Have you set your mind on Jesus?

September 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
(Colossians 3:2 (NIV))

Unlike any other time in human history, now is the time to look up!

Do the things of this world have you worried? Look up!

No matter what the news may say and no matter what they do not say, we have a mighty God who is in control. We have a mighty Savior who, in the eyes of the world, has done the unthinkable. He willingly died to save us from our sins. All that we have to do is believe in Him! We have the promises that God has given, and they are many! Not only do we have the promises that foretold of Jesus, we also have the promises that foretell of His return.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Think about that for a moment. If God cannot associate with sin, then we know that He is not capable of committing a sin. He is not capable of telling a lie. Because He is not capable of lying, we know that every single word that proceeds from His mouth is truth. In other words, if He said it, it WILL happen just as He said. The sad thing is that we, as sinful, fallen humanity have a hard time comprehending that there is someone who is always truthful no matter what the situation. Even those who always try to tell the truth will find themselves slipping up and twisting things unintentionally. In other words, we lie even when we don’t want to!

We must focus on the perfect image of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only when we keep our focus in this direction are we capable of discerning the truth from the lies of the enemy, and right now, the enemy is on a rampage! Every single day I learn more and more about the things that are unfolding in this world. I learn of things that, if I didn’t keep my eyes focused on Jesus, would scare me to death. Troubles are increasing exponentially. I also learn of things that have me fascinated because God is unfolding things just as He foretold. The troubles in this world may be increasing exponentially, but we must take heart, for the things of God are falling into place exponentially as well. Things are happening so fast that many people are saying that something major is going to happen by the end of this month. I don’t claim to be a prophet, nor do I claim to know the hour or the day, but I do recognize the season that we are in. I do recognize the need for repentance. I do recognize the need to set our minds on things above, for they are eternal. The things of this world are fleeting and can change in the twinkling of an eye.

No matter what may happen in this world, we must look to Jesus!

No matter what the enemy may do, we must remember that we have a risen Savior who has overcome the enemy.

No matter what may happen in this world, we know who wins.

Have you set your mind on the winner?

Have you set your mind on Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What will you gain when you die?

August 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 (NIV))

I haven’t written about this passage much before, but today I was going through my files and this particular passage and devotional caught my attention. I found myself reading it and I believe that someone needs to hear this at this point in their life.

I want you to carefully reread these words from this passage. Do they have a sound that is contrary to what we, as a society, tend to think about this world, life and “religion?”

Most people think of Jesus as a safety net for when we die, not as a way in which we can live in freedom.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We are told that Jesus gives us life to the full, yet, we ignore Him until we face dying. Isn’t it just like human nature to have our priorities turned around. We look to the promise of life when we are dying and look to sin and death when we are alive. For those who understand the truth behind these words, life is better with Jesus. There is hope. There is peace and there is grace.

Without Jesus, death is to be feared. We end up eternally separated from God and eternally cast away with Satan. With Jesus, death is not to be feared, for we will see the reward for our faith. We will walk with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven where we will be eternally at peace and in God’s presence. When we look at it like this, death for a believer is gain. It is not to be feared. It is a reward for our faith and our priorities in this life. We have all heard that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If we are present with the Lord at our death, then we have “gained” eternal life through grace and mercy. This is truly gain.

What will you gain when you die?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you relying on the true source of strength?

July 6, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 (NKJV))

As I sit here tonight, this passage caught my attention. I feel weary. I feel like I have been beat up. I feel like I am swimming upstream against a current of unrighteousness and down right evil in this world. Everything that I see appears so far from what God desires that it breaks my heart. I can only imagine what it does to the very heart of God.

Do you find yourself like this? Do you look at the events unfolding in this world and all that you can do is muster a groan from your spirit? You are not alone in this. I often feel the same way. Take heart because this is the Holy Spirit working inside of us.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
(Romans 8:26 (NIV))

We should find strength in our weariness. We should find strength in our trials. We should find strength in our groanings, for they are all indicators that we do not belong to the world. We belong to the Lord! He doesn’t call us to rely on our strength. We are to trust and follow Him.

Does that change your perspective on Philippians 4:13?

Are you relying on the true source of strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you standing firm in the freedom that Christ has given?

July 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1 (NIV))

What is freedom to you?

If you are a follower of Jesus, then freedom means something different from how the world defines it. It has such a deeper meaning and carries with it a longer lasting impact than what the world calls freedom. Worldly freedom can be gone in an instant, but the freedom that Jesus came to offer lasts an eternity. Worldly freedom is good, for with it comes the freedom to worship as you please. Worldly freedom also has its drawbacks, for worldly freedom allows us to do things that the world sees as appropriate even if they are not right in the eyes of God. Freedom through the atoning blood of Jesus washes away all the sins of the world. We are made right in the eyes of God. When we are made right in the eyes of God, we should long to strive toward the perfection that we are being called to. We are not to use this freedom as an excuse to return to our sins.

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
(1 Peter 2:16 (NIV))

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
(Galatians 5:13 (NIV))

I love freedom! I also love knowing that there are boundaries to this freedom. Those boundaries protect us. They nurture us and they guide us into righteousness in the eyes of God. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us if we will only listen. Does a person who is freed from prison immediately turn around and asked to be placed back in prison? Why should we, who are freed from the prison, from the bondage of sin and death, immediately return to sin?

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV))

We must stand firm. We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We must cling to the freedom that was given to us by Jesus.

Are you standing firm in the freedom that Christ has given?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

June 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Do you like to be blamed or held accountable when things go wrong?

That is exactly what condemnation is. We are blamed and held accountable for the sins that we commit. We are all guilty. We are all sinners.

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

No descendants of Adam and Eve can escape the fate that we inherit due to the fall from grace. We are all born sinners and we inherit, we deserve, the consequences of our sins. There is none righteous on our own!

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, God . . .

God had another plan to redeem us, to restore us unto Himself. God has a plan to remove all condemnation from us as far as the east is from the west.

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 you profess a faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven. You do not stand condemned. That is the greatest news that anyone could ever receive. With all that is happening in the world at this time, many people believe that His return is coming very soon. We do not want to be found still condemned by our sin when He does return. It’s 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.

It is your choice!

You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to love like Jesus?

May 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

How many people do you know for whom you would give up your life in order to save theirs?

If you are like most people, that number is relatively small and is probably limited to immediate family and maybe a few close friends. Some of us may even venture to say that we would do it for the greater good of humanity, but in all honesty, self preservation is a powerful human trait and not many of us would actually carry through with what we profess.

Jesus did!

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Jesus willingly laid down His life for anyone who has lived or will ever live just so that they can have their sins washed clean! He laid down His life for His friends. He laid down His life for you and I.

What makes us His friends?

You are my friends if you do what I command.
(John 15:14 (NIV))

What does Jesus command?

This is my command: Love each other.
(John 15:17 (NIV))

If we simply rely on our own human nature, we cannot love each other. We need help. We need to admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We must be willing to repent and follow Jesus. We must be willing to set our selfish natures aside and live our lives as Jesus lived His. We must be willing to follow Jesus and love those whom He loves. We must be willing to show that love in ways that may go beyond our comfort zones.

Are you willing to love like Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

May 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Have you ever truly given thought to the meaning of condemnation?

It means blame!

To put it simply, we are not blamed for our sin if we are in Christ Jesus! We are not found at fault. We are not held responsible. We are not found guilty.

I realize that this sounds like we can get away with anything, but it actually means that we are forgiven for what we have done. It does not mean that we can continue to willfully sin. The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was not a free pass to continue sinning. It was and still is an offer of a way to escape the life of sin and the consequences of sin.

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))

Do you like the idea of no condemnation?

Do you like the idea of a fresh start in the eyes of God? With everything that is going on in the world, time to accept this fresh start may be running out. Don’t wait!

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.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus loves me this much!

April 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

With just a few days left before we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, there is not a better passage to explain why Jesus went to the cross. We were lost in our sin and in need of a Savior, so God sent Jesus to save us by paying the debt owed for our sin. Our sinful nature separated us from God, so the Lord devised a plan to take all the sin upon Himself so that we could be free from the bondage of sin and death. There is no greater love that has ever been shown than this act of loving redemption and salvation.

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))

When you were a child, did you ever stretch your arms way out to the side and tell someone that you loved them this much? That is exactly what Jesus did when He hung on the cross for you and I. He was telling the whole world that He loves us this much. His outstretched arms also tell us that He is waiting with open arms to embrace us as we embrace the grace and mercy that He freely gives to all who will simply accept. His open arms welcome us into the family of God as brothers and sisters and not as servants or slaves.

The next time that you need to remind yourself of just how much the Lord loves us, simply stretch out your arms like you did when you were a child and simply say, “Jesus loves me this much!”

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you allowed Jesus to truly live in you?

April 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
(Galatians 2:20a (NIV))

I can safely say that I don’t know anyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior who does not firmly believe this passage. It is very assuring to think that the Son of God is resident within our lives. Too many people stop at this part of the passage and ignore the remaining aspects that we are to then live accordingly. We are to live out our lives with a confidence, with an assurance that we have placed our faith correctly.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 (NIV))

We are to give up our previous lives. We are to surrender our sinful nature and exchange it for His righteousness as we walk out each moment of each day of our new lives. We are a new creation and our lives must reflect that! If Christ lives in you, you must allow Him to go to the fullness of His remaking of you in His image. You must wholeheartedly live out the concept of He must increase and I must decrease. Fully submitting to this allows the old, sinful you to be replaced with the righteousness of Jesus.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV))

Have you experienced the removal of old habits from your life? Have you experienced a renewing of our heart? Have you experienced a desire to grow in your faith in Jesus? Is Jesus fully at home within you?

Have you allowed Jesus to truly live in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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But, on the third day . . .

April 7, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

We are at that time of year when everyone knows of the celebration of what we call Easter. To be honest with you, I don’t like that name for the greatest event in all of history. We have allowed the name of an Assyrian goddess of war and sexual love to be the namesake of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Isn’t it just like the enemy to pervert and lie about something so wonderful and glorious as the resurrection of the Son of God?

But, enough of my ranting!

Let’s look at all that Jesus did and why we, as the Body of Christ, have a day to remind us of the greatest gift of all time.

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

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

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))

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

I could add many more passages, but we know that Jesus came into this world to pay the price for our sins through His death on the cross. He came to redeem the descendants of Adam, who condemned all to sin. He came to free us from the law of sin and death. He came to set the captives free!

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:18-19 (NIV))

I am eternally thankful for what Jesus did when He died on the cross, but that is not the end of the story.

But, on the third day . . .

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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