Have you accepted God’s grace?

July 23, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV))

God knows us better than any of us realize, for He knew that if our salvation was based on something that we had to do in our lives, then we would boast and brag that we had done it. This would result in a personality trait that God does not desire for us to have. We would have an arrogance and a “holier than others” attitude. God also knew that because of the fall of man from grace, no one would ever be able to achieve this on their own.

The Law was a good example of this. God gave us the Law in order to show us what we would have to do to achieve our salvation on our own. Everyone failed this test, and God knew that it would happen. He also knew that some would still try to pass this test and reject any help that He might send.

Luckily, though, He did send us help. This help is Jesus Christ. Only God could ever fully live up to God’s expectations of us in this world, so He elected to come to this world as a man in order to provide us grace and mercy.

I know that some people have a hard time admitting that Jesus was fully God, yet fully man. This is where the Trinity comes into play. Many people do not understand this either, yet, in their own lives, they are more than one persona.

Husband, father, son, employee, boss.

Mother, daughter, wife, employee, boss.

Many people assume all of these titles in their day to day lives. God has also assumed the positions of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The only difference is that God, as creator of everything, has the ability to separate these into individual entities in order to complete His Will.

When you think about salvation, think about what God has done in order for you to be saved!

Have you accepted God’s grace?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is found in your life?

June 1, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
(Proverbs 13:10 (NIV))

Sometimes, human nature will amaze me, but to be honest with you, most of the time it amuses me!

We all say and do things that get on each other’s nerves. We brag about what we can do, even when there are others around whom we know are much better than we could ever be. We always want to be right. We always want to be number one. We always want others to look to us as an expert in something, if not everything. I often wonder how humanity started to act like a peacock, always ruffling our feathers like we are saying, “Hey! Take a look at me. Don’t you think that I’m something special?”

It all comes down to ego. It all comes down to pride. We would rather create an argument than admit we aren’t right. We would rather live a life that has us and everyone else on edge instead of asking for advice and living in peace. In other words, what amuses me about human nature is that we like to say that we are capable of logical thinking, yet we very seldom ever act like it!

Perhaps this is also related to how humanity sees knowledge and wisdom. We seek after more and more knowledge, which fluffs up our egos, yet, we fail to seek after wisdom. Knowledge is nothing more than a collection of facts and details. Wisdom is an understanding of what is important and why it is important. I have seen people who are filled with knowledge who lack any sense of wisdom and I have seen wise people who could care less about what humanity calls knowledge.

There are all types of things that human nature brings into play in our lives. Some are prideful and self-centered. Some are God centered.

What is found in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Only God needs to know!

October 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV))

It is human nature to brag about the things that you do, especially if they will be considered good by someone else. The sad thing about this trait is that we all do it. We all like to toot our own horn. We like to draw attention to ourselves so that others will see the good things that we do.

If this is how we do the things that we do, then what are the true motives for why we do the things that we do?

Jesus made it clear that if we do something so that others will see it, then that is our reward. It appears that He is saying that we have done it for selfish gain. We have done it so that we can receive the praise of others.

Is that why you do things?

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(Matthew 6:17-18 (NIV))

When was the last time that you did something in secret? Was it difficult to not tell someone? Did you eventually break down and tell someone?

Contrary to human nature, we don’t have to try to be better than everyone else. All that we have to do is be better than our sinful nature. No one needs to know of the good things that you do.

Only God needs to know!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you consider yourself?

August 21, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
(Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are special, that you are of greater value than other people? Do you feel this way about other members of the Body of Christ? Do you find yourself thinking that because someone is not on a certain church committee that you are of more importance than they are? Do you find yourself thinking that because you give more that you are more important than anyone else?

What does that say about your understanding of the Gospel? What does that say about you?

It is human nature to brag and to gloat, but that is not a Christlike nature. We are to overcome the world and do as Jesus taught us. If anyone has a right to brag and to gloat and to be prideful, it would be Jesus. Did he brag about being the Son of God? Did He gloat about being the Word made flesh? Did He ever respond with an attitude of arrogance and pride by claiming to be the Son of God? Jesus, who had every right if anyone ever had a right, was humble and willingly took on the nature of a servant. Why do we, the creation, feel that we have to elevate ourselves and try to make ourselves something that we are not, something that we could never be? Why do we feel that we have to feel superior to everyone else when we are far from righteous.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Most days I hate being human!

I know that I need to explain this statement. I will start by saying that I love life for it is a wonderful gift. I love family, friends and people in general. It is the fallen, sinful nature of being human that I hate. I see things in the world that I know break God’s heart. I see things in my life that I know break God’s heart.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(Romans 7:15 (NIV))

When we see ourselves as more important than someone else, do you think that it breaks God’s heart?

How do you consider yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Boast about Jesus!

July 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth.
(Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV))

Do you ever boast and brag?

Be honest!

It is human nature to boast about things. Even when we don’t mean to, we have a tendency to boast and brag. If you have ever written a resume or gone on a job interview, you have probably boasted about your accomplishments.

Have you ever been around someone who bragged so much that they were difficult to put up with?

Let’s face it, there is a fine line between being truthful and being prideful. It is a fine line that is very easy to cross.

What happens if someone asks you about your job? Do you tell them that you are part of a team or do you lay out your responsibilities to make it sound like you are the central core to all of the functions that are performed at your office?

What happens when someone asks you about your children? Do you respond with what they are doing or do you go on an on about how they are the center of every activity that they are involved in?

We all boast, but is there anything in our lives that we can truly boast about? Did we create our job? Did we build our house? Did we design our car? Did we teach our children all that they know? We have had a hand in none of these things, yet we boast about them all of the time.

What do you do when you are confronted about your faith?

What do you do when you are confronted about knowing Jesus?

Personally, I find it very disturbing that people do not boast about knowing Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The Creator of all things, God, the Father, has sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Jesus calls us by name. God calls us by name. The Creator knows my name and He has a plan to redeem me for a full relationship with Him.

If this isn’t something to brag about, I don’t know what is!

Our society has become too complacent, too jaded with God and with Jesus. We have gotten to the point where we simply take it for granted. We are not willing to share the good news. We are not willing to boast about our relationship with the Creator. We are not willing to boast that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin! Instead, we boast about things that are trivial. We boast about the football team that we support. We boast about the fish that we caught. We boast about our new car. We boast about everything but that we know and understand our Lord.

Will your car save you? Will your job bring you eternal life? Will your favorite football team pay you when they win?

Boast about Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Full to overflowing?

August 9, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 (NIV))

Are you full to overflowing?

Now, the next logical thing is to ask what you are full of.

Some people are full of themselves. They brag and boast as if they were the only person to have ever walked the earth, or perhaps the best person to have ever walked the earth. Some people are full of hatred. No matter whom or what they see, they cannot bear the thought of liking it. In essence, they don’t like themselves and they take it out on everybody else. Some people are full of patriotism. They are proud of the fact that they belong to something that they feel is greater than they are. To some, it is a school. To others, it is the nation in which they live.

It is my prayer to be full of the joy and peace of God.

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

I long to be guarded from the attacks of the enemy. I long to show God’s peace through the attacks that I know will come.

As a kid, we often joked about someone being full of it. We vehemently denied that accusation. Now, I long to be full it. I want to be full of the Holy Spirit. I want to be able to stand accused and convicted based on what God is able to pour out through me. I long to be able to overflow with God’s joy and peace so that it impacts all around me.

What do you long to have overflow from you?

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