Blessings – God will provide.

December 15, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
(Genesis 22:14 (NIV))

Blessings come in many forms.

Family and friends are a big blessing. Life and health are fantastic blessings. Food and shelter are important. Clothes and warmth are necessities of life and are blessings.

What about the blessings of grace and mercy – salvation for all who willingly receive?

I simply cannot think of any blessing that does not come from God !

I know that there are people who claim that things happen by coincidence, that they are just random luck. However, I have seen enough blessings come just when they are needed. Random luck did not provide the blessing. Coincidence did not arbitrarily make something happen. Too many things happen in this life to be coincidence or luck.

Abraham had been asked to take his son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. We all know the story. Abraham loved his son, but he desired to obey God in all that he did. All along the journey to where the sacrifice was to be made, Isaac asked about the lamb.

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
(Genesis 22:8 (NIV))

Abraham did not doubt God. He stepped out in faith – in obedience. God rewarded that obedience by providing just what was needed when it was needed. He did not provide the ram before the journey. He did not provide the ram during the journey. He provided the ram after Abraham had been obedient.

“God himself will provide the lamb.”

He provided for Abraham and He has provided for us.

When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
(John 1:36 (NIV))

Jesus is the lamb. He is our blessing. Hold steadfast to the promises that God has made and He will not forsake you. I have seen it happen. I have had it happen to me. In fact, it happened in a huge way just today.

God will provide.

He provided for Abraham. He provided for us through Jesus. This Christmas, allow the provisions of God to bring blessings and joy to your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you be proven faithful?

December 14, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
(1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NIV))

How do you think that you can prove to be faithful?

Think about that for a moment.

Perhaps, if you consider “faith,” it may become clearer.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Are you sure of what you hope for? Are you certain of what you do not see? Can you stand firmly on the promises of God even though you have not seen God face to face? Can you believe the Bible even though you did not see the wonders and miracles for yourself? Can you stand firm on the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, and that He arose on the third day to sit at the right hand of God the Father?

Do you falter on any of these principles? Can you stand firmly on God’s Word and the grace that you have been given through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son?

Do you see the sin all around you, yet see the beauty that God created? Do you rejoice when a sinner receives salvation? Do you embrace the outcasts of this world as if they were your own family?

Do you embrace the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger? Do you cherish the knowledge that God has entrusted with you? Do you always praise God for allowing you to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?

Be faithful and share it with the world !

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
(Mark 16:14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is the reason for the season!

December 13, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

With all of the activities at this time of year that constantly keep us busy, we must not lose sight of the reason that we celebrate, the reason for the season.

Contrary to what many in our society claim, Christmas is not about family togetherness, although it does bring families together. Christmas is not about peace on earth and good will, although it usually promotes these traits. Christmas is not about gift giving, although there is something about it that makes you want to give.

Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The very name says it clearly. The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas).

Today, society is more interested in the mighty dollar than in the MIGHTY Savior. We need to remind each other that Christmas is a celebration of our salvation. That salvation comes through only one source – faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus is why we have Christmas. It is not a time for Happy Holidays. It is literally a time for a Very Merry Christmas in the original meaning of the words.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You are one of the reasons

December 10, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
(Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV))

How did you come into the world? You and I, like every single person who has ever lived since Adam and Eve, came into this world born of a woman. If God were to come to His creation to experience life in our shoes, how do you think that He would come? His perspective as God is very different than ours. He wanted to see His creation through the eyes of the created.

Think about that.

Ever since Adam and Eve, we, His creation, have been bound by the sin that we allowed into the world. Not a single person who has ever lived has lived sin free. We just aren’t capable of it. We allow too many things to distract us from what we should do. God, when He came to earth as one of His creation, came to show us that we could live free from sin. He came to show us that we could be the recipients of grace and mercy if we simply chose to follow Him.

Think about that.

Have you been able to live a perfect life, free from wrong decisions? No one has ever been able to do that. God is perfect. When He came to earth as one of His creation, He came to show us that we could live a life free from the fears of a wrongful life. He came to show us life through Him.

Think about that.

This Christmas, think about Jesus and His birth. Remember God’s perspective on His creation. Remember that He came as one of us so that He could know life through our situations. Remember that He came to save us from our sins. He came for many reasons. You are one of those reasons.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What would Jesus Do?

December 9, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me,
O Lord, the LORD Almighty;
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me,
O God of Israel.
(Psalms 69:6 (NIV))

Do our actions reflect the fact that we proclaim salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus?

Do you ever find yourself doing things that embarrass other people? Do you embarrass other believers because of your actions? We are all representatives of Jesus. Have you ever heard the saying that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus until He returns? Would the hands of Jesus do what we sometimes do? Would the feet of Jesus walk where we sometimes walk?

I know that it has become a very worn out saying, but it is very true – What would Jesus do? We must always remember that we are to be ambassadors of salvation, grace and mercy and not ambassadors of embarrassment and disgrace.

The next time that you find yourself in a situation that is difficult or could potentially place you, and therefore place Jesus, in a disgraceful dilemma, reflect upon these words.

What would Jesus do?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Strength and power!

December 8, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
(Psalms 28:7 (NIV))

It is December and Christmas is rapidly approaching. It is the time that we think of Jesus coming to earth. It is a time of great joy, for Christmas symbolizes the birth of our hope and the birth of our faith.

It is also the time that people show just how much that they misunderstand just what Christmas means.

They see the baby Jesus and the gifts. They see the love that God has for His creation as it is wrapped in the joy of a new baby. People marvel at this and become filled with visions of heart warming activities surrounded by family and friends. What these people fail to realize is that this heart warming activity is about so much more than decorations, presents, family and friends.

It is about salvation.

It is about grace.

It is about the birth of a hope that cannot be taken from us.

It is about the strength of the one who shields us from the consequences of the sins of this world.

You can look upon Christmas as something nice and sweet and heart warming, which it is, or you can look upon Christmas with power and might, for it holds the strength of God’s promises to His creation. Christmas is powerful. The birth of Jesus made heaven rejoice and Satan cower. Would the birth of any other person have such an impact?

It is time that we show the world the strength of Christmas and the true joy of which we sing.

I have written about this before, but I think it is appropriate once again. The words “Merry Christmas” can be traced back a long way. They can be traced back to a time when “Merry” did not mean joyous and festive. The word “Merry” originally meant mighty. The festive greeting that we know as “Merry Christmas” originally was a greeting in which people wished for each other to have a “Mighty Christ’s Mass.” They were wishing for each other to have a powerful encounter with Jesus.

Strength and power!

May you have a Merry Christmas in every sense of the meaning.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know more than God?

December 7, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
(Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NIV))

Do you ever get the attitude that you know more than God?

Be honest!

We all get that way every once in a while. We want to tell God how we would be much better if things would only be done the way that we want them to be done. It is human nature to want to be in charge. Let’s face it, we desire power.

Is there anything more absurd than a mere creation trying to tell the Creator how to do things?

We do not even know how to create anything that will last out of what we have around us. Consider that God created everything out of nothing. All that we can do is use the creation that God has given us to fashion feeble and fleeting tools to try to assist us with our existence. God gave us our existence.

The next time that we feel like telling God how to run things, perhaps we should remember our place and His. Can a car tell the team of engineers how to design? Can the toy tell the toy maker how the toy should be played with?

What do you try to tell God? Remember that He gave us two ears and one mouth!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Remember the sparrow and rejoice!

December 6, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are not in the eyes of God?

If you are like me, then you probably have this feeling many times.

We are frail in our uncertainty. We constantly like to be reminded that we are doing a good job at work, or that we are still loved by our spouse, or that we still have that competitive edge. We must also face this truth in our relationship with God. Our human nature likes to be reminded that we are still in His eyes.

I love these words of assurance that Jesus gave us. Jesus spoke to the very heart of our self worth and our uncertainty. In these few words, He was able to convey that God is a loving Father who cares for all of His creation, even down to the smallest creature. Jesus simply stated that God considers us to be of far more worth than sparrows, and that nothing happens to a single sparrow apart from God’s will.

Isn’t it amazing. Even at Christmas, when God demonstrated His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus, we still need to be reminded that God holds each and every one of us in such great importance.

Perhaps we are frail in our humanity, but we must never forget that God is never frail in His love and His grace!

When you feel that you are not in the eyes of God, simply remember the sparrow and rejoice!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hope, affliction and prayer

December 3, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 (NIV))

Unfortunately, life is not easy. Each of us will face things in this life that we cannot bear on our own strength. Satan will use everything within his power to overburden us to the point of breaking. He will afflict us with anything and everything that he has at his disposal.

Satan wants us to lose sight of Jesus, for when we lose sight of Jesus, we lose sight of hope. We must develop the faith to allow us to look beyond our situations and keep our eyes firmly focused on Jesus and the grace that He alone can offer.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

We will have troubles in this world. We will have afflictions in this world. But, we must remember that we have the promise that our faith in Jesus will overcome these afflictions and these troubles. Jesus did not promise that we would keep us from having these troubles. He promised that through Him, we would overcome these troubles.

Jesus is our hope!

How do we keep that hope alive? How do we keep our faith when all around us is despair?

Focus on our joy in Jesus, our patience through Jesus, and our faith that Jesus will see us through anything that Satan may throw at us.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Wait for the Lord!

December 2, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

How long are you usually willing to wait for something? If you are like me, it is probably not that long. I think that it is human nature to want instant gratification. Today’s society does nothing to counter that concept with fast food, credit cards and entertainment twenty-four hours a day. We basically live in a society that tells us if we want it now, get it now.

What does that do to the important things in your life? Do you get so used to instant gratification that you expect it from your relationships with your family and friends? What about your relationship with God? Do you expect instant gratification from God as well? Have you come to the point where you look upon God as a genie, someone who will grant your every wish if and when you wish it?

It takes strength to wait for something or for someone. It requires discipline on your part. It requires self control. It requires faith to wait patiently without loosing hope that what you wait for will still come.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-23a (NIV))

I find it interesting that when we wait, we are being taught about the fruit of the Spirit. We begin to take on the very characteristics that God wants us to have when we begin to wait for Him. God does things in His time. He is never early and He is never late. Everything that He does has a reason and a timing. When we learn to wait for God, we begin to mature in our faith. We begin to learn patience. We begin to learn faithfulness. We come to the realization that instant gratification is not what God wants for us. He wants to teach us. He wants to mature us. He wants to lead us into the quiet moments with Him

Wait for the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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