Have you tried to change Jesus?

January 4, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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

I realize that I say this quite often, but it is true. Human nature is such a funny thing!

We are all guilty of looking at everyone else and seeing the sins in their lives while failing to see the sins in ours. The sad thing is that we tend to gravitate to others who have the same tendencies, the same way of looking at others. In our associations, we then start to take God’s Word and put our own interpretations into what is written. Some of us even go to the extreme and say that the teachings are no longer relevant in today’s society. We pick and choose what we want to believe and what we want to follow.

Shouldn’t God’s Word be the benchmark and we strive to live accordingly?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
(2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

Instead, we twist and distort, we pick and choose, and we ignore completely in the false sense that Jesus couldn’t have meant it the way that it was written. God surely didn’t mean what was written because He is love and if that is true, why would He tell me that my favorite thing to do is a sin?

God’s Word is alive. It is meant to change lives. It is meant to touch the deepest places in our lives and make us look at the darkness within. It is meant to help us turn to the light of Jesus. Humanity failed to realize the truth, so God sent an example. He sent His Son.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Two thousand years have passed since Jesus walked among us and we still twist His Word. We still ignore His Word. We pick and choose. In essence, we do our best to try and change Jesus to fit our desires even when we are told that He never changes.

Have you tried to change Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you trained to be?

November 3, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
(2 Corinthians 11:6 (NIV))

Every single one of us is good at something. Every single one of us has a special talent that we have nurtured because we are driven to pursue it in one manner or another. Some of us are driven to excellence in athletic endeavors. Some are driven to excel in music, while others are drawn to drama. Some are good at business, while others are more concerned with hospitality, kindness and caring.

What are you drawn to?

If you are like everyone else, you read, study or practice to get better at what you are drawn to. You become a sponge who is willing to absorb all that you can about your passion, about what drives you, about what you are drawn to. You grow in knowledge and wisdom. You grow in your training, whether it is from someone who is a mentor, or if it is through trial and error all on your own. Some people, like Paul, even have a divine calling. Even with the calling during his Damascus Road experience, Paul had to gain knowledge. He had to study. He had to wait for the Lord to lead him to the right place and time for his study and his passion to come together.

Today, we read the words that Paul recorded in his endeavors of spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. We read his words of encouragement. We read his words of instruction. We read his words of chastisement when it was due. We know Paul as a great man of God, still, I have often wondered just what Paul was referring to when he said that he was given a thorn in his flesh.

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
(2 Corinthians 12:7b (NIV))

There has been much speculation about what this could be, but the one thing that is obvious is that Paul did not focus on this thorn in his flesh. Out of all of the writings that we have from Paul, this is the only instance that this thorn in his flesh is mentioned. He used the talent and the passion that he did have to spread the Gospel.

We all have knowledge and a passion for something. We all have that specific thing that we have been trained to be in our lives. It is time to use that training, that one passion, and let it be brought to the forefront in such a way that it leads people to Jesus!

What are you trained to be?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is the Body of Christ declaring to the nations?

June 5, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
(Psalms 96:3 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the so-called Body of Christ, just what are we declaring to the nations?

One group claims that the Bible is outdated and doesn’t apply to today’s society. Another group claims that certain sins are no longer sin. Another group has rewritten the Bible to call God the same name as the Muslim god and they have referred to Jesus only as a prophet. Another group is now claiming that the Bible has it wrong when everyone calls God Father. They want everyone to refer to God as a she.

And then there is the group that holds fast to the truth that has always been. The Bible is God’s Word dictated to man and recorded for all to use. This group clings to the promises of God and to the truth found in the following passage.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but this passage instructs me to believe, and not alter, the passages that call God our Father. I also believe that this passage instructs me to believe if a sin is called an abomination in the eyes of God, then no matter what society may say, it is a sin. I firmly believe that the Bible tells me that God has many names, and I have still to find where it calls Him by the name of the Muslim god. I also firmly believe that because the Bible calls Jesus the Son of God, He is not simply a prophet or a good man.

Are we seeing something unfold before our very eyes just as Jesus told us?

At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
(Matthew 24:23-25 (NIV))

Man cannot change God and God’s Word. That is a sin. We may not like some things that are in the Bible because they hit a little too close to home, but that does not mean that we can simply ignore them or change them. If God did not condemn sin, then why do people try so hard to say that what they do is okay? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross if God will embrace us as sinners?

Think about that!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that man can change God’s Laws?

May 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I keep seeing things reported that some denominations are voting to change Biblical law as they apply it to their teachings. Some denominations are even voting to allow certain sins to not only be allowed, but in some cases they are condoned.

I know that the following passage applies directly to Revelation, but I have a feeling that it also applies to all of God’s Word.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I plan on holding fast to the unaltered Word of God as it has been preached and taught for thousands of years. Just because it is old, doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Just because we may not like some parts of it, doesn’t mean that God’s truth can be changed.

We already know what God has planned for those who alter the prophecy in Revelation. If you stop to think about Revelation, it is a culmination of the sins of man and God’s final plan being fulfilled. Just what is sin? Sin is anything that misses the mark that God has set before us. If we change God’s Laws, isn’t that more than missing the mark. It is a direct and willful thumbing of our noses at God. It is rebellion against God. It is my understanding that rebellion is much worse than sin. Sin is missing the mark. Rebellion is a deliberate fight against God.

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

May 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
(John 5:39-40 (NIV))

How well do you know God’s Word?

Do you know it well enough to not twist it to your own interpretations?

Do you pick and choose what you want to believe?

Are you hypocritical?

Have you come to the realization that God is not situational? In other words, the way that you act when around one group of people should be the same way that you act when around another group of people. The way that you expect others to act is also the way that you should act.

The time is coming when the Body of Christ will be persecuted. It may be closer than you think. Will you be able to stand firm in your faith? Will you be able to cling to the hope that we have through God’s Word as it was manifested through Jesus?

Can you stand firmly on the truth that we call the Bible even if and when it becomes illegal to possess God’s Word?

Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
(Proverbs 7:3 (NIV))

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
(2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, must study God’s Word and live by what we study. There is a huge test that is coming from the world.

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What good is the church if we condone sin?

April 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I just saw something that made me wonder what is going on with people in this world!

To be more specific, what I saw makes me wonder if some churches even believe in the Gospel anymore.

I am certain that you are aware of the debate about homosexual marriage. Let’s take that one step further and completely stop focusing on sin in church! That is the very report that I just saw. A pastor has decided for himself that the church focuses too much on sin and salvation.

That is the very reason for the church!

The Body of Christ is called to be the church. We are to let people know about sin and God’s plan for salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus. The job of the church is to preach the good news. How can we tell people that they can be saved from their sin if we don’t tell them about sin?

Jesus did not come to make everybody feel good about themselves. He did not come to bring social justice. He did not come to promise earthly prosperity to those who follow him. Jesus came into this world to live a sinless, perfect life. He came to offer himself up as the sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. He died so that He could be resurrected and sit at the right hand of God, the Father.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We must be aware of the false teachers. We must be aware of the lies from the enemy. We must be aware of the thief that has found his way into the pulpits. We must test everything that we hear against the Word of God. We cannot pick and choose what we believe and what we ignore.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you living according to God’s Word or man’s?

March 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really telling the truth.
(Acts 17:11 (NLT))

I am sitting here with mixed emotions. I am amazed at what just transpired in my study and writing and yet, I am saddened by what I was given, for I was given the following question.

Are you living according to God’s Word or man’s?

I then went to my database of scripture verses and this one from Acts came up. The following verse also came up.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

Do we spend enough time studying God’s Word so that we can know when something is true? Do we earnestly search the Scriptures or do we simply rely on other people to tell us what God’s Word says?

We are each responsible for our own faith. We are each responsible for our own study. We are each responsible for our own relationship with God and our personal relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We cannot claim salvation based on what our parents did. We cannot claim salvation based on who our pastor is? We cannot claim salvation based on how much we give.

We can only claim salvation by professing that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. We can only claim salvation when we profess that Jesus Christ is Lord over our lives. We must reject the world that rejected Him!

Jesus is the Word made flesh. In order to fully know Him, we must fully know God’s Word. Can you have a relationship by proxy? Can you claim an intimacy with someone when you only listen to someone talk about them for an hour a week? It takes a commitment. It takes searching and studying the Scriptures. It takes time spent in prayer. It takes time spent reflecting upon God’s Word.

How can we claim to be followers of Jesus when far too many of us don’t even spend the time to get to know Him?

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