Do you firmly believe this to be true?

July 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemy but have set me in a safe place.
(Psalms 31:7-8 (NLT))

Do you firmly believe this to be true?

The last few weeks have been very strange in this world. To be honest with you, the last twenty-four hours have been very strange.

Hundred, if not thousands, of missiles fired into Israel, The border situation in the south. The second Malaysian aircraft to be in the international news, and this one apparently shot out of the sky. Israel under attack from four sides. Israel retaliating against Hamas for all of the missiles.

I could probably go on for a very long time. I am sure that you can probably add to my list of occurrences that are going on in the world right now. In fact, there is so much going on in the world, that if you focus on the events as they unfold and realize what is happening and what could happen as a result, it is very scary. It can very easily cause anguish if you let it.

We, as the Body of Christ, do not need to be afraid. We do not need to be so engrossed in the events of the world that we lose site of the fact that we have been told such events would happen. We have been told to not fear the world, but to put our faith and trust in Jesus and He will deliver us from the world.

I have often wondered how people who do not know Jesus make it through life with all of the anguish that the world throws at us. Without Jesus, all that people can do is place their hope in people, and we all know that this hope is falsely placed. Can a father or a mother save you from sin? Can a brother or a sister offer grace and mercy? Can a spouse love you unconditionally at all times?

What do you do when the world and it’s problems start to cause anguish? Do you let them get to you or do you turn to Jesus?

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

December 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14 (NIV))

What an honor it must have been to be the first to hear the good news! The shepherds must have been terrified by the presence of the angels, after all, angels were not, and are still not an every day occurance.

Luckily for us, God’s plan does not discriminate against us for not being there. In fact, it is probably with mixed blessings that we are embraced as part of God’s Kingdom. We do not have the first hand experience of having seen the angels, the star, or Jesus’ life. Sometimes, I wonder if I would have believed if I lived at the time of Jesus!

On the other hand, we have the faith of millions of people who have gone before us. We have the New Testament, the hundreds of years of prophesy study that proves Jesus is King of kings, the Messiah. It may be easier for someone today to come to faith than it was in Jesus’ day. Yet, through all of this “historical proof”, I sometimes feel empty. I think it is the desire of every believer to be able to go back in time and be a witness to the miracles and hear the teachings of Jesus first-hand.

Today, we celebrated the birth of Jesus and look back in awe to the miracles. At the same time, we should look around us in awe of what God is doing today and look to the not-to-distant future and know what God is going to do. Today we celebrate the First Coming. Some tomorrow we will celebrate the Second Coming.

Merry Christmas

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to take the name Israel?

June 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is what the LORD says–
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

One will say, `I belong to the LORD’;
another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
still another will write on his hand, `The LORD’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
(Isaiah 44:2-5 (NIV))

Even then, God foretold of His great gift to the whole world. The Gentiles are not biological descendants of Israel, yet, Isaiah spoke of the day when Israel’s descendants would be like grass, and people would “take the name of Israel.”

God did indeed pour out water “on the thirsty land.” The land is our barren souls before salvation. God gave us Living Water to quench the thirst that cannot be quenched by this world. Those who accept this Living Water are a part of Israel. They are descendants of Jacob and Israel and are “grafted” into God’s promise. Those that have been grafted into Israel have willfully taken the name of Israel as their own. It is a choice that has changed their lives. For it is through the nation of Israel that God has blessed the nations. And the blessing is the most spectacular blessing that can ever be bestowed upon anyone. Grace and mercy are yours through the gift of Jesus Christ.

Are you a part of Israel?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Kneel down and look up!

March 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
(2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV))

How often do we forget that the battle is God’s? If you are like me, it is probably all too often for your own tastes.

We all face our own “vast armies” on a daily basis that seem to distract us and keep our focus off of God. It is when we loose our focus on God that these distractions can overwhelm us just as the vast army discouraged King Jehoshaphat and all of the people who lived under his authority.

Our “vast armies” are many and range from extremely personal to vastly public. Society has made some shifts that I am sure are causing Satan to celebrate. Don’t let these discourage you. We are in a battle between the army of God and the army of Satan. It may appear that Satan is getting the upper hand, but take heart, read God’s Word. He wins!!!

We tend to forget that God does win, especially when we are right in the middle of the battlefield. It is hard to see the glorious victory when all around you is chaos. It is important to stay firmly grounded in God’s Word so that we will have the faith to take the words of 2 Chronicles 20:15 to heart, for the battle is truly not ours to fight. It is God’s!

Are you discouraged?

Kneel down and look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must not be afraid!

February 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Matthew 10:27-28 (NIV))

Have we, as today’s church, forgotten the words that Jesus told us? Do we simply wish to hide ourselves away cowering in the darkness because we are afraid to share the light?

If we claim to have the light of Jesus, yet, we do not share that light, do we truly have it? If we know that we are bought by the blood of Jesus, we will proclaim it for all who will hear it. We should not be ashamed of what we have be given. We should not be ashamed that we are wise enough to realize that we need salvation.

Professing a faith in Jesus is not a weakness contrary to what our society may think. Professing a faith in Jesus requires a courage and a strength to step out of the crowd and proclaim that we do not like the way the world is. We are proclaiming that we long for a world that is free from sin. We long for a life that is filled with God’s purpose. In a world that looks down upon anyone who does not think of themselves as the ultimate authority in their own life, we must stand firm in the faith and not be afraid to share the Gospel that we know to be true.

We must not be afraid.

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

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