Can you claim that purity on your own?

November 1, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
(Psalms 24:3-4 (NIV))

A pure heart is all God really asks for. If your heart is pure, then all things that you are involved in will also be pure, for the heart leads us where it is focused. If your heart is focused on sin and perversion, then your life will be full of sin and perversion. If your heart is focused on God and His righteousness, then your life will be filled with those things.

It is said that you are what you eat. Perhaps that saying should be stated that you are what your heart desires. Jesus even stated that what goes into your body does not make you unclean.

Nothing outside a man can make him `unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him `unclean.’ ”
(Mark 7:15)

So then, it is possible for people to ascend the hill of the Lord!

This is an awesome thought, for all throughout the Old Testament, being in the presence of God meant certain death. This death was probably due to the fact that people are sinful and God cannot be around sin. We are still sinful, yet, we have a Savior who has paid the price for our sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of us, and through His selfless act, we have the ability to be made white as snow in the sight of God.

A popular laundry detergent for baby clothes states that it is 99 and 99/100 percent pure. We have the ability, through Jesus Christ, to be 100 percent pure in the eyes of God.

Can you claim that purity on your own?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fulfilling your duty?

October 22, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV))

Everyone has things that they feel they need to do. Some people call them obligations. Some call them responsibilities. Some people call them their duty. Others may say that these things are their priority, while some simply refer to them as the right thing to do. No matter what you may call them, we all have something that we feel we must do.

What are the things in your life that you place as a priority, as your duty?

Is one of your duties to provide for your family? Perhaps you are a business owner and you have employees and customers that are a central part of your daily life. Perhaps you are called to be a first responder and you feel that your duty is to protect and to serve. If that is you, thank you for your selflessness!

No matter what you may feel that your duty or obligation may be, there is one that is far greater and a lot of people fail to ever do anything about it! In fact, Jesus was asked point blank and responded without any hesitation.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
(Matthew 22:36-38 (NIV))

I can hear it now. Some may say that these two passages contradict each other. One says to fear God and the other says to love God with all your heart. How can fear and love mean the same thing? To be honest with you, that is a concept that may be difficult for people to grasp, but the basic sentiment behind this is that you should desire to do what is right in God’s eyes. Perhaps a better way to refer to this potential contradiction is to look at it in terms of respect. When you respect God for who He is, you both love and fear Him at the same time. The fear comes from the simple fact that we are all sinners who deserve whatever judgment we have earned. The love comes from the fact that even though He is a just and righteous God and we are all guilty of our sins, He has freely offered grace and mercy in place of the judgment.

I find it interesting that the passage in which we are told to fear God is from the Old Testament and it was recorded long before grace was freely given. I love the fact that the passage in which Jesus told us to love God is in the New Testament. Jesus took the liberty to paraphrase the commandments and let it be known that we no longer had to fear God, but through Him, God reached out to us in love. Through God’s act of love for us, we can now approach God in love.

I don’t know about you, but I both fear God and love God. As a part of His creation, it is my duty to the Lord our God as Creator!

Are you fulfilling your duty?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus offers grace from the Law!

October 4, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“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. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV))

Many people read the Old Testament and the Laws and think that they do not apply to them because they are under the blood of Jesus.

On the contrary, they still apply. What God gave man through the Law still applies. We must live by the Law. They are guidelines for how God wants us to live. But, unlike the Jews before Jesus came, we are granted salvation from the consequences of our inability to uphold the Law.

God knew that man could not uphold the Law on his own. He knew that we would need a means of grace in order to be righteous. Thank you God for sending us Your Son, Jesus Christ.

When you are faced with things of this world, remember that Jesus is our example! Jesus offers grace from the Law!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there anything that God cannot do?

September 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
(Jeremiah 32:27 (NIV))

I have had this verse at my fingertips for a few days. I have been thinking about it. Something in these words has made me stop and reflect on them. Several things have made me pause on this passage.

The biggest question that I have is why do we even need to be reminded of this? Is humanity so completely idiotic that we have forgotten what has been common knowledge since creation? Of course we are! All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well, humanity has ignored God. We have rebelled against God. We have embraced evil and called it good. We have embraced false gods. We have created our own gods when we couldn’t find one that we liked that someone else had created. We have limited God in so many ways that by the time that Jeremiah walked the earth, God had to speak through Jeremiah to remind creation that only He is Lord. Keep in mind that this was not the first time that God had to remind people exactly who He is. God used Noah to let creation know that He is Lord. God used Moses to let people know that He is Lord.

These are just a few of the instances when God reminded His creation that He is Lord, still, there is something about the words from Jeremiah that stand out!

“Is anything too hard for me?”

Why is humanity so fickle? Why do we place limitations where no limitations can be placed? Why do we try to define God in terms that we can understand? If we can understand everything about whom we worship, then it is not the one true God, but a god of our own creation.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord,
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

Do you try to limit God?

Is there anything that God cannot do?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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.
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Does God consider you to be His enemy? Repent!

January 17, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The LORD takes vengeance on his foes
and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.
(Nahum 1:2-3 (NIV))

We don’t hear this side of God preached very often in society today. We hear that God is love. We hear statements like if God loves me, why would He condemn me to hell? We hear people claim that this is Old Testament and that God is no longer like that since Jesus came to this earth.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

God never changes.

In an effort to offer salvation to a lost and dying world, God sent His only begotten Son to bring us back to Himself.

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

Just to clarify, God is love, but His love is a just love. He cannot associate with sin. He cannot bring imperfection into His perfect presence. In essence, anyone who sins is a foe, is an enemy of God. That is why Jesus came to walk this earth. He came to freely take our sin upon Himself so that we could have a way to be sin free. He came so that we could transfer God’s wrath away from our sinful lives. He came that we can be sin free in the eyes of God.

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God, yet He has offered each of us a way to escape His vengeance. He has transferred that vengeance and wrath onto a perfect life. A life that was and is fully God and fully man.

God offered us grace.

Don’t throw away God’s gift of grace. Don’t find yourself being labeled as an enemy of God!

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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