Do you remain at a distance?

February 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(Exodus 20:18-21 (NIV))

The people remained at a distance!

We like to think that we would have done differently than the people did who were with Moses. We like to think that we would have been right up in the middle of everything seeking to be in the presence of God.

Would we?

Human nature is a strange thing. We say that we long to be in the presence of the Lord, but, when actually given the opportunity, how do we react? The people with Moses trembled in fear. They stayed away from God’s presence. They were afraid to meet with God on their own. They wanted a mediator. They wanted Moses to be that mediator.

Are we any different today?

If God’s presence suddenly filled the room, would you tremble in fear? Would you try to stay at a distance? Would you be afraid to speak with God?

Think about the role that Moses played as mediator. God knew that we would react this way. He knew that we would also seek a mediator who would speak to God on our behalf. God did something amazing with the mediator that He sent to us. He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to act as our mediator. He sent Himself to be our mediator.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-4 (NIV))

God sent Jesus so that we did not have to remain at a distance. Through Jesus, we are offered hope. We are offered grace. We are offered salvation. God does not want us to be distant. All that we have to do is draw close to Jesus.

Do you remain at a distance?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are the Body of Christ! We are to press on!

January 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator `made them male and female,’ and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
(Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV))

The things that God has put together are under attack by man. Or should I say that they are under attack by the enemy as he lies and tricks man into believing that anything goes?

Think back over your life.

Is there anything that you considered to be unshakable, only now to see it being questioned or completely discarded?

Have you stood up for the biblical principles that used to be the foundation of our society? Have you stood face to face with the enemy as he tries to remove any reference to God from our society? Do we, as the Body of Christ, even try to take a stand or are we so lost in the hope of the Rapture that we forget that we are called to be salt and light where we are?

Many people believe that we are living at the beginning of the times written of in Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation, and we just might be, but I have a question for you. If you are running a race, do you lose focus once the finish line comes into view? Do you slow down and take it easy because you are almost there? Do you stop altogether and join the spectators to see what will happen?

You persevere!

You complete the task!

To quote Paul in his letter to the church at Phillipi,

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 (NIV))

We are called to be salt and light to the world. We are called to finish the race. We are not told to give up when we see good being called evil. We are to model out faith after Paul.

We are the Body of Christ! We are to press on!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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An amazing gift to be shared!

December 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:21-32 (NIV))

Did you breathe a big sigh of relief yesterday? Or maybe yours came this morning because you went out to the after Christmas sales yesterday and you didn’t have time to do anything else. Whatever may have happened, many people look upon the day after Christmas as being the end of the season.

It is only the beginning! Just as Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of our promised hope and salvation, Christmas marks the beginning of our celebration of this gift from God. Simeon knew that Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of salvation, and not the salvation itself. Many things needed to happen before the promise would be fulfilled.

Jesus did not come into the world in a miraculous manner and then spend the next thirty years in quiet solitude preparing for His ministry and crucifixion. We know that He amazed the scholars and priests before His baptism and the temptation in the wilderness.

We do not need to celebrate His birth and the promise that He fulfilled only on the days that we have set aside to remember His birth and His resurrection. We need to look at Christmas as the start of our opportunity to present His light to others as it was presented to us. We have several months until we celebrate His resurrection at Easter. What can we do to show the world the amazing gift that God gave us through Jesus Christ, His only Son? What can we do that will make those around us amazed at the resurrection and the promise fulfilled by it?

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

December 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:6-8 (NIV))

God makes it very clear what He detests, yet people still twist God’s Word to support whatever they wish to do.

God is constant. He has been and always will be. Before anything else existed, He existed. He is the Creator of all things.

How arrogant people are to believe that they can stand in the face of God and “thumb their noses” as if they had created all things. God created order and righteousness, yet man, through sin, corrupted all things. Man, in his limited wisdom, seeks after wicked thoughts and actions that are detestable in the sight of God.

Will humanity, as a whole, ever realize that they are fighting a losing battle? How can the creation overcome the Creator? For those who do not belong to The Lord, we must pray that they see the Truth before God’s Judgement comes.

No one knows the day or the hour, but we can identify the season of this judgement. The season is drawing closer every day. Pray for those whom you love that are not experiencing God’s grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. The fiery lake of burning sulfur is a terrible mental picture. Just imagine what it would really be like!

I pray that our lives may reflect Jesus to those who do not know Him so that they too can experience grace and mercy.

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