Are you on watch for bad fruit?

October 10, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
(Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV))

Think about this the next time that you hear of something that is just too good to be true, or is just a little off of what God’s Word says that it should be. Most of the time, lies are obvious, but deception is a trick of the enemy. When things sound almost right with respect to God’s word, they are totally wrong.

It should be easy for believers to realize that the “fruit” does not match the source. We should be able to easily distinguish that the things the enemy tells us are too good to be true, especially when they contradict everything that we should know to be true according to God’s Word.

Why do people fall for the deceptions of the enemy?

Are we, as a fallen, sinful race, too far removed from the truth to even recognize it?

The words in Matthew are amazing and sadly amusing if you stop to actually understand what is being said. We have enough common sense to not look for grapes on an apple tree, yet, we easily fall prey to the small lies of the enemy in hopes that the promises are true.

Test everything against God’s Word. If something is supposed to bear goodness, but it lies to do so, does it really follow God’s Word? If you are promised that it is only a small digression and no one will know about it, can it be the correct fit?

We have been told what the things of God will bear.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

Think of this passage when validating the truth about something. Does it produce according to the fruit of the Spirit?

Are you on watch for bad fruit?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that you need to be ready?

October 3, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
(Matthew 25:13 (NIV))

I have been reading testimonies and watching videos about visions that people have been having, and I honestly have to ask a very important question.

Are you ready?

Think about that for a moment in context with the fact that you can’t know the day or the hour. That means that you must be ready at any moment. Jesus could come next year, next week, tomorrow or at this very moment!

If Jesus called His church to Him at this very moment, would you be ready? Would you be gone in the twinkling of an eye, or would you be left behind?

Each day I see things happening that make me wonder what is going on and exactly where we are in God’s perfect timeline. Many people believe that things are lining up in such a way that could mean that the times foretold of in Daniel and in Revelation are about to happen. They also believe that the events that many people refer to as the Rapture are also able to occur soon because of the way things are lining up. Many of the experts are saying that for these events to line up again like they are lining up now is so unlikely that it is impossible to say if they ever would align like this again.

Israel is back in their land.

There are wars and rumors of wars. Terrorism is higher than ever.

The Temple is ready to be rebuilt.

All of the nations are turning against Israel.

Good is called evil and evil is called good.

There are more earthquakes than ever.

Faith in Jesus is ridiculed publicly.

These are but a few of the overviews of things that I see. I want to stress that I do not profess to know, but I can see the signs.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
(Luke 21:25-28 (NIV))

What do you see?

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’

October 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: `Watch!’ ”
(Mark 13:35-37 (NIV))

Who is the owner of your “house?”

If you have proclaimed that Jesus is your Savior, you are on the way to proclaiming that Jesus is the owner. If you have completely surrendered to His authority so that Jesus is Lord and Savior, then He is the owner of your house.

There is a difference!

Jesus wants to not only be our Savior, He longs to be our Lord.

If you stop to think about this and the history of humanity, you will realize that Adam and Eve surrendered the lordship of their lives, and ours, to Satan. It was a choice that they made. To truly trust in Jesus, we must make the same choice, but in reverse. We must surrender the lordship of our lives to the One who was sent to redeem us from the sin that was committed. That is how we make Jesus the owner of our house.

We know that Jesus will return for his own. We know that we are instructed to live our lives as if He would return at any moment. We are to be ready. We are to watch.

How are we to be ready? How are we to watch?

We are to live according to the words that Jesus taught. We are to proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are to share the Gospel. We are to live according to God’s Word, and we are to do as Jesus told us. We are to watch!

Are you watching?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready?

April 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV))

Are you ready?

If you know something is going to happen, you prepare for it. If you do not expect something to happen, you never prepare. It is human nature.

Now, as the Body of Christ, we should know beyond a doubt that what He has told us will come true. If we know that Jesus will return, we should be prepared for his return. We may not know the exact hour or day, but we know that He has promised that He will return.

If you have a loved one who has gone away for any length of time, you stand on the promise of that person returning when they say they will return. You prepare for that return. We place our faith and our trust in one who is sinful by nature. We place our faith and trust in a sinner to keep their promise. If we can trust in a sinner to keep their promise to return, how can we deny that He who was and is without sin will return as He promised? We prepare for the uncertain and ignore the certain!

With this perspective on Jesus’ return, are you ready? Will you find yourself bewildered and confused when everyone who is ready is taken? It is time to get ready by asking Jesus into your heart.

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we recognize God’s season?

September 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
(Mark 13:28-34 (NIV))

We are told that no one knows the day or hour, but we are also told that we will know the season.

What season are we in?

I recently saw a report that indicated that 77% of the church in the United States believes that we are seeing the signs of the season of the end times. All of the people who are biblical scholars that I keep track of are also saying the same thing. They recognize the season. Many say that the season started when Israel became a nation after almost two thousands yours of nonexistence.

I could spend hours going over the things that I have seen reported. Signs and wonders in the skies, good being called evil, the persecution of the Body of Christ in all parts of the world, the sudden arise of the problems in Syria, Israel completely surrounded by enemies, the increase in unexplained mass animal, bird and fish deaths, a religion that is intent on killing all who do not convert, and many more all coming down to a single point in time.

I recently read that some state governments are preparing disaster drills for the consequences of very large earthquakes. I realize that these types of reports can be considered “prepper” talk and can often be taken at face value, but why all of the sudden talk about such things and how to prepare for them?

No one knows about that day or hour.

Sometimes I think that we, as humanity, are blinded to what is going on around us. We are focused entirely on what influences our lives directly and ignore all else. What are we ignoring that we should be paying attention to?

Do we recognize God’s season?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world

March 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

I want to start this off a little differently than usual. I want to be up front and state that this is not political in any manner.

Now, I know that there is a saying that you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet. I firmly adhere to this saying. However, in the midst of things that are happening in this country and in the world, sometimes you have to consider alternate sources of information.

I have seen things that sound too far fetched to even consider to be true, yet, they do catch your attention. They catch your attention in the same way that the book of Revelation gets your attention. I am seeing warnings of foreign troops on US soil. I am seeing photos of UN tanks on US soil. I am hearing reports of financial collapses worldwide. I am seeing the stage being set for the antichrist to step in and, in the eyes of the world, save the day.

If any of this does happen, where would you place your trust? Where would you place your faith?

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV))

“and they knew nothing about what would happen”

Do you want to be one of the people who knew nothing about what will happen?

I know that we will not know the day or the hour, but we need to be prepared. Jesus may not return for another hundred years or he may return tonight. We don’t know when, but we do know that we are to be ready. We are to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. We are to fully place our trust in God as our refuge and our strength, for we are not capable of facing this world alone.

No matter when we may face troubles or how big those troubles may be, God is there. He is our refuge. He is our strength. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 john 4:4 (NIV))

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