Do you believe God’s Word? Do you believe Jesus?

February 27, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
(John 5:39-40 (NIV))

Where can you find eternal life?

There is only one answer, but far too many people have wrong answers. Many people will reply with multiple answers. Sadly, people who profess a faith in Jesus can and do get the answer wrong. They are more in tune with the world than they are with God’s Word and what it says. They are more in tune with the world than they are the one to whom the Scriptures point.

Do you believe the Bible?

Do you believe what it says to be the ultimate truth, and not just true?

Do you believe the Old Testament prophets who pointed to Jesus with what they were given to prophesy about?

John recognized this and wrote about it.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Do you believe the New Testament? Do you believe that Jesus was and is the Word made flesh?

Do you believe God’s Word? Do you believe Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and look up!

October 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
(2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV))

Once again, there is a vast army surrounding Jerusalem and they are threatening to take what belongs to God and Israel. In this case, the army is not a literal army, yet. However, it is the United Nations through a ruling by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. In one sense, all nations have turned against Israel in this ruling.

UNESCO has decided that the Jewish people have no historical or cultural claim to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount. They are claiming that it is Muslim history that has been crucial in building this city. Ironically, as I understand it, Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the writings of Mohammed, but it is mentioned 655 times in the Old Testament and 146 times in the New Testament.

He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.
(2 Kings 21:7 (NIV))

This passage talks about Jerusalem, the temple and Israel. It is commonly accepted that 2 Kings 21 refers to approximately 680 BC It is also accepted that Solomon had the original temple built somewhere around 966 BC That is over 1500 years before Mohammed was even born.

Is the removal of any reference to Jewish history in Jerusalem another attempt at dividing Israel?

“In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all nations
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I will enter into judgment against them
concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
for they scattered my people among the nations
and divided up my land.
(Joel 3:1-2 (NIV))

My heart breaks at these happenings. I am angered by the audacity of those who attempt to revise history. I am eagerly anticipating the events that God will put in place as a result of this ridiculous proclamation.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for God’s Will to be done. Pray that you may be found worthy through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ!

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you possess God’s gift of grace and peace?

June 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Galatians 1:3-5 (NIV))

Grace and peace! What a wonderful concept! I did not fully understand how wonderful until I sat down this morning.

I have the NIV Bible on my computer and I am capable of doing searches for words and phrases. I performed a search for “grace” and “peace” so that they must appear in the same passage together. It returned 18 different verses. What was surprising to me was the fact that all 18 verses are from the New Testament. No where in the Old Testament (at least in the NIV version) are grace and peace mentioned together.

This was a concept that was not known to people before Jesus came to walk on this earth! Yet, after Jesus came to die for our sins, God gave us grace and peace through Him, and people spoke freely of this grace and peace that is from God and Jesus.

When was the last time someone gave you something that you considered precious? Take a look at what that gift was. No matter how fantastic it may be, it cannot compare to the gift that was given to all who would receive it freely – grace and peace. Grace for the forgiveness of sins. Peace for the inner realization that your sin debt will not have to be paid by you!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you love?

May 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
(James 4:4 (NIV))

Perhaps this is better understood in other words. Consider Matthew 6:24.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
(Matthew 6:24(NIV))

Money represents what the world has to offer: sin and death. God represents salvation, grace and mercy. You cannot follow both paths. They are mutually exclusive of each other.

This is a common teaching in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. It is a common teaching method to repeat what is important so that the student will realize and remember what is being repeated. Perhaps we should pay more attention to what is being told to us in these passages, after all, Jesus thought enough of the teaching to tell us more than once.

With this in mind, let’s use the repetition method ourselves and stress what God is telling us. In this teaching, we must also remember that Satan is the ruler of this world since we allowed him in through our disobedience.

Now, if we love the world, who do we love?

This gives us insight into God’s reason for these passages.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we above reproach in the eyes of God?

March 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
(1 Timothy 3:2-3 (NIV))

What does it mean to be above reproach?

The word reproach means an expression of disapproval or scorn. To be above reproach means that there is nothing that can cause someone to disapprove.

What are some things that we should disapprove of? Perhaps this question should be worded what does God disapprove of? Many people today are shifting what their thinking is on this topic.

Has God changed?

It is us who are changing!

Do we find ourselves trying to justify things in our mind that have been accepted as wrong by the Body of Christ for two thousand years? Do we think that we have a better understanding today because we are more compassionate and better educated than the people who wrote down what they saw God do? Have we allowed two thousand years to make us think that those words that were written in the Old Testament and those spoken by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament are now somehow different from what they meant when they were written?

Who wrote those words?

Who inspired those words to be written?

Did humanity suddenly become God? Since when did we become allowed to change the meaning of words to suit our desires?

I know that this is a touchy subject, but everything that I have read, and I am trying not to be legalistic, points to the simple fact that what we are allowing to be done to God’s Word is wrong. God’s Word is alive. It is intended to change society and not have society change it.

What are we doing?

Are we above reproach in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Did Jesus do away with the Old Testament?

January 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
(Luke 24:13-27 (NIV))

Do you believe that the Old Testament is valid and still has merit?

Be careful how you answer.

I watched a video today by a Messianic Jewish Rabbi. I have always been of the opinion that what we call the Old Testament is not to be ignored. It is still very much the Word of God. It is the Old Testament that Luke is referring to as the Scriptures. What we know as the New Testament had not been written. Jesus had to convince the two men who He was based on what was written about Him in the Old Testament. It pointed to Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophesies.

Do you have an understanding of ancient Jewish education? Do you think that you could do what was required of young men in this time? They memorized the Scriptures. They knew God’s Word. They could carry on a very intelligent conversation about what they had memorized. Today, we barely can recite John 3:16.

Do you think these two men on the road to Emmaus took the discussion lightly? Were they easily tricked into believing a lie? I honestly think that these two men could easily tell if what they were hearing were not true.

Do you think that because Jesus came, we don’t need to pay attention to the Old Testament?

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))

Jesus came to fulfill, or complete, what was started long ago. All of what He came to complete were Jewish Scriptures. He did not complete any Christian Scriptures. They did not exist. At no time are we told by Jesus or by His disciples to ignore the Scriptures from the Old Testament. Why do we, as the Body of Christ, think that we can change what has been carefully laid out by God since the beginning?

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:14-16 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Celebrate Jesus!

December 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14 (NIV))

What an honor it must have been to be the first to hear the good news! The shepherds must have been terrified by the presence of the angels, after all, angels were not, and are still not an every day occurance.

Luckily for us, God’s plan does not discriminate against us for not being there. In fact, it is probably with mixed blessings that we are embraced as part of God’s Kingdom. We do not have the first hand experience of having seen the angels, the star, or Jesus’ life. Sometimes, I wonder if I would have believed if I lived at the time of Jesus!

On the other hand, we have the faith of millions of people who have gone before us. We have the New Testament, the hundreds of years of prophesy study that proves Jesus is King of kings, the Messiah. It may be easier for someone today to come to faith than it was in Jesus’ day. Yet, through all of this “historical proof”, I sometimes feel empty. I think it is the desire of every believer to be able to go back in time and be a witness to the miracles and hear the teachings of Jesus first-hand.

Today, we celebrated the birth of Jesus and look back in awe to the miracles. At the same time, we should look around us in awe of what God is doing today and look to the not-to-distant future and know what God is going to do. Today we celebrate the First Coming. Some tomorrow we will celebrate the Second Coming.

Merry Christmas

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