Are the things you ask of God selfish or selfless?

April 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
(2 Chronicles 1:11-12 (NIV))

Solomon is a good example of how God will honor someone if they honor God. Solomon was in a position to ask for anything in this world, yet, he chose to ask for wisdom to be able to be a just and wise king. God granted him this wisdom, plus, because he had asked un-selfishly, God granted him the other things that he had not asked for. Solomon had asked for something that did not benefit him directly, and God saw that Solomon wished to be a wise and righteous man.

If God asked you to name the one gift that you wished for, what would it be?

Would it be selfish or would it be righteous?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do your thoughts tell you?

March 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Mark 10:17-22 (NIV))

Jesus had a way of searching the heart, or perhaps I should say that he had a way of making people search their own hearts. We do not know what happened to this man. Did he closely inspect his heart and realize that he was controlled by his wealth, or did he go his own way and not give another thought to what Jesus said?

When Jesus walked the earth, He did not preach to those whom He knew were not ready to fully receive Him, yet, he did not ignore them, either. Jesus had a way of making people look at themselves in detail. The man went away sad not because he had great wealth, but probably because he realized that Jesus was right. He probably walked away thinking about what Jesus had said and became convicted that maybe he did let his wealth control him. Jesus had planted a seed in this man’s heart that would grow and possibly blossom into the fruit that Jesus knew the man needed.

Notice that Jesus did not pursue him. He let him go his own way knowing that what He had said would be the subject of much thought and reflection. It is thought and reflection that leads a person to acknowledge that something needs to change. It is thought and reflection that leads to a person realizing that they are a sinner in need of a Savior.

What do your thoughts tell you?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Time for a personal inventory

March 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
(Luke 16:10-12 (NIV))

It’s time to take stock, to do a personal inventory.

What are the things that God has blessed you with?

Have you been given worldly wealth? Have you been entrusted with a spiritual gift, or perhaps a talent? Perhaps you have been entrusted with friendships that give you an opportunity to witness. It is even possible that you are a public figure who has the capability of impacting many people through your actions.

What have you done with the things that God has blessed you with? Have you used them to further His kingdom, or have you used them to further your own? Have you used the trust that has been given to you to in such a way that it is given to others? Do you hoard the wealth or do you use it for His glory? Do you embrace the influence that you have and welcome the accolades of the people, or do you use your position to influence others for Christ?

Worldly wealth seems to come in all different forms, from actual wealth to fame and power. What we do with what we have been given is vital in our walk with God. Think about that for a moment. Suppose your father gave you some money to pay off bills. What happens if you use the money for other things and he finds out? What happens if you need to ask your father for another sum of money?

The gifts and the worldly wealth that we have been given are gifts from God. We are to use them to further His kingdom.

Time to complete that personal inventory.

Are there things on your list that you need to be more honest about? Are there things that need to change with respect to your priorities? Wordly wealth is fleeting.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Godly riches are eternal.

Are we willing to give up the eternal because we can’t be trusted with the things that the moth and rust will destroy?

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

February 15, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
(Matthew 25:40 (NIV))

I read this and a question immediately came to mind. It was a question that sent chills down my spine. It was a question that made me realize that I can be considered one of the least of these and that I too am also someone who needs to do for others.

Think about that and then answer the same question that came to mind when I read this passage.

Have you ever felt that you were insignificant?

It is human nature to want to believe that we are of great worth and that we are worth more than our fellow brothers and sisters. This is pride.

The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
(Proverbs 16:5 (NIV))

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
(Proverbs 18:12 (NIV))

Our significance does not come from our deeds, actions or abilities. It comes from grace. If we could not earn our salvation, then we can make no claim to be proud of.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Are we proud to be a filthy rag? Are we any better than other filthy rags in the pile? We may find that we are not on the bottom of that pile, but that does not make us better than others. Eventually, all rags have one of two things happen to them. They are either washed or they are tossed away and destroyed. The rags do not have a say in what happens. We, as the Body of Christ, have proclaimed a faith in Jesus as the one and only one who can pick us up and wash us clean. We have made a stand and we have had a say in what becomes of us.

If we are as filthy rags, we are included in the least of these whether we admit it or not. Have you ever stopped to think that what you do for others means that you are doing it for Jesus?

And, now, the reality check !

Have you ever stopped to think that what someone does for you, they are doing for Jesus?

This puts things in a whole new perspective.

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

November 23, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV))

This is the true source of thanksgiving.

To be truly thankful, you must acknowledge that you cannot do it on your own. You must acknowledge that whatever you have is not from your own hand. You must realize that what you have been given could just as easily have been given to someone else. It is true that what you have been given is a direct result of a response that you have made, but the blessings are not something that you have created.

Think about that for a moment.

What happens when someone thinks that they are responsible for all that they have? It is probably safe to assume that each of us have known people who felt that what they have was a direct result of their hard work and determination. It is also safe to assume that most, if not all, of these people looked upon what they had as a reward for their hard work. They may even have looked upon it as something that they earned, that they were owed, and as a result, were very stingy with what they have. This type of attitude places themselves as the provider and most of the time they give thanks for the things, and not the true source.

Thanksgiving is not only a holiday that we celebrate, it should be a life long attitude of gratitude for your true source of all things. Can we create life? Can we create the seasons? Can we create the food that we need? Too many people take these things for granted and only focus on the materialistic aspects of life. They miss out on the joy that God has provided to us in a sunset. They miss out on the grace that we have been given through the atoning blood of Jesus. They miss out on all things eternal because they are focused on the treasures of this world.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV))

Are you thankful for things that moth and rust will destroy?

I have a philosophy that I like to remind myself of every once in a while. I look at the things of this world and find myself thinking that it would be nice to have some of these “treasures.” When I find myself in this line of thought, I ask myself one simple question.

In 100 years, will it really matter if I had these things?

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
(Matthew 16:26 (NIV))

What does matter is setting your priorities according to God’s priorities. What does matter is instilling God’s Word within your family. What does matter is being thankful to God for the blessings that He has given.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Glorious riches!

September 30, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. .
(Colossians 1:27 (NIV))

Glorious riches!

People have sought after riches all throughout history. They have all sought after treasures of untold wealth.

Gold.

Jewels.

Oil.

Big houses and expensive possessions.

Ironically, many of these people have missed the greatest and most glorious treasure that could ever be found. It is a treasure that is freely given but cannot be taken. It is a treasure of infinite worth, yet no amount of money can purchase it. It is readily given to the poorest of the poor if they will but ask, yet the richest man in the world cannot buy it. He can ask to receive it and it will be freely given.

The glorious riches is truly a mystery. It has baffled the most educated of men, yet it makes perfect sense to a little child. People have spent a lifetime studying to try and make sense of it, yet for all of their study, it is still a simple and honest plea that brings the bounty to any and all.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV))

Jesus is the one who leads us to the glorious treasure, a gift of grace, mercy and salvation. The treasure that we find through His glory is the key to our very existence, both here in this world and for eternity.

What could be of greater value?

What could be more glorious than knowing that you have been given the glorious riches of a life in Jesus and a life everlasting?

No gold could ever compare. No jewels could ever compare. All riches of this world will fade. The glorious riches that we are given through Jesus will be with us always.

Faith is a mystery, yet we have hope. We have Jesus and we have a hope of glory.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Join me in a rousing chorus of praise!

August 10, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV))

Most of us are very familiar with the words in Isaiah 6:3 – “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” These words are often spoken in churches to this very day, and rightly so. They are true.

What I want to take a closer look at is the seraphs, or angels, that are in attendance in the throne room of God.

What do you think of when you think of angels?

Do you think of beings that look human but have wings?

What do you envision angels doing?

Probably most of us envision the white robed, human looking creatures that act as messengers. Some even believe that angels are among us to protect us. Having never seen one, I will only speculate about their actual appearance, but I know beyond any doubts as to their function.

They glorify God!

Whether in the throne room, or on missions in this world, they glorify God in all that they do.

Do you believe that people, as created beings, are separate from the angels?

Do you not know that we will judge angels?
(1 Corinthians 6:3a (NIV))

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
(Hebrews 1:14 (NIV))

If we are to judge angels, then I only find it fitting and proper that we should do as they do and glorify God. How can we judge if we do not do?

Each one of us needs to sing within our hearts, and out loud when we can, the very praises that the seraph sing in the presence of God.

Join me in a rousing chorus of praise!

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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