Are you full of pride?

May 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
(Psalms 10:4 (NIV))

I have been accused of tooting my own horn before. I have also been accused of having an ego, as I know any and all humans have. Do you know the difference between these characteristics and an ungodly pride?

It is almost as if I can hear the thoughts as you read this. If you are like me, you try not to toot your own horn or let your ego get the better of you.

I have a few questions for you. Have you ever had to go on a job interview? If you have, then you have had to toot your own horn. You had to convince someone that you were the perfect person for the job. You had to tell them of all of your accomplishments. It is hard to do this without tooting your own horn. If you listen to yourself long enough, you start to believe what you say about yourself and then your ego gets in the way. Have you ever had that happen to you?

One more important question that I want you to think about.

When you toot your own horn or let your ego get in the way, do you still thank God for the talents and gifts that He has blessed you with? Do you do so with humility?

I pray that what we call the little things like tooting your own horn and showing a little bit of ego does not grow into something far worse. I pray that everyone who calls upon Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be able to acknowledge that all that they have in life are gifts from God the Father and not of their own creation. If anyone crosses that line, they stand a chance of growing into a wicked pride. This pride is what caused Satan to rebel. This pride rejects God and seeks to place itself above God.

It is my prayer that no one ever becomes so prideful that they reject God!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Repentance is a decision that must be made!

May 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.
(Romans 1:18 (NLT))

Have you ever stopped to wonder what would make God angry? Have you ever wondered if you could make God so angry that He would reject you? I believe that we have an answer in this passage.

God hates sin!

God hates wickedness!

He longs for people to repent and turn to Him. If we love our sin and our wickedness more than we love God and His righteousness, then we are in trouble. We should despise our sinful nature. We should reject the wickedness that is inherent within every person because of the fall from grace.

We live in a fallen world, but we don’t have to accept the state of the world as our own. Think about that for a moment in relationship to something a little easier to understand. I know that everyone has had a job that you just couldn’t stand. You hated the thought of being there. You dreaded getting up in the morning and going to that job. Did you simply accept the dreaded job as a part of your life? I can safely assume that you took action to make a change. You decided that you would leave that life and begin a new life under much different circumstances.

You can decide to leave sin and wickedness in much the same way as you decide to leave other aspects of your life. It is perhaps one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. That gift is free will. God gave us the ability to decide for ourselves to turn from our sinful, wicked ways and to follow Him. He gave us the free will to embrace His truth for ourselves.

With this in mind, do you understand that God loves us. He will get angry with us because of our sinful nature, but, if we choose to embrace His truth and accept His Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior, and repent of our sins daily, then we can rest assured that God will not reject us. Seek God in all things and seek His truth, for life is found only with the Creator!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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All that you have to do is ask!

October 29, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:11 (NIV))

What do you consider as a good gift?

Think about that question and take a look at your heart. What is it that your heart longs for more than anything else? Be honest with yourself. Is it something that will benefit you? Is it something that will benefit you and a few others? Or, is it something that will benefit a vast amount of people?

Most people are selfish in nature, especially when it comes to the desires of the heart. We have a tendency to be self serving in all aspects of our lives, so it is not a problem to imagine what we think of as being good has a direct impact on us the most.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t have this attitude when He went to the cross?

If we put ourselves in His place, we would not consider that selfless act to be a good thing simply because of the price that had to be paid. He paid it all and He did not get any personal benefit as the world sees it. Jesus suffered and was crucified. He died a horrible death. From a worldly perspective, this was not good.

Fortunately, God works in ways that counter what the world says and thinks.

The gift that was given to us through the selfless acts of Jesus are far better than anything that we, as part of the world, could ever give. Everything of this world that we can ever give will fade, rot or decay. Sadly, it is these very gifts that we give and receive that are the basis for our understanding of what is good. Many simply cannot comprehend anything that does not fit into this understanding. The gift that was given to us by our Father is far more precious. It is something that we all truly need. It is something that we all overlook, many until it is too late.

Grace!

Forgiveness!

Salvation!

No matter how you may describe it, God’s gift is perfect. It is good. It is a gift that no other can give us. We may provide food, clothing, shelter and love to our families, but these will all eventually fade. Even our lives will fade. Only God can provide the gift that surpasses all others and allows us to escape the consequences of sin and death.

All that you have to do is ask!

Have you asked?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Find your gifts and use them for God!

December 19, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
(Romans 12:6-8 (NIV))

God has created each of us to be unique in His sight. Therefore, we must not look upon the gifts of others and long for what they have. God has given each of us gifts that He desired us to have. If we all had the same gifts, life would be boring. We would all be the same. Where is the individual creation within that concept?

Do not long for another’s gifts. You have your own gifts that God has given you for a purpose. Find those gifts and use them for God.

Do you know what your gifts are?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Unity or envy?

August 2, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV))

In the world, it is easy to be overcome by the fact that all people are different. It is also difficult to overcome the desire to be like someone else. If only I could do that . . .

How many times have you heard someone say something like that? How many times have you said something like that?

It is easy to get overwhelmed by someone else’s gifts while overlooking your own. God created each of us to be unique. Do not lust after someone else’s gifts. God blessed you with your own. Find what those gifts are and then use them for God’s work in this world.

If we all had the same gifts, life would be boring. We are all part of the body of Christ. In our own physical bodies, no two parts are the same. The ears do not envy the eyes. Why should we envy other parts of the body? We should work together to do the will of God.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thirsty?

January 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV))

I have a large database of scripture passages that I have made notes on. I arbitrarily turned to this passage and immediately got chills. This is the third time today that this passage has come up. Lord, I may be slow, but I get the point.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Do you long to have your thirst for righteousness quenched?

Do you find that the things of this world leave you empty and still longing?

What you are seeking is grace. What you are seeking is God’s perfect will in the world. What you are seeking is the exact opposite of what the world has to offer.

God’s gifts are free!

Only God’s gifts will satisfy your longing.

We cannot buy these gifts. Jesus paid the cost for all to partake. All that we have to do is earnestly ask to receive through the atoning blood of Jesus.

The world offers us so much that can distract us. Everything that the world offers has a cost. We will pay financially and we will pay spiritually. When we remove our focus from Jesus, our hearts harden and our lives suffer. When was the last time that you saw a famous person who was a devoted to their family and to God? Most are devoted to other things. This goes for any walk of life in which things become the goal. They take control and they cost more than just the financial price.

Jesus gives us peace. Isaiah spoke of these gifts before Jesus came, yet, he knew they would come. Isaiah did not get to see Jesus fulfill the prophesies. He did not get to go to the source of the living waters, yet he believed. He had faith.

Things in this world are far from what God intended. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are storms that destroy whole parts of the world. There are people who are determined to kill people simply because they believe in Jesus.

I know that to those who do not understand, this may seem like an escapist mentality, but it is far from that. We, as the Body of Christ, have a promise that God will prevail. Personally, I long for the day when all who are thirsty will drink from the living water of Jesus.

Are you thirsty?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I will give you thanks

November 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.
(Psalms 35:18 (NIV))

Have we, as the Body of Christ, allowed society to keep us quiet because it is not politically correct to proclaim a faith in Jesus? Are we truly the Body of Christ if we submit to this societal pressure?

Thanksgiving is upon us. We must embrace the true reason that we are thankful.

The pilgrims were thankful to have survived the first year in their quest for religious freedom. Society has taken that out of the day and simply replaced it with a “harvest” festival. There is no mention of thanking God for His bountiful mercy and grace. It is only a day to be thankful for the people in our lives, and to some, the things that we have. Don’t get me wrong. It is definitely a good thing to be thankful for the people in our lives, but we must set our priorities. Without God’s grace, we would have nothing. Anything that we might think we have would be gone when we face death.

Think about that.

What are the things that you would miss the most if they were taken away from you?

Would it be your wide screen TV or your new car? Perhaps it is your job or your social position in the community.

Or . . .

Would it be the relationships that you have?

Life is a gift. Grace is a gift. Your family and friends are a gift. These gifts are priceless and can only come from God. All other things are worthless in comparison.

“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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV))

It is a matter of priorities.

When all things are in perspective, our priority is God. When we realize that all good things come from Him, we can’t help but give God the glory. We will be thankful even in the midst of situations that society says we are to keep our faith quiet.

We should not be quiet. We should praise God. We should give thanks even in the midst of throngs of people.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

If we are not ashamed of the gospel, then we must be thankful for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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