What do you live by?

March 20, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Are you ashamed to share the gospel?

Think long and hard about that question. Which is more likely to happen – you repeat the joke that you heard the other day or you tell the same person about how Jesus has changed your life? What type of a message are you conveying if the joke is off color and something that should not be repeated? Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps what you don’t do is having more of an impact than what you do?

Place yourself in this scenario. You are the guest of honor and featured speaker at a respected business convention. The place is packed. What will the audience think of you if the first words out of your mouth put down the event and the city because it was out of your way to come to this location? What will be their reaction if you praise the kindness of the host and the beauty of the city?

What if words are not your strong suit?

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Perhaps your actions are what people really pay attention to. Do your actions reflect your faith? Do your actions speak louder than your words? What do your actions say? Do your actions speak a different message than the words that you say?

According to Merriam-Webster, righteousness is “acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin.” Righteousness is basically thinking, speaking, acting and living according to what God desires. We are to live by His Word. We are to reflect His Word in all that we do, even when no one is watching, even when it is not politically correct to profess a faith in Jesus.

Faith is the backbone, it is the foundation of a life lived in Christ. It is not something to be turned on and off when it is convenient. It is what we should live by.

What do you live by?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you truly understand what Jesus did?

March 26, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
(Matthew 20:18-19 (NIV))

Have you truly come to terms with all that Jesus did for you and I, or are you still stuck in the mindset that all that Jesus accomplished can be summarized in a basket full of treats that will soon go away?

Think about that.

Even as adults, we have a tendency to look at the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as only a day to get together with family and have fun with some events for the children. In the back of our minds, we know that it is more than this, but have we turned the most crucial day to our faith into nothing more than a chance to over eat? Sure, we have Good Friday services and many of us will get up and go to a sunrise service on Resurrection Sunday, but do we truly understand the full implications of what we celebrate? Have we become so jaded by the fact that we can turn on a TV or go to a movie and see things that appear to be miraculous? If that is the case, what happens when we truly read about the power of God raising Jesus from the dead? Do we take it for granted? Do we overlook the magnitude of the implications for those who truly believe, for those who truly call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

We are told many times that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Jesus implicitly foretells the events that He would face. He knew that His fulfillment of the plan for humanity’s salvation would transpire exactly as foretold. He knew that His willingness to lay down His life would mean that you and I could walk with assurance that our sins have been forgiven. He knew the weight of the world’s sin that He carried would mean that you and I could stand before God the Father as a spotless bride. He saw the faces of every person to ever live and He willingly offered His sinless life for our sin filled lives.

Without the crucifixion, there would be no resurrection. Without the resurrection, there would be no grace and mercy that could be given. Without the grace and mercy freely given at the cross, you and I would be forever lost in our sin.

Do you truly understand what Jesus did?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Never stop studying God’s Word!

November 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
(Matthew 22:29 (NIV))

I know that Jesus spoke these words to the Sadducees when they were trying to trick Him with a question about the resurrection, but I often wonder if He looks at me and thinks that of me?

Let’s face facts. We have all had these feelings and thoughts, for the more we study God’s Word, the more we realize that we don’t know. I often wonder about this aspect of God. We are told that His ways are not our ways and that our understanding is as if we were looking through a dark glass. Just when we think we understand what we see through the dark glass, God turns up His light just a little and He shows us more about Himself. After this had happened to me a few times, I realized that I knew nothing of God’s infinite wisdom and His power.

All that I was seeing was the proverbial tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to truly knowing God. It takes a lifetime of studying God’s Word. It takes a lifetime of prayer. It takes a lifetime spent in His presence to ever begin to fathom the depth and breadth of God and His love for us.

I want you to promise me something. Actually, I want you to promise yourself something, and that is that you will never stop studying God’s Word, that you will never stop praying, and that you will never stop seeking to be in God’s presence. I pray that as we all do these things, that there will eventually be fewer times where Jesus will tell us that we are in error because we do not know the Scriptures. I also want you to promise that your study will not simply be for gaining head knowledge. Let the power of God’s Word permeate your thoughts and the wisdom settle in your heart!

I long to truly know the Scriptures and the power of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you see the power and glory of God in His sanctuary?

September 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
(Psalms 63:2 (NIV))

Imagine the most beautiful church sanctuary that you have ever seen. The man-made awe and reverence is nothing compared to the holy presence of God in His heavenly sanctuary. It is beyond imagination.

If God has promised us streets of gold in heaven, how much more magnificent will His sanctuary be? The sanctuary were we should not even be allowed to enter because of our sinful nature. How can we enter into God’s sanctuary? Through the grace and mercy that God has shown to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through this grace and mercy, our sins have been washed white as snow. Perhaps God’s power and glory have been made even more glorious because of this gift, for, without this gift, we would not be able to ever see God in His sanctuary.

Will you see the power and glory of God in His sanctuary?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I pray that my eyes will always be open!

August 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think about the impact that prayer has? Have you ever stopped to think that it is your prayers for God’s Will that God may use as the benchmark of whether or not to release the heavenly forces that He has at His command?

God will protect His people. We have seen this in the Scriptures. We have seen it possibly in our own lives.

The passage above makes me realize that God has more waiting for us than we can ever possibly imagine. It only takes faith and prayer to see God’s mighty hand at work.

I often wonder if I were in this situation, how would I have reacted? Would I have had the faith of Elisha or, in all probability, would I have been like his servant?

Can you imagine the fear and panic that the servant felt when he saw that the army had surrounded the city? How would you have reacted? It probably would initially be a very human response, a response that is based on the fight or flight instinct that seems to possess humanity in times of troubles.

Now, put yourself in the servant’s position after his eyes have been opened as an answer to prayer. I honestly believe that shock and awe occurred in this instance long before that phrase became to be known for military strategies in this current age. If you stop to think about this servant, he experienced something that took his faith level off of the charts. I can only imagine the stories he would later tell his friends and family of how God had miraculously saved him.

No matter what the world may send our way, we, as the Body of Christ, must pray that our eyes will be opened to see what the Lord is really doing in each and every situation.

Are your eyes open?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

April 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
(2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV))

Are you ashamed to testify about Jesus?

Are you willing to suffer for the Gospel?

Chances are very good that if you are ashamed of Jesus, then you will not be willing to suffer for the Gospel. Let’s face the truth. Are you even willing to tell someone about Jesus or do you change who you are depending on who you are around?

Faith in Jesus is not something that can be turned off and on to suit your needs. In fact, I would venture to say that this is not a true faith at all. We already know what will happen if we deny Jesus before men.

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

That group of words should be enough of a reason to stand firm in your faith. It should be enough of a reason to make you be consistent in testifying about Jesus. Sadly enough, though, there are many people who will change their story depending on whom they are around.

Did Paul waiver in his faith? Think about all of the times that he was stoned or ran out of town because of his faith in preaching the Gospel. Think about the house arrests and the imprisonments. Think about his martyrdom. Paul did not waiver in his faith. He did not change depending on who he was around even though there were times, from a physical human perspective, where it could have benefited him.

How would God have treated Paul if he had wavered? How would the church that grew from his faith look today if Paul had wavered?

I honestly don’t think that we will see too many more years pass before we see Jesus return for His bride. With this in mind, what do you think that the members of the Body of Christ in your circle of influence would look like if your influence is all they see and they see that you are ashamed of the Gospel?

Your testimony matters! Your story matters! Your faith matters!

If you are the only representative of Jesus that people will see, what will be their impression of the Gospel?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God’s power foolishness to you?

February 19, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

I realize that I am stuck on a topic, but the power of God is something that we can never get too much of.

It is the power of God that created all things.

It is the power of God that gave you life.

It is the power of God that raised Jesus from the grave!

It is the power of God that brings salvation.

Is there any other power that has done any of this?

Is there any other power that can redeem us?

It is true that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but if you think about it from God’s perspective, it is the ideal way to show power. Through the cross, the enemy thought that he was putting an end to God’s plans. Through the cross, the enemy violently put to death the one that God sent to bring redemption. It was foolish for anyone alive at this time to honestly believe that someone who had faced such a violent death would be alive and walking among us just three days later.

I find it amazing how God will use what we call foolishness to turn our world upside down.

I once heard a story about how a big revival got started. Members of a church started praying, and kept praying for months, for God to send a revival to their city. After months of praying, they were frustrated. It is my understanding that someone asked if anyone had heard God during all of this prayer time. One person finally admitted that they had heard a voice telling them to strike the table each time that they had been praying. They finally struck the table and God unleashed a revival on the city that lasted for years.

it sounds like foolishness, doesn’t it?

Is it foolishness or is it a step of faith in obedience?

God unleashes His power when we step out in faith and obedience!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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