Do you praise God with every breath you take?

May 8, 2018

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.
(Psalms 34:1 (MSG))

I don’t often reference the Message translation, but I love the implications of this passage and the way it gives a very unique and powerful example of our need to praise God.

Typically, we see this passage conveyed similar to the following, with each translation using slightly different words to convey what David actually wrote in his native language.

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
(Psalms 34:1 (NIV))

Honestly, who uses words like “extol?” I realize that it is a word that many people know, but most people will use the words “bless” or “praise.” Those words are straight to the point. Do you bless God every chance that you get? Perhaps what I love the most about the way that the Message translates this passage, though, is the last half of the passage. Everyone who is alive must breathe. This requires your lungs to expand and collapse as you inhale and exhale. This process is essential for life. Think about the meaning and the implications of that concept. We should consider praising God as essential to life as breathing! Without God, we would not have life.

We should give thanks with every breath that we take for the breath that we take. We should praise God for the life that He has given. We should praise God for the grace and the mercy that He has offered. We should praise God for His unfailing love.

Do you praise God with every breath you take?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you found the rest that you are looking for?

December 29, 2017

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))

Does this sound like a new year’s verse?

I honestly don’t know how many times that I have read this passage, but every time I do read it, I can easily identify with being weary and burdened. I think that it is safe to say that this can apply to every person who is alive today for we all feel weary and burdened at some point in our lives.

But, . . .

I want you to step back and read this as a New Year’s resolution that you will keep!

Lord, Jesus, I resolve to turn to you in all of my needs.

Does this sound like a New Year’s resolution that you want to keep? Is it one that you will strive to keep?

It can also be a daily prayer. It can be a reminder of what you need to do when you start to feel the weight of the world come crashing in on you.

Lord, Jesus, it’s me once again. I come to you because you say that your burden is light. My burden is extremely heavy. I cannot carry my burden on my own. I am in need of your peace and rest, so I turn my burden over to You. I don’t want to carry my burdens any longer. Please give me the strength to leave them with you. Give me the strength to trust that you will carry them for me. Amen!

I love God’s Word!

There is so much meaning in the passages. It is time that we, as the Body of Christ, firmly claim the truths that are promised to us. Matthew 11:28 is a short verse, but it contains so much promise. Are you weary and burdened? Do you want to rest in the presence of the Lord? All that we have to do is turn to Jesus!

Have you found the rest that you are looking for?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know the one true Savior?

December 8, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
(Isaiah 43:11 (NIV))

We are rapidly approaching Christmas day. It is the time of year that we have set aside to remember a few basic principles and to praise God for His grace and mercy. We celebrate the birth of a baby, but Jesus was no ordinary baby.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

We celebrate God’s love, even when we were still sinners.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

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

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

We celebrate the fact that God’s love was so great that He took action.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

We celebrate that God’s simple plan of redemption was made personal.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

We celebrate because our God, our Father and our Lord is alive and seeks a relationship with each one of us.

Do you know the one true Savior?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you hearing from the Spirit?

August 28, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(Revelation 3:6 (NIV))

When John wrote down what he had been told to record in what we now know as the book of Revelation, he was given several messages for the churches. Each of the seven churches mentioned can be equated to an historical period, plus they can be equated to the conditions of almost any church that is in existence today. Each of the churches received a specific message that told them what they were doing right and what they were doing wrong.

How do you think these messages were received by the different churches?

How do you think these messages were received by the individual members of the different churches?

Now, imagine that you heard the following messages about your relationship with Jesus. How would you react?

You are dead. Wake up!

I am about to spit you out of my mouth!

I hold your sexual immorality against you!

Not very pleasant. Would you take it to heart and repent or would you go off in a huff because you got your feelings hurt? I have a little tidbit of information that you may want to consider. If it hurts your feelings, there is probably some truth to what you are hearing! Think about that from your experiences with different churches and pastors. Perhaps it was a passage of scripture that caused your feelings to be hurt. Whatever the situation may have been, remember the following.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NIV))

God’s Word is not a sugar coated, feel good type of message. Truth can hurt. Are you willing to hear the truth even if it hurts your feelings? Are you willing to repent if the truth requires it?

What are you hearing from the Spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you have to say?

February 23, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalms 91:2 (NIV))

Words play a very powerful role in this world.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
(Genesis 1:3 (NIV))

In other words, God spoke everything into existence. He did not get out any tools. He did not hire a construction crew. God literally spoke everything into existence.

It was with false words that Adam and Eve were tricked in the Garden of Eden. We all know how that ended. As a result, all of humanity has been lost to sin until God spoke of a new plan.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

I could go into many, many more examples, but suffice it to say that God takes the power of words very seriously.

We are told that God’s word is alive. We are told that it is powerful. We are told that it penetrates and judges.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NIV))

If we are created in God’s image, what does all of this say about our words? Our words to each other have consequences. Our words to God have consequences. What you speak becomes reality.

What do you have to say? Is God your refuge and your fortress?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have a daily time to spend with God?

February 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

As I sit here exhausted, I realize just how easy it is to become so engrossed in the things of the world that we call our lives. It is so easy to let God slip to a second, third or even a fourth priority. The sad part about this when it happens is that we don’t realize that it is happening until it has already happened.

We need to establish something that becomes a constant in our lives. Something that we do on a daily basis that forces us to be still in the presence of God. This must be something that we do no matter whether we want to or not, no matter whether we feel that we can take a day off because no one will notice.

If you are reading this, then you are a part of my daily routine. I know that to many people the word routine signifies that you do something over and over again and get stuck in a rut. When you are studying and sharing God’s Word, you may be in a routine, but it is never a rut.

God’s Word is alive!

God shares His heart through His Word.

The trick is to be open and to not take things out of context. You must dive deep and explore the mysteries that God has in store for you. The Bible is called the Living Word for a reason. No matter where you are in your walk with God, there is something for you to learn. What I find so intriguing is that you can learn something from one passage and as you mature, you can learn something different from the same passage. This knowledge does not replace what you have learned before. It expands, it builds upon the previous knowledge to give you a deeper understanding.

I have been writing and sharing these devotionals since 1998. It is my routine. It is not my rut. I learn so much as I explore God’s Word and share it with you. It is my daily time to be still in the presence of God.

It is my prayer that each of you develop a routine in which you set aside time each day to spend in God’s presence.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you compromise to get along with others?

December 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
(Revelation 3:1-3 (NIV))

Are your deeds complete in the sight of God?

Have you ever stopped to think about what Jesus was saying to the church at Sardis?

I recently saw something that made me take a look at this from a new perspective.

In essence, this fresh perspective can be summarized by a simple concept – Getting along with others!

On the surface, this sounds like a good idea, but what happens when you compromise your faith to get along with others? What happens when you compromise what God has instructed you to do in order to get along with others? My first reaction to this concept can be summarized by the bumper stickers that I am sure that we have all seen telling us to coexist with other religions.

This is where we, as the Body of Christ, must be extremely careful. There is a difference between coexisting and compromising. We are facing some very severe pressure today to coexist, but in reality, they are asking for us to compromise. To some, it may seem insignificant, but in the eyes of Jesus it is a major issue.

A good example of this compromise can be summarized by this passage.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father or do you believe that He is one of many ways? Do you believe that Jesus is the only way for everybody or do you believe that He may not be the way for some people?

John 14:6 clearly states that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. If you have allowed a different teaching to influence your life, then you have compromised. If you believe that it is ok to follow the world and only turn to Jesus once a week, then you have compromised.

Following Jesus is a tough road to travel. There are many distractions along the way. There are many paths that look good in the eyes of the traveler, but are a compromise in the eyes of Jesus!

Don’t let the world distract you and don’t compromise what you know to be true!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL?

October 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
(1 Corinthians 15:22-23 (NIV))

Many people do not see the need to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. They do not think that one “man” can change how God will look upon us. They have not stopped to think how God looks upon us because of the actions of another man.

Adam sinned. We are not Adam, yet we suffer because of his sin. All of history was irreversibly changed due to the actions that happened in the Garden of Eden.

If this is the case, then why can’t the actions that happened in the Garden of Gesthemene and Golgatha change the way God looks upon us again?

Through the actions of one, all were destined to suffered. Through the suffering of One, all can be saved from suffering. All it takes is acknowledging that Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Spend time in God’s Word and be amazed!

November 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NAS))

God’s Word never ceases to amaze me.

It is alive!

And what is even of greater importance is that God is not dead. He is alive. He is in control.

Are you upset with the events as they are unfolding in this world? Are you upset with how it is rapidly becoming politically incorrect to express a faith in Jesus? Are you upset by how the world has turned against Israel and the Jewish people? Are you so upset with the world that it is causing you to lose focus, your focus on Jesus?

I know that God’s time table is based on things that happen according to the Jewish calendar, which is God’s calendar. I have been amazed at how God has unfolded recent events according to His calendar. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has pointed things out in his book The Harbinger. He has also pointed some things out in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah. I was just floored by some more of his teachings. I have always been fascinated by prophesy and how God works. I don’t understand it, but I have learned to be amazed at what He is doing and when He is doing it.

I find it fascinating that Jesus, who is the bread of life, was born in Bethlehem, which is the house of bread. I just learned from Rabbi Cahn that Jesus, who is the Lamb of God, was born in the area where the lambs that were to be sacrificed at the Temple were born.

Jesus, our sacrificial lamb, was born where the lambs that were to be sacrificed to God were born!

I could go on and on about how amazing God’s Word and God’s plans are, but I don’t have the words, the time or the space. I am learning every day just how amazing, how alive and how in control our God is.

I have been pierced so many times with God’s Word. It has brought me insight. It has made me aware of things that have made me literally gasp out of amazement.

The Bible is not something that you read just once and sit on a shelf.

Spend time in God’s Word and be amazed!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is the God of the living!

April 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
(Luke 20:37-38 (NIV))

God is the God of the living!

We have a tendancy to associate God with people who have died, but is that really an accurate association?

He is called the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. We know that these poeple died, but, exactly what is death?

When we think of death, we think of the cessation of physical life. We think of only what we can see. To be honest, we have a tendancy to think that death is not reversable. I am sure that each of us can think of a few instances where this is not the case, however, physical death eventually wins out.

Are we simply the sum of our physical bodies and nothing more?

Think about that from this perspective.

If someone is in an accident and lose an arm or a leg, they are still alive. What makes them the unique and indiviual creation is not the physical body. It is the unique spark of life that God has placed in them. That unique spark is the human soul.

Can a person who has been dealt a tremendous physical condition still have a lively soul?

Can a person who has a perfect body have a dead soul?

Life is not simply about breathing! Life is about rejoicing in the blessings of God. It is about rejoicing in the fact that God has created us to be eternal beings. Our bodies are frail. They are temporary. Long after they have gone, we will be. For those who profess that Jesus is Lord and Savior, we willbe rejoicing in the presence of God. We will be living as God intended. We will not be dead in His presence. We will be more alive than we can possibly imagine in our current, limited understanding.

All that you have to do is read the accounts that we are given in Revelation of the things that are going on in the presence of God to know that God is a God of the living. Just look at the elders. Look at the great multitudes. Death is not what God is God of.

God is the God of the living!

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