Have you accepted God’s compassion for you?

November 27, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
(Psalms 103:13 (NIV))

How many times, as a child, did you do something terribly wrong? You knew that you were going to be in BIG trouble! You knew that there was going to be punishment for your actions. Many times you did receive punishment for what you had done. Think back and take a look at what you did and what you received in return.

Chances are that the punishment was far less serious than the action really deserved. Your earthly father had compassion on you and tempered the punishment with love. Our heavenly Father is far more compassionate than any person can ever be. No matter what you have done in your life, it can all be forgiven through one simple act of faith.

Profess the name of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the severe punishment for your sins is wiped away. You may still suffer the immediate consequences of your actions, but the long term consequences of sin are no longer to be applied to you. The wages of sin is death. God, through His compassion, has given us a way to escape what is rightfully ours to face.

Have you accepted God’s compassion for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay true to God’s Word. Don’t get polluted by the world!

July 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
(James 1:27 (NIV))

Too many people look at this as an either or situation where they look after orphans and widows or they try to keep themselves from being polluted by the world.

We are called to do both!

We are to reach out to those in need and give them help. There are many passages that can be used to temper this so that it is not a lifelong help. We are to assist those in need. For those who believe Jesus called us to minister to the poor, He did. We are not called to provide for their every need for the rest of their lives.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
(2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV))

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.
(John 12:8 (NIV))

When we begin to feel that we have to take care of someone who is capable of taking care of themselves, are we truly doing as Jesus commanded? Jesus knew that people will always have physical needs, but He did not come to provide physical comfort. He came to bring salvation. He came to bring mercy and grace. He came to bring forgiveness of sins. Jesus did not die on the cross to bring three meals a day and an air conditioned house for everyone. Those things are fleeting. He came to offer eternity with the Father and not perpetual creature comforts in this life.

The other part of this passage is a command to not get polluted by the world. In other words, don’t adopt the ways of the world. Don’t give in to the temptations that are going on all around you. Stand firm in your faith. Don’t confuse the miracles and good works that Jesus did with His primary mission. Don’t buy into the world’s definition of “Jesus is love.” The polluted concept of Jesus is that since He loves everyone, then anything that they do is acceptable. Temper your view of the world with a very healthy dose of prayer and study of God’s Word.

Stay true to God’s Word. Don’t get polluted by the world!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you experiencing the groaning?

July 15, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
(Romans 8:22 (NIV))

Am I the only one who groans in anguish over the things I see in the world?

I know that I can turn off the sarcasm of a rhetorical question. I know many people are feeling the very same things that I am feeling. It is so hard to not have your spirit groan in compassion for the groanings of what God has created. Even though I know how things turn out as God will unfold His plan, I still can’t help but groan out of sadness for those who are so blinded by the lies of the enemy that they refuse to see what is happening.

The whole world is upside down.

Good is called evil and evil is called good. I honestly can’t remember a day where something evil and demented has not happened somewhere in the world.

Jesus, we need you. The world is falling apart and You are the only way to stop the insanity. My heart is heavy for I know that things will get much worse before you do return. I take no pleasure in knowing that there will be those who reject you. I take no pleasure in knowing that many will vehemently deny you. It is my prayer that somehow their hearts will be softened and they will turn to you. I am at a loss for what to pray for. I long to see you return, yet I don’t want to see any perish. Is this how You feel when you see Your creation?

Lord, give me a heart that loves like Yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 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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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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What is your mark?

July 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32 (NIV))

What would you say is the mark of a true follower of Jesus?

Is it faith? Is it hope? Is it love? Is it a willingness to forgive? Perhaps it is actually all of these, for when you have the first three, you inherit the willingness to forgive. Forgiveness comes from these three traits. Can you forgive and not have a faith that the person you are forgiving will not act in a similar manner again? Can you forgive and not have a hope for a different outcome in the future? Can you forgive and hate the person that you have forgiven? Can you love someone and not forgive them? There are certain things that are considered oximorons. I would argue the case that these are included in that group, for you cannot harbor hatred and still willingly forgive. You cannot love and be unwilling to forgive.

What is the mark of a true follower of Jesus? Did Jesus possess love? Did He possess a willingness to forgive? He certainly had faith and hope in what God has promised.

It is probably safe to say that the mark of a true follower of Jesus is a willingness to see others through the eyes of Jesus. It is a willingness to realize that Jesus died for them also, and that we are no different than they are. It is a willingness to share our faith and hope of salvation through Jesus Christ, for we too should not desire for any to perish.

What is your mark?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Fear and hatred or compassion and mercy?

June 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NAS))

It has been said that there is a thin line between fear and hate. If you fear others, then it is because you are close to hating others. This is probably not intentional, but, it is true.

It is through love that hatred is abolished, and through this, fear is abated. You cannot fear someone that you love. They are opposite extremes and diametrically opposed to each other. You either love with no fear, or you fear with hatred as the root.

We are to live with Jesus as the example. Jesus did not know fear or hatred. He had compassion and mercy on all that He encountered. It was their reactions to Him that set the tone of the interactions. No matter what happened, Jesus always responded in love and mercy. If we are to be followers of Jesus, then we, too, should respond to all whom we see with love and mercy. Jesus gave us instructions on what to do.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
(John 13:34-35)

How well have you carried out this new commandment? Can others tell that you are a disciple of Jesus?

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