Do you humble yourself and bow to the Lord?

December 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
(Psalms 138:2 (NIV))

Awe and reverence!

Two characteristics that clearly manifest themselves in people who truly understand God’s power, majesty, grace, mercy and love. How can anyone who truly understands these godly traits do anything except bow down and praise God for what He has done?

No one else is capable of doing what God has done. Only God could have offered us grace and mercy that is eternal. Only God could have sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our iniquities.

We did not ask Him to do it. He volunteered to do it because of His great love for us! How can we do any less that bow down and praise Him for what He has done, after all, He did not have to do any of it, for He is God. No one forces Him to do anything. No one can ever say that God has done something that goes against His very nature. If God cannot do anything that goes against His nature and He sent us Jesus to be our atoning sacrifice for our sins, then we have a Creator who truly loves us in spite of ourselves.

Have you bowed down in reverence and respect before God lately? Have you praised God for all that He has done for you? Have you actually thought about the grace and mercy that was freely given to you at the cost of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ?

Do you humble yourself and bow to the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t believe the lies!

December 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
(Matthew 24:4 (NIV))

We are constantly on the lookout for SPAM, PHISHing attempts, and fraudulent credit card charges. We have come to understand that this is now the world in which we live. We spend so much time dealing with these type of deceptions and how they could harm us, that we never truly stop to reflect on the biggest deceptions that are going on in the world right now. These deceptions could have such a far greater impact on us than we even stop to consider.

How well do you know God’s Word? How well do you know why Jesus came to this earth? How well do you know what Jesus lived and taught? How well do you know why He went to the cross? How well do you know why He had to die and then be resurrected? How well do you know what Jesus has promised about His return?

If you are not able to give detailed accounts for these questions, how do you plan on overcoming the biggest deceptions that your faith will face?

Let’s look at this mathematically based on the following assumption: God’s Word is true. It is infallible. It is what we can label as 100% accurate.

My formula for calculating mathematical truth for this example is Xn where X equals the accuracy of what is being told and n equals the number of times that is it changed with the accuracy of X. For this example, X = 1 for 100% and n=6. This still calculates out to equal (1)(1)(1)(1)(1)(1) = 1.

With that in mind, let’s look at what happens when you hear something that sounds mostly true. Let’s say that it is 90% true. It is close enough that most people who do not know the Lord will make the assumption that it is correct. If we use the same Xn formula where X =0.9 for 90% and n=6, we get (0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9) = 0.531441 as our calculated result. So much for the infallibility of the perceived truth when it is constantly twisted by the enemy!

Too many people fail to recognize the ramifications of a slight variance in God’s Word. If something doesn’t sound completely true, then it is not the truth. If someone twists God’s Word, then it is no longer God’s Word.

The enemy will try to deceive the very elect. We must be able to recognize the truth for our eternity depends upon it!

Stand firm in His truth! Don’t believe the lies!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared for His coming?

November 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
(Matthew 25:5 (NIV))

You probably recognize this as part of the parable of the ten virgins. What follows is the remaining part of this parable and what happens when they are awakened.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
(Matthew 25:6-12 (NIV))

A recent non-scientific survey indicated that 75% of the respondents believe that our churches have fallen asleep and are unprepared for the return of Jesus. The same survey indicated that approximately 33% of the respondents didn’t have a church home. These respondents stated this because all of the churches in their area were completely ignoring this part of His promise and focusing on social issues! This is just as Jesus foretold in the parable of the ten virgins. Are you prepared? Would you be a part of the wise or the foolish? Is the return of Jesus even one of your priorities?

With that question asked, exactly what are your priorities?

Do you look forward to your office parties more than you look forward to the return of Jesus? Do you look forward to the championship football game more than you look forward to the return of Jesus? Do you look forward to your vacations more than you look forward to the return of Jesus?

I could provide many more examples, but I pray that you understand what I am trying to convey. We need to take a serious look at what our priorities truly are. We must be wise and prepared. We must keep watch for the return of Jesus. It must be our greatest priority!

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
(Matthew 25:13 (NIV))

It is true that we do not know the day or the hour, but we can rest assured that we can know the season. Many are saying that now is that very season! What do you recognize as happening in the current season? Is the season making you weary?

We all need rest. We will become drowsy and fall asleep, but it is what we do in our waking hours that determines whether we are prepared. What we set as our priorities in our waking hours will determine if we are prepared. Is Jesus your greatest priority?

Are you prepared for His coming?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who can be against us when we wait in His strength?

November 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
(Psalms 27:14 (ESV))

When you think of waiting, what type of attitude do you usually associate with this process?

Are you anxious? Perhaps you are fearful. Perhaps you are even experiencing an attitude of complete loss where you are simply waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Have you ever waited from a position of strength where you knew the outcome will be one of victory? You knew that all you needed to do was wait for the time to pass to bring this victory to fruition.

If you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there is absolutely nothing in this world that should make you anxious, fearful, of have a feeling of loss. We have been told that all we must do is to be still for we are not relying on our strength. We are fully relying on His strength!

Be still before the Lord
     and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
     when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:7 (NIV))

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

It is completely possible to wait in His strength! It is completely possible to place you faith in the Lord and completely rely on Him in all situations. Sadly, our sinful human nature takes over and we find ourselves doubting. We take our eyes off of Jesus and we start looking at the world, but, we must never forget in whom we have placed our faith. I believe that Paul said it well when he wrote these words to the believers in Rome.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Who can be against us when we wait in His strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Set the world aside and focus on the Lord!

November 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

This has been my life verse for over twenty-five years. I have been on a faith journey, and it has been one that I have documented with those who are willing to read. I do this because I have been given a calling, and I do this because what I write is not solely for me. Everyone goes through things in their lives that we can all relate to. I have been called to be open and to share my faith journey in anticipation that God will use these writings to reach people in their time of need, their time of curiosity, or their time of seeking. Even so, I am only human, and I am subject to human limitations and human frailties.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
(Mark 14:38b (NIV))

I have chosen to leave out the first part of this passage, for it was not temptation that sidelined me. A family pet turned on me and rendered me incapable of doing much of anything. I know that thumbs are important to our daily lives, but you never truly understand how important until you have lost the ability to use either thumb for almost two weeks. I couldn’t even hold my Bible without pain, or read on my phone or tablet in one of the many Bible apps that I have. Add to that the IV antibiotics on a schedule that seemed to be every two hours for almost five days, and I was left with only my prayer time. I had to learn to be still in His presence all over again. All of my normal quiet time that I spend daily in prayer, reading, studying, and writing had to be set aside. All that I had was my time to just talk to the Lord. To be honest with you, I did not spend as much time as I should have in prayer, but it was a start. I have come away with a renewed sense of peace.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

I came away completely knowing that whatever happens to me, He is there.

This is only the second time that I have had to be admitted to the hospital, and both times I was in complete peace. Six years ago as I laid in the cardiology ICU with sever blood clots, I never once feared what could have happened. The same held true for this time as well. It is such a comforting feeling to have complete peace in and through your faith in Jesus even when your world is being completely turned upside down.

Do you have that complete peace in your life?

It starts with admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and that Jesus is that Savior. Once you do this, I highly recommend spending time in His presence. Take the time to be still and get to know the one who already knows you intimately. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Set the world aside and focus on the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you waiting for the Lord?

November 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

You may have noticed that I missed a day. I apologize for that, but it is extremely difficult to do anything when both hands are bandaged. To be honest with you, I can’t even open a water bottle right now. Due to this, I will be taking a break in order to heal.


Wait for the LORD;
     be strong and take heart
     and wait for the LORD.
(Psalms 27:14 (NIV))

God is calling to each of us. He has something unique for each life that He has created. In our human inadequacies, we rush God’s plans. We try to anticipate and put our own desires into what God has called us to. We try to tell God what He should have us do with our life. We try to be our own little gods, each of us attempting to run our life to our own version of perfection when we cannot even spend one hour in God’s perfection.

Perhaps another often quoted verse from the Psalmist can put it in perspective.

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

In order for us to fully understand that we must wait and do things in God’s time, we must know God. We must know the Truth and not the version of God that we have confined to the little box that we have built for Him. This box is our comfort zone. We try to limit God and what He can do. We try to impose human and physical limitations on God so that we, in our limited understanding, can try to understand Him.

We create God in our image!

This concept is dangerous. We, the creation, cannot create. All we can do is imitate. At best, all we can do is reflect the light that is God. If we try to create God in our image, then we have sinned, especially when you realize that sin is anything that we do that keeps us from God. When we create God in our image, we are keeping ourselves from the truth that is God by limiting who He is.

Be still, and know grace.

Be still, and know mercy.

Be still, and know God.

Are you waiting for the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it in our life that you place before God?

November 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:3 (NIV))

We know that this is the first Commandment that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, and ever since then the Judeo-Christian ethic has placed its foundation on the complete Ten Commandments.

We know that in the End Times there will be a false religion that will control the whole world. We also know that Satan loves to counterfeit whatever God has done. The most recent counterfeit, and possibly the biggest counterfeit to date, just occurred also on Mount Sinai. Religious leaders met and went to Mount Sinai to unveil 10 new commandments about the rapidly growing religion of climate change and worship of the earth.

They are worshiping the creation instead of the Creator!

Do we have our one world religion that we have been told about in God’s Word?

Is this how the enemy has convinced all religions to come together? Have these people been duped into worshipping the planet?

I honestly cannot understand how this can happen, yet, I know full well that God foretold that it would happen. I also know that it is happening right in front of our eyes!

It is time to take a serious look into what you have placed as your god, and repent immediately. It is time to accept the gift of grace freely given on the cross through the atoning blood of Jesus. It is time to make sure that the God of the Bible is the only One that is being worshipped.

I firmly believe that, with all that I am seeing, time is short. Now is the time to repent and profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior!

What is it in our life that you place before God?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What have you set your mind on?

November 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
(Colossians 3:2 (NIV))

We all have those things that we constantly think about. These are the things that fill our thoughts when we are not being distracted by other things such as work, family, sporting events, and other such worldly pursuits. What we think about is a choice! In all honesty, it is so very easy for these very things that I just listed to become what we set our minds on, for we often choose to think on these things and completely neglect what we are truly called to think about.

My son, keep my words
     and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
     guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
     write them on the tablet of your heart.
(Proverbs 7:1-3 (NIV))

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

God knows us all too well. He knows that what we think about is what we hold in our hearts. He knows the sinful, fallen human nature all too well. He knows that we are driven by desires. He knows that our sinful nature is what we will think of by default. I love the message in Colossians for it tells us distinctly to abandon our sinful nature and think only of the things of God.

Just how do you go about setting your mind on things above?

It takes a commitment!

You must dive deeply into God’s Word and search the scriptures so that you can know God intimately. You must love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. You must long for His truth above all else and you must recognize your own sinful nature.

That last one hurts! It is human nature to not want to admit that we are anything less than perfect. Too many of us think that we are masters of our own domain, our own destiny, and that anything that we do is perfectly acceptable. We don’t want to admit that we need help, let alone that we need a Savior to rescue us from our sin. That whole attitude changes when you recognize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, and start focusing on the Lord and not on yourself. We soon realize that we are not the center of our own little world. It is a matter of perspective. How we look upon our lives will determine what we set our minds on. If you see this life as your chance to get all that this world has to offer, then you will think of the things of this world.

What have you set your mind on?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you celebrate the presence of the Lord?

November 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook.
(1 Samuel 4:5 (NIV))

How do you celebrate the presence of the Lord?

Think about that!

God would lead His people by going ahead of them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When He stopped, the ark was brought in and set within the tabernacle. To the nation of Israel, the ark of the covenant was the presence of God. It was the mercy seat where God came to dwell with His people. The whole nation of Israel rejoiced greatly when this happened. They praised God with such a great shout that the ground shook.

How does that compare to what we do in our churches?

The Israelites had the events of the Exodus to be thankful for. God saved them out of physical bondage in Egypt. They had been slaves for four hundred years and God rescued them. He made a choice to show His power to the world through the actions He took bringing them out of Egypt.

They had a reason to rejoice, and their rejoicing shook the ground!

I hate to say this, but in most of our churches today, we barely even make a noise, and we have so much more to be thankful for than the Israelites did!

God saved them from physical bondage, but they were still in bondage to sin and death. We have been given something that they weren’t given. We have grace. We have mercy. We have salvation freely given to all who will simply profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The Israelites escaped physical bondage. We can escape eternal bondage to sin and death, and yet we act as if we are dead. We don’t shout out our thanks. We don’t lift up His name in praise. Most believers are more enthusiastic about their favorite sports team than they are about lifting up His name in praise.

The Lord moved mightily in and through the nation of Israel when they had not forgotten the things that He had done for them. Have we forgotten what He has done for us? We can now stand in His presence through the atoning blood of Jesus and we act like we are watching a show on tv. We simply sit back and watch as a spectator.

Faith is not a spectator sport!

How do you celebrate the presence of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Lord, give me wisdom to know what You want me to know!

November 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
     neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
     so are my ways higher than your ways
     and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Some of you will realize that I have referenced this passage each of the last two days. I was given something this morning about this passage that I feel I need to share.

Have you ever heard the old story of a group of blind men trying to experience an elephant?

They all gather around an elephant and feel what they are in front of. One feels a tusk and replies that the elephant is like a spear. One feels a leg and proclaims that an elephant is a mighty tree. One feels the tail and proclaims that an elephant is like a strong rope. One feels the trunk and comes to the conclusion that it is like a huge snake. Another feels an ear and believes that the elephant is like a giant fan. Still one more feels it’s side and proclaims that an elephant is like a giant wall.

In their limited understanding, they are not wrong. They just don’t see the whole picture! In fact, they argue amongst themselves because they all believe that they are right.

Does this sound familiar?

Are we the proverbial blind men trying to understand God and His plans?

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

In this case, I love the way that the King James Version translates this passage.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, you see and understand more than someone who doesn’t. This insight still doesn’t give us a complete picture of what God is up to. All that we can know is the part that we have been given. If we are given one part, we should not argue with someone who claims to have been given another part, for what they have been given may be intended to round out what you have been given. None of us has a complete understanding of God and His plans. In fact, I truly believe that we, as sinful fallen humanity, are not capable of comprehending the vastness of all that He is. With that in mind, it only makes sense that God would only give each of us glimpses into His thoughts and His ways because He knows that we cannot comprehend the fullness that is our God.

Until we can fully understand, I wholeheartedly cling to the words that a friend once told me. She prayed to be able to know what God wants her to know when He wants her to know it, and to trust in Him even when He doesn’t tell her anything. Is this your prayer?

Lord, give me wisdom to know what You want me to know!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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