What have you been shown?

March 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 (NIV))

In our lives, we are shown many things. Not all of them are things that we should even see. We are foolish if we think that we can be a good judge of what is good.

There is only one place where we should turn to seek what is good!

Turn to the Lord!

Anywhere else that we turn will only find us being shown evil and corruption. Jesus spoke of there only being One who is good. All else is corrupt.

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
(Matthew 19:17 (NIV))

Our lives are inundated with things that we see. The old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out,” plays a big, fundamental truth in how human nature works. If we see things that are not good, we will be heavily influenced in that direction. In essence, we would be filling ourselves with things that are not good, and we will not be righteous in the eyes of God. If we see things that are good, then we will be influenced in that direction. Remember what Jesus said about who is good.

What have you been shown?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Judgment or salvation? Choose wisely!

August 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
(1 Samuel 2:9-10 (NIV))

There are only two groups to which you can belong. The choice is yours!

You can choose to follow the Lord and become one of His saints or you can choose not to follow the Lord. I bet you thought the second group that I was going to define was the group of the wicked.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We don’t have to choose to be wicked. We don’t have to choose to be sinful. Ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, that choice has been made for us. It is human nature. The choice that we have to make is to either accept the wickedness and sinfulness or accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. If you do not make a choice, you have inadvertently made your choice for wickedness and sinfulness. If you make a choice to repent, to turn from your wicked ways, then you have chosen to be a saint.

I can hear some of you thinking, “How dare you claim that people can decide to be a saint!” I hope that you realize that there truly are only two types of people, saints or sinners, believers or nonbelievers. God gives us each the choice to which group, which type of person, we will belong to.

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.
(Hebrews 11:6 (NIV))

Creation has fallen to sin. God will judge those who do not repent. He will protect those who seek His face. He will provide salvation to all who ask through the atoning blood of Jesus.

Do you seek judgment or salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see Jesus?

June 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD–

and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
(Isaiah 11:1-4 (NIV))

Everyone has a picture of Jesus in their mind as the good shepherd, the one who will sacrifice himself for the good of the flock. How many people think of Jesus as the righteous ruler who is to come?

These two images are of the same Jesus. Even among believers, many only think of Jesus as the good shepherd, and not as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Even though the Bible speaks of Jesus in this capacity, it is hard to imagine this aspect of Jesus. All of the imagery that we have seen of Jesus portrays Him as the good shepherd in some form or fashion: either carrying a lost lamb or sacrificing himself on the cross for us. There is no visual imagery that really portrays Jesus in the role of King of kings.

The descriptions that we have of Jesus in this role are not easy for us to visualize, yet they are the true nature of Jesus. He IS King of kings and Lord of lords.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful that you are not like others?

June 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 18:9-14 (NIV))

Are you confident in your righteousness?

Based on the fact that we are all sinners, it is a false confidence.

Do you feel that everything that you say and do is in the will of God?

Make sure that when you answer that question no one is near you. We wouldn’t want them to suffer residual effects from the proverbial lightning strike.

It is so easy to fall into the trap that makes us think that our sins are not as bad as everyone else’s. It is so easy to fall into the trap of being judgmental. It is not our place to judge. It is our place to lead people to Jesus. If we try to judge and condemn, do you think we will have much of an influence on them for Jesus?

We are to lead sinners to Jesus. It is not our job to clean them up, after all, we are still dirty from our own sin. It is Jesus who will offer them salvation and through the Holy Spirit, He will begin to work in their lives just as He has worked in ours.

We have a tendency to look down on certain sin while our favorite sins we brush over. In the eyes of God, sin is sin. We are no better than those whom we look down upon. The only difference, and I say this with a prayerful heart, is that the Body of Christ has accepted the gift of salvation. We are not perfect in our salvation, for we sin daily. It is the attitude that matters. We strive to follow after God’s own heart and not rebel against it.

In this time in which we live, we have many opportunities to either offer a hand in grace or offer a fist in rebellion and hate. Think about the fact that Jesus never told the sinners to follow Him and continue in their sin. He told them, or should I say that He told all of us, to go and sin no more.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Why do we refuse to see certain things?

April 25, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, `It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, `It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
(Luke 12:54-57 (NIV))

Why do we refuse to see certain things?

Have you ever been caught completely off guard by an event only to look back upon it with a different perspective? You look back and you see the telltale signs of the impending event that caught you off guard. Let’s face the facts. Human nature is a strange thing. We pay attention to the trivial things in life while we are completely blind sided by the major things.

Take a look at the world in it’s current state. What do we focus on? Is it the price of gasoline and the extra hurt that we feel when we fill up our cars or is it the events of the world where God is unfolding prophecy right before our eyes?

We become so engrossed in our daily lives and what will impact us in the short term, such as the clouds rising in the west, that we fail to see the catastrophic storm that is just beyond the horizon. We fail to judge what we should be paying attention to. We fail to recognize the truth in what we are seeing.

Failing to recognize the truth can be dangerous. We live in a time when people say that truth is relative, but I say that truth is always relevant and unchanging. With the state of the world, we cannot rely upon ourselves to be able to stay true to what is right. We must rely upon God and His Word to guide us. His Word is truth. His Word warns us of these times. We must prepare ourselves for daily life in His Word. We must also prepare ourselves for eternal life in His Word. God gives us insight into what He has planned. We must know God’s timeline of history – the past, the present, and His glorious future.

Can you judge according to God’s Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What Jesus did for you was personal!

March 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
(Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV))

Many people believe that we are getting closer to the second time that Jesus will appear. This second appearance will not be anything like His first appearance on this earth. The first time, He came to teach and to save. The second time, He will come to gather together those who have placed their faith in Him. He will also come to judge those who do not place their faith in Him!

It is true that He will bring salvation to those who are waiting on Him. Seriously look at your heart and make sure that you are part of this group, for He will also come to judge those who have not called upon Him as their personal Lord and Savior. This judgment can only mean one thing for those who are in this group of people. They will face eternity cast away from God.

I cannot think of any greater anguish than to be eternally separated from the Creator, the one who intimately loves me in spite of all of my flaws caused by sin. He loved me so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the punishment for my sins so that I could be with Him eternally. Perhaps you have never thought about it on a personal level before, but it is true. If there had only been one person to ever need salvation, Jesus would have come to save that one person. What if that one person had been you? He would have died for your salvation. Now consider that He did die for your salvation. What He did, He did out of love for each and every one of us. Salvation is a personal commitment between God the Father, God the Son, and you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16(NIV))

Personalize this and consider what Jesus did for you.

For God so loved (YOUR NAME) that he gave his one and only Son, that if (YOUR NAME) believes in him, (YOUR NAME) shall not perish but have eternal life.

Does it take on a different meaning to you? I pray that it does.

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