You just need to be willing to see!

June 13, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
(John 1:46 (NIV))

Humanity is so strange!

We are willing to travel half way around the world to see something in a major city because we think that is where the good things are. At the same time, we think that anything from a small, out of the way place can’t be any good. Why do we always think that bigger is better? Why does human nature have to elevate what is big and put down anything that is small in our perception?

If you stop to think about God’s plan, it makes perfect sense for Jesus to have come to humble beginnings and live in a small town. It was exactly opposite of what the world expected. It was a deliberate decision to not be who the world expected Him to be. God wanted to not appeal to the masses with glitz and glamour. He did not want the gift of salvation to be just another fad that was here today and gone tomorrow. He wanted people to seek and find something precious and not be bombarded with another societal hype.

He wanted to draw those who were willing to see the unexpected.

Have you seen the unexpected in Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there really anyone else that we can trust?

April 5, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
(Psalms 25:2 (NIV))

Trust is something that is not freely given. It is also something that is not freely earned! It only takes one misspoken word to completely shatter what it took years to build.

With that in mind, can you honestly say that you trust your friends or your family to never let you down? Can you honestly say that you will never let your friends or your family down? If you stop to think about it, we also let ourselves down on a daily basis. Do you realize that when we sin, when we miss the mark that God has set for us to hit, we let Him down!

Even though we may let Him down repeatedly, God will never let us down. David knew this and wrote about it. David knew where to place his trust.

Have you ever stopped to think about how you feel about someone after they have given you cause to not trust them? In your mind, they have become unreliable. I know that it is human nature to be unreliable at times, but do you realize that you have someone who is always reliable?

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 (NIV))

No matter what we have done. No matter how many times we have done it, and no matter how many times we come crawling back seeking forgiveness, the Lord is reliable. He is the only one whom we can trust at all times.

Is there really anyone else that we can trust?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you struggle with humility?

April 4, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:10 (NIV))

This is so hard to do in today’s world, especially when everybody seems to seek their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. If you don’t seek recognition, society tends to look down upon you, to think that you don’t matter. I hate to say this, but this type of thinking has even infiltrated our churches. We are guilty of judging our brothers and sisters in Christ through the eyes of the world. We get to the point where we look upon someone for what they can do for the particular congregation or even for ourselves. We even start to look for opportunities to elevate ourselves within our congregations so that we become the center of attention.

It is so difficult to be humble!

Humility is the act of being humble, of being not proud or arrogant. It is also categorized as having a spirit of deference or submission.

Submission ! There is that word that everybody seems to hate. It carries so much negative context that people feel that it is a derogatory and shameful state of being. I venture to say that we have misunderstood how we are to be humble before the Lord because of the negative context that society has placed upon the concept of humility and submission.

Do you believe that God has created you for a specific purpose and calling? Do you fully understand what that purpose and calling is? Just as a young child must earn the trust of his parents, we must earn the trust of God. A child does not receive the full inheritance from their parents immediately. God is the same way. He will not give us more than we can handle. He will not simply dump the full weight of our calling upon us before we are ready to receive it. Humility before God is simply recognizing His authority and waiting for His will to unfold. It places you firmly at the feet of God in a position open and receptive to whatever He may ask or give. This is not a sign of weakness as the world sees it. It is a sign of strength. It is a sign that the person who strives to be humble is not concerned with what the world may think. It is a sign that you have the strength to defy what the world claims we should be.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
(Matthew 6:24 (NIV))

Humbleness before the Lord is a sign to the world whom you choose to serve. What does your sign say?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If Jesus can humble Himself, why can’t we?

December 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:5-7 (NIV))

If you had been alive when Jesus was born, would you have expected the King of kings to have been born in such lowly conditions? God did. He knew that man and Satan had turned God’s order completely upside down. Man was looking for the Messiah to make a grand entrance in fitting style with all of the kings of the world.

God had other plans. God knew and wanted the world to know that a king should be willing to humble himself for his people. He showed this through the humblest of beginnings and through the life of Jesus. God sent Jesus to be King of kings, yet to be a servant, too.

Do you expect to be served or to serve.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we His people?

November 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

I know that I wrote about this passage just a few days ago, but, with the current state of affairs in this nation, I have been given a different understanding of this passage.

We keep saying that we are praying for this nation, but are we praying from our perspective or are we praying from God’s perspective? Are they the same? Should they be the same?

We, as the Body of Christ, in this nation, long to see repentance occur. We long to see hearts turn to Jesus. We long to see a return to Biblical values. Don’t misunderstand me. These things are good and we should pray for them, but are we being selfish in our prayers? There are numerous things that are going on in the world and in our nation that many people believe are the fulfillment of prophesies, with more to soon follow. Do our prayers for our nation line up with what God has planned? Are we praying for things that are contrary to God’s Will, for it is widely accepted that this country does not seem to be mentioned in God’s End Time events. Are we praying for our will or for God’s Will to be made manifest in this nation?

I realize that this is a tough concept to accept and to agree with. I earnestly ask that you pray for God’s Will to unfold and not our own selfish will. We, as humans, would love to see peace and prosperity during all the days of our lives, but we know that this may not happen. We do know that God will win in the end. What we do not know is our individual and collective actions between now and then. We, as the people who are called by God’s name, should make it a point to pray for His will to be done and not ours!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you truly able to be humble?

October 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:10 (NIV))

Humility is a trait that is difficult for most people. To be honest with you, it is humility, or the lack of it, that caused Satan to rebel against God. It has been the proverbial thorn in the side of humanity ever since. To humble oneself requires a complete submission of yourself to the point where you are not proud, haughty, arrogant or assertive. In other words, to be humble means that you do not elevate yourself in words or deeds, but you simply live your life knowing that you are no better than other people.

Think about that concept in the light of the truth it contains.

God created all of us through the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden. When Adam and Eve fell from grace, not a single one of us, their descendants, was spared from the consequences of that fall. We are all sinners. In the eyes of God, because of our sin, we are all the same. We are all equal. God loves each of us the same, yet, it is human nature to think that God loves us more than the next guy.

Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say that you think you are better than anyone else, or do you feel that nagging twinge of guilt when you honestly look deep inside?

I have asked this question before, and I will ask it again. What would your reaction be if, when you get to heaven, you find that Adolf Hitler had accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior? Would you rejoice, or would you refuse to enter because you know that you were better than him? Would your reaction be evidence of humility?

I want you to take a look at this passage from the point of view of the person who most scholars believe wrote it: James, the brother of Jesus. How would you react to the crowds gathering around your brother and ignoring you? How would you react to the miracles that Jesus performed when you can’t even begin to do anything like them? How would you react to the crucifixion? How would you react to the resurrection? Would there be feelings of hatred? Would there be a crushed ego? Would there be guilt and shame, and would there be rejoicing? I find it interesting that the passage that instructs us to humble ourselves was written by someone who, from a worldly point of view, would have had to struggle to actually do that.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you full of pride?

May 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
(Psalms 10:4 (NIV))

I have been accused of tooting my own horn before. I have also been accused of having an ego, as I know any and all humans have. Do you know the difference between these characteristics and an ungodly pride?

It is almost as if I can hear the thoughts as you read this. If you are like me, you try not to toot your own horn or let your ego get the better of you.

I have a few questions for you. Have you ever had to go on a job interview? If you have, then you have had to toot your own horn. You had to convince someone that you were the perfect person for the job. You had to tell them of all of your accomplishments. It is hard to do this without tooting your own horn. If you listen to yourself long enough, you start to believe what you say about yourself and then your ego gets in the way. Have you ever had that happen to you?

One more important question that I want you to think about.

When you toot your own horn or let your ego get in the way, do you still thank God for the talents and gifts that He has blessed you with? Do you do so with humility?

I pray that what we call the little things like tooting your own horn and showing a little bit of ego does not grow into something far worse. I pray that everyone who calls upon Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be able to acknowledge that all that they have in life are gifts from God the Father and not of their own creation. If anyone crosses that line, they stand a chance of growing into a wicked pride. This pride is what caused Satan to rebel. This pride rejects God and seeks to place itself above God.

It is my prayer that no one ever becomes so prideful that they reject God!

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