Be careful how you answer this!

June 24, 2019

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
(Isaiah 40:25 (NIV))

We may not think that we compare God to anyone or to anything, but if we don’t place Him first in our lives, we are guilty of doing just that!

Think about this from a personal perspective. What is it that you desire most in life? Is it wealth? Is it fame? Is it power? Do you model your life on someone who has the things that you desire? Do you look to them as your standard or do you look to God to give you direction and guidance for your life?

Based on those questions, it is extremely easy to compare others to God. It is easy to place God second or even lower in your life. Is this what you want? Perhaps I should ask is this what God wants?

We have a tendency to look at the Lord as some sort of genii who is there to grant our every wish and to stay out of our lives when we think we don’t need anything. In all honesty, when this happens, we are comparing ourselves to God. We may not intend to do this, but in fact, we are guilty of elevating ourselves above the Lord. Is this what you want? Is this what God wants?

Human nature is far too predictable. Even when we profess to know the Lord, we fail miserably at truly recognizing His majesty. We fail when we turn to ourselves or to others for guidance and direction when we have the Creator waiting for us to turn to Him. Are we guilty of comparing ourselves or others to God? Are we guilty of placing ourselves or others above God?

Be truthful!

Be careful how you answer this!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

June 18, 2019

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
(Proverbs 1:8 (NIV))

I am afraid that we have become a society were the parents look to the children for answers. Too many parents allow the children to make the decisions for themselves and sometimes even for the whole family. We, as parents, have become afraid of losing our children’s friendship. As a result, we lose our children and the roles get reversed.

Society has become too permissive with respect to allowing things to get out of hand. We no longer teach our children right from wrong. We live in a society that tells us there is no absolute truth, so consequently, there is no absolute right and wrong. Truth is relative. What is correct in one situation may not be the correct thing to do in another situation. We no longer have a moral compass by which we can steer our lives. It is permissible to do anything as long as no one gets hurt. I want to know who is responsible for this idiotic idea.

All throughout the Bible we are taught that there is a way that we should live. If we don’t live in that manner, then we sin. We miss the mark that God has set before us. Sin is not only the actions that hurt others. Sin is also the private acts that only scar the individual. Sin never leaves anything as flawless and pristine as before it occurred.

I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that we, as a society, have stopped trying to reach that higher standard. We no longer desire to better ourselves in the eyes of God. We have not only stopped striving for God’s standard, in far too many cases, we have turned one hundred and eighty degrees in the opposite direction. How can we face ourselves? How can we face God? We have allowed leniency to take the place of love. We have allowed permissiveness to take the place of instruction. We have allowed rebellion to take the place of respect.

We, as a nation, need to return to the basic principles that God has given us. Here is where we can start.

Train a child in the way he should go,
    and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What is your opinion of yourself?

January 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.
(Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NIV))

I realize that this passage probably has many people cringing because it brings them back to reality, and not the reality that they see in the mirror.

Contrary to what many people think of themselves, no one is perfect. Sadly, the world thinks that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are supposed to be perfect. We get judged by a standard that no one can uphold. We get judged because we realize the condition of our existence. We get judged because we realize we need a Savior.

There is a saying that Christians are not perfect, but we are forgiven.

What makes us able to claim this for ourselves? What makes anyone able to claim this in their lives?

All it takes is a simple profession of faith. We simply have to accept the grace that has freely been given to us. We simply have to admit that we are in need of saving. We simply have to profess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

We cannot bring ourselves grace. We cannot bring ourselves salvation. There is nothing that we can do to earn it. All we can do is acknowledge that we need it and graciously accept God’s gift.

Righteousness is not attainable through our own efforts. It is only attainable as a gift!

Are you righteous?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


God doesn’t have double standards!

January 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Differing weights and differing measures–
the LORD detests them both.
(Proverbs 20:10 (NIV))

Do you hold up one standard for some things and a different one for others? Do you measure your friends differently than you measure people whom you do not know? Do you want to be held accountable to a less severe set of laws than you are willing to hold others accountable to? We are all guilty of this to some extent. We fail to give the same leniency that we long for ourselves. Perhaps we even fail to forgive others when we seek forgiveness for ourselves.

Another translation says it differently.

The Lord despises double standards of every kind.
(Proverbs 20:10 (NLT))

Just what is a double standard? It is anything that treats the person you see in the mirror differently than the person you see on the street.

We seek mercy and grace, but are we willing to give it? We seek forgiveness, but are we willing to offer it to others?

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 (NIV))

We are told that we will be forgiven in the way that we forgive others. Do you weigh out forgiveness with a different set of weights and measures than you expect to be used for you? Adjust your standard to those that God uses.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you

March 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
(2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV))

It is easy to hear something and have it register that it is a good thing to do. It is far more difficult to retain that teaching and to be able to live by it. We must let the Word of God take root in our lives just as Jesus told in the parable of the seed.

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:3-9(NIV))

Whether we look upon the Word of God as something that we must retain or as a seed that must take root in our lives, it is a living and life changing acquisition. Without the Word of God in our lives, we flounder and fall into sin. With the Word of God, we stop and consider what we are doing. We have a beacon in the darkness that is guiding us and allowing the truth to bloom and grow within us.

Jesus came to teach and to offer salvation. He is the Word made flesh. He is what we should retain. He is the seed that we should allow to take root and to grow. He is our only means of salvation.

Whether you look upon the Word of God as something to retain or as something to let take root and grow, it is something that must be central to your life. It must be nurtured through study, discipline and prayer. These are the elements that allow the Word of God to grow in your life. Are you providing the elements that are needed?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: