Is Jesus weeping or is all of heaven rejoicing?

November 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus wept.
(John 11:35 (NIV))

Have you given any thought as to why Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus!

Jesus loved Lazarus and because he had died before Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, Lazarus still fell under the Law. His sins would convict him and the consequences would be eternal separation from God. Jesus wept for him because He had compassion for his friend, but He also had a very strong love for His friend. This love would not let His friend miss out on the gift of salvation when it would be available only a short time away. I do not profess to know this for certain, but I know the heart of Jesus. It is the same heart that led Him in obedience to the cross for you and I. It is the same heart that led him to heal the blind man. It is the same heart that led Him to heal the centurion’s daughter. It is the same heart that leads Him to search out the lost. He did not want to have Lazarus be lost when His salvation would be made available in a short time.

Jesus performed many miracles in His time on this earth. He is still performing them today. Perhaps one of the greatest miracles is His peace in hard times.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Hebrews 4:7 (NIV))

It is true that Jesus wept. It is true that He has compassion for His creation. He also rejoices when a soul finds salvation. I would offer up that Jesus weeps when a soul is lost to eternal separation from God. Nothing could break His heart more. In the same context, all of heaven rejoices when a lost soul is saved.

Take a look at your life and your salvation. Is Jesus weeping or is all of heaven rejoicing?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The greatest reason to rejoice!

November 6, 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))

I know that it is sometimes hard to rejoice because of the worldly events that effect our lives. We see terror and hatred in our daily lives and this makes it hard to rejoice from a worldly perspective. We must remember that, according to 1 Peter 2: 11, we are as aliens and strangers in this world.

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)

We are faced with the world every single day of our lives, yet we must not lose focus on the fact that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are destined for an existance far greater than this world. This is only temporary. This, too, will pass.

It is our task to make sure that we always reflect the love of Jesus Christ to those whom we meet. We are to do this in the hopes of planting a seed within them that will grow and bloom as it has in our lives. For this reason, even in the face of adversity, we must rejoice, for God has given us, through Jesus Christ, the greatest reason to rejoice.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do we grow away from God?

August 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 4:6-7 (NIV))

It is so difficult to not be anxious about the situations in the world today. People are losing their jobs. People are losing their homes. Prices are increasing. Natural disasters abound. Terrorism and wars are all the news. People no longer respect other people.

I find it difficult some days to remember that God is in control. It is human nature to want to be in control. When we are not in control, we grow anxious. We grow irritated. We grow away from God.

How do we grow away from God?

That is a simple matter of whom we place at the center of our lives and whom we place in control. When we grow anxious, we are saying to ourselves and to the world that we are the ones responsible for our happiness and our status. We ignore God and focus entirely on us. The more that we grow anxious, the further away that we get from God. It is a viscous cycle. The further we get from God, the more anxious we become and then the more we focus on us and our pitiful situations. I would venture to say that our problems as a society all stem from the single fact that as a society, we strive to do it on our own. We have removed God from far too many aspects of our lives. The more we remove God from our society, the more anxious we become about our own fate. We have become too focused on the wrong individual. Instead of focusing on God, we focus on ourselves. We no longer know peace. We no longer know God.

I do not pretend to know what tomorrow will bring. I do know that I can face anything that the world may throw at me as long as I keep God at the center of my life. I also know that I cannot face a single day without talking to my Lord and Savior. Sometimes it is only an internal groan from deep within my soul. Sometimes it is much more. No matter how the conversation goes, I find myself resting in God’s grace and reflecting on what He has done for us – for me. I find the anxiety melts away. I find peace overtaking me.

Be still, and know that I am God
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

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