Do you follow the world’s plan or God’s plan?

April 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

This world calls for us to do things on our own. A song that was recorded approximately fifty years ago loudly proclaims the motto of the world – I did it my way! All too often those who do it their way, even though they experience some worldly success, eventually end up suffering greatly for the actions that they felt they had to do in order to do it their way. Those who chase after the world are constantly running away from the troubles that they find when running after their worldly goals.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:7)

God’s plan is much different from the world’s plan. The world tells us to hurry and grab for all the gusto you can, while God’s way tells us to enjoy the world that He has created for us. Nothing in this world is permanent, so nothing that we seek in this world will have lasting value. But, if we wait upon God for His direction, then all things that we focus on will be of God and we will have God on our side and on His timeline.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
(2 Peter 3:8)

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must make sure that we worship the Creator!

April 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, and been secretly enticed to worship them? If so, I should be punished by the judges, for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.
(Job 31:26-28 (NLT))

The earth and all of creation are things of beauty, but we must not forget that that they are a part of God’s creation.

We are to hold His creation in respect. We are to be good stewards of His creation. We are not to worship the creation as some people have become prone to do. We are to worship the Creator who made the sun shining in the skies, the moon walking its silver pathway, and our own magnificently created bodies.

We must not allow ourselves to be tricked into worshipping the creation. We must not allow the creation to become our god.

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
(Luke 4:8 (NIV))

It is true that God’s creation is a thing of majestic beauty, but it can be re-created at God’s will. In fact, the earth will be made anew. We have been promised that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. God will remake the earth as He originally intended for it to be.

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
(2 Peter 3:13 (NIV))

Don’t get caught up in the trap of worshipping the creation when the Creator is calling out to you. God’s creations are for our pleasure and ultimately His pleasure. Ultimately, we are His greatest pleasure.

Worship God !

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you focused on the future or His presence?

April 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalms 91:2 (NIV))

Far too many of us say that we trust the Lord, but we still want signs. We still want to know what is going to happen in this world as God unfolds His plans.

We look at the news and see things unfolding that bear a striking resemblance to things written about the end times. We see things that go against God’s Word as they are accepted as truth by the world and we wonder how long this will go on before we see things unfold as prophesied. We look at the state of the world and we long to see righteousness. We long to see the truth proclaimed and every knee to bow and every tongue confess. Sometimes we get carried away with our desires to see Jesus that we focus more on the events that are transpiring than we do on spending time in God’s presence.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
(Luke 10:38-42 (NIV))

It is so easy to become like Martha in our preparations for the coming of Jesus and miss the fact that we can sit at the feet of Jesus at this very moment. I, like many people, like to study prophesy because it is the hope to which we hold. It is the truth that hasn’t come to be. It is the fulfillment of God’s promises. Even though this is all true, we need to be careful that we don’t focus so much on what is to come that we miss out on what God is doing in this moment. Perhaps it is best stated by what a friend said has become her daily prayer.

Lord, I just want to know what you want me to know when you want me to know it!

I would just like to add the following.

Lord, it is not my world. It is yours. I love you and I trust you. You are my refuge in times of trouble. You are my fortress in this world that has turned away from you. I praise you for your goodness and mercy!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you in need of healing?

April 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
(Psalms 147:3 (NIV))

Have you ever realized that this passage does not speak of physical wounds that are bound up? The wounds are those of the brokenhearted! In other words, Jesus comforts the brokenhearted.

I am sure that everyone has experienced the pain of a broken heart. It is a heaviness and an anguish that just doesn’t seem to ever go away. There is no peace. There is no delight. There is only despair. This type of wound is much worse than a physical wound. A physical wound can be cared for. Medicine can be prescribed that will aid in healing. What can you do when your very soul is in anguish? There is no medicine that is available from man that will ease the pain. There is no peace that can come because someone said a word of encouragement.

There is only one way to ease the anguish and the pain.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

Have you been wounded by life?

Have you felt the pain of despair and anguish that nothing can ease?

Life is difficult. Sin is rampant. Pain is inevitable.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you wise and prudent or foolish and deceptive?

April 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
(Proverbs 14:8 (NIV))

Do you think about your actions? Do you think about what type of an impact that they will have on you? Perhaps you plan your actions so that you benefit from them. If that is the case, do you stop to reflect upon the impact that they will have on other people? This impact can be either positive or negative. The sad question that I must ask after making that last statement is if you honestly care if your actions have a negative impact on others.

Please be honest with yourself!

I realize that human nature has us looking out for ourselves all of the time, but as the Body of Christ, shouldn’t our focus not be on ourselves? Shouldn’t we temper our thoughts and our actions so that we do not lead someone to falter in their faith, or to be hurt by our unconcerned actions.

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
(Matthew 18:6 (NIV))

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:3-4 (NIV))

I realize that Jesus was actually talking about little children, but if we are believers, it requires the faith of a little child. If that is the case, it is not too difficult to realize that Jesus could very easily be talking about making any believer falter in their faith.

That is not something that I want to stand before God and be found guilty of!

If we truly long to be wise in the eyes of God, we need to be prudent about the things that we think, say and do. If we are not prudent, the logical conclusion is that we are fools and guilty of deception.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you walk the right path?

April 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
(Psalms 23:3b (NLT))

Is this your proclamation?

Do you allow God to guide you and to set your feet upon the path that He desires for you to walk?

If you are like everyone else, human nature takes over. Pride gets in the way and, just like in the Garden of Eden, we fall prey to a nature that we were not created to possess. We fall into sin!

Will you keep to the old path
that evil men have trod?
(Job 22:15 (NIV))

We are not called to walk the path of sin. We are called to salvation and grace througb the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. He has given us a path that we may walk. He has given us a path that we don’t walk in our own strength. Jesus sets us upon that path. God sends His Holy Spirit to walk it with us, guiding us every step of the way if we will only listen.

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
(Psalms 16:11 (NIV))

God loves us and desires to save us and to guide us. He has set the path before us. Satan sets diversions along the path. In order to follow God’s path, we must know God’s heart. We must know God’s Word. God’s Word provides the instructions for staying on the right path. When we know the instructions by heart, we can also proclaim what is proclaimed by the Psalmist.

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
(Psalms 119:32 (NIV))

Is your heart free?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God just an item on your to-do list?

April 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

I try to not fill up my time with so many things to do, but it is human nature to do things that we don’t mean to do. Soon, in order to prioritize what we feel that we must do, we create to-do lists and then we prioritize the things that we put on the list. Soon, we find ourselves spending too much time maintaining the list and we soon lose track of the things that we should truly be focusing on.

Let’s face the truth!

How many of us actually create to-do lists? What is currently on your list? Do you put everything on your list, or is it used only for a reminder of the things that you don’t really want to do?

After those reflective questions, I have another question for you that may not sit too well with you depending on your answers.

Is God on your to-do list? Is He your top priority? Have you relegated your relationship with the Lord to a list item that you check off when you feel that you have it completed? Is God above or below the items like painting the house or cutting the grass?

It is sad that too many people actually treat God in this manner. We may not physically put Him as an item on our to-do lists, but we tend to overlook Him and focus on what we do place on our list. We then get so busy completing the tasks that we have assigned ourselves that we forget to do what God has told us to do. We forget to sit in the presence of God. We fail to sit at the feet of Jesus, and like one translation states, we never cease striving. Personally, I strive to spend time in God’s presence, but that is not what that means. We need to cease our busyness. We need to cease our frantic existence and be still in the presence of God.

We must make God the foundation of everything that we do, including the items that we place on our to-do lists. It is so easy to relegate God to an individual checklist item.

Is God just an item on your to-do list?

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