Do you have a daily time to spend with God?

February 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

As I sit here exhausted, I realize just how easy it is to become so engrossed in the things of the world that we call our lives. It is so easy to let God slip to a second, third or even a fourth priority. The sad part about this when it happens is that we don’t realize that it is happening until it has already happened.

We need to establish something that becomes a constant in our lives. Something that we do on a daily basis that forces us to be still in the presence of God. This must be something that we do no matter whether we want to or not, no matter whether we feel that we can take a day off because no one will notice.

If you are reading this, then you are a part of my daily routine. I know that to many people the word routine signifies that you do something over and over again and get stuck in a rut. When you are studying and sharing God’s Word, you may be in a routine, but it is never a rut.

God’s Word is alive!

God shares His heart through His Word.

The trick is to be open and to not take things out of context. You must dive deep and explore the mysteries that God has in store for you. The Bible is called the Living Word for a reason. No matter where you are in your walk with God, there is something for you to learn. What I find so intriguing is that you can learn something from one passage and as you mature, you can learn something different from the same passage. This knowledge does not replace what you have learned before. It expands, it builds upon the previous knowledge to give you a deeper understanding.

I have been writing and sharing these devotionals since 1998. It is my routine. It is not my rut. I learn so much as I explore God’s Word and share it with you. It is my daily time to be still in the presence of God.

It is my prayer that each of you develop a routine in which you set aside time each day to spend in God’s presence.

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

November 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
(Matthew 24:7a (NIV))

I know that we are all very familiar with these specific words and with the whole passage of scripture that this is taken from. Last night I had a thought that sent chills through my body.

We all know that when this passage refers to nations, that it means people groups. We are very aware of the fact that people groups are rising up against each other. If you don’t believe this, then all that you have to do is turn on the news, any news, and you will see that almost every headline proclaims this loudly.

I have heard that the kingdoms referred to within this passage are human governments, and this makes sense. We see not only people groups, but governments turning against each other.

But, …

Or perhaps I should say “And, . . . “

We all know that God’s Word has multiple meanings. We, as the Body of Christ, long to see the kingdom of heaven. Many places within the Bible refer to God’s kingdom and the nations of the earth.

The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
(Matthew 13:38-39 (NIV))

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:14 (NIV))

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
(John 18:36 (NIV))

We also see that Satan is ascribed a kingdom.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
(Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV))

It never ceases to amaze me that God will show us something new when His timing is right. I honestly don’t know how many times that I have read the words to Matthew 24. I honestly don’t know how many times that I have quoted these words in reference to what is going on in this world.

I find it amazing that what we read as simple words on a page take on so much more. How many of you have recognized that the kingdom against kingdom can actually mean the kingdom of God against the kingdom of the air? Are we seeing these kingdoms at war with each other? If you are like me, it appears that these two kingdoms are locked in a war that is rapidly coming to a point where only one will survive.

Take heart, for we know that God wins!

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign for ever and ever.”
(Revelation 11:15 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Contrary to what the world says, truth never changes!

April 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV))

I believe that we are in that time!

I believe that what is happening is all part of God’s ultimate plan, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch as it happens. I am saddened by the number of people who are falling for the lies of the enemy. I am saddened by the lack of common sense. I am saddened by what is good is now being called evil and what was once evil is now considered good.

Today, I saw many things that made me stop and pray for our country and the world. Two made me do a double-take to make sure that I was reading them correctly. One was that an ISIS training camp was found and it is located only 8 miles from the US border in Mexico. I find it interesting that too many in positions of power and in the media are saying that Biblical Christianity is a bigger threat. The other was that our own Department of Defense is saying that the Bible, our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are all sexist. In other words, they are all evil.

I honestly believe that the acceptance of sound doctrine is a thing of the past. The only sound doctrine left is to hold on to the promises that Jesus will return for His bride. Sadly, many people who claim to be a part of the church will miss this. They have allowed false doctrine to infiltrate what they believe.

What is your concept of sound doctrine?

Do you stand firm on the infallible word of God?

Do you believe that the Bible is completely true or do you believe that it is not relevant for today’s society? Be careful how you answer this question for God never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 3:8 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does your future look like?

September 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever–yes, for ever and ever.’
(Daniel 7:18 (NIV))

God gave this promise to Daniel long before it will come to be. Daniel was speaking about a vision that he was given concerning the end of days, yet all of us can hold fast to that promise no matter when God will end the Age of the Gentiles.

All throughout the Bible, God gives us foresight into what will happen, and guess what? He wins. God does not wish for any to perish, but one day He will bring about an end to the evils of this world and establish His Kingdom. Those who believe and keep God’s commandments will inherit the Kingdom as Children of God.

What does your future look like? Will you receive and possess the kingdom as a saint or will you receive God’s punishment for refusing His love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your motives?

June 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV))

The Bible states that a person can not gain access to heaven through good works. All of the things that are described here are useless if your heart is not right.

Take a look at the Pharisees. They did everything by the “book” in the eyes of the nation of Israel. To others, it looked like they did everything right. Yet, God knew their hearts. They did not do things out of love, but, rather out of ego and pride so that they could say that they were better than others. Their hearts did not reflect their actions. They were doing the right things for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes I think that it is possible to do the wrong things for the right reasons. In our fallen state of humanity, we are not perfect. If we earnestly seek after God’s own heart and do things out of OUR love, we are bound to make mistakes. Even with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we will lapse into thinking that we know what is best and do what we think out of “love” or concern for others.

Even if we have love, we must not allow our own hearts to guide us. We must look to the Father who is perfect in Will and in Love. If we continually look to God for guidance, then we have placed our hearts in the hands of the Father who will teach us to do what is best in His site and provide us the proper motives for all that we do.

What are your motives?

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

May 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
(James 4:4 (NIV))

Perhaps this is better understood in other words. Consider Matthew 6:24.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
(Matthew 6:24(NIV))

Money represents what the world has to offer: sin and death. God represents salvation, grace and mercy. You cannot follow both paths. They are mutually exclusive of each other.

This is a common teaching in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. It is a common teaching method to repeat what is important so that the student will realize and remember what is being repeated. Perhaps we should pay more attention to what is being told to us in these passages, after all, Jesus thought enough of the teaching to tell us more than once.

With this in mind, let’s use the repetition method ourselves and stress what God is telling us. In this teaching, we must also remember that Satan is the ruler of this world since we allowed him in through our disobedience.

Now, if we love the world, who do we love?

This gives us insight into God’s reason for these passages.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you want to be judged as you judge others?

January 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
(Romans 2:3-4 (NIV))

It is so easy to fall into this habit. Everyone is quick to judge, yet we fail to see the very same things in our lives that we rush to judgment when we see it in the lives of others.

What is it for you?

Do you judge others for their harsh tongue? Perhaps it is someone’s lack of self control. It may be someone’s desire to be the center if attention that makes you react. The biggest one appears to be judging someone’s success and making all types of comments about how they achieved it. It is so sad that people have a tendency to be very judging of others when they have the same traits. I suppose that it is human nature to find fault with others in order to make ourselves look good. We use it as justification. We tell ourselves that our sins are not as bad as those of the ones we are judging.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
(Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV))

God’s Word is very clear about what happens if we judge. When we judge, we place ourselves in authority over others. We presume to know all of the details and all of the reasoning behind someone else’s actions. We place ourselves as God. We pass judgment when we are the ones who are guilty. We pass judgment without offering grace or mercy. We pass judgment without stopping to think of the way that we appear in the eyes of God.

God uses the principle throughout the Bible about we will be judged as we judge, or we will be forgiven as we forgive. Think about that for a moment. Would you want God to judge you with the same attitude that you have had at times or would you want Him to judge with with grace and mercy?

What is you final answer?

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