There is no better traveling companion than the Lord!

August 31, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV))

Who is by your side in this journey that we call life?

Who has your back?

Most of us have very few people that we can actually say would never forsake us, who will never leave us. In all honesty, there will come a time when those few will not be able to go where you may have to go. They may try, but some things are just beyond human capabilities. Where does that leave you and I when we have reached the limits of human strength and friendship?

We have the Lord!

In all honesty, He should be our first choice, He should be with us always.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. He is with us always. It is we who fail to see that He is with us.

We place anything and everything as a priority and by doing this, we fail to see that the one who created us is always with us. As the passage says, He goes before us. He is with us. He will not forsake or abandon us. With this in mind, I want to ask one question of you.

Who is traveling with you on this journey that is your life?

There is no better traveling companion than the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I want to have a faith like David’s!

September 30, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise–
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
(Psalms 56:10-11 (NIV))

David was definitely blessed in many ways, and thankfully, we are able to share in his blessings.

We see evidence of his faith. We see evidence of his courage. We see evidence of his determination, and we see evidence of his heart. Through all of the things that David faced in life from lions, to Goliath, to Saul, and the wilderness, we see that David never stops praising God. No matter what the circumstances were, David lifted praise. We have the written words of these praises in the book of Psalms. We see David’s heart in these words. We see his desire to be in the presence of God. We see his desire to do the will of God and to follow God’s voice.

Have you truly ever thought about the life that David lived? It was not a life of ease. In fact, it was a life of hardship. How many young boys do you know today who could tend to the flocks and kill a lion? How many young boys would be willing to face down the likes of Goliath? I could go on, but it is evident that David was no ordinary individual. From an early age, he lifted praise. He lived according to God’s desires. With each event, he grew stronger in his faith. He grew closer to the Lord. We are even told that he eventually became a man after God’s own heart.

Think about that for a moment.

When you are in the fields with the flocks, what do you do? When you look up at the stars at night, what do you do? When you defeat an animal that should have killed you, what do you do?

I like to think that I would do what David did!

He saw the majesty of God’s creation and he praised God. He saw the stars in the sky and he praised God. He saw the safety of the flocks and the lion, and he praised God. David knew where his strength came from. He knew that with his attention and his praise lifted to the Lord, there was nothing that he needed to fear. It is this very attitude that allowed him to face Goliath and win!

I want to have a faith like David’s!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you firmly believe this to be true?

July 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemy but have set me in a safe place.
(Psalms 31:7-8 (NLT))

Do you firmly believe this to be true?

The last few weeks have been very strange in this world. To be honest with you, the last twenty-four hours have been very strange.

Hundred, if not thousands, of missiles fired into Israel, The border situation in the south. The second Malaysian aircraft to be in the international news, and this one apparently shot out of the sky. Israel under attack from four sides. Israel retaliating against Hamas for all of the missiles.

I could probably go on for a very long time. I am sure that you can probably add to my list of occurrences that are going on in the world right now. In fact, there is so much going on in the world, that if you focus on the events as they unfold and realize what is happening and what could happen as a result, it is very scary. It can very easily cause anguish if you let it.

We, as the Body of Christ, do not need to be afraid. We do not need to be so engrossed in the events of the world that we lose site of the fact that we have been told such events would happen. We have been told to not fear the world, but to put our faith and trust in Jesus and He will deliver us from the world.

I have often wondered how people who do not know Jesus make it through life with all of the anguish that the world throws at us. Without Jesus, all that people can do is place their hope in people, and we all know that this hope is falsely placed. Can a father or a mother save you from sin? Can a brother or a sister offer grace and mercy? Can a spouse love you unconditionally at all times?

What do you do when the world and it’s problems start to cause anguish? Do you let them get to you or do you turn to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Celebrate Jesus!

December 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14 (NIV))

What an honor it must have been to be the first to hear the good news! The shepherds must have been terrified by the presence of the angels, after all, angels were not, and are still not an every day occurance.

Luckily for us, God’s plan does not discriminate against us for not being there. In fact, it is probably with mixed blessings that we are embraced as part of God’s Kingdom. We do not have the first hand experience of having seen the angels, the star, or Jesus’ life. Sometimes, I wonder if I would have believed if I lived at the time of Jesus!

On the other hand, we have the faith of millions of people who have gone before us. We have the New Testament, the hundreds of years of prophesy study that proves Jesus is King of kings, the Messiah. It may be easier for someone today to come to faith than it was in Jesus’ day. Yet, through all of this “historical proof”, I sometimes feel empty. I think it is the desire of every believer to be able to go back in time and be a witness to the miracles and hear the teachings of Jesus first-hand.

Today, we celebrated the birth of Jesus and look back in awe to the miracles. At the same time, we should look around us in awe of what God is doing today and look to the not-to-distant future and know what God is going to do. Today we celebrate the First Coming. Some tomorrow we will celebrate the Second Coming.

Merry Christmas

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you have the faith that Joseph had?

December 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:20-21 (NIV))

How would you have reacted if you had been Joseph? Would you think about calling off the wedding? Would you feel betrayed? Would you be able to look at Mary without thinking that she had turned you into the laughing stock of all of Nazareth? Would anger and resentment show themselves through your actions?

We may never know exactly what was going through Joseph’s mind, but I think that it is safe to say that he was deep in prayer. If it were I who had to fill his shoes, I would be pacing the floor and expressing myself through thoughts such as, “Why me, Lord?” “What have I done to deserve this ridicule?” I suppose that is the difference between Joseph and myself. It appears that Joseph was more concerned about Mary and how she would be treated. He knew that she would be stoned. He did not want that for her. Even in his uncertainty, Joseph thought of Mary. Would any of us be so noble in our thoughts and actions?

God knew exactly what He was doing when He selected Mary to be the mother of Jesus. He also knew what He was doing when He selected Joseph. Think about that for a moment. In Hebrew society, an unwed mother would be shunned. It took a man who would listen to God and be willing to obey even when it may mean ridicule for him. Raising the Son of God required a husband and a wife, a mother and a father. Joseph was part of God’s plan just as much as Mary was. Joseph’s story is one of obedience and faith. History has relegated him to a lesser role, but I honestly believe that without Joseph and his strong character, things would have been different.

This visit by an angel of the Lord was not the only time that Joseph heard and obeyed. He was told to take the baby and flee to Egypt. He was told when it was safe to return. This first appearance was only the beginning. It was a step of faith that would lead to many more steps. Isn’t that the way that God works. If you are willing to take the first step, He will lead you to places that you would never have imagined.

Are you willing to do like Joseph?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you willing to take the name Israel?

June 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

This is what the LORD says–
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

One will say, `I belong to the LORD’;
another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
still another will write on his hand, `The LORD’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
(Isaiah 44:2-5 (NIV))

Even then, God foretold of His great gift to the whole world. The Gentiles are not biological descendants of Israel, yet, Isaiah spoke of the day when Israel’s descendants would be like grass, and people would “take the name of Israel.”

God did indeed pour out water “on the thirsty land.” The land is our barren souls before salvation. God gave us Living Water to quench the thirst that cannot be quenched by this world. Those who accept this Living Water are a part of Israel. They are descendants of Jacob and Israel and are “grafted” into God’s promise. Those that have been grafted into Israel have willfully taken the name of Israel as their own. It is a choice that has changed their lives. For it is through the nation of Israel that God has blessed the nations. And the blessing is the most spectacular blessing that can ever be bestowed upon anyone. Grace and mercy are yours through the gift of Jesus Christ.

Are you a part of Israel?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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