Are you anxious for anything?

February 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 4:6-7 (NIV))

Patience is a virtue.

We all know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If that is the case, then anxiousness is what? A fruit of Satan? I don’t admit to knowing, but it would appear that it is not a desirable trait.

Patience comes from an inner peace. This peace can only come from God. Anxiousness does not come from peace. It comes from an inner restlessness and a thirst that is longing to be quenched. There is only one way to quench that thirst, and that is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Once you do this, God’s peace will come upon you.

Still, the world has a way of creeping into our lives even when we do not want it to. If we are not anxious, but are patient and wait on God, then He will provide and protect us from the world. It is when we do not wait on God that the world gets into our lives and ruins the peace.

Are you anxious for anything?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you find in your words?

February 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
(Exodus 20:7 (NIV))

Society has come to use many words and phrases over the course of history to mean things in various derogatory levels of expression. How many times have you heard someone say “God” and you knew that they were using this as a shorter version of a curse? How many times have you said or thought something similar to that yourself? Even these little slips are a sin because they use God’s name in vane. True, His name is not really God, but YHWH, but the sin does not lose any of its guilt due to the translation from the original language.

Listen to the words that are spoken around you during any given day. What do you hear? Listen to the words that come from your mouth. Listen to the thoughts that come from within you. Do you find yourself thinking things that are expressions that take God’s name in vane?

Day to day living makes us do things that we don’t really stop to think about. Each time that we do them, it is a sin in the eyes of God. No one can make it through a day without sinning. We all need a Savior. We all need Jesus, who was sent to take away the guilt of our sins. With sin, there is no hope and there is death. With Jesus, we know hope and there is no death.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm in your faith even if the world thinks you are a fool!

February 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
Even as he walks along the road,
the fool lacks sense
and shows everyone how stupid he is.
(Ecclesiastes 10:2-3 (NIV))

Have you ever encountered someone who just did not seem to understand how foolish they were to everyone else?

Did these people rebel against God? Did they deny God?

The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
(Psalm 14:1 (NIV))

Foolishness is different things to different people. To the believer, those who deny God are foolish. To those who deny God, we appear foolish.

Who do you think God considers to be foolish?

I have seen too many things in my lifetime that I thought I would never see. All of these are centered around what God considers foolishness and how it has become the societal norm. We have moved far past foolishness into areas that are pure evil. We, as the Body of Christ, must take a stand. We must recognize the things that God calls foolish and stay as far away as possible from these things. We must pray for those who are doing foolish things. We must pray for those who are caught in the evils of this world.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
(Titus 3:3-8 (NIV))

The time has come when professing a faith in Jesus Christ is considered foolish by many in this world. We must remember that we do not embrace the things of this world. We are to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to live the Gospel, even if it means looking foolish in the eyes of the world.

Now is not the time to falter in our faith!

Stand firm even if the world thinks you are a fool!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call upon the only means of salvation

February 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And God spoke all these words:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV))

Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try, we probably break this commandment every single day of our lives. We may think that we place God first and that we have no other gods before Him, yet, how often have you placed something as more important than spending time with God? How many times have you thought of your finances as being able to take care of you? How many times have you longed to be with someone? All of these, and more, have the potential of becoming a god if you focus on them too much.

God has stated that He does not want us to place anything above our relationship with Him. If we do, then it is a sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

We all sin every single day, and we have only looked at the first commandment. God has said that we cannot come into His presence as a sinner. If we do not go into God’s presence, then we are cast into the lake with Satan.

Look closely at your heart and call upon the only means of salvation, Jesus Christ, for

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you remain at a distance?

February 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(Exodus 20:18-21 (NIV))

The people remained at a distance!

We like to think that we would have done differently than the people did who were with Moses. We like to think that we would have been right up in the middle of everything seeking to be in the presence of God.

Would we?

Human nature is a strange thing. We say that we long to be in the presence of the Lord, but, when actually given the opportunity, how do we react? The people with Moses trembled in fear. They stayed away from God’s presence. They were afraid to meet with God on their own. They wanted a mediator. They wanted Moses to be that mediator.

Are we any different today?

If God’s presence suddenly filled the room, would you tremble in fear? Would you try to stay at a distance? Would you be afraid to speak with God?

Think about the role that Moses played as mediator. God knew that we would react this way. He knew that we would also seek a mediator who would speak to God on our behalf. God did something amazing with the mediator that He sent to us. He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to act as our mediator. He sent Himself to be our mediator.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-4 (NIV))

God sent Jesus so that we did not have to remain at a distance. Through Jesus, we are offered hope. We are offered grace. We are offered salvation. God does not want us to be distant. All that we have to do is draw close to Jesus.

Do you remain at a distance?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do not be deceived

February 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s world, deceit is everywhere. The prince of this world tries to deceive the faithful by wrapping his deception in a cloak that imitates the Truth.

Be careful in what you allow into your heart. Test everything. Satan can also appear as an angel of Light. If something does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, run from it.

All of God’s Truth throughout the history of the Bible has pointed to one man through many prophecies. If something professes to be from God, yet does not acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son, it is not from God.

Jesus foretold of this and left us a warning.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:22-23)

Do not be deceived, but keep your eyes focused on God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes on Jesus and do not swerve!

February 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
(Proverbs 4:23-27 (NIV))

Do not swerve to the right or the left!

What happens when we swerve? We miss the gate!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

Think of that from a physical perspective. What happens when you get behind the wheel of a car? You have a destination in mind and you have a plan for getting to that destination. Now consider that, for whatever the reason may be, you are distracted and begin swerving. A small deviation can be corrected if caught in time, but left unchecked, the deviation becomes a major problem. This problem is amplified the longer it is left uncorrected. Soon, you find yourself either lost, in a wreck, in the back of an ambulance, in the back of a police car, or dead.

All of this simply because you were not able to stay on course.

You swerved!

Your spiritual walk is no different than your physical life. Things will distract you. Things will make you swerve. What happens is up to you. If you make corrections when you swerve – repent – and turn back to the correct path, you will reach your destination. If you lose focus of where you are going and allow the distractions to become your focus, then you will miss your destination.

This requires faith. It requires commitment. It requires the ability to admit that you are not perfect and need a savior.

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Keep your eyes on Jesus and do not swerve!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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