Do you walk the right path?

April 13, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
(Psalms 23:3b (NLT))

Is this your proclamation?

Do you allow God to guide you and to set your feet upon the path that He desires for you to walk?

If you are like everyone else, human nature takes over. Pride gets in the way and, just like in the Garden of Eden, we fall prey to a nature that we were not created to possess. We fall into sin!

Will you keep to the old path
that evil men have trod?
(Job 22:15 (NIV))

We are not called to walk the path of sin. We are called to salvation and grace througb the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. He has given us a path that we may walk. He has given us a path that we don’t walk in our own strength. Jesus sets us upon that path. God sends His Holy Spirit to walk it with us, guiding us every step of the way if we will only listen.

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
(Psalms 16:11 (NIV))

God loves us and desires to save us and to guide us. He has set the path before us. Satan sets diversions along the path. In order to follow God’s path, we must know God’s heart. We must know God’s Word. God’s Word provides the instructions for staying on the right path. When we know the instructions by heart, we can also proclaim what is proclaimed by the Psalmist.

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
(Psalms 119:32 (NIV))

Is your heart free?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Lord, lead me to the rock!

February 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
(Psalms 61:2 (NIV))

Lord, lead me to the rock!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalms 18:2 (NIV))

In all that you say and in all that you do, are you calling out to God to lead you to Him?

We like to think that we are, yet, each of us have times when we are facing things where we feel that we have been abandoned. Stop to think about that for a moment. If we can claim that God is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer, do the definitions of these words have anything in them that portrays these as anything other than solid and faithful? We can rely on these types of places to be there to protect us, to hide us in the storms, and to give us strength when we have no strength on our own.

Think about what a rock, a fortress and a deliverer mean to you.

Why would anyone run from such a place? Why would anyone not seek shelter in these places? Why would someone not build their house, their life, upon such a place?

There is only one place where you can find such a rock, such a fortress and such a deliverer! Place you faith in Jesus and the salvation that is yours through His atoning blood.

Lord, lead me to the rock!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your allegiance?

July 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
(Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV))

I don’t think that there has ever been a story of greater allegiance than this story.

Ruth’s husband had died and the only “family” that she had left was her husband’s mother. She was willing to leave her family and go with her mother-in-law at a time when women were considered to be second class citizens or even property. A woman without any sons to care for her was destined to have a life of poverty and begging. How could someone willingly choose this life for herself over a life where she could return to her birth family and be welcomed back?

Ruth showed a strength of character that many may never show. She was willing to face less than ideal circumstances for herself in order to make sure that someone else would not suffer. She had the opportunity to have a fairly comfortable life, but chose to go with the woman who had accepted her into her own family as a daughter-in-law. Ruth new that Naomi’s life would be difficult without help. Ruth was willing to make the sacrifice to help her.

When was the last time that you were asked to make a sacrifice in order to help someone else? Did you do it, or were you like the majority of humanity and only think about how it would effect you? It is hard to make such a sacrifice, to make such an oath of allegiance.

Each of us, as believers in the saving grace freely given to us through the atoning blood of Jesus, have made such an allegiance to God. I don’t know about you, but I stumble and fall many times during each day, yet, I desire nothing more than to have the faith and allegiance to God that Ruth had. She was a great person of faith.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the faith to please God?

April 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(Hebrews 11:6 (NIV))

Reflect on those words for a moment.

Nothing could be more true. It requires faith to believe that God exists. It requires faith to want to please someone that you cannot see and many people say doesn’t exist. I have a question for you. Which shows more faith – believing in a God that you cannot see, or not believing in Him because you cannot see Him? Can you see the air? Do you believe that it exists? Do your lungs still fill up with each breath?

Just because you cannot see it does not mean that it is not there. Those who claim that there is no God have faith in their convictions, but who stands to lose the most when their faith is overturned by the truth? The only difference in their faith and in the faith of a believer is that they place their faith in themselves. They are not willing to admit that there is someone greater than they are. As believers, we place our faith in the fact that the Bible is true and that God exists. We know by faith that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We know by faith that we can claim salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus. We know by faith that as we claim this salvation, God will draw us closer to Him and that as we draw closer to God, we long to please Him.

Faith can take us down different paths. One path leads to pleasing ourselves. One path leads to wanting to please God. Who do you want to please?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you want a pure heart and a steadfast spirit!

March 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
(Psalms 51:10-13 (NIV))

A pure heart and a steadfast spirit!

What would each of us do if we truly had that precious gift? Would we long to be in God’s presence and to feel His Holy Spirit with us at all times? I surely pray that each of us would have that burning, that longing desire to be in God’s presence at all times.

Even if it is your desire now, human frailty keeps us from being able to live in His presence with a steadfast spirit all of the time. Physical characteristics such as hunger and exhaustion lead us to drop our guard, which, not so much as lets our desires out, but perhaps it lets our sinful desires back in. Each of us are guilty of moments were we do things that are not Godly in nature and we regret after we have done them.

Luckily, God has forgiven us through the atoning blood of His Son, Jesus. Through this atoning blood, we will not be cast from His presence. Through this atoning blood, we will have our joy restored. We will be granted a willing spirit through the Holy Spirit. We will be sustained.

What do we do with that sustenance? It is too much for us to keep to ourselves. Do we do what Psalms 51:13 tells us?

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
(Psalms 51:13 (NIV))

We have asked for a pure heart and a steadfast spirit so that we may keep on track with our walk with God, but, we must not forget that God has called us to invite others to walk with Him. We must teach others the path of righteousness. We must be willing to lead others where we wish to go. In essence, we must become guides ourselves. Not that we know where to go, but, rather, we know who does.

As someone I know says, we must lead, follow, or get out of the way. Are you willing to lead others to Jesus? Are you willing to follow Jesus all the days of your life? Are you willing to get out of the way and let Jesus do what He has come to do?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there division among us?

February 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
(1 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV))

Have you ever seen a physical body that was not united in mind, thought and action?

Chances are that you came away from seeing such a body with the single thought that the person was not mentally right. Perhaps you even felt sorry for them. Whatever the reaction, you could sense that there was something unusual about that person and the body that they inhabited.

What does the Body of Christ look like to someone who is not a believer? Do they see a body that is united in mind and thought or do they come away with the sad thought that there is something wrong with that body for they do not agree upon what to do and how to do it?

All too often, we, as the Body of Christ, come across to nonbelievers in such as manner, for they see the petty differences that have a tendency to divide us instead of the common beliefs that unite us.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians still applies today. We must agree to unite on the commonality of the atoning blood and the saving grace of Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and put aside the trivial issues such as doctrines created by man.

If Paul were writing to us today, would he still write these words? Perhaps they would be harsher. Perhaps they would be nicer. What do you think Paul would write?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do your thoughts make you unclean?

July 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.’ ”
(Matthew 7:20-23 (NIV))

If even our thoughts can make us unclean, then who among us is worthy? All of us are guilty of thoughts that we don’t want others to know about. Thoughts of anger, hatred, malice, arrogance, lewdness, theft, greed, and even murder. Many of these we will never deliberately act on, but they are in our hearts. Only our fear of repercussion may keep us from acting on them. Even the person whom we think is the kindest and nicest person we know possesses thoughts that are not what God desires of us. In other words, our hearts give us away. We sin even though we desire to do what is right.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
(Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV))

Even cross words can cause us to fall if we do not have the saving grace of the atoning blood of Jesus to cleanse us. We must not look upon our salvation as a free pass to do whatever we want. On the contrary. It is salvation from what we have done, and if we are sincere about accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is salvation from what we might do in error in the future. God does not want us to continue living in our sin. He wants us to allow Jesus into our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Together, they will remove the unclean aspects of our lives from within.

Turn over even your thoughts to God. Allow them to be cleansed and guided so that they become the desires of God.

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