Are you thankful for God’s great mercy?

March 13, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
(Daniel 9:18 (NIV))

We do not make requests of you because we are righteous!

This hit me today in a way that it hasn’t hit me before.

How many times have you gone to God and asked for His intervention? Have you ever been guilty of arrogance during these requests? Did you make these requests out of a selfish desire that would benefit you? I think that we have all been guilty of this. I know that I have more times than I care to admit. When we do this, I can almost picture God sitting there shaking His head in disbelief that we are doing it again.

Isn’t it great to know that God does not grant our requests based on our righteousness?

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))

I don’t know about you, but I am eternally grateful for God’s mercy, for without His mercy, I would have no hope. Without mercy, what can a filthy rag do?

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.
(Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV))

Are you thankful for God’s great mercy?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you enter His gates with thanksgiving!

November 22, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalms 100:4 (NIV))

Why do you give thanks?

Perhaps, more importantly, to whom do you give thanks?

At this time of year, we have officially set aside a day of Thanksgiving. A day that we use to reflect upon the things in our lives that make us happy. We have taken the concept that the Pilgrims started and turned it into a national day where we reflect upon what we have to be thankful for.

Many people are thankful for family, health, homes, prosperity, friends, and many other things. However, it is not a matter of what you are thankful for, but, I believe it is a matter of who you are thankful to.

Think about that for a moment.

You an be thankful for family, but what happens if you are thankful that you married the boss’s daughter instead of being thankful to God that you married a godly person? You can be thankful for health, and then go and risk it all in sin, or you can praise God that He has blessed you with life and health. you can be thankful for you home, but if you are thankful that your home is bigger and nicer than anybody else’s, you are not thanking God for providing you shelter.

I think that you see the point that I am trying to make. Being thankful isn’t always enough. What matters is where that thanks is directed.

I know that many people may not stop to think about salvation at Thanksgiving, after all, we have Christmas and Easter for that. Still, that is the biggest blessing that we can ever receive. It should be the one that merits the biggest “Thank You” that we can ever give.

How can we thank God for grace and salvation?

Simply be thankful each and every day that you are alive. Share that gratitude with all whom you see. Being thankful is a choice. It is also your choice where to direct your thanks.

Do you enter His gates with thanksgiving!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How well do you follow these instructions?

November 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
(1 Chronicles 16:8 (NIV))

Pretty straight forward instructions, but how well do we follow them?

Let’s run through a quick checklist.

How often do we give thanks to the Lord? Do we take things for granted when we should be thankful for what we have been given?

How often do we call upon His name? It is common to say things every once in a while such as “Lord, help me,” but do we really cry to out to God? Do we open up our hearts and tell Him our inner most desires?

How often do we make God known among the nations? This is probably the one where we fail the most. If you stop and think about these three points, giving thanks is probably the easiest. Calling upon His name is a little more difficult since we like to think that we can handle things ourselves, and proclaiming God to the nations is the most difficult. It is with this point where we must verbalize, where we must get outside of our comfort zone and loudly profess our faith in God and proclaim what He has done.

If you had to fill out a check list, or rate these three points on a scale of 1 to 10, how well would each of us do at the end of each day? Would we find that we have responded as we should or would we find that a majority of events during the day would go completely unrecorded? Do we miss opportunities in our daily lives to give thanks, to call upon God’s name, and to proclaim Him to the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God perfecting you?

June 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV))

We should rejoice in the fact that none of us are completed in God’s sight. What God started in Genesis was a fore-taste of what He had planned.

Salvation through Jesus Christ, His Son, is a wonderful gift that none of us deserve. God did not plan on stopping with only saving us. He wants to perfect us in His sight. Every day that we live in this world is another day that we come closer to God’s image for us. We will not see perfection in this life, though, since this world has been turned over to the powers of the air. God is perfecting us and will complete this task, one by one, when we stand before Him.

We as believers, have a strong and mighty God who is in control, and who is working His ultimate plan. We must pray for each other and for those who are not yet in The Kingdom.

Let God work in you today to perfect you and to pray for others that He is perfecting.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give thanks to God and give Him all praise every day!

November 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV))

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am glad that we stop and give thanks. However, I also have a bone to pick with the Body of Christ!

Do we give praise to God often enough?

Do we express our thanks to God for what He has given to us?

I know too many members of the Body of Christ who don’t appear to be thankful for anything. They are more concerned about man-made rules and have lost sight of the joy that is theirs through Jesus.

I pray that this Thanksgiving becomes a daily occurrence in the hearts of the members of the Body.

Give thanks to God and give Him all praise every day.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How have you responded to God’s gift?

November 25, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV))

It is hard for us to imagine that God could send Jesus who willingly gave up HIs authority while on this earth. He humbled himself to the point of servanthood and, eventually, death. Even in our best moments, we could not be capable of doing this, let alone planning to do it.

It is true, that under certain circumstances, people will rise to the occassion and do something that is selfless. Yet, could you imagine planning to be a servant and knowing that you would die a horrible death because you made the choice to do so? Self centeredness and self-preservation are too strong in us to willingly accept what Jesus accepted on our behalf.

Many people think that Jesus was only a good man, yet, even the best of men could not have done what he did? Only the Son of God could have willingly accepted the burden that he bore, for he knew the rewards that would be gained for all who called upon his name. He went willingly to be our sacrifical lamb so that we would not have to face eternal separation from God.

We have a great gift that has been given to us.

Are you thankful for that gift?

How have you responded to that gift? Are you one who bows your knee and confesses before man, or will you be one who confesses too late?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love this world and the sin that it brings?

November 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:25-26 (NIV))

Love and hate may seem to be extreme terms for the gift of life that God has given. How can Jesus say that we must hate something that God has given us?

Take a serious look at how God had intended for life to be. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they had to do no work or had no pain. It was through sin that they were forced to leave the Garden and enter into a world of hardship and toil.

We are not living life as God intended. Jesus came to show the way for us to get back to the original plan for life. If we hate this life as instructed, we long for a better life. If we love this life, then we have accepted the sin that has come into the world. We can be thankful for the life that God has given us, yet at the same time, long for the life that God intended for us.

Be careful not to confuse thankfulness with love of this world. We, as believers, have a much better life promised to us.

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