October 17, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
(Romans 16:17-18 (NIV))

It is easy to become bogged down in the world and what society is saying. Television advertising, television shows, sales people – they all try to flatter and convince you of something. Some is harmless. Some is not so harmless. Even the harmless can lead to harm if it is the beginning of a series. This even happens in the church.

Unfortunately, today, the church is influenced more by society than it influences society. Be careful to keep your eyes focused on Jesus and pray for God’s Will to be done.

Deception is an art form. It is an evil art perfected by the enemy. Satan will use anything that he can to deceive believers – even other believers. Stay grounded in the Truth of the Word so that deception can be avoided.

Are you firmly grounded so that deception will not make you stray?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Stand firm in your faith

October 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
(Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV))

Deception seems to run rampant lately.

Are you able to discern what is the truth and what is a lie?

Think about that in context of the words from Galatians. God cannot be mocked! When all else fails, use this simple statement to guide you. All else will fall into place if this is your guiding thought.

If someone sows to please their sinful nature, this mocks God. Anger, jealousy, vengeance, hatred, aggression, and a mean spirit all mock God. Judging by other passages, there are many other things that mock God. Sexual immorality, lying, stealing, murder and anything that goes against His Word are all things that please the sinful nature.

I am sure that you have heard the old saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Look at the recent events in the world. Dictators who ruled with an iron hand have been brought down in just the same way that they ruled. There is also another saying that I firmly believe in, and that is “If you do not study history, you are bound to repeat it.” We, as a nation and a world, are reaping what has been sown. History books have been rewritten. We have found ourselves in a bad predicament.

It is said that you can put a frog in a pot of water and then slowly bring the water to a boil. The change is so gradual that the frog does not notice it until it is too late. Have we seen our society and institutions change in the same way that the frog found the water changing? We no longer hold true to the basic moral principles that helped to build this nation. Ironically, it is these very principles that have been under attack.

We need to sow to please the Spirit. We need to turn to God and pray, both as individuals and as a nation. We have become so divided that there is a widening gap between those who profess a faith in Jesus and those who do not.

There is a feeling within me that things will get worse before they get better. I do not wish to sound like I am spreading doomsday fear, but rather I hope that I am able to call upon the Body of Christ to stand firm in your faith. Do not waiver in the face of sinful nature, whether that sinful nature is internal or external. The world can and will send much our way, and if we do not stand firm in who we are and in whose we are, then the world will tell us.

If the world tells you who you are, I know that you will not like what it tells you.

Stand firm in your faith and tell the world that you belong to Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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January 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,’ and, `The time is near.’ Do not follow them.
(Luke 21:8 (NIV))

Do you know when you are being deceived?

In this day and time, when it is politically correct to “accept” whatever is different, too many people are being deceived. These deceptions come in many disguises, but they can all be quickly uncovered by one simple test. If they fail this test, then they are lies. They are fabrications of the enemy designed to deceive the very elect.

Test everything.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

Test everything against God’s Word. In order to test against God’s word, we must know God’s Word. That does not simply mean that we know where to look in the table of contents when someone references a scripture verse. It means that we must know God’s Word. We must love God’s Word.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV))

We must fully embrace and welcome God’s word. We must make it a living part of our daily lives so that when we need to test something against God’s Word, we will be able to do so within our hearts.

When Jesus spoke these words that were recorded in Luke, only the synagogues had the scriptures, yet people knew God’s Word. They studied it. They reflected upon it. They discussed it openly with each other. Today, we have more printed copies of God’s Word than at any other time in history, yet, we seem to have lost the passion for study. We seem to have lost the passion for discussing openly with each other exactly what God has done in our lives., We have lost the passion for the promises that God has blessed us with, both those that have been fulfilled and those yet to be fulfilled.

If you see something online and order it, you can be deceived and lose your money. You can be deceived and have your identity stolen. You can be deceived and lose a trusted friend. You can be deceived. Ironically, we think that we know how to avoid deception in our daily lives, yet it happens all the time. We read about how to make ourselves secure against the deception, yet it still happens.

How can we, the Body Of Christ, avoid deception if we do not know God’s Word? We must spend time daily within the Word of Life. We must know what it says and we must not be tricked into believing misquoted passages. We must not accept lies because it is politically correct to be tolerant of sin.

Each day that I see things happening in this world, I pause and ask myself if the events that I see unfolding could be how God is unfolding a certain part of His plan. I can’t say with clarity, for I know that my vision is as I am looking through a dark glass, yet, I do know one thing as I look through that dark glass. There is not a glass dark enough to hide the light. You can still see the light. You may not be able to see the details, but the light makes a difference. There is also not a deception big enough to hide the Light of Jesus. If you know to look, it is there. It will shine brighter and bolder than anything this world has ever known.

It is my prayer that no one will be deceived. It is my prayer that all will know God and His Word so well that even if we are completely blinded, His Light will shine in our hearts and guide us so that we will know the truth.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Smoke and Mirrors

October 13, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.
(1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NLT))

Do you give your weekly “sacrifice” to God by attending church on Sunday morning or do you praise Him with every breath that you take?

Are you so set in your ways that you refuse to listen to the will of God or have you been able to place ego, stubbornness and pride behind you?

What we give to God is a very good measure of where our heart truly lies. If we “give” to God reluctantly when we do give to Him, are we truly able to give what He desires from us? Does this make sense? God desires for us to give Him our all. He wants us to place all of our faith and our trust within His capable hands. When we give Him our “burnt offerings,” could we actually be guilty of the old illusionist trick of smoke and mirrors where we offer God something to distract Him from what we are keeping from Him?

Let’s face facts!

Not a single one of us is an illusionist with skills so great that we can deceive the God who created everything! It is a sin to think otherwise.

Are you still trying to play “smoke and mirrors” with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Will you withstand the deceptions?

December 9, 2009

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or, `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:21-23 (NIV))

How well do you know Jesus? How well do you know God’s Word?

Do you know them well enough to be able to discern the difference between the truth and a lie?

All too often, the enemy will shroud his lies in bits and pieces of the truth. He will use just enough of the truth to make his lies sound plausible. He will count on people not knowing God’s Word well enough to tell the difference between the truth and his lies. He will use just enough to entrap people.


Do you honestly think that Satan cares how he tricks people into missing out on God’s grace and mercy? He only cares that he does trick people. It does not matter to him that he deceives people. It does not matter to him that he misuses God’s Word to deceive. He has only one goal and that is keeping as many people as possible from the redeeming grace offered through Jesus. Satan thinks that if he can’t be worshipped, then he will take that from God.

In the high-speed, fast-paced world that we now find ourselves in, we must know what we believe in. We must know what we have faith in.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

Are you fully armed with the knowledge and truth that is God’s Word? Will you be able to withstand the deception?

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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