Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

October 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 (NIV))

I have been battling diabetes for far too many years to even count. Every once in a while my blood sugar drops dangerously low. Most of these instances seem to happen at night. So far, I have always woken up and been able to take measures to raise my blood sugar. It happened again and I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning as I wait for the side effects of a very low blood sugar to go away. As I often do when this happens, I start to pray. Tonight, I remember saying something to the effect that Lord, I wish that you would find another way to wake me up, but I do enjoy our time together, so it is okay!

I reached over and grabbed my iPad and opened up one of my Bible apps. I instinctively went to the verse of the day and clicked to read the full chapter.

This passage stood out!

It gave me peace and assurance that even if I didn’t wake up, everything would be okay.

I am His and He is mine!

My sins are forgiven and I am at peace! I rest confidently in the knowledge that the one who created the universe knows my name. I rest confidently knowing that I am loved, that my sins are forgiven, and that one day I will see Him face to face!

All of this because I chose to accept His love, mercy and grace that is freely given through His atoning sacrifice that was done once for all. All that you have to do is accept before it is too late!

Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Everything is pointing to Jesus!

September 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
(Colossians 2:17 (NIV))

With this sentence, Paul was telling the church at Colossae that all of the things in this world all point to Jesus. He had just stated that they were not to be judged based on human traditions or on limited human understandings of the things that God had put in place, for these things that God has put in place are all pointing to Jesus.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
(Colossians 2:16 (NIV))

Do we, as the “modern” church, believe that everything that God has ordained points to Jesus? Do we truly understand how the Jewish festivals are all foreshadows of events that have been or will be fulfilled by the Lord on the exact day that the festival represents? We are told that His ways are not our ways, and that His ways are far above our ways. If God can make a bright star appear at the birth of Jesus, why do we fail to recognize that He can do amazing things again? If God can give us the perfect Passover lamb at Passover, and then raise Him from the dead on the feast of First Fruits, why do we think that the rest of God’s holy days will not bring the same powerful results? Why do we think that God is not following His timing according to His planned festivals? Why do we think that God is not following His timing as we see and often fail to even recognize the events that are happening all around the world, and at a rate that is ever increasing in frequency and intensity?

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:6-8 (NIV))

What happens with birth pains?

They increase in frequency and intensity!

Does this sound familiar?

We are told that no man knows the hour or the day, but that we can recognize the season. If you stopped your daily life long enough to sit and watch, to sit and wait on the Lord, what do you think that you would recognize? Would you see birth pains? Would you see everything increasing in frequency and intensity? Would you see that everything is converging on one promise, on one person, on one Lord and Savior? I honestly believe that now, more than ever, what Paul wrote to the church at Colossae is closer than we may realize.

Are you looking to where everything is pointing?

Everything is pointing to Jesus!

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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Why do You still love us?

September 23, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him,”
(Job 7:17 (ESV))

It is often said that the Bible is actually God’s love letter to His creation.

Is that how you see it?

It sounds like Job saw it this way. He knew that the Lord loves those who love Him. He knew that God wants people to come to Him of their own free will. He knew that God desires nothing more than a personal relationship with each and every person who has ever or will ever walk this earth. From this passage, it is clear that Job was amazed that God cared so much for His creation. To be honest with you, God created everything from the planets and the stars to the microscopic single cell animals and plants. In all of this vast creation, man is the greatest love of God’s. Everything that He has done or ever will do is for His creation.

I have often stated that I love to read and compare various translations, for the subtleties truly bring things to life. The Complete Jewish Bible translates this passage in this manner.

“What are mere mortals, that you make so much of them? Why do you keep them on your mind?”
(Job 7:17 (CJB))

We are told that where our treasure is there our heart will be also. We are also told that what we think about is what we treasure. In reading these two translations, we are clearly told that we are in God’s heart and on His mind. We are His treasure!

With all that humanity has done, God still loves us.

With all the rebellion that is in our hearts, God still loves us.

In fact, He loves us so much that He devised a plan to bring us to redemption.

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))

All that we have to do is accept this amazing grace for ourselves!

We know that God’s ways are far above our ways, yet, I often wonder what motivates God to do such an amazing thing for us even when we don’t deserve it.

Why do You still love us?

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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Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

September 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2 (NIV))

When you take a look around at the world, what do you see?

I realize that this is a very loaded question, for the world is a sinful, fallen place that just keeps getting further and further away from what God created it to be. People are doing whatever pleases themselves and the depravity of these actions is sad to the point of being sickening.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
(Romans 1:28 (NIV))

God sees the depravity. People have turned, and more are still turning away from God, and doing whatever their depraved minds can imagine. I believe that we are at the point in human history, in God’s timeline, where the Lord is saying if that is what you want, then you will get exactly what you desire. People want perversion. God allows their minds to lead them deeper and deeper into what they desire. People want rebellion. God allows people to rebel to the point where they have dug their own proverbial pit to fall into. People want sin over righteousness. God is allowing them to go down the path that they have chosen. He allows them to go down the path that they think is comfortable to them.

All the while, He is calling them to repent. He is calling them to return to Himself and to His righteousness.

Sadly, too many are completely comfortable in their sin. They enjoy their sin. They are to the point where they feel that they can kick back, relax and enjoy their depravity, but, . . .

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

Are you ready to accept your wages? Are you ready to accept the consequences of your sin?

The choice is yours.

Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you appropriately dressed?

September 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have an assignment. You have been given marching orders. We are to go into all the world and share the Gospel. We are also told that we will face tribulation in this world, but to rely on Jesus because He has overcome the world.

We are also told to dress for battle!

If you believe that God is love and accepts everyone no matter what their lifestyle and the sin that they practice, then this doesn’t make sense. But, if you hold fast to the truth that Jesus came to set the captives free, to deliver the sinner from bondage, and to offer hope to a sinful, dying world by calling sinners to repentance, then you fully understand why we are to dress for battle. We will be facing the enemy. We will be facing the father of all lies. We will be facing an entity who utterly hates those who profess a faith in Jesus and in God the Father. In all of this, Jesus is our protector. He is our champion. He is our armor. He is THE full armor of God!

We are to fully clothe ourselves in Jesus, who is the Word made flesh!

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:14-17 (NIV))

In light of the events that are transpiring in this world, we need to fully clothe ourselves with Jesus. We are to recognize and clothe ourselves with the armor that only He can provide. When we do this, we no longer fight the battles. The battle then belongs to the Lord!

With this truth, are you still fighting the battles based on your abilities or have you allowed the Lord to fight for you and to protect you? Are you trying to stand in your strength or are you standing in His strength?

It is time that you answered one very important question.

Are you appropriately dressed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you been praying?

September 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
     “May those who love you be secure.
(Psalms 122:6 (NIV))

Do you love Jesus?

Do you love what Jesus loves?

What do you think of Jerusalem? Does it match what the Lord has said?

but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there,
(2 Chronicles 6:6a (NIV))

Even when the people rebelled, He still looked on in love.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
(Matthew 23:37 (NIV))

Jerusalem is important to God. Jerusalem is crucial to God’s plans. Jerusalem, and Israel, were supposed to be the beacon shining God’s light to the world. They were chosen to serve this purpose and no matter how many times they rebelled against God, He still has a purpose for Israel and Jerusalem. Many scholars believe that prophetic events that we know as the end times, even though they will impact the whole world, are God’s call for Israel to accept their Messiah. Everything that happens during the end times are focused in and on Jerusalem and Israel. We know that they will be attacked and miraculously saved. We know that the antichrist will allow the temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. We know that the antichrist will go into the temple and declare himself to be God. We know that all nations of the world will turn on Israel, and we know that the battle in the valley of Har Megido, otherwise known as Armageddon, will take place in the land of Israel.

There is also one other thing that we must be aware of. God set the land aside for Israel as an inheritance.

for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
(Genesis 13:15 (NIV))

I realize that they did not possess the land for centuries, but it still belongs to the offspring of Israel. If you find this difficult to comprehend, all that we have to do is consider this passage and how Israel became a nation again after almost two thousand years. This basically transpired with the stroke of a pen!

Who has ever heard of such things?
     Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
     or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
     than she gives birth to her children.
(Isaiah 66:8 (NIV))

It is clear that the Lord loves Israel and Jerusalem. We know that He has warned against dividing the land since they returned.

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land,
(Joel 3:2 (NIV))

He does not like anyone to divide what He has given. In fact, many of the natural disasters and attacks that have happened in this country have happened on the very same days that plans we presented or agreed to that divided up Israel. We have to stop trying to take what God has declared as His and giving it away. Why are we, as humanity, so arrogant that we think that we can do whatever we want?

We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Have you been praying?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

August 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
(John 6:29 (NIV))

What do you think of this passage?

Today we read this passage as a standalone verse and realize that Jesus is telling us to believe in Him. However, we must not take things completely as a standalone verse. We must know the context of why something was said, for it is very easy to take things out of context and twist the meaning. In this particular case, this passage was the answer that Jesus gave to a question that was asked of him.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
(John 6:28 (NIV))

When this was recorded, the society was very tradition oriented. They had the Law, the Prophets, and the feasts that they all knew by heart. In their minds, they were doing the works of God, but they failed to realize that these were all outward expressions of what should have come from their hearts. They felt that they had been doing the works that God requires, after all, God had chosen their ancestors as His people. They had become prideful. They thought that they had it all, yet Jesus told them that what they really needed to do was to believe in Him.

What if you walked into your church and found someone preaching that all of the things that you are doing because of tradition are all wrong and that all you must do is believe in the one that God has sent?

Would you be able to separate your man-made traditions from the true worship of Jesus?

Think about that!

What if the church is outlawed and you must not meet in public?

What if your church can no longer have the committees that you belong to?

What if your church can no longer have the social events that you like to go to?

What if there is a global pandemic that shuts down all church activities? Oh, wait! Been there! Done that! But what do you do if it happens again, or worse, if it happens and is permanent?

If you strip away all of the external things that we do as the church, would we still be the church? Would we still realize that everything that we do is because we believe in the one that God has sent? Would we still be confident in our faith to say that Jesus is Lord of all?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Is you faith strong enough to believe even if all of the things that we do as part of the church are no longer legal? Would we be able to stand firm in our faith like the early church did? Would we be willing to face our “lions” instead of denying Jesus? It takes a strong faith to hold fast to Jesus when all around you is trying to force you to stop. It takes a strong belief in the one whom God has sent.

Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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