All of this can be yours!

June 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Even though I walk
     through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
     for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
     they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
     in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
     my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
     all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
     forever.
(Psalms 23:4-6 (NIV))

I love how the Lord gives you a word that you need to hear. I also love that His Word applies just as much today as it did when it was originally given to the one who wrote it down.

With all that is going on in the world, do you feel that you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death? I realize that all throughout human history, we have experienced hardships, but something feels so much different than anything that I have experienced in my life. Things are rapidly accelerating and the events are all converging on the period of time that we have been told about – the end of the age!

Does that instill fear within you, or do you find comfort in knowing that what is transpiring has been told to us long ago? Do you find comfort in knowing that God is unfolding His timeline according to His Will and according to His perfect timing? Perhaps the question that I need to ask is one of a more personal nature. In essence, do you find yourself looking up as things unfold? Do you find yourself longing for the glorious moment when you will be in His presence or does this thought bring fear to your heart? We have nothing to fear if we will only accept the grace and mercy freely given to us through the cross. There has never been a more pressing time in your life to accept the gift freely given to all who will simply acknowledge that they are a sinner in need of a Savior.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can place our faith in the One who holds all tomorrows in His hands. When you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, all of these things recorded by David will be yours and you, too, will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

All of this can be yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The Gospel has not changed and never will!

March 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Do you grow tired of the world always trying to find a new way to achieve perfection, to achieve a sense that humanity is the master of our own destiny? Just when one thing has been tried and ends up failing to produce the results that people want, someone else comes up with something else to try. We see it in diets. We see it in self-help. We see it in education. We even see it in the progressive churches when they try to reinvent and reinterpret God’s Word and Jesus to fit what they want instead of fitting their lives to His truth.

If you seek to mature in your faith in Jesus, then your understanding of Jesus has changed since you first accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. My question for you is has your understanding of Jesus followed the world’s attempts to reinvent and reinterpret, or has your understanding solidified in accordance to God’s Word?

Jesus came into this world to call sinners to repentance. He did not come into this world to tell us that our sinful natures are acceptable as they are.

Jesus came into this world to arm those who accept Him as their person Lord and Savior with the truth needed to combat the lies of the enemy. He did not come into this world to tell us that we can do whatever we want.

Jesus came into this world to offer God’s grace and salvation to those who would accept. He did not come into this world to be a social justice warrior.

What is your image of Jesus?

What is that image of Jesus based on?

Is your understanding of Jesus the same as that of the authors of the Gospels, and not just a few misquoted passages?

If you truly desire to know the real Jesus, then find a church that preaches the Word. Develop the discipline required to spend time daily in His Word. Mature in your faith and in your commitment. Search the scriptures and test everything that you hear to see if it is true.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, 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))

I pray that you mature in your faith to be like the Berean Jews. Eagerly receive and eagerly study. You may surprise yourself when you start to truly understand Jesus and the simple fact that He never changes. What He taught when He walked this earth is the same thing that we are called to do today!

The Gospel has not changed and never will!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes forever on the Lord!

August 5, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
(2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV))

Have you ever found yourself completely at a loss and backed into a proverbial corner with no idea what to do?

If you claim to be human, then I can assure you that everyone who makes that same claim has had times like this in their lives. You are not alone. It is our sinful human nature that makes us think that we can manage our own lives and our own actions. Basically, it is our pride that gets us into these types of situations. We refuse to take advise. We refuse to seek advise, and, just for the men out there, we refuse to stop and ask directions! We look only at our own limited resources and become so convinced that what we are facing is far greater than what we can handle. If you stop to think about that concept, our circumstances actually are greater than what we can handle.

But, God . . .

Two simple words that change everything!

Surrender your life to the Lord and follow His leading. He has a plan for your life. You were created for a purpose for such a time as this. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord and He will lead you. He will guide you back to the straight path that He had planned for you. He will not forsake you. He will give you a peace that passes all understanding and He will prosper you and give you a hope and a future. It all starts with a simple confession. 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.

No matter what circumstances you may find yourself in, give thanks at all times. When you don’t know what to do, give thanks to the Lord for what He will do, and when things are going great, give thanks to the Lord for His great love and mercy. In all things, give thanks!

“Give thanks to the Lord,
     for his love endures forever.”
(2 Chronicles 20:21b (NIV))

Your faith will mature to the point where you will praise Him and thank Him for what He will do before He does it!

Keep your eyes forever on the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you dwell in the presence of the Lord?

March 18, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Surely goodness and love will follow me
      all the days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
      forever.
(Psalms 23:6 (NIV))

There are houses and there are homes. There are buildings and then there are dwellings. What makes the difference is a matter of attitude. A house is simply a place to sleep. A home is a place of refuge and comfort. A building is simply four walls. A dwelling is someplace that you have completely moved in to and have made it your own.

God is looking for those who wish to make His presence their home. He is looking to believers to desire to dwell in His presence. He does not want us to simply come into His presence to sleep and then go our own way. He wants us to long to be at home in His presence. He desires for us to desire Him and be completely content; to be completely at peace with Him.

Peace!

Perhaps that is what makes the difference between a house and a home and a building and a dwelling. Peace allows you to settle in and to get comfortable. God wants us to get comfortable in His presence.

Are you comfortable in God’s presence?

Are you at home in God’s presence?

Do you dwell in the presence of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you forever thankful to the Lord?

November 30, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
(Psalms 136:1 (NIV))

Just how long is forever?

To be honest with you, I actually don’t think that the human mind can truly understand that concept, especially when you consider our limited vantage point. Our minds think back to our days in school when we were watching the clock and impatiently waiting for the end of the day. It seemed like it took forever! Perhaps you remember Christmas Eve as a child. It seemed like the night would never end. With these and other examples that you may have in mind, we have a tendency to look at the concept of forever as a period of time that we must endure. We don’t usually think of forever as a joyous time.

Is that how God sees forever? Is that how God sees us in relationship to forever?

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
(2 Peter 3:8 (NIV))

If this is the way that God sees time, then His concept of forever is so very different from how we see forever. If God’s love endures forever, then He has loved us from the beginning of time, if there is such a thing, and He will continue to love us to what our frail human minds call the end of time. In all honesty, the concept of the end of time is a human construct because we can’t truly grasp eternity. All that we can truly understand is that the Lord never changes.

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

If His love endures forever, then His love for us never changes and that is the best thing that anyone can ever experience.

If God loves us this much, how do we express our gratitude?

Are you forever thankful to the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you found rest?

November 5, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
    for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
    in the land of the living.
(Psalms 116:7-9 (NIV))

The Lord gives us rest. In a world where uncertainty is the way, one thing is certain. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we rest in His presence, then we can truly be at rest.

God is in control!

With everything that is going on in this world this year, this is very comforting. It is very reassuring to know that the Creator of all things is still in complete control. Even when it seems like the world is in total chaos, He is in complete control. It is all part of His plan. It is unfolding just as He told us that it would so that we would be aware of what is going on.

I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
(John 14:29 (NIV))

Do you believe?

With everything that is happening in the world, do you believe?

With good being called evil and evil being called good, do you believe?

Belief and faith go hand in hand. By placing our faith in Him, all the worldly matters no longer are important. We rest in the knowledge that God will guide us in His will and if we keep focused on Him, He will guide our paths so that no matter what the world sends our way, we can have peace and rest in Him.

Have you found rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you like the sound of trumpets?

August 13, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV))

Do you like the sound of trumpets?

When we think of trumpets, we have a tendency to think of jazz music or big band swing, but do you realize that God has used the sound of a trumpet as a way to announce things of great importance to His people? The sound of a trumpet cuts through any other sound. It rises above the noise of the world and boldly proclaims to listen. It boldly proclaims to pay attention. It boldly announces that something is coming!

In this passage, the sound of the trumpet is announcing that those who have professed a faith in Jesus will arise from the dead. That, in and of itself is amazing, but there is more. There is something even more amazing. There is something that only the all powerful Lord God could make happen!

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NIV))

To many people, the sound of a trumpet is shrill and harsh, but it is rapidly becoming the instrument that I long to hear above the din of the world! I long to hear the trumpet call of God, for I believe, . . . No! I know beyond any doubt exactly what that will mean! I know that when I hear the trumpet call of God, these events will rapidly take place and the desire to be with the Lord will instantly come true. Does that explain why I like the sound of trumpets?

What about you?

Do you like the sound of trumpets?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you waiting patiently?

July 31, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV))

This passage stirs up controversy!

What do you interpret this passage to be talking about? Do you see this as an indication of what has become known as the Rapture? I realize that some people say that this word is not in this passage and not in the Bible at all. Some believe that the Rapture is a concept that was first introduced only about one hundred years ago. If you look at the original Greek from two thousand years ago, the word that is used is harpazo and it literally means catching away. Still, I understand that many people are leery of believing in something that is not that clearly defined or explained.

I ran across something today that I have read many times over, yet, something clicked today that I had never paid attention to before.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 3:10 (NIV))

In this letter to the church in Philadelphia, John was instructed to tell them that Jesus knew their deeds were true to the Gospel and that they waited and endured the world while staying focused on Jesus. John also wrote what the reward would be for fulfilling this command. Jesus had John tell them that they would be kept from facing the hour of trial that is coming to the whole earth!

The hour of trial.

The time of trouble.

Tribulation.

All of these speak of the same period of time in God’s plan.

According to what Jesus told John to write, those who patiently endure will not go through this.

Are you waiting patiently?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do these words echo your heart?

July 9, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.
(Psalms 73:25-28 (NIV))

Have you told anyone about what God has done?

If you are like most people, you probably are more willing to tell what He has done specifically for you. No matter who the recipient of God’s actions may be, have you told someone of the greatness of God?

How can we fulfill the command from Jesus if we don’t tell anyone?

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
(Mark 16:15 (NIV))

In order to preach the good news, we must be willing to tell of God’s deeds, for it is those deeds that have allowed us to be saved. We have no other recourse to salvation. We have no other means by which we can be saved.

David wrote about this, for he had experienced the abundance of God firsthand. He was willing to tell others about what God has done for him. He was willing to tell of God’s deeds even before God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our salvation. Now, we have an even greater message to tell about.

Are you telling others about what God has done for you?

Do these words echo your heart?

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