How can we accept forgiveness if we cannot give it?

August 21, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
(Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV))

Does this bother you?

Do you ignore scriptures like this because it goes against what you want to believe? Does it remind you of someone that you still have not forgiven because of something that happened years ago? You did not realize that your salvation could possibly hinge on your ability to forgive others. God’s grace and mercy are truly a gift, for we cannot earn our salvation. Yet, these words speak of the possibility of losing that gift.

How could this happen?

Take a look at the true meaning behind God’s grace. Does He hate us or does He love us?

Hate would not offer a gift such as grace. Hate would call for revenge. Love is the only thing that can offer a gift such as grace. When we accept Jesus with our whole heart, mind and spirit, we fully accept His love for us and then His love indwells us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of the Triune God that we worship. If the Holy Spirit indwells us, then we have love for others within us. This love would cause us to pass God’s grace and mercy on to others. It would not allow us to harbor hatred and unforgiveness if we truly face what we have hidden from ourselves.

Closely examine every hiding place within your memory to search for those that you have not forgiven, for how can we accept forgiveness if we cannot give it?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you confident of your rescue?

January 30, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he had already been through many trials for his work in spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. Even in the midst of the troubles that he faced, he was confident that he was in good hands. In all of his travels, Paul faced being run out of town. He had been thrown in jail. He had been beaten and stoned. He had been shipwrecked. He faced starvation and would eventually be thrown in a Roman prison. It was from this prison that Paul reached out to Timothy. His words speak of the faith that was used to reach the Gentiles with the Gospel.

I want you to put yourself into Paul’s situation as he sat in the Roman prison.

How would you feel, how would your attitude hold up if you spent what many believe to have been two years locked away in a dungeon? It is believed that where Paul was kept was simply a cold, dark room under the main building. The only access into this room was to be lowered by rope through a hole. Even the Roman guards had to enter and exit in this manner. Would you be able to express the faith that Paul displayed? Would you be able to hold onto the promise that the Lord would rescue you from every evil attack?

Far too many people hold fast to the promise that these words contain, yet when they are faced with any hardship, they quickly lose all faith.

Would we be reading the letters that Paul wrote if he had decided to throw a pity party for himself? What if the letters that he wrote had been self reflections and full of “Why did this happen to me?” Paul was confident in his faith. Paul was an excellent example of faith under pressure. He knew that no matter what the enemy may send his way, the Lord would rescue him and bring him into his heavenly kingdom.

Perhaps you are going through trials in your life. Is you faith strong enough to face what Paul faced?

Are you confident of your rescue?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your perspective on what you believe?

April 24, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
(1 John 3:12 (NIV))

When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, He spoke of being born again. He even went so far as to explain it in relationship to flesh and Spirit.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
(John 3:5-6 (NIV))

Nicodemus was searching for an answer that he would understand. From the recorded verses, it is obvious that Nicodemus still did not understand. He was looking at things only from his perspective, from his context and his limited understanding. He was looking only at the physical world. He was so caught up in his understanding that he failed to realize that his understanding was all wrong. He failed to believe because of his faulty understanding. He was taking things literally.

Jesus, on the other hand, was trying to express to Nicodemus that he had to have a rebirth of the heart. He had to have a rebirth of his attitude. He had to have a rebirth in his way of thinking about his relationship with God. In all of his worldly understanding, Nicodemus had misunderstood what God calls important.

We have a tendency to look at the worldly things as if they are what is important in this life. Too many of us have accepted the lie that if we can’t see it, then it isn’t real. How can you believe in God if you believe like this? How can you understand spiritual matters when all that you understand is what you can see, taste and touch? God created us as spiritual beings in a physical body. Why do so many of us lose sight of our spiritual nature and only see the physical nature?

What is your perspective on what you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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