Has your faith stayed strong?

June 6, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2:36-47 (NIV))

The early church did not have the ability to look back into history and see what Jesus had done. They didn’t need it! Many of the people who came to be believers in this time had seen Jesus perform the miracles and had heard Him teach. They had seen Him crucified and had seen Him resurrected. Those who did not see all these things happen, knew of them. They also had the eye-witness accounts of the disciples who had been with Jesus during all of this. No matter how they knew of Jesus, they knew that He is Lord and Savior of all Creation. They fervently praised God and prayed for what they knew comes from these actions.

Have the centuries dulled our intensity? Have they caused us to be less than our brothers and sisters from the early church? We have more evidence today that all of these things happened. Historical records besides the New Testament verify many of the accounts of Jesus’ life. Have we grown complacent in our faith? Take a serious look at your life and priorities. Can you say that you devote yourself to Jesus’ teachings and fellowship with other believers?

Has your faith stayed strong?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the cross the power of God or is it foolishness?

April 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

Do you consider yourself to be a fool?

I realize that is a loaded question, for I have never met anyone who considered themselves to be a fool. I don’t like to judge, but I have met some people who have left me wondering about their status. To be honest with you, I would probably bet that there are some people who question my status.

Still, I find it is much better to have people think that you are foolish than to have God think that you are foolish. God’s definition of being a fool is completely different from man’s.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
(Psalm 14:1 (NIV))

It only stands to reason that anything that comes from God would be considered foolish by man. The ultimate foolishness in the eyes of man is the message of redemption through Jesus and the cross. A fool says that there is no God. A fool thinks that they are good and do not need anyone to save them. Since they think that there is no God and that they are good, the idea that God sent His Son to die for them makes no sense to them at all. To these people, that is the ultimate foolishness and they think that anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.

To quote a very old saying, that is the pot calling the kettle black.

The fool thinks that their foolishness is wisdom and that the true wisdom of God is foolishness.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray for those who are foolish!

January 9, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not speak to a fool,
for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
(Proverbs 23:9 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word fool? Do you think of someone who goes against accepted knowledge and common sense? Perhaps you think of the court jester type of character. Do you have your own ideas as to what makes a person a fool?

Have you ever met someone who could be considered a fool?

Have you ever attempted to have a conversation with someone who could be considered a fool?

If you stop to think about it, by society’s standards, we can all claim to have played the fool at some point in our lives. We have all done things that have made us look foolish in our own eyes and in the eyes of our family and friends.

The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
(Psalms 14:1 (NIV))

I find it rather amusing that God says you are a fool if you claim that He doesn’t exist, while today’s society claims that you are a fool if you claim that He does exist! I don’t care what society may think of me, I don’t want to have God look at me and call me a fool. Jesus told us what to do when we meet people like this.

And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”
(Mark 6:11 (NIV))

Sadly, we will all encounter people who will play the ultimate fool to the bitter end. Pray for them anyway. Don’t try to win them with your words. Pray that their hearts will be softened and wisdom will be given to them, after all, we are never told that God cannot reach them!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we sunk to the point where this is all true?

April 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
Penalties are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
A king’s wrath is like the roar of a lion;
he who angers him forfeits his life.
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
(Proverbs 19:27 – 20:3 (NIV))

I want you to do something. I want you to read this passage again and stop to think about the society and the world in which we live. Is it just me, or do you see all of these traits running rampant in the world today?

We no longer listen to instruction. Knowledge has become whatever we want it to be whether it is true or not. Corruption mocks the very fabric of our society and wickedness abounds. Foolishness has become the normal way of thinking and acting. Anger and wrath have taken he place of love and patience. Speaking of love, the true meaning of love, God’s love, has become lost in the chaos of the world. It has come to mean that because God loves us we can do whatever we want. Is there honor in the things that we see in the news? One group of lives is more important than another group of lives.

And now the biggest and most foolish thing in the world is that if you believe in God, Jesus and the Word of God, then you are a bigot and close minded.

I know that Jesus told us that we would face these troubles, but I still find it disheartening, not for myself, but for those who don’t realize the proverbial error of their ways.

It is my prayer that everyone learn how to listen to Godly instruction and seek after the true knowledge that only comes from God.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who or what is the recipient of your trust?

March 3, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalms 20:7 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to take a serious look at what you trust?

Many people are putting their trust in a different President who can change the course of this nation. Others are putting their trust in the stock market, and some are putting their trust in areas that only they understand.

Think about a few things with respect to trust.

A government official will let you down.

The stock market may crash.

Banks will collapse.

Governments will collapse.

Human relationships may end.

Strength will eventually fail, and power will corrupt.

Does it sound like you want to place your trust in any of these things? Do you really want to place your trust in anything that is of this world? I know that I don’t.

I only trust the one constant that was, is and will be. I trust in God! He is my rock. He is my fortress. He is my refuge in times of trouble. Sometimes things will get shaky. Things will get bad.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
(Psalms 91:7 (NIV))

I place my complete trust in the name of the Lord my God!

Who or what is the recipient of your trust?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will He find us righteous?

April 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.
(Genesis 6:11 (NIV))

I often wonder what we look like in the eyes if God in this day and time.

Think about that for a moment. Do you think that our world does what is pleasing to God when there are wars, rumors of wars, murder, violent crimes, rape, greed, lust, and countless others that are too numerous to mention? How do you think that we compare to the world before the great flood? At that time, God only found Noah and his family who were righteous in His eyes. Prayerfully, today there are more people than a single extended family whom God is pleased with.

Is that what makes today different than in the days of Noah? Is it the number of people who earnestly and sincerely call upon the redeeming grace offered by God through His only begotten Son, Jesus? Noah gives us a clear picture of how God cares for His own during times of trouble. He provides a path of redemption from the sins of this world. God has done this countless times. He provides a path of redemption by providing a ram, by providing a burning bush, by providing a parting of the Red Sea, and by providing the ultimate sacrificial lamb – His Son, Jesus.

How do you think that God will respond when His plans for the future actually unfold?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

With this in mind, we know that God did send destruction to the unrighteous and we know that He saved those whom He found to be righteous. He will work the same way when His plan finally unfolds. My question to you is simple.

Will He find you righteous and provide a path of redemption for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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