By His stripes we are healed!

April 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
(Isaiah 53:5-7 (NIV))

These words do not paint a very pretty picture! The agony of the events of Jesus’ crucifixion are vividly portrayed through these words. They speak of the events in an historical perspective, yet when this was written, the events would not take place for several hundred years! God knew what would happen long before it actually came to pass, and he told Isaiah the events long before they really happened. God IS in control! He was then. He is now, and He will be in the future, as we perceive time.

I don’t know how many actual prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. I do know that the odds against all of them being fulfilled in one person are astronomically impossible, yet, this is exactly what happened. Jesus fulfilled every single prophesy that God had ever given anyone concerning the Messiah about His first coming.

God has given Daniel and John, in Revelation, prophesies concerning Jesus’ second coming. With such astronomical odds against the first event happening, it does not make sense from the world’s point of view that He will return. But, if I were a betting man, I would place my money on God! His record is flawless. His timing is impeccable. His grace is sufficient! His mercy endures forever!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Wondrous and fearful times!

March 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
(Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV))

This speaks of wondrous times and fearful times. We look forward to the time when Jesus will return and reign in glory. At the same time, we all have family and friends that we are praying for to be saved so that they do not face the “shame and everlasting contempt.”

God has not changed his plan from the time that He revealed it to Daniel to this day. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. If He said it once, it will come to be. Since we accept the fact that He is unchanging, we must fervently pray for non-believers to believe. We must follow after God’s own heart. He does not wish any to perish.

Does your heart ache when you see people following their own way?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are the Body of Christ! We are to press on!

January 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator `made them male and female,’ and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
(Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV))

The things that God has put together are under attack by man. Or should I say that they are under attack by the enemy as he lies and tricks man into believing that anything goes?

Think back over your life.

Is there anything that you considered to be unshakable, only now to see it being questioned or completely discarded?

Have you stood up for the biblical principles that used to be the foundation of our society? Have you stood face to face with the enemy as he tries to remove any reference to God from our society? Do we, as the Body of Christ, even try to take a stand or are we so lost in the hope of the Rapture that we forget that we are called to be salt and light where we are?

Many people believe that we are living at the beginning of the times written of in Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation, and we just might be, but I have a question for you. If you are running a race, do you lose focus once the finish line comes into view? Do you slow down and take it easy because you are almost there? Do you stop altogether and join the spectators to see what will happen?

You persevere!

You complete the task!

To quote Paul in his letter to the church at Phillipi,

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 (NIV))

We are called to be salt and light to the world. We are called to finish the race. We are not told to give up when we see good being called evil. We are to model out faith after Paul.

We are the Body of Christ! We are to press on!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the resolve to not defile yourself?

October 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
(Daniel 1:8 (NIV))

It was only food, but Daniel stood his ground. He knew that what he was being given to eat was not what he was supposed to put into his body. He could have very easily told himself that he had no choice and that it was the only thing that he had to eat. He could easily have justified doing what he was told to do.

How many times have you found yourself in a situation in which you thought you did not have any other option but to do what was right in front of you? We justify it by telling ourselves things like “just this once won’t hurt,” or “nobody will know.” What if Daniel had followed this philosophy? Would God have honored him with the strength and insight that He gave him? Daniel chose to stand his ground with respect to his faith. He did not waiver when things did not allow him to be obedient. He found ways to obey what God asked. This even carried through to later in his life when it was a royal decree to only pray to the king. Did Daniel waiver in his faith then? He did what he knew to be right with the food and he did what he knew to be right with prayer. If we give in to our circumstances, will we be faithful? Will we be held righteous in the eyes of God if we falter during these moments.

Through the atoning blood of Jesus, God will forgive us, however, will He use us? He longs for us to be faithful in our hearts and in our actions. If we justify our choices and give in to things that we shouldn’t, will God be able to trust us in fulfilling what He has called us to for His Kingdom?

What are the things that you know you shouldn’t do? How do you justify them to yourself? How do you try to justify them to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your faith led anyone to God?

June 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
(Daniel 2:20-22 (NIV))

Daniel was a strong servant of God. He is an example of what we should strive to be. We may never be placed in an environment such as Daniel faced, but we must always strive to keep our faith in God as Daniel kept his faith in God.

Daniel lived in the time of what history and the Bible have called the evilest dictatorship in all of history, yet Daniel kept his faith in the face of adversity and possible death. God rewarded Daniel and his friends for this faithfulness by giving them wisdom, insight and protection that would be remembered throughout all of history.

Everyone is familiar with the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream by Daniel; the fiery furnace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced; the handwriting on the wall that Daniel interpreted; and who can forget the lion’s den that God delivered Daniel through? Daniel and his friends kept their faith in God even though all around them was from Satan and his kingdom. Their faith led even Nebuchadnezzar to recognize the power of God.

Has your faith led anyone to God?

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

September 20, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(Revelation 3:22 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world, what is the Spirit saying to the churches?

Are we listening?

Do we have an ear tuned to the Holy Spirit?

Or are we still focused on the things that center around our own little corner of the world? Do we, as the Body of Christ, even acknowledge the ramifications of what we are seeing unfold right before our eyes?

Some people say that prophecy and the Book of Revelations is difficult to understand. What about the Book of Daniel? It echoes many of the same things as Revelations. With this in mind, have we, as the Body of Christ, forsaken God’s Word with respect to what is to come? We read it and claim that we understand what has transpired. We pray that He will work in our personal lives, yet do we truly see and understand what God may be doing with the big picture?

We are supposed to!

We are supposed to be prepared!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

How can we be prepared and understand when we focus on the easier teachings and ignore what may be right in front of us.

I do not profess to know what God is up to, yet, we have been instructed to know the season by the signs that Jesus laid out.

Do you know the signs of the season?

Do you know what to look for?

Do you know what to pray for?

It is my prayer, no matter what the season, that each of us will develop an ear to hear the Holy Spirit. You might be surprised at what He is trying to tell us.

He who has an ear . . .

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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