What is your understanding of God’s truth?

June 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
(Mark 16:19-20 (NIV))

Right after Jesus gave us the great commission, He was physically taken up into heaven. Can you imagine the reaction of the people who were fortunate enough to have witnessed this awesome sight? If they were like most people, they were probably left dumbfounded at the sight of this event, for nothing had ever happened like it before this time, and nothing has ever happened like it since then.

Let’s take a look at this from a different aspect. One that almost all of us have heard, but do not truly understand. The aspect that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, the Father.

From a human point of view, would you expect anything less from someone who was physically taken up into heaven right before your eyes? Even in today’s society in which we see special effects and stunt people performing all kinds of theatrical stunts, no one besides Jesus has ever been physically taken up into heaven right before our eyes. Even those who had never seen death in the Old Testament did not go to heaven in such a manner. This indicated a devine presence.

This served many purposes. The first one was to show that Jesus was truly the Son of God. The second purpose was motiviational in that the disciples, who had been timid and unwilling to follow Jesus to the cross, now preached boldly everywhere they went. They did this with authority that could only come from knowing that what they spoke of is absolutely true.

Do you possess that same knowledge of the truth that empowered the people who witnessed Jesus’ ascension? Does Jesus work through you in the same manner that He worked through these disciples?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hold fast to Jesus!

May 25, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
(Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV))

I came across something today that does not surprise me given the current status of the world and the attack on Christianity from all sides. It is still another false teaching and false gospel that the enemy is using to try and ridicule the church and deceive people.

I have never included live links before, but this particular story merits breaking this practice.

http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/iran-claims-discovery-of-ancient-gospel-will-prove-islam-and-destroy-christianity/

I include it for one simple reason, and that is to allow you to read about this for yourself.

We live in interesting times.

When I was younger, I could not have imagined the very rapid and drastic turns in society and the world. Tolerance is preached, but those who preach it are not tolerant of Jesus. Love is preached, but those who preach it hate the Body of Christ. Acceptance is preached only as long as it is of alternate lifestyles.

Hold fast to Jesus!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6 (NIV))

If anything is preached that does not profess Jesus as the Son of God, crucified, resurrected and at the right hand of God the Father, do not be deceived. The enemy has many tricks and he has no problems using them to keep you from the grace and mercy that is freely given through Jesus.

Hold fast. Pray. Place your trust in Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the faith to see what Stephen saw?

May 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him– you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
(Acts 7:51-56 (NIV))

Do you have the faith to take a stand in the face of adversity?

Do you have the faith to speak God’s truth even when it is not physically safe to do so?

Do you have the faith to see what Stephen saw?

I know that these are tough questions. We all would like to think that we would stand firm in our faith even when faced with danger and even death. It is my prayer that you never have to be put into a situation that requires this type of an answer. It is also my prayer that if the circumstances ever do arise, that each of us would show the faith that Stephen showed.

His faith was rewarded!

He saw heaven. He saw God and Jesus. He was given the assurance that what he believed in was true. Because of this glimpse of the promises that God had made, Stephen was able to face whatever the crowd would do to him, for he knew beyond any doubt where he would be.

We all know that Stephen was then stoned to death. He was faithful to the end.

I am currently teaching an adult Sunday School class, and the topic for what should have only been one week, now going into four, is heaven. This particular passage brought some interesting conversations, with everybody trying to visualize what heaven is actually like. Simply put, heaven is eternity with God, the Father. We have many passages throughout the book of Matthew that tell us what heaven is like. All of these are attempts to explain the awe and majesty of heaven with words that are mortal in nature. This morning, someone said that they hoped that there would be Krispy Kreme doughnuts in heaven because they taste so good. My response was that there would be things much better.

Imagine!

If Stephen was willing to speak out knowing that there may be a chance of death, what did he see in his vision of heaven that made it worth it? We all have our own vision of what we think heaven will be like, and yes, some of those include Krispy Kreme. How far can you allow your faith to see beyond the physical limitations and knowledge and simply embrace eternity with God?

Do you have the faith to see what Stephen saw?

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