Step forward into God’s promises!

May 6, 2019


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
(Joshua 1:3 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to think about what would have happened if the Israelites had not stepped forward to receive what had been promised to them?

I want you to truly think this question through and not just the superficial answer you subconsciously gave as you read the question.

Would Israel ever have existed as a nation in the Promised Land? Would Jerusalem exist? Would David ever have been a king? Would Solomon have existed? Would the temple ever have been built? Without David as king, would that lineage even matter? Would Jesus have been born into this world? Would Jesus suffer on the cross, died and buried? Would the resurrection ever have occurred?

If you stop to think about the promise given in Joshua, it is important to remember that this in actually a continuation of the promise given to Abram as it unfolded with God changing his name to Abraham. The promises that God has given to us are more than just for our immediate gratification. In fact, besides the birth of a son, Abraham never saw the fulfillment of these promises.

We have a different perspective than either Abraham or the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua, but we still have yet to see the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. I actually believe that humanity since the fall from grace is too frail to see fully all of the promises especially since God’s promises are tied to his glory. Think about God’s appearance to Moses. We know that God did not show Himself fully to Moses, but we also know that God gave promises to Moses. The promises that we have today are the same promises that God has given before. The only difference is that we have seen some of the promises come to fruition. This should give us faith to know that the rest will eventually come to fruition.

But what happens when we don’t step forward into God’s promises? I know that we all long for good things for ourselves, but if we don’t step forward to claim what God has promised, we are also impacting others who will follow. Just as if the Israelites had not stepped forward, what will happen if we don’t step forward?

Step forward into God’s promises!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Remember the sparrow and rejoice!

December 11, 2018


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are not in the eyes of God?

If you are like me, then you probably have this feeling many times.

We are frail in our uncertainty. We constantly like to be reminded that we are doing a good job at work, or that we are still loved by our spouse, or that we still have that competitive edge. We must also face this truth in our relationship with God. Our human nature likes to be reminded that we are still in His eyes.

I love these words of assurance that Jesus gave us. Jesus spoke to the very heart of our self worth and our uncertainty. In these few words, He was able to convey that God is a loving Father who cares for all of His creation, even down to the smallest creature. Jesus simply stated that God considers us to be of far more worth than sparrows, and that nothing happens to a single sparrow apart from God’s will.

Isn’t it amazing. Even at Christmas, when God demonstrated His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus, we still need to be reminded that God holds each and every one of us in such great importance.

Perhaps we are frail in our humanity, but we must never forget that God is never frail in His love and His grace!

When you feel that you are not in the eyes of God, simply remember the sparrow and rejoice!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Amen! Amen, and Amen!

April 27, 2018


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1:17 (NIV))

Does this describe your attitude toward God?

Think about that question with how you see your place in respect to God. Do you see yourself in charge of your life? Do you see all of creation existing in order to provide what you feel that you need and want? Do you see God as some mythical, magical genie who is there to grant you every whim and wish?

Or is your attitude toward God more Biblical in nature? Do you see yourself as grass that is here today and gone tomorrow? Do you see God as eternal? Do you see God in all glory while you see yourself as filthy rags? Do you see a God who loves you so much that He didn’t want to spend eternity separated from you?

Just how do you see God?

It is common knowledge that the word “Amen” means so let it be, but since we are frail humanity, I am sure that we lose focus of this just as we lose focus of other things in our lives. With that in mind, it is my prayer that all of us keep God in His only rightful place and we keep ourselves in respective proximity at His feet in worship.

So let it be!

Amen! Amen, and Amen!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Just what is the source of your wisdom?

April 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(Proverbs 2:6 (NIV))

What better source of wisdom than the Creator of all things! His wisdom is true wisdom.

Isn’t it interesting that our frail human minds think that wisdom is now all rooted in attaining technological advances and knowledge of things that soon become outdated. We frantically attempt to gain new wisdom to replace that which has become outdated. This sounds very much like the times written of by Daniel.

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
(Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV))

We seek after all the wrong wisdom and we call it good. At the same time, those who earnestly seek after God are called narrow-minded and bad. It is true that we must live in this world, but we do not have to live by the standards that it tries to set for us. We can choose the true wisdom, knowledge and understanding that comes only through God.

Where does your wisdom lie?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Jesus is our refuge. He is our stronghold!

February 24, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word oppressed?

Many of us think of someone being treated cruelly or unfairly. But did you know that it also means to burden spiritually or mentally? In simpler terms, it means to weigh heavily on your mind or spirit.

Let’s face the truth. As sinful humanity, there is always something that causes us to feel oppressed. Think about that for a moment and then think about the things in life that we all experience. Things like family issues, money problems, car repairs, home repairs, health related issues, and many other things that have a habit of keeping our minds in despair and away from God.

These are the very things that the enemy uses to trouble us. They are the very things that the enemy uses to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the relationship with God that both we and God want. The enemy knows that we are frail and will become distracted by the troubles of this life, and he uses it all too often.

Sadly, too many of us seem to turn to the troubles when it looks like we will escape them.

Stay strong!

Stay focused on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Why should we feel oppressed? Why should we feel trapped by and in our troubles? Why should we feel forsaken when we have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior?

Jesus is our refuge, He is our stronghold!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Can you imagine the day when this will come to pass?

December 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.
(Isaiah 11:6 (NAS))

Do you believe that this can happen?

Do you believe that God can change the very nature of His creation? Do you believe that God can change a heart?

Think about that last question.

Let me ask it again.

Do you believe that God can change a heart?

If you are like me, you are probably a first hand account of this very thing. Looking back, I was never a bad person in my own eyes, but, according to God’s standards I was. I had no desire to change. God had other plans. I just needed to get on board with His agenda instead of my own.

Have you ever seen two people who, from a worldly perspective, made no sense that they were friends? God can bring enemies together. It just takes our frail humanity to get out of the way.

I often read this passage and think that this must be something like what the Garden of Eden was like. Can you imagine the day when this will come to pass? It will be a glorious day!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We can place our trust firmly in the Lord

September 4, 2014

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))

How much of this world do you truly understand? Some of us may know a little more than others, but, in the grand scheme of things, our limited knowledge is pitiful. We truly understand very little. If you stop to think about it, what we think that we do understand often throws a curve ball at us and we find that we don’t understand it at all. What we thought we saw clearly, is no longer clear.

If we can’t trust in our own faulty and frail understanding, what can we trust in? What is there that is never wrong? What is there that is always true? What is there that has always been and will always be? What is there that lasts forever? If we could find something that actually possessed these traits, then we could place all of our trust in that thing. We must seek out a greater understanding than ours.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

We have someone in whom to place our trust. We don’t have to rely on our own understanding, for it is definitely not clear. We can rely on the understanding that is the Lord’s.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
( 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

We can place our trust firmly in the Lord.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

What do you lean on?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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God’s perfect love!

March 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that you loved someone but spent most of your time afraid that you would lose the love of that person?

I think that all of us have had that type of experience when we started dating.

Fear is a force that all too often we find at the center of our lives. We fear the loss of a job. We fear the loss of a home. We fear the loss of our wealth. We fear the loss of our fame. Fear is a major weapon used by Satan against us. It causes us to cling tightly to something that is delicate. Love is delicate. Love is the thing that the enemy frequently attacks through fear.

I often think that fear and love are close to polar opposites. Fear is often one step away from hate and often leads to hate. Think back on your early dating. Was there a situation where love was fearful and eventually lead to hate?

Human love is a frail thing.

When we love, often we want to possess what we love. This love is a selfish love and is only interested in the proverbial what’s in it for me. We fear losing the possession and punish each other because of our selfish motives.

Be thankful that God does not have a love like this toward us!

It is true that He longs for us to rejoice, but He does not force us to do anything. God’s love is patient. Is our love toward God as patient? Do we fear God’s love? Do we try to keep God’s love in the same type of confining box as we have tried to put our love?

God is much more than our feeble attempts at love can comprehend. He is capable of so much more than we can understand. He is capable of so much more love than we can understand.

Would you send your only son to die so that others may live? Would you willingly give something so precious with no guarantee that the gift would be accepted? God loves us unconditionally. He loves us far beyond our ability to comprehend. His love is perfect. We, are His creation, had fallen into sin. God, out of His perfect love for us, reached out to us in our sin and offered us salvation from the death that is the consequences of sin. He did not cause us to sin. He did not need to do anything to offer us salvation, He did not need to reach out to us in our sin. We had placed ourselves in that predicament. God did not do it to us.

Even so, God’s love is perfect. He had a plan. He had a perfect love!

“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 he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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