Do you look forward to this day?

July 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Even in the days of Zechariah, God let it be known that one day His plan would come to fruition and He would restore His order to His creation. Everything that has come about in the unveiling of history has proven that God keeps His promises. Every event in the history of the world that has had a significant impact in the events of society had been prophesied hundreds of years before it came to pass.

One of these days, the words spoken of in Zechariah will also come to pass and then we will be able to see God in a creation that He intended before man suffered the fate of the fall from grace. What a glorious day that will be. It will also be a sad day for those who do not know the grace and mercy that God has freely given through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a shame that too many people will see this event as a sad day of punishment instead of a glorious day of salvation. We must tell all that we see of the grace that is freely theirs if they will only receive it. Only by accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will they see these events as a glorious day of salvation.

How do you see the words of Zechariah?

Do you look forward to this day?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How is your hearing?

June 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 (NKJV))

How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I realize that this is a rhetorical question, since someone had to tell you about the saving grace that could be yours through the atoning blood of Jesus. I do not know anyone who simply woke up one morning with a newfound faith in Jesus. I do realize that Jesus has made appearances to people in countries where the Gospel is banned, but even these newfound believers heard the Gospel before coming to faith.

In essence, someone had to share the Gospel in order for someone else to receive it! They had to explain that we are all born sinners and that the wages of sin is death. They had to explain that God loved the world and sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. Someone had to explain that because that price was paid by a sinless man, we have the ability to have our sins forgiven so that we can stand in God’s presence with our sin debt fully paid! That is how someone comes to faith in Jesus!

But, what is faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

When you think of something of substance, you think of truth. You think of solidness. You think of something that is satisfying. When you think of evidence, you think of undeniable facts.

Another translation states it like this.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

When you think of confidence, you think of undeniable truth and strength. You might even say that it borders on assuredness. I love how this translation ties that together in the next part of the passage. We have assurance, a firm foundation built upon a promise, that what we believe is true.

Faith is built upon the hope that we have in Jesus. There is evidence to support what we profess. It is documented in the Gospels. It is documented by other historians. We are confident in what we profess. We have placed ourselves squarely and solely on the promises that God has given to us. We have a firm foundation with Jesus as our cornerstone!

How is your hearing?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our faith in waiting will bring tremendous joy!

June 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
     it speaks of the end
     and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
     it will certainly come
     and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Are you anxious for the Lord to reveal Himself and set everything right?

To be honest with you, believers have been longing for His return since the very day that He ascended into the clouds. The appointed time had not come and it is still not here. With all that is transpiring in the world at this time, many people believe that the appointed time could happen very soon. Some believe that it could happen by the time that the season changes to Fall.

Before Jesus walked this earth, prophets were giving us a glimpse into the mind of God. They relayed a message from God to those who long for His return because the Lord knows that we are an impatient creation. He reassured us that it will happen and that we are called to wait.

I don’t like to wait!

Does that sound familiar? Are you like this as well? We want what we want and we want it now! Does that sound fair to all whom the Lord wants to bring to salvation before He returns?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

I have been writing for almost twenty-five years that I believe that His appointed time is drawing close. I know that sounds like a long time, but we have to remember that God’s timing is much different from ours. With what we are now seeing all around the world, even the most cautious and conservative Biblical scholars are saying that we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus because all of the signs point to His soon return. Each day reveals more and more that we need to recognize as steps to the ultimate revelation at His appointed time.

Our faith in waiting will bring tremendous joy!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What flows from your heart?

June 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Above all else, guard your heart,
     for everything you do flows from it.
(Proverbs 4:23 (NIV))

It is said that everything that we hold dear we hide in our hearts. The following passage confirms this.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

What do you typically do with things that you treasure?

It is human nature to want to protect the things that you treasure, so it makes perfect sense to guard your heart if what you hold dear, what you treasure, is hidden away inside your heart. We think of guarding our heart so that we don’t allow our treasure to slip away, but we also guard our heart to prevent something from slipping in and corrupting or stealing what we treasure.

Your heart provides a glimpse into what you treasure. If you love music, your heart will seek out music. If you love nature, your heart will seek the outdoors. Conversely, if you love sin, then your heart will seek out sin. Each of these examples had to be planted into your life. What do you allow to be planted? What do you allow to be nurtured? What do you allow to flow from your heart?

I realize that these are tough questions, but they are questions that you must ask yourself on a regular basis. And, you must answer truthfully. Sometimes your answers will shock you, but they will be evident to those around you. They will see what flows from your heart.

I realize that it is easier said than done, but we must all guard our hearts. We must desire for godliness and righteousness to flow from our heart.

What flows from your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Why are you still carrying your burdens?

June 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. If there is one thing that this sinful, fallen world is good at, it is good at creating anxiety in those who call this world home. Professing a faith in Jesus does not mean that the world will not do all within its power to burden you and to give you stress, it just means that we have an assurance that the anxiety that we feel can be lifted, that it can be carried by the One who created this world. And, no, He did not create it in it’s current state. This world was created as perfection. It is we who have turned it into the mess that it has become.

For the second time in as many days, I find myself singing the refrain from a hymn that says it better than anything I have ever heard or could possibly ever write.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
(Helen Howarth Lemmel)

When we cast all of our anxiety upon Jesus, this is exactly what happens!

The key word in that last sentence is “when,” for we have a tendency to hold onto our burdens and our anxieties far too long. We let them weigh us down. We let them control us. We let them drag us deeper into the very thing that we are burdened with. We don’t have to be burdened. We don’t have to carry anxiety. We don’t have to live according to the world. We have a risen Savior who has defeated the world and has willingly taken our sins, our burdens and our anxieties upon Himself. All that we have to do is surrender them up to Him.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Why are you still carrying your burdens?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your hope in the Lord renewed your strength?

June 24, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But those who hope in the Lord
      will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
      they will run and not grow weary,
      they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

How have you been the last few years?

Do you find yourself growing weak, weary and faint because of all of the things going on in the world?

To be honest with you, I personally do not understand how someone who doesn’t have a faith in Jesus can keep their sanity in all that has happened and continues to happen in this world. Perhaps that is why we see an increase in suicides and an increase in other choices that go against anything Godly and righteous. When things go badly in this world, too many people look for comfort in all of the wrong places. They should turn to Jesus!

I remember immediately after 9/11 and the massive influx of people into churches. They were looking for sense to be made out of the events that had transpired. I don’t know the percentage of people who quickly fell away, but they did turn to God for a while. Today, if people aren’t already in a church, if anything happens, they seem to ignore God completely, or even blame Him for the events. It is sad to see just how the attitudes towards God have changed in just a little over twenty years.

Hold fast to your faith!

Stand firm in the promises of God!

We must recognize that our hope is built on the rock, on the firm foundation that is our Lord Jesus. When we have accepted Jesus and fully rely on the hope that we have placed in Him, He will renew our strength. No matter what we may face in this world, we will not grow weary. We will not faint in the face of the enemy as he tries everything in his feeble power to turn the world away from God. I don’t often quote hymns, but this should be our anthem in times of worldly trouble, for we have a risen Savior who has overcome the world.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

I bet that you started singing this as you read it. It should be so ingrained in the hearts and minds of those who profess a faith in Jesus that we sing it loudly and proudly as He renews our strength; as He lifts us up to soar on wings like eagles; as He gives us strength to run and not grow weary; and as He gives us strength to walk and not be faint.

Has your hope in the Lord renewed your strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you like a great mystery?

June 23, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
(1 Corinthians 15:51 (NIV))

Perhaps this is one of those mysteries of the faith that we cannot fully understand until it happens. Whatever does transpire, it is a promise that we have to hold onto even when all around us is chaos and uncertainty.

God loves us!

He loves us enough to have sent Jesus to die for our transgressions. If God allowed that to happen because of His love for us, then what else does He have in store for us? The Bible has given us many promises, and it also tells us that they are all “Yes” through Jesus.

We don’t know when the last trumpet will sound, but we do know that if it is written in God’s Word, then it will happen.

We do not fully understand at this time, but there will come a time when we will see clearly just what God has for us. Perhaps that is why things like this are referred to as mysteries of the faith. We choose to believe even though we may not understand.

Do you like a great mystery?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Summer is near. It is right at the door!

June 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
(Matthew 24:32-33 (NIV))

What is your understanding of the role that Israel plays in the current state of the world and it’s future?

Think about that in relation to this passage and the fact that the fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel. In fact, it is widely accepted that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 marks the fig tree coming back to life! Its leaves are out after many years of dormancy. It is also accepted that when Jesus cursed the fig tree, He was using that as a teachable moment for His disciples. They understood the association of the fig tree with Israel.

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
(Matthew 21:18-19 (NIV))

Israel had rejected Jesus. They did not bear any fruit as a result of His coming to earth, and as such, Jesus pronounced judgment on Israel through the analogy of the fig tree.

But now, . . .

Israel has become a nation once again. The fig tree has sprouted leaves and summer is upon us!

Do you understand what that means? Do you understand that this indicates the soon end of the time of the Gentiles and that God will focus once again on fulfilling His dealings with Israel. We are very close to Daniel’s seventieth week!

It is well known that the generation that sees Israel return to their homeland shall not pass away before these things begin. Do you know anyone who was born in 1948? Do you know anyone who was born before 1948? I hate to say this, but each day sees fewer and fewer people alive who witnessed Israel become a nation again. This reminds me of an old saying that God is never early and that He is never late. Everything works according to His timing and based on the scriptures that we have been given, His timing is unfolding right before our eyes. It is unfolding in such a way that even though I was not alive in 1948, I expect to see God move in a mighty way very soon. I believe that we are in the days of the fig tree generation.

Summer is near. It is right at the door!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

June 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
     and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
(Revelation 18:23c (NIV))

The original passage was written in Greek, and the word that has been translated as sorcery in most of the English translations is the word “pharmakeia.” Pharmakeia means the use of medicine, drugs or spells. In essence, it is drug-related or drug-enhanced sorcery. What caught my attention is that all nations are to be deceived by this practice. In other words, could this be a worldwide deception based on pharmaceutical drugs?

Is that possible?

Can the whole world be deceived in such a manner?

I don’t know what your thoughts are on the recent global pandemic, but at present, it appears that the whole world is in unison when it comes to the recommended treatments for the pandemic. If we measured this response using a tachometer, we went from zero to red lined in a matter of a little over a year. Are the nations being deceived by the pharmakeia? Are the nations being deceived by the great merchants of the earth? To be honest with you, only time will tell, but I do not believe that we have much time left to be deceived. You will either place your faith in the things of this world or you will place your faith in Jesus. If you place your faith in the things of this world, you will face a seven year period of time that has many names, but it all comes down to the fact that those who reject Jesus will be the ones who face this period of time.

You may disagree with the concept of the rapture, but I have a few questions for you. Why is there no mention of the church after a certain time in Revelation? Why is this period of history referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble, especially when you understand that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel? Many people try to say that the church has replaced Israel. We are not Israel. No matter how you look at it, most of the people who profess a faith in Jesus today would be considered Gentiles. Many people try to say that the church has been grafted into Israel. If you look at the history of Israel, you see rebellion against God after rebellion against God. Why would God graft those who made a conscious decision to love and follow Jesus into a lineage of people who have constantly rebelled against Him?

I am only making speculations based on what I have studied for the last twenty plus years, and I admit that I may be wrong. No one alive today knows God’s plans with enough accuracy to say exactly what will happen and when it will happen. All that we have are signs. All that anyone can do is study God’s Word and watch as things unfold. Will we be one hundred percent accurate in our understanding? We are only human, so the answer to that question is a “No!”

One thing that I can say with complete certainty is that there has never been a better time to repent and follow Jesus!

Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

June 20, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

Do you treat Jesus as if He has all authority in heaven and on earth, or do you treat Him as your personal servant – a servant who bows to your authority?

Sadly enough, too many people treat Jesus as their personal servant. They treat Him as if His only reason for existence was to take care of their every whim and desire. They have no understanding of who Jesus truly is and, therefore, they have no desire to do what He asks of us. They simply expect Him to do what they ask of Him. They will not relinquish the authority.

Who has authority in your life?

Do you follow Jesus or do you expect Him to follow you?

Do you tell others about Jesus and what He has done in your life, or do you tell others about “your” accomplishments and never mention Jesus?

Do others see Jesus in you, or do they express astonishment when someone tells them that you are a Christian?

Do you make disciples for Jesus or do you have to be reminded that you are a disciple?

Do you follow His teachings, or do you only acknowledge them for an hour on Sunday?

I know that these are tough questions, but they are questions that we must constantly ask ourselves. It is so easy to begin to believe that we are the ones in charge of our lives.

We have no authority.

Can we, by our own doing, extend the number of our days? Can we create life out of nothing? Can we stop the sun from rising or the winds from blowing?

If we are to truly fulfill the task that Jesus gave us in this passage, we must recognize that He is in authority and not us. He is not ours. We are His. I know that I have failed many times, but it is my desire to place Jesus in authority. I do not want to stand before Him and hear Him say that he does not know me.

Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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