Are you a new creation or do you still worry?

June 29, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:28-34 (NIV))

God created us to enjoy life! Life is not yesterday. Life is not tomorrow. Life is today! Once this moment is gone it can never come back.

We do not need to worry for worry takes away from today. God gave us the ultimate relief from worry when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Once we accept this gift, we no longer have to worry about tomorrow and the consequences of sin.

If we have accepted this gift, we have died to our sin and are new creations through Jesus Christ!

Are you a new creation or do you still worry?

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

May 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

What did you do yesterday?

Did you end the day with expectations for today?

Do you have big plans for tomorrow?

Are you planning something special for next week, next month or next year?

Everyone has expectations for the future, but how often do your expectations actually come true? With that in mind, there is one thing that I need to ask. What are your expectations with respect to salvation? Have you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you confident in your faith? Do you live out your faith as if your life could end at any moment and eternity depended on Jesus acknowledging you as a faithful follower?

Are you confident that you would not hear these words from Jesus?

`I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23b (NIV))

Let’s face the truth. None of us want to hear these words. None of us want to face the consequences of these words. Can you honestly look at your life in relation to what God has written and what Jesus has taught and find yourself righteous in the eyes of God? No one can!

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

It is for this reason that Jesus came into the world. It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross. It is for this reason that Jesus died. It is for this reason that Jesus was resurrected. It is through the acceptance of this gift that anyone can be saved. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All that we can know is that we have called upon Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. We must live for Him. We must commune with Him. We must seek His face in all that we do. We cannot simply call upon Jesus only when we need rescuing.

What are your expectations of your relationship with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are of great value to God

September 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
(Luke 12:27 (NIV))

All of us are guilty of it. We all worry about what we will wear, what we will eat, where we will live, and many other things that consume us on a daily basis.

Jesus’ words tell us not to worry about such things, for God cares for the lilies, and they are of less importance than us. God clothes them in such splendor that nothing we do can match them, yet God loves us and cares for us more than the lilies. They are fleeting and are gone in a very short period of time. Once they are gone, there is no trace of them. They do not leave this world and have the opportunity to spend eternity with God. Only one created being has that opportunity.

Would God allow us to go beyond His grace and mercy. It is true that humanity must work for food. Look at the Garden of Eden and the aftermath. Jesus was not saying that we did not need to not work, for God said that we would toil for our food. What is implied is that we are of far greater value to God than the lilies, and that God has a far greater reward for us.

Calling upon the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, will allow us to be clothed in righteousness, something that no other created being can achieve. Being righteous before God is far more spectacular than anything that the lilies may show.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Rejoice in the precious gift that is today!

July 31, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalms 118:24 (NIV))

Every day is a gift from God. We do not know when the day that we see will be our last. Our society has become so engrossed in planning for tomorrow, that we often overlook today. Today is a certainty. Tomorrow is only a possibility. It is wise to plan for tomorrow, but do not be so wrapped up in tomorrow that you neglect today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34)

When Jesus came to earth, He did not spend His whole time with us worrying about the cross that was to come “tomorrow.” He knew that it would come, yet He did not worry about it. He embraced each day on this earth and did the Will of God the Father for the moment that he was in. Should we do any different than Jesus did? Another “tomorrow” that Jesus faced was the Right Hand of God the Father after His resurrection, yet Jesus did not skip today to get to tomorrow. He rejoiced in what was the moment and kept everything in it’s proper place and time.

Each day is a precious gift from God. Do not waste this gift worrying about the possibility of another gift!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm and shine our light

May 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

Having a form of godliness but denying its power!

What do you think could be traits that do this? Could it be acknowledging that God exists but not allowing Him into you life? Perhaps it is making money so that you can stockpile it in the bank. Perhaps it is even something else. Whatever it is, we all potentially have at least one of these traits. It could only take a very subtle nudge in that direction to make us fall into the category of people that deny God’s power.

Perhaps it is our busy schedules that keep us on this very edge. We think that everything that we have is by our own hand and that if we do not keep moving, we will lose everything that “WE” have spent our efforts building. Even our very existence seem to deny God’s power in today’s world. Too few of us stop to praise God and to thank Him for our blessings. We have become a society very much like what is written. Perhaps we are too like what is written.

We allow certain aspects of our society to remove God from anything and everything, then we complain about the shape that our society is in.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV))

No matter what the times may hold, we are to remain constant in our faith. We must share our faith with a dark world. We must be willing to shine our light as a beacon for those who may still be searching. If the last days begin soon, we must be willing to stand firm and shine our light – the light of Jesus that shines within each of us.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you spending your morning?

March 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
(Matthew 27:31 (NIV))

The events of the long night and morning were over. Jesus had been arrested, beaten, falsely accused and judged, and then sentenced to die a horrible death. The only thing left of God’s plan was the actual crucifixion. Think on those events as you read this, for many will be reading it at the time of day that things actually unfolded.

How are you spending your morning? Is it filled with reverence and thanks for what Jesus endured? As you pour yourself another cup of coffee, does the impact of Jesus’ suffering bring you to tears or do you even think of it at all? As you head to that meeting, do you reflect upon just how things would be if Jesus had not had His meetings with Pontius Pilate? When you feel the burdens of the day come crashing in around you, do you stop to think of the burden that Jesus bore as He carried His cross?

It is so easy to get lost in the trivial details of our own lives. We think that they are so important. We think that if we don’t close that next big sale, the world will fall apart. We think that if our children don’t get into that private school, their lives are over. All that we bear is the burdens and sins from our own lives. Imagine having the weight of the sins of the world hoisted upon you. Imagine the world being so engrossed in the usual activities that your sacrifice becomes trivialized. Imagine taking on the burden anyway because you love the people of the world.

Stop to think just what Jesus went through so that you can have grace and salvation. Retrace His steps as He carries His cross to Calvary. Put yourself in His place as the nails pierced His hands. Imagine how He felt looking down through history as He looked upon you at this very moment in time. He suffered and died for you and I. He did it willingly so that we may have grace and mercy.

Spend the day embracing His sacrifice, feeling His pain and emotions. Look upon your life as He looked upon it. Jesus felt that His sacrifice was worth everything that He endured. He felt that you and I were worth whatever price He had to pay.

Today, stop and thank God for His Son, Jesus, and His willingness to go to the cross for you and I. That day was a day of agony and fear, but through the fear we have a shining ray of hope – the resurrection on Easter morning!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you worry about your plans?

June 4, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
(Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV))

The last several months have seen many people worrying about practically everything in their lives. Carefully consider your own life and honestly reflect on what your thoughts have been during the recent history of this world. If you are like everyone else, including myself, then you probably have had some worry and doubt creep into your mind. It is only human nature.

The words from Matthew paint a vastly different picture than the one that we have painted for ourselves. It is human nature to plan and to worry about our plans. It is human nature to try to control the whole world when we cannot even control our own lives. It is human nature to try to be the god of our own destiny, yet, we fail miserably at controlling even a single hour of a single day.

Worry is an outgrowth of the sinful nature that tells us that we have to be in control. If we do not try to control, then we do not worry.

Personally, I have been trying to relinquish control and to some extent, I have succeeded. However, to a much greater extent, I have failed. I tell you this, not to point at my own failures, but to recognize the fight that we all face each and every day that we live. It is easy to see the events in the news and relinquish the worry about these to God, yet, at the same time, the personal events that may only effect us and a few other people take center stage in our lives and in our thoughts. Perhaps this is a direct result of the human trait that some call self preservation. Many would call it self centeredness. However you look at it, we tend to worry about things that really only effect a small circle directly centered around us while we relinquish larger items as being in God’s hands.

Could it be that Jesus was speaking to the very nature of being human when he told us not to worry? I honestly believe that He was giving us instructions on how to fight the sinful nature by drawing us away from ourselves and our “needs.” Let’s face it, when you center your life around others, you pray for their well being and are not focused on yourself. When you focus on yourself, the sinful nature is allowed to surface because it focuses on your plans for you and not God’s plans for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11(NIV))

Do you worry about your plans or do you follow God’s plan?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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