Do you have evidence to support your faith?

February 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

Do you have evidence to support your faith?

Faith is a strange thing. Many people believe in something and they call it faith, yet, at the least little hint of something not going as planned, they abandon everything.

Faith is not faith of it is easily abandoned!

I would actually consider this a wish and not faith.

People wish for something and then become disconcerted when their wish doesn’t come true.

Faith is a conviction! Faith is a choice. Faith requires a commitment above and beyond what makes sense. Faith requires a hope, a very strong hope, that all is not lost.

Do you have faith that when you take a breath, your lungs will be filled with air? We cannot see the air, yet, we rely upon it to survive. Do you have faith that all promises are yes through Christ Jesus? Can you see Jesus? Can you see His promises? It is the same as the air. We cannot see it, yet we know without a doubt that it is there, that it is as real as what we can see. Perhaps it is even more real, for it is not clouded by the fallen nature in which we live.

Faith is an amazing thing. Just a little can grow into something so big that it can provide shelter for those around it just as the mustard seed grows into a large tree that provides shelter.

Can you see faith?

Can you touch faith?

Can you see faith manifested in your life and in the lives of those around you?

Faith is a powerful force. When we have faith, we have an insight into God’s kingdom.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be prepared to take prisoners!

May 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

We must remember that the sinner is not our enemy, it is the sin!

When we are faced with troubles, they do not come from human hands, or at least not directly. They originate from the powers that we, as humanity, allowed into this world through Adam and Eve.

We know the outcome of the eventual victory, but we are still faced with the individual battles before then. The saying, “Take no prisoners” does not apply in this battle. We must “capture” as many of the enemy’s soldiers as we can and bring them to our side.

Each of us was lost at one point in our lives. Likewise, each of those that we struggle against is lost. We must remove the indoctrination that the enemy has filled them with and fill them with the love of Jesus Christ.

When you go into battle for the Lord, be prepared to take prisoners!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In faith, confidence and hope should be one and the same!

October 3, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NIV))

Love. We have been told to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Jesus replied: ” `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV))

Faith.

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

This only leaves “hope.”

The definition that most people rely upon is is a feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. To many in this world, hope is a childish whim, or it is a whim of the uneducated. Such a manifestation of hope results in people saying things like, “I hope I get a pony for Christmas,” or “I hope that I win the big lottery jackpot.”

It is no wonder that people who do not know the Biblical definition of hope will often look upon the Body of Christ as childish, immature and uneducated. I would think the very same if I did not know any different. Ironically, it is their lack of knowledge of this difference that may keep them from understanding, and may change their minds about the false labels that they so freely give away.

A widely held biblical definition of hope is not at all like the one that everyone thinks of. In biblical usage, according to bible.org, hope is an indication of certainty. It means a strong and confident expectation, and can also be thought of as trust and confidence.

In your understanding of your faith, which definition of hope do you rely upon? Do you approach your faith with the same “hope” as one in a million people trying to win the lottery, or do you confidently place your hope in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

I know that the non-believing world laughs at us when we say that we have hope. I pray that the Body of Christ will be able to redefine hope in the minds of these people so that they may know with confidence what we have hope in.

In faith, confidence and hope should be one and the same!

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know the difference?

August 16, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
(Titus 1:10-11 (NIV))

For the sake of dishonest gain.

When this was written, there was a big debate over whether Gentile believers must be circumsized. People were teaching false doctrine around this and led many people astrray.

Today, we have similar debates over many other things, such as denominations, prosperity, healings, speaking in tongues, and many more. Could we be in the same situation with these as was spoken of in Titus? Are we being deceived because someone is an eloquent speaker? Are we being led astray because someone is out to fill their bank account?

It is so easy to be led astray. It only takes a good sounding speach filled with quick references to things that we know catch our attention. Once we acknowledge that there is a spark of familiarity in what is being taught, we make an assumption that the speaker knows the material. It is with sadness that I fear this is where we fail to validate the message. We accept it as truth without testing it against God’s Word. We have the basic belief, but fail to verify eveything else.

Satan counts on this. His demons count on this. They know the truth.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
(James 2:19 (NIV))

They twist the truth.

They entice people to twist the truth.

Truth, once it is twisted, is no longer truth. It has become a deception.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

We must know the difference between truth and deception. We must be able to discern the lies of the enemy, even when they are shrouded in words that seem true.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:12-18 (NIV))

Do you know the difference?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to tell God that you decided to do it your way?

August 9, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
(Proverbs 16:25 (NIV))

“I did it my way” carries with it the idea of a self-made person who has achieved whatever they wanted in this life. What they achieved usually was done with great sacrifice and usually with some deeds that even humanity would consider wrong. The sacrifice is often applauded while the bad deeds are ignored. The end justifies the means.

Look at it from God’s perspective. Does the end justify the means? Does God applaud the sacrifices and ignore the sins?

The sacrifices that people make are all self-centered sacrifices and benefit only themselves. God desires for us to be sacrificing of ourselves for others, not for personal gain.

Sin cannot be overlooked! God cannot associate with sin. He desires for us to be righteous, yet, our own ways always lead us into sin. Remember that the wages of sin is death. In other words, all sin leads to death, or eternal separation from God. There is nothing that we, as humanity, can do in our own capacity that will lead us away from sin.

God knew this from the beginning.

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!

Think about this.

Human reasoning tells us that this sounds funny and is too simple of a solution. With that in mind, many of us find a way that seems right to us as a way to reach salvation. Again, humanity follows what they think is right, only to find that they are on the road to sin and death.

If you were on an Interstate and saw a sign that warned of traffic problems ahead, and you saw a sign showing an alternate route around the problems, most of us would take the alternate route. Why is it that spiritual matters do not follow the same “logic?” We would rather drive along heading straight into death instead of accepting the grace, mercy and love of God through Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your perspective?

August 5, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The angel of the LORD also said to her:
“You are now with child
and you will have a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the LORD has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
(Genesis 16:11-12 (NIV))

Do you know who the sons of Ishmael are?

Do you know who his brothers are?

Knowing the answers to these two questions puts a whole new light on the events of the world, for the sons of Ishmael are the Arab nations. His brother was Isaac. Isaac’s descendants are the children of Israel.

What does that do to your understanding of the way things have been unfolding in the Middle East? God foretold of the continuing and ever increasing troubles that the “brothers” have been having. Did God have this planned from the beginning of time? Perhaps He just took advantage of the mess that He knew humanity would make of things. Whatever happened in His planning, God knew exactly how things would unfold.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
(Isaiah 46:10 (NIV))

God does have it all planned out. Perhaps it is because He is not bound by time and space. He can move about freely in His creation. He sees all things at once no matter where they happen, and even no matter when they happen.

Knowing God’s Word puts a whole new and fresh perspective on the events of this world. Without God’s Word, everything looks random and chaotic. With God’s Word, everything has a purpose.

What is your perspective on worldly events?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be a tea pot!

August 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

This passage never gets old!

If you are like me, this passage brings great peace, hope and joy for it reassures us of our faith and where it is placed.

Yet, at the same time, it turns and brings sorrow in the midst of the joy. It turns our focus from our joy to the condemnation of those who have not believed in Jesus.

Do you know someone who has not accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? Perhaps they are a loved one or a friend, or perhaps a coworker. Now, ask yourself this simple question.

“How will it feel to never see them for all eternity?”

How will you feel if they are taken from us this very day, and you had not even mentioned Jesus to them? How will you feel if their salvation was your sole reason for living and you had failed? How will you feel if you hear another friend or family member saying, “No one had the nerve to bring up Jesus. Now it is too late.”

John 3:16 is an amazingly reassuring passage when it comes to our own salvation. But we have a tendency to stop there. Once again, we fail to look beyond our own circumstances. We fail to see the opportunities that God has placed right in front of us. Opportunities that could very well mean whether someone will spend eternity with God or eternal separation from God.

We must read beyond our own perspective. We must see the world through God’s eyes and not ours. We must realize that grace is a gift that is free to spread.

I once heard someone say that they were a vessel to catch God’s grace. They then went on to say that they did not wish to be a pot or jar, for these were used for collecting for a later time. They wanted to be a tea pot or a watering pot, for these collect and hold just long enough to pass it on to where it is needed.

Don’t be a jar. Be a tea pot so that the grace and blessings that have been given to you may flow out to all those around you. Make it your goal to share grace with all who will hear so that they will be saved from the condemnation that is to come for those who have not believed in Jesus.

Be a tea pot!

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