What comes from within you?

March 8, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come — sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.
(Mark 7:21-22 (NIV))

Some people say that society has gone downhill. I actually believe that society has simply allowed what is within to be let out without any repercussions.

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

In today’s society, it is possible to find numerous people with like-minded evil thoughts. No matter what the thought may be, there are others who also have them. To be honest with you, people have been experiencing these thoughts ever since the fall from grace. There have always been thieves. There have always been murderers. People have always been greedy and envious. Deceit and arrogance have always existed, as well as sexual immorality and adultery.

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV))

If this is the case, then why does it seem that we, as a society, are straying further and further away from God’s desires?

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”
(Matthew 13:24-30 (NIV))

We are that field of wheat. The enemy has sown weeds within each of us that crop up in our lives and show themselves as what is within our hearts. We can choose to focus on the weeds and ignore the good wheat or we can focus on the good wheat and choose to ignore the weeds. Too many people are focusing on the wrong things and allowing the weeds that come from within to overshadow their lives.

I have heard the following told much more eloquently, but imagine that within each of us there are two wolves – a good wolf and a bad wolf. The one that becomes prominent in our lives is the one that we feed. We all have the potential to do much evil. If we feed that potential, evil will come from within.

What comes from within you?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What have you been shown?

March 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 (NIV))

In our lives, we are shown many things. Not all of them are things that we should even see. We are foolish if we think that we can be a good judge of what is good.

There is only one place where we should turn to seek what is good!

Turn to the Lord!

Anywhere else that we turn will only find us being shown evil and corruption. Jesus spoke of there only being One who is good. All else is corrupt.

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
(Matthew 19:17 (NIV))

Our lives are inundated with things that we see. The old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out,” plays a big, fundamental truth in how human nature works. If we see things that are not good, we will be heavily influenced in that direction. In essence, we would be filling ourselves with things that are not good, and we will not be righteous in the eyes of God. If we see things that are good, then we will be influenced in that direction. Remember what Jesus said about who is good.

What have you been shown?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we capable of following instructions?

September 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NIV))

Four simple statements, yet, four very difficult things to truly do!

Human nature is a strange thing. We are rebellious by nature since the fall from grace. We have to do things our way and it is safe to safe that our way is not God’s way. Even after God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to redeem us through the cross, we still miss the mark. Even after Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us to guide us, we miss the mark, We don’t listen to the Holy Spirit. We quench the power of the Holy Spirit by doing things our way. God sent us prophets to instruct us and to tell us of His plans, but we treat this precious gift with contempt and unbelief. We are told to hold on to what is good, but we trade what God calls good for things that will decay and rust. We are told to reject every kind of evil, but we call evil good and good evil.

Do you ever get tired of being human in the sinful state that we call our lives? Do you long for complete redemption so that we will no longer be subject to the sinful nature? Until we are with Jesus, we will continue to fail miserably. Until Jesus gathers us unto Himself, we will fall short of God’s desires and our own. Until that day, keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Keep your heart focused on what is good and true. Pray for guidance and repent when you fail to follow God’s will and remember the things that we have been told.

Do not quench the Spirit!

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all.

Hold on to what is good!

Reject every kind of evil!

It is my prayer that we are all up to the tasks before us.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is it your goal to be accepted by men or accepted by God?

March 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
(Luke 6:22 (NIV))

Do you want to be blessed by man or by God?

If you are blessed by man, they will love you. They will embrace you and what you do because you lift them up, The things that you do bring glory to man. The things that you do are the things that they seek to be able to do. They idolize you.

God will still love you, but it is hard to be righteous when you are exalted and God is not. Just try to exalt God in the proper way and watch what the world does to you. Unfortunately, the world rejects God and elevates many members of society to a godlike status.

Think about that last statement.

Think about what the world did to Jesus!

Jesus was part of the Holy Trinity. He was God made flesh. All of the power and authority and the people rejected Him because He would not submit to the ways of the world. The world turned on Him. The world hated Him. The world crucified Him!

How can we expect the world of men to love us if we love Jesus after what they did to Jesus?

Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
(John 15:20-21 (NIV))

Is it your goal to be accepted by men or accepted by God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who is worthy of your praise?

April 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds – his name is the Lord – and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
(Psalms 68:4-5 (NIV))

All things good are from God. He is Creator. He is Father. He is Savior.

If we cannot praise God, then we have nothing to praise in our lives! God has given us life. He has given us breathe. He has given us everything that we know as good. Even when we rebelled against His goodness, He remained faithful. Even when we turned from Him and sought after other gods, He remained there patiently waiting for the right moment to call us back to Him in repentance.

He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a personal atonement for our sins. Just as the prodigal son was welcomed with open arms when he returned to his senses and to his father, God welcomes us with open arms when we turn to Him through Jesus. Jesus came to bring forgiveness so that we could be reconciled to God the Father. If this is not worthy of praise, then nothing else ever will be. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us when we were still sinners and only worthy of death. Jesus came to pay the ultimate price so that we would not have to.

Picture the cross and the agony of the crucifixion. Is that something that you would want to go through? Now, imagine an eternity of pain and suffering just like that. Jesus suffered for us so that we would not have to suffer. Through His suffering, we are cleansed and allowed grace and mercy. That is something to shout to the top of the mountains about!

Do you show praise and gratitude for your salvation? Sing it out so that those whom you see will know that you belong to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must embrace the good that is our God!

April 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.
(Amos 5:14-15 (NIV))

Is it just me, or has society lost any understanding of what is good and what is evil? I hate to say this, but I have even seen it in the churches in this country as well.

I know that I am going to get some people mad at me. When you have denominations voting to allow things that God calls an abomination, I can’t sit by and accept it. I would prefer to have people mad at me instead of God.

With that said, we are to hate evil. What is evil in the eyes of God? What causes the heart of God to break? Do you truly know the heart of God? Do you earnestly seek to know the heart of God?

If you know the heart of God, then you know what He calls evil and what He calls good. It is not as the world calls things. The world sees a rich man and wants to be like him. God sees a rich man and sees someone who, in most cases, worships their riches. The world sees things as a choice and that we have a right to make that choice. God sees a person who chooses to sin and step even further away from His grace.

Perhaps the best way to define evil in the eyes of God is anything that keeps a person from His redeeming gift of grace and mercy and goes against the fruits of the Spirit. If that is the case, then we, as the Body of Christ, must pray. We must seek God’s face. We must desire to turn from evil.

We must embrace the good that is our God!

We must embrace our God who is our good!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Just whose yeast is changing whom?

October 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
(Galatians 5:9 (NIV))

The Body of Christ is supposed to change the world just as yeast, when added to dough, changes the dough.

Sadly, the world has recently had more changes to the church than the church has had on the world.

Just whose yeast is changing whom?

The world says that evil is now good and good is now evil. I know of several “churches” that are now accepting this evil as part of their teachings. The world says that God is love and they leave out the reason that Jesus came to this earth and the need to repent. The world says that because God is love, there is no hell. If that is the case, then why did Jesus have to die? The yeast of these teachings has changed the church.

It is said that Satan is the father of lies. He knows God’s Word and he can twist it to the point where it sounds correct, but with one minor lie. Even if it is 99% true, it is still a lie. Satan can use that 1% that is the lie to trick and trap people. Test everything against God’s Word. Don’t let the wrong yeast get into your dough and make your life change in the wrong direction.

Be careful of what you put into your life. Just like with yeast, it only takes a little sin to make your life something bloated and unrecognizable. Allow the yeast that is God’s Word to work through your life and wait for the beauty that God will make through you.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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