When you feel far from the Lord, repent!

May 29, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?
(Psalms 77:18 (NIV))

It’s time to get personal about your faith!

Have you ever had times in your life when it felt like the Lord just wasn’t with you? Perhaps it was a matter of perspective. Let’s ask that question with a slightly different point of view. Have you ever had times in your life when it felt like you weren’t with the Lord? See how different the question is, as well as your answer, when you ask it from a position of aligning with the Lord instead of asking if the Lord is on your side?

Think about your life, your spiritual mountaintops and your spiritual valleys, from this perspective. Do you see a trend? Do you see a need to refocus your attitude? Do you see a need to repent and return to the Lord during certain times in your life?

As I have often stated, human nature is a strange thing. We can ignore warning signs that are directly in front of us and walk headlong into a sinful action that has dreadful ramifications upon us. We can also do everything physically in our power to avoid God and His path for us, and when we do, we wonder why we are in such dire circumstances. Will we ever learn to fully rely on the Lord? Will we ever learn to recognize His guidance? Will we ever stop being drawn into temptation?

The sad part is, that during these times, we blame the Lord, but in all honesty, it is our own actions that drive us into despair. It is the consequences of our own actions that make us think that the Lord is no longer with us. When we find ourselves walking through these times in our life, we must have the wisdom to repent. We must have the wisdom to say, “Lord, I know that it is not You. I know that it is all me. Forgive me! Help me to overcome my sinful nature so that I may walk with you all the days of my life.”

When you feel far from the Lord, repent!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What have you put behind you?

March 29, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV))

Maturity is something that many of us try to avoid. We have a tendency to fear responsibility and we have a tendency to think of maturity and responsibility as being one and the same. In all honesty, they are closely related, but it is possible to be responsible without actually being mature. In essence, maturity can be considered full development while responsibility often refers to accountability. A good example of this is a child who always cleans their room. They are definitely not mature, but they are responsible in certain aspects of their life.

Human nature tells us that we don’t like to be held accountable. All that you have to do is look at Adam and Eve after being tempted into eating the fruit. When God approached them about what happened, blame was placed elsewhere. They failed to take the responsibility for what happened.

If you look at maturity as the ability to recognize sin and responsibility as the accountability to stay away from sin, then we start to get a clearer picture of this passage.

A child will think, say and do things that are less than desirable. Hopefully, as the child gets older, they recognize the childish nature and desire to take on a more mature nature. They decide to leave the old, childish nature behind them in a similar manner to how a person who repents leaves the old, sinful nature behind them. They step closer to maturity by selecting to put things behind them and move forward without that baggage.

What have you put behind you?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How well do you know the everlasting God?

June 21, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
(Isaiah 40:28 (NIV))

Everyone who has ever lived has had a definition of a smaller god that is who they would like to make God into.

Far too many people limit God because they lack the faith to understand, to believe that God is far greater than we can comprehend. They pray to Him, yet, they truly don’t believe that He can do anything to help them. They read the Bible and will make comments about how He no longer does miracles. They look at the world and blame God for all of the sin and take credit for anything good that happens to them.

Is this how you think that you know God? If it is, you need to spend more time with the Lord and in God’s Word! Nowhere is the Lord our God described as weak and insecure. Nowhere is He described as anything less than mighty and powerful. Nowhere is He described as anything less than the awesome Father that He is!

We all have things that we elevate to places of importance in our lives. I pray that we, as the Body of Christ, lower our individual gods of status, wealth and whatever else we elevate as important and replace them with the knowledge and understanding of the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth!

How well do you know the everlasting God?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Am I convinced?

January 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
(2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV))

Paul’s words to Timothy seem to start off to place blame, yet, he quickly turns that around to profess that he is not ashamed. He knows what he believes. He professes a faith that will see him through anything that the enemy may send his way.

How does this compare to what we have all been guilty of? How does this compare to our own situations?

For too many believers, blame is an easy thing to place. We have a tendency to revel in our own self pity in hopes that someone will acknowledge that we are suffering. I hate to say this, but it is almost an ego centered self pity. We want to be the best at something in order to draw attention to ourselves, so we seem to excel at suffering and blame.

God did not create us to be trapped in this ghastly situation. He did not send His Son, Jesus, to live, teach, suffer and die so that we can wallow in self pity and blame. He sent His Son to give us hope, grace and salvation. He did not send Him to give us suffering and self pity.

These come from the enemy.

When we, as the Body of Christ, suffer at the hands of unbelievers, have faith. Do not be ashamed when these attacks come your way, for they are designed to sway you from your faith. Rejoice in Jesus and stand firm in the assurance that He is able to guard what you have entrusted to Him.

The world does not understand how we can rejoice when we are suffering. The world wants to break us. The world wants to strip us of our faith. Our faith is not based on this world. Our faith is based on Jesus.

I once heard of a Chinese pastor who had been imprisoned for his faith. Part of his “job” while in prison was to shovel human waste. It is told that he stood waste deep in it for most of the day, yet he clung to his faith. He sang the whole day and always had a smile on his face in spite of his surroundings. He possessed a faith that saw him through all that the enemy sent his way.

Are you suffering because of your faith? Are you ashamed of your faith?

Examine your heart and ask yourself this question.

Am I convinced that Jesus is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him?

I pray that your answer is honest.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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