What are you reaping in your life?

October 31, 2016

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))

Have you ever heard someone say that they were just sowing their wild oats? Do you know of any instance where this produced something that was good?

If you plant corn, you get corn. If you plant wheat, you get wheat. If you plant sin, you get sin. If you plant trouble, you get trouble. It is not a difficult concept to understand. You get what you sow. Why does humanity have such a difficult time with that simple concept? Why do so many people think that they can sin all that they want and good things will happen to them?

What have you sown in your life? Be honest with yourself.

Have you been hateful or loving? Have you been joyful or sad? Have you been lustful or pure? Have you been greedy or generous? Have you craved power or have you longed to know Jesus? I could go on and on, but I don’t have to explain everything that the human mind can twist into sin.

What have you planted in your life?

What are you reaping in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you narrowed in on salvation?

August 25, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

Which is easier, entering through a narrow entrance that you have to squeeze through or a wide entrance with plenty of room?

Think back on all the things that you have or have done that are the most important to you. Did they come easy or did they take work and perseverance? I would venture to say that nothing in this life worth having actually came easy. Even your own salvation carried a heavy price. You did not pay that price. Jesus paid it for you. It was difficult to bear. We could not have bore that price. If you stop to think about it, it is probably safe to say that for each of us to accept that salvation also bore quite a heavy burden. It was difficult to face the realization and to admit that “I am a sinner and I need a savior.”

Do you remember when you came to that realization? It was probably the hardest thing to admit, yet, once it was done, the weight of the world was lifted off of your shoulders. You had made a conscious decision that you were no longer going to enter the rest of your life through the wide gate. You were going to enter through the narrow gate that God had set before you.

Has that decision led to a life that has been easy? Has society embraced your decision to abandon the wide gate that everybody uses? If you accept the principle that the physical world has corresponding counterparts in the spiritual world, then we must realize that nothing worth having spiritually will be easy. Satan does not want you to have the grace and the mercy that is offered through that narrow gate. He will fight to keep you from it. You must fight to stay within it.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you on the right path?

August 3, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
(Matthew 7:13 (NIV))

Sin takes on many forms and the road that we travel on is wide because of this. Think of the multitude of sins that we can commit. It only takes one to stray from God’s Will. Lay out all of the sins that you can think of side by side. You have a wide road upon which to travel, and the bad thing about it is that no two people have to really travel the very same path to get to the end of the road and it’s promised death.

Now, take away all of those sins and replace it with a single, straight line that leads you to your goal. You can even think of this straight line as a tight-rope. Any deviation from that straight line is going to get you back on the wide road that we have paved with sin. The task of reaching the goal without swerving from our desired path is not physically possible.

Now, take a look at Jesus and that same path. If we call upon Jesus to carry us, then imagine the security in knowing that Jesus can walk that path, and has walked that path, without a single deviation. Because of His unswerving devotion to doing the Father’s Will, we can call upon Jesus to carry us on that straight path even though we may drag our feet on the wide road.

Through Jesus, we will be made whole and our sins will be forgiven.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you trying to enter?

June 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
(Luke 13:24 (NIV))

Too many people today believe that there are many different ways to get to heaven. Luke 13:24 tells us otherwise. This is also not the only passage where we are told that the way is narrow.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

What door we choose is up to us. We need to be sure that the door we do choose is the one that leads to salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is that narrow door. All other ways that mankind devises are simply that: man’s attempt to reach God. Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man.

Is your door the narrow door?

Stay focused on Jesus and make sure that you do not swerve either to the right or to the left.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your heart like?

September 27, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall.
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
(Proverbs 18:10-12 (NIV))

All throughout history, man’s pride has lead countless people to destruction, even when they had a way to “escape” the destruction. The Bible is full of stories of people who have accepted the “strong tower” that God has offered, even when they were not the perfect people that they should have been.

David is a good example. He was far from perfect in all that he did, yet because he humbled himself before God, he had a place to run to under the grace of God. David was not a proud person, yet, due to his earthly position and accomplishments, he could have easily become proud and strayed from God’s own heart. David, in all of his earthly frailties, kept his eyes on God and when he did stray, he humbled himself to the point of seeking forgiveness from God. Many times, this included a public display that today would be considered demeaning. Yet, even though he was a king, he humbled himself to the point of a slave.

What is your heart like? Is it like David’s.

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

May 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”
(Exodus 5:2 (NIV))

Stubbornness and pride have been the downfall of many people, and not only the Pharaoh.

I am sure that we all now of someone who has said something to the effect of “Who is God and why should I obey Him?” Perhaps we have even said it ourselves in our younger and more foolish days.

Ever since the fall from grace, it has been human nature to believe that we have the ability to be the masters of our own destiny. We often feel that we answer to nobody but ourselves. We have the false sense that we know what is best for ourselves and those around us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What did Pharaoh’s hardheartedness get him? His country was devastated by plagues and the firstborn in all the nation died. After anger set in, he also lost an army of men at the bottom of the sea because of his stubbornness and pride. What a terrible price to pay because you won’t listen to the truth when it is right before you.

People never learn. It is said that if we do not study history, we are destined to repeat it. We can study the events of the past. We can read about the people of faith and the people who shunned God. It is even possible to know of these events and still be stubborn and proud. Unfortunately, each of us must learn for ourselves.

Pray for the stubborn so that they may be willing to give the proverbial inch. God only needs someone to ease up a little so that He can plant the seed.

Pray for the proud so that they can realize that they are not perfect and that they are not in control. God can use a small glimmer of non-selfish thought to break down that barrier of pride.

Pray for those who feel that they are neither stubborn nor prideful, for no one is perfect and all can fall into the trap set by the enemy.

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:18 (NIV))

Don’t let your heart be hardened by stubbornness and pride.

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