What are your motives for giving?

June 2, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable–
how much more so when brought with evil intent!
(Proverbs 21:27 (NIV))

Some give so that others will know that they gave. Others will give so that they can position themselves to receive something in return. Others give so that they will appear to look better than those around them. Others give simply because they desire to give.

I suppose that giving could almost run parallel with prayer, for each can have motives much deeper than appearances.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
(Matthew 6:5(NIV))

When you give, do so freely. Do not expect anything in return. Do not think that you can “buy” favors from God. Do not give so that you appear to be righteous in the eyes of others. Give freely and completely of yourself no matter who knows or who does not know that you give.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(Matthew 6:6(NIV))

What are your motives for giving?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your best or your second best?

April 26, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.
(Malachi 1:14 (NIV))

Do you give your second best to God? Do you expect God to give you His best?

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
(Luke 11:11 (NIV))

It is true that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags, but we often tend to make them even more filthy because we do not offer our very best to God. We offer Him the blemishes of our life and expect Him to take them as our very best. We, in turn, eagerly await God to grant us our every desire for His blessings to be poured out upon us. If we expect God to bestow His best upon us, we should desire to give God our very best in gratitude. Lets face it, our best is still so far inferior to the least that God could give us. If we simply desire to give God our best, then we will not only be doing what we should, but, we will probably be blessed as a result. Perhaps we should even consider this act as an act of generosity, for out of the desires of our hearts we give.

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:25 (NIV))

Perhaps we should even consider this act an act of faithful obedience. God is testing each of us to see what we are willing to give to Him so He will know what He can give to us. I would even venture to say that the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 applies.

Do you desire to give God your best or your second best?

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

February 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 (NIV))

The body of believers is not to go through this world in a vacuum, with no interaction with other members of the body. We are to lift each other up. We are to support each other. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to each other as well as to those who are not part of the body of believers.

Can the feet stop carrying the arms? Can the hands stop feeding the stomach? Can the eyes stop guiding the legs? Just as the physical parts of our bodies rely on other parts of our own bodies, the Body of Christ relies on each member to be the best that it can be. If we stumble in our faith, then we hurt those who rely on our strengths to keep them in line. If we completely abandon our faith, we leave holes that have a very drastic impact on those left on their edges.

Consider our physical jobs. Each of us has a certain responsibility where we are employed. If we do not perform that responsibility, then others feel the impact. They either must assume duties that they may not be ready to assume, or the duties are left unattended. Imagine what would happen in a business if that were to happen without anything being done to correct it. Imagine what would happen in our physical bodies if your heart decided it was no longer going to provide blood to the rest of the body.

What roles do you play in your walk of faith? Do you give encouragement to others? Do you pray for those around you? Are you always available to give godly counsel? Are you willing to give someone your last dollar so that they will not go hungry? Do you step up and fill a void in your church and in your family? Each of us impact countless lives around us. We are responsible to more than just ourselves. We do not exist to simply rely on others. We are responsible to each other to be a supportive member of the Body of Christ.

Are you a vital and supportive member of the Body of Christ? What is God calling you to do in order to help carry the burdens of others?

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

December 22, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 (NKJV))

This is easy to remember at this time of year. It is also easy to remember this at Easter. However, it is also very easy to forget this each and every day that we live if we allow our focus to shift away from Jesus.

At this time of year it is so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism that society has wrongfully placed upon the celebration of the birth of Jesus. We look at the things of the world and we begin to feel that we are inadequate because we do not have the highest paying job, an executive title, and we cannot purchase the newest, most expensive gadgets. At this time of year, many people will feel that the weight of the world is all on their shoulders.

It is so sad that the time of year when we celebrate the greatest gift of all, too many people feel that they are worthless and lost.

We, as the body of Christ, must not lose sight of why Jesus came to this earth. He did not come to sell the latest and greatest gadget. He did not come to make people feel inadequate. He did not come to condemn.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
(Luke 19:10 (NIV))

How would Jesus approach those who have lost focus? How would Jesus approach their problems? We need to reach out to those whom Jesus would reach out to.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Share the love of Jesus by showing each and everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you teaching your children?

September 30, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

We put our children in the hands of others for a majority of their day and think nothing about it. They are receiving an education that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.

What about educating them for eternal life?

We must instill within our children a firm foundation that goes far beyond the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. We must teach them of things that have eternal value. We must instruct them in the fruits of the spirit. We must instruct them in God’s grace and mercy. We must teach them a principle that our society now chooses to ignore.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We must teach them that God loves them. We must teach them what Jesus did for them.

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:28 (NIV))

We must teach them the principles behind Psalm 46:10 so that they will know how to “Be still, and know” that He is God.

What are you teaching your children? Does it have eternal value?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you willing to give to God?

August 20, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
(Luke 21:1-4 (NIV))

What is it that you are willing to give to God?

Think carefully about this question.

Do you give only what is extra? Do you give only an hour on Sunday? Do you give only when it is convenient for you?

Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
(Proverbs 3:9 (NIV))

God wants us to give to Him first. He wants us to freely give back to Him what He has freely given to us.

Why does God desire this?

then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
(Proverbs 3:10 (NIV))

God longs to bless us, but only if our hearts are truly His and we are mature in our faith. We need maturity so that we can be trusted with whatever He may entrust to us. We need maturity to realize that all that He gives to us in this world is only temporary. We need maturity to realize that everything is His to begin with and if He entrusts us with anything, it is not to be hoarded for ourselves. If we can be trusted to freely give back what He has given to us, then He can trust us with much more.

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