What is your house built upon?

January 22, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
(Matthew 7:24 (NIV))

If you have ever built something, no matter how big or how small, what was the first thing that you did? What was the first step you undertook to make sure that your endeavor would be successfully completed?

If you are in school studying to achieve a career goal, the first thing that you do is build a solid foundation of the basics in the subject that you are interested in. If you are the athletic type, you study and get the best equipment and learn how to properly use it so that you have a solid physical foundation upon which to build? If you are an architect or a structural engineer, you work diligently to make sure that the building has a solid base upon which to rest.

I hope that you are starting to pick up on the concept that Jesus presented, for it applies to all aspects of life. Why, then, do we tend to forget that we need to build a solid foundation of faith? You can say that you believe, but unless you dive headfirst into God’s word and into the teachings of Jesus, do you truly even know what you believe? Sadly, far too many people in this day and time spend a few minutes cherry-picking a few passages and make false assumptions on what it means to profess that Jesus is their personal Lord and Savior. They are eager to say that they believe, but when presented passages that actually present the truth, they walk away. They did not build a firm foundation.

Jesus also presented this concept in another way through the following passages.

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
(Matthew 13:1-9 (NIV))

No matter how you understand the concept, either good soil, firm foundation or building your house upon the rock, it all is the same. If you do not build your life and your faith upon the truth of Jesus, then it is built on shaky ground and will not last.

What is your house built upon?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is Jesus your cornerstone?

February 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;”
(Mark 12:10 (NIV))

Jesus has been talking to the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders when He asked this question. I realize that hindsight is twenty-twenty, but I often wonder just why these people were so blind to who stood before them. In all honesty, I know that it is the very same reason that people fail to recognize Him today. Still, these were the people who were supposed to be educated in the Law and the Prophets. If anyone should have recognized Jesus, they had been trained to. Ironically, the people who had been trained are the very ones who failed to see who was before them.

They rejected the very Messiah whom they had been looking for!

These people had built a religion of laws and had elevated themselves to the positions of authority. They did not realize that the foundation that they had built upon was about to be shattered and a new foundation, with Jesus as the cornerstone, was about to be put in place. They despised Jesus. They rejected Jesus. They schemed to have Him put to death.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word cornerstone?

One definition means a basic element. In this case, Jesus is the cornerstone of our Christian faith.

Another definition is of a stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall. This is often a stone that is put in place in a formal ceremony.

I just love how God puts things together. Jesus is truly our cornerstone. He was rejected by the builders of the religion based on laws. He is the basic element of our faith through grace. He proved His claim through the crucifixion and the resurrection. If you stop to think about the crucifixion, it was a formal ceremony conducted by the Romans, who were the powers of the world at that time. The role of Jesus as the cornerstone was started by God’s plans, but was formally finalized by God through what the powers of the world did at the crucifixion. In an effort to stop Jesus, the world ceremoniously fulfilled the completion!

Is Jesus your cornerstone?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your security placed?

July 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
(Proverbs 10:15 (NIV))

Just like anything, it is all a matter of perspective.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(1 Timothy 6:8 (NIV))

It is easy for the rich to start to believe that their wealth is what gives them security. They then start to find ways to acquire more wealth so that they can be even more secure.

To a poor person, they see that their lack of money as the root of all of their problems, so they start to scheme and devise ways to obtain money. Some even start to plan criminal acts in order to obtain money.

In both cases, security is falsely placed on something that can offer no security for wealth is fleeting.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV))

Faith in God and a firm foundation in the saving grace of Jesus is where security truly lies. These will never fail you. Moth and rust cannot destroy them.

Where is your security placed?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we rebuild our foundation?

July 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV))

We all know the song that is based on this verse. I bet you found yourself singing it as you read these words.

Have we, as a nation, allowed our foundation to be eroded? Is it as firm as it used to be? What has caused our foundation to become eroded? How can we repair our foundation?

I realize that I ask a lot of questions. These are questions that we have probably ignored for too long.

Are we still a nation based on Biblical principles? Do we still stand firm on God’s Word? Do we still uphold the truths that God has given to us?

As I watch things unfold in this nation, and in the world, I see our foundation being eroded more and more all of the time. It may simply be what is being reported, but the old saying is true – if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth.

Is there a remnant in this country who will stand firm in God’s word? Will we, as individuals, still build our own lives upon the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you press on?

April 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man;
they are not plagued by human ills.
(Psalms 73:2-5 (NIV))

Isn’t it easy to be fooled by what we see that the world has to offer?

Sometimes it seems that the world has the better things, but we must remember that what the world has to offer is only temporary. These things can be destroyed by moth and rust.

When we are confronted with the temptations of the world, we must remember that we have a firm foundation, a solid hope that is not of this world. What we desire is not of this world. Our treasure is the very heart and Word of God. Through the Word made flesh, we have a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. We have a treasure that is eternal. We must simply keep our focus on Jesus when the world tries to distract us.

There will be many distractions that the world will send your way during your life. Like Paul wrote:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14(NIV))

Do you press on, or are you distracted by the worldly temptations?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Salvation is found in no one else!

March 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is
” `the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone. ‘
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4:10-12 (NIV))

Do you recognize where authority comes from when it is right in front of you? The people that Luke wrote about are good examples of what we would like to think that we are not. They did not recognize that Jesus was the authority that had healed the man. They did not recognize that Jesus alone fulfilled the passage from Psalm 118:22. They did not recognize that Jesus alone brought salvation.

Are we any different from the people that Luke wrote about?

If we were faced with the exact same circumstances today, would we recognize what was right before our very eyes? Would we be so blind to the truth that we would fail to see the proverbial forest for the trees?

Unfortunately, too many people reject the stone that is our firm foundation in grace, mercy and hope. They simply discard the stone because it doesn’t fit in with the world’s point of view. Think about that point of view. It says that a man cannot be raised from the dead. It says that one man cannot heal another man. It says that one man cannot save the whole world.

Authority is a wonderful thing when it is wielded properly. It is unassuming and ready to be of service instead of boisterous and demanding, which is the world’s point of view of authority. Perhaps this is why so many people miss out on the truth. They are looking for a worldly authority.

Don’t reject Jesus because He doesn’t fit your view of Godly authority. It will be a costly mistake.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you walking with Jesus?

July 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
(Amos 3:3 (NIV))

Life is too short to spend time with people who do not agree with you!

That sounds like a worldly philosophy, but consider that what we are talking about agreeing upon is a firm foundation in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you desire to walk with others who have made that same commitment.

Can you honestly say that you would walk with someone who has made a commitment to be exactly opposite of what God has called you to? Would you associate with someone who is trapped in a life of sin to the point where they are opposed to everything that you believe to be Godly and true? Would a rich man walk with a beggar if they did not have anything in common? Would an avid hunter and fisherman walk with someone who preferred to remain indoors?

What is the one thing that can bring all types of people together in a common walk? What one thing unites us all no matter how God has made us?

It is the grace and mercy that was freely given and willingly accepted as our own through the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, all believers have a common bond that unites us in our “walk” through this world. Our task on this “walk” is to invite others to join us and walk with us in agreement in the salvation that is ours only through Jesus.

How is your walk? Are you in step with other believers and walking with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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