Truth is truth and it is not your decision!

February 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
(John 4:24 (NAS))

To believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we must worship God in Spirit, allowing Him to “educate” us to His truth. Unlike today’s philosophy, truth is not flexible, truth is not something that changes with the situation. Truth is not what supports a person’s viewpoint. TRUTH IS TRUTH! Truth does not change or waiver depending on the situation.

We must be willing to accept the truth no matter how it changes our beliefs. Cigarettes cause cancer. That is a physical truth. For those who smoke, they may not want to accept that truth, but it is truth, none-the-less. They will eventually have to face that truth. Those who truly wish to worship God will worship Him and all of His truths.

Do you pick and choose what truths to believe or do you accept God’s truth in its entirety?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It only takes one person who has found favor with God!

February 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
(Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV))

This passage sets the stage for the story of Noah and the ark.

We know that humanity had turned to complete wickedness and that God grieved for the sins of His creation. He grieved so much, that He was ready to destroy the cause of His grief.

So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6:7-8 (NIV))

Noah found favor in the eyes of God!

For the sake of one man, God did not destroy all of creation. For the sake of one man, God saved humanity for a future.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I am only one person. What can I do?”

Perhaps you have said it yourself.

How many times has God worked through one person? Every single story that we have from the Old Testament and the New Testament all start with when God calls a single individual to follow Him. It does not take a committee. It does not take a unanimous vote by a church council. It simply takes a single individual who is willing to be still before God and to hear His voice. Noah was not approached by a church building committee. He was approached by God! It only requires a willingness on our part to hear and be receptive to what we hear. Perhaps this is why Noah found favor in the eyes of God. Noah was receptive to God!.

Would you find favor in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God loves you, but is He pleased with you?

February 25, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalms 19:14 (NLT))

If you have children, no matter the age, what is it about them that pleases you? Please note that I did not ask what is it about them that you love, for love is a natural thing for a parent to have for their children.

What is it about them that pleases you?

I can safely say that what pleases you as a parent are not the things that stir up anger. The things about your children that please you are the positive things in their lives. Things such as love, joy, peace, patience, and other such traits. You are pleased when you see their words and their actions reflecting things that are righteous in nature.

Do you like it when your children do something wrong?

You still love them, but you are not happy with their actions.

God is the same way with each of us. He loves us no matter what we do, yet, He is only pleased with us when we do things that honor Him. Contrary to what the world says, God is not pleased with us when we go against His design.

Think about that for a moment.

If you like to bake and you make a pie, you are pleased with the pie if it tastes good. What happens when you find that the results of your labor is not what you intended? You try to come up with a way to fix the results, such as adding ice cream, and if that doesn’t work, you throw it out.

God came up with a way to fix our sinful nature so that He could be pleased with us once again. He sent His Son, Jesus, to bring that fix, to bring salvation. It is up to us to accept that fix so that we can be pleasing in the eyes of God.

Do I even need to go to the end result if we do not accept the fix that God has sent?

Are your words and your thoughts pleasing to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is our refuge. He is our stronghold!

February 24, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word oppressed?

Many of us think of someone being treated cruelly or unfairly. But did you know that it also means to burden spiritually or mentally? In simpler terms, it means to weigh heavily on your mind or spirit.

Let’s face the truth. As sinful humanity, there is always something that causes us to feel oppressed. Think about that for a moment and then think about the things in life that we all experience. Things like family issues, money problems, car repairs, home repairs, health related issues, and many other things that have a habit of keeping our minds in despair and away from God.

These are the very things that the enemy uses to trouble us. They are the very things that the enemy uses to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the relationship with God that both we and God want. The enemy knows that we are frail and will become distracted by the troubles of this life, and he uses it all too often.

Sadly, too many of us seem to turn to the troubles when it looks like we will escape them.

Stay strong!

Stay focused on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Why should we feel oppressed? Why should we feel trapped by and in our troubles? Why should we feel forsaken when we have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior?

Jesus is our refuge, He is our stronghold!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been rejuvenated by the water?

February 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
(John 4:14 (NIV))

It is certain that no matter what you do in this world – eat, drink, sleep, or rest, it will not suffice for more than a few hours. The hot summer sun makes us thirsty. We need food to sustain us physically. We need sleep when we are worn out by the toils of this world.

There is only one sure thing in this world that will sustain us. Jesus Christ is that sustenance. He is the Word of God made flesh. He offers us something that comes from God and does not know the worldly laws that say nothing lasts forever. Jesus offers us grace and mercy and a peace that passes all understanding.

Water is said to be able to rejuvenate someone when they are weak, yet this rejuvenation does not last. The gift that Jesus Christ has brought to us is the Water of Life for salvation which never loses its ability to rejuvenate. Once you drink from this fountain, your eternal life is promised and you will never thirst for salvation again.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been baptized into new life?

February 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
(Romans 6:4 (NIV))

Baptism symbolizes a re-birth. Just as the Jewish Passover tradition of hiding the middle loaf of bread symbolizes death, the complete submersion in water symbolizes death. In both cases, the reappearance symbolizes a resurrection from death.

Luckily, we do not have to experience the ultimate death, which is eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price so that we do not have to suffer the ultimate death. Through the symbolism of baptism and the spiritual meaning that it has, we have died to death because Jesus has already died for us. When we arise out of the water, we arise as new creations. Creations that are holy and righteous in God’s sight because of our faith that God sent Jesus Christ to pay the price for us.

If we truly die with Jesus, then we will live with Him as a reward for our faith. This is a gift of grace, for we cannot do anything that will make us worthy of this gift. It is given freely, and all we have to do is be willing to “die” so that we may live eternally with God.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be careful what you try to offer!

February 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
(Acts 8:18-23 (NIV))

OUCH !!!

Unfortunately, Simon is not the only one who has tried to buy the grace and power of God. The only difference is that most people try to barter with God instead of offering money to those who come in God’s name.

How do you barter with God?

Have you ever heard someone say that if God will do something for them, then they will commit their life to God? The only thing that seems to vary in this equation is what each person wants as their part of the bargain. Some want to live. Some want fame and fortune. Some even want to blessed with the power that Simon was seeking.

What is the difference between those who barter with God and what Simon did?

I honestly believe that there really isn’t a difference. In both scenarios, the one who is seeking is willing to do whatever it takes for them to get what they want. Did you catch that? For what they want! They are trying to gain something to further their kingdom and God is only the provider of the means. They fail to realize that God gives gifts to whom He pleases. They also fail to realize that God looks at the heart. He knows who is sincere and humble. He knows who will turn what God has given into a situation that cries out “Look at what I have done,” instead of “Look at what God has done!”

There is a difference between eagerness and selfishness. Be careful that you do not make the mistake that Simon made. Pray for guidance. Pray for wisdom. Pray for insight. Pray for patience. In time, God will reveal to you the gifts that He desires to give you for use in His kingdom. Just remember that they are for His kingdom and not yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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