Rejoice in the precious gift that is today!

July 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalms 118:24 (NIV))

Every day is a gift from God. We do not know when the day that we see will be our last. Our society has become so engrossed in planning for tomorrow, that we often overlook today. Today is a certainty. Tomorrow is only a possibility. It is wise to plan for tomorrow, but do not be so wrapped up in tomorrow that you neglect today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34)

When Jesus came to earth, He did not spend His whole time with us worrying about the cross that was to come “tomorrow.” He knew that it would come, yet He did not worry about it. He embraced each day on this earth and did the Will of God the Father for the moment that he was in. Should we do any different than Jesus did? Another “tomorrow” that Jesus faced was the Right Hand of God the Father after His resurrection, yet Jesus did not skip today to get to tomorrow. He rejoiced in what was the moment and kept everything in it’s proper place and time.

Each day is a precious gift from God. Do not waste this gift worrying about the possibility of another gift!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you missing what the Holy Spirit has to offer?

July 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
(Acts 19:1-6 (NIV))

Are you missing something?

Have you only been baptized into a baptism of repentance, or have you been fully baptized in the name of Jesus Christ? It is possible to repent and still deny that Jesus is Lord. This approach accepts the grace and mercy offered through Jesus, but it denies the authority and power that Jesus rightfully claims as Lord. Without the authority and power, we are useless in our efforts to do anything for Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is part of the complete package.

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Luke 11:13 (NIV))

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:38 (NIV))

Take a good long look at your life. Are you missing what the Holy Spirit has to offer? Accept Jesus as not only your Savior, but also as your Lord and Master. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your life so that you may deal in authority in the aspects of your life that God is calling you to take control. You can’t witness in authority without that authority in your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your spiritual age?

July 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
(2 Kings 22:1-2 (NIV))

Do you believe that youth means not walking with God?

How many times have you seen a group of young people and you automatically assume that they are up to no good?

Age is not a defining benchmark for spirituality and a right path in God’s Word. Far too many times I have seen older people who profess to be followers of Jesus do things that would make their children grimace.

Josiah was only eight years old and he did what was right in the eyes of God. David was just a boy when he listened to God’s call and defeated Goliath. Samuel was only a boy when God called him.

The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, `Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NIV))

Jesus was in the Temple when He was only a boy.

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
(Luke 2:49 (NIV))

Youth does not mean an ignorance of faith just as adulthood does not mean the presence of a strong faith. Be open to the Spirit and allow Him to work were HE will. Be open to whatever and whomever God places in your life that listens to His Word.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you worth to God?

July 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6-7 (NIV))

It is human nature to feel that we are worthless from time to time. Perhaps it is a direct attack from the enemy or perhaps it is just an inherited memory of the lie that brought about the fall from grace. Either way, we are all prone to fall into this trap of Satan’s from time to time.

That is exactly what the enemy wants to happen. He wants us to feel worthless and afraid. He wants us to forget that we are all bought by the atoning blood of Jesus. He wants us to forget that as believers in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have the power to defeat him at every turn. Satan uses this trick to make us look at our failings instead of looking at the power of the one who saved us.

Without Jesus, we are worthless, for we are all lost in our sin.

With Jesus, we are children of God and heirs to the promises that are fulfilled through Jesus.

Even in our sin, God does not see us as worthless.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

If we were worthless, then why did God send Jesus to die for us? Why would someone pay such a great price for garbage?

What are you worth to God?

If we are of great worth to the Creator of all things, then why do we allow the enemy to tell us that we are worthless?

What is your worth?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Humility should not require a burning bush experience

July 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

…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))

Humility is a trait that God desires from us. Look at Moses.

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
(Numbers 12:3)

How hard is it to NOT be humble after you have an experience like the burning bush. Let’s face it, the closer to God we get, the more humble we become. We realize that we are nothing in the grand scheme of things. God is everything.

Humility is not a desirable trait in the eyes of the world, but remember who is the prince of this world. We do not belong to the world. We belong to God, and therefore, we must possess a humility beyond the world’s understanding.

If you met God in a burning bush, would you be so presumptuous as to tell Him how to run the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do your thoughts make you unclean?

July 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.’ ”
(Matthew 7:20-23 (NIV))

If even our thoughts can make us unclean, then who among us is worthy? All of us are guilty of thoughts that we don’t want others to know about. Thoughts of anger, hatred, malice, arrogance, lewdness, theft, greed, and even murder. Many of these we will never deliberately act on, but they are in our hearts. Only our fear of repercussion may keep us from acting on them. Even the person whom we think is the kindest and nicest person we know possesses thoughts that are not what God desires of us. In other words, our hearts give us away. We sin even though we desire to do what is right.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
(Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV))

Even cross words can cause us to fall if we do not have the saving grace of the atoning blood of Jesus to cleanse us. We must not look upon our salvation as a free pass to do whatever we want. On the contrary. It is salvation from what we have done, and if we are sincere about accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is salvation from what we might do in error in the future. God does not want us to continue living in our sin. He wants us to allow Jesus into our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Together, they will remove the unclean aspects of our lives from within.

Turn over even your thoughts to God. Allow them to be cleansed and guided so that they become the desires of God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see yourself growing day to day?

July 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
(Ephesians 4:15 (NIV))

When you were little, who did you want to grow up to be like?

What was it about that person that made you long to be like them? Were they kind? Were they gentle with you? Could you trust them? Did they always tell you the truth? Did they take the time to simply be there for you when you needed them? Each of us has a person that we looked up to. Each of us has an ideal that was embodied by someone who took the time to love us and be there for us. They placed our desires above their own.

Did you grow up to possess any of the characteristics of the person that you longed to be like? I would safely venture to say that they did have an influence upon you and you did develop some of the very same characteristics that you saw in them.

As a believer in Jesus, do you long to grow up, to mature into being just like Him?

If, as a child, you longed to grow up to be like someone you admired, shouldn’t you now long to grow up to be like someone you admire? It should be our goal to grow up, to mature into being just like Jesus in all that we do. We should strive to persevere in our desires to be like Jesus.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:4 (NIV))

Each day we should grow in our knowledge and understanding of Jesus. Each day, we should mature in our faith in Him.

How do you see yourself growing day to day?

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