How good are you at seeing the unseen?

September 9, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV))

Human nature likes the easy way out!

If something is directly in front of us, do most of us go searching for something better?

If we can see, do most of us make a choice to gamble on the uncertainty of the unseen? This concept has been put to the test many times. Popular television game shows use this concept to get contestants to agonize over a decision to keep what they have or go after what is behind the door. Human nature likes a gamble, yet, at the same time human nature likes certainty. We always make decisions based on what we think will be best for us, whether immediately or long term.

Think about that with respect to your life. Unless you are striving for something that satisfies a personal desire, most things that you do are the easy option. We take advantage of what we can see and plan. Even with this in mind, it is almost a certainty that the difficult things that a person chooses to do are so that they will have an easier life later. All that you have to do is look at your educational choices and then your career choices to see how this pans out for most of us.

What if we could be guaranteed that what is behind God’s door is so much better than what we can see in this world? The things of this world are in a sinful, fallen state. Do we want to trade sin for sin? What we are promised from God is so much better. We are promised to have our sins removed! We are promised to be able to spend eternity in His presence! Unlike the trickery and uncertainty of the television game shows, what is behind God’s door is so much better than what the world has to offer. The treasure that God promises is worth whatever we have to do in order to attain it!

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

The treasures on earth are seen. The treasure of heaven are only seen through faith!

How good are you at seeing the unseen?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t give in to the fear!

September 21, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
(1 Kings 19:3-4 (NIV))

Wow!

Think about that for a moment. Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever faced a situation that you thought would be the end of you and your life as you know it? Have you ever simply wanted to give up and let the enemy win because the battle was too hard?

Even Elijah had these feelings. He feared for his life. In other words, Elijah saw the world and did not rely on God as he should. He was afraid of what the world would throw at him. He was so afraid that he actually ran away and prayed to die. Elijah was a great prophet of God, yet, he had feelings that were not from God.

How do you feel when you have moments like these? Think about how Elijah must have felt. Still, God did not abandon him. He will not abandon you.

Elijah was a great prophet. He heard God and he obeyed. Yet, in a moment of weakness, even a great prophet of God can lose sight of who is in control. God redeemed Elijah and had him speak His word again. Some would even say that Elijah’s greatest moments with God came after this episode.

Just because you have faltered in your faith, it doesn’t mean that God is not capable of using you for His purposes. I am sure that most of you have heard the old say, “God does not call the equipped. He equips the ones He calls.” He will equip you even when you feel that you are of no use to Him.

Don’t let the world make you lose sight of God’s calling. Focus on God, especially in the moments that you feel are your moments of failure. He will turn them into the seed that produces great things for His Kingdom. In stead of saying that you have had enough, boldly proclaim that the Lord is all you need! Don’t give in to the fear!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You will find blessings when your journey is through!

September 20, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.
(Job 23:10-11 (NIV))

Job was tested to the limits of human understanding and tolerance. All throughout his ordeal, his friends kept trying to get him to turn away from God. Many of them even accused Job of doing something against God and his ordeal was a punishment.

Do you have any friends like that?

Maybe the term “friend” is not the best way to describe these type of people. A friend is one who always has your best interest at heart. They will do things for you that others will not. They will defend you when you need defending. They will stand by you in times of trouble. Did this happen with Job?

In his ordeal, Job knew in his heart that he had done nothing wrong in the eyes of God. He knew his own heart. He knew that what was happening was not of God. He knew that he was not going to waiver in his faith. He kept his eyes focused on the promise of a better tomorrow and a hope of redemption.

Have you ever felt like everything was against you even though you did what you knew to be the right thing? Stand firm in your faith just as Job did. Don’t allow the enemy to weaken you by the attacks that come your way. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and allow His strength to carry you even when you feel that you cannot go on. Tomorrow is another day. It brings hope. It brings a new beginning. Placing your faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior also brings grace and mercy. Where there is grace and mercy, love abounds.

Stay close to the love of God and allow Him to guide your paths. Follow closely in His steps and do not turn aside.

You will find blessings when your journey is through!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is our refuge. He is our stronghold!

February 24, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word oppressed?

Many of us think of someone being treated cruelly or unfairly. But did you know that it also means to burden spiritually or mentally? In simpler terms, it means to weigh heavily on your mind or spirit.

Let’s face the truth. As sinful humanity, there is always something that causes us to feel oppressed. Think about that for a moment and then think about the things in life that we all experience. Things like family issues, money problems, car repairs, home repairs, health related issues, and many other things that have a habit of keeping our minds in despair and away from God.

These are the very things that the enemy uses to trouble us. They are the very things that the enemy uses to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the relationship with God that both we and God want. The enemy knows that we are frail and will become distracted by the troubles of this life, and he uses it all too often.

Sadly, too many of us seem to turn to the troubles when it looks like we will escape them.

Stay strong!

Stay focused on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Why should we feel oppressed? Why should we feel trapped by and in our troubles? Why should we feel forsaken when we have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior?

Jesus is our refuge, He is our stronghold!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you be ready when Jesus returns?

September 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
(John 14:3 (NIV))

Jesus gave us many promises when He walked upon this earth. Perhaps the one that most people hold closest to their hearts is this one from John. Jesus tells us that He is preparing a place for us and will return for us. This promise gives us hope for a future away from the sin and heartache of this world. A future that knows no trouble. A future spent in the presence of God the Father through the grace of what His Son, Jesus, did for each of us.

We can stay focused on the troubles of this world, or we can focus on Jesus and our troubles will seem insignificant. All that we have to realize is that we have a promise of an eternity in heaven if we have truly accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

Do you look for Jesus to return to take you with Him, or do you not believe every word that God has given us in His Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you trying to enter?

June 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
(Luke 13:24 (NIV))

Too many people today believe that there are many different ways to get to heaven. Luke 13:24 tells us otherwise. This is also not the only passage where we are told that the way is narrow.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

What door we choose is up to us. We need to be sure that the door we do choose is the one that leads to salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is that narrow door. All other ways that mankind devises are simply that: man’s attempt to reach God. Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man.

Is your door the narrow door?

Stay focused on Jesus and make sure that you do not swerve either to the right or to the left.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay focused on Jesus!

March 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
(2 Peter 3:10-11 (NIV))

I was given a phrase today that just will not let me go.

Mindless entertainment.

Think about that. I also prayed to know what verses to write about and I stopped on these. At first I did not see the correlation, but then I read the passages again.

We ought to live holy and godly lives!

We all have an the idea that we live as closely as humanly possible to how God calls us to live. We pray. We attend church. We read our Bibles. We try to treat other as Jesus would. We realize that no one is capable of living a perfect life and we try as hard as we can to follow what Jesus has taught us.

Still, we have those moments.

We all have them.

Moments when we drop our guard and simply allow the world to creep in. These moments often are a result of a desire to relax, to simply let go and enjoy something mindless for a little while. We treat our minds, our spirits and our bodies the same. All three seek a rest now and then. It is what we fill this time with that is often the problem, especially for our mind and spirit. If we are not careful, when we let our guard down, the things that we allow to fill us during these times can be very detrimental.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
(Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV))

In other words, know God’s Word so well that even when you are in need of a rest, the mindless entertainment will not plant seeds of wickedness within your heart. I am sure that you are all familiar with the saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” Don’t let the world’s garbage change what is in your heart. Stay focused on Jesus!

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