What does your life consist of?

July 9, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
(Matthew 6:25 (NIV))

There are many things in this physical world that can distract you in the course of your lifetime. Everyone faces times when they are worried about having enough to eat. If you have ever had children, then you can also relate to the notion of not having clothes that fit, or perhaps you have needed better clothes for a job interview. Let’s throw one in that is truly a modern issue – when your car breaks down. It is these types of distractions that Jesus was addressing. Think about this from another perspective. Jesus was telling us to not get so involved in our day to day lives that we forget to enjoy life. We should not get so overwhelmed by the things of this world that we forget to turn to the Creator of this world.

He knows what we need even before we need it!

This precious gift of life that we have is far more than the physical needs and desires that we all have. It is so much more than that. If we can focus on Jesus, then we will have all that we ever need, for what Jesus offers is eternal. We will be hungry again. We will be thirsty again. Our clothes will grow old and fall apart. Our cars will break down. We will face issues that will try to distract us, but life is not about these issues. Everyone faces trials. Everyone faces trouble. It is a matter of priorities. If we focus on Jesus and not on the things of this world, then we focus on what is truly important.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

We can overcome the worries of this world if we focus on Jesus. Our lives don’t have to consist of the worries brought about by the things of this world.

What does your life consist of?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we been singing well enough?

September 12, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.
(1 Chronicles 16:23 (NIV))

Do you ever feel like you need to praise the Lord more than you do?

Sadly, if you are like me, the weight of the world closes in on us far too often and we quickly lose site of what is truly important in this world. We feel the pressures of our jobs and many other aspects of our daily lives. As a result, we soon forget to lift up praise to the Lord for all that He has done for us. It almost sounds like I am saying to give thanks for the pressures that we face. On the contrary! The pressures do not come from the Lord. They come from the enemy and he does all that he can to heap more and more on us in order to distract us from praising the Lord. When that happens, take heart and slow down. It is said that if you focus on your problems, you fail to recognize the blessings in your life. God designed His creation to remind us of Him. God’s creation praises His majesty through the beauty of what He has created. When we are too weak to praise the Lord, we just need to focus on the backing vocals that we have at our disposal. Shift your attention from your problems and allow God’s creation to remind you of just how great that He is!

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
(Luke 19:37-40 (NIV))

The enemy knows that the Lord is to be praised. He also knows that we are created to lift up the name of the Lord, so he does all that he can to prevent this. Thankfully, God’s creation will sing His praises when we don’t. We just need to make sure that we remember to pick back up in the next stanza of our lives and sing to the Lord for He is worthy of our praise!

Have we been singing well enough?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you faithfully answered this call of duty?

July 11, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
(2 Timothy 2:4 (NIV))

I have a few things for you to consider.

As a spouse, what should be your priority? What happens if you become entangled with other relationships?

As a parent, what should be your priority? What happens if you become entangled with things that take you away from your children?

Now that I believe that we can agree on determining priorities and the consequences of ignoring what should be our priorities, I have one more question for you to consider.

As a follower of Christ, what should be your priority? What happens if you become entangled with things that distract you from Jesus?

Let’s face it. Just like a soldier should strive to please his commanding officer, we should strive to please Jesus. In both situations, we are to be obedient to the instructions that we are given. We are to focus on the mission that we have been given. Failure to do so could have dire consequences. As a soldier, failure to obey could mean the physical loss of life. As a follower of Jesus, failure to obey our one objective could mean that someone is eternally separated from God. What is our one objective?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
(Matthew 28:19 (NIV))

Are you on mission or are you entangled in things of the world? Have you faithfully answered this call of duty?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What will you reap?

May 24, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
(Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV))

Human nature is a very strange thing. We have a tendency, more often than not, to choose the things that are not good for us. I know that this ties back to the fall from grace, but it looks like that we would eventually learn at the personal level. Unfortunately, this happens far less than we care to admit. We go so far as to think that we can fool ourselves. We make the wrong choices and we try to justify the choices that we make. In essence, we choose to sow to please the flesh and try to convince ourselves that we are sowing to please the Spirit. If you don’t believe this, consider the foods that you choose to eat. If you choose to eat things that are high in sugar and fat, then your body will suffer. As a result, you will crave these foods more and your spirit will suffer the consequences. In essence, when you sow to please the flesh, you create addictions. Addictions are contrary to the Spirit. Addictions are exactly what the enemy looks for to distract you.

What do you reap when you have an addiction?

We may try to deceive ourselves, but we cannot deceive God. We may think that we can choose to change and that once or twice will not hurt us. In our fallen state, we believe the lie. We choose to believe the sin over believing the God of creation.

Take a good, long look at your life? What have you chosen to sow? It’s not too late to repent. It’s not too late to reap eternal life!

What will you reap?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your salt been trampled on?

June 15, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
(Matthew 5:13 (NIV))

What do you do with things when they get worn out and ineffective?

We live in a world where things degenerate. Do you still have the same shoes that you did two years ago? If you do, are they still in the same shape they were when you first got them? If you have worn them at all, then I can safely say that they are not in that same shape. This world has a habit of wearing things down. Even our bodies are not immune to the effects of this world.

The sad thing is that too many people allow the world to have the same impact on their faith as it does on all other things in this life. We need to be careful to not let the temptations of this world distract us. We don’t need to lose sight of the power that is in the name of Jesus! That power is enough to sustain us for all eternity, but if we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus, we lose sight of that power and then we lose that power.

Salt has many uses. Most people today only think of salt as a seasoning for food, but it has far greater capabilities. For centuries, salt was used to preserve meat and fish. It would be packed around the meat or fish and it would draw out the moisture. It would draw out the very thing that, if left, would have caused things to deteriorate. This left the meat or fish in a state where it would provide life giving nourishment to those who would eat it. If we are the salt of the earth, it is our job to draw out the very thing that brings death to the world. It is our job to fill the world with the Gospel. If we lose sight of what we are called to do, then we are not fulfilling our purpose.

Don’t let your faith be trampled on so much that you lose sight of God’s purpose for you!

Has you salt been trampled on?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is our refuge. He is our stronghold!

February 24, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word oppressed?

Many of us think of someone being treated cruelly or unfairly. But did you know that it also means to burden spiritually or mentally? In simpler terms, it means to weigh heavily on your mind or spirit.

Let’s face the truth. As sinful humanity, there is always something that causes us to feel oppressed. Think about that for a moment and then think about the things in life that we all experience. Things like family issues, money problems, car repairs, home repairs, health related issues, and many other things that have a habit of keeping our minds in despair and away from God.

These are the very things that the enemy uses to trouble us. They are the very things that the enemy uses to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the relationship with God that both we and God want. The enemy knows that we are frail and will become distracted by the troubles of this life, and he uses it all too often.

Sadly, too many of us seem to turn to the troubles when it looks like we will escape them.

Stay strong!

Stay focused on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Why should we feel oppressed? Why should we feel trapped by and in our troubles? Why should we feel forsaken when we have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior?

Jesus is our refuge, He is our stronghold!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you tormented for your faith?

September 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
(Acts 16:16-18 (NIV))

Are you troubled by a nagging “spirit” that will not leave you alone? One that torments you day and night?

Paul was tormented by a slave girl who was possessed. The demon would not leave her alone, and, consequently, would not leave Paul alone. He recognized the work that God was using Paul to complete and he tried everything that he could to divert and distract Paul so that God’s purpose would not be completed.

We all face similar circumstances in our lives. There is something that will simply not leave us alone. Something that, if we let it, will distract us from God. Do not let anything distract you from earnestly seeking God! Do not let greed, ego, ambition, lust, power, envy, or anything else that the world has to offer stand between you and God. Paul continually walked away from this girl, but she followed him. Is sin following you like this slave girl followed Paul, tormenting you every step of the way?

Take a lesson from what Paul did. He called upon the name of Jesus to rebuke the tormentor. Paul’s faith was strong enough to rely on the name of Jesus to do what was promised!

Is yours?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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