Have you truly turned to Jesus?

September 27, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

I don’t know a single person who professes a faith in Jesus that does not know and love this passage. In fact, we rely on the truth of these words when the world gets us down. We love the fact that we can turn to Jesus and He will not forsake us, but most people stop there. They don’t connect the proverbial dots with what is written in the next two sentences.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV))

The rest that we seek is not a transitory rest. It is not a pit stop where we get recharged and then go do our own thing. We are to take His yoke and learn from it. I started to say that we are to take His yoke as a way of life, but in all honesty, we are to take His yoke as the way of life!

I have read in the past that a rabbi’s teachings were called a yoke. The Pharisees and the Sadducees created a heavy burden, a heavy yoke, for their followers to carry. They were burdened with legalism and teachings that were of man’s traditions instead of God’s Word. Jesus never placed this type of burden, this type of yoke, on those who follow Him. He simply calls us to repent and acknowledge Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Instead of a vast number of man’s traditions, He calls us to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we are able to do this, everything else falls into place.

In essence, when you look at Matthew 11:28-30 in context, we are invited to come to Jesus and abandon man’s religious traditions, accept the grace and mercy that is freely given at the cross, and follow His teachings that call us to love God and each other. We don’t have to worry about sacrifices, for He has paid the price as the perfect Lamb of God!

I realize that Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Matthew recorded these words, but I see a direct relationship, a direct result of taking the yoke of Jesus as our own.

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

We will find rest. We will have the joy of carrying the burden that Jesus spoke of. We will rejoice in the Lord. We will renew our strength, for our strength will be found in Him. We will learn to soar above the sins of this world because He has overcome this world, and we will walk through this world knowing that our strength comes from Jesus!

Have you truly turned to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you seek rest?

September 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Are you weary from all that you burdened with in this world?

In this country, we celebrate people who work, but is work different than labor? Is this different than a burden? Work implies fulfilling duties in exchange for compensation whether a pay check or a harvest of some kind. Labor implies hard work or compulsory work without the proportional reward. A burden implies some hardship or oppression that must be carried. With that in mind, do you work or do you labor? Do you have any burdens that you carry?

Are you weary from your efforts? Are you exhausted physically and spiritually? Do you feel that you can endure nothing else in this world?

Do you long for peace? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

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

Do you long for rest? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

Do you seek rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

September 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that I have sent this before, but with what is going on in the world, we have a great need to be reminded that we can truly rest in Jesus!

This world piles burden upon burden on us in our daily lives. Our jobs, our obligations, our financial needs, and sometimes even our families and our church become burdens. We must step back and focus on the words of Jesus.

Rest! Everyone desires it, but in this world, true rest cannot come. Rest only comes when one is at peace. Peace is a concept that the world wants but can not grant. True peace only comes from the source of all creation through His Son Jesus Christ. Trade burdens with Jesus and gain peace and rest.

The burden that Jesus bore has paid in full your burden of sin and death. Whatever you are carrying now, He carried to the cross almost two thousand years ago.

Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Trust in Jesus to give you rest!

January 28, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Sometimes it seems that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

How about you?

Do you ever feel that you bear more than it seems possible to manage?

Life in this world is full of burdens. Every day presents each of us with troubles and pressures that seem to grow bigger and bigger as time goes on. It seems that we have no escape from what the world sends our way.

Fortunately, we have someone to turn to. We have someone who understands the burdens and will walk with us through them.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Jesus told us to come to Him and bring all of our burdens and troubles with us. He will make our path more joyful. He will make our path have a light that guides us. He will make our path to have a destination that is truly restful as we rest in the presence of God.

The next time that you feel overwhelmed, remember that Jesus bore the weight of the world for our sins when He was sin free. Can you imagine how weary He was during this ordeal – the physical weight of the cross and the emotional weight of all of the sins of all time?

Are you struggling under your own power, or are you resting in the assurance that Jesus will do as He says He will do?

Trust in Jesus to give you rest!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you taken His yoke?

December 2, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

When was the last time that you truly felt rested?

Was it when you got away to your favorite vacation spot and did only what you wanted to do? Was it a rest that lasted beyond the few days away from the hectic pace of everyday life? Chances are very good that even this rest left you empty and soon feeling weary once again.

The rest that Jesus speaks of is far more than simply doing nothing. The rest that Jesus speaks of leaves you refreshed deep within your spirit. It leaves you with a peace. Even in the midst of this hectic life that society says we have to live, we can find rest. We can find a perfect rest. Jesus will refresh us and restore us. He will exchange our burdens for His grace, mercy and peace.

When I first read this passage many years ago, I felt perplexed. My understanding of a yoke was a heavy piece of farm equipment used to keep oxen in line to pull a plow. How could this be restful? Later, I learned that when Jesus spoke these words, a rabbi’s interpretation of the scriptures was called his yoke. When you studied under a particular rabbi, you took his yoke upon yourself. All of the rabbi’s yokes placed a strong emphasis on the Law and keeping God’s Laws. Jesus’ yoke was different. He came to give us the intent or the heart of the Laws, and not the letter of the laws. He freed us from the heavy burden of the Law. He offered us grace and mercy.

Jesus gives us rest in more ways than one. It is true that He walks with us and guides us and gives us peace when we face tough times. He also gives us joy in our lives because He has lifted the heavy yoke of the Law. He bore that burden for us. We do not need to.

Have you learned to rest under Jesus’ yoke? The burden has been lifted. Accept His grace and mercy. Have you taken His yoke?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you find your heart?

August 14, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world right now, I have a question for you that will help determine your true treasure.

Do you long for the way things were last year this time, or do you long for Jesus?

Take a look back at this same time last year. I will admit that things were not as stressful and unusual then as they are now. Still, they were far from perfect. In fact, if you look back over the last several years, you will see that things have not gotten any better. The political landscape has changed in the last few years, and is focused on following Biblical principles, but it is also evident that the opposition to this change is doing all in its power to bring down anything related to God’s Word as well as anyone who supports it.

It is possible to become so overwhelmed by the ever increasing troubles in this world that we fail to see that God is moving in and through all of the troubles. Is your heart burdened and fearful? If you think about this in relationship to where your heart is, then it is easy to come to the conclusion that it is possible for us to treasure the pain of this world. Have we become addicted to the point that we sit waiting for the next new information on the latest troubles in this world?

Where’s the peace when we worry? Where’s the faith when we worry? Where is our treasure when we worry?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

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

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

I have a favor to ask of everyone. It’s really quite simple. The next time that your heart becomes heavy because of the world, lift your eyes to heaven and remember that God is still on the throne. He is still in charge. Look to your eternal treasure and stay focused on Jesus!

Where do you find your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Come to Jesus and find rest!

June 19, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

All of us need rest in the physical world!

How many have thought about spiritual rest and the impact that it has on our physical existence? If we are truly at rest in the Lord, our physical world, no matter what we may face, will also be at rest. We will be at peace. If we focus on finding rest in the physical world first, we will never find true rest and our spiritual rest will also be nonexistent.

Think about your priorities.

God does not want us to be burdened and heavy laden. He wants us to have the peace that only He can provide. He has even given us a way to get that peace, because there is nothing that we can do to achieve it ourselves. Jesus is the peace that God has given us. He is our rest and our hope. He is our spiritual big brother who is looking out for us. We can have rest. It is a rest better than any we have ever known.

Come to Jesus and find rest!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to listen to God?

May 15, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
      to know the word that sustains the weary.
   He wakens me morning by morning,
      wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
(Isaiah 50:4 (NIV))

What can sustain the weary?

Think about that question.

What makes you weary? Is it the world? Is it your job? Is it relationships that you wish were different? Is it the state of the world with all of the trials and tribulations that we must face? What sustains you in the midst of these trials and tribulations? What sustains you when you feel that you cannot go on?

Isaiah was given words to say to people who were weary. God gave him words of hope to speak to the people of Israel. Many of the prophesies regarding the coming of Jesus were spoken through Isaiah. What made Isaiah different from all of the people around him? Why was he able to hear God when the others did not? Perhaps we are given a clue as to Isaiah’s abilities in the remaining lines of the passage. God awoke Isaiah every morning and taught him. God spoke to Isaiah because Isaiah was willing to listen. What made Isaiah willing to listen?

What makes you willing to listen to someone? I believe that there are two primary reasons someone willingly listens to someone else. They love the person speaking, or they are interested in the topic. In Isaiah, I believe that we have found both. He loved the Lord and, because of this love, he also was very interested in what God had to say. He listened because he longed for God’s truth. This, alone, is enough to sustain the weary. Simply listening to God and taking his Word to heart is sufficient to sustain even the most weary of individuals.

Are you weary? Do you listen to God? Do you embrace every word that He has given us?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Have you found rest?

Are you willing to listen to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you feel as though you are having trouble?

April 28, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Do the current issues in the world make you feel like you are having trouble?

Did you feel like you were facing troubles before all of this hit?

If you answered “Yes” to either or both questions, let me ask you one more question. Have you been focusing on the world or have you been focusing on Jesus?

There is an old saying that you will find what you look for. There is so much truth to this. If you are looking for wealth, then you will only see things that have a monetary value and you will miss the things that God blesses us with that are priceless. It is a matter of perspective. You see what you want to see. If you look at life through the perspective of the world, then all you will see are troubles. If you look at life through the perspective of being a follower of Jesus, then no matter what the world tries to make you see, you will see grace and mercy.

Don’t get me wrong. We are only human and we all will falter and see things through worldly eyes, but we don’t have to see things that way!

A friend has a saying that I think is fantastic. He says, “I have never had a bad day. I have had bad things happen on a good day, but I have never had a bad day!” I love how his attitude fulfills the very essence of John 16:33. He keeps his eyes on Jesus and by doing so, he reminds himself that Jesus is with him no matter what. I don’t know about you, but knowing that Jesus is with me makes all of my days good! Remind yourself that Jesus has overcome the world the next time that you feel you are facing troubles in this world.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

Do you feel as though you are having trouble?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Isn’t it amazing what repentance can bring?

October 22, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
(Acts 3:19 (NIV))

Do you remember when you first repented of your sins and accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

How did you feel?

It is not uncommon for people to express this feeling as a cleansing sensation.

I like to think of it in the following manner. Before accepting Jesus you are burdened with the weight of the world. You are struggling with the toils of life and long for a glimpse of hope. You are filthy and in need of cleansing. Now, with that in mind, imagine yourself working in the yard on the hottest day of the year. You take a look at the swimming pool and without hesitation, you decide to dive in. Instantly you are refreshed. You come up out of the water cleansed. The dirt is gone. The weight of your toils have been washed away. You feel invigorated. You feel empowered. You feel renewed.

Repentance is similar in nature to this analogy with the swimming pool. No matter what you have done, no matter how filthy you may be, you can turn to the source of the cleansing. You can be refreshed. Better yet, you can choose to walk with Jesus and experience the refreshing on a daily basis. If you find yourself straying and in need of refreshment, simply turn back to Jesus!

Isn’t it amazing what repentance can bring?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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