Good things come to those who wait!

April 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
(James 5:7-8 (NIV))

Do you have patience?

It is human nature to want things to happen quickly, but would it really change how we see things, how we respond to things, if we did not have to learn to wait? Would we be any different than a two year old who throws a tempter tantrum to get what they want? We may not throw a literal temper tantrum, but we think that everything that we want should come to us immediately.

Patience is an important spiritual trait to have.

Look back on your life and think about something that you just couldn’t wait to get or to have happen. If and when it did come to fruition, you probably were more receptive to it and more appreciative of it because you had to wait.

Think about when you were a child. The excitement of Christmas morning. Can you honestly say that you remember everything that you ever received as a gift? I bet, though, that you can name at least one thing that you wanted for a long time and when you finally received it, you were beyond happy.

We, as the Body of Christ, all long to see Jesus come for His bride, His church. When He does come, we will have learned the value of the gift that He brings with Him. We will appreciate His return so much more because we had to keep our eyes focused on Him. We had to endure things as part of waiting, things that those who don’t love Jesus did not have to endure.

There is an old saying that good thing are worth waiting for. What better than to see Jesus return to gather us to Him? For that, I will be patient. I will endure the sin of the world and the ridicule of the world, for I know that what awaits me is far better than anything that awaits me here.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When we focus on the goal, the journey becomes easier!

November 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus.
(Revelation 14:12 (NLT))

Are you a patient person?

Can you endure to the end?

If you are like me, it is difficult to do at times. Human nature does not like to be patient and it does not like to endure. Human nature likes to be comfortable and, to be honest with you, patience and endurance are not things that make us comfortable.

Are we able to overcome this desire for comfort?

Are we able to overcome this desire for instant gratification?

It takes faith. It takes hope!

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

I can almost hear what some of you are thinking, but the faith and the hope is not placed in ourselves. We are to place our faith and our hope in Jesus! We are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

When we focus on the goal, the journey becomes easier!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Whose schedule are you on, yours or God’s?

September 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

Do you ever find yourself thinking that the Lord is slow?

Has He not answered your prayers when you thought that He should?

Has He not found you a spouse when you thought that He should?

Has He not found you a new job when you thought that He should?

Has He not returned for His church when you thought that He should?

Have you ever stopped to think that it is not God who is the problem? Could it be that it is your lack of patience that is the problem?

Just because God does not operate on your time schedule does not mean that He is slow! We are impatient! God is patient.

Think about God’s promises. Has He ever left one unfulfilled? We know that He will keep the rest, we just need to get on God’s time schedule and not ours.

Are you on God’s schedule?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Know Jesus and know peace!

September 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 (NIV))

Does this sound like it is easy to do?

Think about this and be honest with yourself.

It is not human nature to be in a state of hope and to be joyful. Most people associate hope with despair. You are in a bad situation and you hope things get better. It is almost a sure thing to say that this is more of a state of melancholy than joy.

It is also not human nature to be patient in affliction. We want an immediate improvement in our affliction. We don’t want to wait, and if we do have to wait, we are anything but patient.

Perhaps the one that we come closest to fulfilling is being faithful in prayer. I know that it is difficult to express sarcasm with the written word, but that is what I was attempting to do. If you stop to think about the previous two situations that I described, we might be faithful in prayer when we are in those situations. At least, we might be for a while. Then, one of two things happens.

1. Our prayers are not answered and we give up.

2. Our prayers are answered and we forget to keep praying to the One who answered our prayers.

Sadly, I just reinforced my previous conclusion that it is difficult to be perfect in these three simple tasks. If we, as humans, cannot get three simple things right in the eyes of God, how can we ever expect to live blameless and sinless lives in the eyes of God?

Let’s face the truth. We cannot be what we are told to be without Jesus. We cannot be joyful where there is no hope. We cannot be patient when we are afflicted. We cannot be faithful in prayer when we have no one who is interceding for us.

I don’t know about you, but I am so very thankful for the promises that are Yes in Jesus!

With Jesus, we have hope and we have joy. With Jesus, because we have hope, even when we are afflicted, we can be patient. With Jesus, when we pray, we know that He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us. With Jesus, we can be faithful in our prayers and we can rest assured that they are being heard.

I find it interesting how language works. Things that sound alike can have completely different meanings. I think the following example works well to define how we are able to possess the characteristics as described in Romans 12:12.

No Jesus. No peace.

Know Jesus. Know peace.

Only through knowing Jesus do we have the ability to possess these characteristics. Do you know Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you do when the world starts to get to you?

October 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9 (NIV))

Sometimes it seems that doing what God wants us to gets us nowhere in this world except laughed at and ridiculed by everyone around us.

Don’t give up. What you do does not go unnoticed.

The world may not appreciate the fact that you desire to be Godly and righteous, but there is one who notices your heart and will reward you based on your true intentions. God sees everything that you do and knows the true reasons that you do them. He will reward you for your faithfulness. He will reward you for your faith and integrity. He will prepare the harvest for you based on your heart.

The next time that the world starts to get to you, remember that God does not judge as the world judges. He does not care for the things of this world or the games that the world plays. God looks at the heart.

What will God see when He sees your heart? Will He see an eagerness to do His Will, or will He see that the world has begun to take its toll on your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you lost your focus?

May 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
(Colossians 3:12 (NIV))

Have you ever seen the cartoon with the two vultures who are waiting for something to die so that they can eat? The captions go something like this. One vulture says, “Be patient.” The other vulture says, “Patience ! I want to kill something !”

Let’s face it, we have all had times when we just couldn’t wait any longer for what we were hoping would happen. We pace the floor. We become very short tempered and as a result, we are anything but compassionate, kind, humble and gentle.

What does the world think of us at these times? What does the world think when they see us acting exactly opposite of what we say we strive to be?

Everyone has moments of weakness. Everyone has momentary lapses of sanity. Unfortunately, it is these very moments when we are at our lowest that the world chooses to recognize us for our faith. They recognize us out of ridicule. Regardless of the times that we are able to follow Colossians 3:12, the world sees us at the very times that we fail.

We are to strive to be perfect, yet, we know that we can never be. We are sinners, and are not capable of perfection on our own. There is a saying that Christians are not perfect, just forgiven. When we fail at perfection, we must fully embrace God’s grace that allows us to pick ourselves up and keep going. We must also embrace the need to show that grace to those who witnessed our stumble. We must not lash out at them when they ridicule us for not being perfect. We must show Jesus to them. We must be as Jesus was on the cross. He did not lash out. He did not condemn. He did not bring down wrath upon those who witnessed His crucifixion.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
(Luke 23:34 (NIV))

When the world sees us stumble, remember how Jesus reacted. When you fall, your eyes may be temporarily diverted from your goal, but when you get up and resume your path, you see your way once again. The key is to get back up and to focus once again upon Jesus.

Have you lost your focus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are to always be prepared to preach the Word

May 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV))

We are to always be prepared to preach the Word. There is a saying, “At all times preach the Gospel, if you have to, use words.” Actions speak louder than words. Speak through your actions, but be prepared to give testimony as to the reason you do what you do.

God has given us a tremendous gift. A gift that He wants to share with the whole world. Jesus spent three years preaching and teaching about that gift, and then He paid the ultimate price so that the gift could be bestowed. It is a gift that is to be shared. Do not keep it to yourselves. Give it to anyone and everyone who will hear it.

Remember that many people are influenced by actions. Be an example to them of what God’s great mercy and love has done for you, and then be prepared to share it with them in words as well as actions.

How will you explain the reason for your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your decision obvious?

March 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
(1 Kings 18:21 (NIV))

Elijah built an alter and soaked it with water to the point where it would not burn in order to show the people that the Lord was God.

The priests of Baal pleaded with their “god” for hours and nothing happened. Elijah had patience. He knew what would happen. Elijah had faith. Again, he knew what would happen. He knew that the priests of Baal would fail miserably no matter how much time he gave them. He also knew that the one true God would prevail even against seemingly impossible odds. With this in mind, Elijah called the people to make a decision based on the outcome of the days events before they even happened.

The decision was obvious. After God came down and consumed the wet offering, it was impossible to come to any other conclusion. They chose to worship God.

Have each of us come to that same, logical conclusion? We may not have seen the first hand evidence as presented that day, but we have proof of more evidence than these people ever had. There is enough evidence, if you choose to accept it, that there is a God and that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins. If God can consume with fire a thoroughly soaked alter and sacrifice, He can perform an act of salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son. The only difference is the question. God is asking each of us, “How long will you waver between the two options? If you accept Jesus as my Son, accept salvation. If you do not, accept the consequences.”

What do you accept?

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

February 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV))

Patience is a virtue.

We all know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If that is the case, then anxiousness is what? A fruit of Satan? I don’t admit to knowing, but it would appear that it is not a desirable trait.

Patience comes from an inner peace. This peace can only come from God. Anxiousness does not come from peace. It comes from an inner restlessness and a thirst that is longing to be quenched. There is only one way to quench that thirst, and that is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Once you do this, God’s peace will come upon you.

Still, the world has a way of creeping into our lives even when we do not want it to. If we are not anxious, but are patient and wait on God, then He will provide and protect us from the world. It is when we do not wait on God that the world gets into our lives and ruins the peace.

Are you anxious for anything?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you want to be judged as you judge others?

January 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
(Romans 2:3-4 (NIV))

It is so easy to fall into this habit. Everyone is quick to judge, yet we fail to see the very same things in our lives that we rush to judgment when we see it in the lives of others.

What is it for you?

Do you judge others for their harsh tongue? Perhaps it is someone’s lack of self control. It may be someone’s desire to be the center if attention that makes you react. The biggest one appears to be judging someone’s success and making all types of comments about how they achieved it. It is so sad that people have a tendency to be very judging of others when they have the same traits. I suppose that it is human nature to find fault with others in order to make ourselves look good. We use it as justification. We tell ourselves that our sins are not as bad as those of the ones we are judging.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
(Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV))

God’s Word is very clear about what happens if we judge. When we judge, we place ourselves in authority over others. We presume to know all of the details and all of the reasoning behind someone else’s actions. We place ourselves as God. We pass judgment when we are the ones who are guilty. We pass judgment without offering grace or mercy. We pass judgment without stopping to think of the way that we appear in the eyes of God.

God uses the principle throughout the Bible about we will be judged as we judge, or we will be forgiven as we forgive. Think about that for a moment. Would you want God to judge you with the same attitude that you have had at times or would you want Him to judge with with grace and mercy?

What is you final answer?

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