How are you responding to the world?

May 4, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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

With what is happening in the world today, it is so difficult to be joyful. I find myself losing my patience with the people who have no idea of the sinful lives that they are leading. Hopefully, I am becoming more faithful in my prayers.

Life today and the world today have become so far removed from what I remember as a child. Everything seems to be in chaos. Gone are the days when you could trust people enough to leave your doors unlocked. Gone are the days when you could trust that if your children went riding their bikes and you had no idea where they were, you could trust that they would come home.

We have lost our innocence! It seems like society is running full-speed ahead into anything and everything that is evil. The world has rapidly declined into an abyss that seems to be getting deeper and darker. With that in mind, what are we, as the Body of Christ, supposed to do? When God’s truth is no longer considered to be truth, what are we supposed to do?

Stand firm!

Stand firm in what you know to be true. Stand firm in the joy and hope. Stand firm in patience no matter what may come. Most of all, stand firm in your faithfulness and prayers!

We know that this world is not our home. We know that good will be called evil and evil will be called good. We know that we will be mocked and ridiculed for our faith. We also know that Jesus will return. No matter what may come, we must remain joyful in our hope. We must remain patient no matter what the world sends our way. As we are told, we must pray without ceasing. We must never lose our faith!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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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