Through the eyes of a little child!

December 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”
(Luke 9:48 (NIV))

I have read this passage many times and tonight it hit me in a way that I had not thought of before. Perhaps it is the time of year with Christmas very close, but something made me look at this in a different light.

I know that many Christians have trouble with the idea of Santa Claus, but if you consider the roots of this “person,” you come away with a different perspective. Nicholas was a 4th century Christian who was known for helping children. He is also known for other things, but his love and help of children has gained him much notoriety. There are various different stories about Nicholas, but the one thing that stands out is how he used his love for Jesus to reach out to the little children.

Perhaps our understanding of Santa Claus could use a true historical perspective based on church history and not on what society has made him. Perhaps our understanding of many things could use a true historical perspective based on church history.

Could you imagine a Christmas not tied up in gifts and decorations, but in the grace and mercy that God gave us through the manger? Could you imagine a Christmas based on the greatest gift of all times instead of the “perfect gift” that will be obsolete in a short time?

Nicholas came to mind because of his ministry to children. Jesus told us that we are to be as little children. We need to look at His love without the sins of the world trying to cling to everything and distort the truth about the greatest gift that humanity could ever be given.

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

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))

Perhaps we need to look at the gift of Christmas through the eyes of a little child once again!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you working in your part of the harvest?

October 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV))

Are you willing to be a worker in God’s harvest field?

Have you ever simply stopped to think about what that means?

Each member of the Body of Christ has a ministry that is theirs alone. We are all placed in our circumstances so that we may reach out to those around us and share the Good News. We are to be workers for the harvest where we are. We don’t need to go half way around the world to be in ministry. We don’t need to have a well known name and the backing of financial supporters. Think about that. Did Jesus have the financial backing of a group of supporters or did He just listen to God?

I often wonder what God thinks of the way that we perform our ministries. Does He sit there and shake His head and think that we just don’t get it? Does Jesus say to himself, “That is not how I showed you and what I taught you!”

I have another question for you.

We have all seen people who believe that they need to shout if they are talking about God. What is your reaction to these type of people? Is there anything written down that tells us Jesus shouted at those who came to see Him? He talked to them out of love. Why do we think that we have to shout to convince someone of the salvation that is freely given through Jesus and the cross?

This type of action just drives people away!

Did Jesus drive people away or did they flock to Him?

We must use Jesus as the model for our ministries. We must be a willing worker for the harvest. We don’t need to cause people to turn and flee because of our actions.

How are you working in your part of the harvest?

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

August 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
(Revelation 2:7 (NIV))

Are we listening?

Do we, as the Body of Christ, truly listen to the Spirit? Are we aware of what is going on in the world around us and how it relates to God’s timeline? Do we see things that make our spirits groan because they go against everything that we know to be true according to the Word of God?

Or do we simply ignore the world and the Holy Spirit? Do we live in our own little bubble oblivious to everything else?

Are you more worried about the score of the football game or are you worried about those who are still in need of God’s grace and mercy?

Do you watch the news and think to yourself that these sheeple had it coming to them or do you see lost souls in need of a savior?

Do you feel an inner tugging and an inner cry for God to restore His order?

Do you see the world and pray for the lost?

Do you see humanity and cry out to God to touch the hearts of people?

Contrary to what many believe, the church is not a social justice organization. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. The church, the body of true believers, is to reach out to the sinners. We are to be the light on the hill that shines the way to Jesus. The church has one mission – to share the grace and mercy that God has given us through Jesus. If any of our undertakings as the Body of Christ do not have this as priority one, then the priority is wrong. We can minister to the homeless. We can minister to the widows and orphans. We can minister to the homosexuals as we are called to do, but the minute our ministry loses Jesus as the focus, it is not a ministry of salvation. It is a ministry of social justice.

Do you hear the Holy Spirit? Do you follow the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit will never lead you to anyone else than Jesus. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to condemn people. The Holy Spirit will lead you only in the paths that follow God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is that still, small voice. He is not the loud anger the dwells within us at the sight of injustice.

The Holy Spirit is trying to reach the churches.

Are we listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Encourage each other in the faith!

August 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV))

Encouragement is something that we all need. Faith without fellowship is a faith that will soon wither. We need each other to see us through the difficult times. We need each other to rejoice during the good times. We need each other to pray at all times. We are to encourage each other as we seek our daily paths with God.

Jesus didn’t even set out on His mission and ministry alone. He surrounded Himself with people whom He could teach and with whom He could fellowship. Jesus knew that the path would be rough at times. It is rough even when we walk with Jesus. I hate to think what it would be like without Him. Fortunately, we have His promise that He will be with us always. Even though He is still with us, we need each other. We need each other’s fellowship and encouragement daily, just as we need to spend time with God on a daily basis.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
(Hebrews 3:13 (NIV))

Isolation leads to temptation. Temptation leads to sin. We are to hold each other accountable. Fellowship and encouragement bridge the gap that isolation starts to build. With this in mind, my prayer for each of us is just what was written to the church at Thessalonica.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV))

Encourage each other in the faith!

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