God instructs us through the Holy Spirit!

September 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
(Titus 2:11-14 (NIV))

Walking with God is more than just having the Creator as our champion. We also have a teacher.

God instructs us, through the Holy Spirit, on how we should act in all situations. We, as students, need to pay more attention to the “teacher” and do as instructed. Even when we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is still a ‘gentleman”. He will not force us to do anything.

We must submit our wills to God’s Will. If we willingly do this, then we will be matured in our faith and prepared for Jesus’ return to gather the church together in the clouds. That is something that I do not want to miss.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your understanding of God’s truth?

June 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
(Mark 16:19-20 (NIV))

Right after Jesus gave us the great commission, He was physically taken up into heaven. Can you imagine the reaction of the people who were fortunate enough to have witnessed this awesome sight? If they were like most people, they were probably left dumbfounded at the sight of this event, for nothing had ever happened like it before this time, and nothing has ever happened like it since then.

Let’s take a look at this from a different aspect. One that almost all of us have heard, but do not truly understand. The aspect that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, the Father.

From a human point of view, would you expect anything less from someone who was physically taken up into heaven right before your eyes? Even in today’s society in which we see special effects and stunt people performing all kinds of theatrical stunts, no one besides Jesus has ever been physically taken up into heaven right before our eyes. Even those who had never seen death in the Old Testament did not go to heaven in such a manner. This indicated a devine presence.

This served many purposes. The first one was to show that Jesus was truly the Son of God. The second purpose was motiviational in that the disciples, who had been timid and unwilling to follow Jesus to the cross, now preached boldly everywhere they went. They did this with authority that could only come from knowing that what they spoke of is absolutely true.

Do you possess that same knowledge of the truth that empowered the people who witnessed Jesus’ ascension? Does Jesus work through you in the same manner that He worked through these disciples?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If your “truth” is not this truth, where do you stand?

March 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

I would bet that almost everybody in this country, including nonbelievers, are familiar with this passage. I would also bet that most have used this out of context and many have probably used it sarcastically.

Are you able to put these words into context? Do you know who spoke them and what they are a part of?

They are words spoken by Jesus, but they did not stand alone.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:31-32 (NIV))

Knowing the truth and having the truth set you free are only achievable with conditions!

The world cannot give you a truth that can set you free.

Other religions cannot give you a truth that can set you free.

In order to know a truth that can set you free, you must know Jesus!

You must acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. You must profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. You must hold to His teachings. In other words, you must accept the power and the authority of His teachings over your life. Only when you do this, are you really a disciple of Jesus. Only knowing the truth of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will set you free.

I am sure that you have heard the old saying that sitting in a garage does not make you a car just as sitting in a church does not make you a Christian. Sitting in a church pew will not do it. It can help to lead you to Jesus, but it will not save you. The truth is not the church. The church can point you to the truth that can only be found when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Many people claim that Jesus is their savior, but is He your Lord? Is Jesus the perfect, spotless Lamb of God who came to bring salvation? Is Jesus allowed to be Lord over your life to the point where He has authority in all that you do?

If your “truth” is not this truth, where do you stand?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we willing to be a servant?

February 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
(Mark 10:42-45 (NLT))

I can see very clearly that this concept has become unknown in our current society. Many of our leaders feel that they are in absolute authority over us, yet they proclaim to be Christians. Based on this passage from Mark, we see that this is clearly not the case. It states that those who wish to be a leader must be a servant. They are not to be elevated above others, but must have a servant’s heart. They must be willing to sacrifice for those whom they are called to lead.

This applies not only in government, but also in our work, and in our local church assemblies. We must not allow ourselves to exercise authority over each other is such a way that we subjugate those around us. The Body of Christ has only one head. The last time that I checked, no one has professed to be Jesus and has come visible in the clouds with an army.

It is our sinful human nature that wants to elevate ourselves to positions of authority. I am sure that everyone has, at one time, had a fantasy of having our every wish and whim fulfilled. For most people, this is just a fleeting idea. However, there are those who cling to this concept even though they may not realize it.

Do you find yourself thinking that you are better than others?

Do you ever find yourself thinking that as long as you get yours, you couldn’t care what happens to others?

Human nature can be harmful. Ego can be harmful. To truly be a leader, you must be willing to serve. You must be willing to put the well being of others before your very own. It is this characteristic that Jesus displayed when He willingly went to the cross.

Would we do the same, or would we say to take someone else in our place? Are we willing to make the sacrifices that truly say that we are a follower of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

February 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
(Luke 9:1-6 (NIV))

There is so much good stuff in this passage!

This is the solid food that was spoken of when we are no longer infants in the faith.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrew 5:13-14 (NIV))

When we mature, we are in a position to accept the power and the authority and use it as it was intended. When we are infants in the faith, we don’t know what to do and we don’t know what God can do. With this power and authority, we are confident in our ability to be used by God in any manner that He may choose. We also learn to rely upon Him and “take nothing for the journey.”

The next part is one that many people have a problem with because of our human nature. We don’t want to look like we have given up. When we are told to shake the dust off our feet, we must be mature enough to realize that this is not a reflection on our faith and obedience. It is a reflection on those who will not receive. Jesus knows that some people will not be receptive. We are called to be mature in our faith to recognize when we are being called to move on.

Are you mature enough to receive God’s power and authority? Are you ready for the solid food of faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thankful for God’s grace?

November 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
(Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV))

At this time of year, with Thanksgiving coming up, let us agree to be thankful for what God has given us. When we come together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember to pray in agreement and ask for God to restore us and to bring revival to this nation and this world.

It is God’s world. He is in control. We must affirm His power and authority and come in agreement with His plans. When this is done, God will pour out His blessings on us.

What are you thankful for?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see Jesus?

October 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
(Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV))

I think I understand some of the nonbelievers mindset when it comes to Jesus!

Think about human nature and then think about what most people spend a lifetime trying to do. If you came to the conclusion that most people spend a lifetime trying to prove that they are better than everyone else, then I think you may be thinking what I am thinking.

Human nature, in its sinful, fallen state, wants to think that we are better than everyone else. We spend a lifetime trying to elevate ourselves to a place of being worshipped and served. Jesus took the exact opposite approach. He lowered Himself to our level. He left heaven and became a servant. This is a very difficult concept to grasp, especially for those who fail to recognize that being worshipped and served is not what life is about.

We want to have control. We want to be in a position of authority. We want fame. We want people looking to us and worshipping us. In essence, we want to be the god of our little world. We just can’t comprehend the fact that Jesus did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped. He was willing to surrender what each of us have strived for in one way or another.

Jesus came from heaven and lived among us. He did not seek to be worshipped. He came to serve. He did not seek glory. He came in humility. He did not seek power. He deliberately left all power and authority behind. He did not come to be rich. He was born in a stable!

Too many people simply cannot comprehend the idea of deliberately lowering your status to help and serve others. We are always looking for the next pat on the back, the next promotion and the next raise. Where is Jesus in any of these activities?

The attitude of a believer should be exactly opposite of what the world says. Jesus turned the world upside down. Believing requires us to see things as Jesus sees them and not in the way that the world sees them. To many people, this makes absolutely no sense.

Pray for them, for they see Jesus through their senses and the so called logic of this world.

How do you see Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God?

October 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
(John 1:29 (NIV))

Are we like John was in that we can recognize Jesus for who He is? Can we confidently proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God? Can we confidently proclaim that Jesus can take away the sin of the world? Can we confidently proclaim that He has taken away our sin?

We think that John had an insight into God’s heart because of the things that God sent him to proclaim. I don’t doubt this at all.

What I do doubt is us!

We have written records of the things that Jesus has done, yet, we fail to recognize the power that He had. We have written records of the lineage and the prophesies concerning Him, yet, we fail to recognize the authority that He possesses. Our society has taken the power of His life, death and resurrection and watered it down so much that many believe that there is no power in the name of Jesus. Many believe that he was just a man. Sadly, too many believe that what He taught and came to do means condemnation and hate. In our society where love has grown to mean complete acceptance of everything about a person, this view of Jesus must be countered by the truth.

There is no other name that can save us!

There is no other name that can cleanse us!

There is no other name that has the power to reconcile us to God!

Only Jesus can take our sins and wash us white as snow. And no, this is not a racist remark. God’s grace and mercy are available to everyone regardless of the color of your skin or the amount of sin in your life.

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

There is no such thing as a sinless person. There is no such thing as earning salvation through your works. There is no such thing as entering heaven in your sinful state. The price had to be paid to take away our sin. There had to be a sacrifice to settle the score. Humanity sinned. It required a perfect human to redeem us. It required a spotless lamb – the Lamb of God.

Contrary to what society says, the Lamb of God is Jesus!

Contrary to what false religions claim, the Lamb of God is Jesus!

Do you proclaim His glorious name?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must embrace Jesus as both Lord and Savior!

October 2, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
(Acts 19:11-16 (NIV))

Doing things in the name of Jesus may not be enough !

Don’t get me wrong, because calling on the name of Jesus is a very powerful thing, but there is a time when it fails.

Calling upon the name of Jesus requires a faith. It requires a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord, not just as Savior. You must recognize His authority and not just His saving grace. If you do not recognize His authority over all situations, then calling upon His name will only get you in trouble. The enemy will recognize that you do not have the power and authority that is available through Jesus. The enemy knows the names of those who have truly claimed Jesus and they will turn from these servants. They do not know those who halfheartedly call upon Jesus.

We must embrace Jesus as both Lord and Savior. Only then can we:

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

Taking on the enemy without the “full armor of God” is not a wise move. Be sure that you have fully clothed yourself in the authority that is only available through the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and not only the salvation that is your through Jesus as Savior. Then, and only then, will the enemy know your name as a mighty warrior of God.

Does the enemy know your name because you have the power of the blood of Jesus, or does the enemy overpower you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you teach truth?

September 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 (NIV))

Does this scare you?

If you are in a position of teaching God’s Word, it should.

If you knew that you were being held to a higher level of accountability in your job, would you do what went against the employee handbook? Would you be employed for very long if your employer found out that what you were doing was contrary to what was expected of you? Think about that. If you were in charge of training the quality control employees and you frequently taught that it is okay to cut corners, what would happen to your employment status?

Teaching is a position of authority, for you not only are responsible for your own thoughts and actions, you are held accountable for those who follow your teachings.

Now, put this in perspective in relationship to God’s Word and His eternal truth. Put this in relationship to God’s plan of salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. What do you think will be God’s reaction to you leading His children astray? Not only are you lost, but you are responsible for leading others into the same state as yourself.

God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to seek and to save the lost. He paid a very high price to achieve this. If we who teach are contradicting His work, we are actually working for the enemy. If we are working for the enemy, do we really follow Jesus?

Do you teach truth?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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