God is faithful!

July 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
(Genesis 9:12-16 (NIV))

God is faithful!

When God first created a rainbow, it was as a promise to those who had followed His commands. It was, and still continues to be, a visible reminder that God is faithful to deliver those who call upon His name; for those who place their faith and trust in Him.

With all that is going on in the world, we all need a gentle reminder that God is faithful and that what He has promised will come to pass. I realize that this sounds like a weak faith, but in reality it is a strengthening of faith, for it is a sign from God that what He has promised will come to fruition.

Have you ever needed a gentle reminder from God?

To be honest with you, I don’t think that there is a single person alive who does not need this reassurance every once in a while. God knows us intimately. He also knows that we face things in this world that can overcome us. He sent Jesus into this world to overcome sin and death. He sent the rainbow to show us that He is faithful to keep His promises. God has an everlasting covenant with His creation. That covenant is our hope and our faith. To those who believe in that covenant, we see signs all around us of the majesty that is our God. Sadly, those who do not believe see the same signs but miss the meaning. They miss the promise.

With all that I have that burdens my heart, today was a day that I was reminded of the faithfulness of God. The day was stressful with the typical news as of late. Other issues clouded my mind. Late in the day I decided to step outside for a breath of fresh air. My mind was racing trying to comprehend all of the events of the day. I turned to look back at my house, and there it was! The biggest rainbow that I have ever seen arching down from on high and disappearing behind the roof.

It is amazing how something that God sends your way can instantly change your day. I went from a heavy heart to a smile and joy in no time at all. I was reminded of God’s love for us and His faithfulness to those who love Him!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God always keeps His promises!

December 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiahn and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
(Matthew 1:1-17 (NIV))

It is important to remember that God foretold that from Abraham’s line would come the promise. God also told that from David would come a king whose reign would never end. With Christmas upon us, we need to remember these promises and remember that Jesus came from these lines. These are only a few of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. Lineage is important to God and it is important to remember God’s faithfulness. God always keeps His promises. That is why the lineage of Jesus is so important. It shows us that God does keep His promises to the very smallest detail.

Merry Christmas

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Christmas is only the beginning of God’s promise!

December 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
(Psalms 57:9-11 (NIV))

The Psalmist spoke truth and wisdom when these words where written. What was true then is still very true today.

In this Christmas season, we are constantly reminded of how great God’s love for us is. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is a constant reminder of God’s love. God is faithful in keeping His Word. All throughout the Old Testament, God promised to send a Savior to reconcile man with Himself. In this season, we are witness to the promise kept. It is a yearly celebration of that promise. At the same time, we must keep our eyes focused on the other promises of God, especially the one that says that Jesus will come again.

In this holy season of new birth, we must not forget that Jesus grew up and died on the cross, was resurrected and will come again.

Christmas is only the beginning of God’s promise and not the culmination.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you sanctified? Are you blameless in the eyes of God?

December 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV))

In a little over a week, we will be celebrating the first coming of Jesus. We will be celebrating the birth of a baby who came to this world to free us from the law of sin and death! It is through the birth and life of Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection, and the ascension that we have been sanctified.

Sanctify.

This is a word that most people don’t use. In fact, most people probably don’t truly understand the meaning of the word. Sanctify means to make holy. It means to give official acceptance or approval.

Think about that for a moment.

God sent Jesus into the earth in order to make us holy, in order to officially accept us and approve of us. We all understand salvation, but God’s love goes far beyond salvation. It goes far beyond washing away all of our sins. By accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have been made holy. By accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we have been given official acceptance by God.

I find it amazing just how much we take for granted. We have lost so much understanding of God’s love simply because we have become ignorant of the meanings of the words that describe God’s love. We over simplify it to say such things as “God is love” and “God will forgive.” It seems that we are still infants when it comes to understanding who God is.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
(1 Corinthians 3:2 (NIV))

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV))

Are you sanctified? Are you blameless in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is forever faithful!

September 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
(Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV))

Faithfulness is one of the primary attributes that God has and that we must strive to take hold of. God does not forget His promises. Deuteronomy speaks of keeping His promises for a thousand generations. We, as humanity, can’t keep a promise for more than a few days, weeks or years at best. God keeps His promises for a thousand generations. If you consider that a generation is from birth until they have their own children, that would be on average, 20,000 years. That is a long time to keep a promise. But, we must remember

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthains 1:20(NIV))

All of God’s promises are fulfilled through Jesus. Everything that God has promised throughout the Old Testament, through His prophets, either has been fulfilled or will be fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

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

If God is faithful, and all promises are fulfilled through Jesus, and Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever, then we must fully rely on Jesus for all things. Keep focused on Jesus and stay within the promises that God has made, for they will come to pass just as God said that they would.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you despise your sinful actions?

July 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
(1 John 1:8-9 (NLT))

Do you still sin?

Too many people falsely believe that after accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you somehow stop sinning. Others recognize that they sin, but they believe that it is ok since they have accepted Jesus. There are still others who acknowledge that they sin and constantly seek forgiveness for their sins.

Which group are you in?

Perhaps I should ask which group would others say that you are in? What group would you say that Jesus places you in?

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior requires a commitment. It is a relationship that you must work to maintain. Jesus will freely give you grace and salvation, but He looks at the heart. Does your heart rejoice at the thought of Jesus? Do you find yourself giving thanks and praise for the grace that He has given you? Do you find yourself seeking to follow Jesus in all that you do?

Or, do you simply think that you can do whatever you want and then call upon Jesus to rescue you when you get in trouble?

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

All of us will continue to sin. Jesus looks at the heart. If we earnestly seek Him and desire to leave our sin behind, then we can be considered like David.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
(Acts 13:22 (NIV))

Do you still sin? Do you despise your sinful actions?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you faithful to God’s plans?

December 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.
(Isaiah 25:1 (NIV))

If God has done marvelous things that He planned long ago, why do we wait impatiently for Him to do things in a hurry? Why can’t we get on God’s timeframe?

Human nature is an interesting thing. We are created to be in the image of God, yet our perspective is very limited. We desire to see and do marvelous things, but we expect them in a timeframe that is very short. We expect to see instant results. We, who grew up knowing fast food and credit cards, expect things without having to work for them or wait for them. In essence, we are not a patient creation. We want everything and we want it know.

If you have children, then you are willing to admit that you know that lifestyle expectancy. I propose, though, that all of us are like that. It is what drives us to strive for things that we want. It makes us build houses. It makes us start businesses. It makes us buy new cars and new toys. All too often, these things are done without knowing the consequences of our actions.

God plans. He planned the whole of creation. He planned man. He planned the crucifixion. He planned the resurrection. He planned salvation. He planned on saving us through grace. He planned on the blood of Jesus Christ washing away our sins. He planned all of this from the beginning of time. All that we can do is plan what we want to do and hope it happens. God plans what He is going to do and it does happen. Nothing can stop Him.

God has done marvelous things. He is planning on many more. He even wrote them down so that we could be in on His plans. God is faithful to His plans.

Are you faithful to God’s plans?

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