Do you spend time searching God’s Word?

August 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
(Acts 17:11 (NIV))

Do you believe everything that you see or do you search for confirmation?

Sometimes, the English language just can’t express what was recorded in the original language, or sometimes there are just more ways to say the same thing. I like the following translation. It gets right to the point.

They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really telling the truth.
(Acts 17:11 (NLT))

In other words, they wanted to make sure that Paul and Silas were not making things up. They verified their teachings. Let’s face it, just because someone teaches doesn’t mean they know the truth. If you don’t believe this, simply look at what is going on in the world.

Test everything. Hold on to the good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV))

What do we use as a benchmark to test against?

Sadly, the world uses whatever criteria they find appropriate at the time. There is no set standard in the eyes of too many people in this world.

There is a standard!

It is unwavering. It is constant. It is infallible.

It is God’s Word!

The Body of Christ must learn to validate, to verify, everything against Scripture. God will not contradict Himself. He will not say that something is a sin and then change His mind and say that it is no linger a sin because society has changed. Where is the truth in that? Where is the firm foundation upon which we can build an unshakable faith?

If we don’t know God’s Word and search it daily, how can we distinguish between the lies of the enemy and the truth of God’s Word?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you press on?

April 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man;
they are not plagued by human ills.
(Psalms 73:2-5 (NIV))

Isn’t it easy to be fooled by what we see that the world has to offer?

Sometimes it seems that the world has the better things, but we must remember that what the world has to offer is only temporary. These things can be destroyed by moth and rust.

When we are confronted with the temptations of the world, we must remember that we have a firm foundation, a solid hope that is not of this world. What we desire is not of this world. Our treasure is the very heart and Word of God. Through the Word made flesh, we have a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. We have a treasure that is eternal. We must simply keep our focus on Jesus when the world tries to distract us.

There will be many distractions that the world will send your way during your life. Like Paul wrote:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14(NIV))

Do you press on, or are you distracted by the worldly temptations?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Salvation is found in no one else!

March 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is
” `the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone. ‘
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4:10-12 (NIV))

Do you recognize where authority comes from when it is right in front of you? The people that Luke wrote about are good examples of what we would like to think that we are not. They did not recognize that Jesus was the authority that had healed the man. They did not recognize that Jesus alone fulfilled the passage from Psalm 118:22. They did not recognize that Jesus alone brought salvation.

Are we any different from the people that Luke wrote about?

If we were faced with the exact same circumstances today, would we recognize what was right before our very eyes? Would we be so blind to the truth that we would fail to see the proverbial forest for the trees?

Unfortunately, too many people reject the stone that is our firm foundation in grace, mercy and hope. They simply discard the stone because it doesn’t fit in with the world’s point of view. Think about that point of view. It says that a man cannot be raised from the dead. It says that one man cannot heal another man. It says that one man cannot save the whole world.

Authority is a wonderful thing when it is wielded properly. It is unassuming and ready to be of service instead of boisterous and demanding, which is the world’s point of view of authority. Perhaps this is why so many people miss out on the truth. They are looking for a worldly authority.

Don’t reject Jesus because He doesn’t fit your view of Godly authority. It will be a costly mistake.

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

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you walking with Jesus?

July 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
(Amos 3:3 (NIV))

Life is too short to spend time with people who do not agree with you!

That sounds like a worldly philosophy, but consider that what we are talking about agreeing upon is a firm foundation in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you desire to walk with others who have made that same commitment.

Can you honestly say that you would walk with someone who has made a commitment to be exactly opposite of what God has called you to? Would you associate with someone who is trapped in a life of sin to the point where they are opposed to everything that you believe to be Godly and true? Would a rich man walk with a beggar if they did not have anything in common? Would an avid hunter and fisherman walk with someone who preferred to remain indoors?

What is the one thing that can bring all types of people together in a common walk? What one thing unites us all no matter how God has made us?

It is the grace and mercy that was freely given and willingly accepted as our own through the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, all believers have a common bond that unites us in our “walk” through this world. Our task on this “walk” is to invite others to join us and walk with us in agreement in the salvation that is ours only through Jesus.

How is your walk? Are you in step with other believers and walking with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Rock or Sand?

May 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
(Isaiah 26:4 (NIV))

The first thing that comes to mind is the old hymn that says “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

We can either place our faith in the solid Rock or place it in the sinking sands of the world. Carefully consider that the sinking sands of this world are part of the dominion of Satan that he received when we, through Adam and Eve, turned over our authority to him. The Rock is the firm foundation of the truth through God and His Son, Jesus Christ. When you are looking for a firm footing so that you do not slip and fall, sand is not what you want. It will shift and leave you unbalanced and without a solid footing on which to stand.

When these words of Isaiah were written, rock was the hardest substance that was probably known. It denoted strength and permanence. What better way to describe God!

Today, we have manufactured machines that can break rock. Perhaps this is Satan’s attempt at giving the illusion that God is not as powerful as He really is. After all, if rock can be broken and sand made from rock, then God is not as powerful and we do not have to fear sin. Doesn’t that sound just like the lies of the enemy?

God is powerful. He is our ever-present, firm foundation. He is the Rock eternal!

Do you look upon God as a rock or as sand?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Trust in the LORD

October 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

One simple question.

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed like there was no way that it would ever change? A situation that, no matter how you would play it out in your mind, would ever end or change. When this happened, your perspective on the outcome was from a worldly point of view. It was from a limited point of view.

From a human point of view, no one would fault you for this outlook, for no one can see the future. No one can say what will happen tomorrow. From a worldly point of view, we see people placing their trust and understanding in other people. Where is the hope and trust in this?

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

We need to not lean on our understanding or on the understanding of other, fallen, sinful members of the human race. Even the best of intentions will lead to less than ideal and righteous results. I know that many believers go to a specific church because they believe in the pastor, but all too often the human side comes through.

We are all sinners. We will all fail at times. We should not look to each other for knowledge and understanding, but rather, we should focus on the Lord and His unwavering love, grace and mercy.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

He is our firm foundation. He is our rock.

When the world throws things at you that just don’t seem to end, trust in the Lord. When things are going great, trust in the Lord. When things are in a state of change, trust in the Lord.

He will see you through all that this world can bring.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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