Where do you want to be a citizen?

July 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 3:20 (NIV))

If you are like me, you are very upset with what is currently going on in the world. Nothing seems to be going according to what society used to consider good. In fact, it is exactly the opposite and getting worse all the time.

With that in mind, are you truly surprised that all of these things are happening? We have been told that they would. We have been given instructions on what to expect, yet, too many people are too tied to the things in this world.

We are only passing through. Our true home is with Jesus!

What happens in this world is very discouraging and sad when you consider those who are lost. We must pray for the lost and we must not focus on this world.

Think about your last vacation.

Each day you were in unfamiliar surroundings. You recognized the fact that there was both good and bad where you were. You made it a point to avoid the bad and concentrate on the good. After a few days, you probably got homesick. You start looking around and you start to realize that no matter how enticing things look, it is not home. It is not where you really want to be.

Our time in this world should be like that. The more that we look around, the more that we realize that we are not home. We long to be where we will be at peace and truly loved.

Everyone who professes a faith in Jesus should long to be with Him. If you long to stay in this world, what does that say about your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you prepared to face?

August 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
(John 15:18 (NIV))

Do you think that because you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior that everything will be smooth sailing?

Think about the words from John.

Did Jesus have it smooth during His time among us? He faced crowds that wanted to hurt Him. He was betrayed. He was falsely accused. He was severely beaten, and He was crucified.

Jesus was hated by the worldly systems and the powers of the earth.

Are we, as the modern church, ready to face this same type of hatred? Are we willing to surrender our lives and take a stand for Jesus?

We have all seen the reports of what is being perpetrated by ISIS on Christians. We have seen the threats that they are coming to this country. We have seen society turn away from Jesus and anything to do with Christianity. We have watched as the lie of separation of church and state has become the accepted thought. We have watched as our own government is abandoning Israel and embracing its enemies.

What are you prepared to face?

Will you abandon your faith in Jesus because society tells you to, or will you take a stand for Jesus and face the hatred that the enemy and the world heap upon you?

Following Jesus is not an easy task, but the rewards for being faithful are like no other. We will face the enemy. We will face death. We will face more than we can possibly imagine, but take heart. Jesus is returning for His bride. We will be embraced in the loving arms of God. Our sins are forgiven because we have placed our faith in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Serve the Lord no matter what!

February 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email deliveryBe Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How was your day?

November 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
(Romans 7:21-25 (NIV))

No one can escape this truth. Even Paul, whose desire was to live as Christ, was not exempt from the sin that we all fight each and every day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t fail to live up to what I know that I should be doing. A quick thought, a wrong word, a misguided action, all remind me that I cannot do it on my own. I cannot live the life that Jesus calls me to live, that I want to live, without His guidance, grace and forgiveness.

Unfortunately, society expects members of the Church to be perfect. They are quick to judge those who profess a faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. They hold us up to a higher standard that no one can meet without Jesus, and when we fail, they are quick to condemn, To be honest with you, it is my opinion that we should willingly hold ourselves up to this higher standard with Jesus as the example. If we did that daily, then society may not need to be so critical.

Perhaps we should be more critical of ourselves. We have the truth that if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will be forgiven. Do we take this and forget to see that we still need to be made mature and we will still need correction? Do we have the wrong idea that since we are a loved child of God, we can do no further wrong in the eyes of God?

We are loved children and not spoiled brats who can get away with anything!

We should desire as Paul desired. We should long to do what is right in the eyes of God. We should desire to be rescued from this body of death. We should desire God’s law and hate sin. We should willingly repent each and every day of the things that we know we should not do.

How was your day?

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

February 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 24:10-13 (NIV))

I have read this passage many times, and like all of God’s Word, it speaks differently each time. God’s Word is living. You can read something many times and each time, something new comes into view.

This time, what came to light is something that I honestly hope is just a translation issue. However, I honestly do not think that it is.

Did you see the word “most” in this passage?

“the love of MOST will grow cold”

This brings to mind that we, as the Body of Christ, have allowed false teachings in. We have started following human desires within the church instead of following God’s Word and Jesus. It also means that as we get closer to God’s ultimate plan for humanity, more and more will fall away. They will cling to human desires and understanding instead of relying on what we have been told in the Bible. We already see divisions and teachings that are based on social issues instead of Biblical truth.

Most!

That implies more than half of the people who profess a faith in Jesus will fall into wickedness!

As important as social issues appear to be, they are not what Jesus came into this world to address. He told us that we would always have the poor. He told us to stop sinning. He told us to love one another. Jesus did not preach social justice. He even told us that He would be the divisive factor even among families. Social justice does not bring salvation. Only a true profession of faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior will bring salvation.

Don’t misunderstand my thought process.

The church is to be the light of Jesus in the world, but we are not to let the social issues divide us. Satan uses anything and everything that he can to make a believer turn away from the truth, even something that has a good purpose.

I also want you to think about this passage with respect to another point.

There are those who believe that once you are saved you are always saved. The words of Jesus in Matthew contradict that idea.

We must stand firmly upon God’s Word and not be swayed by the lies of the enemy, no matter how good they may sound.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who holds your future?

December 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
(Luke 21:12-19 (NIV))

It doesn’t seem like we are too far away from the time that Jesus is speaking of when He says that all men will hate us because of Him. Think about that for a moment.

How many Christmas Nativity scenes have had to be altered because someone filed a lawsuit? How many court cases have there been because a student or group of students decided to pray in school? How many times have people attempted to remove God and Jesus from the history of this nation? How many times have other religions been tolerated while the name of Jesus is forbidden to be spoken?

Do you see a developing trend? Things have drastically changed since prayer was removed from the schools. Violence has increased. Divorce has increased. Drugs have increased. We have become a society that wants nothing to remind us that what we have become is wrong. The further we turn from God, the further we want to go and the more that we need to return to the One who created us.

People who profess a faith in Jesus are being persecuted and put to death all over the world. Our nation has come to the point where we no longer value the Judeo-Christian ethic. We are rapidly moving toward the time when we go beyond the court cases to remove the words “In God We Trust” from our money to the time when just the mention of Jesus will have people wanting to harm us. We must be prepared. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.

Who holds your future? Where does your future lead?

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