Are we listening as we should?

January 23, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
(Jeremiah 6:17 (NIV))

Do you believe that the Lord has posted watchmen in this day and age? Do you believe that there are people that the Lord has gifted with the ability to interpret the events in this world and the ability to listen to Him for understanding of these events? Do you believe that all of this is done with the intent of warning the Body of Christ as things of a Biblical nature unfold?

All throughout history, people have been selected to keep watch in order to keep everyone else safe. Ancient cities posted watchmen along the tops of the walls that surrounded their cities. Military posts to this day post watch at strategic points such as entrances and security points. A watchman is there to alert others to the possibility of danger from forces outside of the city. When a watchman sounds the alarm, everyone springs into action to defend themselves from the impending attack.

What would happen if no one responded to the alert sounded from those who are posted as watchmen?

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that in the physical world, of you ignore the alert sounded by a watchman, you run the risk of death. Why do we then tend to ignore the sound of the people whom the Lord has called to be spiritual watchmen over His Body? Are we so out of touch with the Lord, His Word, and His plan as it is unfolded in His Word? Do we not heed those who alert us to the world claiming that good is now evil and evil is now good? Do we not heed the alert that the enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour? Are we too engrossed in our day to day lives that we are oblivious to what is going on around us even when we are being told to watch out for the enemy is near?

We profess a faith in Jesus. We profess to have turned over lordship of our lives to Jesus, yet we don’t seem to listen to those whom He has called to alert us to danger. In essence, by our inaction, we are saying that we are not listening. We listen to anything and everything else. We keep our noses in our electronics while our eyes and ears are focused only on the things that are directly in front of us. We are so wrapped up in the superficial that we completely ignore the clear and present warnings that are being sent our way.

We claim that we follow Jesus, yet do we truly listen to all that He wants to tell us?

Are we listening as we should?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe it could happen at any moment?

May 31, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:52 (NIV))

Do you believe in the Rapture in which the true believers are suddenly caught up and taken away from this world and are instantly with the Lord?

I honestly don’t want to get into a debate about whether this concept is true or not. I simply want to pose a few questions to you.

Do you find this world to be a place of ever increasing evil where sin is considered good and anything godly and righteous is considered evil?

Do you long for the Lord to return and initiate a complete reset?

Do you long to be with the Lord?

Would you be upset if you were removed from this sinful, evil world and caught up to be with the Lord in heaven?

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV))

Think about your answers and then think about this statement. The Lord is only going to come for those who long, who believe that they will see Him. I saw something from Maurice Sklar that really drives this point home. In it, he said of the Lord, “Those that do believe I am coming for them and those who do not are both correct.”

If you aren’t waiting, believing and expecting His return, can you honestly say that you truly belong to Jesus? Think about that from an earthly perspective. If you are separated from someone you truly love, what are your days like? Do you long to see them with all of your heart? Do you pray for their soon return? Do you hope and expect to see them at any minute? Are you disappointed when you don’t see them? This is how we should be with our love of the Lord Jesus! We should long to be with Him and, based on His promises, we should expect to see Him in the twinkling of an eye!

If we truly love the Lord, we should be expecting His return. We should be living for this event! Are you someone who believes that He is coming? Are you ready?

Do you believe it could happen at any moment?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you firmly rooted in Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy?

October 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:17-19 (NIV))

Far too many believers have the false belief that the Old Testament has nothing to do with them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Jesus, himself, stated that He came to fulfill not to abolish.

We have a long heritage that we have been grafted into. Jesus is the fulfillment of all prophecy in the Old Testament. Without the Old Testament, we would not have a Biblically or spiritually sound basis for our faith. It is the Old Testament that tells the story of this foundation.

Are you firmly rooted in Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you possess Godly righteousness and humility?

May 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you will be sheltered
on the day of the LORD’s anger.
(Zephaniah 2:3 (NIV))

Righteousness and humility!

An unusual combination in the eyes of the world. When the world thinks of righteousness, the meaning that it thinks of is self-righteousness in which the person thinks that they are better than anyone else. This does not go with humility. Humility calls for a person to humble themselves to the point of admitting that they are less important than everyone else.

As believers, we know that righteousness does not mean self-righteousness, but doing the will of God. When this Godly form of righteousness is coupled with humility, the world sees what God can do in a person’s life and through a person’s life. Zephaniah states that not only will we do what God wishes us to do, but that we will also be saved from the “Tribulation” of God’s anger when Jesus returns.

Conform to God’s view of righteousness and humility in all that you do.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you forsaken God?

May 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:14-16 (NIV))

We may forget God, but He will never forget us.

Isaiah was given the words that bring comfort to all who belong to the Lord. It is not possible for God to forget us or forsake us. When we depart slightly from the ways that God wishes for us, He does not cast us off. He waits patiently for us to return to Him, and when we do, all of heaven rejoices. The promise that He gave to Zion (Israel) also holds true for believers.

Jesus said that He is the vine and that we are the branches. We, as Gentile believers, have been grafted into the vine that is Jesus. We are a part of Him. We have a big brother interceding for us at the right hand of God. How can God forget us or forsake us? We are better off today than when Isaiah was given these words. Jesus had not yet come to earth or ascended back to the Father.

Today, both of these have happened, and Jesus does sit at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding in our behalf. The only thing that could be better is to have direct access ourselves, but that time has not come yet. Jesus must return again for His faithful and establish His kingdom on earth.

Will you be among the faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you truly thankful to be called a son or daughter of God?

November 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
(Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV))

What rights does a slave or a servant have? What rights does a person who hires himself for a wage have? Now, think about those rights and then think about the rights that the son of the owner has. There is a huge difference in what they are given and what they are allowed to do.

How do you want to be thought of in relationship to God? Do you desire to serve God in all that you do? Do you want to be treated like a servant? Do you long to work for God and do whatever task He assigns to you? Do you want to be treated like a hired hand?

Think about the relationship that God longs to have with us? Did Jesus die on the cross to gain servants? Did He get resurrected to be able to hire more workers? Jesus came into this world and died so that we could become children of God. That means that we, as believers, are sons and daughters of God. We are not to be treated as slaves. We have all the privileges that a son possesses.

How can we not desire to serve God?

Nowhere does it say that we are not to serve God. It simply states that we are sons and daughters of God. A loyal son or daughter will serve the father out of love. A slave serves out of fear. A hired hand serves out of respect. At the end of the day, a slave is sent to his quarters, a hired hand goes home, but a son enters into the house of the father.

Jesus came so that at the end of the age, we may enter into the house of the Father.

Do you truly embrace your rights as a son or a daughter of God? Do you look forward to entering the house of the Father? Are you truly thankful to be called a son or daughter of God?

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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Have you decided to walk humbly with your God?

September 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 (NAS))

If it were only that simple!

We, as fallen humanity, cannot follow this simple truth without the world trying to distract us. All too often, it succeeds no matter what we do. Still, we must strive to keep these truths as the central focus of our lives.

It is made easier since Jesus came to suffer and die for our sins. Since His resurrection, we have had the Holy Spirit in the world to guide us and keep us in touch with God’s plan for our lives. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us. Even before we became believers, God, through His prevenient grace, worked through the Holy Spirit to bring us to Him. Now that the Holy Spirit is within us, we have an “internal, eternal” guide to listen to in order to help us fulfill the words from Micah.

But, we must desire to listen. The Holy Spirit is a “gentleman” and will not force us to do anything. He will guide us, but the decisions are ours alone. Every day is a new decision. Every minute of every hour of every day.

What is your decision?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there such a thing as a deafening silence?

January 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
(Revelation 8:1 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of heaven?

I would venture to say that you don’t think of it as a silent place, especially when you consider what is written of in Revelation 4:8.

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.”
(Revelation 4:8 (NIV))

We know that God is being praised continually, for heaven is a place of great joy. There is never silence, for silence means that the praise has stopped. It means that something is about to happen that makes all of heaven stop in their tracks.

I can only imagine what heaven will be like, but I cannot bear the thought of what heaven will be like for that half an hour. Nor can I imagine the terrible things that the silence will mark the beginning of. Humanity has fallen hard into our sinful ways. We all deserve what the silence marks. Fortunately, God is a God of love, grace and mercy. He has given each of us a way out of this terrible fate if we will only accept that grace. All that we have to do is proclaim that His Son, Jesus, is our personal Lord and Savior and we shall escape the terrible things that are the judgments upon this sinful world.

Every being in heaven will sit in silence out of awe of the great magnitude of times that will soon begin. New believers will feel the silence. Scoffers will not even notice.

How will you perceive this solemn moment in time?

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

November 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
(John 5:22-23 (NIV))

It is so hard in today’s world to watch the news and see all of the natural disasters that seem to be increasing in frequency and in magnitude. From a worldly point of view, we wonder if it will ever end. From a member of the Body of Christ, I often wonder just how close we are to the beginning of the events foretold of in Revelation.

One thing is certain. Jesus is coming again. We don’t know the hour or the day, but we do know that He is coming, for the signs seem to be upon us.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, `Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
(Matthew 16:2-3 (NIV))

What can a person do? What can we hold on to to give us strength in these uncertain times when the signs all seem to be pointing to worldly chaos? How can we, as believers, escape these events?

Many scholars debate over whether there will be a rapture of the church before things get way out of hand, for the rapture is not spoken of directly as an event, but is hinted at in passages such as the following.

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
(2 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

We MUST place our faith and trust in Jesus, the Son. He is coming again. Whether you believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture, a mid-Tribulation rapture, a post-Tribulation rapture, or no rapture, one thing is certain – Jesus is coming again. He will be the judge. Regardless of when we believe that we will meet HIm, He is coming.

Do you honor the Son?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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