Will you be ready when Jesus returns?

September 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
(John 14:3 (NIV))

Jesus gave us many promises when He walked upon this earth. Perhaps the one that most people hold closest to their hearts is this one from John. Jesus tells us that He is preparing a place for us and will return for us. This promise gives us hope for a future away from the sin and heartache of this world. A future that knows no trouble. A future spent in the presence of God the Father through the grace of what His Son, Jesus, did for each of us.

We can stay focused on the troubles of this world, or we can focus on Jesus and our troubles will seem insignificant. All that we have to realize is that we have a promise of an eternity in heaven if we have truly accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

Do you look for Jesus to return to take you with Him, or do you not believe every word that God has given us in His Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world

March 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalms 46:1 (NIV))

I want to start this off a little differently than usual. I want to be up front and state that this is not political in any manner.

Now, I know that there is a saying that you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet. I firmly adhere to this saying. However, in the midst of things that are happening in this country and in the world, sometimes you have to consider alternate sources of information.

I have seen things that sound too far fetched to even consider to be true, yet, they do catch your attention. They catch your attention in the same way that the book of Revelation gets your attention. I am seeing warnings of foreign troops on US soil. I am seeing photos of UN tanks on US soil. I am hearing reports of financial collapses worldwide. I am seeing the stage being set for the antichrist to step in and, in the eyes of the world, save the day.

If any of this does happen, where would you place your trust? Where would you place your faith?

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV))

“and they knew nothing about what would happen”

Do you want to be one of the people who knew nothing about what will happen?

I know that we will not know the day or the hour, but we need to be prepared. Jesus may not return for another hundred years or he may return tonight. We don’t know when, but we do know that we are to be ready. We are to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. We are to fully place our trust in God as our refuge and our strength, for we are not capable of facing this world alone.

No matter when we may face troubles or how big those troubles may be, God is there. He is our refuge. He is our strength. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 john 4:4 (NIV))

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

October 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
(John 14:1 (NIV))

It seems like everything in this world is falling apart.

Wars and rumors of wars.

Catastrophic natural disasters of ever-increasing magnitude.

An ever-increasing hatred of anything righteous.

When will it end?

We sit poised at the precipice. We are at a point where the uncertainty of the world is closing in and bringing many people to despair. It is also bringing many people to completely reject God.

It also can bring isolated pockets of great joy into each life if we will simply open our hearts to what God is doing.

As believers, we have a choice to make. We can choose to let the troubles of this world get to us, or we can turn to Jesus and fully embrace the joy and the salvation that He has freely given to us. Through this salvation, we can also fully embrace the hope that things will be better.

It is my prayer for you and your family and friends that you will fully embrace the grace, mercy and joy that God has given to us through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. I truly do not understand how those people who have not placed their faith and hope in Jesus can face each day, for they rely on the errant perception that humanity can make things better.

Let’s face it. Most times we can’t even agree on what we will have for dinner. How do you expect humanity to agree on anything that can make things better? It is human nature to insist that our way is right and everybody else is wrong. We firmly stand our ground because we don’t want to admit that we might be wrong. Many people think that they are not capable of making a mistake. To me, that is the biggest mistake that anyone can make.

When was the last time that you saw any person live their complete life without making any mistakes? Mistakes lead to troubles. Each life will eventually lead to trouble. There has only been one life that never made any mistakes, and through His life, we are given an amazing gift of grace, salvation, joy and hope.

I honestly cannot say how humanity’s troubles in the past compare to those of today. I do know that all throughout history, humanity has only recently come to the point where we are capable of destroying lives at an alarming rate. These and other things that I hope never happen can lead someone to be troubled.

Is your heart troubled? Trust in God and trust in Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you carrying the weight of the world?

October 1, 2012

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))

Sometimes it seems that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

How about you?

Do you ever feel that you bear more than it seems possible to manage?

Life in this world is full of burdens. Every day presents each of us with troubles and pressures that seem to grow bigger and bigger as time goes on. It seems that we have no escape from what the world sends our way.

Fortunately, we have someone to turn to. We have someone who understands the burdens and will walk with us through them.

“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))

Jesus told us to come to Him and bring all of our burdens and troubles with us. He will make our path more joyful. He will make our path have a light that guides us. He will make our path to have a destination that is truly restful as we rest in the presence of God.

The next time that you feel overwhelmed, remember that Jesus bore the weight of the world for our sins when He was sin free. Can you imagine how weary He was during this ordeal – the physical weight of the cross and the emotional weight of all of the sins of all time?

Are you struggling under your own power, or are you resting in the assurance that Jesus will do as He says He will do?

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

July 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV))

Contradictions!

According to the world view, we are totally wrong in our faith, yet, according to God’s Laws we are totally right in all that we believe. Even though we are right in our faith, we must be humble and willing to endure whatever is presented to us for the sake of those who may be able to be reached. We should never act in such a manner as to give anyone cause to criticize us for making others stumble or fall in their faith.

Paul was an excellent example of what we are to do when faced with hardships because of our faith and our witness. Most of us will never have to face even a portion of the circumstances that Paul had to face for the Gospel. Still, in our everyday lives, we must strive to follow Paul’s example no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what we may face today, tomorrow, or whenever, we must always “REJOICE” for the grace and mercy of God has redeemed us!

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

June 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

No matter what side of the political fence you may sit, today was a day that had many feeling the ramifications of something that just doesn’t feel right. Christians being stoned by Muslims – in America. Contempt charges. Supreme Court rulings. Heated and bitter discussions using language that all of us should know better, yet it happened.

This verse came to mind.

Today seemed to have a heaviness that surpasses basic human differences. Today, I saw humanity reduced to name calling and finger pointing, while ignoring the real battle that we are facing. Something is dividing us and it is using anything and everything that it can bring to bear as a tool.

Race. Religion. Social status. Financial status. Government.

You name it, it divides us.

It is said that actions that happen in the physical world are mirrored, or start, in the spiritual world. If that is true, and I believe that it is, then something is brewing that we, as the Body of Christ, need to be prepared for.

How do we prepare?

We must seek God’s Word. We must seek to do His will. We must be willing to take a stand for what God is calling His church to do while we are in this world.

We must be that light upon the hill. We must be the lamp that lights the way.

We must pray!

I realize that this verse has become cliché lately, but I feel that it applies more and more each day.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:13 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, must pray without ceasing. We must pray, not for our will as we see things unfolding, but for God’s Will. Our will is clouded by our limited understanding.

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.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

Pray for God’s Will in this battle against the spiritual forces.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Would you be of the world, or would you be of God?

April 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
(1 John 3:1 (NIV))

The world will not recognize us, for it did not recognize Jesus when He came.

In much the same way a mother recognizes her young, the world recognizes those who belong to it. Does a mother cow accept a puppy? Does a kitten find a home with a dog? The same is true of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They will not be accepted by the world! They may face rejection and tribulation for they have, in essence, turned their backs on the ways of the world and have focused on the ways of God.

Take a serious look at where you would be accepted. Do you find yourself still partaking of the world in such a way that it is impossible for anyone to know that you are a child of God? The old saying “You are what you eat” is true in the spiritual world as well. If you “eat” of the world, then the world is a part of you and you cannot leave it behind. If you “eat” of the things of God, then righteousness is a part of you, and the world is only something that you are passing through.

It has been said that it takes a thief to know a thief. If that implies that only those with similar thoughts can be recognized and accepted, then where would you be recognized and accepted? Would you be of the world, or would you be of God?

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