Are your walls strong?

August 7, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
(Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV))

In Biblical days, a city relied heavily on its walls for protection from its enemies. Today, nations rely on military strength and other means for security and protection, yet, the idea is the same. This idea consists of being prepared for whatever the enemy may throw at you at any time of the day or night. Many times, the enemy is unknown until it is too late.

The same thing is true of our spiritual lives and spiritual enemies that we may encounter. Our spirit, when guided by the Holy Spirit, is our primary defense against the attacks of the enemy, Satan. We must keep our spirit in top condition just as a city’s walls had to be maintained. If a city’s walls deteriorated, then the city was vulnerable to attack and defeat by an enemy. If we allow our spirit to become weak and “deteriorated,” then we are also vulnerable to attack by the enemy.

Strengthen your spirit daily by feeding on the Word of God. Test all things against God’s unwavering standards. Do not be deceived by false appearances as the residents of Troy were with the “gift” of the Trojan Horse. Satan is a master at deception and lies. Arm your spirit with the proper implements of battle.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does freedom mean to you?

March 12, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
(Galatians 5:13 (NIV))

What does freedom mean to you?

To many people, it means that they have the right to do whatever they want to do. They look upon freedom as a blank ticket to indulge in anything and everything. They see freedom as a right that cannot be taken away from them. They see freedom as something that they are due.

Is this your definition of freedom? It isn’t God’s definition of freedom.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

God defines freedom as escaping the just condemnation that is a result of our sins. God gave us a way to become free. Jesus came into this world to free us from the power of sin and death. When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we accept this freedom. Does that mean that we are free to sin without suffering the consequences of our sin? Contrary to what many believe, we cannot accept the freedom that God has given to us and still desire to sin. When we do, we reject God’s grace.

Freedom has a price. Not many people today are willing to admit this. Jesus paid the price for us to be free from sin and death. We must pay the price to accept it. That price is to leave the old ways behind. We must repent and turn away from our sin.

Have you paid the price for accepting God’s grace and mercy?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Come up here . . .

September 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
(Revelation 4:1-11 (NIV))

We are given a very clear picture of what the Throne of God is like and how He is worshipped in heaven. Continual praise and worship by His creation!

We are also given a very clear picture of how quickly we can be in God’s presence. John was told to “Come up here,…” and at once he was transformed and in the presence of God. This is how it will happen when the true church is removed from the earth. We will be called and immediately be in the presence of Jesus for the celebration of the marriage of the Lamb!

Are you ready? Will you be with Jesus worshipping God or will you be sorry that you missed the most important event in history?

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

July 4, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
(Isaiah 61:1 (NIV))

How do you define freedom?

Jul 4th is the day that we, as a nation, celebrate our freedom, but does freedom go deeper than what we have defined in our Declaration of Independence?

What can we, as humanity, be held captive by?

There is tyranny. There is political oppression. There is physical confinement. There is addiction. I am certain that if we try hard enough that we can come up with other things that are capable of holding us captive.

What about fear? What about death? What about the fear of death?

We can celebrate our freedoms that were signed into existence July 4, 1776, and we should rejoice over those freedoms, but there is another freedom that is far more important.

Humanity was condemned by the laws of sin and death, for we had sinned against God. In our sin, all were condemned to be captives of death. All were prisoners of a life that offered no escape from the consequences of this sin. We were, to use a line from a movie, “dead men walking.” We had no hope.

God had another plan!

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Jesus came into the world to offer us grace and mercy. His willingness to go to the cross for us paved the way for His resurrection. His resurrection gives freedom to all who will profess that Jesus is Lord and Savior.

July 4th is an important date in our history, for it gave us freedoms that no other government had ever granted to its citizens. No matter how great these freedoms may be, they pale in comparison to the freedom that was given to us through the cross. As you celebrate with family and friends, don’t forget where true freedom comes from. It is not through a man-made declaration written in ink. It is from a God ordained declaration written in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. It is a declaration that was validated at the resurrection. It is a declaration that has no specific date. It is a declaration that each of us must accept for ourselves.

Only this declaration offers what no other can offer.

True freedom!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I pray that we can lift our veil!

July 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV))

What is your hope?

Does a veil cover your heart?

With the 4th of July just a day away, I want to ask a serious question. Do you feel that there is a veil over our country? In other words, is there a veil over the hearts of the people?

I am hopeful, for I was privileged to see something over the last few days that has given me hope even in the midst of all of the issues that our country faces.

I took my daughter up to Washington, D.C. for a two week intensive American Sign Language course at Galaudette University. I have a cousin who lives in D.C. that I have not seen in a while. He lives not too far from Galaudette University. I visited with him and saw a side of D.C. that the media does not present. I did not see all communities, but the ones that I did see are all a good example of the melting pot. I discovered that the actual residential areas of the city are basically little communities with a small “downtown” area of restaurants and shops. Everybody walks from their homes to these areas and it appears that, even though there is noise and a lot of activity, it is safe to be out in the “neighborhoods” at any time.

Two days before I arrived in D.C., there was a bad storm and many areas where without power. I found many of the radio stations, Christian and secular, offering information on how to find help in the middle of the high temperatures and power outages. I did a lot of driving and many of the stop lights were out. Everyone was very polite and did not try to take advantage of the power problems. Many churches that had power opened up their doors to those who did not.

This is the power of the USA. It is not the political issues or the government, but it is the people. Even in the midst of the political issues going on in their backyard, and the difficulties from the storm, the faith of the people in each other was impressive, despite political opinions.

I know that many have their hearts covered by a veil, yet, I see the work of the Holy Spirit also. There is a strong presence of the Holy Spirit in D.C. I heard it manifested through the large number of calls asking people to pray for and / or help those in need.

As I drove home, I looked upon my drive with a different outlook. I do not know what God has in store for this country, but I do now know that faith is strong. I do know that we, as the Body of Christ, need to be united in this faith and fully rely on the fact that it is not our leaders, but God who is in control. If we can regain this knowledge, then God can still use this country to His greater glory.

I pray that we can lift our veil!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you still crushed?

March 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(Psalms 34:18 (NIV))

Take a serious look at your life. When did you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? I bet it was at a low point in your life! It is this low point in which many people turn to God. People discover that He is there and that He is someone to turn to who can help them in their hour of need. What is so amazing is that He will not leave you in your need. He will come into your life and guide you through the rough times and lead you to the place that He wants for you.

Consider this aspect of God. Most people are “friends” only when things are going well for you. The moment things start to go bad, they disappear. God is not like that. He is there no matter what you are going through. Perhaps He is there even before you go through the bad things, but you don’t notice Him until these times hit hard.

God is close to the brokenhearted, but He wants to be close to everyone. Perhaps the reason the crushed in spirit turn to Him is the simple fact that they long for a better place. They realize that the better place is available only through Him. Isn’t it comforting to know that the crushed in spirit can turn to God and not be rejected, especially when the world rejects them. There may be a mixed blessing within this truth. If the world rejects you, you are rejected by the prince of the world. If you are rejected by the prince of the world, you can turn to the Creator of this world for comfort.

The best part, once again, is that He will not leave you with a crushed spirit. He will transform you into the creation that He meant for you to be.

Are you still crushed?

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