Christmas is the time we remember that God sent us hope!

December 11, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
(Psalms 42:11 (NIV))

Even when it looks like the world is going to win, look again. God is with us.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31)

If we follow after God’s own heart, then God will not dessert us. He is our hope. Through Him we shall overcome. The world may appear to win as we judge things according to the world, but take heart, God IS in control. Knowing this, we must not stop praising God for what He has done and for what He is going to do.

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 Corinthians 1:20)

Do you still have hope?

Christmas is the time we remember that God sent us hope!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you hide God from others?

August 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
(Psalms 40:10 (NIV))

David was not ashamed of God. He proclaimed His greatness whenever and wherever he was. David slipped and sinned, but that did not stop him from praising God. David praised God for the salvation that was yet to come.

How can we, who live on the other side of that salvation gift, praise God any less? David had a great faith. It is hard enough to believe in Jesus when there is historical evidence that He lived and that what is written is true. David believed in God and salvation without this evidence. It takes a greater faith to believe when all you have are promises, even if those promises are from God. It is human nature, probably due to our fall from grace, to be skeptical and unbelieving, yet David believed. He had enough faith to be called a man after God’s own heart.

Can we be called that when we have received not only the promise but the actual gift of salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your motives?

June 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV))

The Bible states that a person can not gain access to heaven through good works. All of the things that are described here are useless if your heart is not right.

Take a look at the Pharisees. They did everything by the “book” in the eyes of the nation of Israel. To others, it looked like they did everything right. Yet, God knew their hearts. They did not do things out of love, but, rather out of ego and pride so that they could say that they were better than others. Their hearts did not reflect their actions. They were doing the right things for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes I think that it is possible to do the wrong things for the right reasons. In our fallen state of humanity, we are not perfect. If we earnestly seek after God’s own heart and do things out of OUR love, we are bound to make mistakes. Even with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we will lapse into thinking that we know what is best and do what we think out of “love” or concern for others.

Even if we have love, we must not allow our own hearts to guide us. We must look to the Father who is perfect in Will and in Love. If we continually look to God for guidance, then we have placed our hearts in the hands of the Father who will teach us to do what is best in His site and provide us the proper motives for all that we do.

What are your motives?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s NOT Dead!

April 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But with wise and knowledgeable leaders, there is stability.
(Proverbs 28:2 (NLT))

Moral rot within a nation!

Stability?

I am sure that each of us have our own opinions of these two simple statements. I am also sure that each of us would like to see things differently. As the Body of Christ. we should all long for righteousness. We should all long for peace and stability.

Are we so far removed from God’s law that we, as a nation, cannot turn from our moral rot? Can we find the righteousness that we long for? Can we, as the Body of Christ, do anything?

I honestly pray that this is able to be turned. I honestly pray that we seek after righteousness in all that we do. According to the media, and the normal entertainment venues, as well as many in the government, we are not a nation that seeks after God’s own heart.

I believe.

No, I know that there is a very strong voice for righteousness still alive in this country. When we see televisions shows such as Duck Dynasty, which is openly Christian, in the top of the ratings, there is hope. When we see a movie that no one thought would draw an audience continually break attendance records and continually add more theaters, then we as the Body of Christ are loudly proclaiming that God’s NOT Dead!

We have to take a stand for what is right in the eyes of God. We must seek after righteousness and not give in to the world.

We must continually seek God in all that we do.

Our nation, and the world, is not lost. God loves impossible odds!

Think about that for a moment.

What are the odds that the son of a carpenter would fulfill all of the prophesies? What are the odds that a person could be violently killed and in three days be raised from the dead? What are the odds that twelve men of simple birth could proclaim the Gospel in such a way that two thousands years later it is still impacting the lives of people and bringing salvation?

We don’t know what the future holds. We do know that Jesus will return. We do know that many of the signs are indicating that this is very close. We also know that God is not slow in keeping His promises. He does not wish any to perish.

Still, in the world today, we have extreme moral rot. We do not have stability. We do not have righteousness in our society. That does not mean that you cannot have an impact on one person and that one person will have an impact on another person, and so on.

Where there is life, there is hope. Where there is hope, faith matures. When faith matures, we see wonderful things unfold.

God’s NOT Dead!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is true for you?

April 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
(Psalms 25:8-14 (NIV))

God is good! He will provide for those who fear Him. This fear is a fear of respect, not a fear of punishment and retribution. God wishes for us to be in a relationship with Him, but He wishes it to be of our own decision. When it is our decision, it will be honest and true. If it were truly based on fear of retribution, then it would not be an honest yearning to be with God.

God will reward those who seek His face and wish to live after His own heart. If you are sincerely seeking God’s will, then God will allow you into His heart by revealing His Truth to you. His Truth will become your truth.

What is true for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Wondrous and fearful times!

March 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
(Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV))

This speaks of wondrous times and fearful times. We look forward to the time when Jesus will return and reign in glory. At the same time, we all have family and friends that we are praying for to be saved so that they do not face the “shame and everlasting contempt.”

God has not changed his plan from the time that He revealed it to Daniel to this day. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. If He said it once, it will come to be. Since we accept the fact that He is unchanging, we must fervently pray for non-believers to believe. We must follow after God’s own heart. He does not wish any to perish.

Does your heart ache when you see people following their own way?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your heart like?

September 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall.
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
(Proverbs 18:10-12 (NIV))

All throughout history, man’s pride has lead countless people to destruction, even when they had a way to “escape” the destruction. The Bible is full of stories of people who have accepted the “strong tower” that God has offered, even when they were not the perfect people that they should have been.

David is a good example. He was far from perfect in all that he did, yet because he humbled himself before God, he had a place to run to under the grace of God. David was not a proud person, yet, due to his earthly position and accomplishments, he could have easily become proud and strayed from God’s own heart. David, in all of his earthly frailties, kept his eyes on God and when he did stray, he humbled himself to the point of seeking forgiveness from God. Many times, this included a public display that today would be considered demeaning. Yet, even though he was a king, he humbled himself to the point of a slave.

What is your heart like? Is it like David’s.

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