Where do you find yourself going?

August 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
(1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV))

Think about this passage for a moment.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is to replace the word aliens with the word tourists.

Let me explain.

The last time that you went on a vacation, did you seek out the sinful areas of the places that you visited or did you seek the places of beauty? A tourist does not go somewhere seeking to find the sin. They go seeking to see something of beauty that is different from what they are used to. Some love to go to the mountains. Some love to go to the beach. Others love to go on cruises, but no one goes looking to find the depravity of the areas that they visit.

We, as members of the Body of Christ, are aliens, we are tourists, in this world. We should not be focused on the sin that has overtaken the world or we may find ourselves falling into that very sin.

We are to remain blameless!

I know that this is impossible in our humanity, for we are all fallen. However, we have one who intercedes for us so that we can rely on His strength instead of ours. When we are facing temptations within this world, rely on Jesus to see you through them. Don’t allow the enemy to trick you into going somewhere that you don’t want to go.

Accountability, fellowship and community are important.

Think back on the tourist concept. When you are a tourist, do you go alone or do you go with other people? Being alone is dangerous. The enemy will recognize that you are alone and vulnerable. That is when sin has the opportunity to arise.

Where do you find yourself going?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do you love as Jesus loved?

August 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(1 John 4:11-12 (NIV))

It is God’s desire that we love one another as Jesus has loved the church. We claim to love God, whom we can not see, yet, many people who claim this do not love the people that they can see. God wants us to love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:35)

We need to work on our ability to love one another the way that Jesus loves us.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Do we have something to learn from the early church?

July 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2:42-47 (NIV))

This sounds very wonderful!

What do you think was the main reason why people were being saved?

Was it the short and concise worship service with everything spelled out in the bulletin?

Was it the music? Was it the lack of music? Was it the programs? Was it a new church building? Was it the food pantry? Was it the clothes closet?

Or was it simply the power of God as it was shown in true fellowship with the Body of Christ?

What are the basic fundamental aspects of life that we all share as human beings?

As someone pointed out this morning, we are created to be a part of a community. We long to be with others. We either find fellowship with those who are a part of the Body of Christ, or we find fellowship with those who are not. In short, the fellowships that we have will either lift us up and hold us to a higher standard or they will drag us down into the sin that we don’t want.

One of the basic aspects of life is that we all must eat. Eating is very much a social activity, especially when you gather with people who share your common interests. Breaking bread brings a bond. We simply don’t just sit there and stuff our faces in silence. We socialize. We laugh. We cry. We share ideas. We share thoughts, dreams and aspirations. We share parts of ourselves that may never see the light of day in any other way. We build friendships over meals.

It is said that it is easier to get people to come to your house for a meal than it is to get them to go to church. Think about that the next time someone hems and haws about accepting your invitation to go to church.

The early church did not have buildings. They met in people’s homes. They became friends. They built trust. They built relationships and they built the church through these aspects of life. They did not build the church through big buildings or great music.

Do we, the modern church, have something to learn from the early church?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Are you willing to imitate Jesus?

June 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
(1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NIV))

Are you willing to imitate the Lord even if it means that you will suffer?

Think about your work environment.

Think about your friends.

Think about your family.

Are you willing to imitate Jesus in all of these scenarios?

I know that we all have times when it is easier to follow Jesus because we are with people of like mind. Place us in a situation where Jesus is ridiculed and how do you respond? Are we willing to follow Jesus if we will be ridiculed? Are we willing to follow Jesus if we will be tormented for our faith? Are we willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our faith? Are we willing to be imitators of Jesus even if it means that we will face death?

Jesus was willing to go to the cross so that we could have salvation.

What are willing to do for Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


The times and seasons may change, but Jesus is always with you!

May 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV))

I knew this day would come. My oldest has graduated college and my youngest is packing to go away to work for the summer while the one who has the luck of being called the middle child sits comfortably in his surroundings at home.

Have you ever felt sad and happy at the same time?

I am sure that you have. I am saddened by the changes in life, yet I am happy that each is finding there own way and that each claim Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

I am feeling the aches and pains of bad knees. I am feeling sadness that my parents are getting older, yet at the same time I am glad that they are getting older.

Everything in life changes. We are only here for a fleeting moment in time and then we are memories in the hearts and minds of those that we have loved.

What time and season are you in at this moment?

Are you looking forward to a graduation, or a wedding, or a new birth? Are you comfortable in your daily routine? Are you enjoying your family and friends? Cherish every moment that you have, for there will never be another moment like that one again.

Don’t get so busy trying to provide for life that you forget to live? Don’t forget to say I love you!

Think back on your life so far. Do you realize that Jesus was with you through all of the times and the seasons? He is there now. He will be there tomorrow!

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

The times and seasons may change, but Jesus is always with you!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


I will give you thanks

November 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.
(Psalms 35:18 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, allowed society to keep us quiet because it is not politically correct to proclaim a faith in Jesus? Are we truly the Body of Christ if we submit to this societal pressure?

Thanksgiving is upon us. We must embrace the true reason that we are thankful.

The pilgrims were thankful to have survived the first year in their quest for religious freedom. Society has taken that out of the day and simply replaced it with a “harvest” festival. There is no mention of thanking God for His bountiful mercy and grace. It is only a day to be thankful for the people in our lives, and to some, the things that we have. Don’t get me wrong. It is definitely a good thing to be thankful for the people in our lives, but we must set our priorities. Without God’s grace, we would have nothing. Anything that we might think we have would be gone when we face death.

Think about that.

What are the things that you would miss the most if they were taken away from you?

Would it be your wide screen TV or your new car? Perhaps it is your job or your social position in the community.

Or . . .

Would it be the relationships that you have?

Life is a gift. Grace is a gift. Your family and friends are a gift. These gifts are priceless and can only come from God. All other things are worthless in comparison.

“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))

It is a matter of priorities.

When all things are in perspective, our priority is God. When we realize that all good things come from Him, we can’t help but give God the glory. We will be thankful even in the midst of situations that society says we are to keep our faith quiet.

We should not be quiet. We should praise God. We should give thanks even in the midst of throngs of people.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

If we are not ashamed of the gospel, then we must be thankful for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Friends

August 7, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
(John 15:14-17 (NIV))

Think about this passage. What does it mean to you to have the Son of God call you friend?

I can’t think of anything that has a more important meaning to my life, for a friend will do anything to help. A true friend does everything out of love with no regard for what they get in return. This is exactly what Jesus did when He went to the cross. He paid the ultimate price out of love with no regard to what He had to face. It is true that He faced fear before His physical death, yet He did not stray from His task. He knew that those who would call Him friend depended upon Him to save them.

Do you think that a master would do something like this for a servant? A servant is there to serve the master. The master usually cares little about the life of the servant. There is no love involved in this type of a relationship.

Do you see Jesus as a friend? Do you see others as Jesus sees them?

He desires everyone to come to Him. If this is true, then we must be the friends that Jesus is. We must show the same love to others that He has shown to us.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: