A complete change

June 8, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
(Romans 1:28-32 (NIV))

Have you ever met someone who thought that they could do whatever they wanted to because God’s grace would cleanse them? These are the type of people who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior in church and then live the rest of the week as if they never accepted Jesus.

Did they really accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or are they the very ones that Paul is writing about in Romans?

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior means so much more than simply uttering words. It is a change of heart. It is the desire to follow God’s Word. It is a desire to turn away from every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.

How should a believer respond to accepting Jesus? Believers must refrain from envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, hating God, insolence, arrogance, evil, disobedience, senselessness, faithlessness, heartlessness, and ruthlessness.

I hate to say this, but perhaps we all see a little of ourselves in these attributes. We must turn away from these traits.

We must seek after God’s heart !

We must do what Jesus would do !

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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True branches and good fruit

May 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
(John 15:5-8 (NIV))

All good comes from God. We cannot do truly good things without God in our lives. When we become believers, we are grafted into the vine. We are not natural branches of “good” and “love”. Rather, we are allowed to graft onto the perfect vine and share in the fruits of that vine. We have the life of the vine flowing through us if the “graft” is true. If the “life” flows through us, then the fruit produced will also show the “life” of the vine. If the “graft” is not true, then the branch withers and dies and must be discarded.

Which branch are you? Do you bear the fruit of the vine, or do you wither and produce no fruit?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you hungry?

May 20, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

What is your favorite Scripture passage? What makes it your favorite? Did God use it to reach out to you at a time of terrible trouble? Did He speak to you through that passage when you were alone and lost? Did He use it to call you to Him and confirm your salvation?

God has given us so much of Himself through His Word. Think about your favorite Scripture passage. At best, it is only a few words. A few select words that God has used to touch your life. If God can soften your heart with only a few words, imagine what He can do with every word that is recorded as part of His Word. If we took to heart every morsel that is freely given to us, how would we be different? If we studied and memorized more of Scripture the way that we memorize our favorite passage, imagine how our lives would be changed!

If your favorite passage is looked upon as an appetizer to a grand feast, are we missing all that God has laid out before us? If you are offered an appetizer, do you simply stop with one morsel? An appetizer is simply the thing that awakens your hunger for what is to come. Your favorite passage is that appetizer. It should be looked upon as the morsel that awakens your hunger for all of God’s Word.

Are you hungry?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who hears you?

March 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
(Isaiah 58:9 (NIV))

Who hears you when you cry out for help?

Think about your answer. Can they truly help you?

What would you be willing to give to have someone who not only would hear every time that you cry out in despair, but was also able to help you through your times of trouble? What would that be worth to you?

Fortunately, we have such a friend in our Lord. He is creator of all things, yet He cares about each of us. He will be with us every step of the way.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
(Joshua 1:5 (NIV))

He will guide us. In fact, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to show us how we are to live and how we are to trust in Him. Faith placed in the right place will see us through even the worst of times. If we focus on Jesus, then our faith will guide us through anything.

“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 all have times when we cry out for help. Isn’t it nice to know that our God is there to hear us and that He will comfort us. We only need to have the faith to call upon the name of Jesus as our intercessor and as our Lord and Savior?

Who hears you when you cry out for help?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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He is, and was and is to come

December 30, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

Human nature is such a funny thing.

What is your reaction when the grocery store that you normally go to is closed for some reason? Do you complain or do you simply adapt? What do you do when your favorite shirt is no longer suitable for public appearance? Do you throw it away or do you cling to it like a small child clings to a blanket? How do you react when your favorite magazine stops publication because the content is now readily available on the Internet? Speaking of the Internet, how do you react to reading something online versus reading it from a book that you can hold and feel?

Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit. We have our routines and we all have our favorite things that we think that we could never do without. In all honesty, most people do not like change. Change is something that we fear. It is unknown.

Too many of us do not like anything to ever change, yet we often are guilty of saying that God is not the same as He was in the Old Testament. We have a double standard for what we expect of ourselves and what we think that God is like. We have heard the stories and we have read the passages that tell of God’s laws, yet we find it difficult to comprehend that God could remain the same for all eternity.

Personally, I like knowing that God is constant, that He is, and was and is to come.

If we spend time getting to know God through His Word, then we will know the very heart of God for all time. He doesn’t change. I honestly would not like having to constantly second guess what I was supposed to do because of a constantly changing god. That is not our God. That is not our creator, our Father. God is a God of eternity.

January 1 will soon be here. It is the beginning of a new year. Many people look upon this day as the opportunity to start fresh, to change what they have been doing. For humanity, change for the better is good, especially when that change means that we repent of our sins and turn to God. When we desire to change, isn’t it good to know that the One who welcomes us in our change, never changes. God will welcome us with open arms any day of the year.

Today is that day.

Happy New Year !!!

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