We have so much to shout about!

April 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
(Revelation 19:6 (NIV))

What a wonderous and joyful sound that must be when a vast multitude proclaims the truth about God without any hesitation or compromise. They will not be ashamed of what they know to be true.

Am I getting carried away with the exuberance that this portrays? I don’t think so, because we should be doing this now. We should be shouting that our God reigns for He is Creator and Master of all things, and not just at some point in the future when we are told of this praise.

We are told that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. If that is the case and the glimpse we have into the future proclaims that our God reigns, then He has reigned in the past, and, more importantly, He reigns now. This is something worth shouting about. The God of the universe who reigns supreme has allowed us to enter into His presence through His grace and mercy.

We have so much to shout about!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Look at the gift that Jesus gave us!

December 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

No servant 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.
(Luke 16:13 (NIV))

Who or what do you serve?

It is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, yet, society has turned this celebration into a monetary event. The celebration of the gift of salvation and grace has been over-run by commercialism and the need to spend. Don’t get me wrong. Gift giving is good, for we give gifts to celebrate the greatest gift that we could ever be given. It is when we lose sight of what is truly being celebrated that we start to become enslaved to the monetary side of the celebration.

It is not the monetary cost of the gift that is important. Look at the gift that Jesus gave us. It’s monetary cost was nothing, yet, it was done out of love for God’s creation. Its true cost to Jesus was something that could not be measured in gold. It cost Him His physical life, yet, He gave freely of something that had not monetary value, yet was more costly than anything this world can throw at us. He did not serve money. He served God!

Remember this simple, yet profound truth at this time of the year. Money is not your lord and master. It cannot save you. It cannot bring true happiness. It cannot bring eternal life.

What is your perspective?

What do you value?

Who do you serve?

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for His return?

September 23, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(Luke 12:35-40 (NIV))

Is Jesus your Lord and master?

Are you ready for His return?

Will He find you prepared and looking for His return?

Things are happening in the world today that appear to be very prominent signs that the season is rapidly approaching when Jesus will return. Are we prepared for His arrival? Will He find us diligent in our faith and living as He taught?

Will we be ready or will we be caught off guard?

The parable that we are told in Luke shows servants who have been assigned the responsibility to keep watch over the house. The gates or doors were locked and the servants who stood watch had the responsibility of alerting the whole household if trouble came or if an important event happened. The return of the master of the house was such an event. It was their responsibility to keep watch for him and to let him in when he arrived.

Are we keeping watch for Jesus?

Will we be ready to let Him in when He arrives?

We do not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season. I pray that the Body of Christ will look beyond their circle of influence and seek to learn what is going on throughout our country and the world. There are things happening that will send you to your knees. We do not have an exclusive claim to Christianity in this country. The Body of Christ is worldwide. The Body of Christ is being persecuted worldwide. Members of the Body of Christ are losing their lives simply because they profess a faith in Jesus.

Are you ready to stand watch? Are you ready to profess Jesus?

Are you ready for His return?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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A den of robbers?

November 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” `My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a `den of robbers.’ ”
(Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV))

Are we any less guilty than the money changers and those selling doves within the temple?

You may ask how can I ask this question? No one actually sells anything within my church. We don’t exchange money and charge a fee. We go to worship!

What I am talking about is not within the church walls. Rather, we have allowed something within our society that reminds me of the money changers and those selling doves. It is not directly related to our church buildings, but it is directly related to the very reason that we have our churches.

I think that this can be clarified by one simple question.

How do you think that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit view the commercialization of the day that we set aside to celebrate the physical birth of Jesus as our redeeming Lord and Savior?

Our society has slowly bought into the idea that Christmas is about buying the latest and greatest things, and we have slowly turned away from even mentioning Jesus or saying Merry Christmas. Too many people simply say happy holidays.

I know that I have said this before, but I feel that it bears retelling. Our tradition of wishing someone a Merry Christmas has a history that many do not know. The word “merry” in old English meant something much different than we think of it today. The use of this word in its original greeting actually had a meaning that is closer to the word “mighty.” The word “Christmas” was actually two words – Christ mass – a church celebration of the birth of Jesus. So, in essence, the saying “Merry Christmas” was a wish that the recipient of the saying would have a mighty and powerful celebration of the birth of Jesus, or a “Mighty Christ Mass.”

Sadly, the only mighty experience that many people have is the retail race that has become like a feeding frenzy before Christmas.

Have we allowed the money changers and those selling to rob us of the true celebration? Have we allowed the focus to be placed on retail sales instead of Jesus? What have we allowed to happen to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior?

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

November 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

No one can serve two masters; for 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 God and mammon.
(Matthew 6:24 (RSV))

No one can serve two masters!

Who is it that you serve?

Many people find that they really are self-serving. Everything that they do is for their own benefit in one way or another. Most of this benefit is for some type of personal gain. Some gain is wealth. Some of the benefit is gaining the love or respect of someone else. No matter what the gain, too many people do things out of a selfishness and a lust to obtain something more.

Perhaps mammon is not “money” in the sense that we have always been told. Perhaps it is any selfish gain. Money is simply the most obvious thing that people strive to gain. Perhaps mammon is simply anything that causes us to have greed and lust for that object.

All throughout history, people have striven to obtain money and power. Greed for money and lust for power are powerful drives that have the ability to control just about all of us if we do not focus on who our master truly is.

Just who is that master?

Another word for master is lord. Who is your lord? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then Jesus is your master. When someone is your master, you do what they instruct. Do you do what Jesus instructs you to do, or do you listen to the greed and lust caused by mammon?

Who is your master?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you look for and what do you seek?

October 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.
(Mark 8:13 (RSV))

Do you seek signs from God?

In the days of Jesus, people wanted miraculous signs. They wanted something so grand that they would have no doubt about the origination of the sign. To be honest with you, I would not mind seeing such a sign myself !

The words of Jesus ring in my ears when I think that a sign would be great. They remind me that Jesus came not to bring people into salvation because it was an obvious choice from the physical perspective, but because they had the faith to believe. It is easy to believe when you see miraculous signs. Where is the faith in this? Faith requires much more. It requires believing in what you cannot see.

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

If Jesus had given that generation miraculous signs, how long would they have believed? It may have lasted a few days, or even months, but, just like the Israelites in the desert, they would have begun to grumble and their faith would have faltered.

God wants us to have faith in Him.

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
(Zechariah 4:6b (NIV))

God wants us to know Him on a personal level, not on a level of might and power. The generation that Jesus spoke to was looking for the might and power when He was offering them the Lamb and the Spirit. They missed the greatest gift of all time simply because they had preconceived ideas of what to look for.

What do you look for in Jesus? What do you seek from Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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He IS King of kings and Lord of lords.

October 19, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD–

and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
(Isaiah 11:1-4 (NIV))

Everyone has a picture of Jesus in their mind as the good shepherd, the one who will sacrifice himself for the good of the flock. How many people think of Jesus as the righteous ruler who is to come?

These two images are of the same Jesus. Even among believers, many only think of Jesus as the good shepherd, and not as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Even though the Bible speaks of Jesus in this capacity, it is hard to imagine this aspect of Jesus. All of the imagery that we have seen of Jesus portrays Him as the good shepherd in some form or fashion: either carrying a lost lamb or sacrificing himself on the cross for us. There is no visual imagery that really portrays Jesus in the role of King of kings.

The descriptions that we have of Jesus in this role are not easy for us to visualize, yet they are the true nature of Jesus. He IS King of kings and Lord of lords.

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