Do you mourn for the world?

April 29, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 (NIV))

We are used to reading this passage and we think that we have a good understanding of its meaning, but I was recently presented something that made me expand my concept of mourning!

When we hear the word mourn, we automatically think of the feelings that we have as the direct result of the loss of a loved one, but perhaps we need to remember what makes the Lord mourn.

He despises sin. It breaks His heart to see His creation that He loves lost in their sin.

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))

With that in mind, how do you think the Lord feels as this world spirals further and further away from Him and further and further into sin? If you are a parent, how would you feel if your children rejected you and all the love that you have for them in order to follow your worst enemy? That is exactly what we have done! We have broken the Lord’s heart! We have made Him mourn because of our actions. It is these very actions that we rejoice over and that we accept as good when at there very core, they are corrupt, vile and sinful. Those who know the Lord’s heart, grieve over what the world declares as good. We should mourn with the Lord, for what breaks His heart should break ours.

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
(John 16:20 (NIV))

Do you see the world rejoicing?

Are the things that the world rejoices over something that makes the Lord mourn? Are the things that are occurring in the world escalating more rapidly than ever before? Do you see the world as the Lord sees the world?

Do you mourn for the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your heart with Jesus or on some useless treasure?

February 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
(Philippians 3:7 (NIV))

Do you let anything stand in the way of your relationship with Jesus?

Do you value anything more than you value Jesus?

Paul was a man who had it all in the eyes of his society. He was born into the right class. He was well educated in the eyes of his society. He was a Roman citizen, and he was a member of the elite class at the Temple, yet, he was willing to give all of this up in order to follow Jesus!

What have you given up to follow Jesus?

Have you lost friends?

Have you alienated family?

Have you lost jobs?

Is there anything that you should give up in order to gain Jesus?

Perhaps I should word that question differently. Is there anything that you don’t want to give up? Is there anything that is standing in the way of becoming closer to Christ?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV))

Is your heart with Jesus or on some useless treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What in this world is worth more than Jesus?

June 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
(Philippians 3:7 (NIV))

Are you willing to say the words that Paul spoke?

Are you willing to give up all that you have that is of this world for the sake of Jesus Christ?

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 (NIV))

Paul was committed to living for Jesus. He was willing to give up everything, including his own life, so that others would know of the saving grace that is only available through the atoning blood of Jesus.

This is one hundred and eighty degrees opposite of what Paul was doing to the early church before his Damascus Road experience. Sometimes it takes a huge revelation to turn someone around so that they live for Christ. It seems that many times the bigger the conversion experience, the more boldness, the more dedication to living for Jesus a person has. In Paul’s case, he was, in his own words, a Pharisee. He was, by his own admission, guilty of persecuting the Body of Christ. He willingly gave up his position in society and in the Temple to spread the Gospel.

Paul realized that whatever he had in this world was worthless in comparison to having Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

What did Paul give up?

What did Paul gain?

What are you willing to give up in order to gain what Paul gained?

What in this world is worth more than Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Rejoice in Jesus at all times!

August 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 (NIV))

Mourning indicates an extremely sincere dislike of the current situation in which you may find yourself.

Mourning may take on many different forms. Most people associate mourning with the loss of a loved one. Other things can cause one to mourn as well. The sadness caused by events that do not effect you directly. A heartfelt sympathy to anyone who is suffering. There are many other situations that may cause one to mourn. Yet, the basic principle behind the mourning is one of an extreme dislike of the current situation.

If we mourn, it shows that we are not so engrossed in this world that we accept anything and everything that it sends our way. On the contrary, this world has been turned over to sin and our mourning indicates the extreme dislike of that situation.

We are to rejoice for we have been given a Savior in the name of Jesus Christ, yet we still mourn the lives that are lost, both physically and spiritually, all around us.

It is a common human trait for people to pray when they mourn. Even those who do not believe in God will pray when they are faced with distress. If we are in mourning for the world around us, we should pray without ceasing for all whom we encounter.

Our mourning over the current sinful nature of this world has lead us to Jesus, and hopefully will lead others to Jesus. Knowing that we are His provides us with the assurance that eventually our mourning will turn to joy when we are with Jesus in the Father’s Kingdom and all sin and sorrow are gone.

It is our responsibility to mourn and pray for those around us who need that salvation that is available only through Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Profit or loss

April 20, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:7-11 (NIV))

Have you ever had a complete about face with respect to something? Was there something that you thought was so important that you knew beyond any doubt that it would always be front and center in your life?

Paul had just these same thoughts.

He valued position. He valued societal standards. He valued what he thought was God’s plan for his life and the importance of the temple. He valued his Judaism.

It only took a moment in time and Paul’s values changed!

Think about that for a moment.

How would you handle striving for something that you thought would make your life complete, only to have an epiphany that made you realize it was all wrong? In Paul’s case, he spent over thirty years devoting himself to being the perfect Jewish man. In his mind, he had become what he felt God wanted him to be only to find out that what he had become was not anywhere near where God was leading him.

Would you react as Paul reacted?

Would you have the strength to admit that you had a change of direction? Would you willingly admit that you had been wrong? Would ego and pride keep you from fully changing course and proceeding with the same energy in a different direction?

Would you simply give up and focus on the wasted time?

Human nature is a funny thing. How many of us would react as Paul reacted? How many of us would accept by faith and then simply live out the rest of our days in the shadows? Still, how many would simply refuse to change course because we have spent too much time going in one direction to stop going in that direction?

I don’t profess to know exactly what Paul felt, but I know that the words he wrote have left an impression on my life.

I consider everything a loss if it does not lead me closer to Jesus!

What do you consider loss?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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