How do you see the world?

December 6, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
(Titus 1:15 (NIV))

When was the last time that you experienced something with a little child? Their innocence and wonder make everything like new. They see the wonder and amazement in everything. They see their world through innocent eyes and everything that they see is seen from their fresh perspective. They see things before the world has corrupted them and made them see the bad that this world can display. This is probably why Jesus told His disciples the following.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:3 (NIV))

With all that is currently happening in the world, I honestly wish that more people where like little children and pure of heart. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you take a look at the parable of the wheat and the tares, you soon realize that the tares are the corrupt influence. Everything that they touch becomes corrupted. People who are like this seek only to corrupt and steal. They desire nothing more than to exploit whatever they can get their hands on.

Paul, in writing to Titus, clearly expresses Biblical truth. What he wrote about is also true of faith. They seem to go hand in hand. If you are pure then you have the faith to believe. If you have the faith to believe, then you have the ability to recognize purity. If you are corrupted and evil, then you only see the world for the corruption and evil that it can provide. Ironically, someone who is pure and someone who is corrupted can look at the same thing and see completely different things. They see what is in their heart.

How do you see the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you truly believe all Scripture?

November 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
(2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

Do you believe this?

What about prophecy? Do you believe the things that we are told that have not yet happened, such as the Euphrates river drying up, will happen?

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
(Revelation 16:12 (NIV))

If you don’t think that prophecy is important and relevant to our day and time, just do a Google search for the Euphrates river drying up. In a span of two years the river has dropped so much that in some places it is just a small stream.

AND, . . .

There are reports, photos, and videos of prison cells that were under the water!

It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
(Revelation 9:14 (NIV))

I realize that in this day and age when many things can be faked through 3D animation and photo editing, people will scoff at this. For those who verify the content, you have two options. To the skeptic, these are simply passed off as coincidence, but if you truly believe what Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy, then we need to take these seriously.

Many people believe that Jesus will not return until the Gospel has been preached to all nations, or ethnicities. There have been studies done that indicate that there are over 7,000 different people groups and that a little over 3,000 still have to be reached with the Gospel. Based on the following passage, what makes us think that we can have the official count?

“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))

Please don’t misunderstand me with this concept. I am not saying that we, as the church, should give up sharing the Gospel. What I am saying is that we are not the final authority. All that we can see is as if looking through a glass darkly. God will unfold His timeline on His authority and not ours. All that we are called to do is watch and share the Gospel until He returns. Based on that, if there is Scripture that we don’t like or don’t want to believe, then we are the problem and need to repent and watch!

Do you truly believe all Scripture?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you understand?

November 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
(John 13:7 (NIV))

You may not recognize this passage immediately, but think about Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room. Peter was about to rebuke Jesus for washing his feet. It is true that Peter did not understand what Jesus was doing. In fact, most people don’t fully grasp the symbolism of this action. It was a hint of a much bigger “washing” that Jesus was about to undertake.

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
(John 13:8-9 (NIV))

Thankfully, Peter realized what was going on and fully embraced it. In fact, he wanted more!

Think about that for a moment.

Do you want more of what Jesus came to offer? Do you want to be washed white as snow? Do you want to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, Well done, good and faithful servant”? Do you want to know Jesus intimately?

It all starts with a simple act. It all starts with us allowing Jesus to wash us clean!

What Jesus did in the Upper Room symbolizes what He does for all of us if we will simply believe.

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

We, as sinful humanity, can be washed clean of our sins simply by believing in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. That is the most powerful cleansing that we will ever experience. This is the plan as spoken of in Isaiah. This is the plan that settles God’s redemption of those who believe.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
     says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
     they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
     they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

I believe that Peter understood this connection.

Do you understand?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you want your name found in the book of life?

October 26, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:15 (NIV))

I truly understand why people have an uncertainty and fear of the book of Revelation, after all, who wants to have this happen to them!

But, . . .

This passage describes what happens to those who have not professed a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. It is the last passage of five that describes what has come to be known as the Great White Throne Judgment. It is for those who have not had their sins covered by the blood of the lamb. This judgment is for those who have rejected the grace and mercy that God has freely given to all who would simply believe.

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Do you believe?

If you answered “Yes” to this question, then you have nothing to fear for you are not condemned. Your sins have been forgiven. You will not stand before God in fear and trembling!

The book of Revelation is a promise of the fulfillment of God’s plan to restore the world to His design. For those who have professed a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, this is a glorious time for we know that we will see our Lord and spend eternity with Him. For those who have not accepted God’s gift of grace through the atoning blood of Jesus, this time is a time of lawlessness, pain and suffering that will eventually end in eternal judgment. How you see this period in God’s plan is up to you. How you experience this part of God’s plan is up to you. You can change your outlook on this judgment and all of eternity by making a simple profession of faith.

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.

The book of Revelation, just like many passages from Daniel and Ezekiel, is a glimpse into the fulfillment of God’s promises. It should give you hope. It should instill within you a desire to have your name found in the book of life?

Do you want your name found in the book of life?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Believe!

October 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
(Romans 10:10 (NIV))

You have a choice!

Once you make that choice, your life will continue to be a series of choices. Some times you will make the right choice and follow Jesus. There will be many times that you will make the wrong choice and do what you know is not according to His will. Even then, you have a choice! You can recognize your sin and repent. Don’t make the choice that leaves you arrogant and unrepentant!

Following Jesus is not easy. We have His words telling us what we should expect.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 10:34-39 (NIV))

The reason for this is simple. Jesus calls us out of this world. He sets us apart from the sin in this world. As a result of this, we know how the world will react. We know that even family and friends who are of the world will hate the choice that has been made.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:18-19 (NIV))

You have a choice!

You can choose to be loved by the world, or you can choose to follow Jesus.

Like I previously stated, following Jesus is not easy. Once you make the choice to follow Him, the world will try to do all within it’s power to cause you to fall. The world, and the prince of this world, will hate you because you have chosen to follow Jesus.

Personally, every day that I live, I choose to believe. Every breath that I take, I choose to believe. Every word that I type, I choose to believe in prayerful hope that you will make that same choice!

The choice is yours!

Believe!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Always keep your eyes on Jesus!

October 4, 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. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV))

Do you believe that this is true?

Do you look forward to the day that this will happen?

According to a recent article posted on a large news network’s site, if you fear this, then you are suffering from rapture anxiety. The article states that this is recognized by “some” faith experts and mental health experts as a type of religious trauma.

Do you feel traumatized?

The article equates this to a “scary campfire story.”

Do you feel scared?

They even tried to equate this with fear and rejection!

Are you fearful? Do you feel rejected?

The article proceeded to say that many feel that the church no longer matches their personal values!

There is so much wrong with this on so many levels. I am not even going to dig into these comments and provide a Biblical rebuttal. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and you hold fast to Biblical truths, then you can draw your own conclusions. My concern, and the concerns of many others as well, is that this is just a precursor to persecution of those who hold fast to Biblical truths. If someone who rejects Biblical teaching can claim that they suffered mental health issues because of the truth, then that opens things up for who knows what, including persecution of anyone who professes a faith in Jesus and His return! Many countries are now saying that sharing the Gospel is a hate crime!

We definitely are living in some very interesting times. Don’t let the world sway you. Don’t let the fear of persecution make your faith falter. We have nothing to fear. If we profess a faith in Jesus, we are made sons and daughters of the Living God! He doesn’t change for us. We approach Him in humble repentance! His truth is eternal. We approach Him only through the cross and Him crucified!

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))

Always keep your eyes on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

August 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
(John 6:29 (NIV))

What do you think of this passage?

Today we read this passage as a standalone verse and realize that Jesus is telling us to believe in Him. However, we must not take things completely as a standalone verse. We must know the context of why something was said, for it is very easy to take things out of context and twist the meaning. In this particular case, this passage was the answer that Jesus gave to a question that was asked of him.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
(John 6:28 (NIV))

When this was recorded, the society was very tradition oriented. They had the Law, the Prophets, and the feasts that they all knew by heart. In their minds, they were doing the works of God, but they failed to realize that these were all outward expressions of what should have come from their hearts. They felt that they had been doing the works that God requires, after all, God had chosen their ancestors as His people. They had become prideful. They thought that they had it all, yet Jesus told them that what they really needed to do was to believe in Him.

What if you walked into your church and found someone preaching that all of the things that you are doing because of tradition are all wrong and that all you must do is believe in the one that God has sent?

Would you be able to separate your man-made traditions from the true worship of Jesus?

Think about that!

What if the church is outlawed and you must not meet in public?

What if your church can no longer have the committees that you belong to?

What if your church can no longer have the social events that you like to go to?

What if there is a global pandemic that shuts down all church activities? Oh, wait! Been there! Done that! But what do you do if it happens again, or worse, if it happens and is permanent?

If you strip away all of the external things that we do as the church, would we still be the church? Would we still realize that everything that we do is because we believe in the one that God has sent? Would we still be confident in our faith to say that Jesus is Lord of all?

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

Is you faith strong enough to believe even if all of the things that we do as part of the church are no longer legal? Would we be able to stand firm in our faith like the early church did? Would we be willing to face our “lions” instead of denying Jesus? It takes a strong faith to hold fast to Jesus when all around you is trying to force you to stop. It takes a strong belief in the one whom God has sent.

Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Don’t focus on the things of this world!

June 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
(2 Thessalonians 2:11 (NIV))

Is it just me, or are more and more people believing the lies of the enemy?

Have you ever stopped to consider why God would send a powerful delusion? I recently heard an explanation for this, and it is not because God has forsaken these people. It is because these individuals have made up their minds and they have forsaken God and His truths. They have completely rejected God and His offer of salvation. They love their sin more than they love themselves, and more importantly, they hate God.

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
(2 Thessalonians 2:10b (NIV))

In my lifetime, I have seen lifestyle choices go from an attitude of shock to one of encouragement. I have seen a faith in Jesus go from a public embrace to a public ridicule. I have seen far more than these things and all of them are so much on the increase that it makes my head spin. It is for these reasons that I asked if more and more people are believing the lies of the enemy. Are we seeing the parable of the wheat and the tares unfolding right before our eyes?

My heart is heavy for those who have rejected God. We are now seeing that those who reject God are not even willing to have a conversation. They are so completely overrun with hatred of anything that speaks of God’s righteousness. Sadly, it appears that they have made their decision. As followers of Christ, we are called to make disciples, but we are also told that we are to draw the proverbial line in the sand.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
(Matthew 10:14-15 (NIV))

Don’t focus on the things of this world!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe that Jesus is Lord?

April 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
(Romans 10:9 (NIV))

I can’t think of a better passage of scripture to follow up with after the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus!

The resurrection sets the stage for this passage, for without the resurrection, the claims made are nothing more than wishful thinking. But, because Jesus is alive, we can make this profession of faith knowing that it is absolutely true. We can say that “Jesus is Lord” without any doubt in our minds. We can believe, actually, we can know with absolute certainty that God raised Jesus from the dead. We can have the faith to not only say that “Jesus is Lord,” we can also have the faith to know that our salvation is assured because of His death, burial and triumphant resurrection.

What is faith?

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

Even though we live some two thousand years after the resurrection, are you truly confident that Jesus arose from the dead? Are you truly confident that Jesus is God’s perfect sacrificial lamb to atone for your sins? Are you truly confident in your eternal future because of this proclamation?

If Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior, then each of us are called to do one thing as we walk out our life of faith. Just as Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, He is telling us the very same thing.

“Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:11b (NIV))

If you profess that Jesus is Lord, then by definition a lord is one who has power and authority over you. If you profess that Jesus is Lord and He has told you to leave your life of sin, are you being obedient? I realize that we are only human and that we will fail, but we must possess a desire to strive for this sinless life. When we fail, we must repent. We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus for salvation is found in no other name?

Do you believe that Jesus is Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 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.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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