Do you have enough faith to believe in God’s promises?

November 14, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
(Isaiah 11:6 (NIV))

Have you ever really thought about this passage and the perfect picture of peace that it represents? Prey and predator living in peace. No more enemies and no more fears. No lack of trusting each other. No mortal fear for your life. Existing in peace and perfection the way that God intended.

Too many people laugh at this concept and claim that this will never happen because the very natures of these animals will not allow such a thing to happen. Are these the same people who also claim that there is no god and that Jesus was only a man? They don’t believe that God exists. They don’t believe that the nature of creation can be changed. They claim that they are only being realistic and that if you simply observe things that it proves that this will never happen.

Can you think of a time in history when people would scoff at something and claim that if you simply observe things, it proves their point of view?

How is that flat earth thing going for them after Columbus returned from his voyages?

Sadly, some people are just too stubborn to accept anything on faith. They have it set in their minds that if they cannot see it, then it must not exist. If they can’t test it, then it could not possibly happen. They lack any potential to have faith or hope.

Can you imagine a more depressing outlook on life? A life without faith and hope leaves you void, angry and depressed. We all need faith.

Faith can move mountains. Hope and faith give us the strength to carry on from day to day.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Do you have enough faith to believe in God’s promises?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What traditions do you follow?

November 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
(1 Corinthians 1:22-23 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting how different groups of people look for different things before they will believe.

Jewish history is full of signs, wonders and miracles, so they expect something from God to be announced in that matter. The Greeks have always been known as the creators of intellectual thought, so therefore, anything must be analyzed and make logical sense.

What other traditions have we inherited that make us look at Jesus in ways that don’t allow us to truly see him as God the Father intended? What has society done to further distract us from seeing Jesus?

Humanity tries to do things the way that we think that they should be, but hasn’t God told us that His ways are not man’s ways. If we try to approach Jesus in any way that man has devised, then we will miss the intentions of God when He sent Jesus to us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Tomorrow is in God’s hands

November 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(Matthew 24:7 (NIV))

All throughout history since Jesus ascended into Heaven, man has thought that His return was going to be in their lifetime. We cannot know exactly when He will return, but we can know the season.

War has been on the increase since 1900. It has been reported that there have been more ethnic wars and major wars this century than in any time before. The famines that have hit Africa are the worst in recorded history. In any given week, it is probably safe to say that there have been at least three major earthquakes throughout the world. It is reported that there have been more earthquakes this century than ever before. It is also reported that the frequency of these earthquakes is increasing. Just as birth pains increase in frequency and strength before child birth, so to are the “birth pains” that the world is experiencing before the return of Christ.

We may not live to see His return, yet the signs are obvious. The season is upon us and the time is getting closer. Jesus may return for His true church next week, next month, next year or next century. God did not say how long the “birth pains” would last before Jesus returns. God did say that at a certain point in those birth pains, the antichrist would arise and then there would be a last period of seven years before Jesus returns to put an end to sin.

All we can do is pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and in the world and be ready for whatever today may bring. Tomorrow is in God’s hands.

Are you in touch with the frequency of wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes? Is it time for us, as believers, to call for the Great Physician to come?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Take a look at your life of worship

November 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
(2 Kings 17:35-39 (NIV))

As the Body of Christ, we have been grafted into the root of Israel. We are to worship God in the same manner as the instructions that He gave to Israel.

Do we?

Are we guilty of worshipping other gods? If you stop to think about this question, it is very easy to fall into this mindset.

Do you spend more time shouting and praising your favorite football team than you do for the Creator of all things? Do you sit in a church service and watch the clock because you have someplace better to be? Do you spend more time on your boat than you do in worship? Do you spend more time pursuing money than you do pursuing godly righteousness? Are you more concerned with the stock market than you are with where you will spend eternity?

Just what is worship?

I have heard someone say that worship is the act of showing respect and love for God. I have also heard if explained as excessive admiration for someone or something.

Which definition of worship applies to what you practice? Is it the love and respect for God or is it the excessive admiration of something or someone? We have to be careful that we do not cross the line from loving God to admiring something else. When we do, we lose sight of where our worship truly belongs!

Take a serious look at your worship life. Are you overjoyed and desire to praise God or do you sit there with your arms folded thinking about anything else that occupies your mind?

Is worship confined to within the walls of a church building? Do you worship God wherever you may be or do you leave it behind when you walk out the doors of the church? Is this what we are called to do?

With all of the distractions that we have in this world, we need to focus on God.

Worship!

In all things that we do, we should worship God! We should praise His name. We should focus on the one who created all things and gave us life and not focus on the things that God created! The creation will fade. God is eternal.

Take a look at your life of worship.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do you honor the Son?

November 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
(John 5:22-23 (NIV))

It is so hard in today’s world to watch the news and see all of the natural disasters that seem to be increasing in frequency and in magnitude. From a worldly point of view, we wonder if it will ever end. From a member of the Body of Christ, I often wonder just how close we are to the beginning of the events foretold of in Revelation.

One thing is certain. Jesus is coming again. We don’t know the hour or the day, but we do know that He is coming, for the signs seem to be upon us.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, `Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
(Matthew 16:2-3 (NIV))

What can a person do? What can we hold on to to give us strength in these uncertain times when the signs all seem to be pointing to worldly chaos? How can we, as believers, escape these events?

Many scholars debate over whether there will be a rapture of the church before things get way out of hand, for the rapture is not spoken of directly as an event, but is hinted at in passages such as the following.

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
(2 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

We MUST place our faith and trust in Jesus, the Son. He is coming again. Whether you believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture, a mid-Tribulation rapture, a post-Tribulation rapture, or no rapture, one thing is certain – Jesus is coming again. He will be the judge. Regardless of when we believe that we will meet HIm, He is coming.

Do you honor the Son?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


How was your day?

November 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
(Romans 7:21-25 (NIV))

No one can escape this truth. Even Paul, whose desire was to live as Christ, was not exempt from the sin that we all fight each and every day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t fail to live up to what I know that I should be doing. A quick thought, a wrong word, a misguided action, all remind me that I cannot do it on my own. I cannot live the life that Jesus calls me to live, that I want to live, without His guidance, grace and forgiveness.

Unfortunately, society expects members of the Church to be perfect. They are quick to judge those who profess a faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. They hold us up to a higher standard that no one can meet without Jesus, and when we fail, they are quick to condemn, To be honest with you, it is my opinion that we should willingly hold ourselves up to this higher standard with Jesus as the example. If we did that daily, then society may not need to be so critical.

Perhaps we should be more critical of ourselves. We have the truth that if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will be forgiven. Do we take this and forget to see that we still need to be made mature and we will still need correction? Do we have the wrong idea that since we are a loved child of God, we can do no further wrong in the eyes of God?

We are loved children and not spoiled brats who can get away with anything!

We should desire as Paul desired. We should long to do what is right in the eyes of God. We should desire to be rescued from this body of death. We should desire God’s law and hate sin. We should willingly repent each and every day of the things that we know we should not do.

How was your day?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


The greatest reason to rejoice!

November 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV))

I know that it is sometimes hard to rejoice because of the worldly events that effect our lives. We see terror and hatred in our daily lives and this makes it hard to rejoice from a worldly perspective. We must remember that, according to 1 Peter 2: 11, we are as aliens and strangers in this world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

We are faced with the world every single day of our lives, yet we must not lose focus on the fact that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are destined for an existance far greater than this world. This is only temporary. This, too, will pass.

It is our task to make sure that we always reflect the love of Jesus Christ to those whom we meet. We are to do this in the hopes of planting a seed within them that will grow and bloom as it has in our lives. For this reason, even in the face of adversity, we must rejoice, for God has given us, through Jesus Christ, the greatest reason to rejoice.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


There truly is a reward for those who live for God

November 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.” ”
(Psalms 58:11 (NLT))

Do you live for the day that you can say this because it has come to pass?

Too many people don’t even believe in God and they live their lives just as they believe. They do not see the consequences of any of their actions. Perhaps, they even flaunt their actions because they don’t believe. Whatever the reason, too many people live as if nothing matters except them. Many of these people even go out of their way to make sure that the body of believers receives ridicule because of their actions.

It is good to know that the words recorded in Psalms 58:11 will come to pass. However, we must not gloat over this fact when we are confronted with people who do not believe. It is our task as the Body of Jesus to pray for God’s Will to be done in their lives.

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))

We must remember the people that God is giving a chance to come to salvation before the events of Psalms 58:11 come to pass. We must not rush God and His timeframe. We must pray for those who still need to come to a saving grace through the blood of Jesus.

But, it is wonderful to know that “there is a God who judges justly here on earth,” even if it is not done according to our desired timeline.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Learn the true heart of God and not the “rules” taught by men

November 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
” `These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’
(Mark 7:6-7 (NIV))

It is my desire to learn the true heart of God and not the “rules” taught by men.

What single thing do you hold on to that is not Biblical, but is actually a man-made rule? Come on and admit that you have them. They are the things that we all hold on to because they are tradition, or because they are part of our comfort zone. Perhaps the biggest one is thinking that other people can’t be true believers because they don’t look and act the same. I hate to say this, but I would bet that every believer struggles with this from time to time. And I think I know where that all started. Could it be that we are so ingrained in our own set of rules made by man, that we forget that they are only rules? We start to judge others by our set of rules that we have applied to ourselves, while we overlook the much bigger and much more important aspect of grace and mercy.

Human nature is a fickle thing. We long to be forgiven, but then we add all types of stipulations that God never would have even begun to think of. It is interesting that God could only come up with Ten Commandments and then salvation through Jesus. We have added so many things to this that we could easily be guilty of worshipping in vain, for we could be following our rules instead of God’s teachings.

We need to focus on what is true and righteous in the eyes of God. We must focus on God. We must focus on His Word and on Jesus, His only begotten Son. We must focus on the Holy Spirit. All other, if it does not point you to God, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit, is a false teaching and must be removed from our lives.

Don’t let man-made rules hinder your relationship with God and your salvation through Jesus, His Son. It’s not worth what you will lose.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


“Do you believe this?”

November 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Salvation comes down to four simple words!

“Do you believe this?”

Each of us believes in something. Some of us believe that they will win the lottery. Some of us believe that they will have a perfect life. Some of us believe that they can do no wrong. No matter what you believe, these beliefs will eventually leave you disappointed and heart broken.

There is only one thing that you can believe in that will absolutely never leave you disappointed in the long term. That is a belief that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and that through His redemptive sacrifice on the cross, we have eternal life with God the Father if we only believe and act on our belief.

All of eternity comes down to four simple words. How and where you spend eternity depends on your personal answer.

Have you fully embraced the grace and mercy that is yours if you only profess a belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you prepared to fully embrace the consequences of your beliefs?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: