What prize do you really seek?

May 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV))

What is the prize that you seek in this race that we call life? Is it fame, fortune, wealth, power? Or is it something of far greater value?

If you look at life through the eyes of the world, you may be asking yourself what is of greater value than these things. Look inward! God has created something of far greater value that He watches it daily.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
(Matthew 6:26 (NIV))

What value do birds have? How could that be more valuable than fame, fortune, wealth or power?

God looks at things very differently than the world does. He can make gold if He desires. He can perform miracles that bring fame if He desires. God does not love these things. He loves the birds of the air and He feeds them. The good news is that He loves each of us more than He loves the birds.

With this in mind, the prize that we seek should not be of this earth. It should be an earnest and sincere faith in God, in Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. This faith will get you the ultimate prize – eternal life. What prize could compare with that?

What prize do you really seek?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you press on?

April 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man;
they are not plagued by human ills.
(Psalms 73:2-5 (NIV))

Isn’t it easy to be fooled by what we see that the world has to offer?

Sometimes it seems that the world has the better things, but we must remember that what the world has to offer is only temporary. These things can be destroyed by moth and rust.

When we are confronted with the temptations of the world, we must remember that we have a firm foundation, a solid hope that is not of this world. What we desire is not of this world. Our treasure is the very heart and Word of God. Through the Word made flesh, we have a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. We have a treasure that is eternal. We must simply keep our focus on Jesus when the world tries to distract us.

There will be many distractions that the world will send your way during your life. Like Paul wrote:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14(NIV))

Do you press on, or are you distracted by the worldly temptations?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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You are not of the world!

January 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
(John 17:13-19 (NIV))

Do you get upset by the things in this world?

To be honest with you, it is difficult to not get upset with what is going on.

Do you let them effect your attitude and your joy?

Think about that for a moment.

When Jesus came into the world, he came because of the love that God the Father has for His creation. He came to bring joy. Did Jesus alter His joy because of what was around Him, or did he live out His earthly life bringing joy, peace and love?

If Jesus had let the matters of the world get Him down like we allow them to do to us, can you honestly say that we would have the gift of grace and mercy that He came to bring? Would Jesus have allowed Himself to go to the cross? Would he have allowed Himself to suffer and to die if He did not keep His eyes focused on what truly matters?

“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))

Think about those words that Jesus spoke to His disciples.

Did He tell them, and us, to worry about the world and to let it drag us down, or did He tell us to keep our eyes on Him, because He is greater than the world?

Why do so many of His Body allow the world to get us down? I know that there are several things that are not right by God’s standards, but does that mean that we should lose our hope, our faith, and our joy? Should we simply role over and allow the enemy to have his way with us?

We have a hope greater than anything of this world!

We have a savior who is able to save us from anything and through anything that this world may send our way.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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