Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

June 18, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
(Proverbs 1:8 (NIV))

I am afraid that we have become a society were the parents look to the children for answers. Too many parents allow the children to make the decisions for themselves and sometimes even for the whole family. We, as parents, have become afraid of losing our children’s friendship. As a result, we lose our children and the roles get reversed.

Society has become too permissive with respect to allowing things to get out of hand. We no longer teach our children right from wrong. We live in a society that tells us there is no absolute truth, so consequently, there is no absolute right and wrong. Truth is relative. What is correct in one situation may not be the correct thing to do in another situation. We no longer have a moral compass by which we can steer our lives. It is permissible to do anything as long as no one gets hurt. I want to know who is responsible for this idiotic idea.

All throughout the Bible we are taught that there is a way that we should live. If we don’t live in that manner, then we sin. We miss the mark that God has set before us. Sin is not only the actions that hurt others. Sin is also the private acts that only scar the individual. Sin never leaves anything as flawless and pristine as before it occurred.

I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that we, as a society, have stopped trying to reach that higher standard. We no longer desire to better ourselves in the eyes of God. We have not only stopped striving for God’s standard, in far too many cases, we have turned one hundred and eighty degrees in the opposite direction. How can we face ourselves? How can we face God? We have allowed leniency to take the place of love. We have allowed permissiveness to take the place of instruction. We have allowed rebellion to take the place of respect.

We, as a nation, need to return to the basic principles that God has given us. Here is where we can start.

Train a child in the way he should go,
    and when he is old he will not turn from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 (NIV))

Are you listening to your Father’s instructions?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the way of the Lord just in your eyes?

November 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Yet your countrymen say, `The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. Yet, O house of Israel, you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways.”
(Ezekiel 33:17-20 (NIV))

This country was founded on God’s Word. People have been trying to distort this fact for a long time. This is an attempt to cover up the truth behind why this nation was founded. It is an attempt by the enemy to take what is good and make it appear to be evil. The enemy lies, steals and cheats. Why should now be any different?

These same people who are trying to rewrite history are also saying “The way of the Lord is not just.” They are more interested in doing evil and what is in their own hearts than in doing what is righteous and true to God. They realize that if they can change people’s perception of history, then they can in effect change history, or what will be history. They long for a day when people will no longer turn to God in any way. They want people to turn to the inner man for the answers. We know how well this works. Man does not have the answers, only God does. People claim that there is no absolute truth. They claim that whatever feels right to someone is just. God’s Word states that only the Lord God is just.

What do you say?

Is the way of the Lord just in your eyes?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Why do we try to tell God what to do?

April 5, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?
(Romans 11:34 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us want to give advice to anyone and everyone? Why do we think that the world would be so much better off if everyone would simply listen to us? Is it ego, pride, or arrogance that makes us feel that we have all of the answers, or is it a combination of all of these traits and many more? What is so interesting and sad at the same time is the fact that we even do this with God. This is the equivalent of a loaf of bread arguing with the baker who made it. Our perspective, our understanding is nothing in comparison to that of the Lord.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Who has known the mind of the Lord?

I find that question so laughable since we, as humanity, don’t spend enough time drawing close to the Lord. Through His Word, He has given us insight into His heart and mind, but very few of us spend enough time diving headfirst into this treasure to truly know God. We read something and take it out of context and soon twist it to mean what we think that it should mean. We then point a proverbial finger at the Lord and accuse Him of not doing what we think He should do based on our twisted understanding.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, each other and with the Lord. There is absolutely nothing that we can do or say that will be above and beyond what God has thought. To be perfectly honest, I believe that the following passage, even though it refers to our righteousness, can be applied to our wisdom and understanding.

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))

Again, I wonder what it is about human nature that makes us want to give advice when we truly don’t understand anything. Why are we so arrogant that we feel that our understanding is far above what it truly is?

Why do we try to tell God what to do?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 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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Does this sound familiar?

April 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
(John 12:42-43 (NIV))

Does this sound familiar?

From the time that Jesus actually walked upon the earth until today, nothing has really changed. Some people will always be swayed by peer pressure. They are more concerned with what people will think of them instead of what God will think of them. It sounds like they have a distorted sense of priorities.

Can people save them from their sins and offer them eternal life? Does God hold onto petty arguments and hold that against someone for the rest of their life? Do we go to church to worship people? Do we call God on the phone and gossip about what somebody is doing?

From a worldly perspective, we must turn our world upside down. We must realize that God is in control and that humanity is condemned to eternal separation and damnation if we do not turn to God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

Humanity does not have the answers. Perhaps, we don’t even have the right questions. We spend our whole lives searching for acceptance when all we have to do is turn to our Creator and be eternally accepted. In comparison, all else pales.

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

February 23, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
(Psalms 118:8 (NIV))

I find things so interesting these days, as I am sure that many of you do as well.

Far too many of us look to a particular person to have all of the answers. Too many of us look to a political party to have all of the answers. Society longs to look anywhere and everywhere for the answers except where the truth is. We seem to elect leaders who shun the idea that they are wrong if they do not place their priorities on the back shelf and make the Lord’s priorities theirs.

Has there ever been a single person that you know who has never broken your trust?

It happens to everyone. It happens because we all have our own interests at heart. The old saying “What’s in it for me” is true. I am sure that you have also heard the old saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Even the best of intentions fall short of complete trust. The best of intentions are easily swayed when you think that you are the absolute authority.

Even the most honest and trustworthy person will fail and fall short of the expectations – theirs and others.

Take a look at David. Even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he sinned. He did things that his power and position gave him the opportunity to do. His personal desires lead him down a path that lead to adultery and murder. When he was confronted and realized his sin, he repented, but how many people paid the price for his personal agenda?

Our nation and our world have turned so drastically from refuge and guidance from the Lord and we have turned to trust in man. It was man’s plans that led to World War I, World War II, and every single war throughout history. It was man’s plans that have led to the economic collapse of Greece. It is man’s plans that will lead us to many more problems if we do not repent and take refuge in the Lord.

Today, “man” tells us that we need to keep God out of everyday life and keep Him confined to our churches. No wonder we have so much trouble. God did not create only our Sunday mornings. He created everything. Why do we try to confine the Creator of all things to only a small portion of His creation?

That sounds like too many people have placed their trust in man.

Where do you place your trust?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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