Do you look forward to this day?

July 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Even in the days of Zechariah, God let it be known that one day His plan would come to fruition and He would restore His order to His creation. Everything that has come about in the unveiling of history has proven that God keeps His promises. Every event in the history of the world that has had a significant impact in the events of society had been prophesied hundreds of years before it came to pass.

One of these days, the words spoken of in Zechariah will also come to pass and then we will be able to see God in a creation that He intended before man suffered the fate of the fall from grace. What a glorious day that will be. It will also be a sad day for those who do not know the grace and mercy that God has freely given through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a shame that too many people will see this event as a sad day of punishment instead of a glorious day of salvation. We must tell all that we see of the grace that is freely theirs if they will only receive it. Only by accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will they see these events as a glorious day of salvation.

How do you see the words of Zechariah?

Do you look forward to this day?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your hearing?

June 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 (NKJV))

How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I realize that this is a rhetorical question, since someone had to tell you about the saving grace that could be yours through the atoning blood of Jesus. I do not know anyone who simply woke up one morning with a newfound faith in Jesus. I do realize that Jesus has made appearances to people in countries where the Gospel is banned, but even these newfound believers heard the Gospel before coming to faith.

In essence, someone had to share the Gospel in order for someone else to receive it! They had to explain that we are all born sinners and that the wages of sin is death. They had to explain that God loved the world and sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. Someone had to explain that because that price was paid by a sinless man, we have the ability to have our sins forgiven so that we can stand in God’s presence with our sin debt fully paid! That is how someone comes to faith in Jesus!

But, what is faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

When you think of something of substance, you think of truth. You think of solidness. You think of something that is satisfying. When you think of evidence, you think of undeniable facts.

Another translation states it like this.

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

When you think of confidence, you think of undeniable truth and strength. You might even say that it borders on assuredness. I love how this translation ties that together in the next part of the passage. We have assurance, a firm foundation built upon a promise, that what we believe is true.

Faith is built upon the hope that we have in Jesus. There is evidence to support what we profess. It is documented in the Gospels. It is documented by other historians. We are confident in what we profess. We have placed ourselves squarely and solely on the promises that God has given to us. We have a firm foundation with Jesus as our cornerstone!

How is your hearing?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be a fool in the eyes of God!

June 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The fool says in his heart,
     “There is no God.”
  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
     there is no one who does good.
(Psalms 14:1 (NIV))

Who would consider you to be a fool? Would the world say that of you or would God?

You cannot appease both. Either you throw your faith with God and the world thinks you a fool or you stand with the world and God knows you for what you are. Either way, we make a decision that leaves us a fool in the eyes of someone.

Each of us is born with a void inside of us. That void can only be filled by God. Many people try to fill it with other things, but they can never be satisfied. To those who say that there is no God, they have attempted to fill that void with worldly things and have found no peace. Since they cannot find peace in this manner, they assume that God does not exist. They reason that how could a being who created us leave us with such an emptiness? Since we have an emptiness, then there must be no God. They marvel at their reasoning.

The way of a fool seems right to him,
   but a wise man listens to advice.
(Proverbs 12:15 (NIV))

They lack the very peace that they seek.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

Peace comes from only one source. It is that source that can also fill the void within us. When that void is filled with God, then we have a change of heart. We realize that there is a God and that He loves us. He guides us in our deeds. We learn to walk in His ways. We realize that we have been the very fools that we claimed others to be.

If you have to chose who will label you as a fool, who will it be?

Don’t be a fool in the eyes of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you keep in step with the Spirit?

June 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:11 (NIV))

What do you desire to do?

Do your thoughts turn toward sinful things such as greed and lust, or do you reflect upon the Word of God? Do your actions follow your thoughts?

It is human nature that we tend to do what is in our hearts. What is in our hearts is what we think on day and night. Our actions reflect what is truly inside. We may be able to put up a facade on many occasions. Still, when we are put to the test, our true desires and thoughts come out in our actions.

Preach always. When necessary, use words.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

St. Francis of Assisi knew that people watch us and judge our faith in Jesus on how we act. Like it or not, each one of us who profess a faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior are under a microscope. Nonbelievers are watching us to see how we will react. They want to see if what we profess is real. If we have truly allowed Jesus in to our hearts, then our actions should reflect the Gospel and the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV))

Do you keep in step with the Spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t focus on the things of this world!

June 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
(2 Thessalonians 2:11 (NIV))

Is it just me, or are more and more people believing the lies of the enemy?

Have you ever stopped to consider why God would send a powerful delusion? I recently heard an explanation for this, and it is not because God has forsaken these people. It is because these individuals have made up their minds and they have forsaken God and His truths. They have completely rejected God and His offer of salvation. They love their sin more than they love themselves, and more importantly, they hate God.

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
(2 Thessalonians 2:10b (NIV))

In my lifetime, I have seen lifestyle choices go from an attitude of shock to one of encouragement. I have seen a faith in Jesus go from a public embrace to a public ridicule. I have seen far more than these things and all of them are so much on the increase that it makes my head spin. It is for these reasons that I asked if more and more people are believing the lies of the enemy. Are we seeing the parable of the wheat and the tares unfolding right before our eyes?

My heart is heavy for those who have rejected God. We are now seeing that those who reject God are not even willing to have a conversation. They are so completely overrun with hatred of anything that speaks of God’s righteousness. Sadly, it appears that they have made their decision. As followers of Christ, we are called to make disciples, but we are also told that we are to draw the proverbial line in the sand.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
(Matthew 10:14-15 (NIV))

Don’t focus on the things of this world!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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The kingdom of God is near!

June 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
(Luke 21:29-31 (NIV))

Are you paying attention?

God is trying to get our attention. For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, He is calling us to recognize the signs. For those who shun Him, He is calling them to repentance by shaking up the world in an effort to get their attention. No matter which group you consider yourself to be in, God is calling us to recognize the times and to look to Jesus!

There are so many things unfolding in this world at this specific time in history that if I presented everything that correlates to and supports the widely held belief that the time of the end is here, then I would need to write nonstop relaying everything that is happening all around the world. It is too much for one person to even attempt to undertake, so I prayerfully ask you to seek the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom. The proverbial fig tree is sprouting leaves!

Are you so engrossed in your daily lives that you miss what is unfolding right before your eyes?

Are you so engrossed in the media distractions that you miss the true news and events of significance in this world?

Are you more aware of who was awarded what in the recently televised defamation lawsuits than you are aware of the vast number of food processing plants burning to the ground?

Jesus refers to those who believe in Him as His flock. He seeks and saves the lost sheep of the flock. There appears to be another flock that people can be part of, especially when you consider that sheep are considered to be mindless and will follow anything that distracts them. Don’t be distracted by the world. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

The kingdom of God is near!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Where you seek shelter will have eternal consequences!

June 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
     my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalms 91:1-2 (NIV))

What comes to mind when you think of shelter?

A shelter can be a simple covering that protects you from the elements. It can be your home. It can be someplace that you evacuate to in times of emergencies. It can be a place of rest, and in some cases it can even be a place that you run to for refuge. If that is the case, then it only stands to reason that you would want your place of refuge to be a fortified location where the enemy cannot enter and do any harm.

If you think of a shelter in this manner, does the Lord fit this description? If a shelter is where you reside, does the Lord fit this description?

Life in this sinful, fallen world has gotten so strange lately that the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Just when you think that you have seen it all, something else comes along to add to the rapidly unfolding chaos. Where do you find shelter when you hear of wars and rumors of wars? Where do you find shelter when common sense is no longer common? Where do you find shelter when supplies are short and prices are high? Where do you find shelter when the world health organization is being given authority over individual nations and their citizens?

Where do you find shelter when all around you is falling apart?

This world is not our home! It is not our shelter, our refuge, nor our fortress. We are not finding rest! We are not finding peace! We must look to the Lord!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Have you found this peace? Have you found your refuge and your fortress in the Lord?

We know that the Lord uses the stars and planets as signs to mark sacred times. We also know that the Lord uses the Jewish festivals to give us a foreshadowing of the events that they represent. At this moment in history, even the most conservative Biblical scholars are saying that something is going on. As things unfold, are you seeking shelter in the things of this world or are you seeking shelter in the Lord?

Where you seek shelter will have eternal consequences!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

June 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Do you like to be blamed or held accountable when things go wrong?

That is exactly what condemnation is. We are blamed and held accountable for the sins that we commit. We are all guilty. We are all sinners.

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

No descendants of Adam and Eve can escape the fate that we inherit due to the fall from grace. We are all born sinners and we inherit, we deserve, the consequences of our sins. There is none righteous on our own!

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 . . .

God had another plan to redeem us, to restore us unto Himself. God has a plan to remove all condemnation from us as far as the east is from the west.

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))

If you profess a faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven. You do not stand condemned. That is the greatest news that anyone could ever receive. With all that is happening in the world at this time, many people believe that His return is coming very soon. We do not want to be found still condemned by our sin when He does return. It’s as easy as ABC.

A is for 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.

It is your choice!

You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to love like Jesus?

May 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

How many people do you know for whom you would give up your life in order to save theirs?

If you are like most people, that number is relatively small and is probably limited to immediate family and maybe a few close friends. Some of us may even venture to say that we would do it for the greater good of humanity, but in all honesty, self preservation is a powerful human trait and not many of us would actually carry through with what we profess.

Jesus did!

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Jesus willingly laid down His life for anyone who has lived or will ever live just so that they can have their sins washed clean! He laid down His life for His friends. He laid down His life for you and I.

What makes us His friends?

You are my friends if you do what I command.
(John 15:14 (NIV))

What does Jesus command?

This is my command: Love each other.
(John 15:17 (NIV))

If we simply rely on our own human nature, we cannot love each other. We need help. We need to admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We must be willing to repent and follow Jesus. We must be willing to set our selfish natures aside and live our lives as Jesus lived His. We must be willing to follow Jesus and love those whom He loves. We must be willing to show that love in ways that may go beyond our comfort zones.

Are you willing to love like Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you fully devoted to Jesus?

May 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42 (NIV))

They had something to be thankful for. They had something to share. They had something to celebrate!

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:17 (NIV))

They had recognized and accepted God’s gift of salvation and they were not lukewarm in their faith. In fact, the early church felt that their faith required their full devotion and not just for a weekly twenty minute sermon. Why do we fail to do the same?

What have we lost?

It is common thinking that today we are far more intellectual, far more studied and educated than at any other time in history. Are we? We turn on a screen to keep us entertained. We click a button to play our favorite music. We scroll through endless amounts of mindless chatter and think that we are smarter and that we are far more educated on subjects than our ancestors. What we fail to realize is that now we are being spoon fed what someone else wants us to know. If something doesn’t fit into our way of thinking, we tend to brush it off and move on. If something does catch our attention, we don’t put an extended effort into anything because we think that it is too difficult. We think that if we need to know it, we can simple ask Google. Is this the more abundant life that Jesus died on the cross to give us?

When was the last time that you spent any time in God’s Word? Do you have a consistent time that you set aside for God’s Word and for prayer? It is said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. If that is true, then if we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we should be hopelessly devoted to the One who loves us enough to save us from our sins. We should be hopelessly devoted to getting to know our Lord and Savior. We should be devoted to the apostles’ teaching. We should be devoted to fellowship with other believers. We should break bread with other believers, and we should pray individually and collectively.

Today, if someone is totally devoted to Jesus, if they do these things, people call them various different names including Bible thumper. Do you care what people call you? Do you care what the world thinks of you or do you long to be like Paul?

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
(1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV))

Are you fully devoted to Jesus?

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