How can we reach those who have not been taught?

October 22, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Everyone knows this passage. Everyone, that is, except many people in the current generations. Ever since the Supreme Court told us to remove the Ten Commandments and prayer from school, many people no longer are given the basic instructions in what is right and wrong.

Our society is faced with thousands of people who have no concept that there is an absolute truth and an absolute right. They see everything as a relative situation. I feel sorry for this generation. They will face untold hardship when they are faced with what life will eventually throw at them. They will not know that it is wrong to lie, cheat and steal. They will not know that God is the absolute truth in this world and that God calls what they are doing sin. They are self-centered and do not realize that the creation that they are maneuvering through is based on a desired relationship by the Creator.

We, as believers, must do all that we can to make these people aware that there are such things as absolute truths and absolute right and wrong and that God will not allow anyone who does wrong to associate with Him. We have become a society of “if it feels good, do it,” but we have lost sight of the fact that Satan spreads lies through our senses. We have failed in training the children of the younger generations. We have allowed a very vocal minority to remove all reference to God and His Laws from our lives.

We must pray for this generation. We must pray for ourselves because we have let it happen. We must pray that God will show us how to restore what has been stolen from us.

How can we reach those who have not been taught?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you find yourself doing?

October 20, 2021

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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))

What do you find yourself doing?

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

Is it just me, or does this look like it could easily become a self-perpetuating cycle? You treasure something, therefore you hide it in your heart. What you hide in your heart flows out into all that you do. You notice what is flowing out and you treasure it even more, and then you try to hide more of it in your heart, which then flows out even greater. What you treasure is what you will begin to hoard. It is what you will begin to hide away. It almost seems that once this gets started, it is not easy to change course, so we must be extremely careful to watch what we truly treasure.

With that said, do you guard your heart? Do you keep it from the things of this world? Do you keep it focused on the things of God? In essence, what do you treasure? What do you put into your heart? What do you find yourself hoarding away because you just can’t seem to let it go?

I am simply going to leave this in your hands and in your heart. Take a long hard look at what you hide in your heart. Take a long hard look at what flows from your heart. Just remember that what you try to hide in your heart will manifest itself in all that you do. With that said, I just have to ask this one more time.

What do you find yourself doing?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Jesus saves from eternal adversity!

October 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17 (NIV))

How do you describe the bond between friends? How do you describe the bond between brothers? How are they the same and how are they different? Which one do you feel is stronger?

I realize that I just asked a bunch of questions that require more than a yes or no answer. They require thought, honesty and time to truly answer.

How did you answer?

Do you still have any of the same friends that you had when you were a child? How about the friends you had from when you were in high school? If you have lived very long at all, you know that friends come and go. People move into our lives for a season and then they move on. Even the closest of friends rarely stay that way for a whole lifetime. People find themselves on different paths and soon even the best of friends find that they are only a distant memory.

How many of you have a brother or a sister? You know that the bonds of family are not as easily put away and dismissed as the bonds of friendship. Once a brother, always a brother. You may not be the best of friends, but you know that if it ever came down to needing someone to turn to, to pick you up in times of adversity, that brother, that sister, that family will be there for you even when all of your friends have abandoned you.

   but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24b (NIV))

Closer than a brother?

Closer than your family?

There is someone who will never abandon you even in the midst of your worst moments. When friends leave you and family says that they don’t know what else to do, Jesus is waiting there for you! Have you accepted His friendship? It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

We don’t know what tomorrow may hold, but we do know who holds tomorrow. Put your trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior before it is too late!

Jesus saves from eternal adversity!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the light that comes from God’s Word?

October 18, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
(Psalms 119:130 (NIV))

The Word of God is many things. It brings wisdom, understanding, truth, and light.

Let’s take a look at this in a different context from what we normally think about with respect to God’s Word.

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 men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-14 (NIV))

The psalmist hit the nail on the head when he wrote those words. The Word of God does give light. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus gives understanding.

Isn’t it amazing how God will pre-tell what He is going to do even through people who do not realize that they are His prophets. I doubt that the psalmist actually knew that these words would literally come true in the form of Jesus, God with us.

I am so very thankful that they did come to pass!

Do you have the light that comes from God’s Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does pride get in your way?

October 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

By the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
(Romans 12:3 (NIV))

It is easy to have an inflated opinion of your self-worth, especially when you listen to yourself and ignore what God is telling you. We see our own “achievements” and we know what it has taken to accomplish them. We see other people who are at different levels within what God has called them to achieve, and we judge their calling and their achievements.

What we fail to realize is that what we are currently experiencing may be the only thing that God has called us to and that what we see of others is only the tip of the iceberg. We do not know what God has in store for us or for others. We do not truly know what God has in store for us. Do you recall what you were doing ten years ago? Put yourself into that situation once again. Now take a look at your current situation with a ten year perspective. Are you doing what you thought you would be doing?

Our self-esteem, or should I say ego, has a tendency to get in our way, especially when it comes to seeing the big picture and God’s plan for all of us. We tend to over emphasize our role and downplay the roles of others. This starts to sound like one of the sins that we are supposed to avoid in our life – the sin of pride.

How do you think of yourself? Do you inflate your importance or do you accept your current situation as something that is temporary and in God’s hands?

Does pride get in your way?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What are your motives?

October 14, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV))

In this world in which we live, this is a joyous message. The God of all creation has plans for each and every one of us. God wants to give us good things. He wants to prosper us. He wants to protect us from harm. He wants to give us hope.

Carefully consider what God has promised to each of us in this passage. The basic desires of humanity are met in these words. We all desire to be prosperous at what we do. We all desire to be kept from harm. We all desire to have hope for a better tomorrow for ourselves and our families. The words that God gave to us through Jeremiah touch each one of us at our innermost longings, desires and hopes.

God has given us an insight into ourselves and into His own heart through these words. He also gave us a glimpse into the ultimate hope through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we place our faith and hope in Jesus, God will prosper us. He will protect us. He will give us a hope and a future. It is true that God sent His Son, Jesus, so that we could have salvation from our sins, but Jesus also came for other reasons.

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 10:7(NIV))

Don’t get me wrong. God’s sole purpose is not to be our personal wish fulfillment factory. He is not there to turn to when we want something. He is there to be our Father at all times. If we turn to Him as a loving Father and earnestly seek His face in all things, then He will prosper us just as He promised in Jeremiah.

Are you looking for God to prosper you or are you looking to God in all that you do? It is a matter of your heart.

What are your motives?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you strong and courageous?

October 13, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9 (NIV))

Possibly the most difficult thing to wholeheartedly accept is that God is with us wherever we go. We believe it when things are going good. We say it less often when things are beginning to look less than perfect. We tell others to believe it when things are going badly for them, but do we honestly believe it when we are facing things in our lives that are less than desirable?

It is so easy to be strong and courageous when there is no reason to fear. Human nature is very bold and positive when there is no present danger. It is a little less easy to be strong and courageous when you start to feel threatened in some manner. Finally, it is almost impossible to keep any reasonable facsimile of strength and courage when faced with an immediate threat. The only people who are able to maintain any resemblance of calm and courage in the face of danger are those who have actually trained for such an event.

How can we, as believers, train for these times?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

It cannot be simpler. In order to be strong and courageous, we need to train ourselves to rely on God in all situations. We need to know Him, His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God’s Word so that we can quickly summon the appropriate armor to use in defending against the attacks of the enemy. We must also be able to listen and obey the voice of our Lord just as a soldier listens and obeys the voice of his commanding officer. We must be able to quickly discern what is from God and what is from the enemy.

Are you fully trained?

Are you strong and courageous?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you at waiting?

October 12, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
     and in his word I put my hope.
(Psalms 130:5 (NIV))

Do you have patience?

Let me rephrase that last statement.

Have you grown tired of waiting for the Lord?

That sounds awfully harsh, but if you stop to think about it, we are all guilty of that very thing. We have grown to expect instantaneous rewards and solutions to our problems. We have become expectant of the fast food type of response from anyone and everyone in our lives.

Think back on the stories from the Bible. Did any of them have an instantaneous answer from God? Did Abraham become the father of many nations overnight? Did David become the king of Israel when God selected him from among his brothers? Did Noah go out and buy a boat the day that he heard God tell him it was going to rain? Did Moses lead the Israelites our of Egypt the day he returned from the desert? We all know these answers, yet we have grown to expect much more than these fathers of our faith ever would have imagined. We must take a lesson from these very people and take these words to heart.

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

To know God is to trust in Him. To know God is to place all of your hope in Him. We must be willing to go the distance with God and not grow tired of waiting for Him. I know that we are only human and at times, we will grow weary in our patience. The key is to realize that He is maturing us and those around us so that we may know His fullness. We must realize that we are not waiting for Him. On the contrary, He is waiting for us!

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

I am so very thankful that God has waited for me!

How are you at waiting?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Come Lord Jesus! Come!

October 11, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

With God we will gain the victory,
     and he will trample down our enemies.
(Psalms 60:12 (NIV))

Do you believe this?

I know that with all that is going on in the world, sometimes it may be difficult to believe this. What is fundamentally wrong with this thought process is the simple fact that we don’t rely on what is going on in the world. We, as the Body of Christ, should only rely on God’s promises and not on the fallen nature of the world around us.

I know that this is a hard thing to do especially since humanity has fallen and is sinful by nature. In our sinful nature we rely on what we can see instead of relying on the promises that God has given to us.

Lord, I pray that You will open our spiritual eyes so that we can see Your grace, Your mercy and Your power as it readies to defeat the enemy once and for all. Jesus came to conquer sin and death. When He returns, He will come as a mighty warrior who will defeat the enemy and his followers.

Come Lord Jesus!

Come!

Your bride is growing tired of the conditions that have been unleashed in Your world. We long for Your return and the righteousness that You will bring!

The victory is Yours!

Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How is God working in you?

October 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
(Philippians 2:13 (NIV))

Have you felt a tugging at your spirit lately?

If you are like many people who profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you feel that God is unfolding something that most of us thought would not come in our lifetime. Do you feel a sense of urgency in sharing the Gospel as events in this world accelerate and converge with the outcome all pointing to the the soon return of Jesus?

In God’s grand scheme of things, He can make things unfold without our help, but He would prefer to work through us in such as way that it becomes obvious that the results are not of our own doing. God works in and through His people. He gives us a mission, a calling, that He longs for us to fulfill. He wants us to draw closer to Him as we help spread the Gospel.

If you profess a faith in Jesus, then you have opened the door to your life in such a way that the Lord should be working in you. We are all called to help spread the Gospel, especially “for such a time as this.”

How do you feel that God is working in you? Are you filled with compassion for the lost? Are you called to share your faith with your family and friends? Are you heartbroken because good is now being called evil and evil is now being called good? What is God working in you that will bring you to act, to respond to His calling, so that you fulfill His good purpose? Does something weigh heavily on your heart? God has given you a burden, and an assignment, to match the burden that He has for the very same thing. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask for wisdom to be obedient to that burden, to that calling, so that you may respond as He longs for you to respond.

God desires to work in each of us, but it is up to us to be willing to respond to that still, small voice. We must be willing and able to discern that tugging and allow God deeper into our lives so that He will manifest His works even when we are not capable of such things on our own.

With this front and center, I have but one more thing to ask?

How is God working in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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