Lord, lead me to the rock!

February 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
(Psalms 61:2 (NIV))

Lord, lead me to the rock!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalms 18:2 (NIV))

In all that you say and in all that you do, are you calling out to God to lead you to Him?

We like to think that we are, yet, each of us have times when we are facing things where we feel that we have been abandoned. Stop to think about that for a moment. If we can claim that God is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer, do the definitions of these words have anything in them that portrays these as anything other than solid and faithful? We can rely on these types of places to be there to protect us, to hide us in the storms, and to give us strength when we have no strength on our own.

Think about what a rock, a fortress and a deliverer mean to you.

Why would anyone run from such a place? Why would anyone not seek shelter in these places? Why would someone not build their house, their life, upon such a place?

There is only one place where you can find such a rock, such a fortress and such a deliverer! Place you faith in Jesus and the salvation that is yours through His atoning blood.

Lord, lead me to the rock!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is in your cup?

February 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
(Mark 14:35-36 (NIV))

How many times have you faced something that you knew you had to complete, yet, you did not want to face it? Perhaps this is the humanity coming out in the divinity that is Jesus.

What distinguishes our desires to abandon what we should do from those that Jesus felt?

Simply put, He realized that He had the responsibility for others beyond himself. His actions would effect untold numbers of people if He did not complete the task that He came to complete. We need to remember that Jesus did have a choice, and because of that choice, we have been given a choice as well. We can choose salvation because of the price that He willingly paid for us.

The next time that you face something that you wish to ignore, remember that others will feel the ramifications of your actions. Will they be good or will they be bad? We may not be able to tell when we are in the middle of our ordeal, but, we must remember that God has a plan for us and we need to be as diligent as possible to follow that plan. We must also remember that we cannot face it on our own. We must rely on the strength that we are given through the blood of Jesus.

Will you give up your cup or will you drink from what God has planned for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you still desire your sinful nature?

February 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
(Romans 8:5-8 (NIV))

It seems that a lot of people today only have their minds on what they want. It is no wonder that many people refer to our society today as the “me” society. Everyone seems to think only of themselves. They do whatever they want without any serious thought of the consequences to themselves or to those around them. To me, this sounds very much like those people who Paul described in Romans 5:8. They live only for what they desire and when they desire it. They seek after love that is not true, joy that is fleeting, peace that is medically induced, kindness that is bought, goodness that is false and faithfulness that is fleeting. Their desires cause them to shift course whenever things start to get bad or whenever they feel that they can get their next desire met.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV))

When we sacrifice the sinful nature, we not only fully embrace what God desires, but we should also fully reject what we have become addicted to. We must focus on Jesus and trust in Him. We must forget the past and look to the future that He has saved us for. He did not die on the cross to keep us bound to our sinful nature. He died so that we can break free of that bondage. In order to do this, we must give ourselves completely to Him. We cannot be someone who claims that Jesus only came to teach about love. Love will not save you. We cannot be someone who thinks that they can pick and choose what they wish to believe. Jesus is a complete package. We must be the ones who proclaim that Jesus came to die for us. We must proclaim that Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior. We must proclaim that His love for us kept Him on that cross. We must proclaim that it is this same love that will help us to defeat our sinful nature.

If we proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and if we allow Him to work in our lives to clear the sinful nature, then we will be able to focus on what the Spirit desires and make these desires our desires.

What do you desire?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready and willing to gather for the harvest?

February 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
(Proverbs 10:5 (NIV))

When I read this passage today, I froze!

We are all aware of the physical world implications of this passage. The thoughts of an actual harvest are important, especially when you consider that the harvest was the in-gathering of all crops for the year. The very crops that were to be prepared and stored for food during the coming months. It was, and is, important to have everyone take part in this activity so that nothing was missed, so that nothing was cast aside because there weren’t enough workers to bring in the full harvest. Sleeping, or being lazy, was not an option. It was a disgrace to do such a thing. The very survival of the family and the community depended on everyone working.

What hit me today with this passage are the spiritual implications of these very words.

How many times have you read passages where Jesus talks about the harvest?

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Luke 10:2 (NIV))

Think about something for me.

If we have received Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are called sons and daughters of God. Does that mean that we get a free ride, that we get to sit back and watch everyone else bring in the harvest? If we do just that, I honestly believe that we would be disgraceful sons and daughters.

We must each do our part so that the full harvest is brought in.

Are you ready and willing to gather for the harvest?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have a daily time to spend with God?

February 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

As I sit here exhausted, I realize just how easy it is to become so engrossed in the things of the world that we call our lives. It is so easy to let God slip to a second, third or even a fourth priority. The sad part about this when it happens is that we don’t realize that it is happening until it has already happened.

We need to establish something that becomes a constant in our lives. Something that we do on a daily basis that forces us to be still in the presence of God. This must be something that we do no matter whether we want to or not, no matter whether we feel that we can take a day off because no one will notice.

If you are reading this, then you are a part of my daily routine. I know that to many people the word routine signifies that you do something over and over again and get stuck in a rut. When you are studying and sharing God’s Word, you may be in a routine, but it is never a rut.

God’s Word is alive!

God shares His heart through His Word.

The trick is to be open and to not take things out of context. You must dive deep and explore the mysteries that God has in store for you. The Bible is called the Living Word for a reason. No matter where you are in your walk with God, there is something for you to learn. What I find so intriguing is that you can learn something from one passage and as you mature, you can learn something different from the same passage. This knowledge does not replace what you have learned before. It expands, it builds upon the previous knowledge to give you a deeper understanding.

I have been writing and sharing these devotionals since 1998. It is my routine. It is not my rut. I learn so much as I explore God’s Word and share it with you. It is my daily time to be still in the presence of God.

It is my prayer that each of you develop a routine in which you set aside time each day to spend in God’s presence.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been given to Jesus?

February 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
(John 17:24-26 (NIV))

To be with Jesus where He is!

We have been given to Jesus. We have been called to know Him and to love Him when all around us deny Him. We have also been called to make Jesus known so that He can continue to make the Father known.

Are you able to say that you can be found in Jesus? Are you able to say that you belong to Jesus? Are you able to claim the redemptive love as your own?

I realize that I am asking a whole lot of questions, but these are questions that must be asked. Far too many people skirt around the question and never address it head on. They never truly proclaim that Jesus is their personal Lord and Savior. It is a simple profession of faith, but it must be made by each one of us. No one can make that profession for us, just as we cannot make it for someone else. Just as the gift of salvation is a personal offer, accepting that gift is a personal response. Each of us must accept for ourselves and respond for ourselves.

Have you been accepting? Have you been responsive?

Can you be numbered among those who have been given to Jesus as His bride?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we praise God like David did?

February 10, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.
(Psalms 113:3 (KJV))

I want you to think about this passage. Do you truly realize what it is saying?

Think about the time in history when this was written. Most people were up and working when the sun was coming up and most people went to bed with the sun going down. The sun actually reflected the waking hours of most people when this was written. Perhaps we should read it with a fresh perspective and a slightly paraphrased translation.

From the time that you wake up until the time that you go to sleep, praise God!

Doesn’t that make more sense to you as we place the passage in the context of our lives today?

I honestly believe that this is what David was telling us when he wrote this Psalm. We are to praise God with every waking breath that we take. We are to live our lives fully devoted to God. No wonder that David was known as a man after God’s own heart. He spent every waking moment in praise of the God that he longed to be with.

Can we honestly say the same about our praise?

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