Does God consider you to be His enemy? Repent!

January 17, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The LORD takes vengeance on his foes
and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.
(Nahum 1:2-3 (NIV))

We don’t hear this side of God preached very often in society today. We hear that God is love. We hear statements like if God loves me, why would He condemn me to hell? We hear people claim that this is Old Testament and that God is no longer like that since Jesus came to this earth.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

God never changes.

In an effort to offer salvation to a lost and dying world, God sent His only begotten Son to bring us back to Himself.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Just to clarify, God is love, but His love is a just love. He cannot associate with sin. He cannot bring imperfection into His perfect presence. In essence, anyone who sins is a foe, is an enemy of God. That is why Jesus came to walk this earth. He came to freely take our sin upon Himself so that we could have a way to be sin free. He came so that we could transfer God’s wrath away from our sinful lives. He came that we can be sin free in the eyes of God.

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God, yet He has offered each of us a way to escape His vengeance. He has transferred that vengeance and wrath onto a perfect life. A life that was and is fully God and fully man.

God offered us grace.

Don’t throw away God’s gift of grace. Don’t find yourself being labeled as an enemy of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call upon the name of the Lord!

August 30, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly I would escape—far away from this wild storm of hatred.
(Psalms 55:6-8 (NLT))

Did this passage catch you off guard?

We have a habit of thinking that we, in our current society, are the ones who truly need to get away. We think that our lives are so hectic and full of troubles that no one else could possibly understand what we face. I do admit that things seem to be getting worse as far as the troubles, but in the grand scheme of things, every life in every generation since the fall from grace has had troubles. David was no different than you or I in that respect.

We all want to be able to simply leave the burdens, the troubles of the world behind us and get away to a place where we can just soar above the troubles down below.

It is universally human.

David may not have been able to have wings like a dove and fly away to the quiet of the wilderness, but he did know how to rise above his troubles. He called upon the name of the Lord. He sang praises. He lifted up his voice in song and in prayer. He spent time seeking after God’s own heart. He longed for God and in turn, he knew God and trusted that God would be there.

Can we say the same about our lives?

We all know of the things that David faced in his life, from Goliath to running for his life from Saul, yet in all that he faced, David made time to pray and to praise God. He knew where his hope lie. He knew that he had to constantly seek after that hope by seeking after God. Do you think that Goliath was a mere coincidence? Do you think that David was able to survive Saul’s attempts on his life by luck? David may not have physically flown, but he was guided by the hand of God and was protected by the hand of God because he was faithful.

Take an honest look at your life. Do you see a life of praise, prayer and gratitude or do you see a life that needs to move more in line with how David longed for God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the faith to survive your wilderness?

December 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
Selah
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.
(Psalms 55:7-8 (NIV))

What is your place of shelter?

Do you think of the desert as this place?

Most of us do not think of the desert as a place of refuge, after all, a desert is a harsh place that brings about pain and death.

Perhaps it is our perspective on our situation and our location that gives us this attitude. All throughout the Bible, people who had to experience the desert often came out stronger on the other side. Perhaps this is due to the fact that human nature expects to find God in the lush and plentiful. Let’s face facts. God often appears to us when we do not expect it and in situations that we do not expect. That is exactly why God uses the desert to draw us closer to Him.

The desert lacks the distractions of this world. We can either choose to focus on the fact that we must rely upon God, or we can focus on our situation. If we focus on our situation, if we come out of the desert, we will be weakened and lack focus. Satan will have won.

If we focus on God and what He can provide, then we will come out of the desert stronger in our faith and ready to be the servant that God is calling us to be. In the Bible, “desert” and “wilderness” are often used to indicate a place of testing. A desert is used to indicate a crossing or a right of passage where refuge may be found, while a wilderness indicates an untamed place. Many times throughout each of our lives, we will find ourselves in such a place. How we look upon it will determine our outcome. If we have the faith to look upon our situation as a place of shelter because we have found God to be there, then we will not only survive, God will make us thrive in our work for Him.

Do you have the faith to be in the desert or the wilderness?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t forget Jesus!

September 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
(John 6:16-21 (NIV))

I know that we are all familiar with this story, but there are some things that just need repeating.

Jesus was not with them.

They were caught in a storm.

They saw Jesus and they were not afraid.

They were willing to take Jesus in.

The storm calmed.

They got to where they were going.

How many times do we try to fight the storms of this world without Jesus? How many of these times are the storms caused by our failure to take Jesus with us? Just like the disciples, how many times do we realize that we should have taken Jesus with us to begin with?

We are only human and human pride makes us think that we can do things on our own. It makes us think that we don’t have to involve Jesus in every aspect of our lives.

Think about that human trait and then think about what happens in your life when you don’t involve Jesus. I would venture to say that most of the time things don’t go as you plan.

Why do we, those who proclaim that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, often leave Jesus behind? Why do we think that Jesus could not be interested in the small stuff in our lives? Why do we ignore God’s grace and mercy when it is not on our own terms and timeline?

We must walk with God at all times. We must learn to not leave Jesus behind. We must learn to realize that Jesus is the one who calms the storms. He is the one who safely guides us to where we are being called.

Don’t forget Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

October 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
(Mark 4:35-41 (NIV))

Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through the minds of the disciples? We know that they asked “Who is this,” but what else were they thinking?

Were they afraid? Did they realize who was with them and then realized that their lives were not worthy of His company?

Were they arrogant? Did they start to think that they were special because the Creator of all the universe had chosen them to spend His time with?

Were they dumbfounded? Did they have so many emotions and thoughts that they didn’t know what to do?

Personally, I believe that I would have been all of the above and then some. Fear would have gripped me once I realized that He was God. Arrogance and pride would have come next for the very reasons that were mentioned. I probably would have then sank into a deep and reflective mood where I would question everything I had ever known and everything I had ever thought, said or did. In other words, I would have done exactly what I would assume each of us would have done.

Think about that for a moment.

One day, we will all stand before Jesus and come to the full realization of who He is. For some, it will be a moment of great despair. For others, it will be a moment of great joy. The difference will be decided by timing. When did each of us come to the realization that Jesus is the Son of God? If you already profess that, then great joy will fill your heart. If you have not, your realization will come too late and you will be filled with great despair.

How will you greet Jesus on that day?

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