Society teaches us something much different!

April 6, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
(Hebrews 13:5 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think that when we love money we are simply substituting one treasure for another? To be honest with you, we are actually trading down. There is nothing more valuable, nothing more worth having than the assurance that we have been given grace and salvation. That is the ultimate treasure, but far too many people simply ignore that treasure for a treasure that can be stolen.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV))

Why do we want to make such a ridiculous trade?

Why do we trade eternity for something shiny in the moment? Why do we long for things that will fade and rust?

As long as I can remember, we have been taught to toot our own horn, to follow our own will, and to go for the gusto so that we can enjoy the moment and reap all of the pleasures that it has to offer.

But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!”
(Isaiah 22:13 (NIV))

Too many people follow the sentiment in this passage without realizing that it has consequences.

The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: “Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for,” says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
(Isaiah 22:14 (NIV))

Society has deteriorated to the point where no one truly thinks of the consequences of their actions. Being self-centered is the normal state anymore. When you are self-centered, all that you can think of is worldly increase. We are told, and we soon begin to believe, that we deserve all that we can get. If we aren’t careful, we will get what we deserve.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

We must ignore what society is preaching and teaching and repent. We must turn to Jesus and love the Lord. We must love the Lord with all of our heart, our soul and our mind! We must ignore what society is doing, for society teaches us something much different!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is in your heart?

October 4, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
(Deuteronomy 6:6 (NIV))

Human nature is a strange thing. We are uniquely created, yet we all suffer from the same maladies. Basically, we suffer from a desire to be the center of our own little worlds. We suffer from a desire to be obsessed with certain aspects that are out of our control. We suffer from a desire to possess things to the point that our desires possess us. All of these things are stumbling blocks to what God has called us to be simply because they become the central focus of our existence. When something takes on this role in our lives, it has our heart, it has our mind and it has our complete existence.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that God told us to place His commandments in our hearts. They are to be the central focus of our lives. When God’s commandments are the central focus of our lives, our lives are complete. They are built upon the solid foundation of God’s truth. Everything that we do will be based on achieving what is in our heart!

Have you ever known someone who coveted money? It was all that they thought about and every action that they ever took was directed at getting more money.

Now, take that example and replace the money with a desire to know God and His commandments and His truth. Everything that is done is done to further that desire.

Each of us have the ability to place a number of things in our hearts. There is always a priority. There is always an ultimate treasure.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

What is in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your treasure?

July 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Luke 12:33-34 (NIV))

Now is a fantastic time to seriously take a look at what you are thankful for. What is the treasure that you hide in your heart? What single thing in your life would devastate you if it were suddenly taken away from you?

I know that these are hard questions. I look around at what I have and it is not my physical possessions. They will decay with time. It is not my work, for it is only a means by which God has blessed me to support myself and my family.

To me, my earthly treasures are my family – my parents, my wife and my children. I can’t imagine facing a single day without them. Even this treasure will fade. However, there is a treasure far greater than anything that this world has to offer. Through this treasure, my heart rejoices for I know that Jesus is that treasure. He is the hope. He is the salvation. Through Him, nothing the world sends my way will devastate me. I have the hope that only Jesus can bring. I have the hope of seeing my family.

I know that any time is a time of reflection upon the things that you have been blessed with. Don’t forget to take a look at all of your blessings and then thank the one who blessed you.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

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

Where is your treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your greatest treasure?

April 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV))

What is your greatest treasure?

Are you like some people and have a car that you keep spotless and in perfect condition? Do you have a home that is the epitome of what you have spent your life in pursuit of? Does your position bring you prestige and stroke your ego?

Sadly enough, these treasures are the misguided and fleeting possessions of someone who places their faith and trust in the wrong things. They are the treasures of someone who has their priorities all wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having these type of possessions if God has blessed you with them. What is wrong is an unhealthy obsession with these possessions that results in an exclusion of God’s Kingdom from your life.

Are you willing to give up your earthly treasures for what God has freely given to us through His son, Jesus Christ? Would you willingly give up your car that will eventually rust and stop running for a treasure in heaven that will never fade or diminish in value? Think about that question. What God offers us is far more valuable to possess than any possession that man can make, yet, we are often so reluctant to let go of what will rot and fade for something that will last for ever.

Are you willing to do what the people in this parable were willing to do?

They realized the uncompromised value of what they had found and realized that they needed to sell everything in order to obtain it. They were willing to let the things of man be set aside to allow the things of God to be obtained. It was a matter of priorities.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
(Luke 9:25 (NIV))

Are you willing to let go of your worldly treasures for the treasure that God has waiting for you?

Is that your final answer?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn to Jesus for the peace that passes understanding

May 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

No matter how tired I may get in my physical body, Jesus will give my soul rest. No matter how tired I may get in my mind due to stress that the world sends my way, Jesus will give my soul rest. Once my soul is at rest, then the weariness of the mind and body will also be put to rest.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We can’t have life to the full if we are weary and burdened. It is a matter of priorities.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

If you turn to Jesus as your treasure, He will give you rest. He will take our burdens and help you make it through them. He will give you the strength and the hope to believe that things will get better. Even when you must face the burdens of this world, He will be with you. He will give you peace in the midst of the trouble.

“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))

He will give you rest.

Are you still weary and burdened? Turn to Jesus for the peace that passes understanding.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you part of God’s special treasure?

March 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me.
(Exodus 19:5 (NLT))

How would you like to be called God’s special treasure?

Think about what this truly means.

God has given us an insight into the importance of treasure to the one who treasures it. He has given us insight into how He sees and understands treasure.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

Think about that passage in relation to the meaning of being called God’s own special treasure. If we are God’s own special treasure, then, according to His own words, His heart is also with us.

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

What an awesome realization that God treasures those who keep His commands. If we are His treasure, then His heart is for us. If He is for us, nothing can be against us that will harm us.

I can think of nothing that would please me more than to know that God considers me to be part of His special treasure.

Are you part of God’s special treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do your thoughts tell you?

March 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
(Mark 10:17-22 (NIV))

Jesus had a way of searching the heart, or perhaps I should say that he had a way of making people search their own hearts. We do not know what happened to this man. Did he closely inspect his heart and realize that he was controlled by his wealth, or did he go his own way and not give another thought to what Jesus said?

When Jesus walked the earth, He did not preach to those whom He knew were not ready to fully receive Him, yet, he did not ignore them, either. Jesus had a way of making people look at themselves in detail. The man went away sad not because he had great wealth, but probably because he realized that Jesus was right. He probably walked away thinking about what Jesus had said and became convicted that maybe he did let his wealth control him. Jesus had planted a seed in this man’s heart that would grow and possibly blossom into the fruit that Jesus knew the man needed.

Notice that Jesus did not pursue him. He let him go his own way knowing that what He had said would be the subject of much thought and reflection. It is thought and reflection that leads a person to acknowledge that something needs to change. It is thought and reflection that leads to a person realizing that they are a sinner in need of a Savior.

What do your thoughts tell you?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you hide in your heart?

February 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
(Psalms 119:11 (NIV))

What do you hide in your heart?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

It is true that people will place what they treasure within their hearts. It is what you think of first, last and most often. What is in your heart is your treasure, and typically people will hide what they do not wish for others to find. We hide our treasures!

What is it that you hide within your heart? What is it that you think of first, last and most often? If you are like every other person on this planet, then you are probably ashamed of your answer. Is it wealth? Is it power? Is it lust? Is it your family? Is it your job? Just what is it that you treasure?

What is it that God wants you to treasure and to hide in your heart?

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV))

We are to treasure God’s Word. We are to think of it first, last and most often.

What have you hidden in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Love is its own reward

January 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NIV))

When asked what their one regret is in life, no one has ever said that they wish they spent more time at the office. All of the wisdom or wealth in the world does not replace the one true treasure that this world has to offer.

1 Corinthians speaks of this treasure. When all else fades away, love is the only thing that really matters. The true test of someone’s character is not what they have in terms of wisdom or wealth, but in how much they love and how much they are loved.

Jesus taught out of love. He came to this earth out of love. He went to the cross out of love. He did not go to the cross because it would benefit Him financially. He did it all for love.

When you leave this world, the only thing that you take with you is your love; your love of God, Jesus, family, friends and your fellow man.

Love is its own reward.

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