Jesus has overcome the world!

November 18, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 (NIV))

If you are like me, you have seen countless posts and news articles about how we need to stop allowing refugees at this time. We must remember what we profess and why we profess it.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
(Romans 8:15-17 (NIV))

What is your reaction to what is happening in the world?

Are you living in fear?

Are you changing plans that you may have had because of recent events?

I have a question for you and I hope that this doesn’t come across as macabre.

Why do you fear death?

If you belong to Jesus, then we have nothing to fear. The enemy may kill the body, but the body is not what we are. It is only a vessel.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Matthew 10:28 (NIV))

I know that it is human nature to fear what we do not know, including death, but as the Body of Christ, we should not live in fear. Please don’t take me wrong and think that I am saying that we should welcome death. That is far from the truth. God gave us life. He did not create us death. He created us for life. However, this life is not the life that God intended when He created everything. Sin entered into the picture and now it is raising its ugly head like never before. If you study God’s Word and study the prophecies and promises that have been made, you know that God has already defeated sin when Jesus died on the cross.

Jesus arose from death!

He is with us if we call upon Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

“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))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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More birth pains and they are closer together!

November 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With recent events, I found myself returning to the following which was originally sent out on March 24, 2008. Stand firm in your faith! Do not be deceived!

******

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Birth pains!

Every day we read about still one more thing that could very easily be birth pains. There are wars and rumors of wars in many places. Terrorism is a war that is being fought on many fronts. Kingdoms are in constant struggle with one another. When these words were written, a nation referred to an ethnic people group such as the Israelites, the Hittites, and Assyrians. Today, it seems that ethnic struggles are increasing. Millions of people have been killed in Africa because they do not belong to the correct ethnic group. Israel is under constant threat because, in the eyes of the many Muslims, they are the wrong ethnic group.

Earthquakes are increasing. Everything seems to be going to the very extremes. One part of the world suffers a very severe draught while their neighbors suffer from very severe floods. One day we have winter. The very next is very warm. The next day we have rain. The next day we have very severe storms and tornadoes.

Man’s economies are getting further and further into trouble. According to the media, many people are losing their homes. To make matters worse, I saw a major headline today that said food prices are skyrocketing worldwide. Could we be far away from being able to buy a bag of gold with a piece of bread?

It is very easy to get depressed when you consider all that is going on in the world, but, don’t let the events of this world make you lose sight of your greatest hope. That hope is Jesus.

“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))

When the events of this world have you looking down, look up! Our hope is built upon the Son of God who sits at the right hand of God the Father. We have nothing to fear. All around us may fall apart, but we have a hope. We have a peace that passes all understanding. No matter what the world sends our way, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV))

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

May 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

What did you do yesterday?

Did you end the day with expectations for today?

Do you have big plans for tomorrow?

Are you planning something special for next week, next month or next year?

Everyone has expectations for the future, but how often do your expectations actually come true? With that in mind, there is one thing that I need to ask. What are your expectations with respect to salvation? Have you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you confident in your faith? Do you live out your faith as if your life could end at any moment and eternity depended on Jesus acknowledging you as a faithful follower?

Are you confident that you would not hear these words from Jesus?

`I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23b (NIV))

Let’s face the truth. None of us want to hear these words. None of us want to face the consequences of these words. Can you honestly look at your life in relation to what God has written and what Jesus has taught and find yourself righteous in the eyes of God? No one can!

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

It is for this reason that Jesus came into the world. It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross. It is for this reason that Jesus died. It is for this reason that Jesus was resurrected. It is through the acceptance of this gift that anyone can be saved. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All that we can know is that we have called upon Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. We must live for Him. We must commune with Him. We must seek His face in all that we do. We cannot simply call upon Jesus only when we need rescuing.

What are your expectations of your relationship with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Isn’t it time to seek the Lord and His help?

March 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I lift up my eyes to the hills–
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV))

Where do you turn to when you are in need of help?

Perhaps I should simply ask, “Where do you turn?”

People are strange when it comes to where they place there trust, where they turn in times of trouble and where they turn in times of joy.

For many people, they have different answers to each option. Some will turn to a best friend, some will turn to alcohol or drugs, and some will simply turn inward. Some people will turn to the same thing no matter what the circumstances. It is the very heart of these people that causes them to seek comfort in a single solution. They will turn to it when they are seeking trust. They will turn to it when they are in trouble, and they will turn to it in times of joy. Alcohol is a good example of this kind of comfort and help.

Have you stopped to think that there is another single source that is there no matter what you may face. This source of comfort will never let you down. It will never turn on you. It will never leave you lonely.

It is a strong person of faith who turns to the Lord in all instances. Many people will turn to the Lord only in times of trouble trying to make a deal. They are the very same people who ignore the Lord when things are good. God is not a magic genii who is there only for your troubles and hard times. He is there for all times – good, bad and in-between.

Think about that for a moment while I ask another question or two.

I want you to think of your best friend. Have they ever abandoned you in times of trouble? Have they been there to help you rejoice when things are good?

A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 (NIV))

There is someone who will always be there. He will always help. He will always rejoice. He will always guide, and He will always love.

Isn’t it time to seek the Lord and His help?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessings come in all forms!

January 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(1 Peter 4:12-17 (NIV))

Based on this passage, the people who are teaching a theology of prosperity may need to rethink what they are teaching. Don’t get me wrong. God does want to bless us, but we have also been told that we would have trouble. Jesus did not say that He would remove the trouble. He clearly said that we would have 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))

We, as believers, will face troubles. We will face troubles that other people do not face. We will be persecuted simply because we call upon the name of Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. This type of trouble should be welcome, for if we are ridiculed and persecuted because of the name of Jesus, then we are doing what He has called us to do. We are making ourselves known as members of His Body.

We will be blessed, but the blessings will come if we are willing to bless others. The blessings are not intended for those who simply seek the blessings. Perhaps we should even think of the troubles as a blessing, for they build character and mark us as followers of Jesus.

How are you blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn your eyes upon Jesus!

April 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“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))

In the midst of all the things that are happening in this world, another sad tragedy has occurred. Too many things are wrong with the world when someone will deliberately plant bombs to kill people.

I realize that many places in the world are facing events like this on a daily basis.

Why?

What has happened to the human race?

I know that things like this have happened all throughout history. The fall from grace truly has had a very bad impact on people since Adam and Eve sinned.

At times like this, many people turn to Jesus. Sadly enough, they soon fall away since their faith is founded on the world’s troubles and not on the salvation that Jesus brought. For those who are sincere, the following verse reminds us of where are faith is based.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

In times of trouble and in times of good; In times of plenty and in times of famine; In times of hope and in times of despair there is only one thing that we can do that will truly bring joy and peace.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus!

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

June 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
(Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV))

Blessed?

Have you ever had a time, even though you trust in the Lord, where you feel that you are far from blessed?

Be honest with yourself. If you are human, then you have had many of those times. I know that I have.

It is human nature to feel rejected. It is human nature to dwell on the negative, and the negative times do happen to everyone. Jesus warned us about this.

“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))

I want you to think back on the times when you did not feel blessed. What happened that made you feel that way? In all circumstances, it was probably an attack from someone or something in this fallen, sinful world.

Did you lose your trust in the Lord or did you lose your confidence in Him? After the initial heartbreak, and, yes, that is a normal reaction, chances are that you came to the realization that God is still with you, that Jesus is still with you.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33b (NIV))

These simple words should make us feel blessed even when we don’t feel blessed.

We are blessed because we have placed our faith and trust in the Lord. The enemy attacks us through things of this world. We begin to feel rejected. We begin to feel that we are not blessed. It is at these very moments in life when we must remember that Jesus came into this world, lived, died and was resurrected for moments like this. We can take heart, for He has overcome the world.

When we feel that we are not blessed is the time that we should remember the words from John 16:33. It is at these times that we have the biggest blessing. We have the reassurance that these moments will not defeat us. We have the promise that Jesus is still with us and that He is our salvation even when the world tries its best to destroy us.

Blessed?

You bet!

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