Happy New Year!

December 30, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

God is good all the time!

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, He is the same. He is the Alpha and the Omega.

Now that we are facing a new year that brings uncertainty, we must remember that God is God and He never changes. No matter what happens when January 1 comes, God is still God, this will always be true!

Happy New Year!

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

December 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Have you ever thought about this passage from a different perspective where we don’t follow human nature and put ourselves first?

It is human nature to read this and think that Jesus is calling me to come to Him, and, in all honesty, He is. I just realized that I have overlooked the obvious in this passage, and I am certain that I am not the only one. It is a huge obvious!

In order for Jesus to call you and I to Himself, He had to first come to us! He had to make Himself accessible for those who would answer His call. Think about that for a moment. It is one thing to say come here, come to me, but it is quite another to take the first step, especially when that step is probably ninety-nine percent of the distance that needs to be traversed.

We all know what was planned and completed.

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

When God reached out to us, He didn’t say that if we could reach Him, then He would forgive us. He didn’t say that He would meet us half way if we were able to make it. He sent His only Son to meet us where we are. All of the effort was put forth for us. All that we have to do is answer the call.

Come to me!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you filled with God’s new wine?

December 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

This time of year can be a time of renewal. It can be a time of repentance. It can be so much more than the commercialization of the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the beginning of a new year.

Jesus came to bring new life to those who would call upon His name as Lord and Savior.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

That fullness is celebrated yearly to be thankful for His birth, which brought grace. I am not privy to all of the reasons that December 25th was chosen, but I do like the symbolism that it presents to those who call upon His name. We celebrate the birth of forgiveness, mercy and grace and then we move right in to the celebration of a new year. In essence, we are renewed by grace and then begin a new year on the promises that grace has brought. We shed the old, worn out skins of our lives from that last twelve months and prepare ourselves with newness to face the world and to share His Gospel. Our lives are the wineskins. Sometimes, even the best of us need to have new wine poured into our lives. Sometimes, we need to be remade to accept that new wine.

Are you ready to face the new year?

Are you ready to be filled with the new wine from God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you recognize your salvation?

December 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:28-32 (NIV))

What do you do now that you have seen your salvation?

We just celebrated the birth of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Unlike Simeon, we don’t have to wait our entire lives to see God’s promise fulfilled. We can see it every single day of our lives. We should see it in everything that we do. We have grace and mercy given to us in all circumstances of our lives. All that we have to do is repent and seek forgiveness for our sinful actions.

Have you ever thought that this is why we have things in our lives that we shouldn’t have? Let me ask this in a slightly different approach. Have you ever had something so readily available to you that you took it for granted? Have you ever gone to the extreme and waited until it was too late to realize just what you had available to you?

It is human nature to miss what is right before us. We do it with missed relationships, missed job opportunities, missed witnessing opportunities, and so many more. I have seen people, and I have also been one to miss opportunities. We all do it. Why do we miss things right in front of us while we long for the very things that we miss? Do we think things have to be complicated and because of this, miss the simple things that will have the most meaning and impact?

Simeon knew what he and the whole world were missing. He had prayed for salvation all of his life. He knew what it was that he was expecting and he knew it when he saw it. Why don’t we know God’s grace and mercy when we see it? Why do so many people look right at Jesus and see something else than what He truly is?

Do you recognize your salvation?

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

December 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
(Luke 2:1-20 (NIV))

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If Jesus can humble Himself, why can’t we?

December 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:5-7 (NIV))

If you had been alive when Jesus was born, would you have expected the King of kings to have been born in such lowly conditions? God did. He knew that man and Satan had turned God’s order completely upside down. Man was looking for the Messiah to make a grand entrance in fitting style with all of the kings of the world.

God had other plans. God knew and wanted the world to know that a king should be willing to humble himself for his people. He showed this through the humblest of beginnings and through the life of Jesus. God sent Jesus to be King of kings, yet to be a servant, too.

Do you expect to be served or to serve.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you truly thankful that you have been made blameless?

December 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
(Psalms 119:1-2 (NIV))

Christmas is rapidly approaching. This is a time to reflect on what God has done for us and reflect on our attitude towards this gift. Do we truly keep His statutes and seek Him with all our heart? This Christmas morning, I pray that you are truly thankful and joyous, celebrating the true meaning of the day.

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