Have you learned the secret that Paul wrote of?

September 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
(Philippians 4:12 (NIV))

Nothing is certain in this life. We will all face ups and downs. Money cannot guarantee a happy and a comfortable life. Power and prestige will not. Fame will only result in being forgotten. Some days will simply seem like they last forever and it will all be due to your circumstances.

Far too many people believe that when you accept Jesus as your Savior, all things will miraculously become perfect. In fact, the biggest obstacle that the body of believers known as the church faces is the fact that we are not perfect . Things don’t always go the way we want them to. In fact, the non-believing world watches and waits for us to have the bad times. They watch to see how we react. When we react the same way that they would, they claim that Jesus could not be who He says He is because He has not made a difference.

Paul knew better. He knew that Jesus makes a difference. In all the troubles that he faced, Paul knew where his strength came from. He knew where his happiness came from. His strength was not in his abilities. His happiness was not in his circumstances. Paul drew his strength and his happiness from Jesus. Paul faced many circumstances in his life that we can only read about, many of which would have caused us to simply give up. No matter what he faced, Paul did not swerve in his faith. He kept his eyes upon Jesus. When you are earnestly seeking a prize, you are willing to go through anything because that prize is of great value. You may go through circumstances that are tough, but you do not stop seeking the prize. You realize that your circumstances are temporary and you keep striving. You keep focusing on that prize. Jesus is the greatest prize. He gives us eternal life. He gives us hope. He gives us peace.

What is it that Paul relied upon to stay content in any and every situation? Have you learned the secret that Paul wrote of?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What is your idol? What is your sin?

May 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(Exodus 20:4-6 (NIV))

Did you ever have a car that you were protective of? Did you ever play a sport in high school and thought that you could not live if you didn’t play? Did you ever have a musical instrument that meant everything in the world to you? What about your spouse? Your children? Any of these could be idols if you get your priorities wrong.

An idol does not have to be a statue of someone or something that represents a false god. An idol could be something that takes the place of God. Money, possessions, a car, a big house, any of these can be an idol. In today’s society, it is common for people to focus on an idol. Even if this is a “small” idol, it is a sin.

Sin is anything that separates us form God. Idols block our focus and our relationship with God. Have you removed all of your idols from your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


How do you look upon God and His gifts?

April 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
(Acts 8:18-24 (NIV))

Does Simon sound like anyone that you know?

Far too many people think that God can be “bought” just like a valuable item in a store. God and His grace are not for sale! They are the most precious item that you can possess, but they are not yours for any amount of money. God gives of Himself freely to any and all who simply ask with sincerity and honesty. In fact, God gave of Himself so freely that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. This salvation is priceless, yet it is free!

Do not be ensnared by those who try to put a monetary amount on God. He does not value things that way that humanity values things. All of the worldly wealth will fade into dust, yet, the things of God are eternal. Do not attempt to gain the eternal through the worldly.

How do you look upon God and His gifts?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Where do you seek your refuge?

June 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
(Psalms 118:8-9 (NIV))

It seems like the world is looking for someone to save us from all of the issues that we now face, and we do face countless issues that seem to be ever increasing.

The world is facing economic uncertainty. Many regions are facing political uncertainty. The whole world is facing escalated violence due to race, religion, crime, and sheer evil. In this country, we are facing issues that seem to be polarizing us as a nation. We are choosing sides due to various different reasons and nobody is willing to meet in the middle and discuss the differences. We are placing our trust in men instead of relying on God for guidance. And, in the process, we are destroying ourselves.

We need to turn to God. We need to place our trust in Him.

Man will fail.

Take a look at the history of humanity.

We failed miserably in the Garden of Eden. We turned to murder within one generation. We were so sinful, that God chose to start over through one man, Noah, and his family. We tried to elevate ourselves to God at the tower of Babel. We kill each other over money and power. We will kill each other over religion. We will kill each other over race. It was God’s plan, carried out by human hands, to have His Son, Jesus, die for our sins.

No human is perfect. No prince of this world can save us. In fact, the Bible refers to Satan as the prince of the air. We turned over authority to him in the Garden of Eden. Satan cannot save us. Man cannot save us, no matter how the media may spin it.

Don’t trust the spin. Don’t trust the princes. Don’t trust the men who claim to know how to save us.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalm 20:7 (NIV))

Where do you place your trust?

Where do you seek your refuge?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What money cannot buy!

February 20, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV))

In today’s society, it is socially acceptable to love money. All day we are bombarded by evidence of this. Big houses, expensive cars, expensive toys. All of society is money driven. It is easy to say that we do not love money, but see how long you last without the luxuries that money brings. Even in this money crazed world, the most precious thing that we can possess is one that comes free. All we have to do is ask for it. What is this thing?

Salvation.

God knew from the beginning that we would be absorbed in money. The world belongs to Satan at this point, and Satan is pushing a lie. God works contrary to the way the world works. It is for this reason that Salvation is free. Even before Jesus came, God had it planned.

For this is what the LORD says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and without money you will be redeemed.”
(Isaiah 53:3)

Salvation is not something that we can buy or earn, but is something that is freely given so that all may partake if they choose.

Have you made your choice to receive what money cannot buy?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


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
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Money, fame, prestige and power

August 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Genesis 1:1 (NIV))

Take a long hard look at what it is that you have allowed to take the place of God.

Did money create the heavens and the earth? Was fame there in the beginning? Did prestige and power subjugate the emptiness and cause it to form the universe?

Only God was able to do all of these things!

God existed long before the heavens and the earth and long before money, fame, or prestige and power. All of these things are man-made creations that have come about out of the depravity that arose because of the fall from grace. None of these things are worthy of our worship. None of these things should become our god. None, of these things are righteous in the eyes of God.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:3 (NIV))

Too many of us replace the one true God with our own personal gods. These gods can be anything that takes priority in our lives. When we find that this is happening, we must remember that none of these things were around in the beginning. None of them were around when God created the heavens and the earth. It was only God in His Triune glory, and He …

…is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

If He created “in the beginning,” then we must reevaluate our gods and repent. We must turn to the God of creation.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(Revelation 22:13 (NIV))

Can your “gods” of money, fame, or prestige and power make such a profession?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: