Come up here . . .

September 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
(Revelation 4:1-11 (NIV))

We are given a very clear picture of what the Throne of God is like and how He is worshipped in heaven. Continual praise and worship by His creation!

We are also given a very clear picture of how quickly we can be in God’s presence. John was told to “Come up here,…” and at once he was transformed and in the presence of God. This is how it will happen when the true church is removed from the earth. We will be called and immediately be in the presence of Jesus for the celebration of the marriage of the Lamb!

Are you ready? Will you be with Jesus worshipping God or will you be sorry that you missed the most important event in history?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you boldly proclaim or are you ashamed?

August 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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))

Paul, in the face of danger and death, proudly proclaimed the gospel. He said that it is something that you should not be ashamed of and he is absolutely correct. If you are ashamed of the gospel, then you are not truly a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself said:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
(Mark 8:38 (NIV))

It could not be simpler. We, as believers, must not be ashamed of the good news and we must proclaim it and not hide it from the world. It is the only thing that by which you can be saved. If you are ashamed of it, then you are not saved (re-read Mark 8:38). You have not accepted it completely, and will not be accepted by Jesus as part of His Body.

Take a serious look at what you believe and whether you would proclaim it to the world! Or, would you cower in shame and embarrassment at the thought of the world knowing? Your answer is very important, for it can mean your eternal life!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can you do to spread the Word?

July 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to reflect on just how powerful words can be?

Words can bring encouragement. They can destroy. Words can bring great joy or great sadness. Words can do tremendous good or bring tremendous harm.

There is one Word that brings eternal life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Consider the language that you speak. How many different words do you know? Do any of them carry the power to bring salvation? Only Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, can bring such a promise.

Every day, we speak hundreds, if not thousands of words. We must choose carefully what we say. We must speak the truth of the Word of God so that others may be brought to salvation, for only the Word can save.

Think about how powerful the Word of God has been in your life. What can you do to spread the Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Contradictions!

July 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV))

Contradictions!

According to the world view, we are totally wrong in our faith, yet, according to God’s Laws we are totally right in all that we believe. Even though we are right in our faith, we must be humble and willing to endure whatever is presented to us for the sake of those who may be able to be reached. We should never act in such a manner as to give anyone cause to criticize us for making others stumble or fall in their faith.

Paul was an excellent example of what we are to do when faced with hardships because of our faith and our witness. Most of us will never have to face even a portion of the circumstances that Paul had to face for the Gospel. Still, in our everyday lives, we must strive to follow Paul’s example no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what we may face today, tomorrow, or whenever, we must always “REJOICE” for the grace and mercy of God has redeemed us!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I pray that we can lift our veil!

July 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV))

What is your hope?

Does a veil cover your heart?

With the 4th of July just a day away, I want to ask a serious question. Do you feel that there is a veil over our country? In other words, is there a veil over the hearts of the people?

I am hopeful, for I was privileged to see something over the last few days that has given me hope even in the midst of all of the issues that our country faces.

I took my daughter up to Washington, D.C. for a two week intensive American Sign Language course at Galaudette University. I have a cousin who lives in D.C. that I have not seen in a while. He lives not too far from Galaudette University. I visited with him and saw a side of D.C. that the media does not present. I did not see all communities, but the ones that I did see are all a good example of the melting pot. I discovered that the actual residential areas of the city are basically little communities with a small “downtown” area of restaurants and shops. Everybody walks from their homes to these areas and it appears that, even though there is noise and a lot of activity, it is safe to be out in the “neighborhoods” at any time.

Two days before I arrived in D.C., there was a bad storm and many areas where without power. I found many of the radio stations, Christian and secular, offering information on how to find help in the middle of the high temperatures and power outages. I did a lot of driving and many of the stop lights were out. Everyone was very polite and did not try to take advantage of the power problems. Many churches that had power opened up their doors to those who did not.

This is the power of the USA. It is not the political issues or the government, but it is the people. Even in the midst of the political issues going on in their backyard, and the difficulties from the storm, the faith of the people in each other was impressive, despite political opinions.

I know that many have their hearts covered by a veil, yet, I see the work of the Holy Spirit also. There is a strong presence of the Holy Spirit in D.C. I heard it manifested through the large number of calls asking people to pray for and / or help those in need.

As I drove home, I looked upon my drive with a different outlook. I do not know what God has in store for this country, but I do now know that faith is strong. I do know that we, as the Body of Christ, need to be united in this faith and fully rely on the fact that it is not our leaders, but God who is in control. If we can regain this knowledge, then God can still use this country to His greater glory.

I pray that we can lift our veil!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you acting the fool?

January 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
(Proverbs 23:9 (NIV))

It is easy to think that you know what is best for yourself.

How many times have you seen someone who is caught in the very depths of a bad situation only to react in ways that only make the situation worse? This is considered foolishness, and we have all done it.

Now, consider the spiritual impact of these words. Everyone who is lost in their sin can be considered to be caught in the very depths of a bad situation.

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

Since we are all sinners, perhaps we could also all be considered foolish!

How many times did you scorn the wisdom of God’s Word and His plan for salvation before you finally accepted it? How many times have you strayed from God’s Word since accepting His grace and mercy even though you knew the results of your actions? That sounds foolish to me.

Fortunately, God did not want us to be lost in our sin and our foolishness. He sent His Son, Jesus, to be our savior. God even knew that we would, on occasion, act like a fool and ignore His Word and sin in spite of our saving grace. We must remember that we can always turn to God even after we act the fool. He doesn’t want us to live in our foolishness, but He will forgive our foolishness.

Are you acting the fool?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When He returns

January 9, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“When you see `the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now–and never to be equaled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:14-23 (NIV))

The Disciples expected Jesus to return in Glory during their lifetimes. Each generation since then has expected it in their lifetime.

The words that Jesus spoke of do not paint a pretty picture of His return for those who do not put their faith in Him. Yet, the Rapture is also expected for those who today put their faith in Him. Even so, man cannot understand these things at this point in time. Jesus will return, yet even He did not know when that would be.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
(Mark 13:32(NIV))

All we can be certain of is that He will return. First, He will return for His true Church and then He will return in Glory to deal with the rest of the world who have rejected Him.

Nothing speaks of God’s Love and His Wrath more than the return of Jesus. When He returns, will you experience God’s Love or God’s Wrath?

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