Do you still long to press on?

June 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man;
they are not plagued by human ills.
(Psalms 73:2-5 (NIV))

Isn’t it easy to be fooled by what we see that the world has to offer?

Sometimes it seems that the world has the better things, but we must remember that what the world has to offer is only temporary. These things can be destroyed by moth and rust.

When we are confronted with the temptations of the world, we must remember that we have a firm foundation, a solid hope that is not of this world. What we desire is not of this world. Our treasure is the very heart and Word of God. Through the Word made flesh, we have a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. We have a treasure that is eternal. We must simply keep our focus on Jesus when the world tries to distract us.

There will be many distractions that the world will send your way during your life. Like Paul wrote:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14(NIV))

Do you press on, or are you distracted by the worldly temptations?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery

Advertisements

Do you have the faith to wait on the Lord?

June 24, 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))

Do you wait on the Lord?

We have been given many promises by the Lord. Many have already come to pass, but there are still those that the Lord is waiting to fulfill. Do you believe that He will fulfill every promise that He has ever made? Do you believe that because of these promises, you have nothing to fear in this world?

If you are like me, there were times in your life that you wondered how you could ever make it through what you were facing. Some of us may be facing those times at this very moment. Has God ever let you down? Can you walk stronger in your faith because of those times?

What do you do when you face those times in your life?

It is human nature to draw closer to something. Many people will turn to alcohol or drugs. Some will turn to rage. Others will turn to depression.

Where do you turn?

God should be our first, last and only place of refuge. He longs for us to turn to Him in everything and not just the bad times.

If we truly know God and we truly know His heart, then we can rejoice in the strength that comes from His love for us. We can rejoice in the strength and the hope that comes from placing our trust in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Jesus waited in the tomb for three days. He was dead. According to many Biblical scholars, He was collecting those who believed in Him before He came. On the third day, His strength was renewed. He was resurrected from the dead. According to scholars, those whom He collected are now in heaven. If God can renew Jesus from death after three days, what do we have to fear? If He can collect those who longed for His coming, what do we have to fear?

No one knows what tomorrow may bring. For those who place their faith in Jesus, we don’t have to worry about tomorrow for our Lord holds the very future in His hands.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do you find strength in God?

June 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9 (NIV))

This passage is powerful!

If you think about it, this passage can be summarized by another passage.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

These two passage should give us strength. They should give us courage. They should give us hope! They should give us faith!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

I find it comforting that we are told repeatedly that we can put our trust in God. Even when the world mocks us and threatens us, we can stand firmly on the promises that we have been given. We can stand firmly in the knowledge that we are important to God. We are so important that He sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world so that we could have the ultimate experience of grace and mercy.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I find strength in these words. God has repeatedly told us to be strong and to not be discouraged. He even sent Jesus to live as an example.

Do you find strength in God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


How do you see Jesus?

June 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD–

and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
(Isaiah 11:1-4 (NIV))

Everyone has a picture of Jesus in their mind as the good shepherd, the one who will sacrifice himself for the good of the flock. How many people think of Jesus as the righteous ruler who is to come?

These two images are of the same Jesus. Even among believers, many only think of Jesus as the good shepherd, and not as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Even though the Bible speaks of Jesus in this capacity, it is hard to imagine this aspect of Jesus. All of the imagery that we have seen of Jesus portrays Him as the good shepherd in some form or fashion: either carrying a lost lamb or sacrificing himself on the cross for us. There is no visual imagery that really portrays Jesus in the role of King of kings.

The descriptions that we have of Jesus in this role are not easy for us to visualize, yet they are the true nature of Jesus. He IS King of kings and Lord of lords.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do you feel the urgency?

June 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
(Revelation 3:11 (NKJV))

Another translation says it in this way.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
(Revelation 3:11 (NIV))

We could get very analytical and start looking at the differences in the words quickly and soon. Unless you are able to read the original texts in the original language, we will not be able to understand the subtle nuances of the original words. It is these subtle nuances that made the translators pick the English words that they eventually used. Regardless of which translation you prefer, there is a sense of urgency in these words.

Do you feel the urgency in your heart? Do you feel the urgency in your spirit?

I see things on a daily basis from all across the world that make me wonder how much longer before God sends Jesus to come for His bride. Wars and rumors of wars are rampant. Lies have become truth and truth has become ridiculed and attacked. I know that I don’t need to tell you about all of the things in this world that seem to be unfolding at breakneck speed. What I do need to ask you is a simple question.

Are you ready to face Jesus in the air if He were to come for His church this very day?

Are you praying in the urgency of the situation? Are you watching? Are you prepared? Don’t be like the virgins who did not come to wait for the bridegroom prepared.

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
(Matthew 25:10 (NIV))

They thought that they had more time!

We don’t know how much time we may have. I urge you to be prepared. It is my prayer that you fully understand the urgency of the times.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Don’t lower your standards!

June 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.
(1 Corinthians 3:18-19A (NIV))

What standards do you live by?

There is the standard that God has set for us that He longs for us to follow and then there is the standard that the world sets.

The world says that truth is relative and that if it feels good, do it. The world says that no one else matters. Life is about getting all that you can get no matter what you have to do to get it. If we follow that philosophy, then we play right into the lies of the enemy. We become foolish in the eyes of God, for we have literally traded gold for ashes.

Have you ever felt like a fool?

What made you feel that way? Who do you think felt that way about you?

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and felt that you are foolish in the eyes of man? Have you ever looked in the Bible and felt that you are foolish in the eyes of God? Have you ever looked at yourself in relation to the world and felt that the world sees you as foolish because of your faith in God?

There is a question that asks if you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? The way that the world is going, people who profess a faith in Jesus are coming under persecution. The world looks upon us as foolish. Would you be convicted of being a fool for Jesus?

God has set a higher standard than the one the world has set. Some call it foolishness, but I call it wisdom.

Don’t lower your standards!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


How rich is your life?

June 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

How happy are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How happy you will be! How rich your life!
(Psalms 128:1-2 (NLT))

Where does your happiness come from?

I can honestly say that I never thought about my happiness coming from fear. I bet you probably didn’t either. If you stop to think about this, it makes perfect sense.

Let’s look at it from a few different perspectives, shall we?

Think about your one worldly fear that bothers you the most. For some, it may be heights. For others, it may be water. You do whatever you have to in order to avoid the thing that you are fearful of. You are happy as long as you avoid what you fear. You respect the thing that brings fear to you and you desire to avoid what brings you fear. You have established ways to avoid this and these ways make you happy.

Now, think about your relationship to your earthly father. I know that not all earthly fathers are good examples of what a father should be. I hope that yours was. You love your father and you know that your father loves you. You still know that if you do something terrible, your father would punish you. Hopefully, you realized this as a fear and lived within godly ways with you family. Your fear of punishment hopefully kept you in a place where you were happy. Hopefully, you were not one who rebelled and lived in anger and rage.

In both of these examples, boundaries were set. If you stayed within the boundaries, you enjoyed the fruit of your labor. You enjoyed the happiness within the safety of those boundaries. You felt the happiness and the richness that life can bring.

Think about your relationship with the Lord. Hopefully you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves you. Hopefully, you can say with no hesitation that you love God. His ways are true. His ways are good. His ways are righteous. When you follow His ways, you are inside boundaries that God has defined. These boundaries keep you safe. True happiness and peace can be found inside these boundaries. These boundaries, like the other boundaries that I referred to, are not there to keep you from having fun. They are there to keep you safe. They are there to define the safe areas where you can go. Anything outside of those safe areas can result in consequences that would be extremely bad. Just like a father who would punish you for taking the car when you didn’t have permission to, God will allow the physical consequences of your actions to apply to your lives.

How rich is your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery