“Do you believe this?”

November 1, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Salvation comes down to four simple words!

“Do you believe this?”

Each of us believes in something. Some of us believe that they will win the lottery. Some of us believe that they will have a perfect life. Some of us believe that they can do no wrong. No matter what you believe, these beliefs will eventually leave you disappointed and heart broken.

There is only one thing that you can believe in that will absolutely never leave you disappointed in the long term. That is a belief that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and that through His redemptive sacrifice on the cross, we have eternal life with God the Father if we only believe and act on our belief.

All of eternity comes down to four simple words. How and where you spend eternity depends on your personal answer.

Have you fully embraced the grace and mercy that is yours if you only profess a belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you prepared to fully embrace the consequences of your beliefs?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

June 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
(Psalms 39:6 (NIV))

How easy it is for us to forget these simple, yet, profound truths. It is human nature to think of ourselves as much more than we truly are – to think of ourselves as invincible and in control of everything that we touch.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning–
though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.
(Psalms 90:5-6 (NIV))

Our time on this earth is short, just as the grass is for this earth for a short time. We should not take our lives too seriously or take our relationships too lightly. What we amass as worldly possessions and authority will soon be forgotten for it is not eternal. What will be remembered is the way that we either embraced eternal life through Jesus Christ or the way that we rejected this salvation to embrace the world. We cannot embrace both, for the authority over the earth has been given to Satan. If we embrace the world, we embrace Satan and reject God.

How do you think of yourself? Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In the scope of eternity

October 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:10-13 (NIV))

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
(John 6:27a)

The Lord Jesus Christ blesses us with what He wishes for us to have in this life. As Paul wrote in Philipians, we all go through times of need and plenty. These times are to strengthen us in our relationship with Jesus. Similarly, if we devote our time to working for things that are worldly, we will be disappointed. All things of this world are destined to whither and decay.

If we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, all the worldly things will seem irrelavent in the long run. Only our faith in Jesus Christ as the only Son of God and as our only Way to Salvation is what matters in the scope of eternity.

Live for Eternity!

In the scope of eternity, a month or even a year is like a second to us in this world. Who among us has not had needs that have gone unmet for a second or even a minute or an hour. If you are thirsty, do you drink immediately, or do you have to wait several seconds or minutes? In the scope of your day, this time seems insignificant. How, then, will a month or a year seem in eternity?

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

October 12, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:25 (NLT))

Some translations say that the athletes go into strict training. To me, this translation hits a little closer to home. We may not have any idea of what strict training may be, but we can all understand the idea of strict self-control.

Think about that concept for a moment.

What do you think of when self-control is mentioned?

Is it the will power to not eat the last donut in the box, or is it much more?

Personally, self-control and personal responsibility go hand in hand. Let’s face the truth. Our society no longer believes in personal responsibility. People claim that they were born that way, or they were raised in a bad home, or . . .

I think that you get the picture. Our society, and each of us as a member of the Body of Christ, must be willing to practice self-control. We must be willing to accept the responsibility of our actions. We must strive to live our lives as Jesus taught us.

Using the athlete example, a life in faith is not a sprint that starts and is over quickly. A life in faith is a lifelong journey, a marathon, in which we must be prepared to face any obstacles that the world throws our way. In order to do this, we must practice self-control. We must be willing to accept personal responsibility. If you are willing to accept personal responsibility, then you are capable of learning from your mistakes and focusing once again on the prize that is set before us.

Imagine this scenario.

You are standing in front of Jesus and He is judging your life. You have never accepted His grace and mercy as your own. Every aspect of your life condemns you. Your only response, “It wasn’t my fault.”

I can only imagine the response from Jesus.

Strive for the prize that is won only through Jesus. Don’t allow the things of this world to sway your self-control.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Glorious riches!

September 30, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. .
(Colossians 1:27 (NIV))

Glorious riches!

People have sought after riches all throughout history. They have all sought after treasures of untold wealth.

Gold.

Jewels.

Oil.

Big houses and expensive possessions.

Ironically, many of these people have missed the greatest and most glorious treasure that could ever be found. It is a treasure that is freely given but cannot be taken. It is a treasure of infinite worth, yet no amount of money can purchase it. It is readily given to the poorest of the poor if they will but ask, yet the richest man in the world cannot buy it. He can ask to receive it and it will be freely given.

The glorious riches is truly a mystery. It has baffled the most educated of men, yet it makes perfect sense to a little child. People have spent a lifetime studying to try and make sense of it, yet for all of their study, it is still a simple and honest plea that brings the bounty to any and all.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV))

Jesus is the one who leads us to the glorious treasure, a gift of grace, mercy and salvation. The treasure that we find through His glory is the key to our very existence, both here in this world and for eternity.

What could be of greater value?

What could be more glorious than knowing that you have been given the glorious riches of a life in Jesus and a life everlasting?

No gold could ever compare. No jewels could ever compare. All riches of this world will fade. The glorious riches that we are given through Jesus will be with us always.

Faith is a mystery, yet we have hope. We have Jesus and we have a hope of glory.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does your faith tell you?

April 8, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

How is your assuredness?

Are you able to accept things even though you may not have any physical evidence that it is as you desire? Do you know with certainty that your salvation has been bought with a price that you could not afford to pay? Are you positive that Jesus arose from the grave?

How you answer these types of questions is a direct reflection on your faith.

Even though we say it, it is not possible to share your faith. You can only tell others about your faith, but it cannot be shared. Faith is personal. Faith is something that must be built and maintained in a one on one relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Faith is something that God plants in your life and it slowly matures if you will let it. According to Matthew 17:20, faith can grow to tremendous size even if it starts off as small as a mustard seed.

There is a circle that cannot be broken if it is strongly built. That circle consists of faith, hope and love. Faith shows belief. Hope shows the desire for something better. Love shows the desire to share something better with those we meet. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that the greatest of these is love, but I would safely venture that faith is the root of the three, for without faith, we have no hope, for we would not see any reason to look beyond our circumstances. Without faith, we have no love, for we would not see the need to look beyond ourselves and care for others.

Faith is a strong concept. With faith, we can move mountains. It is important to place your faith in the One who can return it multiplied. Only Jesus can return your faith so that it multiplies and spills over onto those around you.

How is your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your grief will turn to joy!

March 22, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
(John 16:20-22 (NIV))

How true this is!

The Body of Christ weeps at the events of this world. We see all types of evil that the world embraces as good and the good that God proclaims, they say is evil.

Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.
(Romans 14:16 (NIV))

We are to turn away from evil and embrace what is good. We are to long for the good that God desires for His creation. We are to abhor the evil that has been unleashed. Do not embrace what you know to be evil.

It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(1 Peter 3:17 (NIV))

Wait faithfully for what you know will come to pass, for God keeps all of His promises. We must watch and wait in anticipation just as a mother waits in anticipation of the joy of a new life.

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 13:5-8 (NIV))

Are you ready to rejoice after the birth pains have produced their joy?

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