Does pride get in your way?

October 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

By the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
(Romans 12:3 (NIV))

It is easy to have an inflated opinion of your self-worth, especially when you listen to yourself and ignore what God is telling you. We see our own “achievements” and we know what it has taken to accomplish them. We see other people who are at different levels within what God has called them to achieve, and we judge their calling and their achievements.

What we fail to realize is that what we are currently experiencing may be the only thing that God has called us to and that what we see of others is only the tip of the iceberg. We do not know what God has in store for us or for others. We do not truly know what God has in store for us. Do you recall what you were doing ten years ago? Put yourself into that situation once again. Now take a look at your current situation with a ten year perspective. Are you doing what you thought you would be doing?

Our self-esteem, or should I say ego, has a tendency to get in our way, especially when it comes to seeing the big picture and God’s plan for all of us. We tend to over emphasize our role and downplay the roles of others. This starts to sound like one of the sins that we are supposed to avoid in our life – the sin of pride.

How do you think of yourself? Do you inflate your importance or do you accept your current situation as something that is temporary and in God’s hands?

Does pride get in your way?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you strong and courageous?

October 13, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9 (NIV))

Possibly the most difficult thing to wholeheartedly accept is that God is with us wherever we go. We believe it when things are going good. We say it less often when things are beginning to look less than perfect. We tell others to believe it when things are going badly for them, but do we honestly believe it when we are facing things in our lives that are less than desirable?

It is so easy to be strong and courageous when there is no reason to fear. Human nature is very bold and positive when there is no present danger. It is a little less easy to be strong and courageous when you start to feel threatened in some manner. Finally, it is almost impossible to keep any reasonable facsimile of strength and courage when faced with an immediate threat. The only people who are able to maintain any resemblance of calm and courage in the face of danger are those who have actually trained for such an event.

How can we, as believers, train for these times?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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. 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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

It cannot be simpler. In order to be strong and courageous, we need to train ourselves to rely on God in all situations. We need to know Him, His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God’s Word so that we can quickly summon the appropriate armor to use in defending against the attacks of the enemy. We must also be able to listen and obey the voice of our Lord just as a soldier listens and obeys the voice of his commanding officer. We must be able to quickly discern what is from God and what is from the enemy.

Are you fully trained?

Are you strong and courageous?

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

October 11, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

With God we will gain the victory,
     and he will trample down our enemies.
(Psalms 60:12 (NIV))

Do you believe this?

I know that with all that is going on in the world, sometimes it may be difficult to believe this. What is fundamentally wrong with this thought process is the simple fact that we don’t rely on what is going on in the world. We, as the Body of Christ, should only rely on God’s promises and not on the fallen nature of the world around us.

I know that this is a hard thing to do especially since humanity has fallen and is sinful by nature. In our sinful nature we rely on what we can see instead of relying on the promises that God has given to us.

Lord, I pray that You will open our spiritual eyes so that we can see Your grace, Your mercy and Your power as it readies to defeat the enemy once and for all. Jesus came to conquer sin and death. When He returns, He will come as a mighty warrior who will defeat the enemy and his followers.

Come Lord Jesus!

Come!

Your bride is growing tired of the conditions that have been unleashed in Your world. We long for Your return and the righteousness that You will bring!

The victory is Yours!

Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is God working in you?

October 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
(Philippians 2:13 (NIV))

Have you felt a tugging at your spirit lately?

If you are like many people who profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you feel that God is unfolding something that most of us thought would not come in our lifetime. Do you feel a sense of urgency in sharing the Gospel as events in this world accelerate and converge with the outcome all pointing to the the soon return of Jesus?

In God’s grand scheme of things, He can make things unfold without our help, but He would prefer to work through us in such as way that it becomes obvious that the results are not of our own doing. God works in and through His people. He gives us a mission, a calling, that He longs for us to fulfill. He wants us to draw closer to Him as we help spread the Gospel.

If you profess a faith in Jesus, then you have opened the door to your life in such a way that the Lord should be working in you. We are all called to help spread the Gospel, especially “for such a time as this.”

How do you feel that God is working in you? Are you filled with compassion for the lost? Are you called to share your faith with your family and friends? Are you heartbroken because good is now being called evil and evil is now being called good? What is God working in you that will bring you to act, to respond to His calling, so that you fulfill His good purpose? Does something weigh heavily on your heart? God has given you a burden, and an assignment, to match the burden that He has for the very same thing. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask for wisdom to be obedient to that burden, to that calling, so that you may respond as He longs for you to respond.

God desires to work in each of us, but it is up to us to be willing to respond to that still, small voice. We must be willing and able to discern that tugging and allow God deeper into our lives so that He will manifest His works even when we are not capable of such things on our own.

With this front and center, I have but one more thing to ask?

How is God working in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Never stop glorifying God!

October 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
(Luke 23:46 (NIV))

We read these words and marvel at the control that Jesus had as He faced the cross. Even unto the point of death He remained in control. Even unto death He remained a model for how we should live our lives.

He set the bar quite high. Can any of us achieve what Jesus achieved? Can we face our lives and even our deaths as Jesus did? Can we walk with the faith that no matter what may happen, God is right there with us just as He was with Jesus?

I just realized one very important thing that many people ignore. In order for Jesus to fulfill God’s plan, God had to turn His back on Jesus when Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself. For that period of time, Jesus was alone. We never have to be alone. God will never turn His back on us for the price has been paid in full. Jesus paid that price, and even when He was all alone, He still returned glory to where it belonged.

Human nature is so frail. Even with the assurances that God is with us and the Jesus died for us, all too often we fail to acknowledge God’s presence in our lives. We need to take a lesson from Jesus’ last words on the cross and fully embrace God’s glory and presence no matter what we may be facing.

I love the life that God has blessed me with, but, when it comes to be my time, I pray that I remember to glorify God as Jesus did. Life is a great gift. Grace is a great gift. Fully embrace both and live your life as God intended. Don’t allow anything to take it away from you.

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))

Never stop glorifying God!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you taken the time to know God?

September 23, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

Are you able to be still?

Does the sound of silence become so overwhelming that you get up to do something? Perhaps you turn on the television to distract your mind. What does this say about your ability to sit in silence? Are you afraid of what you will hear? Perhaps you are afraid of who you will hear it from? Something deep inside of us knows that God comes to us in the quiet moments.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
(1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV))

Elijah did not ignore the gentle whisper. He had waited through all of the things that the world recognizes as symbols of power and authority, but he knew that is not how God speaks to us. Elijah answered the gentle whisper.

Are you afraid of the gentle whisper that you may hear when all of the world has been turned off and tuned out? Are you afraid to be still and listen for that gentle whisper? Do you try to drown out the gentle whisper with the distractions of the world?

A gentle whisper is the voice of intimacy. It is the voice that is used when someone tells you something that is only meant for you. God has something that He wants to tell you and it is only meant for you. He has other intimate whispers for each of us. He is not going to shout to the world what He wants to tell you and only you. He is going to whisper. You must be willing to be still in His presence so that you can hear and understand the gentle whisper. Are you willing to overcome the fear of the gentle whisper from God?

Turn off the television. Tune out the world. Open up your Bible and dive deeply into the pages of His Word. When you make this a daily habit, you will be able to be still in His presence. You will know Him as your God and Father. You will know Him as your redeemer!

Have you taken the time to know God?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What do you believe?

September 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s world, deceit is everywhere. The prince of this world tries to deceive the faithful by wrapping his deception in a cloak that imitates the Truth.

Be careful in what you allow into your heart. Test everything. Satan can also appear as an angel of Light. If something does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, run from it.

All of God’s Truth throughout the history of the Bible has pointed to one man through many prophecies. If something professes to be from God, yet does not acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son, it is not from God.

Jesus foretold of this and left us a warning.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:22-23 (NIV))

Do not be deceived, but keep your eyes focused on God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

What do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Call collect. He will accept all charges!

September 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:13 (NIV))

Do you know someone who feels that they are too far gone for God to care about them? Are you trying to share the grace and mercy that is freely given and their reply is that you don’t know what they have done? Do they think that what they have done is so bad that God could never forgive them? Perhaps that someone is you and you were given this to read. Rest assured that the only thing that God cannot forgive is a hardened heart. His forgiveness requires that you soften your heart and turn to accept His offer of grace and mercy.

God loves you. He never left you. It is we, in our sinful nature, who have left Him. Each of us have tried to fill that void where God should be with what the world has to offer. Nothing in this world will work! He has provided a way for this void to be filled with Himself. He has provided a way to return to Him. In fact, He is calling us to return to Himself.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

As you can see, God’s offer is on the table. It is up to us whether we accept it or reject it. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior. Soften your heart and turn to the Lord.

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.

Something else for you to think about. He wants you to call on Him.

Call collect. He will accept all charges!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you still feel the weight of guilt and shame?

September 2, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
(Hebrews 9:14 (NIV))

What weighs on your conscience?

Every single one of us is guilty of so much in our lives. We can’t seem to go a single day without adding something more to the already overwhelming burden of sin that we have accumulated during our time on this earth. If you ever truly stop and reflect on the sin that has permeated your life, it is staggering.

In your opinion, what is the worst thing that you have ever done in this life?

Do you try to bury it so deep inside that you never have to think about it? It is still there. It is still ammunition that the enemy can use against you. It is one of his primary tactics to get you to think that the grace offered by Jesus on the cross could never be for someone like you! The enemy loves to make you feel guilty and then drive that guilt home. The enemy loves to take the guilt and then turn it into shame. When this happens, you lose all hope, for you have not only accepted the lie, you have embraced the lie of condemnation as your own story.

Stop right there!

That does not have to be your story!

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))

Do you believe?

If you answered that you believe, then you are not condemned. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty for and you have absolutely nothing in your life that needs to cause shame. Jesus took these sins and covered them with His blood. The blood of Christ has cleansed you. You have been washed white as snow.

Do you still feel the weight of guilt and shame?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must share the truth!

August 25, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
(Romans 1:18 (NIV))

Have you ever just stopped and looked around at all that is going on in the world and wondered if all that is unfolding is all part of God’s plan because of the world’s godlessness and wickedness?

To the world, that question seems like the rantings of a lunatic, but for the members of the Body of Christ, that question makes perfect sense. What do you think of that question? Do you think that anyone who professes a belief that God is beginning to exact His wrath on a wicked world is insane, or do you understand God’s plan well enough in relation to what is unfolding to see things from His perspective?

We are told what happens to those who deny anything to do with God.

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))

Simply stated, this translation implies that they did not wish to hold God in their minds or in their memories so He gave them depravity. Another translation states it this way.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
(Romans 1:28 (ESV))

This translation implies that they refused to recognize the authority of God so He lowered the quality of their minds. Perhaps the best translation of this passage that I have read comes from the Complete Jewish Bible.

In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.
(Romans 1:28 (CJB))

In other words, they were given a choice and they decided that God was not worth it! This results in worthless ways of thinking and improper actions. Is it just me, or does this sound just like what we are seeing in the world right now? Good is called evil and evil is called good. Sin is called a lifestyle and Biblical values are called bigoted and hateful. Anything and everything is accepted as long as it is not the truth.

When I see things like this in the world, I feel a wide range of emotions. I feel sadness. I feel pity. I feel anger. I feel helpless, hopeless and lost because these people don’t even recognize that they are making an eternal mistake.

Do you consider God worth knowing?

Do you recognize the authority of God?

Do you keep God in your memory and on your mind?

The time is short. From what I have seen, there is an increasing intensity and a rapidly increasing convergence of things happening in this world. Pray for your families. Pray for your city. Pray for you region, your country and the world. Pray that the hearts and minds of those who deny God will be softened and changed before it is too late! There has never been a more urgent time to share the Gospel!

We must share the truth!

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