Do you love as Jesus loved?

August 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(1 John 4:11-12 (NIV))

It is God’s desire that we love one another as Jesus has loved the church. We claim to love God, whom we can not see, yet, many people who claim this do not love the people that they can see. God wants us to love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35)

We need to work on our ability to love one another the way that Jesus loves us.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you belong to the body, or are you a virus?

March 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, need unity. Can a hand do any different than what the head asks of it? Jesus is our head, we are His body. We must do what the head does. Jesus is our example. All that we do should be in accordance with the will of the Father as expressed through Jesus.

The Church needs to unify and glorify God and Jesus Christ. We should not be bickering and fighting amongst ourselves. If the body is invaded by a virus, this virus is not welcomed, it is repelled because it will not do the body good. This is what must be done when the Body of Christ is invaded by dissention and false teachings. We must present a unified message to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Do you belong to the Body of Christ, or are you a virus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we truly being what Jesus is calling us to be?

January 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
(Ephesians 5:3-5 (NIV))

I want you to read the passage again. I know that I have read it multiple times to let it sink in.

Did Paul actually mean what he wrote?

Were these words Paul’s or were they the teachings of Jesus and the early church?

How do we live up to these words?

Would we be considered sexually immoral? Would we be considered impure? Are we greedy? Are we guilty of foolish talk and coarse jokes?

We may not think so, but what do we know? We can’t see the log in our own eye!

It is so difficult to read passages like this and be honest with ourselves. We simply fail to recognize our own sins for what they are. We can easily spot someone else’s sins, but ours are a different matter. To be honest, we have rapidly moved away from being able to spot someone else’s sins. We look at sin as an alternative lifestyle. Doesn’t that sound so much more acceptable to say an alternative lifestyle instead of labeling it what it truly is in the eyes of God?

I often wonder what Paul would write to the church today in this country. I often wonder what Jesus thinks of His church today in this country. Are we living up to the standards that have been laid out before us?

Are we truly being what Jesus is calling us to be?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your encouragement found?

January 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV))

The words that Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonia still have a very powerful meaning to the church today. In this world, we will face trials and tribulations. We need encouragement to face these on a daily basis. This encouragement is found in Jesus Christ and God the Father. This encouragement comes in the form of the Holy Spirit to help us face the world. All we have to do is listen. It comes from a small, still voice that gently and quietly leads us in the path that God has set for us. To hear this encouragement, we must be willing to listen intently and do what we are encouraged to do. Do not forget that:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You can’t follow Jesus on your terms!

January 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, ” `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and `love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Matthew 19:16-22 (NIV))

Some theologians say that this man’s sin was greed. Others say that it was placing something above God. No matter what his sin truly was, there was an unwillingness to give up that sin, for he was comfortable within his sin. He wanted to follow Jesus on his terms.

It is true that Jesus came preaching that God is love, yet, He also wanted people to repent of their sins when they chose to follow God. God does love everyone. He desires for everyone to be saved, yet He does not want them to stay within their sin. Those who say that it is ok to continue to live in sin and be a follower of Jesus are simply not facing the truth of God’s Word.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Take a serious look at the last word in that passage. “Repentance.” He does not want us to come to Him and stay within our sin. The rich young man was not willing to repent and turn away from his sin. He wanted his sin to be justified. He wanted Jesus to tell him that he was “good enough” and that his “little” sin was not enough to keep him away from God.

We know that God cannot associate with sin. Sin is direct disobedience of God’s will. God cannot be disobedient to His own self.

Take a look at society today. What do you think of when you see groups of people wanting to change the teachings of the church because they are no longer relevant to today’s society? Basically, they are attempting to do what the rich young man was trying to do. They are trying to validate their sin. They are trying to have the church, which represents Godly authority, change what sin is so that they can continue to live the way they want.

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

Jesus is the Word made flesh. God’s Word does not change. God’s Word speaks of righteousness. If we attempt to change what is considered righteous, what does that truly mean?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you fully embraced the power of the Gospel?

October 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV))

How did the Gospel come to you?

Was it only words, or was there power behind the words? Was the Holy Spirit involved or was it just a brief discussion about someone named Jesus? Was there a personal conviction or was the mood more of a “I have nothing better to do” attitude?

Sadly, I feel that the Gospel has been watered down by today’s society, and, yes, even the Body of Christ. The early church knew the power. I know that some did not, but we read more accounts telling us that people responded because of the power of the Gospel. Do we expect power when we read the Bible? Do we expect power when we go to church? Do we expect power when we pray?

Do we embrace the Holy Spirit as a welcome part of our spiritual lives? Do we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we, as the Body of Christ, even know what the Holy Spirit can do within us and through us?

Do we have a deep conviction? Will you stand firm in your faith no matter what the enemy may send your way? It is easy to profess a faith in Jesus when everything is going great. Some even draw closer when things start to get bad, but do you have the faith and the conviction to stay the course even if your physical life is endangered?

The Gospel is powerful. It is more than just words. It is more than just a good story. It is more than something to do with an hour or two of your life each week.

The Gospel is life. The Gospel is power. Have you fully embraced the power?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you join me as a watchman?

July 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,
(Isaiah 62:6 (NIV))

Are you content with the way things are in this world?

Have you accepted the sin and the wars as simply a part of life?

Do you go about your business with an attitude that says as long as it doesn’t effect me, then what does it matter?

Is this what the Body of Christ is called to do?

Is this what you think of as fulfilling the great commission?

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
(Mark 16:15 (NIV))

Are we fulfilling this commandment if we have an attitude similar to the questions that I asked previously? Are we truly watchmen if we ignore the sin that we are called to stand against? Are we truly part of the Body of Christ if we don’t fulfill what we have been told to do? Has the church become complacent in our responsibilities?

A watchman is supposed to alert people to danger. What is more dangerous than sin?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Sin can lead any of us to a point where we fall away from the faith. I promise that I will do all that I can to be a watchman. Will you join me?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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