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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Keep your eyes on Jesus and do not swerve!

February 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
(Proverbs 4:23-27 (NIV))

Do not swerve to the right or the left!

What happens when we swerve? We miss the gate!

“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))

Think of that from a physical perspective. What happens when you get behind the wheel of a car? You have a destination in mind and you have a plan for getting to that destination. Now consider that, for whatever the reason may be, you are distracted and begin swerving. A small deviation can be corrected if caught in time, but left unchecked, the deviation becomes a major problem. This problem is amplified the longer it is left uncorrected. Soon, you find yourself either lost, in a wreck, in the back of an ambulance, in the back of a police car, or dead.

All of this simply because you were not able to stay on course.

You swerved!

Your spiritual walk is no different than your physical life. Things will distract you. Things will make you swerve. What happens is up to you. If you make corrections when you swerve – repent – and turn back to the correct path, you will reach your destination. If you lose focus of where you are going and allow the distractions to become your focus, then you will miss your destination.

This requires faith. It requires commitment. It requires the ability to admit that you are not perfect and need a savior.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Keep your eyes on Jesus and do not swerve!

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