Do you know this great hope?

November 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
(Ephesians 1:18 (NIV))

What do you see when you see the state of the world?

Unless you cling to the hope that we have in Jesus, what most people see in this world is dark and foreboding. To be honest with you, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world, especially when prices are escalating while the availability of resources seems to be plummeting. In many parts of the world, governments are expecting large numbers of deaths this winter due to shortages. We see the wars that are still raging and we see false peace being pushed. We see unstable governments all around the world, and we see evil being called good and good being called evil.

In the physical, when I see the state of the world, I am saddened. I am angry, and I am at a loss for what to do!

Thankfully, I know beyond any doubt that this world is not my home. I am a citizen of heaven, and I know that when things look bad here in this world, we are to look up for our redemption is near! As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I can rest confidently in the hope that I have in the promises of my Lord and my Savior. I don’t know what I will personally face in this world, but I do know one thing.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:18 (NIV))

I long to reveal the glory of the Lord in all that I do. Some days I do okay. Other days I fail miserably. Fortunately, since I am not capable of being perfect, I do not have to be perfect. All that I have to do is place my faith in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. There are times that I will fail miserably, but when that happens, I can seek His face, repent and pray for guidance. I am on a journey. Every step that I take is not going to be perfect, but as long as I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, my destination is clear. He is my hope. He is all the riches and glory that I need. He is my inheritance!

Do you know this great hope?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Where do you look for help?

October 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV))

So many people today are so dismissive of anything coming from the Lord if they admit that the Lord exists at all.

How about you?

What is your outlook, your attitude toward the Lord?

With all that is going on in the world, do you deny God, do you blame God, or do you look to God for help?

Hopefully, you are not part of the group that denies the Lord, for denial is not an excuse for sin. For those who blame God, their arrogance and self-centeredness have condemned them. For those of us who look to the Lord, we admit our sinful nature. We understand that the world is not our home. We know that this world will never be perfect because of sin. We know that all of humanity’s attempts will end in disaster. We know beyond any doubt that there is only one hope for this world and His name is Jesus!

When the earth quakes and the waves roll, lift up your eyes!

When the rain falls and the mud slides, lift up your eyes!

When the enemy surrounds you on all sides, lift up your eyes!

The Lord is your help! Only He has the power and authority to fulfill all that He has promised.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

When it looks as if God’s promises will not be fulfilled, lift up your eyes. He never fails. He is our only source of true help, hope and love!

Where do you look for help?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

September 26, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
(Zechariah 2:13 (NIV))

Does this frighten you or does this bring you joy?

It is all a matter of perspective!

If you delight in the things of this world, then at best, this frightens you. However, if you are delighted by the things of this world, then you have probably denied the very existence of the Lord. This results in the simple conclusion that you are probably complacent. Either way, your encounter with the Lord will be the same. The Lord is rousing himself from His holy dwelling to put a stop to sin once and for all. Just because you don’t believe in the laws of gravity does not mean that you can jump off of a tall building with no consequences. The very same thing is true with you denial of the Laws of God. Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent.

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

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But, . . .

On the flip side of that perspective is the personal recognition that what these two passage profess is true and that it applies to you!

That is where the “But, God!” actions comes into play.

If you follow the ABCs, then your perspective on the Lord rousing Himself from His holy dwelling is completely different.

A is 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.

If you follow the ABCs, then you understand. You long for His return. You long for His righteousness to rule. You long to be in His presence. As you see the things that are unfolding in the world, we are to have faith in His Word. We are to be still before the Lord. We are to remember what the Israelites were told by Moses in Exodus and be obedient to these instructions today.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

As the Lord unfolds His plans, we are to simply be still and rejoice. We are to watch in amazement as we truly see just how good that our God is! In all honesty, we are simply sitting on the sidelines. The only thing that we are called to do is invite others to join in on the side of the Lord.

Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you set your mind on Jesus?

September 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
(Colossians 3:2 (NIV))

Unlike any other time in human history, now is the time to look up!

Do the things of this world have you worried? Look up!

No matter what the news may say and no matter what they do not say, we have a mighty God who is in control. We have a mighty Savior who, in the eyes of the world, has done the unthinkable. He willingly died to save us from our sins. All that we have to do is believe in Him! We have the promises that God has given, and they are many! Not only do we have the promises that foretold of Jesus, we also have the promises that foretell of His return.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Think about that for a moment. If God cannot associate with sin, then we know that He is not capable of committing a sin. He is not capable of telling a lie. Because He is not capable of lying, we know that every single word that proceeds from His mouth is truth. In other words, if He said it, it WILL happen just as He said. The sad thing is that we, as sinful, fallen humanity have a hard time comprehending that there is someone who is always truthful no matter what the situation. Even those who always try to tell the truth will find themselves slipping up and twisting things unintentionally. In other words, we lie even when we don’t want to!

We must focus on the perfect image of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only when we keep our focus in this direction are we capable of discerning the truth from the lies of the enemy, and right now, the enemy is on a rampage! Every single day I learn more and more about the things that are unfolding in this world. I learn of things that, if I didn’t keep my eyes focused on Jesus, would scare me to death. Troubles are increasing exponentially. I also learn of things that have me fascinated because God is unfolding things just as He foretold. The troubles in this world may be increasing exponentially, but we must take heart, for the things of God are falling into place exponentially as well. Things are happening so fast that many people are saying that something major is going to happen by the end of this month. I don’t claim to be a prophet, nor do I claim to know the hour or the day, but I do recognize the season that we are in. I do recognize the need for repentance. I do recognize the need to set our minds on things above, for they are eternal. The things of this world are fleeting and can change in the twinkling of an eye.

No matter what may happen in this world, we must look to Jesus!

No matter what the enemy may do, we must remember that we have a risen Savior who has overcome the enemy.

No matter what may happen in this world, we know who wins.

Have you set your mind on the winner?

Have you set your mind on Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

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

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is 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.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Why are you still carrying your burdens?

June 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. If there is one thing that this sinful, fallen world is good at, it is good at creating anxiety in those who call this world home. Professing a faith in Jesus does not mean that the world will not do all within its power to burden you and to give you stress, it just means that we have an assurance that the anxiety that we feel can be lifted, that it can be carried by the One who created this world. And, no, He did not create it in it’s current state. This world was created as perfection. It is we who have turned it into the mess that it has become.

For the second time in as many days, I find myself singing the refrain from a hymn that says it better than anything I have ever heard or could possibly ever write.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
(Helen Howarth Lemmel)

When we cast all of our anxiety upon Jesus, this is exactly what happens!

The key word in that last sentence is “when,” for we have a tendency to hold onto our burdens and our anxieties far too long. We let them weigh us down. We let them control us. We let them drag us deeper into the very thing that we are burdened with. We don’t have to be burdened. We don’t have to carry anxiety. We don’t have to live according to the world. We have a risen Savior who has defeated the world and has willingly taken our sins, our burdens and our anxieties upon Himself. All that we have to do is surrender them up to Him.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Why are you still carrying your burdens?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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There truly is great power in His name!

February 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
(Mark 13:26 (NIV))

I just watched a live sermon from a tent meeting. The focus of the sermon was on the power and authority that Jesus possessed and that He still possesses. Sadly, today’s church focuses on Jesus as love and they ignore the power. How do you think that Jesus was able to cast out demons? How do you think that Jesus was able to heal the sick? How do you think that Jesus was able to raise the dead?

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
(Luke 8:1-2 (NIV))

Mary Magdalene followed Jesus because He had saved her from seven demons. She followed Him because she was grateful. She followed Him because she had been forgiven much through His actions!

Jesus exhibited great power and authority with His miracles, but I think it is safe to say that when you think of any of the healing miracles, you fail to recognize the fact that demons, in many cases, were cast out first and then the healings took place. Why do we only focus on the fact that Jesus has power and authority over the physical world and completely ignore the fact that He also has power and authority over the spiritual world? Why do we ignore the fact that the two worlds are closely linked and that He is Lord over all?

I did a search for the word “power” and I was surprised to find that in the NIV, some variation of the word was found 335 times. I realize that not every occurrence refers to the power of the Lord, but most instances do. What saddens me is the fact that we have sugarcoated these instances, or we have completely ignored them.

What do you think of when you think of the power of the Lord?

How do you think that this power will manifest itself when He returns?

How can this power manifest itself now?

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Did this passage come to mind? It should! If we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have the power to take on the enemy. We have the power to conduct spiritual warfare. We have the power to call upon the name of Jesus to drive out the enemy!

There truly is great power in His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you rejoice that the Word became flesh?

November 30, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

What do you think of when you read this passage?

Without a point of reference, without a back-story that defines why glory, grace and truth were needed, this passage, even though it tells of His glory, doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell why we need grace and truth.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of the law? Do you think of man-made laws that recently seem to change with no rhyme or reason, or do you think of God’s law that is never changing? Do you think of the failure of Adam and Eve to keep God’s commands thus allowing sin into the world? Do you think of a righteous God who can not associate with sin? Do you think of a loving God who wants to restore us to a relationship with Himself?

Through Moses, God told us how He expected us to live. Through Moses, we have been shown how we are to love God, how we are to treat each other, and how we are to respect each other. Any deviation from God’s perfect plan is sin.

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

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

God took a look at the world and had a plan to redeem us. He knew that there was not a single person who could fulfill the letter of the Law perfectly, so He decided to take matters into His own hands and become a man so that He could live a perfect, sinless life for us. Through this perfect life, we are no longer under the law of sin and death. We are under the redemptive power of grace and truth through the atoning blood of Jesus! Is this what you think of when you read John 1:14? Do these two sentences cause you to reflect on your sinful nature and your inability to do anything about it? Do they give you reason to rejoice because you have accepted what God did for you when you couldn’t do anything for yourself?

Do you rejoice that the Word became flesh?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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There are no exceptions!

August 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Yes, all truly does mean all. It literally means everyone. There are no exceptions! Every newborn baby to the oldest person alive all fall under this category simply because of humanity’s sinful, fallen nature. This is the only time that I agree with the statement that we were born this way, for we are all born as sinners in need of a savior.

There are consequences for our sin!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But, God. . .

Our loving heavenly Father has a plan of redemption. He has a gift that is freely given to all who will simply accept. No amount of money can purchase this gift. No amount of work can earn this gift. This gift is of immeasurable value, yet it is freely given. That is why believers cling to the next truth that comes after the explanation that we are all sinners.

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:24‬ ‭(NIV‬‬))

We are all justified!

I once had someone tell me a good definition of justified and I have remembered it to this day. “Just if I’d” never sinned! We may all fall short of the glory of God because of our sinful nature, but because of the gift of grace freely given through the cross, we can all claim that redemption and be restored “just if I’d” never sinned. There is one important thing to pay attention to. Just as all have sinned, all are justified. We were all born into sin, and we can all be born again completely justified. It is your choice.

There are no exceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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All truly means everyone!

June 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Do you think that you are a good person?

What is your basis for your answer and who are you comparing yourself to?

Human nature is a strange thing. We have a tendency to look at each other and compare ourselves to what we see and then base our personal analysis on how we compare to others. We claim that we are not murderers, thieves or adulterers, but we fail to recognize that these sins that are big in our eyes are the same as the small sins in the eyes of God. Have you ever borrowed an ink pen and then kept it? Have you ever longed to have the nice car or big house that you friends have?

Basically, it all comes down to pride!

Every single person who has ever lived has been guilty of thinking that they are better than everyone else in at least one thing if not more. What we fail to realize is that God doesn’t judge us by comparing us to each other. He judges us by comparing us to His standard of righteousness as embodied in Jesus. When we look past each other and start comparing ourselves to Jesus, hopefully we will see our shortcomings and turn to Jesus to repent and seek salvation.

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
(Romans 3:10b (NIV))

We must look to Jesus as the benchmark. He is the role model. He not only showed us what is expected, He paved the way to receive salvation based on His ability to do what we could not.

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

No matter what you may think of yourself, we are all sinners in need of a savior. For those of you who like to play with semantics, all only has one true meaning.

All truly means everyone!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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