Christ is the reason for the season!

December 14, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
(Psalms 98:1-2 (NIV))

I know that this is a repeat, but it is important to remind ourselves what it is that we choose to celebrate during December.

Do you celebrate family? Do you celebrate peace on earth? Perhaps you may be receiving this because someone wants you to read something to try to convince you to celebrate something at all!

First and foremost, we must always remember that the reason for the season is Jesus. For several hundred years, tradition has made it known that this is the time of the year to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We call it Christmas, but the roots of the name are much more meaningful than today’s society can even imagine. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

God has made His salvation known!

He has revealed his righteousness to the nations!

That salvation and that righteousness is one and the same!

It is through Jesus!

I pray that you will truly have a Mighty Christ’s Mass this Christmas!

Christ is the reason for the season!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you belong to the body, or are you a virus?

March 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, need unity. Can a hand do any different than what the head asks of it? Jesus is our head, we are His body. We must do what the head does. Jesus is our example. All that we do should be in accordance with the will of the Father as expressed through Jesus.

The Church needs to unify and glorify God and Jesus Christ. We should not be bickering and fighting amongst ourselves. If the body is invaded by a virus, this virus is not welcomed, it is repelled because it will not do the body good. This is what must be done when the Body of Christ is invaded by dissention and false teachings. We must present a unified message to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Do you belong to the Body of Christ, or are you a virus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we still recognize His majestic splendor?

February 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes.
(2 Peter 1:16 (NLT))

I have often thought what it would have been like to walk with Jesus and to see the miracles that He performed. I bet that I am not the only one who has had these thoughts.

What is your favorite point in Jesus’ time on this earth?

Would you like to see Jesus turn the water into wine? Perhaps you would like to see Him raise Lazarus from the grave. Would you like to hear the Sermon on the Mount firsthand? Perhaps you would like to see the many healings that He performed. I would love to have witnessed the Last Supper, but not from Judas’ perspective. Would you have the faith to be in the Garden? Would you understand that the crucifixion had to happen?

Would you rejoice at the resurrection?

I have often wondered if my heart would hold out. Would I have the strength to see Jesus suffer and die knowing that He was doing it for me?

We have an advantage that the early church did not have. We have the compiled written testimonies of the ones who witnessed these very events. We also have a disadvantage that the early church did not have. They still had the original eye witnesses. They had the very people who walked with Jesus and experienced these things firsthand. They could ask questions. They could get clarification and understanding directly from those whom God tasked with spreading the Gospel.

The written Gospel is amazing. It is power and it is truth. It has lasted the tests of time. When we need clarification,, we can go to God in prayer. We can ask for wisdom and understanding. We can bask in God’s glory and in His presence.

Too many people today say that God’s Word is no longer relevant to the world in which we live. They no longer seek God or His wisdom. They no longer seek to know why Jesus came into this world. They no longer acknowledge sin as sin.

Do we still recognize His majestic splendor in our world today?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does God think of this?

March 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
(Jude 1:17-19 (NIV))

What do you think of the people who say that anything is ok as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?

What do you think of those who say that anything is ok between consenting adults?

What do you think of those who claim that God is love and that He wouldn’t condemn someone for following their heart?

Does this sound anything like the scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires?

I venture to say that in my lifetime, there has been a significant increase in those who follow this philosophy.

What does God think of this?

You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
(Malachi 2:17 (NIV))

God does not call evil good under any circumstances. He has not changed His opinion on the Ten Commandments. Why should we?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we following Jesus or are we still stuck at the manger?

December 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:15-18 (NIV))

The Great Commission!

These are the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ before He ascended into heaven. They are so important that He saved them for last. It is always the last words or deeds that someone remembers.

How well have we, as believers, followed these important instructions? Have we gone to the ends of the earth? Jesus knew that not everyone who needed to hear the good news would be halfway around the world. He knew that many who would need to hear would be in our own back yards. Do not feel that because you do not go on missions to foreign lands you cannot be a valuable tool for the kingdom.

Jesus never left His geographic area during His three year ministry. He shared the Gospel with people who shared it with people who shared it with people. Wherever we are we must share the good news of Jesus Christ.

what does this have to do with Christmas?

Christmas was only the beginning. It did not end with the manger!

We, as the Body of Christ, have an assignment. We are to take the good news that starts with Christmas and spread it throughout the world. Jesus did not stay a baby. He matured into the fulness that God had planned for Him. We have been given an assignment to share the good news so that the world will come into its fulness.

Are we following Jesus or are we still stuck at the manger?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We cannot live in both the light and the darkness. Choose!

April 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 (NIV))

Have we forgotten that we are not supposed to be in darkness? Too many people who say that they are Christians stumble in the darkness out of choice.

Darkness can mean many things, but primarily it means that we walk away from the will of God. Whether we do not read and study the Scriptures or we argue amongst ourselves, we are not walking in God’s perfect will for us, and are, therefore, walking in darkness.

Each of us steadfastly holds on to things that we do not want to give up because we love our sin too much. Is this what Jesus died for, to allow us to continue to hold ourselves higher than God?

Closely examine Jesus’ life and then examine your life. Do you look more like one of His disciples, or do you look more like the rich young man who did not want to give up his worldly sin for eternal life?

If we are truly in the light, then we must be willing to examine our lives as they are shown in and through the light and not hide things in the darkness. We cannot live in the light and in the darkness at the same time. We must strive to be in the light so that the words that Paul wrote can apply to us.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In this world you will have trouble

January 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
(Romans 5:3-4 (NIV))

It is evident that this is something that our society has forgotten. We have become a people who look upon suffering in a much different way than Paul did when he wrote these words to the believers in Rome. Too many of our society, including many people who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, expect this life to be free from suffering. They expect things to be perfect, without any obstacles, happily ever after!

It has been said that our character is slowly chiseled by the trials that we face and how we face them. Paul knew this very well. He suffered greatly for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During his sufferings, he was imprisoned, beaten, and rejected by those from whom he came. He developed strength of character through his sufferings that allowed him to be the instrument that God used to build His church for the Gentiles. We owe our heritage and our salvation to the fact that Paul was willing to suffer so that others would know of the grace and mercy given to us through Jesus.

Character is something that cannot be developed in good times. It is developed in times of suffering. If you follow Jesus, then you must be prepared to face the suffering.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33(NIV))

Paul also knew this and wrote to share this with us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-6(NIV))

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