Have you answered the eternal call of Jesus?

March 31, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
(John 11:43-44 (NIV))

I recently heard someone talking about the miracles that Jesus performed when He was on this earth. They pointed out that all of Jesus’ miracles where temporary miracles.

Where is Lazarus today? Where is the blind man today? Where is the leper today? He pointed out that all of these people that Jesus healed were given a temporary healing, and that the grave finally claimed all that Jesus healed. Jesus knew that what He was giving them in the physical world was only temporary and that eventually all would die.

He also knew that their would be one, and only one, miracle that would not be temporary. What miracle is the one permanent miracle? Where is Jesus today? Is He not at the same place that He went to after the resurrection and the ascension? He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us. He is NOT in the grave, but is alive and has overcome death. The ONE permanent miracle is the miracle of salvation that He paid for with His earthly life, but shares with all who believe in His resurrected life.

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)

There is only one miracle that really matters. That is the miracle of salvation offered through grace and mercy for all who believe. This one miracle is the gift that keeps on giving. Every day, people accept this miraculous gift from God and are transformed by it, not like Lazarus in the physical body, but a spiritual Lazarus who is facing the promise of a new day through Christ Jesus.

Have you answered the eternal call of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to receive His righteousness?

March 30, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV))

In just a few days, we, as the Body of Christ, will be celebrating the event that proves that Jesus is who He said He was. No other person in all of history faced such a horrible death, was buried and then arose from the grave on the third day. In addition to this, He ascended into heaven in front of a group of witnesses.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
(Acts 1:7-9 (NIV))

I love the truth of the resurrection. I love the hope of promises. Still, I believe that we need to focus our attention on the words recorded that give us assurance that He will return.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
(Acts 1:10-11 (NIV))

The resurrection means so much more than Jesus arose from the grave. It means that He has the power over sin and death. It means that He has the authority to save us from our sins. And best of all, it means that He will return for those who profess a faith in Him.

It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you ready to receive His righteousness?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There has never been a better time to look up!

March 29, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalms 19:1 (NIV))

When you look up into the night sky, what do you see?

When you gaze at a glorious sunset, what do you see?

You can claim scientific explanations for these and countless other wonders that God has created, and you would be correct. Sadly, too many people stop there and fail to recognize the majesty and the splendor of such things with respect to who created them and why. They simply look upon the heavens as a “big bang” and the glorious sunsets as a result of meteorological phenomenon. We, as the body of believers, know that there is so much more to this than just mere coincidence.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

God has planned it that way from the start, but He didn’t stop there. He has used the signs to track time, and we still do that to this day. He has even laid out the heavens to provide signs of the end.

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.
(Luke 21:25a (NIV))

God’s creation is beautiful. Everything that He has created tells of His majesty. He has even planned to display His majesty to give us warning and hope for what is to come.

On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
(Luke 21:25b-26 (NIV))

It is a matter of perspective. If all that you see is a “big bang,” then you are missing out on so much that God has promised. If you rejoice in His creation, then you will see His majesty and the glorious hope that He has given to those who will simply believe. With everything that is going on in the world, keep focused on what God is showing us in the heavens. First and foremost is the fact that He is in control and second is the promises of the soon return of Jesus!

There has never been a better time to look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you now living your confession?

March 26, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9 (NIV))

Too many people fail to remember the first five words of this passage and simply believe that Jesus will forgive us of anything that we do. They do recognize His willingness to forgive, but they overlook one requirement – our willingness to confess. Too many people want the benefits without any of the responsibility. They want salvation and they want to keep on sinning! I would venture to say that they ignore the story about the woman caught in adultery. Do you remember what Jesus told her?

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:10-11 (NIV))

Jesus will not condemn us. We condemn ourselves by our sinful actions. We stay in our condemnation when we choose to stay in our sin. Jesus calls us to leave our life of sin. He calls us to turn away from our sin. He calls us to repent. He calls us to a saving knowledge of grace that is only available through His fulfillment of His Father’s love.

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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Once again we read that Jesus does not condemn. It is sin that condemns us. Jesus paid the price for our sin, so now we can rejoice in the results of our confession!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

No one knows at what moment their life will end. There is not a moment to waste. Jesus does not play favorites. If you earnestly and sincerely turn to Him and repent, you will not face condemnation for your sins. It is so simple to ask to receive this wonderful, eternal gift! It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you now living your confession?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Accept God’s grace before it is too late!

March 25, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Are you ready to accept your wages? Perhaps I should ask that another way. Are you ready to pay the price of your wages that you have earned?

I realize that this doesn’t sound very nice, but it is the truth. We argue over minimum wage, but we fail to ever mention the wage that every single one of us owes because of our sinful nature. There is a price to pay for our sin, yet far too many people ignore the fact as if they don’t even care about the consequences of their sinful nature.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

but…

There is hope!

There is grace!

There is 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. 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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

It is a common misconception that God rejects people and sends them to hell. On the contrary, they send themselves there because they reject God and His free offer of grace and mercy. With that statement of truth, it becomes important that each and every person take a serious look at their lives and stop rejecting the loving God that created them and is trying to redeem them from the consequences of sin, from the wages of sin.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Time is short! Nothing is guaranteed.

What if you are the type of person who tells yourself that I will take care of my salvation tomorrow and tomorrow never comes? If that were to happen, are you prepared for the consequences? Are you prepared to discover that you could have avoided the consequences by simply accepting God’s gift of eternal life in Jesus?

Accept God’s grace before it is too late!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to persevere?

March 24, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
(James 1:12a (NIV))

As believers, we are told to stand firm, to hold fast, and to persevere under trial. With everything that is going on in the world, hold fast to what you know to be true! Don’t let the things of this world sway you from your faith. We have been told that there would be trouble in this world that we must go through. We have also been told that Jesus, in whom we have placed our faith, has overcome the world.

“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))

Did you notice the one word at the end of the scripture segment that starts today’s devotional. It is a word that we use all of the time, but we have probably overused it to the point where we no longer truly realize the implications that it contains. We are used to hearing people answer questions with “because” as if it is a reason in and of itself. According to Merriam-Webster, because means “for the reason that” and points you to the reasons for a thought process, a statement, or a fact. In this particular case, it points to what will be the result of persevering under trial.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 (NIV))

It points to the rewards that will be given for standing firm in our faith and loving the Lord!

Do you love the Lord?

Don’t let the things of this world change that love and that faith. Time is short and we are undergoing trials. Personally, I believe that what we are seeing is only the beginning. Things are ramping up fast. There are many people who study prophecy that have all independently stated that God’s end time plan is unfolding rapidly right before our eyes. If that is the case, we will face more trials.

Are you ready to persevere?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you willing to do for the Lord?

March 23, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

I read this passage and I realized that this type of willingness requires a strength of faith, and then I realized that we choose to have that strength through the things that we do. We can cower in fear or we can realize where our strength truly comes from and step boldly into that strength.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

When we choose to put on the full armor of God, we choose to embrace that strength. We choose to side with the God of creation. We choose to accept His authority and His protection. When we realize that His strength is imparted to us when we are doing His Will, what reason would we have for not stepping out in faith and saying, “Here am I. Send me!”

Are you willing to step out in faith and go where He sends and do what He asks?

Think about that for just a moment.

The Lord has freely given each of us so very much. We should be so thankful that we are delighted to do His will. We should be eager in our zeal for the Lord. Sadly, too many of us think only of our own comfort zones. We think only of the sacrifices that we would be called to make. What would our world, what would our salvation be if Jesus had thought only of His comfort?

Is there something that constantly tugs at your spirit that you know is from the Lord? Do you need to slow down long enough to listen to what the Lord is saying? Do you need to listen to that still, small voice? Do you need to respond?

What are you willing to do for the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What victory does your faith desire?

March 22, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
(1 John 5:4 (NIV))

What type of faith do you possess?

Do you look upon the Bible as God’s Word as it relates to what He has done in the past as an example of how you should live your life in the present?

If you answered yes to this question, you are correct, but is it possible that you have overlooked the fact that the Bible unfolds God’s plans for humanity from creation to the fall, from perfection to sin, from hopelessness to redemption, from crucifixion to resurrection, from ascension to return, from belief to redemption, and from rejection to glorious return? God’s Word is so much more than stories to set examples for your lives. If you read the Bible and come away with an understanding that it is only for improving your life in this world, you are missing out on God’s plans for redeeming the fallen and defeating the enemy once and for all. It is true that He sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice to redeem us from the consequences of sin and death, but He has also unfolded a plan to restore perfection to His creation once and for all!

Are you aware that about twenty percent of the Bible is prophecy?

We read the prophecies that point to Jesus and we often ask ourselves how those people could have been so blind to what was unfolding? How could they have not recognized that Jesus was the Messiah whom they longed for? We see in hindsight that Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy about His first coming. We can look back on that and feel that we have proof that it happened, yet, we fail to see the prophecies that God is unfolding right before our eyes! We have been told what to look for in the time of the end, but how many believers are paying attention to the events in this world? Are we becoming just like the generation that was told what to look for when Jesus came? Are we guilty of being just as blind to what God is unfolding today?

Do you possess a faith to look beyond your personal life and realize that God is still unfolding things according to His purpose right before your eyes?

As believers, we look to Jesus as a guarantee of salvation from an eternity in hell. But, do you look to Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords who is doing the will of the Father? Do you have the faith to realize that God’s plans are unfolding and rejoice as things unfold in anticipation of the final outcome? Do you long to be in His presence or do you long to return to the worldly normal?

What victory does your faith desire?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must proclaim that only Jesus is the truth!

March 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
(John 8:32 (NIV))

If you truly stop to think about this passage, it completely destroys the concept that truth is relative. How can anything that is relative, that constantly changes, have the power to set you free. If truth is relative, then the one who espouses a relative truth is not constant. They change with the seasons. They change with the winds. They change with whatever crowd and whatever lie is most popular at the moment. What they say is their truth one day will not be their truth the next day. In fact, all that they proclaim is a lie. The last that I looked, a lie cannot set you free. In fact, all lies come from satan who is the father of all lies. His lies didn’t get him set free. His lies led to him being cast out of heaven and will lead to being cast into the lake of fire.

Does this sound like any “truth” that you want to be associated with?

Does that sound like freedom to you?

We only need to turn to the words of Jesus to find the real truth. We only need to turn to Jesus to find a truth that is not relative and constantly changing. We only need to turn to Jesus to find the absolute truth that can only come from God!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Too many people simply do not understand or they choose to reject what this means. These are the people who proclaim that there are many ways to God and that Jesus is only one of those ways. If they had actually read and understood this passage, along with many others, they would not be able to make such a claim. They do not see the God of the Bible. They see a god of their own personal designs. They have bought into the lie that God is relative and that He is whatever you wish Him to be!

We, as the Body of Christ, know that only Jesus, as the only begotten Son of God, is the truth. With this concept firmly rooted in Scripture, let’s paraphrase John 8:32 with a simple word replacement.

Then you will know Jesus, and Jesus will set you free.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:36 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world, we must pray for people to come to the realization that there is only one truth and His name is Jesus! We must do all that we can to show that truth is not relative and that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior know the truth and that they have indeed been set free!

We must proclaim that only Jesus is the truth!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you dwell in the presence of the Lord?

March 18, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Surely goodness and love will follow me
      all the days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
      forever.
(Psalms 23:6 (NIV))

There are houses and there are homes. There are buildings and then there are dwellings. What makes the difference is a matter of attitude. A house is simply a place to sleep. A home is a place of refuge and comfort. A building is simply four walls. A dwelling is someplace that you have completely moved in to and have made it your own.

God is looking for those who wish to make His presence their home. He is looking to believers to desire to dwell in His presence. He does not want us to simply come into His presence to sleep and then go our own way. He wants us to long to be at home in His presence. He desires for us to desire Him and be completely content; to be completely at peace with Him.

Peace!

Perhaps that is what makes the difference between a house and a home and a building and a dwelling. Peace allows you to settle in and to get comfortable. God wants us to get comfortable in His presence.

Are you comfortable in God’s presence?

Are you at home in God’s presence?

Do you dwell in the presence of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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