Just what is the source of your wisdom?

April 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(Proverbs 2:6 (NIV))

What better source of wisdom than the Creator of all things! His wisdom is true wisdom.

Isn’t it interesting that our frail human minds think that wisdom is now all rooted in attaining technological advances and knowledge of things that soon become outdated. We frantically attempt to gain new wisdom to replace that which has become outdated. This sounds very much like the times written of by Daniel.

“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))

We seek after all the wrong wisdom and we call it good. At the same time, those who earnestly seek after God are called narrow-minded and bad. It is true that we must live in this world, but we do not have to live by the standards that it tries to set for us. We can choose the true wisdom, knowledge and understanding that comes only through God.

Where does your wisdom lie?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What would you rather face?

October 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”
(2 Samuel 24:14 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting that most people would rather face the wrath of people than face the mercy of God? We, as a rule, tend to forget that God loves us and wishes to give us grace and mercy even when we do not merit such a favor.

People have a tendency to be judgmental and hold a grudge, even to the point of ridicule and revenge. When given the option, most people would rather exact their pound of flesh instead of forgiving and forgetting. Perhaps this is due to our fall from grace through Adam and Eve. You must remember that this fall opened us up to the power of sin. We are at the mercy of our sinful nature, which now acts opposite of the Fruits of the Spirit, which are, as told in Galatians 5:22-23; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If God desires for us to express love, our sinful side will act in hatred. If we are to express gentleness, then we will act in anger. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why David desired to fall into the hands of God instead of the hands of men.

Where will you turn in your times of distress?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

December 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
(Jonah 2:2 (NIV))

No matter what we face, we can turn to God and He will be there for us!

We must turn to God in earnestly and in a sincere desire to turn from our ways and to turn to Him. We cannot follow both our sinful desires and God’s righteous, perfect plan for our lives. They are paths that lead down opposite directions. One path leads to sin and eternal separation from God. The other path leads to eternal life in God’s presence. It is our choice. The path we choose is of our own making. We can choose to follow our desires and end up in the consequences of our sins, or we can choose to follow God and escape the consequences of our sins.

Either way, we will still sin. The only difference is that, with God, all of our sins will be forgiven. With God, our desires will turn from our sin towards God’s righteousness. When we seek God, He will answer us and guide us. When we stumble is when we do not listen to God.

It is human nature to follow our own desires. It takes a conscious effort to turn and follow God, yet all it takes is a simple plea for God to enter your life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

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

May 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”
(Exodus 5:2 (NIV))

Stubbornness and pride have been the downfall of many people, and not only the Pharaoh.

I am sure that we all now of someone who has said something to the effect of “Who is God and why should I obey Him?” Perhaps we have even said it ourselves in our younger and more foolish days.

Ever since the fall from grace, it has been human nature to believe that we have the ability to be the masters of our own destiny. We often feel that we answer to nobody but ourselves. We have the false sense that we know what is best for ourselves and those around us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What did Pharaoh’s hardheartedness get him? His country was devastated by plagues and the firstborn in all the nation died. After anger set in, he also lost an army of men at the bottom of the sea because of his stubbornness and pride. What a terrible price to pay because you won’t listen to the truth when it is right before you.

People never learn. It is said that if we do not study history, we are destined to repeat it. We can study the events of the past. We can read about the people of faith and the people who shunned God. It is even possible to know of these events and still be stubborn and proud. Unfortunately, each of us must learn for ourselves.

Pray for the stubborn so that they may be willing to give the proverbial inch. God only needs someone to ease up a little so that He can plant the seed.

Pray for the proud so that they can realize that they are not perfect and that they are not in control. God can use a small glimmer of non-selfish thought to break down that barrier of pride.

Pray for those who feel that they are neither stubborn nor prideful, for no one is perfect and all can fall into the trap set by the enemy.

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:18 (NIV))

Don’t let your heart be hardened by stubbornness and pride.

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

July 29, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1:17 (NAS))

Someone once told me that “Amen” means “So let it be.” If that is true, then these words definitely need an “Amen” for they are true beyond anything that we could ever imagine.

No one in all of history can compare to what God was, is, and is to come, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

We are in interesting times. Times when society tries to forget about God in our daily lives. Times when it seems that we need God more than ever. Some people think that we are in the times that are before the Tribulation. Whatever you may think, or whatever we may be in the middle of, one thing is certain: God is greater than anything we may be facing and He will always be there. All we have to do is call upon His Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior, and we can count on the steadfast grace and mercy that God has promised.

Can you think of anything that would be better than this?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you the wayward child?

July 27, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Say to them, `As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’
(Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV))

Why will you die?

How much more to the point can God be?

I can imagine the anguish in God’s voice. I can imagine the frustration that He must feel with those who have chosen to turn from Him. The frustration is not one of arrogance because they refuse to listen, but one of hurt and compassion because He loves all of His creation and does not wish for any to perish.

It is identical to what a parent feels for a wayward child.

Perhaps you know of someone who has a child that has gone astray. Perhaps you are that parent. You know the anguish that you feel when you see them doing the things that they do. You know the extreme hurt and the extreme love that is caused by that child.

God is no different. He is our Father. He feels the anguish of each of our sins. He feels the hurt when we turn away from Him. He feels the love even when we turn.

Now, multiply that feeling that you are capable of comprehending by a factor too great to imagine, for God loves and hurts for every single person who has ever lived or ever will live. Could your heart hold all of that?

Now, you can understand why God sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins.

In our hearts and in our minds, we know that we would do anything that we could to turn the wayward child back to what is good. We lose sleep. We pray. We try to get them to see the error of their ways. I am sure that some people have even gone so far as to say, “Why do you chose to die?”

Many people read this passage from Ezekiel with a stern voice and domineering persona. On the contrary, I firmly believe that this passage shows us more of God’s heart than just about any other passage from the Bible. It shows His heart. It shows His compassion. It shows His desires, and it shows His loving role as Father.

God is desiring for all of us to turn to Him and turn away from our sins.

Are you the wayward child who is breaking His heart?

He came so that all of His wayward children could be brought to peace and live.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Anguish. Pain. Distress. Anxiety. Freedom!

May 4, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
(Matthew 26:39-42 (NIV))

Anguish.

Extreme pain.

Distress.

Anxiety.

There have been times in each of our lives when we felt that things just couldn’t get any worse. We were at our limits as far as anguish, pain, distress and anxiety. We have prayed that God would remove the pain from our lives. We have felt something similar to what Jesus felt that night so long ago.

If this type of feeling only came once in your lifetime, we could probably face the single event knowing that if we make it through that one episode, then we will never have to face this severe anguish ever again. The sad thing is that we know that we may face these type of feelings many times during our lives.

Still, we survive. We continue to live out our lives.

Why?

We have been given a hope. We have a faith that is built upon the events that took place that night that lead to the crucifixion. We have a faith based on the resurrection three days later. That is why we can face the trials and tribulations that this world sends our way. Jesus bore the burden for us. He carried the weight of all of our sin, anguish, pain, distress and anxiety.

Think about that.

I can recall times when I literally felt that my heart would burst just from the burden that I bore. I am certain that each of you has felt the same. Now, multiply that feeling by the countless number of times in your life where you are distressed. The burden gets heavier.

Now, multiply that amount of anguish by the billions of people that have ever lived and will ever live and the anguish grows to be so large that it is difficult to comprehend. Yet, comprehend it is exactly what Jesus did. He not only understood the amount of sin, anguish and pain, He willingly bore that burden for us so that we would not have to bear it any more.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

Jesus bore the sins of the whole world so that we can know peace. All that we have to do is accept that peace and turn our burdens over to Him. If He can carry the weight of the sin and anguish for all eternity, then He is more than capable of carrying you through whatever you may be facing.

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