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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Nothing is beyond God’s reach!

January 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
(Isaiah 59:1 (NIV))

At first reading, this verse may not make sense. God can touch anything at anytime. His arm is not short! His hearing is exceptional!

But, take a second and maybe a third reading and consider that what is being said is that nothing is too small for God. If it troubles us, no matter how insignificant it may appear in the grand scheme of God’s plan, it matters to God. God’s arm is the proper length to save us no matter where we are and why we need Him. His ear hears all things, both great and small. He desires a relationship with each of us. He will meet us where we need Him.

Will you meet Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you endure or do you give in?

October 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12 (NKJV))

Temptation is everywhere. Is it really possible for anyone to resist the temptation that they see everywhere they look? Even those who follow God have given in to temptation at some point in their lives.

Take a look at David. The Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart, yet, in a moment of weakness, he did something that was a direct result of temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. When he was in the desert, Satan tempted Him, yet, Jesus held firm. What was the difference then between David and Jesus?

Only Jesus, as God’s Son, could perfectly resist all temptation. Frail humanity does not have the wisdom and insight that Jesus had due to His direct communication with God the Father. Jesus was perfect. No one else can ever be perfect in this world because of the sin introduced through Adam and Eve.

But, we have the power of forgiveness! God, through His infinite wisdom and mercy gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as a way to wash away the sins of this world. All we have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the sin results of temptation will be as far from us as the east is from the west.

Do you endure or do you give in?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Know God and know peace

July 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV))

My Sunday School class has been discussing the topic of peace for the last few weeks. We seem to have discussed all aspects of the topic, including the question, “Is there a difference between physical peace and spiritual peace?”

Think about that question for a moment.

Can you be at peace when the whole world is falling apart around you?

Can you be at peace when you are faced with physical danger?

Can you be at peace even when you may face physical death?

Would you be at peace if your were told that you must deny your faith in Jesus or die?

I know that these are tough questions that I ask, but be honest with yourself. Can your faith withstand these tests? Would you be able to look the enemy in the eye and proudly and loudly proclaim that Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior? Would you be at peace with your answer?

Peace, as the world see it, is not how the Body of Christ sees it. I honestly think that the peace the passes understanding is a direct result of faith.

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

Can you have peace if you are not sure of the hope that we have in Jesus?

Godly peace is a strange and difficult concept for the world to understand. To be honest with you, I can see why they would have trouble. God’s peace requires faith. Faith is a certainty of what we hope for. It is a certainty of what we cannot see. To those who refuse to acknowledge that there is something more to this life than what we can see, I can understand, yet, I have questions for them.

Can you see the wind? We all know that it is there.

Can we see a molecule or an atom? We are not actually able to see these building blocks, yet, we take them as truth.

We have a peace about us when it comes to the wind. We have a peace about us when it comes to the building blocks, yet, many do not have a peace when it comes to God.

I pray that we will all have the peace that passes understanding and that we may stand firm in our faith no matter what we may face. This reminds me of the old saying:

No God – No Peace
Know God – Know Peace

” ` “The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” ‘
(Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

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