Are we capable of following instructions?

September 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NIV))

Four simple statements, yet, four very difficult things to truly do!

Human nature is a strange thing. We are rebellious by nature since the fall from grace. We have to do things our way and it is safe to safe that our way is not God’s way. Even after God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to redeem us through the cross, we still miss the mark. Even after Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us to guide us, we miss the mark, We don’t listen to the Holy Spirit. We quench the power of the Holy Spirit by doing things our way. God sent us prophets to instruct us and to tell us of His plans, but we treat this precious gift with contempt and unbelief. We are told to hold on to what is good, but we trade what God calls good for things that will decay and rust. We are told to reject every kind of evil, but we call evil good and good evil.

Do you ever get tired of being human in the sinful state that we call our lives? Do you long for complete redemption so that we will no longer be subject to the sinful nature? Until we are with Jesus, we will continue to fail miserably. Until Jesus gathers us unto Himself, we will fall short of God’s desires and our own. Until that day, keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Keep your heart focused on what is good and true. Pray for guidance and repent when you fail to follow God’s will and remember the things that we have been told.

Do not quench the Spirit!

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all.

Hold on to what is good!

Reject every kind of evil!

It is my prayer that we are all up to the tasks before us.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus has overcome the world!

November 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 (NIV))

If you are like me, you have seen countless posts and news articles about how we need to stop allowing refugees at this time. We must remember what we profess and why we profess it.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
(Romans 8:15-17 (NIV))

What is your reaction to what is happening in the world?

Are you living in fear?

Are you changing plans that you may have had because of recent events?

I have a question for you and I hope that this doesn’t come across as macabre.

Why do you fear death?

If you belong to Jesus, then we have nothing to fear. The enemy may kill the body, but the body is not what we are. It is only a vessel.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Matthew 10:28 (NIV))

I know that it is human nature to fear what we do not know, including death, but as the Body of Christ, we should not live in fear. Please don’t take me wrong and think that I am saying that we should welcome death. That is far from the truth. God gave us life. He did not create us death. He created us for life. However, this life is not the life that God intended when He created everything. Sin entered into the picture and now it is raising its ugly head like never before. If you study God’s Word and study the prophecies and promises that have been made, you know that God has already defeated sin when Jesus died on the cross.

Jesus arose from death!

He is with us if we call upon Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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By His stripes we are healed!

April 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
(Isaiah 53:5-7 (NIV))

These words do not paint a very pretty picture! The agony of the events of Jesus’ crucifixion are vividly portrayed through these words. They speak of the events in an historical perspective, yet when this was written, the events would not take place for several hundred years! God knew what would happen long before it actually came to pass, and he told Isaiah the events long before they really happened. God IS in control! He was then. He is now, and He will be in the future, as we perceive time.

I don’t know how many actual prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. I do know that the odds against all of them being fulfilled in one person are astronomically impossible, yet, this is exactly what happened. Jesus fulfilled every single prophesy that God had ever given anyone concerning the Messiah about His first coming.

God has given Daniel and John, in Revelation, prophesies concerning Jesus’ second coming. With such astronomical odds against the first event happening, it does not make sense from the world’s point of view that He will return. But, if I were a betting man, I would place my money on God! His record is flawless. His timing is impeccable. His grace is sufficient! His mercy endures forever!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Know that He is coming like the lightning

October 31, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
(Matthew 24:26-28 (NIV))

Where do you spend your time looking for Jesus?

Think about that question. Do you spend your time looking for Jesus where those who are dying in their sin gather? He will not return there again. He will reach out to those who are still lost in sin, but He will not come again as He did two thousand years ago. Don’t expect Him to be as a man again. He has ascended into heaven and will return in power and glory. He will not return as a teacher and a healer. Do not look for Him as He once was.

Jesus came into this world to teach us how to live. He left us with great examples and written instructions. Jesus came into this world to die for our transgressions. He was nailed to the cross and He poured out His life blood for us. Jesus came to this world to defeat sin and death. He arose from the grave on the third day. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. Why would He come back and do something that has already been accomplished? He asks us ot believe in what He has already accomplished and look for His next task, which is to return to earth in power and authority.

Do not look for Jesus as some would look for Him.

He will return. It will be just as it is foretold. When He returns, it will be like the lightning. He will be visible to all. You will not have to seek Him. He will be magnificently presented as He returns. Just as lightning shines with great light and carries great power, so too will be the return of Jesus.

We must spend our time looking for Jesus through the prophecies in the Old Testament. We must spend our time looking for Jesus through the teachings of the New Testament. We must spend our time looking for Jesus in the prophecies of His return. When we know Jesus in this manner, then we will be able to stand firm in our faith and know that He is coming like the lightning. We will not be fooled.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Follow Jesus!

April 20, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
(2 Chronicles 19:5-7 (NIV))

How many in today’s society still believe in this concept?

I am a student of prophesy. I have also become a student of human nature as a result of my interest in what God is doing. Sadly, over the last few years I have witnessed what appears to be a sharp decline in human judgment in general and in fearful judgment in particular. We have become a society of Pharisees who are more concerned with the letter of the law than the intent of the law. We judge each other vehemently. We have trials and convict someone in our own minds solely based on partial information or false information.

We are no longer careful in our thoughts and actions.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
(Matthew 15:19 (NIV))

Are we, as the Body of Christ, guilty of this?

I have seen some comments lately that make me wonder. These comments, many of which are easy to see how they could be made, are not reflective of what we are called to by Jesus. They are attacks of a personal nature and not directed at the sin. We cannot be witnesses of grace and mercy if we are attacking the very people who need it.

We must be careful to guard against thoughts and actions that are not what Jesus calls us to. We must be willing to look at ourselves with honesty and ask God to show us what we need to surrender so that we will be righteous in His eyes. If we do not surrender to Jesus as Lord, then we will be part of the group of people that Jesus told us about.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

“I never knew you.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
(John 10:25-27 (NIV))

Follow Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your faith?

March 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.
(Isaiah 25:1 (NIV))

Many people today don’t even acknowledge that God exists. There are even believers who don’t believe that God is in control and that things that are happening in this world happen for a reason. Isaiah knew the truth and has written it down for generations to read and learn.

The numbers are staggering! Have you ever considered the number of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled when He came to this earth. His coming was planned by God hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years before His actual arrival. To the Body of Believers, Jesus’ atoning sacrifice is the most marvelous thing that could have ever happened in this world. It was planned long ago.

If God planned the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, what other things has He planned? All we have to do is read the Bible and we will see page after page of prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. These pages are alongside the pages of the prophecies that have been fulfilled. Based on this track record of what has been planned and accomplished, we can look forward to the others things that have been planned being fulfilled.

God keeps His promises. God has told us that He has planned marvelous things. It requires our faith to wait to see them fulfilled.

How is your faith? Are you waiting to see what God is going to do?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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