Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

February 8, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
(1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV))

It is definitely not human nature to rejoice over suffering!

Who will willingly go headlong into a situation where you know that you will suffer? What if you know that there is another way and that you will not suffer at all? Would you still choose the path that results in suffering?

On the surface, these types of questions seem to be sheer stupidity. After all, everyone likes things to be smooth sailing with no resistance, but . . .

There is always a “but”!

What happens when you look at things with an eternal perspective?

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

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (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))

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
(Luke 6:22 (NIV))

There is a time when suffering in this world is a choice that I would gladly make. It is an indication that I have rejected the world and its sinful nature. It is an indication that I have accepted the salvation bought and paid for in full at the cross. It is a sign that I have been rejected by the world just as the world rejected Jesus. It is a sign of faith to choose to face suffering in this world instead of rejecting Jesus and facing suffering for all eternity.

When you look at this passage from this perspective, it brings a whole new understanding to the concept of rejoicing in suffering.

Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you alert and fully sober?

August 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
(1 Peter 1:13 (NIV))

With all of the things that are going on in the world, are you alert?

With the world’s current intoxication where things just don’t make sense, are you sober?

I honestly don’t know how much more of the insanity of this world God will allow before He says enough is enough. Every single day I am completely amazed at the depravity and the insanity that is rapidly sweeping the world, our nation and our communities. There is an old saying that appears to apply to our society at this particular moment in time. I honestly believe that the patients are running the asylum. Nothing makes sense. Down is up. Right is left. Good is evil. Criminals are the victims of society, and Jesus is banned from public display.

I long for the return of Jesus!

Do you?

Some people will say that we have an escapist mentality. That may very well be true. We don’t want to live in chaos. We don’t want to live in evil. We long for righteousness. We long for peace. We long for Jesus!

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
(Matthew 24:36 (NIV))

We may not know the day or the hour, but we are told that we can recognize the times.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
(Matthew 24:32-33 (NIV))

Are you alert to all that is happening? Are you fully sober and understanding of the time?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you try to keep things hidden from God?

March 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
(Luke 12:2 (NIV))

Have you honestly stopped to let these words sink in to your inner most being?

Do they give you reason to shudder at the thought of some of your secrets being revealed?

If you are human, this is a very scary concept, for we all have things that we would rather no one ever find out about. Still, human nature in its sinful state has us do things that we would rather not do. No one is immune. Even Paul, the man whom Jesus called to preach the Gospel to the gentiles, faced the very same dilemma.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(Romans 7:15 (NIV))

How do you think that Paul’s secrets will be treated when they are revealed? Do you think that he will be treated any different than anybody else who calls upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? What Paul has repented of will be forgiven. What you and I have repented of will be forgiven.

Take another deep look at the passage. Look for what is not said. The passage does not say that what is hidden will not be forgiven. It also does not say that it will be forgiven. Each person will be judged according to one simple truth – have they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. If you can honestly answer “Yes” to that question, then you will be judged as Paul will be judged.

“Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

If you answer “No” to that question, you will be judged and found guilty.

Do you desire forgiveness, or do you want to face the punishment of the guilty?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we proclaiming Jesus to a dying world?

September 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
(Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV))

This prophesy was originally fulfilled by John the Baptist when he was in the wilderness proclaiming that people should repent because the Lord was coming. Shortly after this proclamation, Jesus did come.

He came and taught. He came and healed the sick. He came and raised the dead. He came so that we could have forgiveness of sin. Through the actions of Jesus, the valleys that we were in because of sin have been raised up. The mighty and powerful have been lowered. When we walk with Jesus, even when we face the rough times in our lives, they are smoother because He is with us.

Now it is our turn to proclaim what Jesus has done for us. John proclaimed what He would do before He came. He stepped out in faith based on what would come. We have history to support our faith, yet, how many of us are willing to step out in our faith the way John the Baptist did?

Jesus will return! We should be proclaiming this to all of the world just as John proclaimed it to his world.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared for Jesus to be revealed?

September 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
(1 Peter 1:13 (NIV))

This passage has at least three possible interpretations, all of which are very valid, for, many passages within the Bible have both a near-term and a far-term meaning.

When Jesus is revealed to us on a personal level as our Lord and Savior, we are allowed this revelation because we have had our mind prepared for this impartation of the truth. We have been taken on a personal journey that has allowed us to be shown the truth so that we will recognize and acknowledge it. We have been shown grace and given the means to partake of it.

Jesus will be revealed to the world. As believers, we must keep our focus and constantly stay alert and self-controlled so that we may be ready for Jesus whenever He may manifest Himself, whether it is through others or when He physically returns. Jesus is revealed to the world in every action and word that we, as the Body of Christ, do and say. With this in mind, we must be prepared for action and self-controlled so that the world will see Jesus in our actions.

Finally, Jesus will return and will be revealed to the world. We do not know when, or if we will be around. There is even uncertainty among the Body of Christ whether the church will be in the world when this revelation takes place.

No matter when He is revealed, we must prepare ourselves so that we may prepare the way for His return. We must set our hope fully on the grace that is ours through His atoning sacrifice. We must pave the way for others to accept salvation.

Are you prepared for action? Are you self-controlled? Where is your hope?

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