Are you dressed and ready to serve God?

April 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(Luke 12:35-40 (NIV))

We can not always be physically dressed and waiting for Jesus to return. We can be spiritually dressed, though. We can put on the full armor of God and be prepared to face whatever the enemy may send our way. We will also be prepared to receive Jesus when He returns, for we will know of His impending return and will wait to greet Him just as in the parables retold by Luke.

Jesus often spoke in symbolism. Being dressed and ready for service is a symbol of being spiritually prepared for service in the army of God. Are you spiritually dressed and ready to do what God would have you do?

Every day I see things that cause my heart to hurt and my spirit to moan. I know that I have to pray about what I see, and I do, but it is so overwhelming at times. I know that we are told to put on the full armor of God so that we will be ready?

I have seen many things recently that have me trying to do my best to be ready. One such thing is hard to believe that it is actually going to happen in just a few days. Baal was a false god that deceived the Israelites into practicing all kinds of sexual immorality and child sacrifice. As of April 19 of this year, a replica of the temple to Baal will be put up in Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London.

Christians are sued and jailed over their beliefs while our society erects a temple to a pagan god!

No matter what we may face, we need to be ready for service. We must keep our lamps burning. Are we ready to serve the one true God? Are we still on fire for sharing the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you walk in the light?

January 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

I know that we are all familiar with this passage, but have you ever truly stopped to think about what it really means to be in the light?

Unlike popular belief, each person is not their own light. There are not multiple ways to walk in the light. We can not be enlightened, and we cannot achieve anything on our own. Jesus is the light of the world!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
(John 12:46 (NIV))

Being in the light of Jesus means that you have recognized your sinful nature and that you need a Savior. Being in the light of Jesus means that you recognize your need to surrender your life to His guidance. You willingly accept Jesus as not only your Savior, but also your Lord.

Just what does having Jesus as your Lord mean. The word “Lord” means one who is in power or authority, of a high position, and one to whom service and obedience are due. In the physical world, a lord requires submission and allegiance. Those under the lord do not really have a choice. That is not the case when we give lordship over our lives to Jesus. We voluntarily surrender. We recognize the authority and willingly come in under that authority. In Jesus, the authority is not one of fear, but one of love, guidance and grace. We realize that we, in all of our human frailties, need Jesus. We need God!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:6-7 (NIV))

When we walk in the light, we walk under the authority of Jesus! We walk under the power of Jesus! We walk under the grace of Jesus! We walk under the love of Jesus!

Do you walk in the light?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Each of us can impact the world for Jesus!

December 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
(1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NIV))

I know that this was written long ago and that it was written by Paul. We all consider Paul to be the one who is most responsible for preaching to the Gentiles. With this in mind, I want to ask you a question.

What is stopping you from claiming this passage as your own?

Has Jesus given you strength? Does He consider you faithful? Are you ready, willing and eager to serve Him?

In comparison to what your life has become since asking Jesus into your heart, were you a blasphemer? Did you persecute those who call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

Have you been shown mercy? Have you been shown grace? Have you been blessed abundantly with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus?

If you truly follow Jesus, you should be able to recognize that these questions all answered as Yes. The only difference between you and Paul with respect to this passage is your circle of influence.

What can we do to impact the world for Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is your spiritual aptitude?

August 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

Have you ever taken an aptitude test? You know the tests I am talking about. You answer a bunch of questions by filling in a circle under a number that represents how much the question sound like you. Perhaps you have taken something similar to this that was labeled a personality test. These tests are designed to help you figure out what you are good at and how you see the world. They try to label you with terms that can be used to fit people into the proverbial box. These tests use terms like Type A, Administrator, Caregiver, Visionary, and whatever else you can imagine.

It is interesting that we are told that God gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. We recognize the fact that each of us is not the same when it comes to spiritual gifts and completely fail to allow that concept to apply to our physical world and the gifts that we have.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:19 (NIV))

Is Jesus telling us that the spiritual world and the physical world are closely connected? Do our spiritual gifts manifest themselves in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of administration perform an administrative task in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of discernment operate in the physical world as a counselor? Can someone who has the gift of prophecy do things that are contrary to God’s Word?

I recently took a test to discover my spiritual gifts. The results gave me mixed emotions. I suppose that I knew beforehand what the outcome would be, but it still surprised me to see the results. They confirmed what I had felt, but never really accepted.

God gave us each unique gifts that He desires for us to use in both the spiritual and the physical, for the two are not separate. They are closely tied to one another. What gifts you are given can manifest themselves in both aspects of your life.

Are you gifts united in your life for the glory of Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I long to become a dedicated servant!

September 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
(Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV))

What do you serve?

Think about that for a moment.

Basically, a servant is a person who is in service to another.

If you have ever served in the military, your “service” was a given fact. If you have ever worked for a living, your service to your job was a given fact. Once you come under the authority of someone, your service is expected, whether that authority is to a military leader or an employer, you are in service to them.

Are you a servant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Have you come under the authority of Jesus and the grace and mercy that goes with that?

Do you accept Jesus as your Savior?

Here comes the question that too many people either trip up on or choose to ignore completely. Is Jesus your Lord? Does Jesus have authority, control and power over you? Is He your master? Is He your Lord?

If Jesus is your Lord, then by simple deduction from the definitions of Lord and servant, we should be serving Jesus in all capacities. We should proclaim, just as Paul did, that we have become a servant of the Gospel.

Or, do you have the mindset that God is to serve us? Do you expect God to give you everything that you want when you want it? Perhaps you have mistaken God for the genii in the tale of Aladdin. God is not here to grant you wishes, not even just three. He is God the Father, Creator of all things.

He gave us life.

We sinned and fell into the punishment of death.

He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us from death for Himself.

He has given us everything. He has rescued us from eternal death.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua:15 (NIV))

In many cultures, there is an old tradition that if somebody saves your life, your are in service to them until the debt has been paid. God, through His Son, Jesus, saved our lives. What are we doing to repay that debt. What are we doing to be of service to the very Gospel that saved us?

I long to become a dedicated servant!

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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