Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

June 18, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
(Proverbs 1:8 (NIV))

I am afraid that we have become a society were the parents look to the children for answers. Too many parents allow the children to make the decisions for themselves and sometimes even for the whole family. We, as parents, have become afraid of losing our children’s friendship. As a result, we lose our children and the roles get reversed.

Society has become too permissive with respect to allowing things to get out of hand. We no longer teach our children right from wrong. We live in a society that tells us there is no absolute truth, so consequently, there is no absolute right and wrong. Truth is relative. What is correct in one situation may not be the correct thing to do in another situation. We no longer have a moral compass by which we can steer our lives. It is permissible to do anything as long as no one gets hurt. I want to know who is responsible for this idiotic idea.

All throughout the Bible we are taught that there is a way that we should live. If we don’t live in that manner, then we sin. We miss the mark that God has set before us. Sin is not only the actions that hurt others. Sin is also the private acts that only scar the individual. Sin never leaves anything as flawless and pristine as before it occurred.

I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that we, as a society, have stopped trying to reach that higher standard. We no longer desire to better ourselves in the eyes of God. We have not only stopped striving for God’s standard, in far too many cases, we have turned one hundred and eighty degrees in the opposite direction. How can we face ourselves? How can we face God? We have allowed leniency to take the place of love. We have allowed permissiveness to take the place of instruction. We have allowed rebellion to take the place of respect.

We, as a nation, need to return to the basic principles that God has given us. Here is where we can start.

Train a child in the way he should go,
    and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you listening?

May 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(Revelation 3:13 (NIV))

God desires something from us. Each of us is called to a certain task in our walk with Him. That task may take on varying forms depending on what God has called us to do, yet, each of us has, in essence, the same task. We are to listen and obey.

John was given these words, and many more like it, in what is spoken to each of the seven churches. These words compel us to listen and obey the Word of God. We are to listen and take to heart the instructions that are given to us. Each of the seven churches was given specific instructions on how to correct their walk with God, for no one is capable of walking in perfect righteousness. It is whether and how we accept this correction that decides how well we “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Are you listening?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It only takes one person who has found favor with God!

February 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
(Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV))

This passage sets the stage for the story of Noah and the ark.

We know that humanity had turned to complete wickedness and that God grieved for the sins of His creation. He grieved so much, that He was ready to destroy the cause of His grief.

So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6:7-8 (NIV))

Noah found favor in the eyes of God!

For the sake of one man, God did not destroy all of creation. For the sake of one man, God saved humanity for a future.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I am only one person. What can I do?”

Perhaps you have said it yourself.

How many times has God worked through one person? Every single story that we have from the Old Testament and the New Testament all start with when God calls a single individual to follow Him. It does not take a committee. It does not take a unanimous vote by a church council. It simply takes a single individual who is willing to be still before God and to hear His voice. Noah was not approached by a church building committee. He was approached by God! It only requires a willingness on our part to hear and be receptive to what we hear. Perhaps this is why Noah found favor in the eyes of God. Noah was receptive to God!.

Would you find favor in the eyes of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

August 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.
(Exodus 7:16 (NIV))

Have you ever wondered what happens to people when they don’t listen to God?

Ask Pharaoh.

He and his country endured plagues, locusts, and a river of blood because Pharaoh refused to listen to God. God eventually got his attention, but it cost Pharaoh and his country a tremendous toll. It cost them their first-born sons.

God doesn’t always work like this. He started off with smaller miracles, but Pharaoh was not inclined to listen. God racheted up the intensity of the miracles, yet, Pharaoh still would not listen.

Are we like Pharaoh? Do we ignore God when He desires to get our attention with His still, small voice? Does He have to rachet up the visibility a bit when we ignore Him? If we are not careful, our circumstances get to the point where we ask God how it could have gotten so bad. Isn’t it interesting that we blame God for making things bad when, all along, He was trying to get our attention so that He could lead us out of where we were heading?

We will never know what would have happened to Pharaoh and to Egypt if the Pharaoh had softened his heart and listened to God. We do have the opportunity to know what will happen in our lives if we will only listen to that still, small voice when He is trying to guide us through and away from our hard times.

Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Listen for God. Listen to God.

June 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
(Colossians 2:8 (NIV))

Remember that the world was turned over to Satan and all things of the world are his. This includes human tradition, false religions and many of the things that we take for granted as routine. With this in mind, it can be easy to be deceived. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and follow His tradition of doing only what the Father does.

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me
(John 6:38)

Jesus did only what the Father instructed him to do. We should keep this in mind when we go into the world for our daily lives and routines.

Listen for God. Listen to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is power and majesty in what we hear

May 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
(Psalms 29:4 – 20:4 (NIV))

I needed to read this today.

Do you ever have days when it seems that the world is drowning out God’s voice and you can’t hear Him at all? All you can hear is the noise and distractions of the world and nothing will make it go away.

We all face days like this. We all have times when we wonder if what we are doing even makes a difference to anyone. We all have times when it feels like our walk of faith is going nowhere fast.

It is in these times when we need to listen for that still, small voice. It is in these times that God’s power and majesty will find their way into our lives if we will only surrender.

Surrender!

That is a nasty word to many people, myself included.

In my humanity, I would rather boldly move forward with my own agenda instead of surrendering to the plans of someone else. How many of you can relate to this?

Fortunately, we don’t have to face the world with just our humanity. We can face it with the assurance that God has a purpose for our lives. We can face it knowing that the world will try to keep us from that purpose. We can rejoice in the fact that Jesus will not abandon us even when we are in the midst of the problems the world sends our way.

The voice of the Lord is powerful. It will steer you away from sin. The voice of the Lord is majestic. It will guide you to salvation.

Even when we listen for God’s still, small voice, there is power and majesty in what we hear!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is God saying to you?

April 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.
(2 Chronicles 33:10-13 (NIV))

Are you stubborn? Has God been trying to get your attention and you ignore Him? Carefully consider Manasseh and what he endured because he paid no attention to God. Manasseh may be an extreme example, for he had a whole nation that he was responsible for. Yet, Manasseh may not be a bad example to consider.

God had a calling on his life that also effected countless others. God did what He had to do in order to get Manasseh to follow Him. Manasseh was bound and led around by a hook in his nose. He realized his dilemma and called out to God. He called out to the very one he had been trying to ignore. God arranged for Manasseh to return to his kingdom.

If God has a calling upon our life, He will get our attention. You may be able to run for a while, but He knows where you are. Don’t be like Manasseh and be led through serious troubles before you come to your senses. Allow God to work within you. Don’t be afraid that you can’t do what He is calling you to do. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.

What is God saying to you? Are you listening?

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