Are we listening?

July 30, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!
(Acts 28:28 (NIV))

When Paul was in Rome, local Jewish leaders came to him. During the visit, Paul spoke of what was told to their ancestors through Isaiah. Some believed while many did not. The last words recorded of that conversation are shown above. For over two thousand years, we, as Gentiles, have listened. We have taken the Gospel that Paul preached and have been able to reach a large number of people. It is true, just as it was in Paul’s day, that some people have perverted the Gospel for their own gain, but for the most part, Gentiles have listened.

The time is now here when we must stand firm in our faith. We must proclaim Jesus loudly and boldly to a world that is falling apart. Time is running out!

Yes, I did just say that.

I have this feeling in my spirit that this world will not return to what we knew just last year. I actually have mixed feelings about this, for I love life. I love my family and I love spending time with those I love. But, I love Jesus more. After years of study, I believe that we are seeing things unfold as we have been told in God’s Word. With the things that are going on in this world, evil is rising. I am seeing things in this country that I would expect to only see in regions of this world that have been known for being oppressive. I am seeing a global hatred of people who profess a faith in Jesus. I am seeing ethnicity rising against ethnicity. Just for reference, this is often translated as nation rising against nation. I am seeing a push to go completely digital with money as well as a push to collect and destroy any physical money once the digital is implemented. I am seeing a big push to wear masks. I realize that the virus is real, so I don’t want to get into a debate about wearing masks. What I find sad is that the whole world is engulfed in this. There are those who are pushing a vaccine in order to be able to take part in society. In other words, get vaccinated and you can buy and sell. Would that vaccine leave a visible mark?

Paul was right.

The Gentiles have listened. But, do we know and understand God’s Word well enough to do something with what we have heard? Are we praying for God’s Will, even if it means things get much worse, or are we praying for our will and our comfort?

We need to truly seek the Lord. We need to listen for His voice and His guidance.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(Revelation 2:29 (NIV))

Are we listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is the Lord to you?

February 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
(Psalms 23:1-6 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to think about these words?

How many of us can truly say that we live a life that is not filled with stress? How many of us do not fear? How many of us do not have people who are enemies? Do any of us not need calm surroundings and rest?

What about restoration?

What about comfort?

Are you in need of goodness and love?

The words that David recorded speak to the inner desires of every human being to ever live. Even if you think that you are a tough cookie, deep inside of you, you desire the very things that David wrote about.

Can we find these things in worldly possessions? Can we find them in other people? Can we find them in our own strengths?

There is only one source for the peace that David wrote about. It can be found in no other place, no other person, than in the Lord our God. We cannot run from Him. We cannot hide from Him,. We can run to Him. We can hide within His love. He can find rest within His mercy. We can find salvation within His grace.

God is good! He is our rest. He is our restoration. He is our righteousness. He is our protection. He is our comfort. He is our protector. He is our Father!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you walk in the light?

January 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

I know that we are all familiar with this passage, but have you ever truly stopped to think about what it really means to be in the light?

Unlike popular belief, each person is not their own light. There are not multiple ways to walk in the light. We can not be enlightened, and we cannot achieve anything on our own. Jesus is the light of the world!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
(John 12:46 (NIV))

Being in the light of Jesus means that you have recognized your sinful nature and that you need a Savior. Being in the light of Jesus means that you recognize your need to surrender your life to His guidance. You willingly accept Jesus as not only your Savior, but also your Lord.

Just what does having Jesus as your Lord mean. The word “Lord” means one who is in power or authority, of a high position, and one to whom service and obedience are due. In the physical world, a lord requires submission and allegiance. Those under the lord do not really have a choice. That is not the case when we give lordship over our lives to Jesus. We voluntarily surrender. We recognize the authority and willingly come in under that authority. In Jesus, the authority is not one of fear, but one of love, guidance and grace. We realize that we, in all of our human frailties, need Jesus. We need God!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:6-7 (NIV))

When we walk in the light, we walk under the authority of Jesus! We walk under the power of Jesus! We walk under the grace of Jesus! We walk under the love of Jesus!

Do you walk in the light?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you belong to the body, or are you a virus?

March 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, need unity. Can a hand do any different than what the head asks of it? Jesus is our head, we are His body. We must do what the head does. Jesus is our example. All that we do should be in accordance with the will of the Father as expressed through Jesus.

The Church needs to unify and glorify God and Jesus Christ. We should not be bickering and fighting amongst ourselves. If the body is invaded by a virus, this virus is not welcomed, it is repelled because it will not do the body good. This is what must be done when the Body of Christ is invaded by dissention and false teachings. We must present a unified message to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Do you belong to the Body of Christ, or are you a virus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you prepared for His return?

March 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
(Matthew 16:27 (NIV))

How many times have you heard someone say that Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon, or, some have even said that He will not be coming back at all?

We know better than that. We have the promises that God has made to us as proof. Every promise that God has ever made to humanity has been kept in His time. Some are still waiting to be kept, but they will be kept. If you study the laws of probability, the odds of these promises fulfilling themselves is astronomical, especially when you consider that not one promise or prophecy has been wrong.

With that type of a track record, if I were a betting person, I would say that my money is on this promise being fulfilled. If that is the case, then how do you want to be rewarded for what you have done? Do you need to take a serious look at your actions and ask for forgiveness and guidance?

Remember that parable of the bridesmaids and their lamps. You never know when the groom will return, so be prepared in thought and action.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you have more than just the bread?

October 14, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.’ ”
(Luke 4:4 (NIV))

Let’s take another look at these words and how they effect our lives.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
(Matthew 26:26)

Jesus tells us that He is the bread that saves us from our sins.

For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
(John 6:33-35 (NIV))

If we do not live by bread alone, then is Jesus telling us that we need more in our lives than He can give us? He gave us grace and mercy. He gave us salvation. What else could we need?

We need daily guidance and communion with God!

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. The Holy Spirit indwells us and provides the daily “help” that Jesus knew that we would need. He comforts us in our time of troubles. He strengthens us in our time of need.

Do you have more than just the bread?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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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.
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What have you read today?

March 17, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives.
(Deuteronomy 17:19 (NLT))

We have been told to keep God’s Word in our hearts and in our lives since the beginning of creation. God’s Word has been classified into several different categories, one of which is the Law. The Law tells us how we are to live. We are to read it daily for we live our lives daily. We need the guidance that the Law provides to us.

Some people believe that because Jesus came to die for our sins, we are free from the Law. They believe that the grace and mercy that He brought keeps us from needing to live be the righteous statutes that it conveys. They feel that they can do whatever they want because they are forgiven; that they are covered by the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus, Himself, put this belief to a very sound resolution.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 (NIV))

Just because God’s Word may come from what we call the Old Testament does not mean that it is to be ignored because Jesus saved us from the Law. He did save us from the Law, but He did not save us to blatantly ignore the Law. We are to keep God’s commands because Jesus kept His commands. Jesus fulfilled every single one of them. We, as believers, are destined to be matured into the very image of Jesus. If He fulfilled them, then we should also.

What have you read today?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you know the ways of God?

October 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
(Psalms 139:1-4 (NIV))

How often we forget this little piece of wisdom!

We get ourselves into a situation and then we wonder why God is not there to get us out! He is never far from us. He will never leave us. What has happened is that we have done things in this life without asking for God’s guidance and wisdom. We do things without knowing God’s thoughts and ways.

He knows our thoughts and ways before they happen, yet, we seldom know God’s thoughts and ways even after He has tried to teach us a lesson through our actions. We need to discern His thoughts and ways much better than we do. We need to take the time to “Be still” before God and “know that he is God.” Once we come to this point in our life, then we will realize that we need to know God as well as He knows us. We must be able to tell what God desires of us in any situation that we may find ourselves.

Do you know the ways of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are your thoughts true and noble, right and pure in the eyes of God?

November 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise-worthy, think about such things.
(Philippians 4:8 (NIV))

What do you find yourself thinking about?

With the state of the world it is easy to find yourself thinking about such things as terrorism, warfare, hunger, school shootings, and just about any other so-called news worthy event that transpires. It seems that the world is no longer interested in anything that remotely resembles what is written of in Philippians 4:8.

Whatever happened to the good things that used to occur in this world?

They are still there. As long as the Body of Christ stands determined to not give in to the pressures and the sins of our world, then things that are true and noble will remain. The problem seems to be that we don’t spend enough time within God’s Word, which is the ultimate truth. We spend more time reflecting upon the wrongs of our society and not enough time searching God’s Word for ways to fix our society. I am guilty of this. News events upset me to no end, but I don’t stop and earnestly pray. I don’t seek God’s heart and wisdom as I should.

If I am not part of the solution, then I am part of the problem.

God has a plan for this world. He has a plan for you and I. In order for us to fulfill God’s perfect plan, we must learn to focus on His Will. We must learn to recognize that this world is not our home. It is a battlefield between the forces of God and the forces of the enemy. We must stay true to our calling. We must think about what God would have us to do. We must pray. We must listen for God’s still, small voice for guidance. We must not think of things that are detestable to God.

Are your thoughts true and noble, right and pure in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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