Are you where God wants you to be?

March 28, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

Does anyone really understand the world and how it works? We see things from a small perspective. Can you tell the size of the forest while you are surrounded by trees? You must have a different point of view. Do not rely on what you can see. It may not be as it appears. Rely on God. He has a unique perspective since He is the Creator of all things.

Imagine that you are conducting an experiment with an animal in a maze. You can clearly see which way to go, yet the animal cannot, and go about in error. We are not very much different than that animal. God sees what we should do, yet, we do not see the complete picture and go around bumping into walls and making all sorts of mistakes. If we would only look to God, He can guide us through this worldly maze.

Are you lost, or do you know exactly what God wants for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I want to have a faith like David’s!

September 30, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise–
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
(Psalms 56:10-11 (NIV))

David was definitely blessed in many ways, and thankfully, we are able to share in his blessings.

We see evidence of his faith. We see evidence of his courage. We see evidence of his determination, and we see evidence of his heart. Through all of the things that David faced in life from lions, to Goliath, to Saul, and the wilderness, we see that David never stops praising God. No matter what the circumstances were, David lifted praise. We have the written words of these praises in the book of Psalms. We see David’s heart in these words. We see his desire to be in the presence of God. We see his desire to do the will of God and to follow God’s voice.

Have you truly ever thought about the life that David lived? It was not a life of ease. In fact, it was a life of hardship. How many young boys do you know today who could tend to the flocks and kill a lion? How many young boys would be willing to face down the likes of Goliath? I could go on, but it is evident that David was no ordinary individual. From an early age, he lifted praise. He lived according to God’s desires. With each event, he grew stronger in his faith. He grew closer to the Lord. We are even told that he eventually became a man after God’s own heart.

Think about that for a moment.

When you are in the fields with the flocks, what do you do? When you look up at the stars at night, what do you do? When you defeat an animal that should have killed you, what do you do?

I like to think that I would do what David did!

He saw the majesty of God’s creation and he praised God. He saw the stars in the sky and he praised God. He saw the safety of the flocks and the lion, and he praised God. David knew where his strength came from. He knew that with his attention and his praise lifted to the Lord, there was nothing that he needed to fear. It is this very attitude that allowed him to face Goliath and win!

I want to have a faith like David’s!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready for the return of Jesus?

May 6, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
(John 14:1-4 (NIV))

This passage presents several questions for those who profess a faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Your answers may surprise you!

First, I need to lay a little ground work. If you are familiar with traditional Jewish weddings, once the bride was betrothed, or engaged, the bridegroom would then go back to his father’s house and start to build or prepare a room for he and his bride. When the room was finished, he would come for his bride. This is reflected in the parable of the lamps and the oil. No one knew the day or the hour the bridegroom would come for his bride. She simply knew that at some point in time, he would return for her.

Does this sound familiar? It sounds identical to the promises that Jesus made to His bride, the body of believers.

Do you trust in God?

Do you trust in Jesus?

Do you firmly believe that Jesus is preparing a place for you?

Do you know beyond doubt that Jesus will return for you?

I want you to think about the following passage and what it has to say in regard to those who are not ready.

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!’ they said. `Open the door for us!’
“But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
(Matthew 25:10-12 (NIV))

One last and very important question for you!

If you believe and answered “Yes” to the previous questions, and you are not ready, what does that tell you will happen?

Are you ready for the return of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Who are we to judge if God does a new thing?

January 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV))

What does this verse have to do with the following?

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17)

I’m going to throw still one more curve ball into the mix and ask how do these two passages tie into the saying that I am sure we are all familiar with and that is, “That’s not how we do things around here!”

I heard something today that I think will tie all of these together and also satisfy a little bit of human nature in the process.

Have you ever stopped to think about why God has to do a new thing? Have you ever stopped to think about the old wineskins and new wine in a different light? Have you ever wondered why people are so set in their ways that they will say things like “That’s not how we do things?”

We are creatures of habit!

God knows this and He has let us know that He does things differently with different groups of people. He does things differently with different ages of people. If God tried to reach someone who likes contemporary music with old hymns, it would drive them away. If God tried to reach someone who is an intellectual type with a feelings based approach, it would not work. If God tried to reach someone whose heart has been hardened by using an overwhelming emotional appeal of love, that person would not be able to handle it. They have to be prepared. They have to be made new in order to handle the love that God wants to pour out.

I am going to go out on a limb and ask that we try to withhold our judgmental human nature and look at the deeper issues, look at the deeper reasons that things are different. The only thing that we should be concerned with is whether the new things are true to God and to God’s Word. We don’t need to worry about whether they are the way that we have always done things!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What can man do to me?

August 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:6 (NIV))

Do you share this attitude with the author of this passage?

With what is rapidly unfolding in this nation and in this world, we may be looking at some things where the Body of Christ must fervently believe this.

I know that no one can know the hour or the day, but there appears to be an urgency among those who earnestly seek to know God. Can you feel this urgency? Can you feel the need to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

My heart is heavy with the things that I see, yet, I know that my Savior will see me through the tribulations that will come. I see wars and rumors of wars. I see countries holding military exercises where they are stopping inches away from an actual war. I see threats being made. I see hatred. I see killing. I see things that are despicable to any person with any sense of morality.

In this midst of all this that I see, there is one that I long to see!

I long to see Jesus!

He is my helper. He is my redeemer. He is my salvation. Nothing that any man can do will take this from me. I just pray that I have the faith to realize this when I face the enemy. I pray that I keep site of the fact that the Lord is my helper.

What can man do to me?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What has happened to our priorities?

January 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
(Acts 4:29-30 (NIV))

Do we speak God’s Word with great boldness, or have we become complacent in our faith?

The book of Acts tells us of the great things that the early church did. They did them because they had the faith to be bold. They knew with certainty that what they believed was true. They were not ashamed to boldly profess their faith. They were not too timid to stand firm on the promises that they had been given. They were not too engrossed in the trivial issues that surround us in our daily lives.

Sure, they worked to provide for themselves, but they did not become workaholics and so focused on achievement that they ignored what they knew to be true.

Why do we, in our so-called advanced society, lose focus of the very things that the early church boldly embraced? We no longer are bold in our faith. We are bolder about our support for our favorite sports team than we are about the grace and mercy that is freely given through the Blood of Christ. We can spend hours talking to each other about the game we saw yesterday, but we are not willing to even talk about Jesus at all.

What has happened to our priorities?

Are we the church? Are we the Body of Christ? A body is in motion and doing all that it can to make sure that it not only survives, but thrives. Is the Body of Christ in motion? Is the Body of Christ just surviving or is it thriving?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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His compassions never fail!

August 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
(Lamentations 3:22-25 (NIV))

Seventy times seven! That is the number of times that God says we must forgive others when they sin against us. When that was written, that was considered a large number and was intended probably to mean that we are to forgive unlimited times.

If we, who are not perfect, are to forgive unlimited times, how much more can God forgive if His compassions never fail? If we place our trust in God, He will forgive those who earnestly seek after His Will.

Look at two different scenarios. If you had a son who constantly disobeyed and did not wish to take Godly counsel, you would want to change his attitude, but would not help him until he did. If you had a son who wished to do what is Godly and right, but constantly fell short, you would assist him in his struggles. It is his desire to do what is right, but he needs guidance. One son you would stop helping until he changed his heart, the other son you would continually help because his heart is right.

God is the same way. If you earnestly seek after God, then He will assist you immeasurably to achieve His Will for your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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