Have you received what had been promised?

November 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
(Hebrews 11:39-40 (NIV))

Before Jesus came into this world, no one was capable of achieving God’s perfect Will. Even those who had the faith to follow God when no one else was, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did not have what we have been granted today. No matter how faithful they may have been, no one was perfect in the eyes of God. They could not be allowed to stand before the Throne of God due to their sin.

God could not allow sin in His presence, therefore, before Jesus came to be a living sacrifice for atonement for our sins, the people that we read about in the Old Testament could not enter into God’s Glorious Kingdom after their death. God did take some people directly to heaven without allowing them to see death, but It is through our physical death that sin has control over us.

We, as the human race, have suffered the spiritual death through Adam and Eve. Through this death, sin was allowed into the world. Through sin, we suffer a physical death. Perhaps it is for this reason that God allowed Elijah to be taken directly to Heaven without experiencing an actual physical death.

Unfortunately, this has only happened a very few times. The rest of us are bound by the law of sin and physical death, but Jesus came to provide a way for us to break that law. Through the sacrifice that God planned through His Son, Jesus Christ, we have the only way available to defeat sin and death. All it takes is a simple act of faith and claim that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior.

The odds are much better this way than with God taking you directly to Heaven.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Then I saw a Lamb . . .

October 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
(Revelation 5:6-14 (NIV))

Are you anticipating this scene as it unfolds in heaven?

Do you think that it will happen?

Perhaps the most important question is are you praying for it to happen?

We, as the Body of Christ, must not be focused on the things of this world. We must focus on the Will of God and having it unfold. We should not be so engrossed in our physical surroundings and the lives that we have been blessed with that we miss God’s bigger picture, His bigger plan.

Do you study God’s Word with a heavenly perspective, or do you simply study God’s Word to help you live your physical life? Both are important. Unfortunately, too many members of the Body of Christ focus on the physical realm and ignore the spiritual realm. Too many members of the Body of Christ say that it confuses them or that they don’t understand it.

We need to understand it. We need to recognize the spiritual implications of the things that we see. We need to recognize the physical manifestations of things that happen in the spiritual world.

Are we seeing the manifestation of spiritual events in the physical world? Are we prepared for these events?

Or, are we so focused on our daily lives that we are missing what God is telling us?

Do we join the four living creatures in saying “Amen” to the things that are unfolding?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you asked God to provide?

February 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You do not have, because you do not ask God.
(James 4:2c (NIV))

How many of us are guilty of not approaching the throne of God?

Let’s face the truth. Human nature has us asking for things all of the time, but, when was the last time that you approached boldly and with the certainty that what you were asking for was actually a part of God’s Will? Do we ever truly have that certainty? Perhaps you need confirmation.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
(John 16:24 (NIV))

Just what do you find joy in? Is it your family? Is it your job? Is it how you serve God? Perhaps your joy truly comes from desiring to know God’s heart and to fulfill His joy! When you desire to fulfill God’s plan for your life, you experience great joy for His joy has become yours. When you seek after God’s heart, then you can ask God anything that fits within the boundaries of that joy. When we truly find this, then we are complete for we have found what God created us for. When you know what God created you for, then the things that you ask will fit within His plan for you and He will provide.

What is God’s plan for your life? Are you confident of that plan? Have you asked God to provide?

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
(1 John 5:14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Come up here . . .

September 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
(Revelation 4:1-11 (NIV))

We are given a very clear picture of what the Throne of God is like and how He is worshipped in heaven. Continual praise and worship by His creation!

We are also given a very clear picture of how quickly we can be in God’s presence. John was told to “Come up here,…” and at once he was transformed and in the presence of God. This is how it will happen when the true church is removed from the earth. We will be called and immediately be in the presence of Jesus for the celebration of the marriage of the Lamb!

Are you ready? Will you be with Jesus worshipping God or will you be sorry that you missed the most important event in history?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The greatest event of all eternity

September 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV))

I get chills every time I read this passage.

Close your eyes and let the Holy Spirit guide you. What do you see? Is it possible for human imagination to even come close to the majesty that this passage tries to describe?

Why would anyone deliberately do something to miss out on what will in all honesty be the biggest praise event of all time? All worldly, human efforts are nothing in comparison to what awaits those who are redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus.

Think about this for a moment.

What events do you like to take part in?

Sports? Music? Drama?

Now, I want you to remember the feelings that you had when everything went well. Did you feel elated and overjoyed? Did you feel so excited that you shouted praises? How long did that feeling last?

The ultimate elation and joy that we, as believers, can ever feel is in the presence of God. This is a God who loves us. This is a God who redeemed us. This is a God who claims us as His own. To put it in sports terms, each and every one of us are first round draft picks in the eyes of God. He offered us something that should cause us to be forever grateful and forever in praise of His name.

Think back to the most moving experience that you have ever had. As great as that experience was, just imagine how much greater it will be to be in the presence of God. When I close my eyes and try to envision this scene, I am filled with an overwhelming peace. I am filled with a reverence and an awe. Mostly, I am filled with a tremendous joy. Now I know why we cannot see God face to face in our earthly bodies. The joy would overwhelm us. The majesty would overwhelm us. God’s love would overwhelm us.

Perhaps that is why we need faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

If we saw it in our earthly state, we would not be able to handle it. Faith gives us the eyes to see what our imperfect bodies cannot handle. Faith allows us to see this glorious event from a fantastic perspective.

Are you ready for the greatest event of all eternity?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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