How do you see the things of God?

August 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

Did you watch the solar eclipse? Are you glad that it is over? If you are like the majority of people in the United States, you have seen enough information about the solar eclipse to where you could probably write your own research paper solely from memory. To be honest with you, it was an amazing event to see.

I find it interesting that humanity is so obsessed with these types of events, yet they fail to recognize that these types of events are clearly defined and foretold in the Bible. Society tries to explain them based on scientific reasoning. Please don’t misunderstand me and try to draw any false implications. There is nothing wrong with science. Science allows us to explore and try to understand creation. It allows us to form a hypothesis about a particular subject and then test that hypothesis to see if it is accurate. Over the course of human history, scientific conclusions have often changed when addressing the same subject. In essence, a hypothesis is only an assumption that someone makes for the sake of argument. They then have to defend that assumption. What I find so perplexing, based on this definition, is that when someone comes to a different assumption and tries to have a civil argument over the different assumption, someone is always labeled as ignorant and uneducated. Based on historical record and the very definition of hypothesis, science is man’s attempt to correctly explain what we see when how we interpret what we see is influenced by our less than perfect ability to perceive the truth.

The solar eclipse was a fantastic example of humanity trying to explain what we see when what we see is so far beyond our comprehension. If Jesus delays His return, humanity might get better at explaining things. However, we will never understand creation the way that the Creator does. If God said that something is to serve as signs, then we should take that at face value. I, like may people, are intrigued by the “how” with respect to what God does, but it will never be more important than the “why.”

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

How do you see the things of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What traditions do you follow?

November 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
(1 Corinthians 1:22-23 (NIV))

Isn’t it interesting how different groups of people look for different things before they will believe.

Jewish history is full of signs, wonders and miracles, so they expect something from God to be announced in that matter. The Greeks have always been known as the creators of intellectual thought, so therefore, anything must be analyzed and make logical sense.

What other traditions have we inherited that make us look at Jesus in ways that don’t allow us to truly see him as God the Father intended? What has society done to further distract us from seeing Jesus?

Humanity tries to do things the way that we think that they should be, but hasn’t God told us that His ways are not man’s ways. If we try to approach Jesus in any way that man has devised, then we will miss the intentions of God when He sent Jesus to us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are we ready to see God’s signs and wonders?

August 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

`In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
(Acts 2:17-21 (NIV))

What comes to mind when you read this passage?

Do you shrug it off as pure fantasy? Do you think that it has some merit to it, but is a long way away? Do you wonder what we are being told?

What are the wonders in the heavens? What are the signs on the earth below? We have all seen solar eclipses and a red moon, Is there more to this prophecy than what we are familiar with?

Think about that.

God will be trying to get our attention. Some say that he is already trying.

We take so much for granted anymore. We see things on television and we see things in real life that just a few years ago were impossible to create. Will we recognize the wonders and the signs? Will we be too sensory overloaded that we fail to recognize God’s warning?

Nothing that happens in this world any more makes me wonder what is going on. Nothing that I see or hear brings horror to my spirit. Things are unfolding at a rate that only God can comprehend. I see what is happening and I feel sad for those who are caught in the lies. I see what is going on and stop and pray for those who are involved.

I also pray for strength to finish the race.

We don’t know the what, where, and when of God’s timeline, but we do know who wins. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Pray for discernment. Pray for wisdom and pray for those who are going in the wrong direction.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What do you look for and what do you seek?

October 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.
(Mark 8:13 (RSV))

Do you seek signs from God?

In the days of Jesus, people wanted miraculous signs. They wanted something so grand that they would have no doubt about the origination of the sign. To be honest with you, I would not mind seeing such a sign myself !

The words of Jesus ring in my ears when I think that a sign would be great. They remind me that Jesus came not to bring people into salvation because it was an obvious choice from the physical perspective, but because they had the faith to believe. It is easy to believe when you see miraculous signs. Where is the faith in this? Faith requires much more. It requires believing in what you cannot see.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

If Jesus had given that generation miraculous signs, how long would they have believed? It may have lasted a few days, or even months, but, just like the Israelites in the desert, they would have begun to grumble and their faith would have faltered.

God wants us to have faith in Him.

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
(Zechariah 4:6b (NIV))

God wants us to know Him on a personal level, not on a level of might and power. The generation that Jesus spoke to was looking for the might and power when He was offering them the Lamb and the Spirit. They missed the greatest gift of all time simply because they had preconceived ideas of what to look for.

What do you look for in Jesus? What do you seek from Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do not delay

July 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
(Psalms 119:60 (NIV))

This verse has come up every day for the last three days. I have almost 3500 passages that I have marked for my reading and reflection. What are the odds that I would turn to the very same one three days in a row? O.K., Lord, I can take a hint. I may be slow to respond, but I understand.

Are we too slow in responding to what God is telling us, to what He is calling us to do?

Think about that for a moment.

What if the things that God is calling us to do are of an urgent nature? What if He is telling His church to get ready for His return? What if He is telling us to be sure that our hearts are right with Him, because He is about to remove the true believers from the things that are about to come? What if He is speaking to us in that still, small voice and telling us to repent and turn our hearts toward Him so that we may escape the tribulations that are about to be released upon the earth?

We all hope and pray for the day that Jesus returns to take His bride home, but what if that day is upon us and He is telling us that we need to have an urgency about us?

What if He is telling you to be prepared?

What if He is telling you to plant the seed in someone’s life?

What if He is telling you to live each day as if it were the last?

What if He were telling you to be a witness for Him to someone who would not hear in any other way?

What if He is calling you to be a light to a dark world?

What if He is calling you to be a beacon on a hill?

Now, look at your life. Look at what He has done for you and think of how you have responded to Him. Have you felt a sense of urgency? Have you felt that He is calling you to do any of the things mentioned above?

He is!

He is calling you. He is telling you that there is a sense of urgency, for the world needs Him and the world is dying without Him.

I pray that the words from Psalms will come alive within your heart and that they will instill within you a sense of urgency for the things that are of God.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Validation and faith

April 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

What do you hope for?

Is it wealth or fame or power?

Is this where your faith lies?

Simple questions that may not have such simple answers.

Carefully consider the one universal hope that all of humanity has. That hope is for an eternal existence. Every religion has a variation on the human desire to continue after this physical existence ends. That is the biggest hope that every single person has.

We have a unique faith as the Body of Christ, for we have evidence of a salvation that is offered to us directly from God through His Son, Jesus. It is said that there is more historical evidence that Jesus existed and did all of the things recorded in the New Testament than there is for the existence of either you or I. If this is true, I propose the following:

We all have enough faith to believe that we exist. How can we deny the existence and documented accomplishments of someone who has more validation than we do? Perhaps it is because we have not seen with our own eyes. Are we like Thomas? Does Jesus have a reason to say to us what He said to Thomas.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
(John 20:27 (NIV))

Does your faith require vision to make it solid? Do you have enough faith to believe even if you never see your hope in this lifetime?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Signs and wonders

February 17, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
(John 4:48 (NIV))

Are we any different from the people that Jesus was speaking to?

I would like to think that we are, but, sadly enough, we may not be!

It is true that we do not have the benefit of having walked with Jesus, so we do have to rely on faith. However, I would venture to say that if we did not have these writings in the New Testament and the writings of historians to validate certain events, we would be asking for signs and wonders, also.

Too many people ask God to perform a miracle in their lives by rescuing them from a situation that they have gotten themselves in to. When this doesn’t happen, all too often they turn away. They will only believe if they have a miraculous sign in their life.

Perhaps the single greatest testimony to faith is the person who never sees a sign or wonder and still believes. Let’s face it, all of us have a reason or series of reasons that we came to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. I would venture to say that many of those reasons are the miracles, both small and large, that God was working in the lives of people around you. Perhaps you actually took notice of the miracles that happen around you every day such as a sunrise, the wind through the trees, or a bird singing. Such things, contrary to those who believe in evolution, are miraculous signs and wonders that we often fail to recognize. They are all evidence of a loving and sovereign God.

Accept the signs and wonders that God has placed in your life.

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
(Matthew 4:7 (NIV))

What type of signs and wonders do you require from God?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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