Do we love God’s gifts more than we love God?

January 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:14-22 (NIV))

I know that I have spent a lot of time on this particular passage. I also know that it is something that we need to pay attention to, especially since many people believe that we are in the modern day version of this particular church.

I know that I have stressed that this church was known for bowing to the will of the people. I saw something today that puts an interesting, and very pertinent twist to this thought. I was reminded that the people of Laodicea were very wealthy. The city was at a very important spot for the trade routes and even the Christians were very affluent. They lacked for nothing except, possibly, fresh water.

Think about the concept of lacking nothing. Perhaps it should better be explained as not having a need for anything because they could do it themselves. Are we truly any different today in our thinking and in our capabilities? Have we gotten to the point where we love the blessings more than we love God? Could it be that we feel that we are self reliant, and as a result, we don’t need God?

Think about these questions and then think about the time directly after 9/11. People felt helpless, so they turned to God. It is human nature for us to feel complacent when everything is okay, and it is human nature for us to feel over confident when we think that we are in control. When this illusion is broken, we see a greater reliance upon God. Is our society today reliant upon God or are we cocky and arrogant. Do we think that we can take care of it ourselves?

Laodicea did many things wrong. It is my prayer that we, in our so-called modern lifestyle, do not repeat history and fall into the same traps as this church did. Repent and follow Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the strength of your pride keeping you from Jesus?

July 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

People have a strange sense of themselves. Young people think that they are immortal, or at least they will be around for a long, long time. As people get older, they still have a tendency to think of themselves as in control. Many people go to their grave thinking that they are their own masters.

Isn’t it a shame that people’s pride is so strong that they do not want to admit that there is a God and that He has always been and will always be?

God created us to have a relationship with Him not as a servant but as a child to a loving father. The church is based on this principle. Jesus is the head of the church, and each of us are members of the body.

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
(John 14:9-10)

This means that God is the head of the church. He has always been and will always be, constant, never changing and always loving.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

June 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
(Psalms 39:6 (NIV))

How easy it is for us to forget these simple, yet, profound truths. It is human nature to think of ourselves as much more than we truly are – to think of ourselves as invincible and in control of everything that we touch.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning–
though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.
(Psalms 90:5-6 (NIV))

Our time on this earth is short, just as the grass is for this earth for a short time. We should not take our lives too seriously or take our relationships too lightly. What we amass as worldly possessions and authority will soon be forgotten for it is not eternal. What will be remembered is the way that we either embraced eternal life through Jesus Christ or the way that we rejected this salvation to embrace the world. We cannot embrace both, for the authority over the earth has been given to Satan. If we embrace the world, we embrace Satan and reject God.

How do you think of yourself? Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

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