February 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
(John 4:7-15 (NIV))

All of our lives we thirst.

We thirst for water. We thirst for knowledge. We thirst for love. We thirst for something that we just can’t describe. We know instinctively that there is something that we need, but we just can’t put our finger on it.

What Jesus described to the Samaritan woman intrigued her. It sounded too good to be true, and in the physical world, it is. We are physical beings bound by the laws of the physical world, unless God intervenes. What Jesus was offering was that intervention.

Think for a moment about how you feel when you are extremely thirsty. Now, imagine the satisfaction of a cool, refreshing drink of water. How does that make you feel? If you are like me, there is nothing like the complete refreshment that such an experience brings. Some smart ad agency even capitalized on this sensation years ago when they marketed a brand of tea by showing the “plunge.”

Now, imagine a spiritual refreshment that brings the same sensation – the same feeling of refreshment.

In our humanity, we are not used to things that never fade or never change. We are used to constantly needing to replenish what we have. This is true of everything, and some people have even taken this to extremes with feelings of exhilaration that they try to use as the refreshing sensation. They long to fill themselves with something that will bring them peace, joy and, yes, refreshing.

People are seeking what can only be found in one source. People are seeking something that will bring them satisfaction – something that will never go away.

Think about that for a moment.

How did you feel when you first accepted Jesus? If you are like me, you felt refreshed and renewed. You felt ready to live. You felt energized. You felt the power of the living water.

Does the living water still refresh you?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you pass the test?

July 12, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
(2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV))

We seem to test ourselves in everything. We test in school. We test to get out of school. We test to get into college. We test to receive professional certification. We test to get a drivers license. We are told to examine ourselves for certain health issues. We examine our financial health, and we examine our professional status, but do we truly examine, or test, ourselves with respect to our faith?

None of us like to think about this. We all think that we have our faith securely in place. We think that because we spend an hour a week in church that we are covered.

Let me ask you a few questions.

What do you spend your time on?

What do you spend your money on?

What do you do with your free time?

What do you do when you think that no one is watching?

Do you spend time daily in God’s Word?

Do you spend time daily in prayer, and I don’t mean the self-centered type of prayer that most of us typically utter?

Do you earnestly seek to know God’s own heart?

Do you fill your life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, or do you fill it with worldly and selfish things?

Let’s face facts. As sinful creatures, we do not like to have our faults pointed out to us. We do not like to see the things within us that are not what they should be. Yet, that is exactly what we must do. We must examine ourselves daily and seek to repent daily so that we do not stray away from our faith.

Faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior is a relationship. Relationships take constant work to make them successful Jesus is not tempted to stray for He is divine. We are the ones who always stray. We are the ones who must always return.

When you examine your faith, do you pass the test?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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He is alive

April 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
(Luke 24:13-39 (NIV))

He’s Alive!!!

He’s alive and we are forgiven.

He’s Alive!!!

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Validation and faith

April 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

What do you hope for?

Is it wealth or fame or power?

Is this where your faith lies?

Simple questions that may not have such simple answers.

Carefully consider the one universal hope that all of humanity has. That hope is for an eternal existence. Every religion has a variation on the human desire to continue after this physical existence ends. That is the biggest hope that every single person has.

We have a unique faith as the Body of Christ, for we have evidence of a salvation that is offered to us directly from God through His Son, Jesus. It is said that there is more historical evidence that Jesus existed and did all of the things recorded in the New Testament than there is for the existence of either you or I. If this is true, I propose the following:

We all have enough faith to believe that we exist. How can we deny the existence and documented accomplishments of someone who has more validation than we do? Perhaps it is because we have not seen with our own eyes. Are we like Thomas? Does Jesus have a reason to say to us what He said to Thomas.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
(John 20:27 (NIV))

Does your faith require vision to make it solid? Do you have enough faith to believe even if you never see your hope in this lifetime?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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