Are you ready, willing and able to let the living waters flow?

August 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
(John 7:37-39 (NIV))

We have the advantage of being on this side of history were we have the benefit of knowing what has happened since the Spirit has been given. The only problem is that far too few people believe in the Spirit and fewer still who have asked the Holy Spirit into their lives.

Asking Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior is only part of God’s plan. Believing in Jesus will earn you salvation. Asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit will get you much more. The Holy Spirit will guide you. He will give you insight and Godly wisdom. He will give you courage to take you faith to the highest level. Through the Holy Spirit, God will bless you so that you can be a blessing to others. You will learn that your blessings are measured in the rewards that you receive by blessing others. The Holy Spirit will teach you how to reach others for Jesus. He will be your constant companion through all aspects of your life.

The Holy Spirit will pour out living water through your life into the lives of those whom you see. You will become a fountain of God’s grace and mercy.

Are you ready, willing and able to let the living waters flow?

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

August 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your `Yes’ be `Yes,’ and your`No,’ `No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV))

I am not against attorneys and legal agreements, but, what does this say about contracts? If everyone simply followed these truths, would we need to go to such great lengths to protect ourselves and our interests? Think about this. I am sure that many of you remember people who conducted business with a handshake. They made a commitment and they lived up to that commitment. They did not need documents to protect themselves and others. They simply lived by the philosophy that Jesus was teaching.

Take an honest look at society today. How many people do you know who still live by this philosophy? If they make a commitment, they fulfill that commitment. They keep their word. I would venture a guess that these types of individuals are few and far between, especially since the society in which we live now almost dictates to “Get it in writing.”

What have we become?

Honesty and integrity have to be documented, signed and witnessed. And then, if anything arises where there is uncertainty, litigation wrangles over the meanings of the words.

What would you do if God treated us in that manner?

How would you react if upon accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, God says, “Wait a minute. I have some documents for you to sign so that we can make this legal. That way, if you don’t uphold your promises, I can revoke your salvation.”

It sounds strange when you put it in this context. Now, think about the deals and the promises that we make to each other. Do we truly need to show such a level of distrust that we have to swear, or that we have to put it in writing. We need to treat each other in our dealings as God treats us – expect us to do what we say we will do and if we fail, allow redemption, allow a second chance. We are not perfect. We are a fallen race. We sin by nature. But, by God’s grace, we are forgiven. We have been shown mercy. We must extend that mercy to others.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
(Ephesians 4:1-2 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love the world?

August 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
(1 John 2:15 (NIV))

How can this be? Didn’t God create the world? Are we to not love the things that God has created for us?

That might be the case if we, through Adam and Eve, had not allowed sin and corruption into the world. Since then, all things of this world are no longer of God. He created them, but we corrupted them. We cannot love corruption and love God at the same time, for God is perfect and beyond corruption.

God cannot associate with anything that is less than perfect, for anything less than perfect will be destroyed within His presence. It is for this reason that all through the “Old Testament” days God did not approach His people directly, but was separated from them by the veil of the Temple. It is through the sacrifice that was made on the cross by Jesus Christ, His Son, that we are allowed into His presence. Isn’t it amazing how, when Jesus was crucified, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. That is not something that humanity could do. It had to come from God.

Again, God cannot allow anything that is less than perfect into His presence. Everything in this world is less than perfect. Do we focus on the worldly or do we focus on God. The worldly things are fleeting and last only a few short years during our lives. God is eternal and will be here long after the world has gone away.

If you love the things in this world, where do you think that you will face eternity?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we ready to see God’s signs and wonders?

August 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
(Acts 2:17-21 (NIV))

What comes to mind when you read this passage?

Do you shrug it off as pure fantasy? Do you think that it has some merit to it, but is a long way away? Do you wonder what we are being told?

What are the wonders in the heavens? What are the signs on the earth below? We have all seen solar eclipses and a red moon, Is there more to this prophecy than what we are familiar with?

Think about that.

God will be trying to get our attention. Some say that he is already trying.

We take so much for granted anymore. We see things on television and we see things in real life that just a few years ago were impossible to create. Will we recognize the wonders and the signs? Will we be too sensory overloaded that we fail to recognize God’s warning?

Nothing that happens in this world any more makes me wonder what is going on. Nothing that I see or hear brings horror to my spirit. Things are unfolding at a rate that only God can comprehend. I see what is happening and I feel sad for those who are caught in the lies. I see what is going on and stop and pray for those who are involved.

I also pray for strength to finish the race.

We don’t know the what, where, and when of God’s timeline, but we do know who wins. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Pray for discernment. Pray for wisdom and pray for those who are going in the wrong direction.

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

August 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

Have you ever taken an aptitude test? You know the tests I am talking about. You answer a bunch of questions by filling in a circle under a number that represents how much the question sound like you. Perhaps you have taken something similar to this that was labeled a personality test. These tests are designed to help you figure out what you are good at and how you see the world. They try to label you with terms that can be used to fit people into the proverbial box. These tests use terms like Type A, Administrator, Caregiver, Visionary, and whatever else you can imagine.

It is interesting that we are told that God gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. We recognize the fact that each of us is not the same when it comes to spiritual gifts and completely fail to allow that concept to apply to our physical world and the gifts that we have.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:19 (NIV))

Is Jesus telling us that the spiritual world and the physical world are closely connected? Do our spiritual gifts manifest themselves in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of administration perform an administrative task in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of discernment operate in the physical world as a counselor? Can someone who has the gift of prophecy do things that are contrary to God’s Word?

I recently took a test to discover my spiritual gifts. The results gave me mixed emotions. I suppose that I knew beforehand what the outcome would be, but it still surprised me to see the results. They confirmed what I had felt, but never really accepted.

God gave us each unique gifts that He desires for us to use in both the spiritual and the physical, for the two are not separate. They are closely tied to one another. What gifts you are given can manifest themselves in both aspects of your life.

Are you gifts united in your life for the glory of Jesus Christ?

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

August 2, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

In the world, it is easy to be overcome by the fact that all people are different. It is also difficult to overcome the desire to be like someone else. If only I could do that . . .

How many times have you heard someone say something like that? How many times have you said something like that?

It is easy to get overwhelmed by someone else’s gifts while overlooking your own. God created each of us to be unique. Do not lust after someone else’s gifts. God blessed you with your own. Find what those gifts are and then use them for God’s work in this world.

If we all had the same gifts, life would be boring. We are all part of the body of Christ. In our own physical bodies, no two parts are the same. The ears do not envy the eyes. Why should we envy other parts of the body? We should work together to do the will of God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The Body of Christ should know better!

August 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(1 John 4:11-12 (NIV))

I sadly know why the world looks at the church and calls us hypocrites. I have seen grudges and anger within the confines of the walls of many church buildings that could easily rival the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

I have to have it my way or it’s no way!

I refuse to speak to that person!

Who do they think they are? My family started this church.

I’ve been here all my life. I’m not going to let someone come in and change what we have.

I’ll just be mean to them until they leave.

They don’t look and act like us. Maybe they will leave.

Have you ever thought or said anything like this about your local congregation?

What if Jesus had said that about us? What if He had said things like this about you?

Does God live in people who think or act like this? Think about that question and your thoughts and actions. Are you convicted of being arrogant and prideful, angry and obnoxious, hateful and back stabbing? None of these traits sound anything like love.

What would Jesus think?

What would Jesus do?

I honestly do not believe that He would condone this type of behavior. If we are His Body, why would we condone it? Why we would do it? This is the type of behavior that drives people away. It is not rooted in love. It is not rooted in the Fruits of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

Personally, I do not see back stabbing, hate, meanness, anger and pride as one of the characteristics listed. Why do so many members of the Body of Christ think that they are?

We should know better!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:24-26 (NIV))

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