What do you embrace?

July 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV))

Just what is good and what is evil?

In today’s society where everything is relative, that simple question does not get a simple answer from man.

Why do you suppose that this simple concept of good and evil has been lost?

Perhaps it is because we, as humanity, lost site of what is good in the Garden of Eden and the more time that passes since this happened, the more we embrace evil as good and good as evil.

How can we recapture the truth behind good and leave evil behind?

We have been given a redemptive gift through Jesus. This gift allows us to experience grace and mercy when we really don’t have a concept of what grace and mercy are! We are given a wonderful gift when we don’t understand or have the ability to appreciate this gift. Even so, God gave it to us anyway!

Why did God give us grace and mercy when we don’t understand it or deserve it?

God created us! God loves us! He longs to embrace us in His sinless perfection, but we are sinful. For this reason, God provided a “graft” that allows us to escape the knowledge of evil and embrace the good that He has given us.

We are now free once again to embrace the good that God desires for us even though we have embraced the evil in the past. We can turn from the evil and embrace the good.

When you hold out your arms, what do you embrace?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

Love

March 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV))

Do you think that your pet sin loves you? Does greed love you? Does envy? Does lust, just to name a few? Will they stand by your side when all else fails you?

These are the very things that the enemy uses to bring you down. Love empowers you. It lifts you up. It seeks after your best interest. The things that the enemy uses to get us hooked are only designed for one thing and that is to make us falter, and eventually fall. Love doesn’t seek our failure. It doesn’t seek out the very thing that is promises and then use it to destroy. Love is many things, but it is not destructive.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV))

Exactly what is evil? Based on these passages, it is easy to come to think of evil as the opposite of love. If we define evil as the opposite of love, then what is love?

We are told that God is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8 (NIV))

If God is love, then He is patient. He is kind. He does not envy. He does not boast. He is not proud. He is not rude. Think of Jesus as He walked this earth. It is not difficult to think of examples of each of these characteristics from His time among us. Think of the ultimate gift that He, through His love, gave to each of us. Would your pet sin do that for you? Would the enemy say that you have been tormented enough, I will put a stop to your failures.

Only the love of God rejoices with you. Evil scowls at your victories. It detests when you allow God’s love to shine, so let the love of God shine in you and through you. you will be amazed at the difference love makes.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Embracing evil is a rejection of God!

December 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
(Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV))

Too many times in our society, we, as the Body of Christ, tell ourselves that it is only a small thing that we put up with. We tell ourselves that we must do it in order to have a job and put food on the table. Satan has tricked us into a permissive state in which he tells us that it is only a “little white lie” and no one will be hurt by it, after all, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

Evil comes in many forms. Some may even appear to to be for the good of a specific group of people.

Do not be deceived!

Evil, even when wrapped in the guise of being politically correct is still evil!

We, as the Body, should do all within our power to defeat the enemy at every chance we get. We should not be willing to compromise our faith to make a dollar simply because it is a good opportunity and if we don’t do it, someone else will. We should depart from evil no matter how enticing it may be according to the world’s standards. More importantly, we must run to God’s Word and embrace everything that it teaches, and not simply just what supports our position on any given spiritual issue.

Departing from evil without accepting God’s grace and mercy is no different from simply departing from evil. Without accepting God’s grace and mercy freely given to us through His Son, Jesus, we still belong to Satan.

Is it possible to accept God’s grace without departing from evil?

Just what is evil? It is a deliberate rebellion against God. Sin is defined as missing the mark that God has established for us to aim for. Evil means that we don’t even try to hit the target. We go off in a direction that is completely against God. Isn’t that arrogance and pride? Isn’t this what resulted in Satan being cast out of heaven?

Embracing evil is a rejection of God!

God cannot associate with sin. If you willingly embrace what God calls evil after supposedly accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, how can you take part in God’s grace? Calling upon the name of Jesus is not enough! We must turn from our evil ways. Calling upon the name of Jesus is not a free ticket to sin. It is a plea of guilt and a humble desire for Jesus to change us.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I have some questions for you to think about in relationship to these thoughts.

Can a murderer accept Jesus? Can a person continue committing murder and truly follow Jesus?
Can we continue to steal? Can we continue to commit adultery? Can we continue to lie? Can we continue to curse God? Can we continue to lust after something or someone?

Can you knowingly commit things that are called evil in the eyes of God and enter the kingdom of heaven?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: