Reject the deceptions

July 15, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

False teachings abound!

When so-called believers say that Jesus is not the only way to salvation, we need to be prepared. When our leaders say that faith does not matter in public office, we need to be prepared. When terrorists are willing to kill us if we will not accept their belief system, we need to be prepared.

We are in a time when we need to know God and His Word so that we do not fall prey to the lies of the enemy. We must not turn here and there in search of what we already have. We simply need to be able to recognize God’s truth and turn away the lies and the deception.

At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible.
(Matthew 24:23-24 (NIV))

How do you get to where you cannot be deceived?

You must spend time with God and within God’s Word. God has so much that He wants to share with us if we will only take the time to be still in His presence and listen. He wants to tell us about ourselves and why He created us. He wants us to achieve our purpose in life. He also wants to tell us about Himself. He wants to tell us about Jesus. He wants to tell us about the Holy Spirit. The more that we know about God in His Triune persona, the harder it will be for us to be deceived by the enemy. He does not want us to fall away from His grace and mercy.

Salvation is a free gift available to all who will simply ask for it. However, once we accept that gift, we must learn. We must pray. We must study. Satan would like nothing more than to deceive us into rejecting our salvation. There is an old saying about all that glitters is not gold. Consequently, all is not always as it appears.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NIV))

Be still !

Prepare yourself !

Know God !

Reject the deceptions when they confront you !

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

June 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
(Psalms 122:6-9 (NIV))

Jerusalem is the focal point of all Biblical history; past, present and future. God has used this city for all of His important events. Satan has used this city for all of his copied events. God gave the world the “Chosen People” of Israel through this location. Satan has given us the Arab nations to be a thorn in the side if Israel through this location.

Do not get me wrong, the Arab nations are not the enemy. The enemy is the powers and principalities that have ruled over them since their inception.

Unfortunately, it is now no longer only the Arab nations. anti-Semitism is once again rising its ugly head. I have heard reports of many nations organizing a “day of hate” aimed solely at Israel. Everyone is aware of the request that Israel return the lands that it won when it was attacked in the 3 days war in 1967. Even the United States, which after World War II vowed that it would not allow the events of the Holocaust to ever happen again, is officially pressuring Israel to give up its borders. In essence, it is asking Israel to simply go away. Scarier still is the little known news that I recently heard that the Nazi party is raising its ugly head in many nations, including Egypt and other Arab countries.

The stage is being set for the time when all of the nations will turn on Israel. The stage is being set for God to supernaturally defend Israel.

The stage is being set !

God will not turn His back on Israel. As believers and followers of Jesus, His Son, we must stand where our faith tells us to stand. If our government abandons Israel, we must not. If the world abandons Israel, we must not. For we know the outcome and we know the wrath that will be faced by those who turn against Israel.

Our faith is built in Israeli history. Our faith is built on events that God put in motion in and around Israel. Our faith is based on a Jewish carpenter. If God loves Jerusalem, that is good enough reason for my to love Jerusalem. For that reason alone, I have been and will continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

How about you?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do not imitate what is evil

March 28, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

I am so saddened to see events in this world. I am saddened to see events in our own communities. Events that should never take place. Events that are the result of hatred and misguided values, if they are guided by any values at all.

What leads people to steal? What leads people to murder? What leads people to hatred of their neighbor?

Every day we see things on the news that make us shudder at the very thought of those things happening. What would we do if they actually happened to us? Would we be able to maintain our faith? Would we be able to keep from doing evil in retaliation?

I like to think that I am a faithful believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, yet, I know that it would be so easy to slip into evil thoughts and actions if the situation is right. Still, it is my prayer that God would give me strength and peace if any such situation would ever arise.

There is a difference between those who slip and regret it and those who simply plan evil.

What makes a person’s heart so hardened that they desire to only do evil? What makes a person call good evil and evil good? Have we turned so far from God’s Word that we no longer even know the difference?

Recent local events seem to have brought it out in full force. I have seen where people are saying that these events were justified. I honestly can say that these type of events are never justified. Evil is evil and there is no justification for doing evil.

Once again, I believe that it is time to turn to God in prayer.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:13 (NIV))

Prayer is a powerful weapon. It is a weapon for good and it is a weapon that we do not wield often enough. Pray for God’s guidance. Pray that we return to His commands. Pray that we live our lives as if living for the Lord. Pray that we may be able to distinguish good from evil and then do only what is good. Pray that we my be a light that shines into the lives of those who do evil. Pray that the light will overcome the dark. Pray that the light of Jesus will shine brightly in us and through us so that the world will know of God’s love, grace and mercy.

It is time for God’s people to pray for His goodness and righteousness to become our priorities once again. Please join me in this prayer.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Who hears you?

March 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
(Isaiah 58:9 (NIV))

Who hears you when you cry out for help?

Think about your answer. Can they truly help you?

What would you be willing to give to have someone who not only would hear every time that you cry out in despair, but was also able to help you through your times of trouble? What would that be worth to you?

Fortunately, we have such a friend in our Lord. He is creator of all things, yet He cares about each of us. He will be with us every step of the way.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
(Joshua 1:5 (NIV))

He will guide us. In fact, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to show us how we are to live and how we are to trust in Him. Faith placed in the right place will see us through even the worst of times. If we focus on Jesus, then our faith will guide us through anything.

“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))

We all have times when we cry out for help. Isn’t it nice to know that our God is there to hear us and that He will comfort us. We only need to have the faith to call upon the name of Jesus as our intercessor and as our Lord and Savior?

Who hears you when you cry out for help?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I have overcome the world

March 10, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV))

I have some questions for you and I want you to honestly reflect upon your situation and not just simply read these words. I want you to give thought, and thanks, to the One who gives us strength.

Are you hard pressed? Do you feel the weight of your situation closing in on you?

Are you perplexed? Do you look around and see things that just don’t seem fair? Do things happen to you because you try to do what is right?

Do you feel that you are being persecuted? In this day and time, professing a faith in Jesus is not looked upon by society as it used to be. We are labeled as intolerant and hateful.

Do you feel that you are being struck down and that you are under attack? Does it seem that the enemy is having a field day with you life and that everything that you do is targeted within his cross-hairs?

Jesus said that following him would not be easy.

“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))

I want you to stop and let the last eight words of John 16:33 have time to sink in.

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Don’t just read them. Reflect upon them and recognize one simple fact – No matter what hardships we may face in this life, and we will face hardships, Jesus has accomplished something outstanding and miraculous. No matter what the enemy may throw at us, Jesus has overcome all of it. The pain may be great, but the grace, love and peace is greater. The attacks may come full force, but the peace that passes all understanding is stronger. The persecution may be unwelcome, but the cross is much greater.

We have a loving Father who created us and a Savior who has overcome all that the world may throw at us. We must simply keep our eyes focused on Jesus no matter what we may face, and then no matter what persecution we may face, we will not be abandoned. When we are struck down, we will not be destroyed. When we are hard pressed, we will not be crushed, and when we are perplexed, we will not despair.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Arm yourself

February 3, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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))

The world is not a safe place.

Most people only see what is in the physical and do not see the spiritual side of things that happen in this world. They are closely related and inseperable. We are to stand firm and be prepared to face anything that the enemy may throw at us in the physical and in the spiritual.

How does a soldier prepare for war? Constant training in the methods of warfare and in the tactics of the enemy is the standard preparation for any battle. We are to arm ourselves in a similar manner.

We are struggling against the evil side of the spiritual world. In order to prepare for this battle we must study the manual that God has given to us. We must utilize the tactics that we are told about. We must learn to recognize the enemy in all situations. We must immerse ourselves in God’s Word and be prepared to call upon it at any time in our lives and not only on Sunday morning.

It is true that we are taught to have love for another, but the Bible also tells us to do battle with the forces of the enemy. In other words, we must not just sit idly by and allow the enemy to do whatever he desires.

Arm yourself and prepare for a spiritual battle.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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January 5, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.
(2 Samuel 23:6-7 (NIV))

Cast aside like thorns !

Burned up where they lie !

When you are doing yard work, do you willingly touch the thorns? Even the most beautiful rose has its thorns, and those thorns can easily bring on pain. It is human nature to turn away from pain. We quickly learn what will inflict pain and what will cause strife.

Do you willingly pick up thorns? Do you willingly do things that will bring you pain?

If you are like most people, thorns are greatly avoided.

I honestly think that this passage gives us an insight into the very heart of God, and it does not surprise me that God, too, does not like pain. He does not wish to touch things that will cause Him pain.

Just what causes God to feel pain?

We are given insight into this all throughout the Old Testament and the New. I believe that anything that breaks God’s laws as set forth in the Ten Commandments is critical to this. This is sin. Reciprocally, God takes great pleasure when we obey His commands and display other characteristics.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

There is not a single mention of anything evil within the fruits of the Spirit. There is not a single mention of anything or anybody being cast aside and burned up where they lie.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:24-25 (NIV))

Those who belong to Jesus have made a decision to leave sin behind. Those who belong to Jesus are not thorns. A skilled gardener will take great care in touching the things that bring him delight, the things that do not possess thorns.

God desires to draw us unto Him. He will not draw thorns close, for they cause pain.

Are you afraid that you are thorns? Turn to God through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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