Don’t ever forget the real reason for the season!

December 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
(Psalms 59:16 (NIV))

Do you have a refuge in which to take cover in times of trouble? Do you have a fortress that will protect you when all around you is in chaos?

We are rapidly approaching the day that we celebrate the birth of the one who offers love, protection and salvation. The world tends to think of Jesus as the baby in the manger. Everything must have a start, a beginning. If God sent His Son to live and walk among us, then He had to experience all aspects of this life that we cling to. Jesus had to come into the world as one of us. He had to live as one of us. He had to grow up and experience the things that each of us face in our lives. He had to be able to face temptation and win.

I realize that we think of Christmas as a festive time, and it is, but we must not forget that no matter what the times may bring, we have a fortress to shelter us. We have a refuge to keep us safe. We have an advocate who loves us enough to experience all that we face, even unto death. We have a Savior who has defeated death. We have a champion who sits at the right hand of God the Father and He is interceding for us.

Christmas is not about gifts and family. It is not about good food and fellowship. It is not about parties and presents.

Christmas is about the beginning of grace and the hope that we can all know salvation in our lives. Christmas is about Jesus! Don’t ever forget the real reason for the season!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your refuge and shield?

April 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
(Psalms 119:114 (NIV))

What is your refuge and shield? What do you put your hope in?

Do you turn to worldly things for your shield? Do you store worldly things as your refuge?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Everything in this world will either die or decay. What is there that we can place our trust in when all around us is fleeting – here today and gone tomorrow?

There is only one thing that is eternal and unchanging. He is the alpha and the omega. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is God.

We must place our faith in Him so that we, too, may lay claim that God is our refuge.

But the LORD has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
(Psalm 94:22 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is our fortress

October 9, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah
(Psalms 62:5-8 (NIV))

When the earth quakes and the waves roll, trust in God!

When the rain falls and the mud slides, trust in God!

When the enemy surrounds you on all sides, trust in God!

Nothing of this earth is trustworthy. All will eventually fall apart or turn to dust. Only one thing is eternal. Only one thing is worthy of our trust. God alone is worthy. God alone can be trusted to deliver us through whatever the world may throw at us. God is so willing to be our ever present help in times of trouble that He has sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is the hope that God gives us made flesh.

God is our fortress. He is our safe haven. Jesus is the only door by which we may enter.

Have you found the door?

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

June 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
(Psalms 59:16-17 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of someone singing?

If you are like most people, you will probably think that the person who is singing is joyful and happy. Occasionally, you will find someone singing when they are depressed and sad, but you will not find them singing joyful songs. David sang praises no matter how he felt, for he knew that God was the same regardless of what may be happening in his life. God still provided a fortress and a place of refuge in both the good times and in the times of trouble.

I find it difficult to be like David and sing praises in the times of trouble. It is human nature to focus on the situation at hand and complain because we feel abandoned. If we would only stop to realize that God is still there, we could easily turn our attitudes around.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
(Psalms 30:11-12 (NIV))

No matter what situation we may find ourselves in, we must always sing praises to God. When we sing praises to God, it does not allow the enemy to gain an entrance into our lives. It does not allow the enemy to use our self-pity to turn us against God. When times are troubled, we must turn to God and rely fully on His grace and mercy. I don’t know about you, but thinking about God’s grace and mercy is always enough to get me singing – well, at least on the inside.

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