Are you a walking contradiction?

August 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
(Psalms 15:1-5 (NIV))

If these do not offer great insight into how we should live, then I don’t know what does. These verses tell us exactly how we should live each and every day. In other words, we should treat each other as we would want to be treated. We should love each other as we would want to be loved. We should turn our eyes toward the things that are of God and turn away from things of this world. We should read and study God’s Word so that we may be well prepared to react in a righteous manner.

And …

We should pray. We should pray for guidance. We should pray for discernment. We should pray for understanding. We should pray for wisdom. We should simply pray that we may lead our lives so that they are an example of God’s grace and mercy in all that we do. Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi stated it best when he said:

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Our lives are very visible signs of what we truly believe in. If we profess a faith yet do things that are opposite of those spoken of in the passage from Psalms, we preach something different with our actions than we do with our mouths. We send out contradictory messages. How can the world believe what we say when we do otherwise?

Are you a walking contradiction in the eyes of the world and of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for whatever may happen today?

April 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:14 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, been able to preach the gospel in the whole world? Is it close? Are there certain areas that have not yet been exposed to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is difficult to say exactly what has been accomplished and what still has to be accomplished.

I do know that every day we are getting closer to the moment when this will be true. Perhaps satellites and television will play a big role in the fulfillment of this scripture. Perhaps it will be solely through person to person contact. We do not know. The only thing that is certain is that God wants every nation, tribe and tongue to have the opportunity to know grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

I was watching something on television the other day that stated that many Muslims are accepting Jesus! The reason that this is happening is that they are claiming visions where Jesus appears to them. Could it be that Jesus is actually appearing to people who are persecuting His church today in the same way that Saul was persecuting the church? An appearance by Jesus would change even the hardest skeptic into a believer. Is Jesus taking a hands-on role in the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14? If He is, then could it be too far off from when the rest of Matthew 24:14 will come about?

Are you ready for whatever may happen today? Only by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will you be saved from the fate of Satan in the end.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thought to be discerning?

June 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
(Proverbs 17:28 (NIV))

It seems that all too often I am found out for my true identity. I have an alter-ego and it is not one that I am proud of. All too often my tongue gives me away for who I do not want to be. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Since we are all human, I think that it is safe to say that all of us have been guilty of this more often than we care to admit.

Why does the tongue rule our lives so much? How can an organ that spends most of its time out of sight of ourselves and others cause so much damage when it does show up?

Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
(Proverbs 12:18 (NIV))

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
(Proverbs 5:3-4 (NIV))

Perhaps it is simply due to our rebellious nature. God, in all of His glory, speaks and the truth that comes forth cuts through all that it touches.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NIV))

We in our sinful, fallen state desire to be in control, to be like God. Our words are pronounced judgments upon those whom they are directed towards. Perhaps our words cut in an effort to elevate ourselves above others. Perhaps they even cut to try to elevate ourselves above God. Either way, we play the part of the fool, for we are no better than the one we confront, and we are definitely no better than God.

Are you thought to be discerning?

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

September 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
(James 3:9-12 (NIV))

It is sad that the words written in James are all too true.

How many times have you left a wonderful worship service only to have someone cut you off in traffic and you find yourself saying things that you know you shouldn’t?

Be honest with yourself.

How can we, as the Body of Christ, do such things? How can we expect the world to see a difference in our lives when this is the rotten fruit that our mouths produce? How can we praise God, yet curse a part of His creation?

I can hear some of the grumbling now.

You are probably thinking that God did not intend for people to behave like those who get you upset. Did God intend for you to curse someone else? How is this showing the love of Jesus?

Did Jesus ever get angry? What angered Jesus?

You may be thinking about the money changers in the temple.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” `My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a `den of robbers.’ ”
(Matthew 21:12 (NIV))

Jesus did not get angry at people for their sins against each or against God’s laws. He got angry over the fact that people took God for granted, or they did not respect God. Think of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Why did Jesus get angry with them?

In every situation in which Jesus did show anger, it is not recorded that He cursed them or blasphemed. Why do we do any different?

Think about that old question, “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

With some of the things that we all let slip, do we feel worthy of praising God with the same mouth?

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