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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Have you received what had been promised?

November 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
(Hebrews 11:39-40 (NIV))

Before Jesus came into this world, no one was capable of achieving God’s perfect Will. Even those who had the faith to follow God when no one else was, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did not have what we have been granted today. No matter how faithful they may have been, no one was perfect in the eyes of God. They could not be allowed to stand before the Throne of God due to their sin.

God could not allow sin in His presence, therefore, before Jesus came to be a living sacrifice for atonement for our sins, the people that we read about in the Old Testament could not enter into God’s Glorious Kingdom after their death. God did take some people directly to heaven without allowing them to see death, but It is through our physical death that sin has control over us.

We, as the human race, have suffered the spiritual death through Adam and Eve. Through this death, sin was allowed into the world. Through sin, we suffer a physical death. Perhaps it is for this reason that God allowed Elijah to be taken directly to Heaven without experiencing an actual physical death.

Unfortunately, this has only happened a very few times. The rest of us are bound by the law of sin and physical death, but Jesus came to provide a way for us to break that law. Through the sacrifice that God planned through His Son, Jesus Christ, we have the only way available to defeat sin and death. All it takes is a simple act of faith and claim that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Savior.

The odds are much better this way than with God taking you directly to Heaven.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that God will provide?

May 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
(Genesis 22:14 (NIV))

Do you believe that God will provide?

In the midst of the turmoil and uncertainty in this world, do you believe that God will provide for your needs?

In the midst of the despair and heartbreak over a failed marriage, do you believe that God will provide?

Do your circumstances overwhelm you to the point where you simply can’t believe that God could possibly do anything to help you?

Abraham was probably at this point. Think about that statement and the rest of the story. God had told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham had waited for a very long lifetime to be a father. He was a very old man. Isaac was probably his pride and joy. Abraham truly loved Isaac. Imagine how he felt when God told him to go and sacrifice his son. How desperate do you think that Abraham felt at this point?

Still, Abraham exhibited something that I would have a problem showing under those circumstances. His obedience was unshakable. His faith was unwavering. I would have a big problem with obeying a command like this. Still, we must learn from Abraham. In the midst of what seemed like an impossible situation, God provided just what was needed. He did not provide it early. He did not provide it late. He was just in time. God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would be as many as the stars. Abraham had faith that God would fulfill His promises.

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

On the days that seem darkest, do you have the faith to know beyond any doubts that God will provide? When you feel that you have no possible way to change your circumstances, God will provide. Remember Abraham. Remember his faith. Remember God’s response. You are not alone. God is with you.

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