Are you enduring and watching?

September 9, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 3:10 (NIV))

Enduring patiently!

In today’s world, those two words seem like an oxymoron. The whole world has endured some very strange things over the last several years. I have lost track of the number of times that I have heard people say that they wish things would return to the way that they used to be, and SOON! For those who wish this to happen, I honestly believe that what we used to know as normal will never return. What we now know is only the beginning, and what is before us is something that we, as believers in Jesus, do not want to see.

I have one very important question for you.

Are you longing to be in the presence of the Lord?

We know that He promised to prepare a place for us and that He will return. We know that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be saved from the test that the inhabitants of this earth will face. There is some disagreement on timing, but we know that the Lord will snatch away those who believe in Him so that they do not face the test. That does not simply mean that we go about our lives as if blind to the events in this world, especially when they align with what we have been told in God’s Word. We are to pay attention. We are to watch and be aware. Things are transpiring in what many are saying is a convergence of prophetic events all leading to either being in the presence of the Lord or being left on this world without the Holy Spirit to hold back the enemy.

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Luke 21:36 (NIV))

I find it disheartening that most pastors in the denominational churches are not saying anything about world events. They are not teaching on God’s plans that appear to be unfolding right before our eyes. They are not telling people to watch for the Lord! At best, many are simply doing verse by verse teachings about how to live in this world. Don’t get me wrong. We need to know that, but we also need to know what God has planned. We know what He saw when He looked at the earth’s corruption in Genesis.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
(Genesis 6:12 (NIV))

What does He see when He looks at the earth today?

Are people calling good evil and evil good? Are there wars and rumors of wars? Are there drastic weather issues all around the world? Are there higher prices and shortages? Are there people who openly blaspheme God? Is our corruption equal to or greater than in the days of Noah?

With all of these things, and much, much more, what do you think that God sees when He looks at the earth today?

I don’t profess to know what will happen next. All that I do know, as someone who professes a faith in Jesus, is that I have an assignment to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus. I also know that I have a responsibility to keep watch and recognize the signs. I have a responsibility to alert others to what I see. I also know that I may be wrong, but it is better to watch and warn and things not happen than to watch and not warn and things do happen.

We don’t know God’s exact timing, but we must be diligent. We must endure and we must watch in anticipation of meeting Jesus!

Are you enduring and watching?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give me patience to wait for Your timing!

August 25, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Rise up, Judge of the earth;
     pay back to the proud what they deserve.
(Psalms 94:2 (NIV))

Do you have patience?

When this was written, the psalmist was longing for the Lord to deal with the sin in this world. Today, many of us are longing for the same thing. The only difference is that of historical reference and perspective. When this was written, it was long before the birth of the promised Messiah. Today, we are two thousand years after the life of Jesus, and we now have insight into how God’s plans will come to completion. We have the complete picture of the Law and the Prophets. We have the complete picture of the immaculate conception, the virgin birth and His life of miracles. We have the documentation of the Gospels and how He was crucified, dead and buried, and on the third day He arose. We have the witnesses who recorded His ascension and we have the faithful witness of those who spread the Gospel to the Gentiles. We even have the prophetic glimpses into the future where He returns to finalize God’s plans for the enemy as well as for those who call evil good and good evil. We just don’t know the hour or the day!

God’s timing is perfect. It is we who are seeing things from a very limited vantage point. We cannot see the beginning nor can we see the end.

Our days may come to seventy years,
     or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
     for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
(Psalms 90:10 (NIV))

We don’t have God’s perspective.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
(2 Peter 3:8 (NIV))

Patience is a virtue, but it is something that everyone who is human is drastically short of possessing. We want things to happen according to our timeline. We see the world only through the limited scope of our existence and the limited geography that we inhabit. God sees it all. He knows it all. He knows exactly what He is doing and exactly when it will come to pass. With this in mind, I have but one prayer. I hope that it is your prayer as well.

Give me patience to wait for Your timing!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

July 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

Most of the time that you see any reference to this passage, it is only the following words – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Most people read these words and interpret them to mean that we are to slow down and spend time with God. They take these words to mean that by doing so, we will come to a better understanding of who God is, and who we are in His creation. This is true. In fact, most of the time that I reference this passage, it is also the same select words with this very understanding and meaning. I have used these words from this passage as my calling to slow down and spend time with the Lord. As a result of my time being still with God, I have learned much about who He is and I am still learning. In fact, I read this passage again today and a different understanding was given to me that draws heavily on the current situations, the current events transpiring in this world in which we live.

With all the chaos that is going on in this world, He is telling us to be still. We do not need to panic. We do not need to fear. He is God and He is in control. He is allowing the enemy to set the stage in such a way that when God’s timing is perfect, He will be exalted in such a way that all the nations will see Him. He will be exalted in such a way that the whole earth will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
     and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
     to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV))

I encourage you to expand you understanding of Psalm 46:10 beyond the few words that most of us can recite from memory. We must take comfort not only in the words that tell us to slow down and spend time with the Lord, for we are given a powerful promise in the rest of the passage that tells us that the Lord our God will prevail. He will be exalted!

When the chaos seems to be so overwhelming, we must be still. When the evil attacks from the enemy seem to come at a greater frequency, we must be still. When the world calls evil good and good evil, we must be still. We are to be still and place our faith wholly and firmly on the promises that we have been given through Jesus! When the chaos is overwhelming from a human perspective, we must remember that we have been given instructions on what to do. We have been given a promise of what will soon transpire.

No matter what the world may send our way, we must continue to sit at the feet of Jesus!

Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Only God’s Word is eternal!

July 7, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
(Matthew 24:35 (NIV))

We have this idea that our surroundings are a permanent fixture that we simply pass through for a few years, but are they truly permanent? From our limited perspective, they may appear that way for they were here when we were born, and unless Jesus returns soon, they will be here when we leave this world.

But, we have a very limited perspective!

Our days may come to seventy years,
     or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
     for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
(Psalm 90:10 (NIV))

God’s creation is much older than our limited life span, yet, His creation was made for us. If the fall from grace had not happened, we can only imagine what our world would be like today. Unfortunately, the fall from grace did happen and we are now living in a sinful, fallen world that we are promised will be made new when the Lord returns and makes His dwelling place among His creation.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
(Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV))

In essence, Matthew hinted at what we were given in detail in Revelation. Our God will make things new again and those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will see His promises fulfilled.

Only God’s Word is eternal!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

June 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
     and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
(Revelation 18:23c (NIV))

The original passage was written in Greek, and the word that has been translated as sorcery in most of the English translations is the word “pharmakeia.” Pharmakeia means the use of medicine, drugs or spells. In essence, it is drug-related or drug-enhanced sorcery. What caught my attention is that all nations are to be deceived by this practice. In other words, could this be a worldwide deception based on pharmaceutical drugs?

Is that possible?

Can the whole world be deceived in such a manner?

I don’t know what your thoughts are on the recent global pandemic, but at present, it appears that the whole world is in unison when it comes to the recommended treatments for the pandemic. If we measured this response using a tachometer, we went from zero to red lined in a matter of a little over a year. Are the nations being deceived by the pharmakeia? Are the nations being deceived by the great merchants of the earth? To be honest with you, only time will tell, but I do not believe that we have much time left to be deceived. You will either place your faith in the things of this world or you will place your faith in Jesus. If you place your faith in the things of this world, you will face a seven year period of time that has many names, but it all comes down to the fact that those who reject Jesus will be the ones who face this period of time.

You may disagree with the concept of the rapture, but I have a few questions for you. Why is there no mention of the church after a certain time in Revelation? Why is this period of history referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble, especially when you understand that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel? Many people try to say that the church has replaced Israel. We are not Israel. No matter how you look at it, most of the people who profess a faith in Jesus today would be considered Gentiles. Many people try to say that the church has been grafted into Israel. If you look at the history of Israel, you see rebellion against God after rebellion against God. Why would God graft those who made a conscious decision to love and follow Jesus into a lineage of people who have constantly rebelled against Him?

I am only making speculations based on what I have studied for the last twenty plus years, and I admit that I may be wrong. No one alive today knows God’s plans with enough accuracy to say exactly what will happen and when it will happen. All that we have are signs. All that anyone can do is study God’s Word and watch as things unfold. Will we be one hundred percent accurate in our understanding? We are only human, so the answer to that question is a “No!”

One thing that I can say with complete certainty is that there has never been a better time to repent and follow Jesus!

Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

June 20, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

Do you treat Jesus as if He has all authority in heaven and on earth, or do you treat Him as your personal servant – a servant who bows to your authority?

Sadly enough, too many people treat Jesus as their personal servant. They treat Him as if His only reason for existence was to take care of their every whim and desire. They have no understanding of who Jesus truly is and, therefore, they have no desire to do what He asks of us. They simply expect Him to do what they ask of Him. They will not relinquish the authority.

Who has authority in your life?

Do you follow Jesus or do you expect Him to follow you?

Do you tell others about Jesus and what He has done in your life, or do you tell others about “your” accomplishments and never mention Jesus?

Do others see Jesus in you, or do they express astonishment when someone tells them that you are a Christian?

Do you make disciples for Jesus or do you have to be reminded that you are a disciple?

Do you follow His teachings, or do you only acknowledge them for an hour on Sunday?

I know that these are tough questions, but they are questions that we must constantly ask ourselves. It is so easy to begin to believe that we are the ones in charge of our lives.

We have no authority.

Can we, by our own doing, extend the number of our days? Can we create life out of nothing? Can we stop the sun from rising or the winds from blowing?

If we are to truly fulfill the task that Jesus gave us in this passage, we must recognize that He is in authority and not us. He is not ours. We are His. I know that I have failed many times, but it is my desire to place Jesus in authority. I do not want to stand before Him and hear Him say that he does not know me.

Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is your greatest treasure?

May 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal
(Matthew 6:19 (ESV))

What type of person do you think of when you think of someone who lays up treasure for themselves?

Most people think of someone who is greedy, miserly and selfish. Does that fit your mental image of someone who lays up treasure for themselves? Do you know anyone like this? Is it a joy to be around them?

Is it possible for someone to do this and still profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

Everything that we think of when we think of someone who seeks treasure goes against what we know to be our calling as followers of Jesus. This type of treasure is worldly. This type of treasure is fleeting. This type of treasure leads to conceit and envy. I think that I can safely say that it does not lead to love and kindness.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV))

As I see more and more things unfolding in this world, we must not focus on the world! We must not focus on the treasure that is fleeting. We must focus on the one true treasure that is eternal. We must focus on the greatest treasure that has ever existed or will ever exist. We must focus on Jesus, for He is our greatest treasure. Ironically, what we treasure is not to be hoarded. It is to be shared.

Do you like to share your greatest treasure?

Do you lay up treasures for yourself on earth?

What is your greatest treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Oh, what a day that will be!

March 25, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

What are your thoughts on this passage?

In all honesty, how you view the day that this speaks of depends completely on how you view Jesus. Zechariah speaks of those who will fight against the Lord at His return. It also speaks of those who will flee from the Lord at His return. If you have truly accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then this day will be one of great rejoicing, for the Lord will establish His authority, His kingship, over all of the earth.

Do you long for this day or do you fear this day? Do you eagerly watch and wait for His return or do you go about your life as if His return to deliver justice is only a fairy tale? Do you believe in heaven or do you simply hope that there is no hell? Do you believe that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the only way to salvation, or do you think that all of this is simply the ravings of people who are uneducated?

There are many things that are unfolding in this world that bear a striking similarity to events foretold in God’s Word. If you met someone who had a perfect track record when it came to telling events years before they happened, you would probably believe their every word. Why do so many fail to believe when that timeframe is extended to hundreds of years. Think about all of the prophecies in God’s Word that have come true. All of them, so far, have been one hundred percent accurate. The chances of all of these occurring by coincidence are staggeringly astronomical, yet they all happened just as foretold. The only ones in question are those that have not been fulfilled as of yet.

Are you looking for the fulfillment of the ones that have not been fulfilled yet?

We should be, for they are the ones that appear to be the beginnings of the birth pains that we have been told of. Are you ready for the birth pains? Are you ready to be on the right side when the Lord returns? It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior!

Are you truly ready to make this proclamation? “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

Oh, what a day that will be!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We don’t have to sweat the details!

March 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are my ways higher than your ways
      and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Are you confused and stressed out about the events in the world? As the Body of Christ, we know that we should have peace, but at the same time, I am sure that many of us are wondering exactly what is going on. We may not understand it in detail, but rest assured that everything is unfolding just as God desires. It is according to His plan!

We have been given the proverbial highlight reel of His plan so that we would know that He is in control!

We don’t have to sweat the details!

All that we have to do is trust in the Lord and rely on His thoughts and not our thoughts. We are to rely on His ways and not our ways. We are to be in this world but not of it. We are simply passing through as we rely on the Lord for His peace that passes all understanding.

I met a man in the parking lot of a local grocery store tonight. His comments about the price increases and the shortages seemed to consume him. He was worried about the next three years and what we would be facing. I actually had trouble getting in a word, but I did my best to assure him that God is in control. To be honest with you, I am not sure he heard me since he was so consumed by his worry. Sitting here tonight as I write this, I realize that this man represents those in the world who are only looking at the physical. They, like he, see no hope in our current situation. They feel completely helpless, hopeless and lost!

As a believer, do you currently feel helpless, hopeless and lost? Your answer reflects your relationship with the Lord. Do you need to take this time to repent and rely on His grace and mercy? Are you ready for whatever His plan unfolds because you fully trust in the Lord?

I am saddened by the things that I see, for they mean that those who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior do not share in the hope that we have. I am saddened for these individuals because they are on the brink of eternal separation from God. I pray that their eyes would be opened to His grace and mercy. At the same time, I am amazed and I am at peace. I am amazed that I get to live in such a time as this. I am also at peace for I know that my Savior lives!

Have you ever stopped to thank God for His thoughts and His ways? Have you ever stopped to thank Him for loving you enough to send Jesus? He has every single detail of His plan unfolding just as He is orchestrating it. He is in complete control.

We don’t have to sweat the details!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you still salty?

October 28, 2021

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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))

No one wants to be discarded, to be thrown out. It is human nature to walk away from something if we think we are going to be let go, terminated or thrown out. Chalk it up to pride, but we do this because we want to convince ourselves that it was our idea to leave or change directions. We are not willing to admit that we have failed and that we are no longer good at something. We try to turn the tables so that it looks like we still have the upper hand.

Do you know anyone who has ever done this?

Are you that person?

No one is perfect in this fallen world. There will be times that we all face circumstances just like the ones described above, but there is one endeavor that we do not want to be discarded from, let go from or thrown out from. We do not want to lose our zeal for the mission that we have been given.

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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

We are to go and make disciples. We are to reflect the light of Jesus to a dark and sinful world. We are to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. We are to share God’s plan for having an abundant life both here on this earth as well as in eternity. We are to add the “salt” that adds flavor, that adds hope to a world that has lost all hope. If we, as members of the Body of Christ, lose that hope, then what good can we do? We can’t share what we no longer have. We will have become just like the darkened world that has lost all hope.

The phrase, “Once saved, always saved,” comes to mind in relation to people losing their saltiness. If we can lose our saltiness, our hope, our faith, and be thrown out and trampled underfoot, then what does that mean in relation to salvation? Suffice it to say that this is a topic for many more words and discussions than what can be easily conveyed here. It is something that everyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior must stop and take a serious look at with respect to their life, their faith, their hope, and, of course, their saltiness.

Are you still salty?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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