Don’t let the things of this world distract you from Jesus!

October 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

I know that things will get much worse than they are, but I honestly have to stop and make myself realize that what we are seeing could be just the beginning of the birth pains. We see the wars going on in Syria and in the lands surrounding Israel. We see other things, such as the terrorism, going on all around the world. I have seen reports that the main stream media has not and probably will not cover. I have seen reports that the Russian government is telling its citizens to prepare for nuclear war with the US.

I want to remind you that when this was written, a nation was considered a people group. Think about the stressed relations between different people groups in this country. I have also heard reports that this is happening in other parts of the world and it is not simply an isolated occurrence here.

There is something that I want you to consider with respect to kingdom against kingdom. For the longest time, this has been thought to mean actual governmental structures such as the United States and Russia. What if this actually means something more? I can think of two very distinct kingdoms right now that are definitely at odds with each other. One is the Kingdom of God or as some may refer to it, the Kingdom of Heaven. Then we have the kingdom of the prince of the air and this world. These two kingdoms have always been at war with each other since Satan rebelled against God. The attacks from the kingdom of the prince of this world are rapidly escalating to the point where God will soon say enough is enough.

The things that are going on in this world are enough to make anyone cringe out of fear. Sadly for the lost world, things will be getting worse. No matter what may happen, don’t lose faith. Don’t lose hope. We have a tendency to think that this presidential election can change things. I honestly pray that it does, but more importantly, I pray for God’s Will to unfold and not mine.

If the current state of the world makes you fearful, remember that we are not to place our hope in the things of this world. We are to place our faith and our hope solely on Jesus!

Look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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More birth pains and they are closer together!

November 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

With recent events, I found myself returning to the following which was originally sent out on March 24, 2008. Stand firm in your faith! Do not be deceived!

******

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Birth pains!

Every day we read about still one more thing that could very easily be birth pains. There are wars and rumors of wars in many places. Terrorism is a war that is being fought on many fronts. Kingdoms are in constant struggle with one another. When these words were written, a nation referred to an ethnic people group such as the Israelites, the Hittites, and Assyrians. Today, it seems that ethnic struggles are increasing. Millions of people have been killed in Africa because they do not belong to the correct ethnic group. Israel is under constant threat because, in the eyes of the many Muslims, they are the wrong ethnic group.

Earthquakes are increasing. Everything seems to be going to the very extremes. One part of the world suffers a very severe draught while their neighbors suffer from very severe floods. One day we have winter. The very next is very warm. The next day we have rain. The next day we have very severe storms and tornadoes.

Man’s economies are getting further and further into trouble. According to the media, many people are losing their homes. To make matters worse, I saw a major headline today that said food prices are skyrocketing worldwide. Could we be far away from being able to buy a bag of gold with a piece of bread?

It is very easy to get depressed when you consider all that is going on in the world, but, don’t let the events of this world make you lose sight of your greatest hope. That hope is Jesus.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

When the events of this world have you looking down, look up! Our hope is built upon the Son of God who sits at the right hand of God the Father. We have nothing to fear. All around us may fall apart, but we have a hope. We have a peace that passes all understanding. No matter what the world sends our way, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s timing is unfolding right before our eyes!

October 30, 2015

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))

Do you believe that the devil’s time is short?

It gets shorter every day!

I have a question for you and I want you to answer truthfully.

Are you aware of what is going on in the world or are you so focused on what you are doing that you are oblivious to anything else?

God created a great, big, beautiful world. Unfortunately, we, as fallen humanity, have allow things to happen that God never intended to happen. We have given the devil free reign over what God had intended for good. Lately, it appears that the devil is working overtime.

Things are escalating rapidly!

Evil is marching across the face of the earth in many different forms. We are faced with not just one enemy, but multiple enemies: False religions; Teachers of false doctrines; Persecution of those who earnestly and truthfully call upon the name of the Lord Jesus as well as many, many others.

Are you aware of the wars and the rumors of wars?

Are you aware of the financial issues that the whole world seems to be facing?

I could go on and on, but I hope that you get the picture. We, as the Body of Christ, must focus on more than what God can do for us in our daily lives. Far too many of us look upon the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit only in these terms. There is so much more than our little lives in this battle of good and evil. If we are not careful, we will fall in with the wrong side simply because we are blind to what is going on.

Don’t allow your life and your issues to blind you to the bigger picture that God is unfolding right before your eyes! Focus on Jesus! Focus on God’s word! Focus on God’s calling upon your life and not your desires. Your desires can lead to an undesirable end. God’s desires will lead to an eternity in His presence!

Do you know that the devil’s time is short?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Birth pains seem to be getting so much closer!

September 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

I know that Jesus told us that these things would occur and that they would increase. I know that Jesus is returning. I know that God’s plan is unfolding. I know that the prophesies will come to pass, still, I find it very sad that our world has come to this.

We see not only wars, but outright slaughter of whole groups of people. Most of them are part of the Body of Christ. We see Israel being attacked. We see people denouncing Israel as barbaric and many are comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. All of this while the true barbaric activities go unanswered and unchallenged. Sadly, it appears that our own government now has policies in place that deny Israel and support the barbaric groups that are attacking them.

The anniversary of 9/11 is rapidly approaching. I just read something that makes my heart very heavy with grief. It is reported that eleven commercial aircraft have been confiscated, or should I say that they were stolen, by Islamic extremists. I pray that these reports are wrong, but my spirit tells me otherwise.

How is your relationship with God?

How is your relationship with Jesus?

Is your name written in the Lambs Book of Life?

Would you, could you proclaim Jesus as your Lord and Savior even if it meant your physical death?

Birth pains seem to be getting so much closer!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready?

October 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
(Revelation 21:5 (NIV))

We are between the Creation and the re-creation that this passage speaks of. Exactly where we are is only known to God, but we are given some insight into which end of the timeline we are living in.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am the Christ, ‘ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:4-8 (NIV))

With all of the events in the world at this time, we are seeing wars and rumors of wars. We are seeing conflicts that only a few short years ago would have been considered atrocities and would not have happened. Now we see innocent children brutally murdered all in the name of a “holy war.”

I do not venture to say that I have any insight into what is in God’s timeline. All I know is that each of us must be ready to be the witness for God that He calls us to be in these uncertain times.

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

July 17, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 (NIV))

Are you holding fast to your faith? Are you secure enough in your faith and understanding to not be deceived?

Each generation has felt that they are the generation that is seeing wars and rumors of wars. Each generation since Jesus said these words has looked for His return.

Think back over the course of your life. Do you remember every war that has been fought? Do you remember every earthquake that has happened? Do you remember every famine? God does. Many people who keep records of these things say that they are increasing.

Now, I want you to think about something.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Our understanding of a nation today is very different from what it was when this was written. A nation has always referred to a group of people, such as the Israelites or Canaanites. What we think of as a nation today is a political kingdom in the Bible. In other words, we are told that different people groups will fight each other. We see this escalating in today’s world with the cries of racism in our country. We see members of each group of people straining the bonds that we should all have through Jesus. We see riots between different people groups within our own political kingdoms. We see political kingdoms at odds with each other.

In essence, we are all rising against each other.

Have we become the very people that Jesus told us about?

Are we being deceived by false teachings and deliberate lies so that we will be a part of what Satan is doing in this world? There are far too many things going on in this world to keep up with all of them, but I do know that what I see appears to hold true all across the world. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are fights between different people groups and there are other things happening that simply make me wonder how humanity has become so depraved so fast.

No matter what happens, the Body of Christ, which crosses all nationalities and political kingdoms, must hold fast to Jesus. We must not fall for the wars. We must not fall for the racism issues. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

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

January 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV))

I have a large database of scripture passages that I have made notes on. I arbitrarily turned to this passage and immediately got chills. This is the third time today that this passage has come up. Lord, I may be slow, but I get the point.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Do you long to have your thirst for righteousness quenched?

Do you find that the things of this world leave you empty and still longing?

What you are seeking is grace. What you are seeking is God’s perfect will in the world. What you are seeking is the exact opposite of what the world has to offer.

God’s gifts are free!

Only God’s gifts will satisfy your longing.

We cannot buy these gifts. Jesus paid the cost for all to partake. All that we have to do is earnestly ask to receive through the atoning blood of Jesus.

The world offers us so much that can distract us. Everything that the world offers has a cost. We will pay financially and we will pay spiritually. When we remove our focus from Jesus, our hearts harden and our lives suffer. When was the last time that you saw a famous person who was a devoted to their family and to God? Most are devoted to other things. This goes for any walk of life in which things become the goal. They take control and they cost more than just the financial price.

Jesus gives us peace. Isaiah spoke of these gifts before Jesus came, yet, he knew they would come. Isaiah did not get to see Jesus fulfill the prophesies. He did not get to go to the source of the living waters, yet he believed. He had faith.

Things in this world are far from what God intended. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are storms that destroy whole parts of the world. There are people who are determined to kill people simply because they believe in Jesus.

I know that to those who do not understand, this may seem like an escapist mentality, but it is far from that. We, as the Body of Christ, have a promise that God will prevail. Personally, I long for the day when all who are thirsty will drink from the living water of Jesus.

Are you thirsty?

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