Don’t live your life blindly following the blind!

June 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
(Luke 6:39-40 (NIV))

I often wonder if Jesus was referring to the events in human history that were yet to transpire when he spoke these words?

Think about these words with the perspective of today’s world. We either have the option of following and believing the world or we can follow Jesus. The world is lost. It is blinded by the sin that it so loves. If the wages of sin is death, then if you follow the blindness of the world, you will fall into the pit that is associated with sin. Do not cling to anyone or anything that leads you to anywhere but Jesus. Only Jesus can lead you out of the blindness of this sinful, fallen world. He is our teacher. He is our Lord and He is our Savior.

It should be with humility that we seek His face. It should be with humility that we seek to learn. It should be with humility that we face the fact that in this lifetime we will never be fully trained. In fact, even after an eternity in His presence, we will still be His creation. If we can embrace the truth that Jesus is the teacher, we will no longer desire to be blindly lead by this world.

If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, now is the time to repent.

Don’t live your life blindly following the blind!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does God see in you?

June 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Pride goes before destruction,
     a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:18 (NIV))

We have seen a lot about pride in recent years, and it seems to be on the increase in just the last few years. Add to this a haughty spirit and we should be expecting something that will bring the unbelieving world to it’s knees.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word “haughty”? You may be in for an awakening once you realize the depth of the meaning of the word. According to Merriam-Webster, haughty is being blatantly and disdainfully proud : having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior.

Does this sound anything like our society and our world today? We see the “in your face” attitudes and utter contempt and hatred for anything or anyone related to Jesus.

Basically, if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you are looked upon as inferior and you are looked upon with contempt. The prideful spirit of this world looks upon anything that is contrary to what they desire as inferior. What they desire is sin and if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, what you desire is completely contrary to what the world desires.

I find it interesting that we know that the ways of this world are always completely opposite of what God desires. We are told to humble ourselves. The world says to be proud of who you are. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. The world tells us to hate those who are different from us, to hate those who don’t believe as we do. We are told to see others first and ourselves last. The world tells us to go for it because we deserve it.

Sadly, I believe that the non believing, sinful world has become exceedingly prideful and haughty to the point that we are seeing what was written of in 2 Timothy.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

It is God’s desire that we are blatantly humble and righteous in His eyes.

What does God see in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you placed your faith in what endures forever?

February 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
(Isaiah 40:8 (NIV))

If you have spent many years in this world, you understand that seasons change and with the changing seasons, what we took for granted in the spring and summer slowly starts to fade in the fall. and is completely gone by winter. The green grass that we used as a carpet for our springtime and summer activities soon turns brown. The beauty of the flowers fades as the last petal falls leaving only a stem that will also soon wither and die. Each day that we look in the mirror finds us growing older and soon, the face that we see starring back at us is so much different from the face that we remember from our youth.

It is often said that time is a cruel mistress. It takes the things that are beautiful and turns them to something we don’t recognize. It takes the things that we love and makes them old and run down.

Nothing in this physical world endures! Even the biggest structures in the world deteriorate and fall apart.

Thankfully, we have a hope that is not of this world! We have a hope that is firmly rooted in someone who is greater than the world.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
(Psalms 103:17 (NIV))

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
(Psalms 145:13 (NIV))

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6 (NIV))

Our hope is forever and everlasting. It is limitless in time and continues indefinitely. Is that something that our human minds can truly comprehend? We are finite. He is infinite. We are mortal. He is immortal. We are the creation. He is the Creator. We are destined to die. He has overcome death! We often follow lies. He is the only truth. We are sinful by nature. He is righteousness!

If there is something that endures forever, I am so thankful that it is His word, for our thoughts and actions without Him are destined to wither and die.

Have you placed your faith in what endures forever?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you standing firm in your faith in Jesus?

February 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 24:13 (NIV))

There is an old saying that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

I believe that Joshua had it right when he addressed the Israelites at Shechem. He challenged them to serve the Lord. He challenged them to stand with the Lord in all that they would do. He told them that they needed to make a choice and he told them what his choice was going to be.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Sadly, we know the history of the number of times that the Israelites did not stand with the Lord. We know the consequences of them going after other gods. We know the consequences of them forsaking His commands. We know the consequences of their rebellion. In essence, after a few generations, they no longer stood firm in their faith, and as we repeatedly read, they were divided, they were exiled and they were abandoned by the Lord because they had abandoned Him. They had experience the power and the truth and yet they fell for any and all distractions that they were presented with. They lost sight of the Lord and found that their eyes and their hearts wandered to the follies of the world.

The events of the last several years are ever present in our minds as we look to what can and probably will unfold in the future. If we don’t keep our eyes focused on Jesus, if we don’t stand firm in our faith, we can easily fall for the lies of the enemy. What do you see in your life as you look to the future? Do you see uncertainty, lies and trouble or do you see Jesus? We must not lose sight of the truths presented by Paul. We must stand firm in our faith in Jesus or we will fall for false gods just as the Israelites did.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV))

Are you standing firm in your faith in Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There are no exceptions!

August 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Yes, all truly does mean all. It literally means everyone. There are no exceptions! Every newborn baby to the oldest person alive all fall under this category simply because of humanity’s sinful, fallen nature. This is the only time that I agree with the statement that we were born this way, for we are all born as sinners in need of a savior.

There are consequences for our sin!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But, God. . .

Our loving heavenly Father has a plan of redemption. He has a gift that is freely given to all who will simply accept. No amount of money can purchase this gift. No amount of work can earn this gift. This gift is of immeasurable value, yet it is freely given. That is why believers cling to the next truth that comes after the explanation that we are all sinners.

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:24‬ ‭(NIV‬‬))

We are all justified!

I once had someone tell me a good definition of justified and I have remembered it to this day. “Just if I’d” never sinned! We may all fall short of the glory of God because of our sinful nature, but because of the gift of grace freely given through the cross, we can all claim that redemption and be restored “just if I’d” never sinned. There is one important thing to pay attention to. Just as all have sinned, all are justified. We were all born into sin, and we can all be born again completely justified. It is your choice.

There are no exceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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All truly means everyone!

June 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Do you think that you are a good person?

What is your basis for your answer and who are you comparing yourself to?

Human nature is a strange thing. We have a tendency to look at each other and compare ourselves to what we see and then base our personal analysis on how we compare to others. We claim that we are not murderers, thieves or adulterers, but we fail to recognize that these sins that are big in our eyes are the same as the small sins in the eyes of God. Have you ever borrowed an ink pen and then kept it? Have you ever longed to have the nice car or big house that you friends have?

Basically, it all comes down to pride!

Every single person who has ever lived has been guilty of thinking that they are better than everyone else in at least one thing if not more. What we fail to realize is that God doesn’t judge us by comparing us to each other. He judges us by comparing us to His standard of righteousness as embodied in Jesus. When we look past each other and start comparing ourselves to Jesus, hopefully we will see our shortcomings and turn to Jesus to repent and seek salvation.

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
(Romans 3:10b (NIV))

We must look to Jesus as the benchmark. He is the role model. He not only showed us what is expected, He paved the way to receive salvation based on His ability to do what we could not.

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))

No matter what you may think of yourself, we are all sinners in need of a savior. For those of you who like to play with semantics, all only has one true meaning.

All truly means everyone!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you know peace?

April 7, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
(Isaiah 57:21 (NIV))

Contrary to what the world will try to make you think, sin is sin, evil is evil, and wickedness is real. It has been part of the human condition ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. We traded God’s perfection for a lie and ever since that day, all of humanity has missed the mark that God had established for His creation. We missed the mark as stewards. We missed the mark in our trust of God. We missed the mark in choosing righteousness over evil. We missed the mark completely.

We sinned!

Sadly, we continue to sin.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Every single one of us are lost in a problem of our own making. It is also a problem that we cannot fix on our own. We cannot overcome sin and achieve the righteousness that God desires on our own merits. It is impossible for a filthy rag to pick itself up, clean itself and make itself presentable to the one who made it. It requires a loving Creator to pick us up out of the filth and wash us clean. It requires a loving Creator to share His righteousness so that the rags can become clean.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:22-24 (NIV))

I know that you have seen the following words many times, but to be honest with you, there is so much truth that is contained within these eight words.

No Jesus. No peace.
Know Jesus. Know peace!

The world will not give you peace. The world is in a sinful, fallen state. Everything that is in the world has been corrupted and will be used by the enemy to attack. If you are under attack, you are not at peace.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

Only by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will you know true peace.

Do you know peace?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you hearing groans?

March 10, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
(Proverbs 29:2 (NIV))

Sadly, people have been groaning ever since the fall from grace!

There are many times throughout history where the wicked have ruled. It is not difficult to identify many of these. Each continent has had their share of wicked rulers. Some are currently groaning under the weight of oppression. If you stop to honestly think about it, God’s Word has many examples of wicked kingdoms from the past. We are even given a very detailed picture of many of them from the stories of the Tower of Babel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, the Roman occupation of Jerusalem and all of Israel, and the crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Romans.

We are also told of a time when wickedness will rule the whole world. When good is called evil and evil is called good. The whole world will be groaning in anguish during this seven year period of tribulation. With what is going on in the whole world at this moment and what is currently happening in this country, many people are in anguish. They are groaning because of what they see currently and what they see as the next logical step as it leads down a path from which many feel there is no return to what we now long for as normal.

Privacy is going.

You have to think a certain way. Anything different is vilified.

Sin is embraced and righteousness is ridiculed.

There is talk in many countries and regions in this world of having to have a vaccine passport in order to take part in society. Some places are even going so far as to hint at requiring this to even go to work, or to buy and sell basic commodities such as food. This is rapidly looking like it could evolve into what the Body of Christ refers to as the mark of the beast.

It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
(Revelation 13:16-17 (NIV))

There is a time rapidly approaching when the father of lies will have his way with the whole world. Does this make you groan? I know that this is all part of God’s plan, but it still makes me groan deep in my spirit. I ache for those who have not come to a saving knowledge given to all through the atoning blood of Jesus. I can only imagine that if this makes my spirit groan, what is it doing to God?

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))

If you are hearing groans or are groaning yourself, imagine what this is doing to the very heart of God!

Are you hearing groans?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

December 23, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–
(Jude 1:24 (NIV))

This one statement, from a worldly point of view, is a difficult thing to grasp. The world is treacherous. The enemy is constantly trying to kill or destroy. Who can possibly keep themselves from falling into the traps that the world presents? Who can possibly keep others from falling into those very same traps? Every person who has ever lived has faced the traps that the enemy has set for each of us. No one has ever been exempt from this temptation. All of created humanity has failed.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

There is one who was sent to save us from falling. He is not part of creation. He is the Creator. He came to earth as one of us. He took it upon himself to be what He created. He took it upon himself to save His creation so that we could have a way to keep from falling. He took the sins of the world upon himself so that we could be sin free. Only one has that authority. Only God can possess such power.

At this time of year, we think of Jesus as a little baby in a manger, but we must not lose site of the fact that He was also God. Even as an infant, He possessed authority over all of creation. This Christmas morning, stop and think about your children. Thank God for the grace and mercy that are celebrated through the birth of a child. Stop and think about the gift that child gave you. It is a gift that only God could give.

Praise God!

to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
(Jude 1:25 (NIV))

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How is your strength?

November 13, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He gives strength to the weary
     and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
     and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
     will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I am weary in my own strength. I don’t have the ability to face the world on my own. I am tired! Perhaps I could even go so far as saying that I am exhausted.

The world in which we live has become so polarized. People rage against anything and everything that God considers good. They openly embrace anything that God considers evil. They mock anyone who clings to the sole source of truth. They censor the name of Jesus who is the source of this truth because they don’t want to offend those who do evil. They don’t want to offend the enemy!

Do you understand why I am weary?

I, like every single person who has ever lived, do not have the strength to face the enemy on my own. Thankfully I can turn to the ultimate source of strength. I can rely on the strength of someone much greater than I. I can rely on the strength of my Lord and Savior. I can rely on the strength of my God! With this strength, I have the ability to face whatever the world may send my way. I have the strength to face whatever the enemy may send my way.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
     my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
     and with my song I praise him.
(Psalms 28:7 (NIV))

He gives us strength by letting us rest in His presence. He gives us strength when we need shelter from the world. He gives us strength by equipping us with His truth. He gives us strength when we are still. When we desire to live out His truth, He fights the battles.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

When you are on the side of the Lord, that should be enough to give you the strength to overcome the weariness caused by the evil in the world!

How is your strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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