Which master do you serve?

May 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
(Proverbs 28:20 (NIV))

In this world that we live in, wealth is the goal for many. The desire to retire early is widespread anymore. How many times do you see people who desire to get rich achieve their goal, yet they squander everything or commit serious crimes to attain their wealth?

Faith is the benchmark for all things in this world. With faith comes Godly wisdom. With wisdom comes the desire to be responsible for what God has entrusted to you. Maybe it is the faith that leads a person to be responsible with what you have so that you do not make foolish and ungodly decisions.

Perhaps, the best way to express what is stated in Proverbs is in Matthew 6:24.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
(Matthew 6:24)

If you focus on wealth, then you despise God and will do anything to attain your wealth. If you serve God, then He will supply what is needed, and your life will prosper.

Which master do you serve?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a person after God’s own heart?

May 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
(Psalms 25:1-3 (NIV))

David was very prolific. We have numerous writings by David and through his writings we can learn something about the man whom possessed a heart after God’s own. He was not ashamed to praise God. He was not ashamed to cry out to God. He was not ashamed to ask God for His protection and His mercy. He was not ashamed to admit when he had sinned.

I wonder what happened to the leaders like this?

The world is in great need of men and women who seek God in all that they do. The world needs people like this in positions of leadership and authority. Sadly, these positions seem to be relegated to those who despise God and all that is righteous. I realize that this last statement was a broad and sweeping generalization, and that there are people like this, but why are their voices silenced? Why does the world ignore them? Why do we not hear of world leaders falling on their knees and asking for God’s guidance, wisdom, strength and mercy?

Sadly, this type of behavior is now looked upon as a sign of weakness and a lack of intelligence. Where are the David’s? Where are the Solomon’s? Where are the people who call upon the name of the Lord?

We can start by having righteous men and women call upon the Lord wherever they are. We can unite in our desires to see God glorified.

I have a question that I want you to think about.

If someone had the ability to look back at your life through your writings, through the words of others and through the impact that you have had on others, would they come to the conclusion that you have a heart after God’s own?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready?

May 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
(John 5:39-40 (NIV))

How well do you know God’s Word?

Do you know it well enough to not twist it to your own interpretations?

Do you pick and choose what you want to believe?

Are you hypocritical?

Have you come to the realization that God is not situational? In other words, the way that you act when around one group of people should be the same way that you act when around another group of people. The way that you expect others to act is also the way that you should act.

The time is coming when the Body of Christ will be persecuted. It may be closer than you think. Will you be able to stand firm in your faith? Will you be able to cling to the hope that we have through God’s Word as it was manifested through Jesus?

Can you stand firmly on the truth that we call the Bible even if and when it becomes illegal to possess God’s Word?

Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
(Proverbs 7:3 (NIV))

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
(2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, must study God’s Word and live by what we study. There is a huge test that is coming from the world.

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the return of Jesus your biggest hope or biggest fear?

May 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
(Revelation 22:12 (NIV))

This either is a blessed hope or a cause of extreme fear. How you look upon it is how you look upon Jesus Christ.

Even though these words speak of His return to bind Satan and judge those left on the earth or who have died without accepting Him, it is still a cause of fear or denial for many. True followers of Jesus will not have to face the judgement that He will dish out. Their judgement has been one of complete pardon by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. All others who will face the judgement will have no where to turn to escape the consequences of what they have done in their lives, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Knowing that no one has lead a perfect, sinless life, how do you want to be judged? Do you have the hope and assurance of a complete pardon or do you have the fear of damnation?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you forsaken God?

May 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:14-16 (NIV))

We may forget God, but He will never forget us.

Isaiah was given the words that bring comfort to all who belong to the Lord. It is not possible for God to forget us or forsake us. When we depart slightly from the ways that God wishes for us, He does not cast us off. He waits patiently for us to return to Him, and when we do, all of heaven rejoices. The promise that He gave to Zion (Israel) also holds true for believers.

Jesus said that He is the vine and that we are the branches. We, as Gentile believers, have been grafted into the vine that is Jesus. We are a part of Him. We have a big brother interceding for us at the right hand of God. How can God forget us or forsake us? We are better off today than when Isaiah was given these words. Jesus had not yet come to earth or ascended back to the Father.

Today, both of these have happened, and Jesus does sit at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding in our behalf. The only thing that could be better is to have direct access ourselves, but that time has not come yet. Jesus must return again for His faithful and establish His kingdom on earth.

Will you be among the faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you praying?

May 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Did you know that yesterday was the National Day of Prayer?

Does it even matter to you?

There is so much that is wrong with society now. It breaks my heart to see things that go against what God has commanded. I honestly believe that people take great pleasure in finding ways to flaunt their favorite sin in ways that will get attention. It is as if they are deliberately telling God that they don’t care what He thinks. It even looks like they are trying to outdo each other with who and what is the most vile.

Things have been set in motion since the beginning of time that only God knows when they will reach the culmination. It appears that they are rapidly escalating. It wasn’t that long ago that everything that is now being flaunted in our faces wasn’t even mentioned at all. Now, common sense and any ideas of righteousness have all but died. We are seeing things happen that I would never have believed would happen in my lifetime.

To be honest, it scares me!

I am not scared for myself, for I know where I have placed my faith and I know how the story ends. I am scared for those who don’t know that they are caught in a terrible cycle of sin and death. I am scared for those who will realize too late that they have made an eternal mistake.

I see things every single day that make me saddened, that make me groan in agony. I try to put my feelings into prayers, but all that I can do is groan. I know that our heavenly Father understands the groans, but from a human perspective, I long to put things into words so that I can understand. I am sure that I am not alone in this desire.

I wonder how many of the prayers that have been lifted up on the National Day of Prayer were the groanings of the members of the Body of Christ? Can we agree to groan in the spirit continually so that the Lord will hear us continually?

pray continually;
(1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV))

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:18 (NIV))

If my people will pray!

Are you praying?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your expectations?

May 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

What did you do yesterday?

Did you end the day with expectations for today?

Do you have big plans for tomorrow?

Are you planning something special for next week, next month or next year?

Everyone has expectations for the future, but how often do your expectations actually come true? With that in mind, there is one thing that I need to ask. What are your expectations with respect to salvation? Have you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you confident in your faith? Do you live out your faith as if your life could end at any moment and eternity depended on Jesus acknowledging you as a faithful follower?

Are you confident that you would not hear these words from Jesus?

`I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23b (NIV))

Let’s face the truth. None of us want to hear these words. None of us want to face the consequences of these words. Can you honestly look at your life in relation to what God has written and what Jesus has taught and find yourself righteous in the eyes of God? No one can!

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

It is for this reason that Jesus came into the world. It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross. It is for this reason that Jesus died. It is for this reason that Jesus was resurrected. It is through the acceptance of this gift that anyone can be saved. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All that we can know is that we have called upon Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. We must live for Him. We must commune with Him. We must seek His face in all that we do. We cannot simply call upon Jesus only when we need rescuing.

What are your expectations of your relationship with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your reputation?

May 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
(Revelation 3:1-3 (NIV))

What is your reputation?

Do you present a facade to the world that is different from what God sees? Do people think that you are a righteous person who longs to follow Jesus? What would they think of the truth that is inside of you?

God sees all and He knows all. There is no hiding from God.

Would God tell you that He has not found your deeds complete? Would He call you to obedience and repentance?

Are you prepared to find out if God considers you to be righteous in His eyes?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you take prophecy seriously?

May 5, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
(Revelation 18:1-5 (NIV))

Do you take this passage seriously?

Who do you think that this refers to? Just who is Babylon the Great?

Whoever it is has a great influence on the whole world. They trade with the whole world and many have gotten rich from this trade. The leaders of the world have taken part in the sins of Babylon the Great. They do not follow sound, Godly teachings. In fact, they appear to like the sin that they are spreading throughout the world.

I have heard several different people espouse several different ideas as to who Babylon the Great will be. Some say that it is literally Babylon rebuilt. Others say that it is spiritual Babylon as embraced by some unknown entity. Some say that it is the Catholic church. Others say that it is the United States.

Regardless of who it is, we, as the Body of Christ, must not fall into the trap that is set for the whole world. We must “come out of her” by following Jesus. We must earnestly seek to be set apart from this terrible thing that causes all of the world to sin. We must stand firm in our faith in Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you feel like you are set apart?

May 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
(Ephesians 5:3-7 (NIV))

I was reminded today about the meaning of the word “holy.” It was something that I knew, but, like many things, it got relegated to the back of my mind. The true meaning was slowly replaced with the way society looks upon the word, and unfortunately, society has ruined the true meaning of the word.

The word “holy” means to be set apart. What the world thinks of is a twisted and convoluted take on this meaning. The world looks upon the word as a sarcastic jab at someone who wants to follow Jesus. What the word truly means has nothing to do with sarcasm at all. In fact, if you truly are set apart from society because you wish to follow Jesus, then you are not sarcastic toward the world. You long to see the world follow Jesus and you do not act as the world expects you to act. You do not portray a holier than thou attitude.

Think about the people that you consider to be holy. What characteristics do they portray that makes you think of them as holy? Think about Jesus. He was, and is, definitely holy. Did He rub it in people’s faces? Did He have an attitude of arrogance?

Just what characteristics did Jesus portray.

Do you portray those characteristics?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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