Does this sound familiar to you?

February 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:1-6 (NIV))

Does this sound familiar to you?

Take a look at society today, and then compare what we are going through with what was written by Paul. The “good life” has turned us into the “me” society where most people are only concerned about themselves. We, as a society, are definitely boastful, lovers of self and money, abusive to everyone, ungrateful, and everything else that is wrong in the eyes of God. Take a look at road rage. That is a good example of the manifestation of this attitude.

Consider the acquisition of knowledge. We have become a knowledge driven society. This knowledge is based on things that are fleeting and have a value only because we are looking for a “richer” life. We can make a car that protects people during an accident. We can send people into space to study the effects of weightlessness on seeds. We can produce a round, flat disk that is capable of entertaining us, yet, we seem to have lost the ability to truly grasp what type of knowledge is important.

Another piece of knowledge for you – it has been determined that the human body was designed to react at speeds much slower than our cars travel. Perhaps this is part of what God means when He told us to

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a(NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you teach what Jesus commanded or do you teach the world’s agenda?

November 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

With all of the talk about embracing Islam, we have to remember the words that Jesus spoke. He did not tell us to embrace what is good about what others believe and make it a part of what He has taught us. He told us to baptize them and to teach them to follow Him.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Unless something confirms Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, then it is a false religion no matter how much humanity wants to embrace it.

He did not tell us to be like the Sadducees. They were more concerned with social issues and politics than they were about religion. Too many of our churches today preach social issues and do not focus on the saving grace that is available through Jesus. Jesus did not command us to do this. He commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. He also taught us to teach people to obey everything that He taught. Jesus often criticized the Sadducees because they ignored God and focused on social and political issues.

He did not tell us to be like the Pharisees. They were more focused on God’s Word, yet they placed equal authority on human tradition and oral histories. Jesus often found fault with them.

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”
(Matthew 15:1-9 (NIV))

What have we been told about embracing other gods? What have we been told about intermingling? What have we been told about embracing the world?

and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
(Deuteronomy 12:29-31 NIV))

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:1-2 (NIV))

Too many people who call themselves Christians have lost site of what we are called to do. Too many embrace the world and water down what Jesus came into this world to accomplish. Jesus did not die on the cross so that we can embrace other religions and gods!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
(Matthew 5:13 (NIV))

Jesus calls us to be the salt and light to the world, yet we allow the world to trample all over us! Too many so called members of the Body of Christ are preaching and teaching things that are contrary to what we have been commanded.

Do you teach what Jesus commanded or do you teach the world’s agenda?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must continue to have faith!

September 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For nothing is impossible with God.
(Luke 1:37 (NIV))

It is so easy to get discouraged, especially when you take a look at all of the things that are going on in the world today. Wars and rumors of wars are rampant. Sin is increasing. What is good is now called evil and what is evil is now called good. We are living in a time where nothing makes sense, for what is in each person’s heart is what is considered truth. Truth is no longer looked upon as absolute. We can create our own truth. It sounds like we are rapidly becoming a world that now chooses to no longer believe that there is a greater power than us.

We are not capable of being able to discern good from evil. We are not capable of creating our own truth. If humanity is capable of so much good, then why do we have all of the wars and the rumors of wars?

We are experiencing things that are foretold of in Daniel, Ezekiel and in Revelation. It seems that all around us is chaos. Do not fear, for we are given hope through the words written in Luke.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
(Luke 21:25-28 (NIV))

In the midst of all that we face, we must continue to have faith, for it is by faith that we are saved. Consider the events depicted in Luke 1:27 – Luke 2:20. Mary exhibited a faith that led to the birth of Jesus. She held on to a faith that allowed a virgin to give birth. She held on to a faith that brought forth a child that would become the Lamb of God.

For nothing is impossible with God.
(Luke 1:37 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you tormented for your faith?

September 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
(Acts 16:16-18 (NIV))

Are you troubled by a nagging “spirit” that will not leave you alone? One that torments you day and night?

Paul was tormented by a slave girl who was possessed. The demon would not leave her alone, and, consequently, would not leave Paul alone. He recognized the work that God was using Paul to complete and he tried everything that he could to divert and distract Paul so that God’s purpose would not be completed.

We all face similar circumstances in our lives. There is something that will simply not leave us alone. Something that, if we let it, will distract us from God. Do not let anything distract you from earnestly seeking God! Do not let greed, ego, ambition, lust, power, envy, or anything else that the world has to offer stand between you and God. Paul continually walked away from this girl, but she followed him. Is sin following you like this slave girl followed Paul, tormenting you every step of the way?

Take a lesson from what Paul did. He called upon the name of Jesus to rebuke the tormentor. Paul’s faith was strong enough to rely on the name of Jesus to do what was promised!

Is yours?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Listen to God’s explanation!

August 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

What was and is the sole purpose of God sending Jesus to this world?

Did He come to bring social justice and bring financial equality?

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.
(John 12:18 (NIV))

Did Jesus come so that people could continue to live the lifestyles that they wanted to live?

“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11 (NIV))

Jesus came to seek and save the lost!

All that we have to do is believe.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Contrary to the popular theology of today, Jesus came to call us to repentance and to a restored relationship with God the Father. Jesus did not come into the world to tell us that it is okay to continue living in our sins. He called us to grace and mercy.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

What is sin? God’s definition of sin is not what the world says it is. The world says that if it feels good, do it. The world says that we can claim that we were born that way. The world says that truth is relative and that what one person considers a sin, another person does not.

Sin is defined by God.

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

Salvation is defined by God as explained in John 3:16-21.

Society has tried to redefine the reason that Jesus came to this world. Don’t listen to society’s explanation.

Listen to God’s explanation!

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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Test everything!

December 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
(1 John 4:1 (NIV))

What was true for the early church is still very true today. Not everyone who claims to speak the truth is actually speaking the truth as God and Jesus have established it. Many people will distort the truth for their own gain. Some just do not care about the truth and will tell you anything just because they can.

This also is very true about “spirits” as well. Not everything that you have a “hunch” or an inspiration about is from God. Keep in mind that Satan and his legions are roaming the earth and can disguise themselves as angels of light. The Holy Spirit will not tell you to do anything that goes against the Word of God.

Test everything!

The best way to test whether something is from God is to know His Word and have it written on your heart. In this manner, you will know quickly whether something is from God and is the truth. God will never do anything that is contrary to His Word.

But what about Jesus?

Didn’t God change His plan for mankind when Jesus came into the world?

No!

God had foretold of this plan ever since Abraham. He spoke of the promise to all generations. He even used the prophets to tell of the details of Jesus’ life and the fulfillment of His plan. Man did not fully understand the plan, and spent the years in anticipation of another kind of leader instead of the one that God had promised us. Perhaps, they even listened to false prophets who did not want them to fully understand what God was doing!

Do you fully understand God’s plan?

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