Have you fully embraced the joy of the Lord?

May 23, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2:46-47 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but this describes something that I would love to be involved in!

Is this how you want to experience church?

It is amazing just how the early church was able to grow. I think that there is a valuable lesson to be learned from the early church. They did not simply meet for an hour or so once a week. They were a community. They were invested in the lives of each other. They embraced newcomers. They worshipped together. They ate together. They truly enjoyed being around each other. They recognized the value of being around the body of believers. They were truly filled with the joy that only comes from the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Over the many years that have transpired since the early church, the church has grown. I am truly thankful for that growth, for without that growth, chances are extremely great that the current members of the Body of Christ would not have heard the Gospel. We must not lose sight of the joy that the early church had. They were focused on Jesus.

We must return to that focus. We must return to that joy! We must focus on Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV))

Even though He suffered and died on the cross, He went through it all so that we could experience the joy of salvation. Now, we can experience the joy of His resurrection and redeeming grace. He is the only source of true joy in this world!

Have you fully embraced the joy of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we have trouble forgetting what is behind us?

November 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV))

With all of the writings that are attributed to Paul, there is a major theme running through them that would make many of today’s mental health professionals say that Paul suffered from low self esteem.

We, as the Body of Christ, know better!

Paul, after his Damascus Road experience, simply knew his place and his relationship with His God in Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he fell drastically short of what God calls us to be. He knew that he was lost in sin and, on his own, could do absolutely nothing about it. He knew with certainty that Jesus was the Messiah. He knew, through his Damascus Road experience, that the one whom he had persecuted was the only way to the Father. He also knew that he needed to press on toward becoming the person that Jesus was calling him to be.

He would forever be on a journey toward that calling.

Barring the occasional yearning for regained youth, do you ever look back at the person you used to be and long to be that person once again? Paul did not long to be the person he used to be. He had been lost in sin and was guilty of persecution of Jesus and His followers. He longed to forget that version of himself and longed to be the person that Jesus was maturing him to be. He did not want to look back because he did not like what he saw.

Do you like what you see when you look at your former self?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Got Jesus?

April 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:11-12 (NIV))

Do you have eternal life?

Everyone longs for eternal life for everyone fears death to some extent. All throughout history, man has spent countless efforts looking for the proverbial fountain of youth. This fountain of youth was not so much an effort to stay young, but rather it was an effort to avoid death. Death has always been the uncertain aspect of our existence that even to those who profess a strong faith in God, has been a step that is difficult to make. We all must go through that step, but we do not have the ability to speak to anyone who has already done it. We are creatures of comfort. We seek the comfort of reassuring words when we face the unknown. We can face just about anything as long as we know someone who can tell us what it will be like.

It is time to digress. Lets go back to Genesis.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV))

God desired for us to have eternal life. He created us to have eternal life. It was through our sin that we are doomed to face death. God did not give up on us, even though we tend to give up on Him. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. He bore all of our sins and suffered the ultimate death so that we would not have to. It is true that we will still face a physical death, but we will not face eternal separation from God. All we have to do is accept the grace and mercy freely given to us through the atoning blood of Jesus.

I am sure that everyone knows of the marketing slogan for the milk industry. Perhaps we should commandeer that slogan and modify it.

Got Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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