Have you returned? Are you still returning?

March 20, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:12-13 (NIV))

Are you ashamed of where you have been?

Perhaps I should ask if you are ashamed of where you are?

Let’s face the hard, unadulterated truth. We are all human, and human nature means that we are not perfect. We have all done things that are far from what Jesus calls us to do. Most of us like to think that this is all in our past, after all, we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! In reality, we still sin. Our human nature doesn’t go away. We must allow the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, to control the sinful nature that lies within all of us.

We must repent daily!

When we repent, we turn away from our sin and return to God. It is an act of obedience that we must do daily, if not more often, for our sinful, human nature will try to make us return to our sin.

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is not the end of your walk with Jesus. It is only the beginning! When you go for a walk, do you ever find yourself making mid-walk corrections and adjustments to make sure that you end up at your ultimate destination. Sometimes you must turn left. Other times you must turn right. Along the way you may have to step over or around obstacles. Sometimes you must turn around or return. Walking with Jesus is much the same way. Our sinful nature will start to lead us down a path that is not right. We must be sure to listen for the call to return to the path that Jesus desires for us to walk.

Have you returned to the Lord to be able to begin anew? Are you returning to Him on a daily basis?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How long do you think that God will wait?

September 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:12-13 (NIV))

How long do you think that God will wait?

He wants us to return to Him, yet with each passing day the world gets further and further from His Truth.

Where do you stand?

Are you getting further away from God?

Are you still in the same place you were when you first believed?

Are you taking two steps toward Him and one step back?

Are you running in His direction?

Or, are you walking by His side?

There are days when I feel that I can claim to be actively doing all of these. There are things that just seem to make me question what I am doing, and then something wonderful happens and I find myself closer than I could ever imagine.

Even so, I find myself wondering how God can be so patient with me. I just know that I am glad that He is.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must return to God and His Commandments!

May 2, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV))

We, as a country, have gotten away from this very important truth. Too many years ago, the United States Supreme Court said that we had to remove the 10 Commandments from our classrooms. Look at what has happened since then. We must turn back towards God and His Word and then we must teach our children the value of His Word, and we must pray.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

We must return to God and His Commandments and pray for the nation to return.

Do you follow God’s Commandments?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you made heaven rejoice?

February 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
(Luke 15:7 (NIV))

God does not wish for any to perish. He rejoices when one who is lost is found. If you have something of value, and you know where it is, you have no reason to rejoice. If that same thing is lost, you are extremely happy when it is found. God is the same when it comes to sinners who repent and turn to Him.

Have you made heaven rejoice?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has the thief stolen too much from you?

January 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
(Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NIV))

God rejoices even when a person who has sinned his whole life repents and performs one righteous thing before death !

Don’t take this statement to mean that we can live our lives with little or no regard for righteousness and then turn to God right before we die. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. We may never get the opportunity to repent of all of the things that we do. It is true that some people have that opportunity, for they do not die a sudden death. However, Satan rejoices when he can cause one of us to miss out on salvation. We literally miss the mark that God has created for us and we miss out on the promises that He has given to us.

Too many people think of sin and salvation only as being able to have eternal life with God. They do not realize that God blesses now for our attempts at righteousness. These attempts show a desire to walk with Him. They show a desire to love as He loves. They show a desire to learn and mature. Righteousness is not an outward task, but rather it is an inward desire. It is a desire that drives us to seek after God’s own heart. When we seek after His heart, we put the sins of the world behind us. We turn to the One who created the world. We tell Him that we desire to be as He created us.

For those who repent upon their death bed, I know that God rejoices, but I also think that He is saddened because of all of the missed blessings that He desired to give them when they were alive.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Has the thief stolen too much from you?

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

May 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
(Matthew 19:14 (NIV))

Innocence and innocence betrayed! We were once little children in the eyes of God, innocent and very willing and eager to climb onto the lap of “Abba, Father.” Our innocence also lead to our fall from this peaceful existence into a life of sin and death. Our innocence was used against us by Satan in order to get back at God. Satan wanted to be God, and in his attempt at getting his desires, he was cast down from heaven. In his anger, he deceived humanity in our created innocence and now we are no longer innocent in the eyes of God. We are no longer those children who could sit on the lap of our “Abba, Father.”

Reading the words written in Matthew 19:14, I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was trying to tell us to come back to God as we were before the fall from grace, innocent and naive about the deceiving nature of sin. Deceit and distrust are a learned characteristic, as are honesty, truth and righteousness. We can be taught either characteristic, but, it is an attitude that actually makes us turn towards one direction or another. Little children are trusting by nature and have not learned to be wary of anything. When it comes to God, we need to trust wholeheartedly as a little child. When it comes to Satan, we must be wary of all things and have the wisdom of his ways so that we can avoid him.

Which attitude do you wish to have? Do you desire to have the innocence that God desires for you, or do you desire the wisdom of sin that Satan uses to trap? It is your choice!

Innocence or sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must teach the children so the next generation will know God

May 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
(Psalms 78:4-7 (NIV))

I hate to say this, but I believe that we, as a nation, have not done what God’s Word tells us to do. Since we have removed prayer from public schools, things have become increasingly anti-God and anti-Jesus. We have failed to teach our children about God and as a result, we have lost a valuable part of our society and our heritage.

We no longer trust in God. Just take a look at the latest coins that our treasury has introduced. They have officially removed the words “In God we trust.” Exactly who do we, as a society, trust in anymore? We can’t trust in ourselves. Just look at the state of this nation and this world. We can’t trust in governments that think that they are the highest authority, for they will take advantage of that authority.

I once heard a quote from the stepdaughter of George Washington. She had been asked about the faith of George Washington. Her reply was that it would be easier to question his patriotism than his Christianity. Now, our politicians skirt the issue of faith and do not openly admit to having faith. They claim patriotism, and then I seriously doubt that.

We have failed to teach our children of God’s greatness and of His deeds. We must pray that we can return to God and turn the hearts of those whom have not heard. We must not abandon the children to their own desires. Human desires are sinful. We will only do what benefits us.

What did Jesus benefit when He was on the cross? He suffered excruciating pain and torment along with separation from God. He gave it all so that others could benefit. We must put our trust in the things that He willingly laid down His life for.

I have heard that there is an insription at the top of the Washington Monument that only God can see. It supposedly dedicates this nation to God. I think that we need to copy that inscription so that we can see it. We must teach the children so the next generation will know God.

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