Isn’t it time to seek the Lord and His help?

March 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I lift up my eyes to the hills–
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV))

Where do you turn to when you are in need of help?

Perhaps I should simply ask, “Where do you turn?”

People are strange when it comes to where they place there trust, where they turn in times of trouble and where they turn in times of joy.

For many people, they have different answers to each option. Some will turn to a best friend, some will turn to alcohol or drugs, and some will simply turn inward. Some people will turn to the same thing no matter what the circumstances. It is the very heart of these people that causes them to seek comfort in a single solution. They will turn to it when they are seeking trust. They will turn to it when they are in trouble, and they will turn to it in times of joy. Alcohol is a good example of this kind of comfort and help.

Have you stopped to think that there is another single source that is there no matter what you may face. This source of comfort will never let you down. It will never turn on you. It will never leave you lonely.

It is a strong person of faith who turns to the Lord in all instances. Many people will turn to the Lord only in times of trouble trying to make a deal. They are the very same people who ignore the Lord when things are good. God is not a magic genii who is there only for your troubles and hard times. He is there for all times – good, bad and in-between.

Think about that for a moment while I ask another question or two.

I want you to think of your best friend. Have they ever abandoned you in times of trouble? Have they been there to help you rejoice when things are good?

A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 (NIV))

There is someone who will always be there. He will always help. He will always rejoice. He will always guide, and He will always love.

Isn’t it time to seek the Lord and His help?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Like learning to ride a bicycle

March 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Yes, your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NLT))

Samuel had something that most people do not have. Can you figure out what that something was?

Samuel had someone who was experienced at hearing God!

Eli gave Samuel the benefit of his experience and helped Samuel realize that God was calling. How many of us are called by God only to miss the calling. We do not realize that it was the Lord who called? Perhaps this is why we need to establish a relationship with a mentor; someone who is more mature in the ways of the Lord. This mentor will guide us and provide a confirmation to what God is speaking.

Have you ever heard that if it is truly God, then He will provide confirmation. Sometimes it will come from complete strangers, but He will provide it. The confirmation is not the problem, for once we learn to hear God, then it is easier to accept His commands. What is difficult is learning to hear and recognize Him to begin with. Perhaps this requires someone with experience to assist us to recognize Him. Perhaps it takes adherence to Psalms 46:10 (Be still, and know that I am God.). Perhaps it takes more commitment than we can initially do on our own.

Let’s face facts. When you first learned to ride a bicycle, you needed help. You needed support. Once you discovered the secrets to riding, you started to solo. You eventually became proficient at riding. You no longer need that support.

I would venture to say that learning to hear God also requires some initial support.

Do you have your support? Do you have an Eli, or perhaps you have learned to “solo?”

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

September 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that no one could possibly understand what you are going through?

Do you ever feel that the weight of this world is just too much for you to bear? Do you feel that you are completely alone and have no where to turn?

I am sure that we have all felt like that at some point in our lives. We just can’t seem to find anything that offers us any hope at all. All too true, if we only look upon our situations with worldly vision. Fortunately, we have another way to look at things. We can look with faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Jesus has been where we are. He understands how you feel. He has faced the very temptations that we face. He has faced the very struggles that we face. We can lean on His strength when we are weak. We can rely on His love when we feel unloved. We can rely on His truth when all around us is a lie. We can rely on His grace and mercy even when we feel that we do not deserve it.

We can approach anything with confidence if we fully rely on Jesus. He may not keep us from the trials and tribulations, but He will see us through them if we only have faith. Too many times, people forget that He never leaves us, and they leave Him when things go bad. They try to face the trials and tribulations relying on their own strength and not the strength of the one who is with them.

The next time that you feel that you are facing life’s trials and tribulations on your own, remember that Jesus has been there. Remember that He is with you. Remember that His strength will carry you through our weaknesses.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your weakness is God’s strength

June 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV))

Paul hungered to know God.

He was probably the single most influential person, besides Jesus, in spreading the Gospel. Yet, throughout all of his seeking, he was afflicted with what some believe to have been seizures. He prayed to have this affliction lifted from him, yet, God’s answer was one that we would have not liked in our own lives.

We must remember that it is through our weaknesses that God is glorified. If we are capable of doing things on our own, then people do not see God in these actions. People see God when they see things accomplished that are beyond the capabilities of the person involved.

It is a fine line that we must try to walk when we pray for an affliction to be lifted from us. Our earthly person wishes to be in comfort and without pain and fear. The spiritual side of life requires these to be present in our lives in order that we grow and learn. If we are to be effective vessels for Christ, then we must be willing to live with weakness so that our actions glorify God and not ourselves.

The same thing applies to others, also. We must pray for God’s Will in their lives, for it is through God’s Will that others will come to Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Music

February 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord, and I obey your law because of this.
(Psalms 119:54-55 (NLT))

How do we use music today?

It entertains us. It fills our minds and our hearts with visions of something different than what we know. It is an expression of the longings of our soul. It comforts us when we are sad. It encourages us when we are in need.

Think about the role that music plays in your life.

Now, think about how David spent the early years of his life. He grew up as a shepherd, which meant long lonely days and nights with no one around him. When he became older, he had to run for his life from King Saul. He spent many years in camps and in caves. He was away from the things that would have been popular in his life. He had to fill his mind and heart with something. He chose God’s Word and communion with God to fill the longings of his soul. David chose God’s Word to comfort him when he was sad. He chose God’s Word to encourage him when he was in need.

We have so many things in our lives, yet, I often feel that we are spiritually bankrupt because we use these things as distractions. We use them to fill the void that God desires for us to fill with Him.

David chose to fill his heart and mind with the Word of God, instead of the music of the world. Today, we read of the songs that David wrote as a result of his reflection. Would we read of David’s exploits and his devotion to God if he had chosen something else to be his “music ?”

What is your music that you reflect upon?

Like the music of David, will others know of it as well?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Burdens

February 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 (NIV))

The body of believers is not to go through this world in a vacuum, with no interaction with other members of the body. We are to lift each other up. We are to support each other. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to each other as well as to those who are not part of the body of believers.

Can the feet stop carrying the arms? Can the hands stop feeding the stomach? Can the eyes stop guiding the legs? Just as the physical parts of our bodies rely on other parts of our own bodies, the Body of Christ relies on each member to be the best that it can be. If we stumble in our faith, then we hurt those who rely on our strengths to keep them in line. If we completely abandon our faith, we leave holes that have a very drastic impact on those left on their edges.

Consider our physical jobs. Each of us has a certain responsibility where we are employed. If we do not perform that responsibility, then others feel the impact. They either must assume duties that they may not be ready to assume, or the duties are left unattended. Imagine what would happen in a business if that were to happen without anything being done to correct it. Imagine what would happen in our physical bodies if your heart decided it was no longer going to provide blood to the rest of the body.

What roles do you play in your walk of faith? Do you give encouragement to others? Do you pray for those around you? Are you always available to give godly counsel? Are you willing to give someone your last dollar so that they will not go hungry? Do you step up and fill a void in your church and in your family? Each of us impact countless lives around us. We are responsible to more than just ourselves. We do not exist to simply rely on others. We are responsible to each other to be a supportive member of the Body of Christ.

Are you a vital and supportive member of the Body of Christ? What is God calling you to do in order to help carry the burdens of others?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Refuge and strength

January 17, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalms 46:1 (NIV))

Today’s world seems to be spiraling ever downward away from God’s Will. The events of the last several years seem to be leading us into the wars and rumors of wars that are written of in Matthew 24:6.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:6-8 (NIV))

I may be naive, but I don’t remember a period in my lifetime that seemed so much on edge. I know that all throughout history, there have been periods where all seemed to be turmoil.

No matter what the world may have in store for us, we must remember that God is truly our refuge. He is Creator. He is Lord of all. He is our Father. He is our hope.

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

God is our refuge. He longs to have us draw close to Him. If we will only turn away from our sin and turn toward Him, He is our strength. He is an ever-present help in trouble. No matter what the world may send our way, we have the faith and assurance that God is there.

Is God your refuge and strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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