? Are we aware of what is going on in the world around us and how it relates to God’s timeline? Do we see things that make our spirits groan because they go against everything that we know to be true according to the Word of God?

Or do we simply ignore the world and the Holy Spirit? Do we live in our own little bubble oblivious to everything else?

Are you more worried about the score of the football game or are you worried about those who are still in need of God’s grace and mercy?

Do you watch the news and think to yourself that these sheeple had it coming to them or do you see lost souls in need of a savior?

Do you feel an inner tugging and an inner cry for God to restore His order?

Do you see the world and pray for the lost?

Do you see humanity and cry out to God to touch the hearts of people?

Contrary to what many believe, the church is not a social justice organization. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. The church, the body of true believers, is to reach out to the sinners. We are to be the light on the hill that shines the way to Jesus. The church has one mission – to share the grace and mercy that God has given us through Jesus. If any of our undertakings as the Body of Christ do not have this as priority one, then the priority is wrong. We can minister to the homeless. We can minister to the widows and orphans. We can minister to the homosexuals as we are called to do, but the minute our ministry loses Jesus as the focus, it is not a ministry of salvation. It is a ministry of social justice.

Do you hear the Holy Spirit? Do you follow the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit will never lead you to anyone else than Jesus. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to condemn people. The Holy Spirit will lead you only in the paths that follow God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is that still, small voice. He is not the loud anger the dwells within us at the sight of injustice.

The Holy Spirit is trying to reach the churches.

Are we listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you missing what the Holy Spirit has to offer?

July 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
(Acts 19:1-6 (NIV))

Are you missing something?

Have you only been baptized into a baptism of repentance, or have you been fully baptized in the name of Jesus Christ? It is possible to repent and still deny that Jesus is Lord. This approach accepts the grace and mercy offered through Jesus, but it denies the authority and power that Jesus rightfully claims as Lord. Without the authority and power, we are useless in our efforts to do anything for Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is part of the complete package.

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Luke 11:13 (NIV))

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:38 (NIV))

Take a good long look at your life. Are you missing what the Holy Spirit has to offer? Accept Jesus as not only your Savior, but also as your Lord and Master. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your life so that you may deal in authority in the aspects of your life that God is calling you to take control. You can’t witness in authority without that authority in your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus was willing. Are you?

June 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
(Matthew 8:1-4 (NIV))

“I am willing.”

Three little words that changed the course of history! Three little words that allowed each of us to receive grace and mercy.

I can imagine a conversation in heaven a long time ago in which God the Father says something like, “I have a plan to offer grace, mercy and salvation to my creation. It will require a great sacrifice. Are you willing?”

“I am willing.”

It is very easy to comprehend the idea that when Jesus spoke these words to the leper, it was not the first time that He had said them. Perhaps the best part of this is that He says them still. He says them to each of us who willingly come to Him as Lord and Savior. No matter what garbage we bring with us, we can ask Him if He is willing to take it from us and His answer will always be “I am willing.” The only thing that holds us back from hearing these words and receiving His gift of grace and mercy is the simple fact that we do not answer Him. He asks each of us “If you are willing, I can take that from you.” Far too many are not willing. Far too many will never know God’s grace and mercy.

Jesus was willing. Are you?

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