Do you feel like you are set apart?

May 4, 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. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
(Ephesians 5:3-7 (NIV))

I was reminded today about the meaning of the word “holy.” It was something that I knew, but, like many things, it got relegated to the back of my mind. The true meaning was slowly replaced with the way society looks upon the word, and unfortunately, society has ruined the true meaning of the word.

The word “holy” means to be set apart. What the world thinks of is a twisted and convoluted take on this meaning. The world looks upon the word as a sarcastic jab at someone who wants to follow Jesus. What the word truly means has nothing to do with sarcasm at all. In fact, if you truly are set apart from society because you wish to follow Jesus, then you are not sarcastic toward the world. You long to see the world follow Jesus and you do not act as the world expects you to act. You do not portray a holier than thou attitude.

Think about the people that you consider to be holy. What characteristics do they portray that makes you think of them as holy? Think about Jesus. He was, and is, definitely holy. Did He rub it in people’s faces? Did He have an attitude of arrogance?

Just what characteristics did Jesus portray.

Do you portray those characteristics?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Contrary to what the world says, truth never changes!

April 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV))

I believe that we are in that time!

I believe that what is happening is all part of God’s ultimate plan, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch as it happens. I am saddened by the number of people who are falling for the lies of the enemy. I am saddened by the lack of common sense. I am saddened by what is good is now being called evil and what was once evil is now considered good.

Today, I saw many things that made me stop and pray for our country and the world. Two made me do a double-take to make sure that I was reading them correctly. One was that an ISIS training camp was found and it is located only 8 miles from the US border in Mexico. I find it interesting that too many in positions of power and in the media are saying that Biblical Christianity is a bigger threat. The other was that our own Department of Defense is saying that the Bible, our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are all sexist. In other words, they are all evil.

I honestly believe that the acceptance of sound doctrine is a thing of the past. The only sound doctrine left is to hold on to the promises that Jesus will return for His bride. Sadly, many people who claim to be a part of the church will miss this. They have allowed false doctrine to infiltrate what they believe.

What is your concept of sound doctrine?

Do you stand firm on the infallible word of God?

Do you believe that the Bible is completely true or do you believe that it is not relevant for today’s society? Be careful how you answer this question for God never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 3:8 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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He’s alive!

April 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: `The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
(Luke 24:1-8 (NIV))

Contrary to what the world says.

He’s alive!

Contrary to what the enemy wants.

He’s alive!

Contrary to what doubters proclaim.

He’s alive!

The Body of Christ worldwide just celebrated the resurrection. Millions of people throughout history have proclaimed that Jesus is their Lord and Savior. Millions of people alive today are proclaiming the very same thing.

The doubters can doubt. I am confident in my faith.

The enemy can lie. I will not believe the lies.

The world can make all sorts of claims. I know the truth!

Jesus, who was crucified, dead and buried, is alive!

Nothing can change the truth. Nothing can change my heart. I believe that Jesus is alive and I rejoice in that saving knowledge.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we claim to have such faith?

March 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
(Matthew 9:18-19 (NIV))

What faith this man had! Even when, according to all human knowledge, he had no hope for his daughter, he stepped out in faith. Some people say that he took that step of faith because he had no other options and that he was desperate.

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Would you have a need to take such a step of faith if there was no pressing circumstance that gave you no other option? Would you take that option or would you simply give up and accept what the world says must happen?

What if this man had not gone to Jesus?

What if this man had not boldly approached the Son of God with the faith that Jesus could give him what he longed for? What if he simply gave up and accepted the fact that his daughter was dead?

Instead of rejoicing, there would be mourning. Instead of grace, there would be grief. Instead of life, there would be death.

Isn’t it in our desperation that we reach out to God?

Desperation!

The loss of all hope!

I love the way that God works. When we lose all worldly hope, we have the hope that overcomes the world. This hope comes from faith, and faith from knowing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

This man had faith. Can we claim to have such faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t let temptation hold you captive!

March 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
(Colossians 2:8 (NAS))

I never thought of it like this, but this is exactly what the enemy is doing!

He is using lies and the worldly philosophy to take people captive. They have become prisoners of war! They are held captive by lies. They are held captive by partial truths that are deceiving people because they don’t know the full truth. They are held captive by a love of their own sins, and they are held captive because they are following a crowd.

We must be prepared to fight the good fight so that we are not taken captive by the enemy. We must know God’s Word. We must know God’s heart, and we must know God’s Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior. We must know God so well that we can tell when something is a lie from the enemy.

Think about the lies of the enemy.

He knows God’s Word and can twist it. He knows God’s heart and can make you think that God doesn’t care what you do. He knows God’s Son, Jesus, and he will trick you with teachings that are so close, yet they will lead you astray.

When you are in a battle, most prisoners are taken because they are in the wrong place or they are overwhelmed. Satan tries to get you to go to that wrong place. He tries to overwhelm you so that you will fall.

Stay strong in the Lord. Focus on Jesus! Meditate on God’s Word so that you will know God’s heart. Open your heart and life to allow Jesus full access. Allow the Holy Spirit to indwell you so that you have guidance and instruction.

Don’t allow temptation to lure you to a wrong place!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s Word is greater than what society says!

March 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
(1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NIV))

Does a righteous person need the law?

If you seek after God’s heart, then His Laws will be part of your life. You will find yourself meditating on His Word and walking in His Word because you have a desire to do what is right in the eyes of God.

Does a sinful person need the law?

Far too many people need laws to tell them what not to do. They need a law telling them not to murder. They need a law telling them not to steal. They need laws telling them what is not good in the eyes of God.

What is the difference between these two groups of people? Why do some people accept God’s plan and His Laws while others rebel against God’s plan and His Laws? We may never know the exact reason, but I know that we can trace the root cause back to the fall from grace.

Did you notice that what was listed in the passage was described as contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel?

Did you notice anything listed that hit too close to home? Are any of these your own little pet sin, a sin that is keeping you from God’s grace because it does not conform to what Jesus taught?

Did you notice anything in this passage that is contrary to what many in the church today believe? The church has allowed the world to change it. We are failing in our mission. We are to be the salt and the light. We are not to allow the world to change God’s Word and the church!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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By what nature do you live?

February 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live
(Romans 8:13 (NIV))

By what nature do you live?

Do you long for the things of the world and the physical pleasures that they temporarily bring? Are you enthralled by what the world has to offer even when it brings harmful consequences to those who pursue them?

Lust, fame, fortune and greed are but a few of the things that manifest themselves as the sinful nature. Are these worth dying for? Are these worth an eternal separation from God? They definitely are not of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV))

In other words, truly belonging to Jesus will crucify the sinful nature.

There is an old saying that you are what you eat. This is also true at the spiritual level. Perhaps another way to say this is garbage in, garbage out. What you put into your heart will be reflected in your life by what comes out. The sinful nature brings death.

Jesus brings life!

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