Don’t let the enemy win!

December 10, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
(Matthew 2:16 (NIV))

The Magi knew that Herod meant to kill Jesus. God had told them of Herod’s intentions. When evil doesn’t get what it wants, it lashes out in anger resulting in untold harm to whoever gets in the way. Herod was acting out of the physical nature for he did not want his throne to be taken from him. However, we know that Satan had a hand in Herod’s anger. Satan wanted Jesus dead more than Herod did. In Herod’s mind, he only stood to lose his throne, while Satan stood to face eternal defeat and the lake of fire. Satan really didn’t want God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, to survive and fulfill what He had come to do. In anger, he lashed out through Herod at the innocent and had untold numbers of innocent boys killed.

Have you ever seen someone lash out in pure hatred, pure evil?

We are seeing things like this in our society today, and it will probably only get worse as we get closer to the soon return of Jesus.

Think about that for a moment.

Satan knew that his time was short when he realized that God had put His plan into motion by sending His Son, Jesus. If he lashed out like this because he couldn’t kill Jesus as a baby, just think how he will lash out just before Jesus returns to cast him into the abyss. Satan is facing his death walk as a condemned fallen angel. He is not happy and he will not be happy as the time gets closer.

In this life, we have a choice. We can choose to ignore God’s gift of grace through the cross or we can accept this wonderful gift of grace. If we choose to ignore it or reject it, we are facing the same impending condemnation as Satan and his fallen angels. Have you ever seen someone who doesn’t have any joy and all that they do is lash out? This reminds me of the following.

No Jesus
No peace

Know Jesus
Know peace

As we approach the time that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I have one simple question.

Do you know Jesus?

Don’t let the enemy win!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you open to the leading of the Lord?

December 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
(Matthew 2:12 (NIV))

Do you believe that the Lord speaks to people?

Perhaps I should ask if you believe that the Lord still speaks to people today, for we are told that He either spoke directly, sent angels, or gave people dreams all throughout the Old Testament and even in the account of the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. So, why do so many who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior believe that the Lord doesn’t speak to people today?

Have we become so overwhelmed by the distractions of this world that we don’t allow His still, small voice to penetrate into our lives? Are we afraid to sit in silence because we are afraid of what we will hear? Are we afraid that we will have to change something that we don’t want to change, so we don’t even try to listen.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

If we want to hear from the Lord, we have to be prepared. We have to sit at His feet and be receptive to what He is saying. If you look at the story of the Magi from this perspective, things start to make sense. They had already been searching to see God. That is how they knew to follow the star. It only makes sense that God would then communicate with them by sending them a dream, after all, they had gone considerably out of their way to find Him. It also fit into His plan to protect Jesus, Joseph and Mary. This touches on another aspect of hearing from the Lord. When you ask God for things that are selfish in nature, you have the wrong focus. When you ask God for things that are according to His Will, you have the right focus and have positioned yourself to be receptive to whatever the Lord may say or do.

Are you open to the leading of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The gift of a Savior

December 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christn was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

” `But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
(Matthew 1:18 – 2:18 (NIV))

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. With all that we do as a society at Christmas, we must not forget that the reason we celebrate is the gift of a Savior. We see that gift being honored by the gifts of the Magi. We honor that gift by giving gifts ourselves. We must never lose site of the truth about Christmas. It is not a time of family. It is not a time of good will towards man. If we focus on Jesus, then these things will happen, but if we focus on them and ignore Jesus, the greatest gift of all is rejected.

Was God’s gift to you received with open arms and open heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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