Praise the LORD, O my soul!

October 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits–
(Psalms 103:1-2 (NIV))

It seems that every day something terrible happens in this world. Terrorism, assassinations, plagues, wars, rumors or wars, droughts, floods, and much, much more. Are things truly getting worse or have we just become so obsessed with these things that when something happens, it takes center stage in our lives? Personally, I think that it is both.

We have ways of knowing what is going on around the world almost at the very moment that it happens. We sit on the edge of our seats as we wait to hear the latest updates on the most recent tragedy. In all of this, how many of the inhabitants of this earth actually take time to stop and pray for God’s Will to be done? Do we pray for an end to these events that have us so captivated or do we forget God and wonder how humanity will solve the problems?

We are told to praise God. It does not say to only praise Him when things go good. We are to praise Him in all things. We are told to not forget His benefits. What could possibly be the benefits of praising God? I can think of many.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV))

Only God knows what each day will bring. We can face it with fear and trepidation or we can praise God and face it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Lord, grant me the ability to welcome each day earnestly praising you !

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you do what it says?

July 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

Have you ever heard someone say that there are hard sayings in the Bible? At first read, this doesn’t sound like it is one of them, but take a very close look at the last four words of this passage.

“Do what it says.”

It doesn’t say to try to do what it says. It doesn’t tell us to do what it says when it is convenient. It doesn’t tell us to do what it says when it benefits us. It simply tells us to do what it says.

If you are like every other human being alive today, you probably don’t like to follow directions very well, especially when those directions come from someone that you think doesn’t know you and how you like to do things. How many have ever had a job where they handed you an employee manual? You were expected to perform according to that manual. You were required to read it and abide by what was contained within its pages.

How many of you truly know God’s manual that He has given to us? Do we spend enough time within God’s Word so that we know it? How can we do what it says if we don’t know what it says? Most of us are well versed in the basics, but, we need to get beyond the basic training that we have received. We are soldiers who are called to a higher understanding. We are, according to Paul, like athletes who are called to train for the competition.

No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.
(2 Timothy 2:4-5 (NIV))

That training requires us to know the rules thoroughly. What are the rules that we are to live by? What are the rules that should govern our lives?

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
(James 1:23-25 (NIV))

According to James, we should know God’s Word like we know our own faces. We should reflect God’s Word. What do you reflect?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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