How do you classify greatness?

August 19, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me `Teacher’ and `Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
(John 13:12-17 (NIV))

How do you classify greatness?

Is it military might and power? Is it financial wealth? Is it political power? Is it the ability to hire and fire people at will? Exactly what do you consider greatness?

Chances are that most of the population of the world thinks in terms similar to the questions listed above. We, as humanity, have a tendency to see greatness as an elevation of one person over others to the extent that the one person has power and authority over the others. We do not have a tendency to see greatness as a humble spirit that is willing to do anything for others.

On the contrary, this type of person is seen as weak by our society. We do not think of a person who is willing to be a servant as a great person. They are seen as nothing more than a door mat for others to walk upon. However, God has another opinion.

God sent His Son, Jesus, to be our servant. Jesus was with God, yet, He humbled himself to the point of death so that He could do what the Father asked of Him. Now, through His humility, He sits at the right hand of God the Father as an example of what we are supposed to be like.

Jesus came into this world and turned our perceptions upside down. He died so that many could have life. He arose from the grave to defeat sin and death. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God, the Father.

How do you classify greatness?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are these words fixed in your heart and mind?

March 21, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
(Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV))

Jesus has risen and we should be rejoicing with all of our being. We should be praising God for His greatness. We should be lifting up Jesus for His sacrifice. We should be embracing the Holy Spirit so that He can guide us in all that we do. We should be studying God’s Word so that we may be able to discern what is righteous and what is not. Accepting God’s grace and mercy is only the beginning. We must study so that we may know what God is calling us to do.

Do you remember when you first took an avid interest in your favorite hobby? Chances are you immersed yourself into anything and everything that you could find about your interest. For some of you, it may be a sport such as golf. For others, it may be reading. For others, it may be kayaking. No matter what you interest is, you spent a considerable amount of time learning as much as you could for it became an integral part of who you are. It filled an emptiness. It gave you excitement. It gave you peace.

Now comes the painful moment of truth.

When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, did you have the same hunger for knowledge about Him and God’s Word as you did for your favorite hobby? Did you hunger for His words? Did you long to learn as much as you could about the saving grace that you accepted as your own? Did you allow it to become an integral part of you? Did you allow it to fill the biggest emptiness in your life? Did it give you excitement? Did it give you peace?

Accepting Jesus as your savior is more than simply lip service. He also wants to be Lord of your life. This is not a subservient or demeaning attitude to take. It shows a desire to fully embrace God’s grace and mercy.

Are these words fixed in your heart and mind?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We may not fathom His greatness, but we can praise Him?

May 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
(Psalms 145:3 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to contemplate greatness?

What did you find yourself thinking about?

Some may think of massive structures such as tall buildings or massive natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon. Some may think of someone from history who had a tremendous impact on the world. Others may think of someone from sports that has set multiple records, while others may think of people who have been shrewd at business and amassed great wealth. It is funny how, in our humanity, we define these things as great, for they are all based on the physical world in which we live. But have you ever stopped to consider the greatness of the One who made the physical world?

We fail to truly realize the greatness of the One who created everything, for our perspective is limited and our understanding is as through a glass darkly.

Think about that using the following comparison.

Consider your perspective if you were an ant. Your world would be the same, but very different. Your understanding of your surroundings would be very limited. What you would consider to be great would be such things as the queen of the ant hill and the actual structure of the ant hill. You would have no concept of anything beyond this perspective. To an ant, a human being is huge. Would you even be able to grasp the concept that the giant mass in front of you is a living being? Could you even begin to fathom such a notion?

I often feel that in our relationship to God, we are the ants. We see things from a very limited perspective. We see traces of what God can do, but we do not truly comprehend the majesty and the greatness of our God for we try to understand Him from our limited perspective. How can we, as created humanity, ever begin to understand the Creator? How can we comprehend His greatness when all we see is His fingerprint on our lives?

Perhaps, the following passage says it best.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

How can we truly comprehend the greatness of the Lord when we stop to consider the truth written in Isaiah? We don’t have the capacity to understand infinite greatness! All that we can do is praise His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you truly realize the greatness of God’s gift?

November 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
(Hebrews 12:28 (NIV))

This passage reminded me that we all too often seem to forget the greatness of the gift that we have been given!

We are not worthy of the gift.

We did not earn the right to claim the gift.

We could never attain such a gift on our own merit, yet, it is ours free and clear!

Why, then, with such a great gift freely given to all who would ask, do we act like it is something to take for granted? Why do we act as if it is worth nothing? Why do we not seek to share this great gift with all whom we see?

Human nature is a strange thing. We make such a great big fuss over things that are so trivial and we make them out to be the greatest thing that ever was. The thing that truly is the greatest thing that ever was is the gift the God freely gives to all who will accept it. It is this gift that we make out to be worth little or nothing!

I am so glad that God has not revoked this gift of grace because of the way that we treat it!

I am so glad that we serve a loving God.

Aren’t you glad that God is not bound to human frailties and feelings. I know that most people who give great gifts would be offended if we treated their gift the way that we treat the gift that God has given each of us.

Do you truly realize the greatness of God’s gift?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is time to sing God’s praises!

July 30, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(Psalms 8:9 (NIV))

How many of you sang that passage? Be honest!

How many actually clapped at the end or thought about clapping?

Isn’t it wonderful that we can use scripture to sing of God’s greatness and to sing His praise?

How many other scripture passages come to mind that are able to be sung? If you are like me, there are numerous passages that bring a song to your heart and a smile to your lips.

God’s Word is amazing. Nothing else that I know can bring such great joy. Nothing else can bring such great hope. It is easy to sing when we have such great joy and such great hope.

Take an honest look at your life. Even in the middle of all of the troubles that we all face daily, can you claim that you have such great joy? Can you claim that you have such great hope?

It is time to sing God’s praises!

Amen!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I think that David was trying to tell us something, don’t you?

June 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
(Psalms 150:1-6 (NIV))

I think that David was trying to tell us something, don’t you?

It doesn’t matter how you praise God. What is important is that you do praise Him.

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
(Psalms 145:3 (NIV))

God made us all in His image, yet we are all unique in His eyes. He has given us the ability to praise Him in our uniqueness. Some sing. Some raise their hands. Some play instruments. Some dance. Some sit in awe and wonder at the mention of His name. Some fall to their knees.

I honestly believe that praising God should be a full time occupation. We can praise Him in all that we do. Can you imagine the reactions of people when they see you with joy beyond measure simply because you are praising God. For those circumstances, such as work, where verbal praise would get you fired, you can always praise God in your spirit and in your heart.

I believe that it is time to be more like David and give praise where praise is due and when praise is due.

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