For this, we should be eternally thankful!

November 27, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV))

The passages leading up to this reference a shaking of the whole earth and the heavens. These are a warning to the earth and its inhabitants, but this passage is a promise to those who believe!

Do you believe in the promises that are fulfilled in Jesus? Do you believe that you will and are receiving a kingdom, His kingdom, because of the promises that have been made to those who believe?

In essence, those who believe have been made sons and daughters of God. We are called to be heirs. We are called to be separate from the world!

Therefore,
“Come out from them
     and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
     and I will receive you.”
And,
“I will be a Father to you,
     and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
(2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NIV))

Since we are heirs, we know that an heir receives an inheritance. Our inheritance is His kingdom!

For this, we should be eternally thankful!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must be thankful and not anxious!

November 26, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV))

Patience is a virtue.

We all know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If that is the case, then anxiety is what? A fruit of Satan? I don’t admit to knowing, but it would appear that it is not a desirable trait.

Patience comes from an inner peace. This peace can only come from God. Anxiousness does not come from peace. It comes from an inner restlessness and a thirst that is longing to be quenched. There is only one way to quench that thirst, and that is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Once you do this, God’s peace will come upon you.

Still, the world has a way of creeping into our lives even when we do not want it to. If we are not anxious, but are patient and wait on God, then He will provide and protect us from the world. It is when we do not wait on God that the world gets into our lives and ruins the peace.

Are you anxious for anything? We must learn to be thankful in all circumstances and surrender our anxiety to the one who is in control!

We must be thankful and not anxious!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you thankful for God’s love?

November 25, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
(Psalms 107:1 (NIV))

In the midst of all that has happened and continues to happen in this world, are you still able to list things that you are thankful for?

If you are not able to answer this question with a list, then the enemy has already won!

All that we have to do is look at the depth of God’s love for us even in our sinful nature and that should be first and foremost on the list of every single person who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

God, in His goodness, provided a way to redeem us even when we were not worthy.

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

Giving thanks to the Lord should be forever on our lips and not only just on Thanksgiving!

Are you thankful for God’s love?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you send your praise?

November 24, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
     and his courts with praise;
     give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalms 100:4 (NIV))

All too often we forget this simple statement of faith. We forget to praise God and give Him thanks!

What does that say about our walk with God if we allow ourselves to be diverted from what should be our foremost thoughts? Are we so easily distracted by the temporary things of this world that we ignore the permanent things of God and eternity? Sometimes it seems that we would rather partake of the minute waltz that leaves you exhausted and empty while we ignore the fulfilling rewards of Amazing Grace.

In all things we should give thanks unto God, for it is through Him that we have been given all things good.

When you receive a pay raise at your job, do you thank the envelope that the check came in, or do you thank the boss who gave you the raise? Do you thank God for the blessings or do you thank the blessings, or yourself?

It is a matter of attitude.

Do you acknowledge the source or do you simply acknowledge the blessing? Whom or what you acknowledge and thank is a direct result of your attitude. The right attitude will greatly enhance your praise of the one who is worthy of all praise.

Where do you send your praise?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you truly blessed?

November 23, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Blessed is the one
     who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
     or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and who meditates on his law day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2 (NIV))

Do you find that this is easy to do?

If you are completely honest with yourself, then your answer should be a resounding “No!” Let’s face it. We are only human and not a single one of us is capable of being perfect in the eyes of God.

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

Our blessings come from the fact that we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That friend has walked this earth. He has done something that we are incapable of doing. Jesus has lived a perfect life!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

All that we must do is believe!

When we believe, our sins are forgiven. When we believe, we inherit His righteousness. When we believe, if we fall short, and we will, all that we must do is repent and seek His forgiveness. The true blessing comes through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ! Without accepting this gift, we are lost. When we accept this gift and believe in Jesus, then we exchange our sins for His righteousness. It is such an unequal trade, and that is the true blessing!

Are you truly blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you long for God to be exalted?

November 20, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

With everything that is going on in the world, are you doing what He has asked?

Are you able to be still in His presence? Are you learning to trust in Him? Are you at peace with the knowledge of who He is?

I find it interesting that He instructs us to be still and get to know Him, and then, after we do know Him, He leads us to trust that He will be exalted.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

Have you placed your faith in the Lord? Has He ever let you down? Has He ever broken a promise? When you realize that God’s Word is the story of how God has promised and we have rejected, we see that He still manages to keep every single promise that He has ever made. It is at this point that we realize that He will prevail. He will, by His very nature, do what will glorify Himself in the presence of a sinful, fallen world.

He has brought the promise of salvation.

He will restore righteousness!

He will be exalted!

“Turn to me and be saved,
     all you ends of the earth;
     for I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
     my mouth has uttered in all integrity
     a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
     by me every tongue will swear.
(Isaiah 45:22-23 (NIV))

Do you long for God to be exalted?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you sanctified by the truth of God’s Word?

November 19, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
(John 17:17 (NIV))

I’m not exactly sure which translation I like better.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
(John 17:17 (ESV))

It is amazing how one small word can be translated differently and imply so much more than either word by itself. In my mind, these two translations go hand in hand, especially when you consider the definition of the word sanctify. In essence, it means to be set apart for a sacred purpose. We are set apart by the truth of God’s Word because we believe, and we are set apart in the truth of God’s Word because we choose to live it! God’s Word is the vessel that sets us apart from the world and it is the place of shelter that refreshes us in the world. We are at once both covered by His Word and sheltered in His Word! It is important that we remember this during the coming times.

Too many who profess a faith in Jesus seem to forget that the powers of this sinful, fallen world do not like the truth, nor do they like the fact that we are sanctified by and in the truth. Perhaps the reason that the Body of Christ has not been taken out by the enemy can be found in the following two passages taken from a prayer by Jesus just before He asked the Father to sanctify those who believe.

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
(John 17:9 (NIV))

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
(John 17:14-16 (NIV))

Jesus prayed to the Father to set us apart from the world and to protect us from the world. Jesus prayed for the evil of this world to be restrained! Jesus prayed for the Father to set apart those who believe in the truth of God’s Word, those who believe in the truth of the Word made flesh!

Are you sanctified by the truth of God’s Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you chosen the way of truth?

November 18, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
(Psalms 119:30 (NIV))

How many times have you wished that the people that you encounter had that philosophy? What a difference it would make in the world if more people had the desire to be righteous and obey the laws that God has ordained for our good. How can we, as a society, obey the laws that God has ordained for us if we have blatantly removed those laws from our central core? How can we expect society to follow the laws that God has set forth if we have allowed society to remove those laws from everything?

How can a fish survive if we remove the water? How can a bird fly if we remove the air? How can we, as God’s creation, live as we were created to live if we remove God from the picture?

It is an individual choice that each of us must make. We must choose to follow God by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We must then share this truth and light with anyone and everyone whom we encounter. We have an inner joy from knowing Jesus. Joy is addicting. It is also contagious. When was the last time that you saw a grouch who was not overcome by someone who was truly joyful? I am sure that there are times when this happens, but, it only happens when the grouch has hardened his or her heart and will not let anyone or anything bring them joy. Joy is not something to be kept away. It is something that is to be embraced and welcomed. True joy comes from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. If you have the joy that they give, then you have the truth and the fundamentals behind all of God’s laws, for a joyful heart will keep the laws out of a love and respect for what God has created.

Have you chosen the way of truth?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you fight for His kingdom?

November 17, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
(John 18:36 (NIV))

I have a question for you to consider.

Is there a difference in fighting to prevent His arrest and fighting to reestablish Godly values? Does one answer automatically imply the other?

When Jesus was arrested, everyone expected the Messiah to be a military and political leader who would drive out the Romans and reestablish Israel. They expected Jesus to bring political freedom. What He brought was far from what they expected. Jesus brought grace and mercy. He brought salvation. He brought freedom from the consequences of sin!

He came to establish His eternal kingdom for all who would believe. This kingdom could only be fully established by His faithfulness to the plan of salvation that was unfolding. This plan required that He go to the cross and be resurrected on the third day!

For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, we have been given a mission.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

Prior to this, Jesus had given the disciples instructions to follow when sharing the good news.

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
(Matthew 10:16 (NIV))

If you look up the definition of the word shrewd, it can mean cleverness or discerning awareness. It can also mean severe, hard or piercing. When we look at these meanings in relationship to the instructions to put on the full armor of God, we are to prepare for battle.

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))

Are we to fight for what we believe in? I believe that we are told to do just that, but not in the way that the world thinks of fighting. We are to share the light of Jesus into a dark and dying world. We are to rely on this Light to resist the enemy and not simply allow the enemy to have free run.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV))

Do you fight for His kingdom?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Stand firm in the presence of the enemy

November 16, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore rejoice, you heavens
     and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
     because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
     because he knows that his time is short.
(Revelation 12:12 (NIV))

Be honest!

How many have taken a look at all that is happening in this year and felt that this is now more truthful than ever before?

I see countless videos where people profess to have been given a dream or a vision about what is coming. I am not privy to the dreams and visions that they are having, so I am not able to truthfully discern many of these as they are presented. I even saw a video not too long ago where the person making the video declared that everything recorded in the Bible indicated that true prophets were few and far between. It is true that only a select few individuals were written about, but we must take into consideration another passage.

“‘In the last days, God says,
     I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
     your young men will see visions,
     your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
     I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
     and they will prophesy.
(Acts 2:17-18 (NIV))

This doesn’t sound like just a handful of individuals. It sounds just like it says – on all people. Are we seeing the beginning of this? We must learn to have a discerning ear. We must learn to have a discerning heart.

If you feel in your spirit that things are not as they have been and that they are rapidly progressing further down the path that God has established for the time of the end, then it is time to pray for this discernment. We must seek God’s truth for this season. We must be prepared to give an account of why we profess a faith in Jesus. We must be prepared to face worldly rejection and ridicule for that profession of faith.

Are you ready and willing to stand firm in the presence of the enemy?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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