Are you ready for Jesus to come?

December 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times. ”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be their peace.
(Micah 5:2-5 (NIV))

This prophecy speaks clearly of the coming of Jesus. During this time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we must also keep in mind that He is first a light to the Jews and then to the nations.

The covenant that God made with Israel was for this nation to be a light unto the world. Yet, they took the meaning of “God’s Chosen People” to mean that they had special privileges that set them above every other nation.

There are many words within this passage that can be interpreted to reflect what has happened in the history of Israel. When it speaks of Israel being abandoned … and the rest returning to Israel, this could be taken to mean the upper tribes being taken into captivity from which they never really returned. Now, the nation of Israel is once again a nation, and people from all over the world are returning to their “home land.” Perhaps, many of these people are descendants of those who were taken into captivity from the Northern Kingdom.

God has always used “near-term” and “long-term” prophecy within the same words. This passage obviously points to the first coming of Jesus. It also gives hints and glimpses of what will be in the second coming.

After two thousand years since Jesus’ birth, it is right that we celebrate this coming and the gift that was given through this coming. We must also not forget that He will return. Every Christmas that we celebrate brings us closer to the time of this much anticipated, often ridiculed, and greatly controversial event.

We need to be ready for the second coming.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is forever faithful!

September 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
(Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV))

Faithfulness is one of the primary attributes that God has and that we must strive to take hold of. God does not forget His promises. Deuteronomy speaks of keeping His promises for a thousand generations. We, as humanity, can’t keep a promise for more than a few days, weeks or years at best. God keeps His promises for a thousand generations. If you consider that a generation is from birth until they have their own children, that would be on average, 20,000 years. That is a long time to keep a promise. But, we must remember

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 Corinthains 1:20(NIV))

All of God’s promises are fulfilled through Jesus. Everything that God has promised throughout the Old Testament, through His prophets, either has been fulfilled or will be fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

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

If God is faithful, and all promises are fulfilled through Jesus, and Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever, then we must fully rely on Jesus for all things. Keep focused on Jesus and stay within the promises that God has made, for they will come to pass just as God said that they would.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God has not turned His back on you!

August 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.
(1 Samuel 12:22 (NAS))

Too many people feel that God has turned His back on them. They think that He has abandoned them in the middle of their troubles and simply left them there to flounder in their situation. What they don’t realize is that it is not God who has abandoned them, but they who have abandoned God.

God has made a covenant with His creation through the atoning blood of Jesus, His Son. This covenant means that He will always be there for those who call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We have access to God the Father through Jesus, the Son. God’s covenant was made so that those who call upon the name of Jesus would have eternal life with God the Father. If God has given us a means to spend eternity with Him, why would He abandon anyone? Even those who have not called upon Jesus to be their Lord and Savior are under the covenant, they simply have not claimed it for themselves, yet.

It is us who has broken the covenant relationship with God. Even those who have claimed salvation through Jesus may loose sight of God occasionally. When this happens, God is not the one who has abandoned us. We have abandoned Him for earthly objectives and distractions. He is still there, we simply choose to not acknowledge His presence in our lives. He can never break His promise made through Jesus to be with us to the end of the age. God cannot lie.

The next time that you feel God has abandoned you, simply look around you. God is still there. He is still in covenant with you through the atoning blood of Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is true for you?

April 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
(Psalms 25:8-14 (NIV))

God is good! He will provide for those who fear Him. This fear is a fear of respect, not a fear of punishment and retribution. God wishes for us to be in a relationship with Him, but He wishes it to be of our own decision. When it is our decision, it will be honest and true. If it were truly based on fear of retribution, then it would not be an honest yearning to be with God.

God will reward those who seek His face and wish to live after His own heart. If you are sincerely seeking God’s will, then God will allow you into His heart by revealing His Truth to you. His Truth will become your truth.

What is true for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Take a look at your life of worship

November 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
(2 Kings 17:35-39 (NIV))

As the Body of Christ, we have been grafted into the root of Israel. We are to worship God in the same manner as the instructions that He gave to Israel.

Do we?

Are we guilty of worshipping other gods? If you stop to think about this question, it is very easy to fall into this mindset.

Do you spend more time shouting and praising your favorite football team than you do for the Creator of all things? Do you sit in a church service and watch the clock because you have someplace better to be? Do you spend more time on your boat than you do in worship? Do you spend more time pursuing money than you do pursuing godly righteousness? Are you more concerned with the stock market than you are with where you will spend eternity?

Just what is worship?

I have heard someone say that worship is the act of showing respect and love for God. I have also heard if explained as excessive admiration for someone or something.

Which definition of worship applies to what you practice? Is it the love and respect for God or is it the excessive admiration of something or someone? We have to be careful that we do not cross the line from loving God to admiring something else. When we do, we lose sight of where our worship truly belongs!

Take a serious look at your worship life. Are you overjoyed and desire to praise God or do you sit there with your arms folded thinking about anything else that occupies your mind?

Is worship confined to within the walls of a church building? Do you worship God wherever you may be or do you leave it behind when you walk out the doors of the church? Is this what we are called to do?

With all of the distractions that we have in this world, we need to focus on God.

Worship!

In all things that we do, we should worship God! We should praise His name. We should focus on the one who created all things and gave us life and not focus on the things that God created! The creation will fade. God is eternal.

Take a look at your life of worship.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you part of God’s special treasure?

March 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me.
(Exodus 19:5 (NLT))

How would you like to be called God’s special treasure?

Think about what this truly means.

God has given us an insight into the importance of treasure to the one who treasures it. He has given us insight into how He sees and understands treasure.

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

Think about that passage in relation to the meaning of being called God’s own special treasure. If we are God’s own special treasure, then, according to His own words, His heart is also with us.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

What an awesome realization that God treasures those who keep His commands. If we are His treasure, then His heart is for us. If He is for us, nothing can be against us that will harm us.

I can think of nothing that would please me more than to know that God considers me to be part of His special treasure.

Are you part of God’s special treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is power in the blood!

July 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
(Hebrews 9:16-22 (NIV))

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness!

Do you think that this sounds barbaric?

What imagery does it bring to mind?

Do you agree with the examples that are given in this passage?

Now, think about the following sayings.

There is power in the blood.

There is life in the blood.

Blood brothers.

I could think of more, but I hope that you understand what I am getting at. Blood is essential to life. Without blood, life ceases. When a life is taken, most of the time, the removal of blood is part of the reason that the life ends. Even if that life is freely given out of choice, there is blood.

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

Blood has become a symbol of the ultimate commitment. It is that commitment by Jesus that has brought us the ultimate in rewards. The blood of Jesus has brought us forgiveness if we will only accept it.

I have read this passage before, but the concept of a will did not sink in until reading it this time. Think about that from a worldly persepctive. God had something that He wanted to leave to His children, His creation. In worldly terms we understand that the heirs receive from the deceased through the will. God could not give grace to us without the formality. He needed to allow each of us to come to the inheritance freely. Inheritance is through blood. Jesus died so that we could inherit what He came to give to us. He arose from the grave to prove that He had the authority to give it.

This may sound a little morbid, but think of the offer of salvation as the reading of the will stating what Jesus left for you. Your personal salvation comes when you receive what He has given to you through His death and resurrection.

Always remember that there is power in the blood. There is life in the blood. Only through the blood can we be offered forgiveness.

It may sound legalistic, and to a point it is. Satan knows all too well about blood. He has been using it from the beginning of this world to draw people away from forgiveness. He has stated his case that all of humanity belong to him because of the sin of Adam and Eve. He makes that claim because of the inheritance through the blood. Jesus broke that inheritance and has offered us a new inheritance through His blood.

There is power in the blood!

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