Pray for the children of sin and slavery!

December 30, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
(Galatians 4:28-31 (NIV))

We are the children of promise. All who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior hold fast to the promises that He made and fulfilled. Jesus came so that all who believe could be granted salvation. That is a promise for all who are not ashamed to call upon His name.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

Jesus came as a Jew to the Jews. We who believe in Jesus as Messiah are able to do so because of the Jews. They were chosen as the descendants of Abraham even when Abraham and Sarah tried to make God’s plan come true on their own. As a result, Ishmael was born of the slave girl. According to the customs of man, Ishmael was the first born and everything was rightfully his. God had other plans. Ishmael was not supposed to have happened. Ishmael’s little brother was who God had planned. In the eyes of that society, Ishmael was ridiculed. Satan has used this as a weapon against God’s intended heir ever since. It was used as a weapon when this passage was written. It is being used as a weapon now. Satan is ramping up the attacks.

It is nothing but a family fight manifesting itself in various ways! It is a struggle between the children of the law who are bound to man’s ways and to Satan versus the children of the promise of God. We no longer have to be children bound to the laws of sin. We have been allowed to break the bonds of slavery and claim our place as children of the promise. We, as believers in Jesus, are reborn as children of the free woman. Our sins have been forgiven.

We must pray for the children of sin and slavery. Pray that they will be able to break the bonds that keep them in their slavery. Pray that they will know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

January 28, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Hebrews 11:1-12 (NIV))

How is your faith? If someone were to write about your life, would it be something that you would be proud to claim? Would it be something that God would be proud to claim? It only takes “faith as small as a mustard seed” for God to use you.

Plant a little faith and watch it grow!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Isn’t it amazing?

December 24, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiahn and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
(Matthew 1:1-17 (NIV))

It is amazing that we know so much about the genealogy of Jesus. It is amazing that He fulfilled so many prophecies and promises. In all of the generations, it only would take one small issue to have changed God’s plan. It is amazing that it happened at all. It is amazing that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior when you consider that the enemy did not want this to happen.

Be thankful for the amazing birth! Be thankful for God’s amazing plan!

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you think of the current situation in Israel?

July 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
(Romans 15:27 (NIV))

What do you think of the current situation in Israel?

Do you buy the media’s claims or do you rely on God’s Word for the truth?

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure
(Psalms 122:6 (NIV))

Jerusalem and Israel are key to what God has planned for this world. They are so important to God’s plan, that He restored Israel to their land after almost two thousand years of exile. They are so important to God’s plan, that He protected them during the wars that they have faced. They are so important to God’s plan, that He is still protecting them and He will miraculously protect them as things unfold.

Do you stand with Israel?

Think about that question. Think about your answer and what it means to your faith.

Do you believe that God chose Israel to be His people? Do you believe that God has blessed the nations through Israel? Do you believe that what Paul wrote of in Romans is true? The Jewish people are the people through whom God gave the world His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, for our redemption.

Why was Israel chosen to be the nation to bring forth our Lord and Savior, Jesus?

Look at the history of the nation of Israel. It can all be directly traced to the faith of one man, Abraham. Because of Abraham’s faith, God put into motion our redemption. He also put into motion the very things that we now see unfolding.

Is the nation of Israel perfect? Just like any nation, it is run by people and people are far from perfect. Israel, however, has one thing going for it that all other nations of the world do not. They have the promises that God has given. They have the written promises of what will happen. These promises seemed worthless until after World War II. Since that time, God’s promises have always been fulfilled.

We, as the Body of Christ, have been blessed through Israel. We must bless Israel as Paul has instructed.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Now choose life!

July 2, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV))

These words were spoken long ago. So long ago that it has now become popular for many “scholars” to doubt that these words, or any other word from the Bible actually ever were spoken. What they doubt is not really the fact that these words were spoken, but the fact that there is truth behind them. A truth far greater than any truth humanity can fathom or create or our own.

Too many people have a hard time believing that there is a God, for they do not want to be accountable to anyone but themselves. They want to continue to believe that whatever they do is all right as long as it makes them feel good. God gave us words to the contrary. He gave them to Moses on Mt. Sinai. If you follow these words, you are promised life. If you do not, you are faced with death. Humanity is not capable of following these words to perfection. We are not capable of following them for more than a few minutes before we stray from their path.

How can we have life if we cannot follow the instructions that lead to life? God has given us a savior. He has given us someone who can, and has followed them to perfection. He has given us His Son, Jesus, to be our intercessor.

We now can choose life and know that our choice will be a true choice. We have a savior. We have a perfect intercessor who has taken all of our imperfections and removed them from us. We now have life and all of the promises that God has given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Evidence!

December 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiahn and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
(Matthew 1:1-17 (NIV))

God is extremely good at telling us what He is going to do before He does it. He is also extremely good at providing proof for after the fact.

Abraham was told that through him, the nations would be blessed.

David was told that a descendant from his lineage would rule forever.

There are many more, but when Matthew wrote of the lineage of Jesus, the Jewish people knew of the promises that God had made. They knew what to expect. Matthew simply pointed out what God had done.

I often wonder if we would recognize the things that God has done if we were presented the evidence in a similar manner. Would we recognize Jesus through the fulfillment of the prophecies? Would we recognize Jesus through what God still has promised?

Let’s take this one step further.

Do we recognize what God is putting right in front of us?

Many Jewish people did not recognize the signs, even when they were presented in detail. What signs are we missing today that God longs for us to pay attention to? Are we so intent on focusing on the baby in the manger and the signs that pointed to His coming that we miss the signs that may be telling us to be on the lookout for something that God is still planning? Think about that for a moment. We already know that God tells us what He is going to do in advance of doing it.

God told us that a baby would be born of a virgin.

God told us that He would suffer and die for our sins.

God told us that He would be raised again on the third day.

God told us that He would come again.

We are at the time of year when we celebrate the birth of the baby. I can only imagine the awesome experiences that the shepherds had. I can only imagine the humbleness of the magi. I can only imagine what was going on in the minds of Joseph and Mary. They had been told by God what was to transpire. Still, the evidence before them was probably mind blowing.

There is much evidence to point to Jesus as the Messiah. There is more evidence to come!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will we get tired of waiting for the Lord?

December 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
(Psalms 27:14 (NIV))

We have problems waiting for an answer to a pray if it is not answered immediately. We have problems waiting for special events and special days, such as Christmas. We act as if they will never get here.

Could we have the patience that Job had? Could we have the patience that Noah had when he was told to build the ark? I wonder how many days Noah and his family thought that they would never get through with the construction. Look at Abraham and the patience that he exhibited. How did these people handle the anticipation of the fulfillment of God’s promises?

Think about those who earnestly looked for Jesus to come to this earth. We think that we have problems waiting for Christmas each year, yet these people waited without knowing when God would send the Messiah. We know that the day that we celebrate as the birth of Jesus will come every year, so we only have 365 days to wait until it happens again. Those people who earnestly waited for God and for the Savior to be born did not know when it would happen. Their anticipation was an open-ended anticipation. It required a faith and a hope far greater than we are probably capable of understanding when we live in a society of instant gratification.

Did any of these people simply give up on life and focus on their waiting? Did Job give up and die? Did Noah and his family give up and not build the ark? Did those who looked for the Messiah to come simply stop taking part in every day life?

They pressed on! They moved forward in what they had to do. They did not simply give up all hope and give up on life because they thought that they had waited too long!

Do we truly understand what it means to wait for the Lord?

Are we willing to persevere in our patience as we wait for the Lord?

Do we have the faith and the hope that will sustain us if what we wait for does not happen when we want it to?

Many people believe that we are rapidly approaching the time when we will no longer have to wait for the return of Jesus. We do not know the hour or the day, but we can know the season. Many signs point to this being the season, but what happens if the season takes longer than we hope?

Will we get tired of waiting for the Lord?

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