Are you seeking after God’s plans?

March 22, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “
(Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV))

What is it that you seek after will all your heart?

Is it wealth? Is it fame? Is it fortune?

Is it God?

Far too many people seek other things before they seek God. They give “lip service” to God and then live as if they did not proclaim Him as Lord. In other words, they do not seek Him with all their heart. They have replaced God with a multitude of personal “gods” that they let control their lives. All of this is done in the name of prosperity, greed, security, and a number of other ideals that they have set for themselves. They look upon God as a benevolent, jolly “old man” who watches as his children do something not quite righteous. They then expect God to tell them that what they are doing is ok because they are loved and can do no wrong.

God is not like that!

He wants each of us to turn from our sinful ways and to turn one hundred percent toward Him. He longs for us to seek after His heart, for He longs to prosper us in ways that we cannot imagine. He longs to give us hope and a future. Unfortunately, too many of us look toward ourselves for the hope of the future and we look to God as our “parachute,” our safety net.

We need to look to God first in all things!

God created each of us for a purpose. That purpose was not to lay devastated within our sin. He created us to be with Him. Do you think that the creator of all the universe lacks for anything? He is ready to prosper each of us according to His riches, but first we must have a change of heart. We must stop seeking after the prosperity and seek after God first.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:33 (NIV))

Are you seeking after God’s plans?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do your heart and your mouth profess the same thing?

April 4, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
(Romans 10:10 (NIV))

Have you ever known someone who says one thing with their words and a completely different thing with their actions?

Sadly, the old saying that talk is cheap is true. We can say just about anything with our mouths while we do the exact opposite with our hearts and our actions. It is very true that what we keep in our hearts is who we really are. It is also true that the heart will give us away when our words will not.

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

If you profess with your mouth a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, does your heart profess the same thing? Do your actions prove that you are a follower of Jesus? Do your actions shine the light of Jesus to others? Do your actions preach the Gospel by living the example that Jesus called us to live?

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(attributed to St. Francis of Assisi)

Our heart for Jesus should control our actions especially since actions do speak louder than words. Our actions are a direct result of what is in our heart. If what we say with our words is not the same as what we say with our actions, then Paul was correct.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
(1 Corinthians 1:13 (NIV))

Do your heart and your mouth profess the same thing?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there a difference between wisdom and education?

November 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
(Job 28:12 (NIV))

Do you believe that there is a difference between wisdom and education?

If you believe as the world believes, then that answer is a resounding no. The world believes that the more education, the more degrees that someone has makes them wise. Is that necessarily the truth? What if someone spends all of their adult life seeking education in something that has no merit. They will be well educated, but that education does not make them wise. It just means that they have wasted time being taught something that has no value or they have been taught lies. Is that wisdom?

I can educate myself on the finer points of believing that I am a millionaire, but does that make it so? I can educate myself on the complexities of the biology of insects, but does that make me wise? No! It just means that I know a lot about insects.

Wisdom is so much more than education. All that you have to do to understand this is to look at the college campuses today. These are supposed to be places of higher education, but when someone presents an idea contrary to what they want to hear, they protest and demand safe places. Wisdom is being able to discern the truth even when the truth contradicts what you want to believe. Wisdom is admitting that you don’t have all of the answers and that you just may actually be wrong.

And he said to man,
`The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.’ ”
(Job 28:28 (NIV))

Satan and his followers are capable of giving you an education. That education will not be a good one. It will lead to death. Only God can give you wisdom!

Are you educated or are you wise?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God should be our treasure!

July 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Luke 12:34 (NIV))

What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about? What consumes your heart? Do you think about wealth, power or physical pleasures? Do you spend more time thinking about your hobbies than you do about your eternal existence? What do you treasure?

That is not an easy set of questions to answer. We have become so used to the lies that we tell others that we start to believe them ourselves. We do not see the truth when it is right before our eyes. We do not see that, contrary to Exodus 20:3, we have made many gods for ourselves.

God should be our treasure. He is our firm foundation that cannot be shaken. He is the treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. If we place as our treasure things that can be destroyed, then our heart can also be destroyed. Perhaps this is why the enemy uses treasures. He knows that they will turn our hearts from God.

Where is your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know the real truth that is Jesus?

July 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said…”I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
(John 18:37 (NLT))

Do you believe Jesus?

Do you believe in Jesus and the truth that He brings?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Contrary to what the world says, truth is not relative. It is not one thing for one person and something else for another. Truth is consistent. It is ageless. Truth never changes. Truth is absolute!

Have you bought the lies of the prince of the world? These lies can sound so much like the truth that if you don’t truly know the truth, you can be deceived. These lies start out so close to the truth that it is difficult for someone who isn’t firmly grounded to tell the difference. For example, if we look at this as a mathematical example where truth is 100% and someone tells a lie that sounds so close to the truth that it is 95% right. That is still 5% wrong and we are slightly off course. Now, what happens when the enemy gets everyone to believe that 95% is truth and then modifies that again by 95%? What happens as you get further and further into the lies and they sound so real? You soon get 95% X 95% X 95% X 95% and so on. You soon have a society who not only doesn’t know the truth, but are so convinced that the ones who do know the truth are liars.

Do this sound familiar?

Hold fast to the truth that Jesus brings. It never changes. It is absolute!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What gospel do you believe?

May 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
(2 Corinthians 11:4 (NIV))

What Jesus do you worship?

The world has twisted so many things, and, unfortunately, Jesus and the Gospel have not been immune to what the world does. Too many people believe what the world has to say instead of what the Bible actually says.

Do you believe the statement that says God is love? Biblically, this is true, but the world has ignored the caveat to this. They have ignored the truth about what God did because of His love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
(1 John:8-9 (NIV))

Contrary to what the world says, God does not follow the world’s definition of love. His love does not accept our sin. His love sent His Son, Jesus, to give us a way out of our sin and not a way to condone our sin.

With this truth exposed, we must be ever vigilant about what we follow, about what we allow into our lives. If someone preaches that because God loves you, you can do whatever you want, run! This is a lie from the enemy and is not founded in truth. If this were true, why did God send Jesus to live among us? Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? Why does the Gospel tell us that we must repent of our sins and call upon the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior?

The truth of the Gospel is simple. Perhaps that is why people will believe a false gospel. They believe that in all of God’s glory and wisdom, why would something so important be so simple.

What gospel do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God just an item on your to-do list?

April 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be still, and know that I am God:
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

I try to not fill up my time with so many things to do, but it is human nature to do things that we don’t mean to do. Soon, in order to prioritize what we feel that we must do, we create to-do lists and then we prioritize the things that we put on the list. Soon, we find ourselves spending too much time maintaining the list and we soon lose track of the things that we should truly be focusing on.

Let’s face the truth!

How many of us actually create to-do lists? What is currently on your list? Do you put everything on your list, or is it used only for a reminder of the things that you don’t really want to do?

After those reflective questions, I have another question for you that may not sit too well with you depending on your answers.

Is God on your to-do list? Is He your top priority? Have you relegated your relationship with the Lord to a list item that you check off when you feel that you have it completed? Is God above or below the items like painting the house or cutting the grass?

It is sad that too many people actually treat God in this manner. We may not physically put Him as an item on our to-do lists, but we tend to overlook Him and focus on what we do place on our list. We then get so busy completing the tasks that we have assigned ourselves that we forget to do what God has told us to do. We forget to sit in the presence of God. We fail to sit at the feet of Jesus, and like one translation states, we never cease striving. Personally, I strive to spend time in God’s presence, but that is not what that means. We need to cease our busyness. We need to cease our frantic existence and be still in the presence of God.

We must make God the foundation of everything that we do, including the items that we place on our to-do lists. It is so easy to relegate God to an individual checklist item.

Is God just an item on your to-do list?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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