Contrary to society, there is a right way to live!

September 15, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
(1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NIV))

Do you believe that God is just?

Do you believe that He cannot associate with sin?

Do you believe that humanity fell from grace and we are all sinners?

Do you believe that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins?

Do you believe that by accepting the free gift of grace, our sins are forgiven?

Do you believe that since our sins are forgiven that God can now rebuild the association with us?

If you believe all of this, why do you, and I am using the word you collectively, continue to live lives that are not pleasing to God? We all have a tendency to do this. Our current society seems to be pushing the envelope. Society seems to be trying to taunt God by continually crossing the line that God has clearly defined. My prayers go out for those who cross that line, for contrary to what society says, God says that there is a right way to live!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can your testimony help change the world?

May 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
(Acts 4:33 (NIV))

Do people give their lives to something that they do not know to be true? Are people willing to boldly proclaim something as the truth if they know that it is not? Do people willingly go to their own deaths for something that they have made up?

Carefully consider the twelve who were with Jesus. All of them were timid with respect to public speaking, especially if it meant that they might be put to death for their words. They all wanted an end to the Roman rule, but I have not found any evidence that indicated they were willing to die to see this happen.

What made these ordinary men speak out with such extraordinary power and authority even when their very lives were threatened because of what they said? They possessed a zeal that only comes when someone has had a life changing experience. This experience had proven to them beyond any doubt that what they testified to was true. They had all witnessed it!

Because of their faith and willingness to testify to what they knew to be true, the world has forever been changed. It all started with a handful of people who had the power of truth on their side; people who were willing to share that truth no matter what the cost. They knew that nothing in this world could change that truth that had empowered them.

Their testimony literally changed the world for they testified of the truth of the grace and mercy offered through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were willing to offer that to any and all who would hear it.

Are you willing to offer what they offered in power and authority?

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

April 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
(Luke 24:1-8 (NIV))

We just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.

This celebration marks the yearly remembrance of why our faith has meaning!

Contrary to those who claim that his body stolen, and to those who say that Jesus was not real, we know better. We, as the Body of Christ, through faith, know the truth.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

We are certain of the resurrection. We know beyond all doubt that Jesus is alive!

Christianity is built upon this foundation. If you do not accept that Jesus is alive, you cannot accept that He is your Savior. If He is not alive, you cannot possibly believe that he has come to rescue us from our sin. If He is not alive, His power and authority are nonexistent.

However, if we simply stop there, we lose site of why He came to suffer and to die.

He did not come to this earth to be an atoning sacrifice so that we could continue in our sin. He did not come into this world to tell us that it was okay to live our lives against the Will of God. He did not preach that we could call upon His name as savior and then go about our sinful ways. He came to be our Lord and Savior. We are to submit to His teachings.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11 (NIV))

Too may people falsely claim the first part as the whole teachings of Jesus. It is true that Jesus does not condemn. He came to bring life. He did not stop there. He told us to leave our lives of sin. Sadly, too many in the church have forgotten this.

If Jesus came and taught that it was okay to continue in our sin, why did He have to go to the cross and die? Why would He tell us to leave our lives of sin? If we did not need someone to pay our debt of sin, then His death had no meaning. If His death had meaning and His resurrection is true, then it logically makes sense that we are to leave our lives of sin.

It is impossible to accept the teachings of Jesus, His death and resurrection and ignore where He tells us to go and leave our lives of sin.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Jesus is alive!

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

March 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
(Colossians 3:12 – 4:6 (NIV))

Many people have taken bits and pieces out of this scripture to uphold their beliefs about someone’s role in their household or in society in general.

Let’s take a look at the whole text and examine the overall meaning. Instead of saying that wives are inferior in status to their husbands, or that slavery is justifiable, take a look at the overall theme running through the scripture.

Paul was writing to not justify the bad practices of society, but to set an example of how we are to act even if we find ourselves in situations that are in authority or are in submission. Simply stated, Paul was saying that we are to be Jesus to the people that we are around, no matter how we find ourselves in relation to them.

If we are in authority, we do not need to take advantage of that authority and harm people under our authority. The old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely is true. But, we must remember who is our absolute authority and focus on that.

If we find ourselves in a position of submission to others, we must not desire the power for ourselves, nor must we be angry about our situation. Do your tasks with joy and you will be rewarded. Bitterness is a hard pill to swallow. If you go about your day with bitterness because of your situation, others will treat you as you treat them. If, in your situation, you still maintain a glad heart and joy and love are reflected through you, others will reflect these back to you and your situation will not be as bad as it appears.

To use a saying from the computer industry, “Garbage in, garbage out!” Basically, what you put into life is what you will reap. Put Jesus into yours.

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