Give thanks to him and praise his name

November 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalms 100:4 (NIV))

Thanksgiving!

It is much more than a single day in which we have a tendency to overeat and watch football. It is a lifestyle of praise in which we glorify God and thank Him for all that He has given us. It should be a year round choice instead of an event that is limited to a single day.

What do we truly give to God?

Do we willingly give all that we should?

Do we acknowledge God as the source of all of our blessings?

Do we offer up our praise and thanksgiving to God in a manner that will please Him?

It is so easy to stop giving God the praise and the thanksgiving and simply give up a few hours a week sitting in a church. This is not what God wants.

I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.
(Psalms 69:30-31 (NIV))

Is God pleased with your thanksgiving and your praise?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have an attitude of true thankfulness to God?

November 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.
(Psalms 42:4 (NIV))

David gave God thanks for all that God had given to him. With the upcoming holiday that we celebrate as a nation, we must not forget that giving thanks to God goes back farther than the Pilgrims. People have been thankful to God for centuries. In our day and time, giving thanks has turned into just another excuse to take a day off from work and relax. On this upcoming Thanksgiving Day, let us truly be thankful for all that God has bestowed upon us even though we are not worthy of any of it.

Let Thanksgiving Day be the start of a new attitude. An attitude of true thankfulness to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your expectations of Jesus?

November 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.

But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
(Luke 24:28-32 (NIV))

How many times have you longed to see and hear Jesus, only to be “let down” at the moment when you thought that He wasn’t there. You were not let down by Jesus, you were let down by your own expectations of Jesus. These two men on their way to Emmaus had Jesus with them the whole way, yet, they did not see Him. How many times have you looked back on times in your life when you thought Jesus had not been there only to find that He was there and you did not recognize Him, just as these two men did not recognize Him?

We must learn to see Jesus for who and what He is, and not for what we expect Him to be!

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

November 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalms 100:4 (NIV))

All too often we forget this simple statement of faith. We forget to praise God and give Him thanks!

What does that say about our walk with God if we allow ourselves to be diverted from what should be our foremost thoughts? Are we so easily distracted by the temporary things of this world that we ignore the permanent things of God and eternity? Sometimes it seems that we would rather partake of the minute waltz that leaves you exhausted and empty while we ignore the fulfilling rewards of Amazing Grace.

In all things we should give thanks unto God, for it is through Him that we have been given all things good.

When you receive a pay raise at your job, do you thank the envelope that the check came in, or do you thank the boss who gave you the raise? Do you thank God for the blessings or do you thank the blessings, or yourself?

It is a matter of attitude.

Do you acknowledge the source or do you simply acknowledge the blessing? Whom or what you acknowledge and thank is a direct result of your attitude. The right attitude will greatly enhance your praise of the one who is worthy of all praise.

Where do you send your praise?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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May we reflect that light for all to see!

November 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
(John 9:4-5 (NIV))

Does anyone else relate this passage to Genesis?

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.
(Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV))

We think of physical light and darkness when we read Genesis 1:3-5, but is there more to the meaning of light in this passage that we have overlooked? Is there more to day and night than we understand?

All throughout history, people have had to take precautions at night from things such as attacks from an enemy. It is also difficult to see where you are going and easier to stumble and fall in the dark, It has always been safer to be out during the day then at night. Cities built fortified walls to protect themselves. They posted guards at night to alert the inhabitants of an attack. Even in the history of our own country, the enemy came at night by surprise often leaving death and destruction.

Do you see any similarities between the physical world and the spiritual world?

We are more prone to attacks from the enemy when we are in spiritual darkness. It is much easier to get lost when we are already going down a dark path of sin. What looks good in the darkness of sin rapidly overtakes us. If we saw this in the light, we would be totally revolted at what we see, for it leads to death and destruction.

God declared that light is good. Jesus came as the light of the world. If we profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we help to shine His light. One day, that light will be removed and those who are left who have not helped to shine His light will be totally surrounded by darkness. With the things that I see and the reports of things that I read, the removal of the light may be closer than we think.

Until that time, let there be light! May we reflect that light for all to see!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If patience is a virtue, are you a virtuous person?

November 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Are you as patient with God as He is with you? Would you apply the same patience and attitude in waiting on God as He does in waiting on you?

Be thankful that He is a patient and righteous God. We, in our limited understanding, are not patient. We expect everything “NOW” and are not prepared to truly be patient. We have a limited life on earth, limited reasoning and limited understanding. God has eternal life, is all seeing and all knowing. From God’s perspective, He is not slow. He has all of eternity. Our short lives on this planet are just that:

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;”
(Psalm 103:15)

If patience is a virtue, are you a virtuous person?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is Jesus weeping or is all of heaven rejoicing?

November 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus wept.
(John 11:35 (NIV))

Have you given any thought as to why Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus!

Jesus loved Lazarus and because he had died before Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, Lazarus still fell under the Law. His sins would convict him and the consequences would be eternal separation from God. Jesus wept for him because He had compassion for his friend, but He also had a very strong love for His friend. This love would not let His friend miss out on the gift of salvation when it would be available only a short time away. I do not profess to know this for certain, but I know the heart of Jesus. It is the same heart that led Him in obedience to the cross for you and I. It is the same heart that led him to heal the blind man. It is the same heart that led Him to heal the centurion’s daughter. It is the same heart that leads Him to search out the lost. He did not want to have Lazarus be lost when His salvation would be made available in a short time.

Jesus performed many miracles in His time on this earth. He is still performing them today. Perhaps one of the greatest miracles is His peace in hard times.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Hebrews 4:7 (NIV))

It is true that Jesus wept. It is true that He has compassion for His creation. He also rejoices when a soul finds salvation. I would offer up that Jesus weeps when a soul is lost to eternal separation from God. Nothing could break His heart more. In the same context, all of heaven rejoices when a lost soul is saved.

Take a look at your life and your salvation. Is Jesus weeping or is all of heaven rejoicing?

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