Are you a walking contradiction?

August 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
(Psalms 15:1-5 (NIV))

If these do not offer great insight into how we should live, then I don’t know what does. These verses tell us exactly how we should live each and every day. In other words, we should treat each other as we would want to be treated. We should love each other as we would want to be loved. We should turn our eyes toward the things that are of God and turn away from things of this world. We should read and study God’s Word so that we may be well prepared to react in a righteous manner.

And …

We should pray. We should pray for guidance. We should pray for discernment. We should pray for understanding. We should pray for wisdom. We should simply pray that we may lead our lives so that they are an example of God’s grace and mercy in all that we do. Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi stated it best when he said:

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

Our lives are very visible signs of what we truly believe in. If we profess a faith yet do things that are opposite of those spoken of in the passage from Psalms, we preach something different with our actions than we do with our mouths. We send out contradictory messages. How can the world believe what we say when we do otherwise?

Are you a walking contradiction in the eyes of the world and of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Terror is a tool of the enemy. Ours is prayer!

August 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.
(Leviticus 26:14-17 (NIV))

Terror!

Have we, as the world, gotten to the point where we do not listen to God and do not carry out His commands? We, as a society, definitely seem to abhor God’s laws, especially when we allow same sex marriages and abortion. Is it any wonder that we are facing what we are facing?

How can we turn this nation and this world around?

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 7:14(NIV))

When we turn to God, we are protected. When we turn from God, all things may be turned loose upon us.

We must pray!

Pray for Godly wisdom. Pray for God’s Will to be done. Pray for our nation’s leaders. Pray for our local leaders.

Prayer is a powerful tool. If enough people will pray, God will pour out His power upon our land. This type of prayer calls for more than a simple statement where you ask God to do something and it only takes a few seconds. This type of prayer is a prayer from the heart. It is a prayer from your very soul. Sometimes these types of prayers cannot be put into words. Simply cry out to God in your distress and anguish and He will know your heart.

When your prayers really matter, how will God respond? Will He respond in a manner similar to your few seconds of prayer, or will He respond to the Godly anguish that you feel? After all, God longs for people to be like David who was a man after God’s own heart.

What are you after?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times!

June 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
(Psalms 55:16 (NIV))

We all face troubles. We all face hardships, trials and tribulations. How you handle these circumstances in your life tells a great deal about who you are.

Where do you turn when you face something so difficult that you cannot handle it on your own? What would you say defines these difficult times? At what point do things become difficult and at what point do things cease being difficult? How quickly can this line be crossed?

I realize that I am asking a lot of questions, but I want you to stop and reflect upon your answers to these questions. What is your “line of demarcation” that you have mentally set as the point where “when the going gets tough, the tough get going?”

Why do we handle difficulties differently than we handle things that go smoothly? Perhaps it is a matter of ego. When things go smoothly, we falsely take the credit for the events in our lives. When things go badly, we often blame others and then we turn and expect others to bail us out of our troubles. Most of the time, the one that we turn to is God.

Why do we only acknowledge God when things are not going as we want them to go? We have a tendency to look upon God as a big life guard who will come to our rescue when we get in over our heads. We only turn to Him we start to sink. Perhaps we should turn to God in the good time so that we can learn to “swim” in the bad.

God is more than willing to teach us how to live our lives according to His Will. It is His plan for our lives that will allow us to truly call upon His name in both good times and in times of trouble.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
(Psalms 9:9 (NIV))

We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you let God forget all that you have done?

May 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalms 103:11-12 (NIV))

God is amazing! He is the creator of all the universe, the ultimate repository of all knowledge, yet, He is more than willing to completely forget all of our transgressions if we will only call on His name in sincerity and fear. God wants nothing more than for us, His creation, to turn to him of our own free will. If we will do that, there is nothing that God will not forgive us of if we are honestly seeking His face.

Have you let God forget all that you have done?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you listen to advice?

May 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
(Proverbs 19:20 (NIV))

Do you listen to advice or do you try to do things on your own?

There is an old saying that says that two heads are better than one. In essence, advice is a wise thing to receive. It often gets you to stop and think things through. It often gets you to look at things from a different perspective. It gets you to slow down before you act without thinking.

Of course, not all advice is good. We must learn to balance where the advice comes from with the credibility of the one giving the advice. In other words, don’t be foolish and accept marriage advice from someone who has never been married. Definitely don’t accept advice about spiritual issues from someone who thinks that each of us is a god. Weigh the credibility and discern which advice to listen to.

Perhaps wisdom comes from being able to discern the fact that you need advice and the ability to discern that not all advice is good. Only one source of advice is completely correct all of the time. That is the source that you should trust implicitly for all of your instruction. Turn to the one who made everything. Turn to the one who wrote the instruction manual. Turn to God and His Word for all of your advice and instruction. Rely on Godly counsel also, but test their counsel to make sure it follows God’s Word.

Wisdom comes slowly. It comes from knowing that you do not know everything. It comes from knowing that other people do not know everything. It comes from realizing that God, who created everything, is the only true source of instruction. It comes from realizing that God is God and we are in need of Him. Rely on God’s Word and wisdom will follow.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Serve the Lord no matter what!

February 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email deliveryBe Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

December 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
(Jonah 2:2 (NIV))

No matter what we face, we can turn to God and He will be there for us!

We must turn to God in earnestly and in a sincere desire to turn from our ways and to turn to Him. We cannot follow both our sinful desires and God’s righteous, perfect plan for our lives. They are paths that lead down opposite directions. One path leads to sin and eternal separation from God. The other path leads to eternal life in God’s presence. It is our choice. The path we choose is of our own making. We can choose to follow our desires and end up in the consequences of our sins, or we can choose to follow God and escape the consequences of our sins.

Either way, we will still sin. The only difference is that, with God, all of our sins will be forgiven. With God, our desires will turn from our sin towards God’s righteousness. When we seek God, He will answer us and guide us. When we stumble is when we do not listen to God.

It is human nature to follow our own desires. It takes a conscious effort to turn and follow God, yet all it takes is a simple plea for God to enter your life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

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