What does your face show?

June 14, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
(Proverbs 15:13 (NIV))

Why do so many people who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior walk around with such doom and gloom on their faces?

It just doesn’t make sense!

We have been given the greatest gift that could ever be given. We have been given salvation and grace when we deserve death due to our sinful nature. Our death sentence has been commuted. We are free from the bondage of sin and death, yet so many who profess a faith in Jesus don’t seem happy and joyful at all.

Are you happy?

Do you wake up every day and give thanks to the Lord for what He has done for you? Do you give thanks to the Lord because you woke up? Do you find joy in God’s Word and in His promises? Are you thankful for the sun on your face and the wind in your hair? Are you joyful at the site of family and friends, and are you truly joyful to gather with the Body of Christ to worship and praise the Lord? In other words, do you have joy deep within your heart because you are His?

What does your face show?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you give thanks where thanks are due?

November 24, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
(1 Corinthians 10:16 (NIV))

Most of us just finished a meal, a feast, in which we gathered together with family and friends to give thanks for the blessings that we have. It is good to be thankful, especially when you consider that whatever you are thankful for can be gone in an instant. Loved ones can be taken from us. Health can be good one minute and forever a problem the very next. The homes that we have can go up in smoke and the finances that we store away for our future can be worthless the very next day.

No matter the state of the things of this world, there is one thing that we should be eternally thankful for. There is a treasure that lasts forever! That treasure is Jesus.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

We celebrate an earthly thanksgiving with a meal. We also celebrate an eternal thanksgiving by partaking of a holy meal, a holy communion. This participation in the cup and in the bread is a special symbol of our thanksgiving for what we have been given, but we should not limit our thankfulness to the Lord to just this particular moment. Every meal should be a reflection, a moment of thankfulness to God, for what we have been given. Not only every meal, but everything that is good should cause us to give thanks to the true source of all that is good.

Do you give thanks where thanks are due?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

I pray that you remember who should be the recipient of all of your thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We can place our trust firmly in the Lord

September 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

How much of this world do you truly understand? Some of us may know a little more than others, but, in the grand scheme of things, our limited knowledge is pitiful. We truly understand very little. If you stop to think about it, what we think that we do understand often throws a curve ball at us and we find that we don’t understand it at all. What we thought we saw clearly, is no longer clear.

If we can’t trust in our own faulty and frail understanding, what can we trust in? What is there that is never wrong? What is there that is always true? What is there that has always been and will always be? What is there that lasts forever? If we could find something that actually possessed these traits, then we could place all of our trust in that thing. We must seek out a greater understanding than ours.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

We have someone in whom to place our trust. We don’t have to rely on our own understanding, for it is definitely not clear. We can rely on the understanding that is the Lord’s.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
( 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

We can place our trust firmly in the Lord.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

What do you lean on?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The unending, unfailing love of God

April 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.
(Psalms 103:17 (NAS))

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

Both verses tell of the unending, unfailing love that God has for His creation, especially those who call upon His name in love and righteousness.

Don’t get this wrong! God loves everyone, and He does not wish any to perish. He shows unsaved people His love, but in many times that love goes unrecognized by the intended recipient. He does show His love to those who show Him their love. Perhaps it is the fact that they wish to express love in return that allows them to see the love that God pours out on them. He wants to bless us.

God’s love is not limited to only those who are on His “good side.” Anyone can receive God’s love. If anyone turns to Him and repents, then He will be waiting for them with love, grace and mercy that will never end. Isn’t that amazing?

We are limited by human knowledge and capacity and probably every single one of us has trouble grasping the infinite capacity that God has to love us. We cannot comprehend the unlimited love that God has for us and how that love manifested itself for our salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Just as the human mind has trouble with understanding the vastness of the mathematical concept of infinite, we are also limited in understanding the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love.

God is good! Have you accepted the vastness of that goodness and love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give thanks to the LORD

June 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(Psalms 118:1 (NIV))

Give thanks when things are good.

Give thanks when things are not so good.

Give thanks when things are not good at all.

We must give thanks in all things for God is with us. He never leaves us. We may leave Him, but He will never leave us. God does not cause the pain and the suffering, but He is there in the middle of it. He is longing to take us and comfort us. He is waiting for us to turn to Him in these times.

I recently had the honor of meeting an extraordinary group of young men. These young men had all done something bad. They had fallen for the lies of the enemy and had fallen into traps of addiction and even worse things. During my time with them they taught me something. Even though they were seeking and learning, they taught everyone around them something wonderful. It is probably the best lesson that I have learned in a long time. I had professed to know this, but it took seeing these young men in action to realize just how good God is. In the eyes of society, these young men had done great wrongs, but in the eyes of God, we all have done great wrongs. In God’s eyes, I am no different from them. His love for all of us is great.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

God had taken these young men whom society would shun and turned them into models of God’s love for us. Not only where they examples of God’s grace and mercy within their lives, they also reflected God’s grace and mercy to all whom they came in contact with. I expect great things from this group of young men, for God has done great things in their lives. These young men taught me to give thanks in a whole new light, for God truly is good.

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

Give thanks !

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Praise Him all the more!

May 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise the LORD.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(Psalms 106:1 (NIV))

Sometimes we just simply need to praise God.

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
(Habbakuk 3:17-18 (NIV))

When things are going our way, we give thanks and praise to God for His blessings. We are eager to lift up praises when we are joyous. It seems to come so much easier when our hearts are light. Turn that joy into sadness and it becomes more difficult to praise God.

Why do we find it difficult to praise God when things are tough? Does He love us any less? Perhaps it is we who have slipped in our faith and affection.

Do you think that the Biblical writers did not have the same stresses that we do today? What if we put Habbakuk into perspective. Today we see a fig tree and we see a plant that offers a hobby for the owner. The same thing with grapes. Most of us in today’s society do not have sheep and cattle so the association is also missed. Consider that when this was written, if any of these things failed to produce or the sheep and the cattle were gone, it was equivalent to someone losing their job in today’s society. It may even be the same as someone losing their home.

I reiterate that sometimes we just simply need to praise God. If we can raise our voices in praise even when things are not good, we will grow stronger in our faith. We will grow closer to God and then when things do turn around, we will praise Him all the more!

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