Do you delight in your walk with God?

May 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.
(Proverbs 23:24 (NIV))

What is wisdom?

Do you think of it as the world thinks of it? Do you look upon wisdom as the ability to deal with people and come out better off than they do? Do you look upon wisdom as knowledge and power? Take a serious look inward and reflect on what is wise in your eyes.

What is righteousness?

Do you look upon this the way our society now looks upon it? Righteous now means something completely different in today’s slang than it does to God.

Righteousness and wisdom are traits that should denote a fear of God. This fear is not one that makes you stay away from God, but, rather it is a healthy respect and reverence for the Creator by the creation. The worldly definitions of these words place the creation above the Creator. Leave it to the enemy to turn what God has called good and make it have a meaning that is completely opposite of the truth.

Don’t give up hope. There is true wisdom and true righteousness! It is available only through God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Accepting this gift of grace and mercy truly makes you wise no matter what the world thinks of you or what your IQ may be. This wisdom is the only wisdom that matters, for it is a wisdom of recognition of authority and submission and not a wisdom that seeks its own authority and for everyone to submit to it.

The words written in Proverbs 23:24 are true. Righteousness and wisdom do bring great joy and delight. Do you delight in those whom you love? Do you delight in your walk with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Innocence or sin?

May 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
(Matthew 19:14 (NIV))

Innocence and innocence betrayed! We were once little children in the eyes of God, innocent and very willing and eager to climb onto the lap of “Abba, Father.” Our innocence also lead to our fall from this peaceful existence into a life of sin and death. Our innocence was used against us by Satan in order to get back at God. Satan wanted to be God, and in his attempt at getting his desires, he was cast down from heaven. In his anger, he deceived humanity in our created innocence and now we are no longer innocent in the eyes of God. We are no longer those children who could sit on the lap of our “Abba, Father.”

Reading the words written in Matthew 19:14, I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was trying to tell us to come back to God as we were before the fall from grace, innocent and naive about the deceiving nature of sin. Deceit and distrust are a learned characteristic, as are honesty, truth and righteousness. We can be taught either characteristic, but, it is an attitude that actually makes us turn towards one direction or another. Little children are trusting by nature and have not learned to be wary of anything. When it comes to God, we need to trust wholeheartedly as a little child. When it comes to Satan, we must be wary of all things and have the wisdom of his ways so that we can avoid him.

Which attitude do you wish to have? Do you desire to have the innocence that God desires for you, or do you desire the wisdom of sin that Satan uses to trap? It is your choice!

Innocence or sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Fight the good fight. Keep the faith!

May 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
(Psalms 147:10-11 (NLT))

All of our accomplishments are nothing. We strive and strive for a whole lifetime in hope of making a strong name for ourselves. We want this strong name so that we will be remembered by men.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
(Psalm 103:15-16 (NIV))

How foolish is the strength that we seek. We will not be remembered for very long. Even if we are remembered, the memory will change or it will be questioned as time wears on. All that we have to do is take a look at the history of this nation. What once was accepted as fact, is now bitterly argued as a lie. What am I speaking of? The recent and vehement removal of any reference to God in our government because some people alive today are reinventing the memory of why this country was founded and upon what principles.

Only one strength will have eternal meaning. That strength is the inner strength to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Once we do this, we must be prepared to fight in His strength and tell all who will listen of His grace and His mercy.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV))

If we accept Jesus, then God will remember us through Jesus’ strength. Then we will be able to proclaim:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV))

Rely on the strength of Jesus and proclaim that you have kept the faith.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must remember those who have gone before

May 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Also at your times of rejoicing–your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.
(Numbers 10:10 (NIV))

It is good to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty to country. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that others may know the freedoms that we enjoy and all too often that we take for granted.

Do you know someone who has laid down their life for you? Whether we know them personally or we only know of them, they have done this for each of us. They have laid down their lives out of a sense of duty, responsibility, gratitude, and love.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

We owe these people our respect and our thanks for what they have selflessly given. I don’t profess to say that each person gave with perfect intentions, yet, if man, who is sinful can give and we praise them for it, why can’t we praise God for His sacrifice. This sacrifice, through Jesus, bought so much more than physical freedoms. It brought spiritual freedom through grace and mercy. Jesus died so that all may come to salvation. Our country men who have fallen have done so to bring freedom so that we may have the freedom to worship and to profess our faith.

Freedom is a valuable thing to possess. It is so valuable that One died so that all may possess it and others die to defend it.

We must remember. We must never forget!

Freedom is to be cherished and those who bring it are to be remembered. Honor those who have defended our freedoms, but don’t forget who brings ultimate freedom and honor Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How would you react if someone said that they are the Son of God?

May 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
(Matthew 26:62-66 (NIV))

How would you have reacted if someone said that they are the Son of God?

Now, put yourself into Jerusalem some two thousand years ago and imagine that you do not have the perspective of history. You don’t know about the resurrection because it hasn’t happened yet. You can simply base all of your decisions and reactions upon the traditions that have been taught to your fathers and to you. Based on these traditions and interpretations of the scriptures, you and everyone you know expects the Messiah to be a strong military leader who will establish His kingdom. With this in mind, you realize that this man does not fit your expectations of what the Messiah is supposed to be.

But that is not the complete picture!

Would you have been wise enough to recognize that God never does things in an expected way? I can only pray that I would recognize that.

Looking back, we have the ability to see that God had told Israel that the Messiah would come to this earth twice. The very scriptures that they read and thought that they understood also pointed out their very actions.

We celebrate the crucifixion and the resurrection, but would our hearts have been open, would our eyes have been open to what God was doing right before us? I often wonder about this and then I become thankful that I have the perspective of history. I may never know how I would have reacted. I may never know if I would have recognized Jesus as the Messiah. I only know that because of the plan that God put into action from the beginning of time, I can, at this very moment praise God for the grace and mercy given to me through the cross.

We may never know how we would have reacted if we were alive then, but we can know how we react today. Does His name bring anger like it did to the high priest, or does His name bring you the greatest joy?

How do you react to Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What better source of wisdom than the Creator of all things!

May 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(Proverbs 2:6 (NIV))

What better source of wisdom than the Creator of all things! His wisdom is true wisdom.

Isn’t it interesting that our frail human minds think that wisdom is now all rooted in attaining technological advances and knowledge of things that soon become outdated. We frantically attempt to gain new wisdom to replace that which has become outdated. This sounds very much like the times written of by Daniel.

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
(Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV))

We seek after all the wrong wisdom and we call it good. At the same time, those who earnestly seek after God are called narrow-minded and bad. It is true that we must live in this world, but we do not have to live by the standards that it tries to set for us. We can choose the true wisdom, knowledge and understanding that comes only through God.

Where does your wisdom lie?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where does your help come from?

May 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV))

Too many people seek help from sources that can at best only provide a brief respite from the troubles that this life sends our way. They look to money to solve all of their problems. They look to drugs and alcohol to make the problems go away. They look to fame to draw attention away from their problems and onto their abilities. All of these forms of help are actually no help at all. Even in the midst of these attempts, the very thing that people turn to for help causes even more desperation and grief.

What do you turn to for help? Perhaps I should ask it in this manner. Who do you turn to for help?

Human nature is a fickle thing. We seek validation in what we do. We seek someone or something that will tell us what we do is ok. We are seeking to fill a void in our lives with something, with anything. Only God can fill that void. Only God can give us help that truly works. He gave us the ultimate help through the atoning blood of His Son, Jesus. Through Jesus, God helped us by providing a way for our sins to be forgiven. Through Jesus, God helped us by providing a way to be righteous in His eyes. Through Jesus, God provided a way for us to spend eternity in His presence.

It seems such a shame that more people don’t turn to the true source of help. There is so much to gain when we lift our eyes to the hills and seek God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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