It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

There will never be a greater gift that can be given!

To those who have accepted this gift of grace, we use this passage to convey exactly what God has done. We use it to explain to others what can be theirs if they will only accept. We use it to explain the magnitude of God’s love for His creation, but, I think that we use it to remind ourselves of the mercy that we have been given. We use it to remind ourselves that we were all sinners in need of a Savior. We us it to remind ourselves that we were helpless, hopeless and lost as a result of our sin. We use it to remind ourselves that we are not worthy to receive such a great gift, but, God gave it to us in spite of ourselves.

In just a few days, we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. We will celebrate Jesus stepping out of eternity and into this world so that we could be ransomed by His great love. For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, you truly have something to celebrate. Do you need to join the celebration? For those who have not made that profession of faith as of yet, 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 greatest gift of all time is yours. All that you must do is accept.

I have referred to this before. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What flows from within you?

October 24, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
(John 7:38 (NIV))

There is an old saying that a leopard can’t change its spots. They are an integral part of what makes a leopard a leopard. Have you ever heard that same saying used in reference to a person? It is maliciously said of someone in a derogatory fashion to imply that that person is a bad apple and will never change. In other words, once a thief, always a thief. Once a murderer, always a murderer. Once a liar, always a liar. Once an adulterer, always an adulterer. People are implying that what will always flow from a person’s life will continue to be what has flowed from their life in the past. They claim that there is no chance of ever changing!

Has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, or are you the same person putting forth the same sinful life as you were before accepting Jesus?

I realize that this question sounds so far off base, especially when you understand the truth that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior has started a process in your life that changes you from the inside out! Sadly, those who say such things as a leopard can’t change its spots have completely missed the concept of redemption and grace. It is even more saddening to hear this kind of language directed at others when it comes from someone who professes a faith in Jesus. No wonder the world calls the Body of Christ hypocrites. They see a small sampling of those who claim to know Jesus and they see these type of actions. All that they see flowing out of these individuals is anything but life-giving.

We are called to share Jesus with the world!

I am sure that many of you remember the old fad from several years ago – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? I’m not trying to be cliché, but there is a lot of truth in those four little letters and those four words. What flows from our lives is supposed to be Jesus, but do our actions reflect that?

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))

If anyone believes in Jesus, they are not condemned. They are in a process of becoming mature and Christlike. Is everyone at the same point? No! But, you can rest assured that the Holy Spirit is at work and He is preparing the way for the living waters to flow if we will only allow them to flow. It is up to us. We must decide if we truly believe in Jesus and then let the rivers flow!

What flows from within you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is 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.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Are you ashamed to tell others about Jesus?

July 18, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

If Paul, who was originally persecuting followers of Jesus, can truthfully claim that he is not ashamed of the gospel, why do so many people today claim that they can’t tell anyone about Jesus?

Think about that question in relation to this passage from Matthew.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

If we aren’t willing to tell others about Jesus, what does that sound like to you? Is there a difference between not sharing Jesus and disowning Jesus? How does this relate to what we have been given as our instructions as followers of Jesus?

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.
(Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV))

Is not sharing the gospel with others the same as denying Jesus? If we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, then how can we justify not sharing the grace and mercy and love that Jesus offers with those who are our neighbors? It seems to me that this is denying Jesus before men!

Are you ashamed to tell others about Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Are you able to pray to love like this?

July 29, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV))

Have you ever been at a loss for words?

I, like many of you, have read this passage countless times, but tonight, the simple yet magnificent beauty of this type of love left me without words. I had to read it many times and pray for insight. As humans, we like to think that we are capable of love, but when compared to this standard, we fall very short of the ideal that God has defined for us. Sadly, I didn’t even make it past the third word. How far did you make it before you started feeling something tugging at your spirit?

This passage defines for us the ideal love that God desires for us to possess, but it also acts as a measuring rod that we should use as a basis for our desires and our prayers to possess a love like the love of the Lord!

Have you heard of the concept of praying the scriptures? Basically you take a passage and you pray for that passage to be made manifest in your life. You stand firm in the truth and the power of scripture.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I can’t think of a better passage to pray in order to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Lord, I long to love as You love. Make me patient. Make me kind. I don’t want to be envious or boastful. Correct me when I am arrogant or rude. Lord, help me to put others first and myself last. Give me Your joy and Your peace so that I am not irritable or resentful. Lord, give me a heart that breaks when I see wrongdoing. Let me delight in Your truth and in those who know Your truth. Lord, give me the ability to bear all things for the truth of Your love. Instill in me a belief that all things work for Your good. Lord, give me the ability to hope when it appears that all hope is gone, and grant me the endurance to see Your love made manifest in all the earth!

For the second time tonight, I am at a loss for words because of the sheer power of such a prayer.

Are you able to love like this?

Are you able to pray to love like this?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What is possible for you?

July 15, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
(Mark 9:23 (NIV))

How many people read this passage and miss the fact that Jesus was replying to a request from a father about his son? The father had explained what was happening to his son and appears to have been at the end of his proverbial rope. The disciples couldn’t help him. It sounds like he saw Jesus as his last hope, and as such, he ended up by saying the following.

But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.
(Mark 9:22b (NIV))

At first read, I unintentionally put my sinful human nature into Jesus’ response and read the “‘If you can’?” part sarcastically as if Jesus was saying don’t you know who I am? Then I realized that I was reading those words as how I would have reacted. This is not how Jesus would react.

How do you think that Jesus said these words?

“‘If you can’?”

All that we have is the written transcript. We don’t know the tone of delivery or the body language that went with it. Was there compassion and love? Was there sympathy and understanding? Was there grace and mercy? I can envision all of these and more conveyed by Jesus in His reply, and when you consider the father’s reaction to the words spoken by Jesus, you quickly understand that these simple words penetrated his heart.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
(Mark 9:24 (NIV))

That should be the prayer of everyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. If everything is possible for one who believes, then Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!

What is possible for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Share the Gospel in truth and love!

April 13, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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 he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

This passage never gets old! I have sent this before, but some things are definitely worth repeating.

If you are like me, this passage brings great peace, hope and joy for it reassures us of our faith and where it is placed.

Yet, at the same time, it turns and brings sorrow in the midst of the joy. It turns our focus from our joy to the condemnation of those who have not believed in Jesus.

Do you know someone who has not accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? Perhaps they are a loved one or a friend, or perhaps a coworker. Now, ask yourself this simple question.

“How will it feel to never see them for all eternity?”

How will you feel if they are taken from us this very day, and you had not even mentioned Jesus to them? How will you feel if their salvation was your sole reason for living and you had failed? How will you feel if you hear another friend or family member saying, “No one had the nerve to bring up Jesus. Now it is too late.”

John 3:16 is an amazingly reassuring passage when it comes to our own salvation. But we have a tendency to stop there. Once again, we fail to look beyond our own circumstances. We fail to see the opportunities that God has placed right in front of us. Opportunities that could very well mean whether someone will spend eternity with God or eternal separation from God.

We must read beyond our own perspective. We must see the world through God’s eyes and not ours. We must realize that grace is a gift that is free to spread.

I once heard someone say that they were a vessel to catch God’s grace. They then went on to say that they did not wish to be a pot or jar, for these were used for collecting for a later time. They wanted to be a tea pot or a watering pot, for these collect and hold just long enough to pass it on to where it is needed.

Don’t be a jar. Be a tea pot so that the grace and blessings that have been given to you may flow out to all those around you. Make it your goal to share grace with all who will hear so that they will be saved from the condemnation that is to come for those who have not believed in Jesus.

Be a tea pot! Share the Gospel in truth and love!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What if we recognized that God’s world is bigger than just us?

March 17, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Are you glad that you have accepted the offer of grace and salvation as it was given to you?

Are you the world?

In other words, was God’s plan to only save you?

Even if you only looked at those who are alive at this very moment in time, each of us, by ourselves, is miniscule in comparison to all whom God loves. Even so, what God unfolded for the whole world would have been done for only one. In fact, if you truly stop to reflect on His plan of salvation, it was and is unfolding one person at a time. It didn’t stop with you!

With everything that is going on in the world at this moment in time, there are many who need to come to the knowledge of the saving grace that can be theirs if they will only accept what God is freely giving. The next time you see someone ridiculing Jesus, remember Saul and his Damascus Road experience. The next time that you see someone flaunting evil in every action that they take, remember what you were like before accepting Jesus. The next time that you see someone so lost in sin, remember the old saying, “By the grace of God go I!”

As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to action.

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 28:19-20 (NIV))

What was freely given to you was also freely given to all. The only difference is that some may not have heard. Some may not have accepted, but how can they believe if nobody will tell them? Are you willing to tell them?

No one knows the day nor the hour, but many people are recognizing the season as God’s plans are unfolding. Is there someone that you can tell about the saving grace that can be theirs? What if we each shared this good news with one person each day?

What if we recognized that God’s world is bigger than just us?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Have you gotten lost on a detour?

December 9, 2020

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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))

According to the world, there are many different ways to get to heaven.

What do you believe? What do you know to be the truth? Do you believe that they are the same thing?

Each religion in the world professes that they have the only path to get to god. You will notice that I chose to use a little “g,” for the gods that they claim to be able to reach are not the God of the universe. Each religion sets out a path that you must follow to achieve a higher level. Everything that they claim gets you closer to their god is something that you must do, but our God, the God of the universe did something to reach us!

He sent His Word! He sent His only begotten Son.

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 all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

Jesus came to shine the light!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Jesus came as one of us, a living man of flesh. We can never be good enough. We can never earn our way to God. Because of this, God came to us! Jesus was sent by God, as God made man, to bring us back to Himself.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

The world tells us that we have to get better in order to see God. God tells us that He is better than the world. He has reached out to us to share His goodness, righteousness, mercy and grace. Personally, I know that I am not capable of anything on my own. I was drowning in a sea of sin. God reached out and rescued me. I didn’t have to rescue myself. Grace was and forever will be a gift. All that you have to do is accept it. If you are required to do something of your own strength, then you are on the wrong path.

Have you gotten lost on a detour?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Do you let the world know of your faith?

December 8, 2020

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
(John 3:36 (NIV))

With Christmas rapidly approaching, this passage puts a whole new spin and sad perspective on things for those who refuse to say “Merry Christmas.”

This celebration has been in effect for about two thousand years as a way for humanity to give thanks and to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is true that the early church picked a day that had been a day of celebration for the “barbarian” tribes of Europe, but, even so, the celebration and the season has been Christmas for many more years than can actually be traced historically.

It is the time that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Is it possible that the simple act of refusing to say “Merry Christmas” is an actual rejection of Jesus as told of in John 3:36?

Think about that.

These people who refuse to say “Merry Christmas” are still very willing to celebrate and some are even willing to be nice to those around them, yet, they reject the very reason that we celebrate.

I find it ironic that the very day that we, as the Body of Christ, celebrate the gift of grace, mercy and life, many people are taking a stand that may result in their loss of eternal life. I often wonder just how Satan managed to plant the seed within people to get them to refuse life.

Believing in the Son is rapidly becoming a dividing line. It appears as if the weeds are rapidly growing.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, `Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
” `An enemy did this,’ he replied.
     “The servants asked him, `Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
” `No,’ he answered, `because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “
(Matthew 13:27-30 (NIV))

Be sure to wish someone a Merry Christmas each and every day. If it isn’t Christmas time, tell them of the grace and mercy that Jesus brought to the world. Offer Jesus to everyone.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Do you let the world know of your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


%d bloggers like this: