Give thanks to God and give Him all praise every day!

November 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV))

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am glad that we stop and give thanks. However, I also have a bone to pick with the Body of Christ!

Do we give praise to God often enough?

Do we express our thanks to God for what He has given to us?

I know too many members of the Body of Christ who don’t appear to be thankful for anything. They are more concerned about man-made rules and have lost sight of the joy that is theirs through Jesus.

I pray that this Thanksgiving becomes a daily occurrence in the hearts of the members of the Body.

Give thanks to God and give Him all praise every day.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you truly thankful to be called a son or daughter of God?

November 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
(Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV))

What rights does a slave or a servant have? What rights does a person who hires himself for a wage have? Now, think about those rights and then think about the rights that the son of the owner has. There is a huge difference in what they are given and what they are allowed to do.

How do you want to be thought of in relationship to God? Do you desire to serve God in all that you do? Do you want to be treated like a servant? Do you long to work for God and do whatever task He assigns to you? Do you want to be treated like a hired hand?

Think about the relationship that God longs to have with us? Did Jesus die on the cross to gain servants? Did He get resurrected to be able to hire more workers? Jesus came into this world and died so that we could become children of God. That means that we, as believers, are sons and daughters of God. We are not to be treated as slaves. We have all the privileges that a son possesses.

How can we not desire to serve God?

Nowhere does it say that we are not to serve God. It simply states that we are sons and daughters of God. A loyal son or daughter will serve the father out of love. A slave serves out of fear. A hired hand serves out of respect. At the end of the day, a slave is sent to his quarters, a hired hand goes home, but a son enters into the house of the father.

Jesus came so that at the end of the age, we may enter into the house of the Father.

Do you truly embrace your rights as a son or a daughter of God? Do you look forward to entering the house of the Father? Are you truly thankful to be called a son or daughter of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How have you responded to God’s gift?

November 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV))

It is hard for us to imagine that God could send Jesus who willingly gave up HIs authority while on this earth. He humbled himself to the point of servanthood and, eventually, death. Even in our best moments, we could not be capable of doing this, let alone planning to do it.

It is true, that under certain circumstances, people will rise to the occassion and do something that is selfless. Yet, could you imagine planning to be a servant and knowing that you would die a horrible death because you made the choice to do so? Self centeredness and self-preservation are too strong in us to willingly accept what Jesus accepted on our behalf.

Many people think that Jesus was only a good man, yet, even the best of men could not have done what he did? Only the Son of God could have willingly accepted the burden that he bore, for he knew the rewards that would be gained for all who called upon his name. He went willingly to be our sacrifical lamb so that we would not have to face eternal separation from God.

We have a great gift that has been given to us.

Are you thankful for that gift?

How have you responded to that gift? Are you one who bows your knee and confesses before man, or will you be one who confesses too late?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful for God’s grace?

November 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
(Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV))

At this time of year, with Thanksgiving coming up, let us agree to be thankful for what God has given us. When we come together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember to pray in agreement and ask for God to restore us and to bring revival to this nation and this world.

It is God’s world. He is in control. We must affirm His power and authority and come in agreement with His plans. When this is done, God will pour out His blessings on us.

What are you thankful for?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Spend time in God’s Word and be amazed!

November 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NAS))

God’s Word never ceases to amaze me.

It is alive!

And what is even of greater importance is that God is not dead. He is alive. He is in control.

Are you upset with the events as they are unfolding in this world? Are you upset with how it is rapidly becoming politically incorrect to express a faith in Jesus? Are you upset by how the world has turned against Israel and the Jewish people? Are you so upset with the world that it is causing you to lose focus, your focus on Jesus?

I know that God’s time table is based on things that happen according to the Jewish calendar, which is God’s calendar. I have been amazed at how God has unfolded recent events according to His calendar. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has pointed things out in his book The Harbinger. He has also pointed some things out in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah. I was just floored by some more of his teachings. I have always been fascinated by prophesy and how God works. I don’t understand it, but I have learned to be amazed at what He is doing and when He is doing it.

I find it fascinating that Jesus, who is the bread of life, was born in Bethlehem, which is the house of bread. I just learned from Rabbi Cahn that Jesus, who is the Lamb of God, was born in the area where the lambs that were to be sacrificed at the Temple were born.

Jesus, our sacrificial lamb, was born where the lambs that were to be sacrificed to God were born!

I could go on and on about how amazing God’s Word and God’s plans are, but I don’t have the words, the time or the space. I am learning every day just how amazing, how alive and how in control our God is.

I have been pierced so many times with God’s Word. It has brought me insight. It has made me aware of things that have made me literally gasp out of amazement.

The Bible is not something that you read just once and sit on a shelf.

Spend time in God’s Word and be amazed!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful for unmerited divine favor?

November 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

What do you have in your life that you consider to be good?

Where did it come from?

If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that everything that you have that you consider to be good did not come from anything that you may have done. You did not cause your life. You did not create your salvation. You did not earn your family. You did not earn God’s love.

It is so interesting and sad that too many people still feel that they can earn God’s love and salvation. They see God as someone that they have to impress and work to earn whatever He gives to them. They simply do not understand grace.

Grace has been defined as unmerited divine assistance.

Unmerited – unearned. In other words, we can do nothing to earn God’s grace and mercy. All that we have to do is accept it. It is free!

Once we realize that God’s grace is free, we begin to realize that all things that are good come from God. God is the creator of life. Life is good. God is the creator of love. Love is good. You never hear of someone who is dying say that they wish they could have a new car. It is not important. You never hear them say that they wished they could have lived life alone. They long for love. Love is important.

This Thanksgiving, reflect upon your life and count your blessings. Give thanks to the one who gave you those blessings. Let those around you know of your thankfulness.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We need each other in our faith!

November 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(Colossians 3:16 (NAS))

There are those who say that they do not need to go to church, that their belief is a personal issue.

Belief is a personal issue, yet, when all of the world is against what you believe in, it requires strength to survive and maintain those beliefs.

What if you want to grow your faith? All throughout history, people have taken comfort from others. When we teach our children, we do it in groups so that they may have the benefit of not only learning from the teacher, but also learning from each other. Why do we treat learning about God any different than we treat learning about anything else?

It is true that it is a relationship between the Creator and His creation, but the creation is a fallen entity and needs external support in order to stay focused. That is one reason why schools have class-rooms; to keep an order and a focus. Without that external support, our focus tends to stray. We need each other in all aspects of life, not just social. We must gather together as believers to help each other keep our focus on God and to help us grow.

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