Have you taken the action needed to be redeemed?

October 5, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
(Ephesians 1:7 (ESV))

Have you ever stopped to look up a dictionary’s definition of redemption or what it means to be redeemed? According to Merriam-Webster, the word “redeeming” means serving to offset or compensate for a defect. With that definition in mind, then it is safe to say that redemption indicates that we have had something done for us that has been done to compensate for a defect. All of humanity suffers from this same defect as a result of the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. Our defect is sin!

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

We all need something to compensate for, to offset the sinful nature that we are born with. Redemption is a legal process that requires an exchange. There must be someone with the authority to make the offer of redemption, and, once that offer is made, it requires action on the part of the one being redeemed. The offer was extended by the ultimate authority. It was extended by the Creator of everything. It was extended to sinful humanity by God!

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Our response, our reaction is simple. All that we have to do is accept! It is as easy as ABC.

A is admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Once you have made this decision, once you have professed these truths, once you have accepted the free gift of God’s grace, then you have been redeemed. You have been washed white as snow. Your sins will be removed as far as the east is from the west. You will have been bought by the blood of the Lamb!

Have you taken the action needed to be redeemed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It’s not too late to change to whom you belong!

September 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:19 (NIV))

Have you ever wanted fame and fortune?

Have you ever wanted to be in the spotlight and adored by countless numbers of people?

After reading the words that Jesus spoke, aren’t you glad that this never happened?

When the world loves you, you are probably pushing the proverbial envelope as to what is “new and trendy.” This is simply another way of saying how flagrantly can you sin and lead others to sin? This basically reinforces the simple fact that the world loves sin. Anyone who flaunts it and shows others new ways to sin is going to get their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. If you are really good at it, you make a career out of leading people down a path that they shouldn’t venture down.

These are the people who belong to the world, but you don’t have to be in the public eye to belong to the world. You can simply be a follower of someone who is. You can simply be the “cool” person who always has something going on that makes others want to be like them. The world loves those who rush headfirst into the sin that is the latest trend.

That is why the world hates Jesus and those who follow Him!

When the world says that to be loved you have to sin and flaunt it, Jesus tells us that to truly be loved, we simply turn to Him and repent of our sin.

When the world says that to live life to the fullest, you have to grab for all that you can get, Jesus tells us that life to the fullest only comes through Him.

I could go on with examples, but it is clearly obvious that what the world wants and what God wants are polar opposites. They are so far apart that we can never bridge the gap from the sinful world to God on our own strength and on our own righteousness. It is true that if you are loved by the world, and that in turn you love the world, it is still possible to repent. You can turn to Jesus and forsake all that the world has put in your way.

Repent!

It’s not too late to change to whom you belong!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you at doing what God’s Word says?

September 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

How many of us deceive ourselves when it comes to God’s Word? We all have passages that we read and tell ourselves, “Yeah. If only everybody would be like that, it would be great.” The bad part about that is that most of the time we have only a superficial desire to do what we are asking others to do. We never truly do what it says.

We read and study God’s Word, then almost immediately we do the very thing that it says that we should not do. It is like we are still in the Garden of Eden rebelling against God with Adam and Eve. We still only give a brief acknowledgment to the path that is right, but we never seem to follow the path to its destination. We soon get sidetracked and forget where we were desiring to go.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
(James 1:23-25 (NIV))

God desires for us to not only listen to the Word. He longs for us to do what it says. Listening to God’s Word does not make you a follower. Satan listened to the Word. He knows exactly what it says. I would venture to say that the biggest issue is that he doesn’t do what God’s Word says.

Is this the root of human rebellion? Is this the root of human sin? We miss the mark all too often. Perhaps we should start to do what God’s Word says. At least, we should desire to do what it says.

What is your desire?

How are you at doing what God’s Word says?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

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

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

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

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you been purified by the blood of Jesus?

July 21, 2022

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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))

This passage presents each of us a few questions that we must answer.

Do you desire to walk in the light?

Do you desire fellowship with those who have similar desires?

These should be simple questions to answer, for if we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we know what our answers should be. But, when was the last time that you stopped and reflected upon what is truly in your heart? Do you find things that you try to hide from others and that you try to hide from Jesus? The darkness from things like hatred, lust, greed, and envy can hinder your walk in the light. They can hinder your fellowship with one another. They can hinder your true purification.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, but we are called to repent. This means that we turn away from our sins and turn toward Jesus. It means that we turn away from the darkness that we still hide in our heart and keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We will slip, for we are still sinful by nature. Paul even wrote about his struggles with this as part of his letters to the church in Rome.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
(Romans 7:15-20 (NIV))

We are called to walk in the light of Jesus, yet, the person that we understand to be responsible for witnessing to the Gentiles and starting what we know as the church struggled with sin in his life. How do you rectify this in your walk of faith?

I truly wish that the world understood the struggle. The world looks upon people who profess a faith in Jesus as hypocrites. They claim that we don’t always do what we say we need to be doing. To be honest with you, the world is right! What they don’t understand is that being a follower of Jesus does not instantly make you just like Jesus. It is a life long process. What makes the difference is our willingness to repent and try again. When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we acknowledge that we need help. We acknowledge that we will stumble and that we will fall far more often than we care to admit. Jesus looks at the heart. When we accept Him, He only sees the grace that has been given to us. He doesn’t see the sin. Over the course of our walk of faith, He will teach us and guide us as the Holy Spirit works in us to remove the darkness. He works in such a way that even though we may still sin, He sees the grace and mercy and purity that we have accepted as our own.

What does the Lord see in you?

Have you been purified by the blood of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you living the life of a healed sinner?

April 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24 (ESV))

I don’t know about you, but this trade is very one-sided. And, no, I am not complaining, for I know what I deserve and I know what this trade has given me!

What about you?

Do you truly realize what has been given to you in this trade?

Do you truly realize the totality of the burden that has been lifted from you in this trade?

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 free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (ESV))

Based on these two passages, each of us are guilty of such serious transgressions that we have been sentenced to death without any hope of redemption or pardon through anything that we could ever do.

But, God . . .

Thankfully, He had other plans!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
(John 3:16-18 (ESV))

As believers in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we must never forget what our Lord has done for us. We must always keep our eyes and our hearts focused on Jesus, for without the grace and mercy freely give at the cross, we would still be completely helpless, hopeless and lost.

Are you living the life of a healed sinner?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is this your prayer?

January 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me.
(Psalms 19:12-13 (NLT))

We like to think that we know how we would react in certain situations. We think that if we were placed in a situation that could easily lead us into sin, we would spot it a mile away and avoid it. It is human nature to think that it can happen to everybody else, but not to me.

That is exactly how Satan tricks us into the very things that we say we detest. He places just a little there to temp us and then plants the idea in our minds that anything in moderation is okay. Once he has this idea planted, moderation goes out the door. We can easily find ourselves in the midst of the very things that we detest. The bad thing about this is that we no longer detest them. We crave them!

We don’t know what is lurking within our hearts. We don’t know what and when something will surface. We may present an outward appearance of righteousness, but have an inner darkness that no one sees but God.

No one sees, but God !

We think that we can hide our faults from everyone including God. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only one that we are fooling is ourselves.

Take a close look at yourself. Closer still!

We all need to make the words of this passage our prayer, for without a conscious effort and God’s grace, each of us will fall to the sins lurking within our hearts.

Is this your prayer?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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There are no exceptions!

August 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Yes, all truly does mean all. It literally means everyone. There are no exceptions! Every newborn baby to the oldest person alive all fall under this category simply because of humanity’s sinful, fallen nature. This is the only time that I agree with the statement that we were born this way, for we are all born as sinners in need of a savior.

There are consequences for our sin!

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

But, God. . .

Our loving heavenly Father has a plan of redemption. He has a gift that is freely given to all who will simply accept. No amount of money can purchase this gift. No amount of work can earn this gift. This gift is of immeasurable value, yet it is freely given. That is why believers cling to the next truth that comes after the explanation that we are all sinners.

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

We are all justified!

I once had someone tell me a good definition of justified and I have remembered it to this day. “Just if I’d” never sinned! We may all fall short of the glory of God because of our sinful nature, but because of the gift of grace freely given through the cross, we can all claim that redemption and be restored “just if I’d” never sinned. There is one important thing to pay attention to. Just as all have sinned, all are justified. We were all born into sin, and we can all be born again completely justified. It is your choice.

There are no exceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What do you claim about yourself?

May 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
(1 John 1:8 (NIV))

Do you think that you are a good person?

Have you bought into the lie of the enemy that we are basically good?

Even Jesus did not consider Himself to be good when He walked this earth.

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
(Mark 10:18 (NIV))

To be honest with you, this one has me a little perplexed.

Even if you look upon Jesus as God with us, He was fully human. Did He say this because of this human side that theoretically could sin, or did He say this because He had not completed what He came to do and had not been glorified yet? Perhaps it was for the same reason that He often told people whom He healed to not tell anyone. Perhaps it was because it was not part of the plan for Jesus to be glorified as a man before the appointed time.

One thing to look at during His time on earth is the simple statement of His mission.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
(Luke 19:10 (NIV))

We are all lost because of sin. Not a single one of us is without sin. Not a single one of us is righteous on our own.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Take a serious look at your life. Do you now or have you ever thought that you were a good person? Do you make claims that Jesus refused to make?

What do you claim about yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready to receive His righteousness?

March 30, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV))

In just a few days, we, as the Body of Christ, will be celebrating the event that proves that Jesus is who He said He was. No other person in all of history faced such a horrible death, was buried and then arose from the grave on the third day. In addition to this, He ascended into heaven in front of a group of witnesses.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
(Acts 1:7-9 (NIV))

I love the truth of the resurrection. I love the hope of promises. Still, I believe that we need to focus our attention on the words recorded that give us assurance that He will return.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
(Acts 1:10-11 (NIV))

The resurrection means so much more than Jesus arose from the grave. It means that He has the power over sin and death. It means that He has the authority to save us from our sins. And best of all, it means that He will return for those who profess a faith in Him.

It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you ready to receive His righteousness?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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