Focus on the ultimate power and authority

October 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

No matter what the world throws at us, we have to focus on the ultimate power and authority that will eventually claim His own and then the world for Himself. We cannot be swayed by powers of this world, for they are fleeting.

A person’s life has been compared to a blade of grass. We are here for a short time, and then the world remembers us no more. With this kind of certainty in the physical world, we need to place our hope and faith in something that has better lasting potential than a blade of grass.

No matter how the world is going in your opinion, remember that God IS in control, and all powers of this earth have been put here for a reason. We do not know the exact details, but we can pray that God will be in control of us as well.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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By His stripes we are healed!

April 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
(Isaiah 53:5-7 (NIV))

These words do not paint a very pretty picture! The agony of the events of Jesus’ crucifixion are vividly portrayed through these words. They speak of the events in an historical perspective, yet when this was written, the events would not take place for several hundred years! God knew what would happen long before it actually came to pass, and he told Isaiah the events long before they really happened. God IS in control! He was then. He is now, and He will be in the future, as we perceive time.

I don’t know how many actual prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. I do know that the odds against all of them being fulfilled in one person are astronomically impossible, yet, this is exactly what happened. Jesus fulfilled every single prophesy that God had ever given anyone concerning the Messiah about His first coming.

God has given Daniel and John, in Revelation, prophesies concerning Jesus’ second coming. With such astronomical odds against the first event happening, it does not make sense from the world’s point of view that He will return. But, if I were a betting man, I would place my money on God! His record is flawless. His timing is impeccable. His grace is sufficient! His mercy endures forever!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you withdraw to lonely places and pray!

April 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
(Luke 5:16 (NIV))

If Jesus, who was God made man, needed to be by himself with God, why do we, who are mere creation, think that we do not need to spend time talking to God? We seem to think that we can get our lives right on our own.

We are so wrapped up in our daily lives that we seem to forget what is the order of things. We think that we are in control of our lives and that if we don’t do those things that seem so important at that moment. our lives will fall apart. Have you ever stopped to think that our lives have already fallen apart, and that we are just too busy pretending that we don’t notice?

The more that we attempt to control our lives, the worse things get. When we surrender to God and allow Him to guide our lives, things go much better. In order for God to guide our lives, we must listen to God. We must respond to Him. We must be open to do what God asks of us. Isn’t that what Jesus did when He withdrew to pray? He was allowing time to spend with the Father. He knew the importance of this communication. He knew the importance of God’s guidance. He knew the importance of obedience.

Do we?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you placed God in a box?

February 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:5 (NIV))

Many people say that God is dead. On the contrary! They only are ignoring what is right before their eyes. Just because His actual works are not yet recorded in the Bible, people fail to see the obvious. If they would only attempt to understand the prophecy that God has placed in the Bible, they would see that God is not dead. He is alive and in control.

Sometimes, even believers need to be reminded that God is faithful. We tend to put God in a box and expect Him to live up, or should I say “down”, to our expectations. God has a plan for His Creation, and His plan does not waiver. God is faithful to those who call upon Him in His Will, not their will.

Have you placed God in a box, or is God the God of Creation?

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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Who do you rely on?

April 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
(Luke 21:12-19 (NIV))

How many times have you been in a situation where you felt you needed to defend your faith?

At times like these we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to provide us with our defense. All too many times we rely on our own understanding to defend ourselves. We need to let go and let God. God is in control. He will provide for us even in times of need. This includes our own defense. We say that we believe in God and that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, yet do we really trust that God will deliver us?

It is human nature to rely on ourselves. We must break this nature and fully rely on God.

Who do you rely on?

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

November 6, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
(Exodus 18:21 (NIV))

We think that who we elect to our public offices doesn’t really matter, or, even worse, we don’t think that what we have to contribute will make a difference. God is calling us, just as He called righteous people in the days of Moses, to assume positions of Godly authority or to support people who will support Godly authority.

The people that have authority over us direct the way that our nation turns. They also direct the way that God will deal with us as a nation. If we have Godly authorities who desire to do God’s Will in all things, then God will bless that desire and bless us as a nation.

If we elect people who will appoint judges who say that there is no God and that anything is all right in our society, except the mention of God, then we will suffer and our children will suffer.

Truth is truth and is not dependent upon the circumstances. If we cannot be a nation that does not waiver on our convictions before God, then we will slowly cease to be in God’s favor. Perhaps we have gotten to the point were we are now rapidly descending into a place that is not only no longer in God’s favor, but rapidly turning to where we are considered as an enemy. I pray that we are not descending so rapidly that our descent cannot be reversed!

Pray for God’s guidance in how you vote this election. Don’t assume that God does not want His people in positions of authority. Our nation was founded by people who held fast to the very Word of God. How would they react to what they would see today?

How do you think that God is reacting?

Pray as if your future depends upon who has authority over us, for your future and that of your children’s children will be determined by the laws that they make and interpret.

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