What are you devoted to?

August 29, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
(Colossians 4:2 (NIV))

Do you feel that you are different from the crowds who are easily swayed? One day they are devoted to a political party. The next day they are devoted to a sports team. The next day they may be devoted to the music artist who is coming in concert. They are like the tall grass in the field, blown this way and that way and never truly making a stand or a permanent commitment to anything.

I pray that you are different!

To be honest with you, I pray that I am different.

To be devoted to something means that you are loyal to it and that you are dedicated to it. With this definition in mind, what are you truly devoted to in your life? Many people will quickly say that they are devoted to family. Many will say that they are devoted to their country. Others will say that they are devoted to their god. There are those who will say that they are devoted to the one and only God. There are those who will say that they are devoted to Jesus.

Are you devoted to prayer?

Most people think of prayer as a request or a petition that is made to God, but in all honesty, prayer is so much more than this one-sided request. Prayer needs to be thought of as a two-sided conversation in which both parties are having a conversation. It is essential to remember the basics of a conversation. Each party talks and each party listens intently. It is not a list of demands by one party, us, and the other, God, nods in subjugated agreement. Conversation is a means of learning and discerning the mind and heart of the other individual.

When was the last time that you simply had a long conversation with God? Don’t you think that you need to talk to God on a daily basis? With the idea that prayer is a conversation with God, don’t you think you need to spend more time in prayer? Don’t you think that you should be devoted to prayer?

What are you devoted to?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn from arrogance and turn to God!

December 4, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:7-10 (NIV))

People surround themselves with things that they are comfortable with. Take a look at somebody’s home and you will see how that this is true. If you could take a look at somebody’s heart, you would also see that this is true in spiritual matters. People surround themselves with what they know.

Closely examine what you have surrounded yourself with. Is it Godly or is it worldly? The two are opposite extremes. You cannot be surrounded with worldly matters and still be able to focus on God. You cannot walk the middle ground between the two. It is time to break out of the comfort zone and focus exclusively on one.

By focusing on God, you will resist Satan, and, as the verse claims, he will flee. A relationship with God is like a relationship with anyone. If you are willing to become friends with someone, they are more receptive. The more that you learn about the other person, the more that they will learn about you. Do not present the world with an arrogant attitude, for that attitude is from the devil.

Turn from arrogance and turn to God.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How many nations do you feel are blessed by God?

July 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
(Psalms 33:12 (NIV))

Based on this passage, how many nations do you feel are blessed by God?

Are we one of them?

With all that is currently going on in this country and many others, how do you think that God is responding? Is He trying to get our attention? Is He using His creation to send us signs and warnings that we must return to Him?

I honestly don’t feel that with what is currently happening in this nation that we are truly blessed as a nation. We once were and we may be once again if we heed the warnings and repent. I realize that this nation is made up of individuals and that a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, is a personal and individual decision. There will always be those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and there will always be those who deny Jesus. Lately, it seems that not only are people denying Jesus, they are blatantly defying Jesus.

How can God bless any nation if its people deny Him and willingly and blatantly defy Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We need each other in our faith!

November 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(Colossians 3:16 (NAS))

There are those who say that they do not need to go to church, that their belief is a personal issue.

Belief is a personal issue, yet, when all of the world is against what you believe in, it requires strength to survive and maintain those beliefs.

What if you want to grow your faith? All throughout history, people have taken comfort from others. When we teach our children, we do it in groups so that they may have the benefit of not only learning from the teacher, but also learning from each other. Why do we treat learning about God any different than we treat learning about anything else?

It is true that it is a relationship between the Creator and His creation, but the creation is a fallen entity and needs external support in order to stay focused. That is one reason why schools have class-rooms; to keep an order and a focus. Without that external support, our focus tends to stray. We need each other in all aspects of life, not just social. We must gather together as believers to help each other keep our focus on God and to help us grow.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Learn the true heart of God and not the “rules” taught by men

November 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
” `These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’
(Mark 7:6-7 (NIV))

It is my desire to learn the true heart of God and not the “rules” taught by men.

What single thing do you hold on to that is not Biblical, but is actually a man-made rule? Come on and admit that you have them. They are the things that we all hold on to because they are tradition, or because they are part of our comfort zone. Perhaps the biggest one is thinking that other people can’t be true believers because they don’t look and act the same. I hate to say this, but I would bet that every believer struggles with this from time to time. And I think I know where that all started. Could it be that we are so ingrained in our own set of rules made by man, that we forget that they are only rules? We start to judge others by our set of rules that we have applied to ourselves, while we overlook the much bigger and much more important aspect of grace and mercy.

Human nature is a fickle thing. We long to be forgiven, but then we add all types of stipulations that God never would have even begun to think of. It is interesting that God could only come up with Ten Commandments and then salvation through Jesus. We have added so many things to this that we could easily be guilty of worshipping in vain, for we could be following our rules instead of God’s teachings.

We need to focus on what is true and righteous in the eyes of God. We must focus on God. We must focus on His Word and on Jesus, His only begotten Son. We must focus on the Holy Spirit. All other, if it does not point you to God, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit, is a false teaching and must be removed from our lives.

Don’t let man-made rules hinder your relationship with God and your salvation through Jesus, His Son. It’s not worth what you will lose.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our understanding

July 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
(Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV))

Our understanding is like that of a very small child. We see the world through limited vision and understanding. When you were a small child, you looked to your parents for guidance, comfort and strength. We lean on their understanding to guide us and keep our paths straight. As adults, we are still very small children in the eyes of God. We see and understand in a very limited way.

God is our Heavenly Father. He desires to show us His creation through His eyes and through His understanding. He knows what guidance, comfort and strength we need better than our earthly fathers. We must turn to His understanding and rely on His guidance so that our paths do not wander into evil.

This is hard for many people to do. Human pride does not easily allow us to admit that we are not in control, and that we must turn to someone more powerful than ourselves for guidance and direction. God has given us a mind. He does not wish for us to waste that gift, yet, He wishes to guide us so that we will not misuse that gift. We must always look to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and not look upon ourselves as the source of that knowledge. If we look to ourselves, then we do not turn to the ultimate understanding, which, eventually will lead to evil.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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