Have you forgotten how to follow this command?

January 24, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
(John 13:34 (NIV))

Let’s take a look at how Jesus loved when He walked this earth so that we can better understand how we are to love each other.

Jesus called people to repent, to turn from their selfish, sinful natures. He did this out of compassion for those caught in sin and the consequences of sin. He did not antagonize or mock sinners. He called to them out of a true love, a true desire to see them come to a saving knowledge of Him. He loved people because that is why He came!

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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

It is true that Jesus did get angry, but His anger was only manifested when God’s Temple was defiled or the religious leaders were making a mockery out of what God had intended. His anger was never focused on those whom He came to save. In fact, even in His anger, I think that it is safe to say that, just as a father’s heart breaks when his children misbehave, His heart broke for those who were doing the things that caused His anger.

Even in our darkest moments, He loves us!

Can we say that of each other? Can we love each other as Jesus loves us? Loving each other is part of loving God! It is part of our calling!

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
(1 John 4:20 (NIV))

Jesus has commanded that we love one another.

Have you forgotten how to follow this command?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it in our life that you place before God?

November 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“You shall have no other gods before me.
(Exodus 20:3 (NIV))

We know that this is the first Commandment that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, and ever since then the Judeo-Christian ethic has placed its foundation on the complete Ten Commandments.

We know that in the End Times there will be a false religion that will control the whole world. We also know that Satan loves to counterfeit whatever God has done. The most recent counterfeit, and possibly the biggest counterfeit to date, just occurred also on Mount Sinai. Religious leaders met and went to Mount Sinai to unveil 10 new commandments about the rapidly growing religion of climate change and worship of the earth.

They are worshiping the creation instead of the Creator!

Do we have our one world religion that we have been told about in God’s Word?

Is this how the enemy has convinced all religions to come together? Have these people been duped into worshipping the planet?

I honestly cannot understand how this can happen, yet, I know full well that God foretold that it would happen. I also know that it is happening right in front of our eyes!

It is time to take a serious look into what you have placed as your god, and repent immediately. It is time to accept the gift of grace freely given on the cross through the atoning blood of Jesus. It is time to make sure that the God of the Bible is the only One that is being worshipped.

I firmly believe that, with all that I am seeing, time is short. Now is the time to repent and profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior!

What is it in our life that you place before God?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Lord, give me wisdom to know what You want me to know!

November 10, 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))

Some of you will realize that I have referenced this passage each of the last two days. I was given something this morning about this passage that I feel I need to share.

Have you ever heard the old story of a group of blind men trying to experience an elephant?

They all gather around an elephant and feel what they are in front of. One feels a tusk and replies that the elephant is like a spear. One feels a leg and proclaims that an elephant is a mighty tree. One feels the tail and proclaims that an elephant is like a strong rope. One feels the trunk and comes to the conclusion that it is like a huge snake. Another feels an ear and believes that the elephant is like a giant fan. Still one more feels it’s side and proclaims that an elephant is like a giant wall.

In their limited understanding, they are not wrong. They just don’t see the whole picture! In fact, they argue amongst themselves because they all believe that they are right.

Does this sound familiar?

Are we the proverbial blind men trying to understand God and His plans?

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

In this case, I love the way that the King James Version translates this passage.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, you see and understand more than someone who doesn’t. This insight still doesn’t give us a complete picture of what God is up to. All that we can know is the part that we have been given. If we are given one part, we should not argue with someone who claims to have been given another part, for what they have been given may be intended to round out what you have been given. None of us has a complete understanding of God and His plans. In fact, I truly believe that we, as sinful fallen humanity, are not capable of comprehending the vastness of all that He is. With that in mind, it only makes sense that God would only give each of us glimpses into His thoughts and His ways because He knows that we cannot comprehend the fullness that is our God.

Until we can fully understand, I wholeheartedly cling to the words that a friend once told me. She prayed to be able to know what God wants her to know when He wants her to know it, and to trust in Him even when He doesn’t tell her anything. Is this your prayer?

Lord, give me wisdom to know what You want me to know!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What did Jesus teach?

October 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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))

When Jesus walked the earth, did He spend His time forming social justice rallies? Did He spend His time plotting the overthrow of the Romans? Did He spend His time organizing food pantries? Did He spend His time organizing environmental cleanups?

No!

He spent His time doing something far more important! In His own words, He told us exactly why He came and what He was doing.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
(Luke 19:10 (NIV))

He was fulfilling the task set before Him by His Father.

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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

He was calling people to repent and to believe in Him. He was offering redemption and mercy that allows people to have eternal life. We are told to go and make disciples of all nations. Are we doing that? Are we reaching out to the lost with the love of Jesus and offering them the greatest gift of all?

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Are we doing what Jesus did? Are we seeking the lost? Have we become too afraid of the consequences of sharing the Gospel? Think about that question in relation to what Jesus told us.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 10:21-22 (NIV))

Have we, the modern church, watered down the teachings of Jesus to the point where we no longer know what He taught?

With this in mind, I have but one more question to ask.

What did Jesus teach?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are we too busy to be still and listen?

October 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“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))

I realize that I use this passage quite often. In fact, everything that I do has a basis in the first part of this passage, for we must learn to be still in His presence in order to subdue our sinful nature and place ourselves completely at His feet and in His will.

How are you at being still in His presence?

I realize that is what is often referred to as a loaded question, but it is a question that we all must learn to truthfully answer. We must then learn to take steps to humble ourselves and submit to His authority. Better yet, we must learn to submit to His great love!

Have you ever given any thought as to why we are told to be still, to listen for that still, small voice, and to be still and let God fight for us?

We are facing something far greater than what our limited minds can fathom. We are facing something that requires us to place our complete faith and trust in the very one who is planning it. Many people simply believe that the Bible is “basic instructions before leaving earth,” and that it provides us insight into how we are called to live out our walk of faith. That is true, but there is so much more. God’s Word is a love letter from a loving Creator to His creation outlining how He created everything, how Adam and Eve fell from grace, how humanity has tried everything to bridge that grace gap, how God devised a plan to do just that, and how He sent Jesus to seek and to save the lost.

But, if that was all that there was for us in God’s Word, it would have ended with the ascension of Jesus, after all, Jesus taught us all that we needed to know in order to live a Godly life!

We know that God’s plan of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus is something that is beyond amazing, for we were all sinners in need of a Savior. However, we overlook the parts that are still unfolding. We overlook the parts that have not happened yet. We are so engrossed in our daily lives that we miss the big picture. We live in a microcosm of our own creation. Our lives only interact with just a few hundred, perhaps even a few thousand people out of the vast numbers of individuals who are alive now, let alone those who have ever or will ever live. God is doing something far greater than our limited circle of influence. He is doing something far greater than just our nation. He is doing something that reaches out of heaven and addresses sinful humanity and the one who tricked us into falling for the lie.

When you take the time to be still and sit in His presence, what is your spirit telling you? What is the Holy Spirit telling you?

God is definitely up to something that will exalt Him among the nations. He will be exalted in the earth! Only in our humility will we truly understand. Only in our humility will we be able to know the very heart of the Father who is trying to tell us to fix our eyes upon Jesus! With all of the gadgets and distraction that our world sends our way, we must learn to turn them off and tune them out. We must learn to not spend so much time in facebook, but rather we must spend our time seeking His face!

God is trying to tell us something!

Are we too busy to be still and listen?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you look for help?

October 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV))

So many people today are so dismissive of anything coming from the Lord if they admit that the Lord exists at all.

How about you?

What is your outlook, your attitude toward the Lord?

With all that is going on in the world, do you deny God, do you blame God, or do you look to God for help?

Hopefully, you are not part of the group that denies the Lord, for denial is not an excuse for sin. For those who blame God, their arrogance and self-centeredness have condemned them. For those of us who look to the Lord, we admit our sinful nature. We understand that the world is not our home. We know that this world will never be perfect because of sin. We know that all of humanity’s attempts will end in disaster. We know beyond any doubt that there is only one hope for this world and His name is Jesus!

When the earth quakes and the waves roll, lift up your eyes!

When the rain falls and the mud slides, lift up your eyes!

When the enemy surrounds you on all sides, lift up your eyes!

The Lord is your help! Only He has the power and authority to fulfill all that He has promised.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

When it looks as if God’s promises will not be fulfilled, lift up your eyes. He never fails. He is our only source of true help, hope and love!

Where do you look for help?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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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.
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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.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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