How does Jesus know you?

January 26, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
(Matthew 15:20 (NIV))

With this statement from Jesus, nothing could be clearer!

That only leaves the obvious next question.

Are you doing the will of the Father?

This requires a complete surrender to the Lord and an understanding of what His Will is in order to answer truthfully. Perhaps it is better to ask if it is your desire to do the will of the Father, for even after professing a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you will falter in your walk of faith. You will inadvertently give in to your sinful human nature even though you desire to live a righteous life. Even Paul had these moments.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
(Romans 7:15-20 (NIV))

Do you truly desire to do the will of the Father?

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have realized that you are a sinner in need of a savior. You have realized that you are not capable of perfection in the eyes of God, but through Jesus, God sees you as He sees Jesus. He sees a spotless, sinless person. With that in mind, I venture to say that one of the most important parts of doing the will of the Father is accepting the grace and mercy that He freely offers through the cross of Jesus. Since God does not wish for anyone to perish, it is His will that you accept the grace and mercy given through Jesus.

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))

How does Jesus know you?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to answer the call?

January 19, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Matthew 9:38 (NIV))

Have you truly stopped and given this passage thought?

Let me explain my question.

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we have been given instructions. We have been given a job assignment that is supposed to be our primary task as believers in Jesus.

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))

In other words, we are supposed to be working the harvest field!

If we ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers, we are asking Him to send us! The most important question that we must then ask ourselves is how will we answer. Will we be as willing to go as Isaiah was?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

It is said that God loves a cheerful giver. That is true for so much more than just our finances. It involves our time! God longs for us to be willing to work the harvest field. He longs for us to tell others about the amazing grace that is available to anyone who will simply repent and receive. Are you willing to give of your time so that others may know of God’s great love? Are you willing to share the Gospel to a world desperately in need of salvation? Are you willing to work the harvest? Are you willing to put yourself out there in a world that is becoming more and more hateful of anything to do with the Gospel, with Jesus?

Are you willing to answer the call?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

January 17, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Are you tired of waiting?

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then there are several things that you know will happen because we have been told that they would happen. Still, waiting is never easy, especially when you see the things that are happening in this world, and you know that the only hope that this world has is Jesus!

If you were taken in the rapture at this very moment, would you be upset? Are there things in this world that you don’t want to let go of? Take a good look at your priorities and be completely honest with yourself when you answer.

Most believers long to be with Jesus., yet, we are torn. We desire to be with Jesus in the presence of the Father, yet, we all have someone whom we love who has not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. For this, I am willing to wait. For this, I am praying for friends and family to repent and come to salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

I realize that I am being selfish when I long for the appointed time. I am guilty of seeing this promise through the eyes of someone who has already accepted their salvation. I need to open my eyes and see this as Jesus sees it. I need to realize that the Father does not wish for any to perish. If that is the Father’s wish, then it must be mine as well.

Still, there is coming a time, an appointed time, that will not delay. We must be prepared for that time as it rapidly approaches. We must also be diligent in our assignment, for we have not been given a reprieve.

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))

We are to continue to make disciples. We are to continue baptizing. We are to continuing teaching.

We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do your deeds glorify God?

January 11, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:16 (NIV))

How good are you at letting your light shine?

Let me rephrase that question and ask it like this.

Do others see Jesus in everything that you do?

Several years ago there was a big movement with WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? You would see wristbands and stickers and many other things with this prominently displayed. This did quite a lot in regard to reminding people how to act if they wanted to truly follow Jesus. I also think that this was also used by the enemy to trick believers into being submissive out of “love” when they saw something that was not right in the eyes of God. My favorite thing that I saw that someone created to clarify this statement reminded people that at one point Jesus fashioned a whip and turned over the tables of the money changers.

Does this sound like the type of “love” that the enemy has tricked us into believing about Jesus?

Jesus was compassionate toward the people lost in their sin as He encountered them, but He was also extremely passionate about the Father. He would never do anything that was contrary to what the Father instructed. He would never do anything contrary to God’s Word. His compassion for people, for us, was never to affirm them in their sin. It was to call them home to a loving Father. He was calling sinners to repent and return to the Father through Him!

With that in mind, I venture to say that there will be times when we are called to let our light shine and it will actually mean that we will be filled with the righteous passion for the Father and for His Word that made Jesus turn over tables.

Are you willing to take a stand for what is right in the eyes of the Father? Are you willing to make a public profession that you do not agree with the sinful practices that are being done? Sometimes shining your light means that you are to go into battle against the darkness and not simply try to make friends with it.

If Jesus said that only the Father is good, then in order to do good deeds, we must point people to the only one who is good. Our deeds must point to Jesus as the only way to the Father! That is how we glorify God.

Do your deeds glorify God?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does your life currently look like?

January 5, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV))

What do you do when something gets old?

If you are like most people, you hold on to things until they are no longer of value. It is at this point that you decide to throw away the old things, the trash, and replace them with something new.

What happens when the old things have more value to you than is obvious from the current state of the objects?

Think about that last question in relation to antique cars that are lovingly restored. What about antique furniture or very rare musical instruments? In the eyes of the right person, even old, dilapidated things have value and are worth restoring to new condition. This is how our Father sees each of us. In His eyes, we are worth so much more than we are worth in our own eyes. He has freely given each of us a way to be restored. God’s plan for restoration does not leave us in our sinful, fallen state. All that we have to do to be restored is to accept the offer freely given through the cross of Jesus Christ!

Do you long to be a new creation?

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.

If you can honestly profess this and claim it as your own, then you are a new creation in the eyes of God. The old has gone! The new is here!

What does your life currently look like?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I pray that the new year brings a renewed relationship to Jesus.

December 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
(Mark 13:32-33 (NIV))

I am constantly reading and studying. I said the same thing in 2013 about 2014, but 2023 looks to be a very interesting year in God’s time table. I do not profess to know the day or the hour, but the season is rapidly changing.

There are things going on in this world and in the heavens that are too numerous to simply be coincidence. They are increasing in frequency and in magnitude. Even with this increase, we, as the Body of Christ, must test everything against God’s Word. We must not be found guilty of falsely proclaiming things that do not match what we are told through God’s Word.

None of us know what tomorrow will bring.

Pray for wisdom.

Pray for discernment.

Pray for understanding.

Pray for the strength to follow God.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
     “For your sake we face death all day long;
        we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:31-39 (NIV))

I pray that the new year brings a renewed relationship to Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Did you experience the real Jesus this Christmas?

December 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (ESV))

We just celebrated Christmas, but how many people actually celebrated the birth of Jesus?

Too many people simply go through the motions where they partake only of society’s consumer driven spending frenzy. They buy gifts for each other, but fail to realize why this tradition started. They fail to recognize the true reason for the season and the greatest gift that was ever given.

It all started with God’s perfect plan of redemption! We couldn’t save ourselves from the consequences of the fall from grace. We inherited our sinful nature. We we helpless, hopeless and lost in a sinful, dying world, and God knew it.

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

Jesus stepped out of heaven to be born and live as one of us. He came to live the perfect, sinless life that we could never live. He came to offer His life of righteousness for our lives of sinfulness. He gave each of us the opportunity to receive the greatest gift of all, and all that we have to do is accept that gift.

That gift is priceless!

That gift is beyond measure!

That gift is eternal life through His righteousness!

That is the real reason for our Christmas celebrations!

That is the best gift that we can receive until we are able to see Jesus face to face.

We must look beyond the boxes, beyond the lights, and beyond the celebrations to experience the real reason for the season. We must long to experience Jesus not only on Christmas day, but on every day of our lives.

Did you experience the real Jesus this Christmas?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Jesus is the Word made flesh!

December 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
(Isaiah 55:11 (NIV))

I have read this passage numerous times, but tonight I was given insight that made me stop as I fully realized the implications of these words! It became more than clear to me when I was directed to this passage about Jesus. In fact, what made me take notice of this passage from Isaiah was that it does not say So shall My words. It is singular just as it is in identifying Jesus.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Jesus was sent forth to accomplish God’s will and He did not return void. He accomplished what pleased the Father. Salvation is the thing for which Jesus was sent, and He prospered in fulfilling the Father’s desires by providing salvation to a sinful, fallen world! All that we have to do is accept what the Father has provided.

I love how God’s Word comes to life! The more that you read and study, the more that you see Jesus even in passages where you may not have seen Him before. As your desire to understand increases, He gives you more understanding. He unfolds His truth to those who earnestly seek Him. I don’t know how many times that I have read a passage and then the very next time that I read it, I am given new insight. I am given new understanding.

Do you hunger and thirst for the truth of His Word? Do you hunger and thirst for Jesus? Do you bury yourself in His Word in order to know the very heart of God?

God showed us His heart when He sent Jesus. We are told that where your treasure is there your heart will be also. God treasures His creation. He treasures us so much that He sent His Son, whom He loves. Jesus was and is the Word made flesh. Jesus fulfilled everything written in Isaiah.

God’s Word is still going forth. Jesus is still accomplishing what the Father pleases. Jesus is still increasing the numbers who have accepted this gift of salvation.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Jesus is the Word made flesh!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus alone is the way and the truth and the life!

December 9, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

When you think of scripture passages that tell of Christmas, do you think of this passage?

To be honest with you, I hadn’t thought of this passage in that context, but then I realized that in order for us to go through Jesus to the Father, He first had to come to us from the Father.

EVERYTHING is contingent upon the birth of Jesus!

Contrary to what society says, without the birth of Jesus we would not know the possibility of salvation. We would not know life to the fullest. We would not know miracles, and we definitely would not know of God’s great love for us.

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))

If you put things in perspective, everything written in God’s Word before the birth of Jesus is written to point to His birth. Everything written after His birth would not have happened or will happen if His birth had never taken place. If you look at God’s Word from this perspective, everything in God’s Word is a Christmas story! We celebrate the birth of Jesus by continuing a tradition started by the wise men who came bearing gifts. We can’t give them directly to Jesus, but we give them to celebrate what He gave us – salvation, grace and mercy!

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

No other name!

Jesus alone is the way and the truth and the life!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be led astray!

November 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
(Matthew 24:5 (ESV))

Have you ever stopped to count the number of people in your lifetime who have claimed to be a messiah, if not the messiah?

From the likes of Jim Jones to David Koresh, we have seen many people who claim to be from God. Some people have even made statements about political leaders being the messiah. One even went so far where his followers called him their lord and savior on a nationally televised event. And now, recent events in Israel have rabbis saying that their messiah is alive and that they are now meeting with him.

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you know that all of these individuals are not the real thing. There is only one Messiah, and His name is Jesus! He was born of a virgin. He taught. He performed so many miracles that they couldn’t all be recorded. He willingly went to the cross to die for our sins. On the third day, He was resurrected and walked among us once again. He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, and to all who will believe in Him, He intercedes for us and gives us eternal life in the presence of the Father. He will come again!

Are you ready to recognize the one true Messiah?

Will you be able to stand firm when others are being lead astray?

For those of you who are married, if you are put in a room full of people who claim to be your spouse, how do you recognize the true person that you are married to?

I realize that the answer to that last question is rather obvious, but I felt that it needed to be asked. The same way that we recognize our spouse is also the same way that we will recognize Jesus. Familiarity! This familiarity only comes from spending time together. It only comes from a familiarity that comes from an intimacy, a closeness, that is only found in that one relationship. It is found in no one else!

We know that Jesus will tell those who have not built that relationship to get away because He never knew them. I venture to say that this intimacy can go in the other direction. Put these false messiahs to the test, and don’t be afraid to tell them to get away because you don’t know them. This will require that you get to know Jesus and He gets to know you. Spend time in His Word. Spend time in prayer. Gather with other believers who are also seeking that intimacy with the Lord.

Can you recognize Jesus?

Don’t be led astray!

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