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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What is your continuity in life?

January 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

Do you like continuity in your life?

Is there anything that has been in your life for a long time that is the exact same as it was when it first became a part of your life?

If you are like me, well, actually, if you are like every other person who has ever lived, nothing ever stays the same. You make friends, lose friends, grow up, move on, get married, have children who then proceed to grow up and move on, get married and have children who then . . .

What is it about continuity that we, as human beings, like so much? Is it the reliability that we like? Is it the fact that we like a constant point of reference? Could it be that we like the assurance of knowing that something or someone will always be there no matter what the circumstances may be?

When I read that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever, I like the assurance that He is my rock. He is my foundation upon which I can build my life. It is this foundation that gives me the freedom to live life without fear and without uncertainty. I am grounded firmly in the promises that God has fulfilled through Jesus! I stand firm on my faith in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, and I embrace the destiny that is mine through the gift of God’s grace through Jesus!

Any day is a good day to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Any day is a good day to walk with Jesus. Any day is a good day to repent and return to Jesus. In this new year, I pray that we all examine our lives and assess where we are in our relationship with Jesus. If we find that things are not as they should be, or as they were, keep in mind that it is we who have changed and not Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you firmly rooted in Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy?

October 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:17-19 (NIV))

Far too many believers have the false belief that the Old Testament has nothing to do with them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Jesus, himself, stated that He came to fulfill not to abolish.

We have a long heritage that we have been grafted into. Jesus is the fulfillment of all prophecy in the Old Testament. Without the Old Testament, we would not have a Biblically or spiritually sound basis for our faith. It is the Old Testament that tells the story of this foundation.

Are you firmly rooted in Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which type of fear do you have?

April 24, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
(Isaiah 33:5-6 (NIV))

Sometimes, fear is a good thing. It keeps us from jumping off of tall buildings. It keeps us from jumping in front of moving cars. It keeps us honest with God.

Or, it should.

A healthy fear out of respect should accompany your faith in God. You would not expect your children to respect you if they did not fear the punishment of a just and loving parent when they do something wrong. It is the same with God. God wants us to love Him, yet, we should fear the parental discipline if we fall outside of His Will. His Will is perfect. We are not perfect, although we can grow towards that image if we allow Jesus to enter our hearts and the Holy Spirit to fill us. True, we will not attain that image in this world, but through Jesus Christ we can mature into it.

If we trust in God, who is our firm foundation, we have nothing to fear from this world. If we do not have Jesus, then the fear of respect should turn to fear of His presence, for if you do not have Jesus, then you truly need to fear God and His Judgement.

Which type of fear do you have? Out of respect or out of an unrealized dread because you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Perspective and attitude

March 1, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,”
and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for
(1 Peter 2:7-8 (NIV))

Just what are the uses for a stone?

Think about that question, for just like anything else, the uses are a matter of attitude.

If you are walking and not paying attention to what you are doing, a stone in your path could be very bad. Now, imagine that you are living your life without any thought to your actions. All of a sudden you encounter a stone. This stone is set firmly and will not alter its stance with respect to how you live your life.

What if you are a passenger on a boat that is drifting aimlessly. The boat has no course or sense of direction, no sense of right or wrong. What happens when the boat hits a stone and goes down? Again, the stone will not alter its stance with respect to how you live your life.

Suppose that you desire to build a firm foundation and a firm shelter that will stand up to whatever the world will throw at it. What would you choose as the building material? Once again, the stone will not alter its stance with respect to how you live, but it will offer protection and salvation if you are willing to alter your relationship to it.

You can beat your head against the stone or you can accept the stone and allow it to become your foundation. That foundation is Jesus. That stone is Jesus. You can beat yourself against Him by denying His status as Lord and Savior or you can accept that He is the rock of our salvation and accept God’s offer to stand firmly upon Jesus.

It is a matter of perspective and attitude. You can curse the stone that you stumble upon or you can embrace the stone and cling to it for safety. How do you look upon the stone that is Jesus? You can accept Him or you can curse Him. Either way, He is not changing. It is His desire to change you and your attitude about Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hope and not despair!

December 9, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

God is a God of hope, not despair. When we are faced with the troubles that the world brings upon us, look up. God gives us hope. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for justice. Hope for eternity. He is our refuge in times of trouble.

Yet, He is more than that. He is our rock, our foundation. Through Jesus Christ, He has given us hope of salvation for the world. He has given those who believe a knowledge of peace that those who don’t believe do not have. If this is not a place of refuge, then we have no place to truly take refuge. God knows what we need and what we seek. It is a place of safety and hope. That place is provided through Jesus Christ.

Sing praises to God and tell everyone you know what God has done for you.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does wisdom build your house?

September 12, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
(Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV))

Jesus promised us that in heaven there were many mansions and that He goes to prepare a place for us. There is also the story of the wise man and the foolish man who built their houses upon the rock and the sand. There are countless other references to wisdom and a house throughout the Bible. This is very true in the nature of humanity. Foolishness leads us to do things that will have no lasting value. These things are often for the instant gratification that the world seeks. This often leads to many problems too numerous to mention.

Wisdom!

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
(Proverbs 111:10)

According to God, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. How can fear be wisdom? Perhaps this fear could better be labeled as respect. Respect for the One who created you. Respect for the Will of God. Respect for the Laws of God. Respect for the gift of life and a willingness to do what was intended by the One who created life.

In Biblical days, a house offered peace and refuge. Unlike today, the house was the center of all life. In heaven, the houses that we will be given will reflect this. Knowing that what you build is determined by wisdom, do you focus on the world or on what Proverbs 111:10 tells us?

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