We must listen and respond!

July 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!
(Exodus 14:15 (NLT))

I often wonder if God is saying that to me. How many times has God laid out plans for me and I fail to see them? How many times do I simply sit and wait for God to do something for me when all along He has created a path for me that I fail to see?

I am sure that the times that He has done this is far greater than I want to admit. Let’s face the truth, we are all probably in this predicament more than we care to admit it. If we were capable of discerning God’s call upon our lives every single second of our lives, then we would not find ourselves in the situations that often arise.

Does this lack of action have anything to do with out lack of faith?

We long to hear God tell us what to do. We long to have Him intervene in our lives and provide us direction. We long to be able to discern His still, small voice, yet, we often ignore it when He does speak to us. We are like so many people from the Bible who looked for large, miraculous signs and wonders to provide assurance and to guide them. We need to not look toward these examples, but look to Elijah. He understood how God speaks to us.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
(1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV))

If we are to do what God is calling us to do, then we must learn to recognize His voice and hear when He speaks.

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

We must listen and respond!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we truly showing the love of God?

July 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV))

This is a lesson that is very hard to learn. It is a lesson that I am still learning.

We can know what God’s Word says in all circumstances. We can have the faith to know that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. We can have the faith to stand firm in the face of sin. We can love those whom we deal with on a daily basis.

And . . .

We can be so weak in our faith that we cross the street to avoid someone in need!

Is this showing the love of God? Why do we often turn our backs on someone in need when God didn’t turn His back on our need? Just because someone doesn’t look like us or have the same background as us is no reason for us to abandon the love that Jesus has taught to us. We are to preach the gospel. We are to share the good news. We are to share out of love. We are to love out of faith.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(1 John 4:19-21 (NIV))

We are to share God’s love with all we meet, and not just the ones we already know.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your service to Jesus?

July 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
(Mark 13:32-34 (NIV))

We have been left with an assignment. We are to keep watch and prepare others for the return of Jesus.

This preparation is more than just getting our houses and our lives in order. It is also the task of telling others about the grace and mercy that is theirs through believing in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

We are to be alert! We are to be alert to the needs of others. We are to be alert to the conditions in this world. We are to be alert to the signs that we have been told about in God’s Word. We must also be prepared to others of the current state of the world and what it means.

We each have our assigned tasks. We have not been given specific instructions through God’s Word, but we each have tasks that God has set before us that are unique to our situation and our abilities. We are to share the light of Jesus Christ with all that we meet so that others may enter into the household that Jesus has left us in charge of.

We do not know when Jesus will return to claim His own. We do not know if our very next breathe will be the last one we take before Jesus calls us to Him. What we do know is that He has left us with a task. We are to be diligent in our service to Him and to others and we are to keep watch.

How is your service to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

July 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Are you holding fast to your faith? Are you secure enough in your faith and understanding to not be deceived?

Each generation has felt that they are the generation that is seeing wars and rumors of wars. Each generation since Jesus said these words has looked for His return.

Think back over the course of your life. Do you remember every war that has been fought? Do you remember every earthquake that has happened? Do you remember every famine? God does. Many people who keep records of these things say that they are increasing.

Now, I want you to think about something.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Our understanding of a nation today is very different from what it was when this was written. A nation has always referred to a group of people, such as the Israelites or Canaanites. What we think of as a nation today is a political kingdom in the Bible. In other words, we are told that different people groups will fight each other. We see this escalating in today’s world with the cries of racism in our country. We see members of each group of people straining the bonds that we should all have through Jesus. We see riots between different people groups within our own political kingdoms. We see political kingdoms at odds with each other.

In essence, we are all rising against each other.

Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

Are we being deceived by false teachings and deliberate lies so that we will be a part of what Satan is doing in this world? There are far too many things going on in this world to keep up with all of them, but I do know that what I see appears to hold true all across the world. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are fights between different people groups and there are other things happening that simply make me wonder how humanity has become so depraved so fast.

No matter what happens, the Body of Christ, which crosses all nationalities and political kingdoms, must hold fast to Jesus. We must not fall for the wars. We must not fall for the racism issues. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you praise God?

July 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
(Psalms 47:1 (NIV))

How do you praise God? Do you sit quietly in the “traditional” view of church or do you rejoice in all that God has done? Personally, I believe that there is a time and a place for both approaches as long as they are done with the correct attitude.

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

God calls us to be still in His presence. This is so that we may listen. This is so that we may speak. This is so that we may get to know God. This is not to be a time of self-righteous indignation if someone does not do exactly as you are doing. This is personal time with God the Father, and not a time to judge others.

Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
(Psalms 47:6-7 (NIV))

I want you to think about someone who is very close to you. Perhaps your mother or father. It may even be your spouse or a child. In your relationship with that person, you have moments of quiet personal time. You also have moments of fun where you are simply happy that they are who they are. This is the same way that we should be with God. When we are joyous for whom He is, then we should sing praises to Him, for He is worthy of all praise.

Clapping your hands and shouting to God in joy does not contradict the quiet times that He longs to have with us. God created us to be in balance. Without the quiet times, we cannot embrace the praise. Without the praise, we cannot comprehend whose presence we enter into when we have the quiet times.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Commitment shows in all that you do

July 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
(2 Timothy 2:1-10 (NIV))

How true these words are! If you are committed to something, it shows in all that you do.

A good soldier lives, eats and breathes military issues. Are we not soldiers of Christ? Then we should live, eat and breathe only righteous issues, things that Jesus would deal with if He were here in our places. If we do as the world does, and focus on our objective, then we will be rewarded as those in the world are rewarded: We will be the first to receive a share of what is righteous.

The world receives worldly things that will tarnish and fade with time. Our reward will be eternal salvation and glory with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All the rewards the world has to offer pale in comparison to the reward that will be ours if we are strong in our faith and witness reliably to all who can hear.

Is your witness reliable and are you focused on Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How can God use you?

July 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty–
he is the King of glory.
(Psalms 24:7-10 (NIV))

David gave us a look into the future when Jesus returns not as Savior, but as a mighty warrior reclaiming what is God’s. It is amazing that God gave this message to us through David, when Jesus was several generations from being born. Yet, God gave David this psalm describing exactly what would happen not at Jesus’ first coming, but at His second coming. If David, who was looking at this as if looking through a telescope, could have the faith to believe God, then we, who have the advantage of being able to look back at Jesus’ first coming, should have all the more faith that what God said through David will come to pass.

True, David was a man after God’s own heart, yet, David was not free from sin. God used David in all his human failings to not only give us these words, but to also give us Jesus himself.

If God can use David, who was a sinner, to give us a sinless Savior, how can He use you?

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