Remember the sparrow and rejoice!

December 6, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are not in the eyes of God?

If you are like me, then you probably have this feeling many times.

We are frail in our uncertainty. We constantly like to be reminded that we are doing a good job at work, or that we are still loved by our spouse, or that we still have that competitive edge. We must also face this truth in our relationship with God. Our human nature likes to be reminded that we are still in His eyes.

I love these words of assurance that Jesus gave us. Jesus spoke to the very heart of our self worth and our uncertainty. In these few words, He was able to convey that God is a loving Father who cares for all of His creation, even down to the smallest creature. Jesus simply stated that God considers us to be of far more worth than sparrows, and that nothing happens to a single sparrow apart from God’s will.

Isn’t it amazing. Even at Christmas, when God demonstrated His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus, we still need to be reminded that God holds each and every one of us in such great importance.

Perhaps we are frail in our humanity, but we must never forget that God is never frail in His love and His grace!

When you feel that you are not in the eyes of God, simply remember the sparrow and rejoice!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Prayer and freedom do mix

July 5, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

As I sit here contemplating the events of the last few days, this July 4th weekend was a good weekend.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of a small town to see a parade that will never match the production value of the parades in New York, but the heart and soul of this country were represented in that parade. Local businesses, the high school band, local volunteer fire departments, local farmers and their horses, and politicians who have a sincere desire to see this country return to the values that made it great all willingly walked a three mile course in the Georgia heat to show their love of country.

My youngest son and I visited a church where some of his friends attend. The sermon was a very interesting historical account of the writings of the founding fathers. Some things I knew, such as the first official act of the first Congress was to order a large amount of Bibles to be printed. Did you know that each of the original 13 states started their documents of statehood giving praise and honor to God? I would love to read the personal thoughts and public documents of the founding fathers, for most of them professed a belief in the sovereign grace of God in guiding this nation.

I want you to think of the words to “America the Beautiful.”

“God shed His grace on thee.”

Why do you think that God has shed His grace upon this nation? Our history is based upon allowing people to worship Him as they see fit. It is built upon the idea that we have been blessed to be a blessing to others. What other nation has been willing to help rebuild war-torn countries? What other nation has been willing to come to the aid of countries when they could not defend themselves?

Looking back at the events of this weekend, I don’t think that the people have lost site of what is important. This can be proven by the heartfelt responses we see to terrorist strikes, hurricanes, and accidents. What I believe has happened is that the government that we elect has forgotten that they are not above the law, and that they are not to make laws contrary to the heart and desires of the people, and contrary to God’s Word.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

We have a choice to make. We can allow things to run their course in a way that is contrary to God’s Word, or we can pray for His forgiveness, His desires and His direction. In this prayer, there should be neither Democrat nor Republican, but only those who earnestly seeks after the heart of God.

Lord, guide us in your desires for this world, this nation, this state, this community and this household. May our actions always be tempered with your wisdom and grace.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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One body

June 10, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
(Ephesians 4:5-6 (NIV))

With all of the denominations world-wide, and all of the different views with respect to doctrine and theology, we must, as the Body of Christ, remember this simple truth.

Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

He is not only Lord of the North American denominations, or even only certain denominations, He is Lord of everyone who calls upon His name in honesty and in truth. We have different skin colors, different traditions, and different heritages, yet, we all share a common faith in the one and only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is through this commonality that we are all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God.

Just because tradition dictates one way for us and another for someone else, it does not mean that we are right and they are wrong. Keep in mind that when Jesus walked upon this earth, some traditions he upheld while others he opposed.

When you see believers who do not look and act like you, do you welcome the diversity or do you wish they were like you?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you an active part of the royal priesthood?

January 25, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV))

This was written about the early church and it still applies today to the true church of Jesus Christ.

God has called us out of all types of darkness to be His people. He has called us, and is calling us, from every nation, every tribe and every tongue. We must remember this. Belonging to God through the grace and mercy given to us through Jesus Christ is not a yellow, white or black issue. It is not an American issue. It is not a male, female issue. It is a grace and mercy issue.

When Jesus calls us, we will not be surrounded by people who are exactly like us. We will be surrounded by the children of God who will come from everywhere. We are a chosen people, but the criteria for being chosen is not skin color or ethnicity. It is simply a matter of the heart. If we have heard God’s call upon our lives and have accepted grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, then we, and everyone else who answers the call, are part of the chosen people, the royal priesthood, the holy nation that belongs to God.

We must rejoice in our faith and not keep it for only those who are like us.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Merry Christmas !

December 24, 2009

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 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does Christmas mean to you?

December 16, 2009

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think that Christmas is the celebration of your birthday also?

Think about that for a moment.

I am not proclaiming that each of us who call upon Jesus as our Lord and Savior is of equal stature as Jesus. Rather, through the birth of Jesus, God moved to fulfill His plan for our salvation. Through the physical birth of Jesus, our salvation was given life. Through the physical birth of Jesus, our hope was given wings. Without the birth that we celebrate during this time of year, there could never have been a crucifixion, resurrection or ascension. Without these glorious events, the price would never have been paid in order to redeem us from the law of sin and death.

Christmas is, in essence, the beginning of our new life through grace. It is the beginning of the life that paid the price so that you and I can be redeemed.

If you are a believer in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have every right to celebrate the birth of the One who freely died so that you could be born again.

Many historians and theologians believe that December 25 is not really the actual date of Jesus’ birth. Many believe that it was actually in April. Still, no matter what the actual day, we celebrate an important birth. It is the most important birth in all of human history. It is the birth of the One who allows the rebirth of all who will simply proclaim Him. It is a new beginning for all. It is the beginning of the removal of all of our sins. All that we have to do is accept.

Christmas is the day that we can point to and claim that God’s redemption has arrived. Perhaps that is why people used to wish everyone a Mighty Christ’s Mass. They realized just what this day means. It is the day that God broke through the barrier of sin and death to reach out to offer each of us salvation, grace and mercy.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Celebrate Jesus !!!

December 7, 2009

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
(Psalms 98:1-2 (NIV))

I know that this is a repeat, but it is important to remind ourselves what it is that we choose to celebrate during December.

Do you celebrate family? Do you celebrate peace on earth? Perhaps you may be receiving this because someone wants you to read something to try to convince you to celebrate something at all!

First and foremost, we must always remember that the reason for the season is Jesus. For several hundred years, tradition has made it known that this is the time of the year to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We call it Christmas, but the roots of the name are much more meaningful than today’s society can even imagine. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

God has made His salvation known!

He has revealed his righteousness to the nations!

That salvation and that righteousness is one and the same!

It is through Jesus!

I pray that you will truly have a Mighty Christ’s Mass this Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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