Are these words fixed in your heart and mind?

March 21, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
(Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV))

Jesus has risen and we should be rejoicing with all of our being. We should be praising God for His greatness. We should be lifting up Jesus for His sacrifice. We should be embracing the Holy Spirit so that He can guide us in all that we do. We should be studying God’s Word so that we may be able to discern what is righteous and what is not. Accepting God’s grace and mercy is only the beginning. We must study so that we may know what God is calling us to do.

Do you remember when you first took an avid interest in your favorite hobby? Chances are you immersed yourself into anything and everything that you could find about your interest. For some of you, it may be a sport such as golf. For others, it may be reading. For others, it may be kayaking. No matter what you interest is, you spent a considerable amount of time learning as much as you could for it became an integral part of who you are. It filled an emptiness. It gave you excitement. It gave you peace.

Now comes the painful moment of truth.

When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, did you have the same hunger for knowledge about Him and God’s Word as you did for your favorite hobby? Did you hunger for His words? Did you long to learn as much as you could about the saving grace that you accepted as your own? Did you allow it to become an integral part of you? Did you allow it to fill the biggest emptiness in your life? Did it give you excitement? Did it give you peace?

Accepting Jesus as your savior is more than simply lip service. He also wants to be Lord of your life. This is not a subservient or demeaning attitude to take. It shows a desire to fully embrace God’s grace and mercy.

Are these words fixed in your heart and mind?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been made a part of the family?

April 3, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
(Hebrews 2:11 (NIV))

Did you fully grasp the meaning behind these words in this passage?

It is commonly stated that those who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are part of the family of God, but has this concept truly taken hold of your life? It is human nature to say things so much that we soon begin to miss the true meaning of the words and the concepts because we begin to take things for granted. Sadly, it is human nature to become so familiar with something, that the excitement starts to fade!

For those of you who are married, I wish to present an example of what I am talking about. When you first said the words “I love you” to your spouse, there was a very strong emotion that was tied to those words. As the years progressed, you may say the same words, but there is a familiarity that is there. The meaning behind the words has slightly shifted in the relationship. The relationship is strong, but the words no longer convey the same strong emotion. Does your heart still race at the sound of their voice? Do you long for the times that you will be together? Or, do you simply sit on the couch and quietly enjoy each other’s company? Are you comfortable in your relationship? Are you confident of your standing in that relationship?

When you fist accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, how was your excitement level? How is it now? Are you still overwhelmed to be called a child of God, or have you grown so accustom to that concept that you don’t get excited about it anymore? Do you fidget and stammer for words when you pray or is there a comfort zone that has developed, just like there is a comfort zone in a healthy earthly family? Do you feel that you can know the Lord so well that He does truly feel like a brother?

Have you been made a part of the family?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Good things come to those who wait!

April 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
(James 5:7-8 (NIV))

Do you have patience?

It is human nature to want things to happen quickly, but would it really change how we see things, how we respond to things, if we did not have to learn to wait? Would we be any different than a two year old who throws a tempter tantrum to get what they want? We may not throw a literal temper tantrum, but we think that everything that we want should come to us immediately.

Patience is an important spiritual trait to have.

Look back on your life and think about something that you just couldn’t wait to get or to have happen. If and when it did come to fruition, you probably were more receptive to it and more appreciative of it because you had to wait.

Think about when you were a child. The excitement of Christmas morning. Can you honestly say that you remember everything that you ever received as a gift? I bet, though, that you can name at least one thing that you wanted for a long time and when you finally received it, you were beyond happy.

We, as the Body of Christ, all long to see Jesus come for His bride, His church. When He does come, we will have learned the value of the gift that He brings with Him. We will appreciate His return so much more because we had to keep our eyes focused on Him. We had to endure things as part of waiting, things that those who don’t love Jesus did not have to endure.

There is an old saying that good thing are worth waiting for. What better than to see Jesus return to gather us to Him? For that, I will be patient. I will endure the sin of the world and the ridicule of the world, for I know that what awaits me is far better than anything that awaits me here.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Easter is the fulfillment of the promise!

April 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
(Luke 24:13-35 (NIV))

How quickly do we put the glory of the resurrection behind us? How quickly do we forget what Jesus went through and what it brought us?

It was pointed out to me Sunday morning that even though Easter is a single day, the grace and mercy that it bought us is something to keep in our hearts and minds every day. We should be filled with the excitement and exuberance every day just like the two men who were on the road to Emmaus.

We tend to think that it would be nice if every day were like Christmas. To be honest with you, this is a very nice idea when you consider that people pray for peace on earth and good will towards men. However, this is the birth of the promise.

Easter is the fulfillment of the promise!

We, as the Body of Christ, need to embrace the birth of the promise, because without the birth, it is impossible to have the fulfillment. However, it is the fulfillment of the promise that brings us salvation, grace and mercy.

Think about that.

I am not saying that this is an example of how God works, but consider if someone promises to do something for you, does it carry any strength and merit until it is fulfilled?

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))

God fulfills His promises!

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you living?

January 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.
(Colossians 2:6 (NIV))

Have you stopped and actually thought about these words? On the surface, they seem straightforward and almost too plain. Take another look.

When you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, how was your attitude? Were you sad? Were you humiliated? Were you full of self pity? I would venture to say that you were probably excited. You were probably ready to shout from the highest mountain. You were probably ready to tell the whole world about Jesus. In other words, you were excited and eager to live your life with Jesus.

How do you live your life today? Do you have the same enthusiasm that you once had? Do you have the same eagerness and excitement that you once had? Or, has the newness worn off? Do you find yourself sitting at church and your mind wanders to things that it should not wander to? Do you find yourself occasionally doing things at work that you know you shouldn’t do? Are you losing your excitement? Are you losing the newness of the relationship that you once had with Jesus?

We are instructed to continue to live in Jesus. We must not revert back to the way we were before we accepted Jesus. We must not pick up new sins with the attitude that we are forgiven. Accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior means that we desire to leave our sinful nature behind and become more like Jesus. Jesus gave us a gift beyond price. When we accepted it, we had joy, we had peace, and we had excitement. We lived those emotions. Now, we must continue to live as if it were the first day of our salvation. We must live it with joy, peace and excitement.

How are you living?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Think about the joy!

December 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Luke 11:13 (NIV))

It is that time of year when we celebrate the greatest gift of all. We celebrate by giving gifts to each other and to our children. Too often, we could even be accused of spoiling our children because of giving too much to them.

Think about the words in Luke. We love to give our children all that their hearts desire because we love to see the glow in their eyes and excitement in their lives. We give our children gifts that will soon be forgotten and set aside, yet they bring so much joy when they are given. We give gifts that are temporary for joy that is temporary.

Now, consider the joy that we receive when we accept the true gift of Christmas. That gift is eternal and the joy is eternal. That is the greatest gift of all.

Why is it that more people do not accept this gift?

Some are too proud. Others are too self centered. I would even venture to say that there are some who have had earthly fathers who never gave them a gift that brought them joy. They can’t imagine anyone giving them something that would bring them joy, so they refuse to believe.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus with our families, think about the joy that your gifts bring and then think about the greatest joy that God’s gift of grace and mercy can bring.

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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