Lord, renew my strength!

October 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

This passage has come to mind many times recently. It has become my second life verse behind Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God.” I rely on the Lord to renew my strength on a daily basis for I am weary beyond belief. I trust in the Lord to lift me up even in the midst of the troubles of this world, and there are a multitude of troubles.

“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 6:33 (NIV))

My weariness is deep inside. It is a weariness of the soul. I see the things of this world and it breaks my heart to see so many who are lost in the lies of the enemy. I am utterly saddened to see that there is no moral compass in the lives of way too many people. I am weary from the heartache. I am weary from the continual downward spiral that the world is taking.

There is only one thing that overcomes this weariness. There is only one place where I put my trust. I lift my heart, I lift my eyes, I lift my voice to heaven and my spirit cries out to the Lord of all creation. My spirit is weary, but it is not a weariness that is beyond hope, for my hope is placed in Jesus. I am torn in my weariness. I long to see Jesus, yet, I want to see everyone come to a saving knowledge of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. I long to mount up with wings like eagles, yet I am burdened by the view of those who are lost below.

Lord, renew my strength. Give me wisdom. Give me a heart like yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Are you ready and waiting?

February 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(Luke 12:35-40 (NIV))

Are you ready?

Do you grow tired of waiting?

Two simple questions, yet, they seem to summarize a person’s walk with Jesus.

What does it take to be ready for Jesus? Perhaps it is a good idea to read the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. Jesus told them specifically what they were doing right and what they were doing wrong. Most of the praise was focused on the steadfastness of the churches that held to the teachings of Jesus. They held true to the Word and did not compromise. They did not pollute their lives with the evils of the day. They stayed true to the Word. Sadly, there were churches that received instructions to repent. These churches were not holding fast to the truth within God’s Word. They allowed society to influence them. They adapted their beliefs to those of the societies in which they lived. They added to or took away from the truth of God’s Word as it benefited them in the society in which they lived. They changed God’s Word to benefit themselves. In other words, they compromised!

Which way is the way that God desires? It is clear that He desires for us to hold fast to His Word. We are not to compromise what is truth in order to thrive or even survive in this world. With this truth in mind, are you ready?

With what is going on in this world, do you grow tired of waiting?

Think about that for a moment. I long to see Jesus come for His church, His bride, yet, I know that the timing is not up to me. There are times when I would love to escape the things of this world, but I realize that escape is not what I am called to do. I am to persevere. I am to press on toward the prize, and while I press on, I am to share the Gospel with any and all who will hear. It is true that I grow weary at times, but it is at those times that test my faith, my perseverance. Do I honestly believe in Jesus or do I simply give lip service that will change at the first sign of things not going as I expect them to go?

I have a mission. I have a task just as everyone who has professed a faith in Jesus has a task. We are to spread the Gospel. We are to persevere till His return. Do we give up on our task? Do we grow tired of waiting even though we are told that no man knows the hour or the day?

When you find yourself where you doubt your readiness, look up! When you find yourself where you doubt your ability to persevere, look up! If we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, He will make sure that we are ready and He will give us the strength and patience to persevere!

Are you ready and waiting?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What do you do when the world starts to get to you?

October 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9 (NIV))

Sometimes it seems that doing what God wants us to gets us nowhere in this world except laughed at and ridiculed by everyone around us.

Don’t give up. What you do does not go unnoticed.

The world may not appreciate the fact that you desire to be Godly and righteous, but there is one who notices your heart and will reward you based on your true intentions. God sees everything that you do and knows the true reasons that you do them. He will reward you for your faithfulness. He will reward you for your faith and integrity. He will prepare the harvest for you based on your heart.

The next time that the world starts to get to you, remember that God does not judge as the world judges. He does not care for the things of this world or the games that the world plays. God looks at the heart.

What will God see when He sees your heart? Will He see an eagerness to do His Will, or will He see that the world has begun to take its toll on your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


The other side of rest

August 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that this is the same passage from a week ago. Today, I am looking at it from the other side of a long awaited rest from the world.

It was wonderful to escape the day to day trials of the world. It was wonderful to rest and recharge. It was wonderful to look out and see the majesty of God’s creation and to simply take it all in. I am thankful to have been able to spend the last week with my wife as we celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Both of us rested from the hectic pace that is our daily lives.

No cell phones. No Internet. Then reality hit.

We are back and the world is still in turmoil. The world is still hectic. The world is still facing things that can only be described as attacks from the enemy. Satan did not go away while we were gone. All of the worldly crises did not go away while we were gone. If anything, even more attacks seem to have reared their ugly head while we were gone.

Should I be worried? Should I, as a member of the Body of Christ, turn and seek safety?

We are called to be in the middle of the spiritual battle that is taking place. We are not called to retreat. There are times when we will need rest so that we will be able to continue our part, but we, as the Body of Christ, should never run from the enemy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.
(Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV))

We are told to rest in God’s presence. We are also told that we are to put on the full armor of God. We are only human. We cannot go all out in part of God’s calling. We need rest. We need quiet time to spend time with God and to recharge.

Too much rest and we become lazy. Too much battle without rest and we become burned out.

Even Jesus had to get away from the crowds and rest in God’s presence. What makes us think that we can do it differently?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


We all need rest!

August 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I want to start off by saying thank you to all that have supported this ministry.

With that said, we all need rest. We need time to get away from the world and slow down and enjoy what God has created. We all need to spend time refreshing and strengthening our relationships whether these relationships are between a married couple or between yourself and Jesus. We need to take the time to recharge our batteries so that we can face the things that this world throws at us. Lately, I have seen far more than I could ever imagine being thrown at the Body of Christ. I feel a heaviness in my spirit. I need rest.

I have been blessed with a lovely lady as my wife for twenty-five years. I have been blessed with a family that loves the Lord. I have been blessed by God in so many ways. One blessing that I never imagined happening is my sharing of God’s Word through this devotional ministry. I may not have riches as the world thinks of riches, but I am rich in ways that the world can’t imagine.

There is a spiritual war that is unfolding. It is spilling over into the physical world. We all need to rest in Jesus so that we may be prepared for what is coming. Take the time to slow down and spend time with God. Listen for the Holy Spirit. Follow the words of Jesus. Spend time with God.

“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))

I love the first line of this passage. Many people use it and ignore the next two lines, but today, I feel that the last two lines of this passage need to be used and heard. We are to be still and listen to God. This gives us insight into His heart and His desires. Many people, and I probably have been guilty of this, use the first line of this passage to show what you need to do to get to know God without stressing the last two lines, which tell us why we need to know God.

The world is falling apart and many people believe that we are in the End Times. We are to know God so that we may tell a fallen, sinful world about salvation and grace. We are to exalt God and tell of His plan for redeeming each of us. God is to be exalted so that others may see Him and what He offers to those who will simply ask.

Sometimes we need to reset our priorities. Sometimes we need to spend time in our relationships. Sometimes we need to listen more than we talk. Sometimes we need to rest so that we may be better prepared to continue.

See you in a week.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Are you carrying the weight of the world?

October 1, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Sometimes it seems that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

How about you?

Do you ever feel that you bear more than it seems possible to manage?

Life in this world is full of burdens. Every day presents each of us with troubles and pressures that seem to grow bigger and bigger as time goes on. It seems that we have no escape from what the world sends our way.

Fortunately, we have someone to turn to. We have someone who understands the burdens and will walk with us through them.

“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))

Jesus told us to come to Him and bring all of our burdens and troubles with us. He will make our path more joyful. He will make our path have a light that guides us. He will make our path to have a destination that is truly restful as we rest in the presence of God.

The next time that you feel overwhelmed, remember that Jesus bore the weight of the world for our sins when He was sin free. Can you imagine how weary He was during this ordeal – the physical weight of the cross and the emotional weight of all of the sins of all time?

Are you struggling under your own power, or are you resting in the assurance that Jesus will do as He says He will do?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Burdens

August 17, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NLT))

What burdens do you carry?

Everybody has burdens that they must carry, for life is not burden free. Each of us face our own combination of things that Satan uses to weight us down and to keep us from God. These may be financial issues, health issues, personal issues, family issues, or a myriad number of other things. Regardless of what they may be, we all face times when we must carry a burden or two. Unfortunately, it is human nature to think that we are alone in what we face. Because of this, our burdens soon become more than we can bear.

Do your burdens leave you weary? Are your burdens too much for you to bear?

We, as believers, know that there is a hope for us. We do not have to carry our burdens alone. We have the hope that is Jesus. Jesus came to give us grace. He came to give us mercy. He came to give us hope. We do not have to face the burdens of this world alone. We have someone who is closer than a brother to help us through our times of trouble and burden. We have Jesus. All we have to do is allow Him to be our personal Lord and Savior. In exchange, He will give us rest from our burdens?

Do you allow Jesus to give you rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


What burdens do you carry?

April 17, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NLT))

What burdens do you carry?

Everybody has burdens that they must carry, for life is not burden free. Each of us face our own combination of things that Satan uses to weight us down and to keep us from God. These may be financial issues, health issues, personal issues, family issues, or a myriad number of other things. Regardless of what they may be, we all face times when we must carry a burden or two. Unfortunately, it is human nature to think that we are alone in what we face. Because of this, our burdens soon become more than we can bear.

Do your burdens leave you weary? Are your burdens too much for you to bear?

We, as believers, know that there is a hope for us. We do not have to carry our burdens alone. We have the hope that is Jesus. Jesus came to give us grace. He came to give us mercy. He came to give us hope. We do not have to face the burdens of this world alone. We have someone who is closer than a brother to help us through our times of trouble and burden. We have Jesus. All we have to do is allow Him to be our personal Lord and Savior. In exchange, He will give us rest from our burdens?

Do you allow Jesus to give you rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


Don’t stop running your race of faith.

October 26, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you have raced with men on foot
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?
(Jeremiah 12:5 (NIV))

I hadn’t really given this passage much thought, but a friend sent me an email with this version in his signature.

Jeremiah 12:5: “If you cannot run with the foot soldiers, what will you do when the horsemen come?”

I am not sure which translation this is, but it started me thinking and researching other translations. On the surface, Jeremiah 12:5 just appears to be about having the stamina to run the race and to keep your faith. I believe that it is much deeper than this. The Message translates this passage as:

So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men,
what makes you think you can race against horses?
And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm,
what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?
(Jeremiah 12:5 (The Message))

The passage is about keeping your stamina so that you can run the race, but it also warns us about the challenges getting harder. If we falter when things are not so difficult, how can we expect to keep our faith when the going gets tough?

We, as the Body of Christ, do not need, nor can we afford, to be weak in our faith. If we falter when dealing with people in our everyday lives, how can we expect to step it up when we are confronted with troubles that we cannot imagine.

I like the way that The Message puts this in a better perspective.

And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm,
what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?
(Jeremiah 12:5b (The Message))

How many people do you know who face life as one big drama after another? Hopefully, as the Body of Christ, we do not fall into this, but we never know exactly how we will react when faced with troubles. One thing is certain, though, and that is that we have a hope. This hope is not the worldly hope, but the Biblical hope that means a certainty. We have a faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

We may never face the race against the horses, or the troubles that come like a flood, but we must be prepared in our faith to stand firm in what may come. We have a glorious savior and redeemer who will see us through all that we may face.

Don’t stop running your race of faith.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


I have overcome the world

March 10, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV))

I have some questions for you and I want you to honestly reflect upon your situation and not just simply read these words. I want you to give thought, and thanks, to the One who gives us strength.

Are you hard pressed? Do you feel the weight of your situation closing in on you?

Are you perplexed? Do you look around and see things that just don’t seem fair? Do things happen to you because you try to do what is right?

Do you feel that you are being persecuted? In this day and time, professing a faith in Jesus is not looked upon by society as it used to be. We are labeled as intolerant and hateful.

Do you feel that you are being struck down and that you are under attack? Does it seem that the enemy is having a field day with you life and that everything that you do is targeted within his cross-hairs?

Jesus said that following him would not be easy.

“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))

I want you to stop and let the last eight words of John 16:33 have time to sink in.

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Don’t just read them. Reflect upon them and recognize one simple fact – No matter what hardships we may face in this life, and we will face hardships, Jesus has accomplished something outstanding and miraculous. No matter what the enemy may throw at us, Jesus has overcome all of it. The pain may be great, but the grace, love and peace is greater. The attacks may come full force, but the peace that passes all understanding is stronger. The persecution may be unwelcome, but the cross is much greater.

We have a loving Father who created us and a Savior who has overcome all that the world may throw at us. We must simply keep our eyes focused on Jesus no matter what we may face, and then no matter what persecution we may face, we will not be abandoned. When we are struck down, we will not be destroyed. When we are hard pressed, we will not be crushed, and when we are perplexed, we will not despair.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


%d bloggers like this: