Today’s church needs to embrace the power of prayer!

June 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16 (NIV))

The early church knew the power of prayer. The apostles had watched Jesus pray and had seen the results of His prayers. They had prayed and seen the results of their prayers. They had seen first-hand what prayer can do. They were used to confessing one to another and praying for each other. When they lifted each other up in prayer, God gave them strength and increased their faith.

In today’s society, we have all but stopped this practice. Our hectic life-styles have become a burden. We seldom meet with each other. When we do, it appears that most of us put on a false front and say that everything is alright, while inside we are hurting. We need to return to the practice that James spoke of. We need to have a group of believers that we can turn to on a weekly or a daily basis. This group is our accountability group. They are there to listen and encourage, and most of all, pray for each other. When we meet together in this manner to fulfill God’s will for our lives, our prayers will be heard. A righteous man is one who seeks the will of God. If we seek the will of God, then God will hear.

Are your prayers powerful and effective or are they just quick and meaningless “hellos”?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your faith been tested?

May 19, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
(Luke 22:31-32 (NIV))

Simon thought that he was willing to face what Jesus was about to face. Jesus knew the heart of Simon and He knew that Simon meant well, but that he was weak.

Isn’t it ironic that Satan asked Jesus if he could sift Simon like wheat. I almost picture Satan as one of those television characters that is extremely hyper and edgy, constantly asking to have an outlet for what is inside. The only difference is that what is inside of Satan is pure evil.

Did you take note of Jesus’ reaction to Satan’s request. He prayed for Simon. Jesus, who was God made man, prayed for Simon’s faith. He could have easily told Satan that he could not touch Simon. Instead, Jesus prayed that Simon’s faith would not fail. Jesus knew that Simon would be strengthened by the attack. All too often, we, as the Body of Christ, forget that we would face tribulation.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

When we face the enemy, we must remember the words that Jesus told Simon. We must remember that Jesus is also praying for us to have a faith that will not fail. Once we have that faith, we, too, can strengthen our brothers and sisters.

Has your faith been tested?

Are you able to strengthen others?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have your full armor on?

January 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

Like you, I was repulsed and saddened by the news of the events in Paris. This is just another in a long line of physical terrorist attacks. These attacks are only the surface!

There is a spiritual battle going on in the world and for the world.

Is the Body of Christ prepared to face the enemy directly? Will we stand our ground when we are faced with the evils of the enemy? Will we know that our faith is strong enough to endure whatever we may face?

God’s Word gives us the faith, the hope and the strength to face whatever may come our way. Rest assured, if you are immersing yourself in God’s Word and living according to what God is teaching us, then you will be attacked. It may not be anything like what happened in Paris, but Satan, through one of his various tools, will attack.

Stand firm. Be prepared as any good soldier is prepared. Know your responsibilities. Know the tricks of the enemy. Be able to discern when something is not one hundred percent truth according to God’s Word.

Know God’s Word.

Pray!

Seek God’s face.

Do you have your full armor on?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you seek God’s nearness at all times?

December 8, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
(Psalms 73:28 (NIV))

Do you think that it is good to be near God?

I suppose that is the question that many people struggle with on a daily basis. To some people, there are times when they think that nearness to God is not a good thing. These people are so engrossed in their sin that they don’t want to be reminded that what they do is wrong.

Think about that for a moment.

When we think of being near to God, we tend to think of the spiritual high and the resulting feelings. We are not so fast to embrace the times when our nearness to God means that we will be under God’s scrutiny and we will learn what God has in plans for us.

We, as humanity, don’t like to think of the times that we will be under God’s proverbial microscope. We like to think of nearness to God as a blessing, and it always is. However, it is the times when God brings us to a better understanding of Himself and ourselves that we want to push God away. It is during these times when we no longer want to be near to God.

Have you ever had a time in your life when God was calling you nearer to Him so that He could teach you something. It is not always pleasant to realize that your human nature has led you astray. Many times it is painful to return to God. It hurts our pride to admit that we have fallen short even when we have promised to walk with Him in all that we do.

Are you strong enough in your faith to welcome the admonitions and corrections that God will send our way? Are you strong enough to realize that God is removing things from you that you are too weak to remove yourself?

Do you seek God’s nearness at all times?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We need each other in our faith!

November 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(Colossians 3:16 (NAS))

There are those who say that they do not need to go to church, that their belief is a personal issue.

Belief is a personal issue, yet, when all of the world is against what you believe in, it requires strength to survive and maintain those beliefs.

What if you want to grow your faith? All throughout history, people have taken comfort from others. When we teach our children, we do it in groups so that they may have the benefit of not only learning from the teacher, but also learning from each other. Why do we treat learning about God any different than we treat learning about anything else?

It is true that it is a relationship between the Creator and His creation, but the creation is a fallen entity and needs external support in order to stay focused. That is one reason why schools have class-rooms; to keep an order and a focus. Without that external support, our focus tends to stray. We need each other in all aspects of life, not just social. We must gather together as believers to help each other keep our focus on God and to help us grow.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Focus on the ultimate power and authority

October 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

No matter what the world throws at us, we have to focus on the ultimate power and authority that will eventually claim His own and then the world for Himself. We cannot be swayed by powers of this world, for they are fleeting.

A person’s life has been compared to a blade of grass. We are here for a short time, and then the world remembers us no more. With this kind of certainty in the physical world, we need to place our hope and faith in something that has better lasting potential than a blade of grass.

No matter how the world is going in your opinion, remember that God IS in control, and all powers of this earth have been put here for a reason. We do not know the exact details, but we can pray that God will be in control of us as well.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In other words, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

June 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Luke 21:34-36 (NIV))

In other words, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

No matter what we may face in this life, we must never forget where our strength lies. We must never forget that we are not our own source of strength. If we rely upon ourselves, then we will be weighed down by the anxieties of life. Our anxieties are far greater than we are. They are not greater than Jesus. When we focus on Jesus and the promises that He has fulfilled, then our anxieties tend to pale in comparison. We see His eternal strength and the fleeting problems soon are no longer important. They may still be there, but Jesus will give us the strength, His strength, to see them through.

We must stay alert and watch so that we will be able to discern the anxieties that come our way. Our vision will see them approaching and in our frail humanity, we may panic. We must learn to see them through the eyes of Jesus. Through His eyes, all obstacles are made easier. He teaches us how to rely on Him while we encounter them.

Are you ever watchful?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


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