Guilty through association!

April 11, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:18-19 (NIV))

Through Adam, we were condemned. We did not have a part in what happened, yet, we, as humanity, have suffered the sin that was allowed into the world through the actions that took place.

Many have asked such questions about the nature of God. How could He allow all to suffer because of the acts of one? In essence, all of us face the temptation that lead to our condemnation on a daily basis. Before The Fall, humanity did not know free will in worshipping God. Because of The Fall, God does not have a planet of people who worship Him because they know no other way. He wants people to worship Him because they want to. Through Adam, many things were put into motion that would eventually lead to the coming of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son, Jesus, to atone for the trespass that condemned us. Through His righteousness, we, as believers, are made righteous.

We are guilty through association, yet, we are redeemed by association. We are won by One who has made us righteous.

Many people have the opinion that one person cannot make a difference. Did Adam make a difference? Did Jesus? Can you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you ever encountered the devil?

February 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

” `He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
(Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV))

Have you ever encountered the devil?

Have you ever encountered temptation that was so enticing that it was hard to resist?

How did you react? Did you resist?

Chances are that, being human, we have all failed this test miserably on many occasions. Was the end result what the temptation promised that it would be? Is it ever what we expect it to be?

Jesus gave us an example of how we are to face temptation and resist the devil.

What did Jesus do in the face of temptation?

He quoted passages of scripture. He quoted the Word of God as His defense against the temptation. For every circumstance that the devil threw His way, Jesus responded with scripture that put the devil in his place. Finally, Jesus told the devil to leave Him alone. He told Satan that God’s Word instructs us to worship and serve God only.

Satan left!

Do we have the ability to resist Satan in this manner? It looks like it requires a few things of us.

1. We must know God’s Word and what it instructs us to do.
2. We must not retreat from God’s Word and its instructions.
3. We must be consistent in our knowledge of God’s Word and its application.
4. We must expect to be victors over our temptations.
5. We must not be afraid to tell Satan to leave us alone!

Do we, individually and corporately as the Body of Christ, possess the ability to do these things? Can we resist what the devil puts in our way? Can we resist the things of this world?

I pray that we do, for if we don’t, are we truly part of the Body of Christ!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you endure or do you give in?

October 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12 (NKJV))

Temptation is everywhere. Is it really possible for anyone to resist the temptation that they see everywhere they look? Even those who follow God have given in to temptation at some point in their lives.

Take a look at David. The Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart, yet, in a moment of weakness, he did something that was a direct result of temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. When he was in the desert, Satan tempted Him, yet, Jesus held firm. What was the difference then between David and Jesus?

Only Jesus, as God’s Son, could perfectly resist all temptation. Frail humanity does not have the wisdom and insight that Jesus had due to His direct communication with God the Father. Jesus was perfect. No one else can ever be perfect in this world because of the sin introduced through Adam and Eve.

But, we have the power of forgiveness! God, through His infinite wisdom and mercy gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as a way to wash away the sins of this world. All we have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the sin results of temptation will be as far from us as the east is from the west.

Do you endure or do you give in?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

March 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Mark 14:38 (NIV))

Things happen in this world. Some of them are good and some of them are not so good. Often, the things that look good on the surface are only deceptions. They are temptations to lure you into things that aren’t good. It is these temptations that we must learn to discern and stay away from. Ironically, it is often the things that look uncertain that often turn out to be good. From a worldly perspective, putting your faith in a man who was crucified two thousand years ago on a cross does not look like a good thing. However, this is the very way that God works. He uses what the world calls foolish and makes it bring blessings. These blessings are far greater than those promised by the temptations that the world throws at us.

It is easy to fall into the temptations of this world when they you are constantly being presented to you in very alluring packages. Fame, wealth, prestige, power, and, yes, sex all are powerful temptations that the enemy uses to lure us away from what God has called us to. All temptations come from Satan. No one has escaped them.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
(Matthew 4:1 (NIV))

We must learn to do what Jesus did when He was in the desert.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

If we train our spirit, we will be able to face temptation and turn it away. Once we have trained our spirit through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we must pray that we will be able to resist temptation in the flesh. No one is perfect. If we let down our guard, Satan will attack. Like a good soldier, we must constantly watch. Like a good follower of Jesus, we must constantly pray.

Are you willing to resist temptation?

Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?

March 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: ” `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV))

I want you to be honest with me. Actually, I want you to be honest with yourself. How well do you keep these two commandments?

We say that we love God, but do we love Him with all our heart and all our soul? That is a big commitment. It is one that takes more than an occasional “Amen” on Sunday. It takes more than simply having a Bible. It takes more than acknowledging God when it is convenient for us. Every aspect, every moment, every breath should be dedicated to God.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV))

Is that possible for a sinful creation to place God above all else, after all, we are a selfish creation. We place ourselves above everything and everyone. Most of the time, we would rather ignore our neighbor if we could, yet we are told to love our neighbor as ourself. We are to not only place God above ourselves, we are to place our neighbor equal to ourselves.

Ouch !!!

I fully understand why Jesus answered the question in this way, but why does it have to shake us up, why does it have to rattle our cages, why does it have to make us move outside of our comfort zones? I suppose for the very same reason that Jesus placed God first in the Lord’s Prayer. It makes us think of others first. It makes us think of the well being of all of God’s creation and not just the part that He created for us. He wants to turn our world upside down. He wants us to reach out in praise. He wants us to reach out in prayer. He wants us to reach out in humility, for it is after we reach out to Him and to our neighbor, we realize His great love for us is not just for us. It is for everyone.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
” `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
(Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Rejoice in your weakness, for God will give you strength!

February 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV))

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

We definitely have something to rejoice about. We have a God who loves us and gives us His peace, a peace that passes all understanding. He will protect us, and He will answer our prayers. His peace comes from His grace. This is a grace that is capable of handling any obstacle that it encounters.

God did not promise that He would protect us from temptation and hardship. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, even when tormented by a messenger of Satan, God simply responded that His grace was all that is required. He did promise us that He would deliver us through weakness. This recures throughout His Word. “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” (Psalms 37:11)

When the world says that you must be strong in order to survive, we, as believers, know that our strength does not lie within us. It comes to us and through us from God. It is through our weaknesses that God can show His strength in a way that those who witness the results will know that it did not happen of our doing.

Rejoice in your weakness, for God will give you strength!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God tempting you?

May 31, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
(James 1:13-14 (NIV))

How many times have you heard someone say that God is tempting them? It is a popular misconception among non-believers and among those who do not truly understand the nature of God. God cannot tempt someone. It is not in His nature. Jesus explained this.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
(Luke 11:17-20)

Satan is the source of all temptation. God may use this temptation to strengthen us, but the temptation never comes from God. No matter what you are facing in this world, keep your eyes upon Jesus. Doing so will help you to realize that the problems you are facing are not from God, but from Satan.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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