We all need to lean on God’s understanding!

January 10, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

Do you like to be the master of your own destiny?

Are you the type of person who has to fix all of the problems?

Do you think of yourself as self-sufficient in all that you do?

These are all traits that our society has instilled in us as traits to be admired. We have been conditioned to look upon people who look to someone else for support as weak and less than worthy of success. We have been conditioned to respond to any problem in such a manner that we think that we can do anything. We have to be able to solve anything that we face all on our own wisdom and insight. This is expected even when we literally know absolutely nothing about what we are facing.

Take a long and serious look at your life.

What if you lost everyone that you love in an accident? What if you had to face what Job faced? Could you find the strength to continue based on your own understanding? Could you truly say that you could fix this problem?

Human life is frail. We are not designed by God to lean on our own understanding. We were created to be in constant communication with God. When this constant communication ended because of the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, we lost our “Father” with whom we could talk and confide in. We lost that intimacy that allows us to lean on God. Ever since then, we have been trying to say to God that we don’t need Him. Just like a two year old who thinks he is a big boy, our desires are saying that we can do it, but the results are saying that we need God.

Do you want to do it, or do you lean on God?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you living in Godly righteousness?

January 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-24 (NIV))

We cannot be saved by law. The law only points out our shortcomings. We cannot be saved by any actions that we may deem worthy of our own salvation. There is only one way for someone to be saved.

Jesus was sent after many years of living under the law. Not a single person was found who was able to live a completely sinless and righteous life according to the law. We needed another way to come to God. He had to come to us so that we could have a way to come to Him. Only God was able to live completely according to the law. The law is perfect. Humanity, in our sinful state since the Garden of Eden, was far from perfect. In order for imperfection to acheive perfection, God had to intervene. Through His intervention, we now have a perfect way to God.

Only through Jesus Christ, His Son, can we approach the throne of God in complete righteousness. Only through the righteousness of Jesus can we be made righteous.

Are you living a failed righteousness through the law, or are you living a mercy based righteouseness through Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your continuity in life?

January 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

Do you like continuity in your life?

Is there anything that has been in your life for a long time that is the exact same as it was when it first became a part of your life?

If you are like me, well, actually, if you are like every other person who has ever lived, nothing ever stays the same. You make friends, lose friends, grow up, move on, get married, have children who then proceed to grow up and move on, get married and have children who then . . .

What is it about continuity that we, as human beings, like so much? Is it the reliability that we like? Is it the fact that we like a constant point of reference? Could it be that we like the assurance of knowing that something or someone will always be there no matter what the circumstances may be?

When I read that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever, I like the assurance that He is my rock. He is my foundation upon which I can build my life. It is this foundation that gives me the freedom to live life without fear and without uncertainty. I am grounded firmly in the promises that God has fulfilled through Jesus! I stand firm on my faith in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, and I embrace the destiny that is mine through the gift of God’s grace through Jesus!

Any day is a good day to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Any day is a good day to walk with Jesus. Any day is a good day to repent and return to Jesus. In this new year, I pray that we all examine our lives and assess where we are in our relationship with Jesus. If we find that things are not as they should be, or as they were, keep in mind that it is we who have changed and not Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who am I?

December 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
(Exodus 3:11 (NIV))

Who am I?

Have you ever said these words or thought these words? If you have, then you have not been the only one. You are in some pretty good company, for these very words were uttered by Moses and they were uttered by David.

Think about that last statement.

Two of the greatest heroes of the Bible have said the very words that you have said, and they said them to God! They were no different than you and I. They had human feelings and faults. They doubted their own worth in the eyes of God. They doubted that God could ever use them for His purposes.

Does any of that sound familiar?

It sounds human!

We have all experienced these very same feelings, yet having and expressing these feelings does not mean that God is giving up on you. It just means that He is still leading you to the place where He wants you to be. These words are only the end if we start to believe that we are of no use and importance to God.

I want to challenge everyone as we approach the beginning of another new year. I want to challenge each and everyone who reads this to realize that God has a plan for us. I want you to realize that the next time that you start to feel like you are of no use and you utter the words, “Who am I,” I want you to remember that you are the person that God sent His Only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for. If God has called you to do something, remember who calls you. He will not call you for something that He plans to be a failure!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you need to give up?

November 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
(Matthew 18:7-9 (NIV))

This is far different from the “If it feels good, do it” mentality that is so prevalent in the world today. The sad thing about this mentality is that it doesn’t recognize, or even care, that it is pushing sin as the preferred choice.

Do we, as the Body of Christ, admit that sin has crept into our lives or do we sit back and look at everyone else as the sinful ones? Have we become overwhelmed by the world that we fail to recognize what is sin and what is not? Are we able to not only recognize sin when it enters into our lives, but are we able to take the drastic actions that are needed to remove the sin from our lives?

I can still hear the old saying, “If everybody else jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?”

Why are we, as humanity, so blinded to the sinful nature of our actions, even when we long to be righteous in the eyes of God? Why do we justify ourselves by saying that at least we are not as bad as someone else?

In the eyes of God, sin is sin. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Thankfully, God has provided a way for us to redeem ourselves. He knows that we can’t do it on our own. That way is through the atoning blood of His Son, Jesus. Sadly, too many people look upon this as a free ride to do whatever they want. It does not work that way!

We are to take drastic action!

We are to repent. We are to change our lives. We are to follow Jesus. We are to turn away from our sin. We are to leave our sin behind us. For some, that may mean ending friendships. For others, that may mean changing jobs, and still, for others, that may mean so much more.

We are to give up the things of this world when we follow Jesus.

What do you need to give up?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Weakness or strength?

February 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 12:9-10 (NIV))

Do you ever feel weak?

Do you like that feeling? Do you want to feel that way? Do you like to be thought of as being weak?

If you are like me, and probably all of the rest of humanity, you like to feel like you have everything under control. You like to feel like you are in charge and capable of handling whatever is thrown your way.

Do you realize that it is this very nature that has convicted us of sin. It is pride! It is the very same thing that brought Satan down. It is the attitude that we can take care of ourselves and that we don’t need anyone to help us that too many people never get over. It is this very thing that causes too many people to never seek salvation, grace and mercy.

I admit that I am weak.

I admit that I can’t do it on my own, even though there are times that I may come across as strong. Perhaps I should change that from strength to arrogance.

What is human strength in the grand scheme of things? Can it bring salvation? can it bring peace? Can it bring joy? Our understanding of strength will not bring any of these things. Our understanding of strength is a false facade that we hide behind in hopes that no one will see our true selves.

Only through surrendering to Jesus allows us to be strong, for we acknowledge our weakness and embrace His strength.

What do you embrace?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your opinion of yourself?

January 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.
(Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NIV))

I realize that this passage probably has many people cringing because it brings them back to reality, and not the reality that they see in the mirror.

Contrary to what many people think of themselves, no one is perfect. Sadly, the world thinks that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are supposed to be perfect. We get judged by a standard that no one can uphold. We get judged because we realize the condition of our existence. We get judged because we realize we need a Savior.

There is a saying that Christians are not perfect, but we are forgiven.

What makes us able to claim this for ourselves? What makes anyone able to claim this in their lives?

All it takes is a simple profession of faith. We simply have to accept the grace that has freely been given to us. We simply have to admit that we are in need of saving. We simply have to profess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

We cannot bring ourselves grace. We cannot bring ourselves salvation. There is nothing that we can do to earn it. All we can do is acknowledge that we need it and graciously accept God’s gift.

Righteousness is not attainable through our own efforts. It is only attainable as a gift!

Are you righteous?

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