We need to learn to fill our thoughts with heavenly things!

October 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.
(Colossians 3:2 (NLT))

How much time do you spend at work?

How much time do you spend watching your favorite sports team or television shows?

How much time do you spend with your family, and how much time do you spend doing your favorite thing to do?

Now, compare that to how much time you spend in God’s word, in prayer and in church with other believers. If you are like me, there is far too big of a difference in time spent between the world and the Creator of the world.

Most of the Body of Christ spends too little time focused on heavenly things. We are so overwhelmed with what we have to do to earn a living and then what we choose to do to relax. We need to turn to the source of rest and peace.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

We need to learn to fill our thoughts with heavenly things!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared to rely on Jesus in times of trouble?

May 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV))

Jesus told us that we would have troubles in this world. He did not promise that following Him would be easier than following the world. He did promise us, though, that He had 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)

Jesus overcame the ruler of this world, Satan. Satan spreads sin and death. Jesus overcame sin and death. True, we will die a physical death, but the physical death now does not have the finality that Satan intended when he deceived Eve. Instead of a permanent separation from God, the physical death is merely a transition from this world to heaven.

Be prepared for the troubles that this world brings. Rely on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What Jesus did for you was personal!

March 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
(Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV))

Many people believe that we are getting closer to the second time that Jesus will appear. This second appearance will not be anything like His first appearance on this earth. The first time, He came to teach and to save. The second time, He will come to gather together those who have placed their faith in Him. He will also come to judge those who do not place their faith in Him!

It is true that He will bring salvation to those who are waiting on Him. Seriously look at your heart and make sure that you are part of this group, for He will also come to judge those who have not called upon Him as their personal Lord and Savior. This judgment can only mean one thing for those who are in this group of people. They will face eternity cast away from God.

I cannot think of any greater anguish than to be eternally separated from the Creator, the one who intimately loves me in spite of all of my flaws caused by sin. He loved me so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the punishment for my sins so that I could be with Him eternally. Perhaps you have never thought about it on a personal level before, but it is true. If there had only been one person to ever need salvation, Jesus would have come to save that one person. What if that one person had been you? He would have died for your salvation. Now consider that He did die for your salvation. What He did, He did out of love for each and every one of us. Salvation is a personal commitment between God the Father, God the Son, and you.

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.
(John 3:16(NIV))

Personalize this and consider what Jesus did for you.

For God so loved (YOUR NAME) that he gave his one and only Son, that if (YOUR NAME) believes in him, (YOUR NAME) shall not perish but have eternal life.

Does it take on a different meaning to you? I pray that it does.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessings come in all forms!

January 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(1 Peter 4:12-17 (NIV))

Based on this passage, the people who are teaching a theology of prosperity may need to rethink what they are teaching. Don’t get me wrong. God does want to bless us, but we have also been told that we would have trouble. Jesus did not say that He would remove the trouble. He clearly said that we would have trouble.

“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))

We, as believers, will face troubles. We will face troubles that other people do not face. We will be persecuted simply because we call upon the name of Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. This type of trouble should be welcome, for if we are ridiculed and persecuted because of the name of Jesus, then we are doing what He has called us to do. We are making ourselves known as members of His Body.

We will be blessed, but the blessings will come if we are willing to bless others. The blessings are not intended for those who simply seek the blessings. Perhaps we should even think of the troubles as a blessing, for they build character and mark us as followers of Jesus.

How are you blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Another new year but the grace is the same!

January 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NIV))

The world has just celebrated a new year, which many people consider to be a re-birth or a renewing – a chance to change their lives for the better. If the world is looking for this opportunity, then how can we, as followers of Jesus Christ, not offer them the good news that Jesus came to proclaim?

Let’s make this new year a year that truly is a change of lives for the better by sharing with them the grace and mercy that is available to all through Jesus Christ!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hold fast to the faith

July 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:10-12 (NIV))

Hold fast to what is of God and do not let the world distract you. The rewards of God are far better than anything the world has to offer. If you hold fast to God’s Word, then you will have the world trying to distract you. If they cannot distract you, then they will try to torment and persecute you. Unfortunately, persecution is a sign of righteousness and unswerving faith in God. Satan is trying with all of his arsenal to make you forsake God and accept the world view of things. Do not be dismayed! Hold fast to the faith and remember that the persecution that you are facing is not from God, but from Satan. If Satan is persecuting you, then he is afraid of what God will do through you and he is trying to stop it. Always remember that

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you tell someone? Will you tell someone?

June 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
(1 Peter 3:15 (NIV))

Have you ever seen people who always seem to be cheerful? I know that you have probably seen people who always seems to be depressed and gloom and doom sayers. What do you suppose makes the difference in the outlook of these two types of people?

If you asked these people why they are the way they are, what do you think would be the answer of the gloomy people? Could it be that they have no hope in this life or for anything beyond this life? The words of 1 Peter 3:15 start to take on an interesting new meaning when read with this knowledge. Once again, God has pointed out to us that those people who actively seek after Him and accept His Son, Jesus, as their personal Lord and Savior, they are the ones who are truly at peace.

Are you truly at peace? Are you prepared to tell anyone and everyone whom you meet why you have such an unusual peace and hope? Could you tell someone about Jesus in such a way that they would not only understand what makes you the way you are, but they would also want it for themselves? The words do not have to be elaborate. They do not have to be lofty and full of Biblical references. They must simply tell what Jesus has done in your life and why it has made such a difference. Why do you have a hope that cannot be shaken? Why do you have a peace that passes all understanding?

Can you tell someone? Will you tell someone?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the mind of Christ?

February 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
“For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV))

I read this passage and it hit home!

We think that we are spiritual and listen to God because we don’t directly rebel. We look at those who rebel against God and think that we have an inside track to God’s heart.

What is the difference between those who rebel against God and those who seek after God’s heart? What is it that makes one person claim that anything to do with God is foolishness and the one person who embraces every word that God speaks?

Do you see yourself in these polar opposites? Perhaps you see yourself somewhere in the middle. Do you find yourself thinking that God is foolishness when what He says contradicts what you want to do? Do you embrace God’s promises when they will benefit what you want?

Do you want to know the mind of God?

Do you want to be so in tune with what is on His heart that you see things as He sees them?

We are seeing things unfolding in this world that I would have never imagined happening in my lifetime. Many in our society, and in the world, are calling the things of God foolishness. They are rebelling against what is righteous. We, as the Body of Christ, cannot be in the middle.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV))

We must fully embrace, we must fully know the mind of the Lord and accept His instruction.

We must have the mind of Christ in all that we do?

Do you have the mind of Christ?

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

August 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

Have you ever taken an aptitude test? You know the tests I am talking about. You answer a bunch of questions by filling in a circle under a number that represents how much the question sound like you. Perhaps you have taken something similar to this that was labeled a personality test. These tests are designed to help you figure out what you are good at and how you see the world. They try to label you with terms that can be used to fit people into the proverbial box. These tests use terms like Type A, Administrator, Caregiver, Visionary, and whatever else you can imagine.

It is interesting that we are told that God gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. We recognize the fact that each of us is not the same when it comes to spiritual gifts and completely fail to allow that concept to apply to our physical world and the gifts that we have.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:19 (NIV))

Is Jesus telling us that the spiritual world and the physical world are closely connected? Do our spiritual gifts manifest themselves in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of administration perform an administrative task in the physical world? Can someone who does not have the spiritual gift of discernment operate in the physical world as a counselor? Can someone who has the gift of prophecy do things that are contrary to God’s Word?

I recently took a test to discover my spiritual gifts. The results gave me mixed emotions. I suppose that I knew beforehand what the outcome would be, but it still surprised me to see the results. They confirmed what I had felt, but never really accepted.

God gave us each unique gifts that He desires for us to use in both the spiritual and the physical, for the two are not separate. They are closely tied to one another. What gifts you are given can manifest themselves in both aspects of your life.

Are you gifts united in your life for the glory of Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see yourself growing day to day?

July 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
(Ephesians 4:15 (NIV))

When you were little, who did you want to grow up to be like?

What was it about that person that made you long to be like them? Were they kind? Were they gentle with you? Could you trust them? Did they always tell you the truth? Did they take the time to simply be there for you when you needed them? Each of us has a person that we looked up to. Each of us has an ideal that was embodied by someone who took the time to love us and be there for us. They placed our desires above their own.

Did you grow up to possess any of the characteristics of the person that you longed to be like? I would safely venture to say that they did have an influence upon you and you did develop some of the very same characteristics that you saw in them.

As a believer in Jesus, do you long to grow up, to mature into being just like Him?

If, as a child, you longed to grow up to be like someone you admired, shouldn’t you now long to grow up to be like someone you admire? It should be our goal to grow up, to mature into being just like Jesus in all that we do. We should strive to persevere in our desires to be like Jesus.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:4 (NIV))

Each day we should grow in our knowledge and understanding of Jesus. Each day, we should mature in our faith in Him.

How do you see yourself growing day to day?

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