Good things come to those who wait!

April 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
(James 5:7-8 (NIV))

Do you have patience?

It is human nature to want things to happen quickly, but would it really change how we see things, how we respond to things, if we did not have to learn to wait? Would we be any different than a two year old who throws a tempter tantrum to get what they want? We may not throw a literal temper tantrum, but we think that everything that we want should come to us immediately.

Patience is an important spiritual trait to have.

Look back on your life and think about something that you just couldn’t wait to get or to have happen. If and when it did come to fruition, you probably were more receptive to it and more appreciative of it because you had to wait.

Think about when you were a child. The excitement of Christmas morning. Can you honestly say that you remember everything that you ever received as a gift? I bet, though, that you can name at least one thing that you wanted for a long time and when you finally received it, you were beyond happy.

We, as the Body of Christ, all long to see Jesus come for His bride, His church. When He does come, we will have learned the value of the gift that He brings with Him. We will appreciate His return so much more because we had to keep our eyes focused on Him. We had to endure things as part of waiting, things that those who don’t love Jesus did not have to endure.

There is an old saying that good thing are worth waiting for. What better than to see Jesus return to gather us to Him? For that, I will be patient. I will endure the sin of the world and the ridicule of the world, for I know that what awaits me is far better than anything that awaits me here.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When we focus on the goal, the journey becomes easier!

November 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus.
(Revelation 14:12 (NLT))

Are you a patient person?

Can you endure to the end?

If you are like me, it is difficult to do at times. Human nature does not like to be patient and it does not like to endure. Human nature likes to be comfortable and, to be honest with you, patience and endurance are not things that make us comfortable.

Are we able to overcome this desire for comfort?

Are we able to overcome this desire for instant gratification?

It takes faith. It takes hope!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

I can almost hear what some of you are thinking, but the faith and the hope is not placed in ourselves. We are to place our faith and our hope in Jesus! We are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

When we focus on the goal, the journey becomes easier!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you long to be someone that people thank God for?

September 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NIV))

What a testimony of faith this passage is!

Paul, the man whom Jesus picked to be His messenger to the Gentiles, praises the church of the Thessalonians.

Faith, hope and love!

They held fast to these precepts and did it well enough to be lifted up to God in prayer as an example of how it should be done.

Do we live up to that example?

Would Paul thank God for us in the same way that he thanked God for the church of the Thessalonians?

In self-reflection, I find myself lacking. I find myself not always responding the way that I desire to respond. Human nature takes over just when you don’t want it to. It is a constant struggle that every person has no matter what you desire to do. Still, it is a goal that we should all have.

It is a matter of priorities!

Do you long to be someone that people thank God for?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine

October 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV))

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine!

I firmly believe that this day is rapidly approaching.

It may be closer than anyone cares to admit!

Terrorism. Wars. Rumors of wars. The Body of Christ is facing persecution and death in many parts of the world. In the United States, we are losing ground in what has become a twisted, and not even valid, interpretation of the Constitution with the so-called separation of Church and state. And let’s not forget about the name calling and the twisting of words. Does it sound like sound doctrine when a group of people take someone’s comments about his belief in traditional marriage and turn them into so-called hatred? What about people trying to take freedom of religion and making it freedom from religion? There is a group of atheists who live elsewhere who are suing anyone and everyone in the government if they express their belief in God.

Sound doctrine has gone the way of common sense. It is no longer something that a large portion of our population has. In fact, what God has called good since the beginning of time is now called evil and what has been called evil and despised in the eyes of God is now called good.

What can we, as the Body of Christ, do in these current times?

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NIV))

Don’t give up!

Don’t give in!

Preach the Word!

We are to be prepared.

Are you prepared?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In other words, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

June 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Luke 21:34-36 (NIV))

In other words, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

“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))

No matter what we may face in this life, we must never forget where our strength lies. We must never forget that we are not our own source of strength. If we rely upon ourselves, then we will be weighed down by the anxieties of life. Our anxieties are far greater than we are. They are not greater than Jesus. When we focus on Jesus and the promises that He has fulfilled, then our anxieties tend to pale in comparison. We see His eternal strength and the fleeting problems soon are no longer important. They may still be there, but Jesus will give us the strength, His strength, to see them through.

We must stay alert and watch so that we will be able to discern the anxieties that come our way. Our vision will see them approaching and in our frail humanity, we may panic. We must learn to see them through the eyes of Jesus. Through His eyes, all obstacles are made easier. He teaches us how to rely on Him while we encounter them.

Are you ever watchful?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you lost your focus?

May 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
(Colossians 3:12 (NIV))

Have you ever seen the cartoon with the two vultures who are waiting for something to die so that they can eat? The captions go something like this. One vulture says, “Be patient.” The other vulture says, “Patience ! I want to kill something !”

Let’s face it, we have all had times when we just couldn’t wait any longer for what we were hoping would happen. We pace the floor. We become very short tempered and as a result, we are anything but compassionate, kind, humble and gentle.

What does the world think of us at these times? What does the world think when they see us acting exactly opposite of what we say we strive to be?

Everyone has moments of weakness. Everyone has momentary lapses of sanity. Unfortunately, it is these very moments when we are at our lowest that the world chooses to recognize us for our faith. They recognize us out of ridicule. Regardless of the times that we are able to follow Colossians 3:12, the world sees us at the very times that we fail.

We are to strive to be perfect, yet, we know that we can never be. We are sinners, and are not capable of perfection on our own. There is a saying that Christians are not perfect, just forgiven. When we fail at perfection, we must fully embrace God’s grace that allows us to pick ourselves up and keep going. We must also embrace the need to show that grace to those who witnessed our stumble. We must not lash out at them when they ridicule us for not being perfect. We must show Jesus to them. We must be as Jesus was on the cross. He did not lash out. He did not condemn. He did not bring down wrath upon those who witnessed His crucifixion.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
(Luke 23:34 (NIV))

When the world sees us stumble, remember how Jesus reacted. When you fall, your eyes may be temporarily diverted from your goal, but when you get up and resume your path, you see your way once again. The key is to get back up and to focus once again upon Jesus.

Have you lost your focus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be still and rest in the presence of God

April 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
(Mark 6:30-34 (NIV))

We are told many times to be still and rest in the presence of God. We need to spend quiet time with God so that He may pour out His teachings and His blessings upon us through the Holy Spirit. This cannot be done when we are busy all of the time.

Jesus had sent the disciples out to minister and to teach. When they got back, He knew that they had probably exhausted themselves in the works that they did and that they had probably been under attack from the enemy. Jesus knew that they needed to rest and to recharge themselves so they could continue.

Doing the work of God is not a race that must be finished quickly. It is an endurance race that requires rest and rejuvenation along the way.

Even when we plan to get the rest that we need, God may place people in our lives who need to have some of our time. Just as the crowd followed Jesus when He was taking the disciples to get some rest, sometimes, unexpected people come into our quiet time. This is not a bad thing if what they are seeking is also to learn and to be still with God. Solitude is not necessarily the prerequisite for being still before God.

You can be still and listen to God even in the middle of a large crowd. Jesus spoke many times to groups of different sizes. Do you suppose that the people in the large crowds listened to His voice as if He were speaking only to them? It is possible to hear God no matter where you are. All you have to do is be still.

When was the last time that you took the opportunity to be still and listen to God?

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