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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Have you surrendered authority to whom it belongs?

May 15, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
(Luke 6:5 (NIV))

It is human nature to try and put God in a box. We try to twist words based on our limited understanding. We try to put limitations on God simply because we fail to understand that He has no limitations. We fail to realize that the limitations that have been given to us are the same type of limitations that a parent would put on a child. They are there for our protection, for our education and they are not there for the person who placed the limitations. A good example of this is the bedtime for a small child. That does not mean that the parents go to bed at the same time!

When God sets boundaries and establishes rules, He is fulfilling His role as God the Father. He is guiding us. He is keeping us from harm. In much the same way as a parent telling a child that he or she cannot have ice cream because it is bedtime, God established things that we must live by. One of those is the command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. We are to rest. We are to be reverent in our attitudes. We are to spend time in God’s presence. We are to slow down.

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

When we spend time in God’s presence, we begin to realize that we do have a tendency to place God in a box. If you want a modern day translation of the words that Jesus spoke in Luke 6:5, perhaps something like this makes sense, although it may sound condescending. “I created the world and I created the Sabbath. I can do what I deem as appropriate because I made the rules for you and not for myself!”

We have a big problem with realizing that God makes the rules and not us!

We need to surrender Lordship of our lives!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you guilty of bending God’s truth?

April 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
(1 John 2:3-4 (NAS))

What is truth?

Is it what you say it is? Is it what someone else says it is? Is truth relative or is a fixed target that is defined by someone with a higher authority than you or I?

Sadly, far too many people believe that there is no such thing as absolute truth. I was recently made aware of the irony of that statement. People who utter the words that there is no absolute truth expect you to believe what they say in that statement. What makes that statement true? If someone emphatically states that there is no absolute truth, they are breaking their own beliefs by claiming that statement as an absolute.

Don’t you just love the irony that the human mind can conjure up something that makes no sense and then convince themselves of its validity?

What do you believe to be true?

Who is the creator, who is the holder of absolute truth? Why does humanity choose to deny that there is such a thing as absolute truth?

Ego and pride come to mind as two of the most guilty reasons. We, as human beings, all are very prone to possess these traits in a negative manner. We all like to think that we are right and that no one else knows better than us. My wife claims that I have a hard time admitting when I am wrong. Have you ever been accused of having that trait?

We have a tendency to twist the truth when it makes us look good. We also have a tendency to believe a lie when it makes us look good. I know that it is difficult, but we must focus on Jesus and keep His commands to truly possess the truth. Anything less than that is a lie. A lie is anything that is not true. It can even be a simple bending of the truth, or a little white lie.

Are you guilty of bending God’s truth?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay strong in your faith in Jesus!

September 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
(1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT))

Do you ever feel that you are alone in the things that you face?

Satan only has so many tricks up his sleeve. What he is using to attack you is nothing new. He has used it millions of times. He is the father of lies. He is not able to create. All that he is capable of is destroying and he only has so many things that he can use.

His biggest lie is that we cannot be worthy. If that is true, then why did God send His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins? Don’t accept the lie that your sins are too great to be forgiven.

Something that comes to mind as another lie from the enemy is that we are better than everybody else. Satan will use this to get to our ego and our pride and make us fall. We are no better than anybody else. God created all of us. He loves all of us equally. When we start thinking that we are better than someone else, we are guilty of the sin of pride and we fall right into the deception that the enemy has left for us.

He also likes to tell us that it is only a little sin. The next thing you know, you are trapped in something horrendous. Keep in mind that the enemy knows God’s Word well enough to twist it. He can make it sound true, when it is not. Even a small lie in the middle of the truth makes the whole thing a lie. Study God’s Word so that you are able to discern what is God’s truth and what is a lie.

We will all come under attack at some point in time. Remember who you are and whose you are. Don’t fall for the lies. Stand firm on the truth of God’s Word. Surround yourself with other believers.

I want you to remember that God created the zebra with his stripes. He also create them to be in a community. When they are in community, the animals that prey on them cannot tell where one zebra stops and another one starts. We, like the zebra, are strongest in community. Rely on each other. Rely on the truth that is God’s Word.

Rely on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD

May 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
(Psalms 33:12 (NIV))

Contrary to what the media, the courts and our elitist universities say, this country was founded upon a firm belief in God. It is true that the early explorers were looking to get rich, but the people who did settle here came so that they could worship as they were lead, instead of how the government or the church told them to.

I am sure that all throughout our history, many people who were not believers came to this country, however, they all had a solid core of values that they shared.

I find it interesting that many people are trying to interpret our founding documents based upon modern meanings of words, and in that interpretation, they lose the true meaning of what was written. We don’t have to look very far into our past to see how this can happen. There was a time not too long ago when the word “gay” meant happy. Go back and read some of the written word from that time period with today’s meaning of the word and see what you can misunderstand. I seriously doubt that our daily use of the English language has not altered the meaning of many words and phrases since our nation was founded.

I could quote several of the founding fathers. A great majority give credit and praise to God for His sovereign authority and guidance. Many of our historic monuments bear inscriptions, and many of the founding fathers formed the American Bible Society immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence. It is said that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. Many people claim that they could not have been Christians because they never use the word “God.” There are references to the Almighty, and other such names. How many times have you heard believers refer to God in this manner? Have you ever called God by one of these names?

I want you to consider something for a moment. Let’s take a long trip back in time to when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. Now fast forward to when they first started to interpret them. The scholars may know the language, but do they know the dialect and meanings? Now, take another journey in time with me. Think of when you were a teenager. What was the “cool” saying? Does it mean the same thing today?

People will always twist words to fit into their understanding. Some will even omit things that are contrary to what they want to believe. The following is a quote from John Marshall.

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.” John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835.

Can you imagine a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme court saying this today?

I honestly believe that this is our problem. We, as a nation, need to repent.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

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