What do you ask of God?

June 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
(James 1:5 (NIV))

Too many people take this passage and paraphrase it to read something like, “ask God and it will be given to you.” They literally make it sound like God is in the business of being a genie who simply grants wishes. Upon a closer read of this passage, it becomes clear that God is generous with giving wisdom if you ask for it. We must, however, understand what wisdom is.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
(Psalms 111:10 (NIV))

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 (NIV))

If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, do you truly desire to be given wisdom?

Most people associate the word fear with a strong emotion caused by an awareness of danger. Do you look upon the Lord as a source of danger? There is another definition that should be applied to the word fear when it is used in conjunction with fearing God. This definition means a profound reverence or sense of awe. Some ever say that it can simply mean a healthy and sincere respect.

Think about the definition of fear with respect to God. I already asked if you look upon the Lord as a source of danger. I want you to ask yourself, and give yourself an honest answer. Do you hold God in reverence? Are you in awe of His majesty and power? Do you respect the Lord enough to desire to not betray Him or to sin against Him? If you are able to truthfully answer these questions in a way that places the Lord God above all else, then you are on your way to possessing the greatest wisdom that you can ever possess. The next time that you begin to feel like God is a genie, remember that what He wants to give you is Godly wisdom.

What do you ask of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is found in your life?

June 1, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
(Proverbs 13:10 (NIV))

Sometimes, human nature will amaze me, but to be honest with you, most of the time it amuses me!

We all say and do things that get on each other’s nerves. We brag about what we can do, even when there are others around whom we know are much better than we could ever be. We always want to be right. We always want to be number one. We always want others to look to us as an expert in something, if not everything. I often wonder how humanity started to act like a peacock, always ruffling our feathers like we are saying, “Hey! Take a look at me. Don’t you think that I’m something special?”

It all comes down to ego. It all comes down to pride. We would rather create an argument than admit we aren’t right. We would rather live a life that has us and everyone else on edge instead of asking for advice and living in peace. In other words, what amuses me about human nature is that we like to say that we are capable of logical thinking, yet we very seldom ever act like it!

Perhaps this is also related to how humanity sees knowledge and wisdom. We seek after more and more knowledge, which fluffs up our egos, yet, we fail to seek after wisdom. Knowledge is nothing more than a collection of facts and details. Wisdom is an understanding of what is important and why it is important. I have seen people who are filled with knowledge who lack any sense of wisdom and I have seen wise people who could care less about what humanity calls knowledge.

There are all types of things that human nature brings into play in our lives. Some are prideful and self-centered. Some are God centered.

What is found in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you learning?

May 18, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7 (NIV))

I find it interesting that almost every aspect of our society is so overwhelmed with learning more and more. On the surface, this sound very good. For the most part it is. The problem comes when we focus so much on what is learned and forget about truth, when we focus more on man-made credentials instead of the wisdom that God bestows.

I even see this in many churches.

How many of you have heard someone say something like, “They can’t do that. they don’t have a degree.” Think about that for a moment in relation to the movement of the Holy Spirit. If God has given someone a gift and the Holy Spirit enables that gift, who are we to stop it just because the person doesn’t have a degree in the area? I don’t know about you, but this sounds very similar to being a Pharisee. Did they accept John the Baptist? Didn’t they try to stop Jesus? Speaking of Jesus, what man-made credentials did He possess? Think about that in relationship to the church that He calls His own. Think about that in relationship to the men whom He drew close to Himself to be His disciples. They did not possess man-made credentials, yet He used them to spread the Gospel and to reach the world.

There is often a big difference between learning and wisdom, or in reference to this passage, learning and knowledge of the truth. It seems to me that the more we focus on learning, the less wisdom and knowledge of the truth that we possess.

Think about this in relation to your studies. What are you learning?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you keep within your sight?

August 23, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;
(Proverbs 3:21 (NIV))

Is it just me, or has the world lost wisdom, understanding, sound judgment and discretion?

I realize that these things still exist, but it appears that they exist in far less abundance than they used to when I was younger. If you don’t believe me, all that you have to do is look at the warnings that manufacturers are putting on products as a result of people not using common sense. Everyone knows that coffee is hot, so why do we have to have cups emblazoned with “CAUTION! Contents are hot” in large type? Perhaps this example is a good thing to consider when you look at the other three characteristics. Understanding that coffee is hot leads to wisdom so that you are careful. You use sound judgment so that you don’t do something that will result in you spilling the hot coffee. You use discretion as to when and how you open or drink so you don’t hurt yourself.

Is it my imagination, or do all of these characteristics actually imply, actually require personal responsibility?

Now that I have come to this understanding, I believe that I now know why there is a decreasing amount of Godly wisdom, understanding, sound judgment and discretion. There is a dwindling number of people who are willing to accept personal responsibility for any of their actions, so why should spiritual characteristics and actions be any different?

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is a choice!

Following Jesus is a choice!

Accepting and understanding the truth in God’s Word is a choice!

We will keep things in our sight that we choose to keep in our sight.

What do you keep within your sight?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see the things of God?

August 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

Did you watch the solar eclipse? Are you glad that it is over? If you are like the majority of people in the United States, you have seen enough information about the solar eclipse to where you could probably write your own research paper solely from memory. To be honest with you, it was an amazing event to see.

I find it interesting that humanity is so obsessed with these types of events, yet they fail to recognize that these types of events are clearly defined and foretold in the Bible. Society tries to explain them based on scientific reasoning. Please don’t misunderstand me and try to draw any false implications. There is nothing wrong with science. Science allows us to explore and try to understand creation. It allows us to form a hypothesis about a particular subject and then test that hypothesis to see if it is accurate. Over the course of human history, scientific conclusions have often changed when addressing the same subject. In essence, a hypothesis is only an assumption that someone makes for the sake of argument. They then have to defend that assumption. What I find so perplexing, based on this definition, is that when someone comes to a different assumption and tries to have a civil argument over the different assumption, someone is always labeled as ignorant and uneducated. Based on historical record and the very definition of hypothesis, science is man’s attempt to correctly explain what we see when how we interpret what we see is influenced by our less than perfect ability to perceive the truth.

The solar eclipse was a fantastic example of humanity trying to explain what we see when what we see is so far beyond our comprehension. If Jesus delays His return, humanity might get better at explaining things. However, we will never understand creation the way that the Creator does. If God said that something is to serve as signs, then we should take that at face value. I, like may people, are intrigued by the “how” with respect to what God does, but it will never be more important than the “why.”

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

How do you see the things of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there a difference between wisdom and education?

November 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
(Job 28:12 (NIV))

Do you believe that there is a difference between wisdom and education?

If you believe as the world believes, then that answer is a resounding no. The world believes that the more education, the more degrees that someone has makes them wise. Is that necessarily the truth? What if someone spends all of their adult life seeking education in something that has no merit. They will be well educated, but that education does not make them wise. It just means that they have wasted time being taught something that has no value or they have been taught lies. Is that wisdom?

I can educate myself on the finer points of believing that I am a millionaire, but does that make it so? I can educate myself on the complexities of the biology of insects, but does that make me wise? No! It just means that I know a lot about insects.

Wisdom is so much more than education. All that you have to do to understand this is to look at the college campuses today. These are supposed to be places of higher education, but when someone presents an idea contrary to what they want to hear, they protest and demand safe places. Wisdom is being able to discern the truth even when the truth contradicts what you want to believe. Wisdom is admitting that you don’t have all of the answers and that you just may actually be wrong.

And he said to man,
`The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.’ ”
(Job 28:28 (NIV))

Satan and his followers are capable of giving you an education. That education will not be a good one. It will lead to death. Only God can give you wisdom!

Are you educated or are you wise?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you called out to God?

October 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV))

Do you like secrets?

Do you like knowing things that other people do not know? Do you like having insights into life that are beyond understanding? Do you like knowing the very heart of God?

What is it that you seek? What is the one thing that you desire the most? Are your desires the same as David’s, for he is known as a man after God’s own heart? Are your desires the same as Solomon’s, for he wanted wisdom and God granted it?

There is so much to gain when you earnestly seek God. You truly get to know the Creator of all things. You begin to understand His heart. You begin to understand His mind, and you begin to understand that His love is beyond measure. Of course, being human, we cannot fully understand all that God is, but we begin to see. Before we earnestly seek God, in our limited understanding we question whether or not if He is even real. As we call upon Him, we begin to see and to understand. The more we call, the more that He will answer. Each answer is a revelation of the majesty that is God. Each answer is something we never even imagined we would know or need to know, but as He answers, we begin to wonder how we existed without that knowledge.

Do you long for God to tell you great and unsearchable things?

Call out to God, and He will answer!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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