Are you fulfilling your duty?

October 22, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV))

Everyone has things that they feel they need to do. Some people call them obligations. Some call them responsibilities. Some people call them their duty. Others may say that these things are their priority, while some simply refer to them as the right thing to do. No matter what you may call them, we all have something that we feel we must do.

What are the things in your life that you place as a priority, as your duty?

Is one of your duties to provide for your family? Perhaps you are a business owner and you have employees and customers that are a central part of your daily life. Perhaps you are called to be a first responder and you feel that your duty is to protect and to serve. If that is you, thank you for your selflessness!

No matter what you may feel that your duty or obligation may be, there is one that is far greater and a lot of people fail to ever do anything about it! In fact, Jesus was asked point blank and responded without any hesitation.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
(Matthew 22:36-38 (NIV))

I can hear it now. Some may say that these two passages contradict each other. One says to fear God and the other says to love God with all your heart. How can fear and love mean the same thing? To be honest with you, that is a concept that may be difficult for people to grasp, but the basic sentiment behind this is that you should desire to do what is right in God’s eyes. Perhaps a better way to refer to this potential contradiction is to look at it in terms of respect. When you respect God for who He is, you both love and fear Him at the same time. The fear comes from the simple fact that we are all sinners who deserve whatever judgment we have earned. The love comes from the fact that even though He is a just and righteous God and we are all guilty of our sins, He has freely offered grace and mercy in place of the judgment.

I find it interesting that the passage in which we are told to fear God is from the Old Testament and it was recorded long before grace was freely given. I love the fact that the passage in which Jesus told us to love God is in the New Testament. Jesus took the liberty to paraphrase the commandments and let it be known that we no longer had to fear God, but through Him, God reached out to us in love. Through God’s act of love for us, we can now approach God in love.

I don’t know about you, but I both fear God and love God. As a part of His creation, it is my duty to the Lord our God as Creator!

Are you fulfilling your duty?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the truth shining in you?

April 13, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
(1 John 2:3-4 (NAS))

Many people falsely believe that once they accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, they are forgiven for anything that they may have done or will do.

This is partially true. Accepting and acknowledging Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is only the beginning. Grace and mercy are yours for the asking, but, once that is granted, a true desire to keep His commandments should fill you to the point that trying to do anything less is not even an option that you could consider.

Going around with the false belief that you can do anything and that God will forgive you is dangerous to yourself and to those whom you encounter. God has given us a great gift through His Son, Jesus Christ. This gift is not to be taken lightly. Acceptance of this gift exacts a responsibility and a toll on those who accept it. The responsibility is to change from your previous ways and to fully embrace everything that Jesus taught us to be. We are to be a light to the world. What kind of light would we be if we “shined” dimly or not at all?

Our actions will shine for Jesus if we keep His commandments, otherwise we do not shine at all.

Is the truth shining in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay focused on Jesus and the commandments of God!

January 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV))

What is upon your heart?

Perhaps I should ask this question. What do you spend all of your time thinking about?

It is the very thing that we think about that is foremost upon our heart. It is the thing that we talk to our children about. It is the very thing that we talk to each other about. It is first and foremost in our thoughts.

If we place something besides God’s commandments in this position of priority, then our lives will follow that priority. If we place God’s commandments in this position, then our lives will follow suit. If we try to achieve the desires of our heart, our priority, and it is not of God, then we are foolish to think that we will prosper.

They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning.
(Psalms 64:6 (NIV))

Do we trick ourselves into believing our own cunning deceptions?

Stay focused on Jesus and the commandments of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is constantly on your mind?

April 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV))

If you constantly talk about something, what will you constantly think about?

If you constantly think about something, how will your actions be effected?

I don’t know about you, but I believe that God had a purpose to this verse. He created us. He knows that we are wired to act out what we think about. If we think about money, we become greedy. If we think about power, we become obsessed with it. If we think about righteousness, then our actions will start to become righteous.

In helping my children study, I have a saying that they are probably tired of hearing. I tell them that they must repeat what they are trying to learn until it becomes ingrained within their minds and they can answer without thinking. It becomes a part of them. This is what God is telling us to do. We are to reflect upon His commandments until we know them so well that we do them out of knowledge and love.

What is the one thing that you know so well that you can quote details to anybody who asks, and possibly to those who don’t even ask? How did you get to be so knowledgeable about that subject? What if you applied the same earnestness toward God’s commandments? What would the outcome be? What would your life be like? What would other people say about you? What would God say about you?

What is constantly on your mind? What does your mind treasure? Is it God’s commandments?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

Think about them?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We will be held accountable!

May 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:12-13 (NIV))

We just finished a three day weekend in which we were supposed to stop and remember those who have given their lives so that we could have the freedoms that we have. I am extremely thankful to those who have served in the US military and have fought for our freedoms. We, as a nation, owe them more than we can ever begin to repay.

There is another group of people whom we need to be thankful to. A group that we, as the Body of Christ, must remember for their sacrifices that helped to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We must remember the heroes of the faith. Some call them saints. Some call them out as torchbearers. Whatever you may call them, the people who have gone before us and paved the way for our faith must be remembered. They must be thanked, for without them, we would not have been handed the mantle of faith that we possess.

We, as the current standard bearers in the faith, must be vigilant in our faith. We owe it to the next generation to pass the truth of God’s Word to them. We must not alter it to meet society’s expectations. We must not alter it to meet our own desires. We must not change what God is saying.

We will be held accountable!

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))

Our generation are the apostles. We are the prophets. We are the evangelists, pastors and teachers. It is our responsibility to pass this on just as we received it. Society may try to change God’s Word, but we must be steadfast and use God’s Word to change society.

Think about these questions.

Do you want future generations to look upon us as the ones who corrupted God’s Word?

Do you want God to look upon us as the ones who corrupted His Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call upon the only means of salvation

February 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And God spoke all these words:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV))

Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try, we probably break this commandment every single day of our lives. We may think that we place God first and that we have no other gods before Him, yet, how often have you placed something as more important than spending time with God? How many times have you thought of your finances as being able to take care of you? How many times have you longed to be with someone? All of these, and more, have the potential of becoming a god if you focus on them too much.

God has stated that He does not want us to place anything above our relationship with Him. If we do, then it is a sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

We all sin every single day, and we have only looked at the first commandment. God has said that we cannot come into His presence as a sinner. If we do not go into God’s presence, then we are cast into the lake with Satan.

Look closely at your heart and call upon the only means of salvation, Jesus Christ, for

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you hide in your heart?

February 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
(Psalms 119:11 (NIV))

What do you hide in your heart?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

It is true that people will place what they treasure within their hearts. It is what you think of first, last and most often. What is in your heart is your treasure, and typically people will hide what they do not wish for others to find. We hide our treasures!

What is it that you hide within your heart? What is it that you think of first, last and most often? If you are like every other person on this planet, then you are probably ashamed of your answer. Is it wealth? Is it power? Is it lust? Is it your family? Is it your job? Just what is it that you treasure?

What is it that God wants you to treasure and to hide in your heart?

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV))

We are to treasure God’s Word. We are to think of it first, last and most often.

What have you hidden in your heart?

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