What is God saying to you?

April 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.
(2 Chronicles 33:10-13 (NIV))

Are you stubborn? Has God been trying to get your attention and you ignore Him? Carefully consider Manasseh and what he endured because he paid no attention to God. Manasseh may be an extreme example, for he had a whole nation that he was responsible for. Yet, Manasseh may not be a bad example to consider.

God had a calling on his life that also effected countless others. God did what He had to do in order to get Manasseh to follow Him. Manasseh was bound and led around by a hook in his nose. He realized his dilemma and called out to God. He called out to the very one he had been trying to ignore. God arranged for Manasseh to return to his kingdom.

If God has a calling upon our life, He will get our attention. You may be able to run for a while, but He knows where you are. Don’t be like Manasseh and be led through serious troubles before you come to your senses. Allow God to work within you. Don’t be afraid that you can’t do what He is calling you to do. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.

What is God saying to you? Are you listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for whatever may happen today?

April 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:14 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, been able to preach the gospel in the whole world? Is it close? Are there certain areas that have not yet been exposed to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is difficult to say exactly what has been accomplished and what still has to be accomplished.

I do know that every day we are getting closer to the moment when this will be true. Perhaps satellites and television will play a big role in the fulfillment of this scripture. Perhaps it will be solely through person to person contact. We do not know. The only thing that is certain is that God wants every nation, tribe and tongue to have the opportunity to know grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

I was watching something on television the other day that stated that many Muslims are accepting Jesus! The reason that this is happening is that they are claiming visions where Jesus appears to them. Could it be that Jesus is actually appearing to people who are persecuting His church today in the same way that Saul was persecuting the church? An appearance by Jesus would change even the hardest skeptic into a believer. Is Jesus taking a hands-on role in the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14? If He is, then could it be too far off from when the rest of Matthew 24:14 will come about?

Are you ready for whatever may happen today? Only by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will you be saved from the fate of Satan in the end.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does this sound familiar?

April 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
(John 12:42-43 (NIV))

Does this sound familiar?

From the time that Jesus actually walked upon the earth until today, nothing has really changed. Some people will always be swayed by peer pressure. They are more concerned with what people will think of them instead of what God will think of them. It sounds like they have a distorted sense of priorities.

Can people save them from their sins and offer them eternal life? Does God hold onto petty arguments and hold that against someone for the rest of their life? Do we go to church to worship people? Do we call God on the phone and gossip about what somebody is doing?

From a worldly perspective, we must turn our world upside down. We must realize that God is in control and that humanity is condemned to eternal separation and damnation if we do not turn to God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

Humanity does not have the answers. Perhaps, we don’t even have the right questions. We spend our whole lives searching for acceptance when all we have to do is turn to our Creator and be eternally accepted. In comparison, all else pales.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you worship?

April 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
(Ezekiel 1:1 (NIV))

It sounds like Ezekiel was completely overwhelmed with his visions of God. He did exactly as I would do. He memorized the exact time and place that God came to him. I know that I would never forget such an experience, and it is human nature to want to create points of reference so that we can remember our special moments. However, we must be careful not to make the location more important than the encounter.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
(Matthew 17:4 (NIV))

Just like Ezekiel, Peter had an experience where he witnessed something that God desired for him to see. Peter was so moved by the experience that he wanted to build what basically would have been a set of shrines, or places of worship. The only problem is that Jesus knew the shrines would become more important than what actually happened there.

Ezekiel did not dwell on the location. He did not turn it into a place of worship. He knew that God was and is to be worshipped in truth and in spirit.

Take a serious look at your worship life. Have you turned your worship into a routine dictated by a place? Have you become so rooted in your habits that the place of worship is more important than the worship? We must learn not to dwell upon the insignificance of the place, but rather, we must learn to focus on the importance of “Who” we worship. God is not limited to only one place. He is everywhere. We must worship at all times and when we come together on Sundays, we must worship in unity as a single Body of Christ.

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

April 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV))

Is there a season in your life that has passed and you wish that it was still here?

I had a reminder of this last night.

One of the things that I used to love to do when I was younger has slipped away from me. Age and medical issues have taken it from me. I used to engulf myself in guitar and keyboards when I was younger. I spent a lot of time playing and doing things in recording studios behind the board.

Physical limitations have set in. I can no longer do any of this.

It is depressing!

We have all had something like this happen in our lives and it isn’t fun.

Are you glad that Jesus’ grace and mercy does not have a season? In other words, aren’t you glad that you are still capable of calling on Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and that He will be there?

Life has seasons. We have all experienced many of them. One season that we all will face is death. Don’t be caught off guard and face this season without the grace and mercy given to us through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The unending, unfailing love of God

April 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.
(Psalms 103:17 (NAS))

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

Both verses tell of the unending, unfailing love that God has for His creation, especially those who call upon His name in love and righteousness.

Don’t get this wrong! God loves everyone, and He does not wish any to perish. He shows unsaved people His love, but in many times that love goes unrecognized by the intended recipient. He does show His love to those who show Him their love. Perhaps it is the fact that they wish to express love in return that allows them to see the love that God pours out on them. He wants to bless us.

God’s love is not limited to only those who are on His “good side.” Anyone can receive God’s love. If anyone turns to Him and repents, then He will be waiting for them with love, grace and mercy that will never end. Isn’t that amazing?

We are limited by human knowledge and capacity and probably every single one of us has trouble grasping the infinite capacity that God has to love us. We cannot comprehend the unlimited love that God has for us and how that love manifested itself for our salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Just as the human mind has trouble with understanding the vastness of the mathematical concept of infinite, we are also limited in understanding the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love.

God is good! Have you accepted the vastness of that goodness and love?

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

April 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV))

Are you ready?

If you know something is going to happen, you prepare for it. If you do not expect something to happen, you never prepare. It is human nature.

Now, as the Body of Christ, we should know beyond a doubt that what He has told us will come true. If we know that Jesus will return, we should be prepared for his return. We may not know the exact hour or day, but we know that He has promised that He will return.

If you have a loved one who has gone away for any length of time, you stand on the promise of that person returning when they say they will return. You prepare for that return. We place our faith and our trust in one who is sinful by nature. We place our faith and trust in a sinner to keep their promise. If we can trust in a sinner to keep their promise to return, how can we deny that He who was and is without sin will return as He promised? We prepare for the uncertain and ignore the certain!

With this perspective on Jesus’ return, are you ready? Will you find yourself bewildered and confused when everyone who is ready is taken? It is time to get ready by asking Jesus into your heart.

Are you ready?

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