What can you add to your faith?

April 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.
(Mark 3:35 (NAS))

Are you an only child? Do you ever feel lonely with no one to turn to?

Take heart!

When you call upon the name of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you not only receive grace and mercy and salvation, you also become a member of the family of God. Instantly, you have an unbreakable bond with believers from all over the world and from every time period in history. In addition to all of the millions of believers that you can call your brother or sister, you become a brother or sister of Jesus himself! I can’t think of anything better than being able to say that Jesus is my brother,

who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
(1 Peter 3:22 (NIV))

Not only do we get a huge family that shares the same passion, we also receive as a brother, the one who takes away our sins. Jesus is that brother who has all power.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
(2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The Passover Lamb and Good Friday!

April 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
(Matthew 26:39-42 (NIV))

Many people think that Jesus did not know anguish and pain. These words show that on the day that we know as Good Friday, Jesus feared what was to come, yet, still was obedient to the Father’s Will for Him and for us. Think about the events that we remember this weekend and welcome them into your lives as the key events that they actually are.

Put yourself in the events. What did Jesus feel? What made the crowds turn upon Him? Would you have been like Peter? Would you be at the foot of the cross? With the knowledge that we have about what happened, are you at the foot of the cross now?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You can’t follow Jesus on your terms!

January 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, ” `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and `love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Matthew 19:16-22 (NIV))

Some theologians say that this man’s sin was greed. Others say that it was placing something above God. No matter what his sin truly was, there was an unwillingness to give up that sin, for he was comfortable within his sin. He wanted to follow Jesus on his terms.

It is true that Jesus came preaching that God is love, yet, He also wanted people to repent of their sins when they chose to follow God. God does love everyone. He desires for everyone to be saved, yet He does not want them to stay within their sin. Those who say that it is ok to continue to live in sin and be a follower of Jesus are simply not facing the truth of God’s Word.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Take a serious look at the last word in that passage. “Repentance.” He does not want us to come to Him and stay within our sin. The rich young man was not willing to repent and turn away from his sin. He wanted his sin to be justified. He wanted Jesus to tell him that he was “good enough” and that his “little” sin was not enough to keep him away from God.

We know that God cannot associate with sin. Sin is direct disobedience of God’s will. God cannot be disobedient to His own self.

Take a look at society today. What do you think of when you see groups of people wanting to change the teachings of the church because they are no longer relevant to today’s society? Basically, they are attempting to do what the rich young man was trying to do. They are trying to validate their sin. They are trying to have the church, which represents Godly authority, change what sin is so that they can continue to live the way they want.

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

Jesus is the Word made flesh. God’s Word does not change. God’s Word speaks of righteousness. If we attempt to change what is considered righteous, what does that truly mean?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Submission, Pride and Authority!

April 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
(1 Peter 2:13-17 (NIV))

Submission is probably one of the hardest things that a human has to do! The very act requires that you admit that someone has authority over you and you are not the ultimate power in your life.

Just where does this “rebellion” come from?

It appears to be an inborn trait in each and every one of us. Perhaps it comes from the Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden. Let’s face it, Satan did not want to submit to God. He deceived us and now we have turned over the earth to sin and death. It was the sin of pride that made Satan not willing to submit. Now, the same pride permeates the world because of the incident that happened in the Garden long ago.

Perhaps it is exactly for this reason that we are called to submit. It goes against everything that the world expects of us in our sinful nature.

Do you submit willingly, or do you still fight the sin of pride that has caused so many to not submit to the ultimate authority within their lives. That authority is Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and the only King of kings and Lord of lords.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

February 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
(Galatians 6:7 (NKJV))

It is not possible to deceive God. Many people think that they can do things that are not in God’s Will, and they have convinced themselves that they are allowed to do them because of their particular situation.

God does not bend His Will or Laws because of someone’s feeble attempt to justify their actions. They will still be held accountable. No one is above the law, and no one is above God’s Law. You may think that you can get away with something, but God sees all and knows all.

We are all sinners and are all sentenced to eternal separation from God. Yet, God has given us a way to be redeemed so that we may spend eternity with Him. Not one person in all of human history has ever been perfect in the sight of God. This perfection is what God seeks and requires. Since no one was capable of this perfection, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this world and pay the price for our redemption.

There is only one way to escape what we deserve. There is only one way to spend eternity with God. There is only one name on which we can call that has the authority to save us from our sin. Jesus is that name. Without Jesus, we will inevitably face the “reward” for what we have sown. With Jesus, we have someone who can stand in the gap and help us to be “perfect” through His perfection.

Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Then I saw a Lamb . . .

October 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
(Revelation 5:6-14 (NIV))

Are you anticipating this scene as it unfolds in heaven?

Do you think that it will happen?

Perhaps the most important question is are you praying for it to happen?

We, as the Body of Christ, must not be focused on the things of this world. We must focus on the Will of God and having it unfold. We should not be so engrossed in our physical surroundings and the lives that we have been blessed with that we miss God’s bigger picture, His bigger plan.

Do you study God’s Word with a heavenly perspective, or do you simply study God’s Word to help you live your physical life? Both are important. Unfortunately, too many members of the Body of Christ focus on the physical realm and ignore the spiritual realm. Too many members of the Body of Christ say that it confuses them or that they don’t understand it.

We need to understand it. We need to recognize the spiritual implications of the things that we see. We need to recognize the physical manifestations of things that happen in the spiritual world.

Are we seeing the manifestation of spiritual events in the physical world? Are we prepared for these events?

Or, are we so focused on our daily lives that we are missing what God is telling us?

Do we join the four living creatures in saying “Amen” to the things that are unfolding?

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

June 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(Revelation 3:13 (NIV))

So many things have been happening lately that many members of the Body of Christ are in shock over. Each day seems to bring more and more things to light that appear to go against God’s Word. We are to hold fast to our faith in Jesus.

We have been told that things would happen.

We have been told that we would come to a time when good would be called evil and evil would be called good.

What can we, as the Body of Christ, do?

We must pray! We must hold fast to the Word of God. We must not let our focus be swayed. We must continue to reach out to those in need with the only thing that can save them, We must be Jesus to a dying world. Now is not the time for the Body of Christ to sit back and wait for the Second Coming of Jesus. There are people that He wants to take with him. Think about your family and friends. I bet that there are people that you want Him to take with Him as well.

We must hear what the Holy Spirit is telling us and we must act upon it. Salvation is not limited to only a handful of people. Jesus died on the cross so that everyone may be saved.

“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))

We must listen intently to what the Holy Spirit is telling the church. The things that are going on in the world are the physical evidence of what God is whispering to the Body of Christ.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:21-22 (NIV))

We must hear what the Spirit is saying. We must overcome the world.

Are we listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you stand?

June 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(1 Peter 3:17 (NIV))

What do you call good? What do you call evil?

Does society agree with you?

Does society do things that you would consider evil?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

There may come a day when those who choose to follow God will be looked upon as evil. I know that some would say that this has already started. I like to think that I would willingly suffer for doing what God calls me to do, yet, I am only human. I have human frailties and weaknesses.

Would I be like Peter and deny Jesus?

Would I be forgiven?

Would I hold fast to the faith that I profess to have?

Would my faith be proven to be as great as a mustard seed?

When you hear the word “evil,” what do you think of? Is it murder? Is it stealing? Is it something much bigger than these? Evil can get a small foothold and grow into something that can completely destroy all it touches.

God’s love restores all that it touches. It is good, yet our society seems to want to label this is hatred and evil.

What do you think?

Where do you stand?

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

June 14, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
(Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV))

Rest?

Even God needed a rest from the task that He undertook. What is it about today’s society that makes us think we can go 24/7 without taking that much needed rest?

We are created in God’s image. If God rested, what does that say about our need to rest? He is the Creator. We are the creation. The creation is not capable of outdoing the Creator. In fact, the creation needs to speak and listen to the Creator. Perhaps that is why we refuse to rest, for when we rest, we are following the desires of our Creator. It is Satan’s influence upon this world that tells us that we do not need to rest, for he knows that when we rest, we spend time with God. Satan does not want us to do anything that will draw us closer to God. Perhaps that is why the world is in such a hectic state of chaos.

We must strive to be within God’s Will. We must strive to do what pleases God. IF God rested on the seventh day, we should rest as well. I doubt that we will find this Godly rest unrewarding, for we will be ushered into His presence.

Rest!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you asked God to provide?

February 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You do not have, because you do not ask God.
(James 4:2c (NIV))

How many of us are guilty of not approaching the throne of God?

Let’s face the truth. Human nature has us asking for things all of the time, but, when was the last time that you approached boldly and with the certainty that what you were asking for was actually a part of God’s Will? Do we ever truly have that certainty? Perhaps you need confirmation.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
(John 16:24 (NIV))

Just what do you find joy in? Is it your family? Is it your job? Is it how you serve God? Perhaps your joy truly comes from desiring to know God’s heart and to fulfill His joy! When you desire to fulfill God’s plan for your life, you experience great joy for His joy has become yours. When you seek after God’s heart, then you can ask God anything that fits within the boundaries of that joy. When we truly find this, then we are complete for we have found what God created us for. When you know what God created you for, then the things that you ask will fit within His plan for you and He will provide.

What is God’s plan for your life? Are you confident of that plan? Have you asked God to provide?

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
(1 John 5:14 (NIV))

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