Have you been redeemed?

July 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
(Galatians 4:28-31 (NIV))

I have read this passage many times. I have always known that the child born by the power of the Spirit was Isaac and that the son born in the ordinary way was Ishmael. In reading this again, I stopped cold when I saw that the passage was saying that Ishmael was persecuting Isaac. I literally froze when I read the next words – “It is the same now.” Those very words can still be spoken today of these two half-brothers. Isaac’s descendants are the tribes of Israel. Ishmael’s descendants are the Arab people.

Upon further reading, something else struck me about the slave woman’s son never sharing in the inheritance with the free woman’s son. At the time, a slave was property. A slave’s son was also property. How could such a person share in the inheritance with the free son?

The slave’s son was born out if sin, We are all born out of sin and are slaves to sin and death.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
(Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV))

The current situation in the world is not hopeless. We know who is victorious. We also know that those who are lost in the sin of the slave’s son can be redeemed. We are seeing this all throughout the world where the descendants of Ishmael are accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We must pray that the redeeming grace through the Blood of Jesus breaks down the barriers and brings together slave and free, Jew and Greek, male and female.

Have you been redeemed?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

January 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Hebrews 11:1-12 (NIV))

How is your faith? If someone were to write about your life, would it be something that you would be proud to claim? Would it be something that God would be proud to claim? It only takes “faith as small as a mustard seed” for God to use you.

Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has the blessing been removed?

October 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
(Psalms 33:12 (NIV))

For a nation that was conceived as a nation under God, we sure do not act like it today!

What do you think that God will think of us as a society when we allow the murder of unborn children? What do you think that God will think of us when we allow the removal of prayer from school? What do you think God will think of us when we allow the courts to remove The Ten Commandments from our public buildings? What do you think that God will think of us when we allow same sex marriages?

We pray that God will bless us, yet, we allow everything that is Godly to be removed from our society and replaced with abominations in the eyes of God.

Can we truly be blessed as a nation when we continually tell God that we want nothing to do with Him? We are quickly throwing away our inheritance. We are not losing it. We are doing all that we can to get rid of it!

We must return to God and again place Him as our Lord.

Where do you place God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have a child-like faith?

July 24, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
weep between the temple porch and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
`Where is their God?’ ”
(Joel 2:17 (NIV))

I know that this was written about the nation of Israel, but it so applies to the world today. Those who do not believe, those who mock, seem to be taunting the Body of Christ with “Where is their God?”

Sadly enough, not only do those who profess a faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior face this question, but we often face ridicule for what the mockers see as a childish belief. I firmly believe that they can call it a childish belief, for, to me, that is a compliment.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:1-4 (NIV))

The ways of the world often seem to be ridiculing to those who believe. No matter what we may face, we must hold on to the simple truth.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

God is in control. People may mock and scorn, but do not swerve from your faith. When people ask “Where is your God,” be prepared to tell them. If they do not like your answer, and most will not, and ridicule you as uneducated and childish, tell them “Thank you. That is a compliment.” Hold fast to your faith, for it is a faith of hope. It is a faith of salvation. It is a hope that outshines all of the despair that the world can throw at us. It is a child-like faith!

Do you have a child-like faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is power in the blood!

July 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
(Hebrews 9:16-22 (NIV))

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness!

Do you think that this sounds barbaric?

What imagery does it bring to mind?

Do you agree with the examples that are given in this passage?

Now, think about the following sayings.

There is power in the blood.

There is life in the blood.

Blood brothers.

I could think of more, but I hope that you understand what I am getting at. Blood is essential to life. Without blood, life ceases. When a life is taken, most of the time, the removal of blood is part of the reason that the life ends. Even if that life is freely given out of choice, there is blood.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Blood has become a symbol of the ultimate commitment. It is that commitment by Jesus that has brought us the ultimate in rewards. The blood of Jesus has brought us forgiveness if we will only accept it.

I have read this passage before, but the concept of a will did not sink in until reading it this time. Think about that from a worldly persepctive. God had something that He wanted to leave to His children, His creation. In worldly terms we understand that the heirs receive from the deceased through the will. God could not give grace to us without the formality. He needed to allow each of us to come to the inheritance freely. Inheritance is through blood. Jesus died so that we could inherit what He came to give to us. He arose from the grave to prove that He had the authority to give it.

This may sound a little morbid, but think of the offer of salvation as the reading of the will stating what Jesus left for you. Your personal salvation comes when you receive what He has given to you through His death and resurrection.

Always remember that there is power in the blood. There is life in the blood. Only through the blood can we be offered forgiveness.

It may sound legalistic, and to a point it is. Satan knows all too well about blood. He has been using it from the beginning of this world to draw people away from forgiveness. He has stated his case that all of humanity belong to him because of the sin of Adam and Eve. He makes that claim because of the inheritance through the blood. Jesus broke that inheritance and has offered us a new inheritance through His blood.

There is power in the blood!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD

May 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
(Psalms 33:12 (NIV))

Contrary to what the media, the courts and our elitist universities say, this country was founded upon a firm belief in God. It is true that the early explorers were looking to get rich, but the people who did settle here came so that they could worship as they were lead, instead of how the government or the church told them to.

I am sure that all throughout our history, many people who were not believers came to this country, however, they all had a solid core of values that they shared.

I find it interesting that many people are trying to interpret our founding documents based upon modern meanings of words, and in that interpretation, they lose the true meaning of what was written. We don’t have to look very far into our past to see how this can happen. There was a time not too long ago when the word “gay” meant happy. Go back and read some of the written word from that time period with today’s meaning of the word and see what you can misunderstand. I seriously doubt that our daily use of the English language has not altered the meaning of many words and phrases since our nation was founded.

I could quote several of the founding fathers. A great majority give credit and praise to God for His sovereign authority and guidance. Many of our historic monuments bear inscriptions, and many of the founding fathers formed the American Bible Society immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence. It is said that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. Many people claim that they could not have been Christians because they never use the word “God.” There are references to the Almighty, and other such names. How many times have you heard believers refer to God in this manner? Have you ever called God by one of these names?

I want you to consider something for a moment. Let’s take a long trip back in time to when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. Now fast forward to when they first started to interpret them. The scholars may know the language, but do they know the dialect and meanings? Now, take another journey in time with me. Think of when you were a teenager. What was the “cool” saying? Does it mean the same thing today?

People will always twist words to fit into their understanding. Some will even omit things that are contrary to what they want to believe. The following is a quote from John Marshall.

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.” John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835.

Can you imagine a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme court saying this today?

I honestly believe that this is our problem. We, as a nation, need to repent.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

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