Judgment or salvation? Choose wisely!

August 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
(1 Samuel 2:9-10 (NIV))

There are only two groups to which you can belong. The choice is yours!

You can choose to follow the Lord and become one of His saints or you can choose not to follow the Lord. I bet you thought the second group that I was going to define was the group of the wicked.

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

We don’t have to choose to be wicked. We don’t have to choose to be sinful. Ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, that choice has been made for us. It is human nature. The choice that we have to make is to either accept the wickedness and sinfulness or accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. If you do not make a choice, you have inadvertently made your choice for wickedness and sinfulness. If you make a choice to repent, to turn from your wicked ways, then you have chosen to be a saint.

I can hear some of you thinking, “How dare you claim that people can decide to be a saint!” I hope that you realize that there truly are only two types of people, saints or sinners, believers or nonbelievers. God gives us each the choice to which group, which type of person, we will belong to.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 (NIV))

Creation has fallen to sin. God will judge those who do not repent. He will protect those who seek His face. He will provide salvation to all who ask through the atoning blood of Jesus.

Do you seek judgment or salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s story gives us hope!

February 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

Everyone knows the words written above. They have been used to condemn people for centuries. They have also been used as a springboard for the plan of salvation. These words are the first step someone must take in order to gain salvation. They must realize that they are sinners! Not a single one of us is capable of living a perfect life under the Law!

How many have taken the time to read the complete passage that Paul wrote to the Romans?

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-26)

Paul used these words as a part of a much more detailed writing in which he told of the grace that was available through Jesus Christ. He only used those words to convince everyone that no one was perfect, yet they had a loving God who sent His only Son to die for their sins as a means of atonement and grace.

The next time that you read or hear those words, remember the rest of the story, for that story gives us hope!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is hard to forgive!

September 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,’ forgive him.
(Luke 17:3b-4 (NIV))

It is hard to forgive!

Just what is it about forgiving someone that is so difficult? Is it a characteristic of the person that you do not want to forgive? Is it simply that they do not deserve forgiveness?

Let’s face the truth! None of us deserve forgiveness:

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

Could it be that we are too proud and arrogant to offer forgiveness even though it was freely offered to us? Perhaps human ego plays a bigger part in this than we truly care to admit. Take a look at the words in Luke. Not only are we to forgive each other, but we are to do it freely and without hesitation. Forgivenss is not something that is earned. It is something that is given. If we are to be truly like Jesus, then we are to give of ourselves.

One of the greatest ways to freely give of ourselves is to forgive others, for that places our desires, goals and feelings below those of the one whom we forgive. If we choose not to forgive, then we have wrongly elevated ourselves to a position of authority over the other person. The only person who has ever walked the earth who has that authority was Jesus, and He freely gave it up to obey God the Father.

Have you given up your authority over others?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I am the way and the truth and the life

September 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:14 (NIV))

How many ways to heaven have you heard in your lifetime?

If you truly stop to think about it, there have been countless opinions and philosophies that you have heard and countless others that have made so little sense that you didn’t even pay attention to them.

In today’s society, it has become acceptable to believe that there are as many different ways to heaven as there are people. Stop to think about that statement. Let’s compare this to a shotgun blast. A shotgun blast scatters and only a very few of the small shot actually hit their target. To be more precise, I would venture to say that not a single shot actually hits exactly where you aim. If there are as many ways to heaven as there are people, what does that say when compared to a shotgun blast?

The word “sin” is an archery term that literally means to miss the mark. There is no shotgun blast mentality in archery. There is no shotgun blast mentality in getting to heaven. Just like in archery, if we miss the mark established by God as what we have to hit to get to heaven, then we have sinned. We will not be allowed in.

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

If we have all sinned, then how do we gain eternal life?

and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:24 (NIV))

Jesus hit that mark. Through His steadfast aim, we are redeemed.

“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))

Jesus is the way! Jesus is the only way. He is that gate.

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))

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