If we do not repent, what could await us?

August 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
(Revelation 2:2-6 (NIV))

Far too many people claim salvation and then, eventually, they let the world back into their lives. They live as if they never accepted the grace and mercy freely given to them at Calvary. They seldom think of the great gift that they have been given. They seldom think of anybody but themselves. They have forgotten their first love!

When these people proclaimed their faith, they were enthusiastic and very much in love with their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Soon, just like any relationship, they let it slip and stopped spending time with Jesus. They soon lost what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. They started following the ways of the world once again.

Jesus warned us about becoming someone like this. He told us to repent and to return to following Him.

If we do not repent, what could await us?

If we continue on our path to the point where we not only ignore Jesus, but completely turn away from Him, we are given clear results. We will have our “lampstand” removed. In the tabernacle, the lampstand is the light in the Holy Place. We will have our light removed! We will be removed from God!

We, as believers, must stay focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must not allow the world to come back into our lives and make us lose sight of our first love.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you forsaken your first love?

October 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
(Revelation 2:2-6 (NIV))

Far too many people claim salvation and then, eventually, they let the world back into their lives. They live as if they never accepted the grace and mercy freely given to them at Calvary. They seldom think of the great gift that they have been given. They seldom think of anybody but themselves. They have forgotten their first love!

When these people proclaimed their faith, they were enthusiastic and very much in love with their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Soon, just like any relationship, they let it slip and stopped spending time with Jesus. They soon lost what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. They started following the ways of the world once again.

Jesus warned us about becoming someone like this. He told us to repent and to return to following Him.

If we do not repent, what could await us?

If we continue on our path to the point where we not only ignore Jesus, but completely turn away from Him, we are given clear results. We will have our “lampstand” removed. In the tabernacle, the lampstand is the light in the Holy Place. We will have our light removed! We will be removed from God!

We, as believers, must stay focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must not allow the world to come back into our lives and make us lose sight of our first love.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see yourself growing day to day?

July 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
(Ephesians 4:15 (NIV))

When you were little, who did you want to grow up to be like?

What was it about that person that made you long to be like them? Were they kind? Were they gentle with you? Could you trust them? Did they always tell you the truth? Did they take the time to simply be there for you when you needed them? Each of us has a person that we looked up to. Each of us has an ideal that was embodied by someone who took the time to love us and be there for us. They placed our desires above their own.

Did you grow up to possess any of the characteristics of the person that you longed to be like? I would safely venture to say that they did have an influence upon you and you did develop some of the very same characteristics that you saw in them.

As a believer in Jesus, do you long to grow up, to mature into being just like Him?

If, as a child, you longed to grow up to be like someone you admired, shouldn’t you now long to grow up to be like someone you admire? It should be our goal to grow up, to mature into being just like Jesus in all that we do. We should strive to persevere in our desires to be like Jesus.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:4 (NIV))

Each day we should grow in our knowledge and understanding of Jesus. Each day, we should mature in our faith in Him.

How do you see yourself growing day to day?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In this world you will have trouble

January 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
(Romans 5:3-4 (NIV))

It is evident that this is something that our society has forgotten. We have become a people who look upon suffering in a much different way than Paul did when he wrote these words to the believers in Rome. Too many of our society, including many people who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, expect this life to be free from suffering. They expect things to be perfect, without any obstacles, happily ever after!

It has been said that our character is slowly chiseled by the trials that we face and how we face them. Paul knew this very well. He suffered greatly for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During his sufferings, he was imprisoned, beaten, and rejected by those from whom he came. He developed strength of character through his sufferings that allowed him to be the instrument that God used to build His church for the Gentiles. We owe our heritage and our salvation to the fact that Paul was willing to suffer so that others would know of the grace and mercy given to us through Jesus.

Character is something that cannot be developed in good times. It is developed in times of suffering. If you follow Jesus, then you must be prepared to face the suffering.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33(NIV))

Paul also knew this and wrote to share this with us.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-6(NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The value of perseverance

April 28, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:2-4 (NIV))

You may realize that James 1:2 -3 was recently used. I cannot stress enough the importance of perseverance and joy in the midst of trials. With the uncertainty in the world, in our nation, and in our communities, we must be an example to all that we see. Even our personal lives must be approached with the joy and perseverance that is written of in James.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
(Matthew 5:14 (NIV))

If we are the light of the world, the world will look to us to see how we react. We must always point to the true light, Jesus Christ. Satan attacks both believer and nonbeliever. God uses there attacks to mature us and to show the world how we should face things.

God would not allow us to have trials if they did not produce fruits of the Spirit. If we did not have trials, we would never mature in our faith and our walk with God. As a small child, you faced trials: dressing yourself, feeding yourself, tying your shoes. At the time, it seemed almost impossible to make it through the trial. But, now, looking back, you realize the benefits gained from those trials – maturity and growth. The trials that we face that test our faith are the same. God knows that we will mature as a result of these trials. Do not regret the trials. Welcome them for what they are – a way to get closer to God and to grow into the image of Jesus Christ. Also remember that the world is looking at you during your trials. The world is looking to see if what you profess is true.

Do you face your trials with joy? Does the world see that joy even when all around you is crying out for relief? Does the world see your joy as true?

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

February 4, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:4 (NIV))

Are you like the vast majority of people today? Do you expect things to come to you instantly?

Noah spent over one hundred years building a huge ark when there was no water anywhere close by. How could such a huge ark be taken to the water? Still, Noah stood firm in his faith, even though he did not understand how it could happen.

I want you to carefully consider Abraham. He was given a promise by God that he would be the father of many nations, yet, when he was ninety years old, he had no children. Still, Abraham stood firm in his faith, even though he did not understand how it could happen.

What about Moses? He had fled Egypt and became a shepherd. God called him to return to Egypt and bring his people out of bondage. How could a simple shepherd bring out the vast numbers of people enslaved by Egypt? Still, Moses stood firm in his faith, even though he did not understand how it could happen.

Each of these people persevered in their faith even when they did not see any physical way that things would turn out the way they did. If maturity is the attaining of a final or desired state, then each of these people persevered until their faith saw maturation. We can mature in many ways, but being able to say that we possess a mature faith means that we lack nothing. We place our complete trust in God. We know that He will provide no matter what we may face.

I pray that we may all persevere until our faith is mature.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to persevere?

April 23, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:2-4 (NIV))

I was made aware of something tonight. Something that I have struggled with for quite some time. Something that I have worried about and prayed about.

Many of you know that my seventeen year old son has Aspergers Syndrome. It has limited him to some extent and I have often prayed about his life as an adult. At the same time, it has probably been a blessing in disguise. If it were not for this diagnoses, he would not have discovered what he truly loves. He would not have been put into the situations in which he has discovered his driving passion. He would not have been given the flexibility to pursue that passion. His perseverance has opened my eyes and I no longer feel the anxiety that I used to feel. But, he is a teenager, so I will still continue to pray for him.

In short, his trials have been my trials. My trials have also been my trials. I felt that I had to help him bear the burden, but now I see that God has countered that burden with a wonderful gift. Perhaps God planned the so-called burden so that the gift would come to life. My son’s perseverance is making him mature. It is making him complete, just as God planned and it is pure joy to see.

Beauty and maturity come out of trials and perseverance. Listening to a 17 year old play jazz improvisation on the saxophone and then receive a round of applause for his efforts is wonderful. When it is your son who is making the audience take note of what is going on, it is the greatest feeling in the world. It makes me wonder how much pride God feels when we do something good in His eyes.

God is maturing each of us into what He wants us to become. Don’t fixate on what is the current state of affairs, after all, God loves us too much to leave us as we are. I long for the growth and the maturity in my life, even though it will come through trials.

Are you willing to persevere and mature into the person that God desires you to be?

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