Do you sow generously or sparingly?

January 31, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV))

There are several other ways of saying this that are probably a little more familiar to most people.
Perhaps the best one is that you get out what you put in. With not too much of a stretch of the imagination, you could also apply the old saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” No matter how you look at it, the concept comes down to one simple, yet valid truth. A little effort will yield a little result and a big effort will yield a big result.

We understand this concept when it comes to work, but have you stopped to think about the universal truth to this. It applies to all aspects of our lives!

Relationships. School. Athletic endeavors. Careers. All of these, and many others, follow the concepts as espoused in 2 Corinthians 8:6. It also applies to Biblical understanding and our relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can’t expect something for nothing. Everything requires an effort on our part before we see the fruits of our labors. If you love to play baseball, then you spend countless hours giving of yourself to the sport that you love. If you are madly in love, then you spend countless hours with the person that you love. If you love the Lord, then you spend all of the time that you can in study, prayer and communication so that you can get a better understanding of God’s heart.

“Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

It sounds like Jesus is telling people to sow generously in their relationship with Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you able to say that you know God?

June 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

I read an article today by Don Finto, a man that I have a lot of respect for. He was writing about the word “Selah” and it’s use in Psalms. Something struck me about the words that he wrote about the word that no one can agree on what it actually means. I confirmed that some translations are actually removing this because no one truly knows what it means. This brought this passage to mind.

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
(Matthew 5:18 (NIV))

I realize that the Psalms are not the Law, but it struck me as odd that someone would take it upon themselves to remove something from the Bible just because they don’t know what it means. I know that people may not like the meaning and the message behind many parts of the Bible, but they don’t remove something because of it. I also know that people have a tendency to pick and choose what they believe and what they choose to apply to their lives, but they don’t remove anything. I then realized that there are new translations that have come out that have completely changed any and all references to God and Jesus to a less threatening and more politically correct narrative.

I then realized that people have been removing things from God’s Word for a very long time. It has just become much more prevalent now than ever before.

With the direction of this topic, you may ask why I chose Psalms 46:10 as the verse that it is based on. The reason is simple. Now, more than ever, the Body of Christ must be still and know God. We must seek His truth and not the altered lies that the enemy has created. We must be prepared both in season and out of season to stand firm on God’s truth. In order to do that, we must know what God’s truth is. We must know God’s heart! We must be able to know if something is of God or is from the enemy without any hesitation, for the day is coming when hesitation may mean we fall for the lies of the enemy. We must know God intimately.

Are you able to say that you know God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t let temptation hold you captive!

March 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
(Colossians 2:8 (NAS))

I never thought of it like this, but this is exactly what the enemy is doing!

He is using lies and the worldly philosophy to take people captive. They have become prisoners of war! They are held captive by lies. They are held captive by partial truths that are deceiving people because they don’t know the full truth. They are held captive by a love of their own sins, and they are held captive because they are following a crowd.

We must be prepared to fight the good fight so that we are not taken captive by the enemy. We must know God’s Word. We must know God’s heart, and we must know God’s Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior. We must know God so well that we can tell when something is a lie from the enemy.

Think about the lies of the enemy.

He knows God’s Word and can twist it. He knows God’s heart and can make you think that God doesn’t care what you do. He knows God’s Son, Jesus, and he will trick you with teachings that are so close, yet they will lead you astray.

When you are in a battle, most prisoners are taken because they are in the wrong place or they are overwhelmed. Satan tries to get you to go to that wrong place. He tries to overwhelm you so that you will fall.

Stay strong in the Lord. Focus on Jesus! Meditate on God’s Word so that you will know God’s heart. Open your heart and life to allow Jesus full access. Allow the Holy Spirit to indwell you so that you have guidance and instruction.

Don’t allow temptation to lure you to a wrong place!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s Word is greater than what society says!

March 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
(1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NIV))

Does a righteous person need the law?

If you seek after God’s heart, then His Laws will be part of your life. You will find yourself meditating on His Word and walking in His Word because you have a desire to do what is right in the eyes of God.

Does a sinful person need the law?

Far too many people need laws to tell them what not to do. They need a law telling them not to murder. They need a law telling them not to steal. They need laws telling them what is not good in the eyes of God.

What is the difference between these two groups of people? Why do some people accept God’s plan and His Laws while others rebel against God’s plan and His Laws? We may never know the exact reason, but I know that we can trace the root cause back to the fall from grace.

Did you notice that what was listed in the passage was described as contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel?

Did you notice anything listed that hit too close to home? Are any of these your own little pet sin, a sin that is keeping you from God’s grace because it does not conform to what Jesus taught?

Did you notice anything in this passage that is contrary to what many in the church today believe? The church has allowed the world to change it. We are failing in our mission. We are to be the salt and the light. We are not to allow the world to change God’s Word and the church!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the mind of Christ?

February 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
“For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV))

I read this passage and it hit home!

We think that we are spiritual and listen to God because we don’t directly rebel. We look at those who rebel against God and think that we have an inside track to God’s heart.

What is the difference between those who rebel against God and those who seek after God’s heart? What is it that makes one person claim that anything to do with God is foolishness and the one person who embraces every word that God speaks?

Do you see yourself in these polar opposites? Perhaps you see yourself somewhere in the middle. Do you find yourself thinking that God is foolishness when what He says contradicts what you want to do? Do you embrace God’s promises when they will benefit what you want?

Do you want to know the mind of God?

Do you want to be so in tune with what is on His heart that you see things as He sees them?

We are seeing things unfolding in this world that I would have never imagined happening in my lifetime. Many in our society, and in the world, are calling the things of God foolishness. They are rebelling against what is righteous. We, as the Body of Christ, cannot be in the middle.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV))

We must fully embrace, we must fully know the mind of the Lord and accept His instruction.

We must have the mind of Christ in all that we do?

Do you have the mind of Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you asked God to provide?

February 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You do not have, because you do not ask God.
(James 4:2c (NIV))

How many of us are guilty of not approaching the throne of God?

Let’s face the truth. Human nature has us asking for things all of the time, but, when was the last time that you approached boldly and with the certainty that what you were asking for was actually a part of God’s Will? Do we ever truly have that certainty? Perhaps you need confirmation.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
(John 16:24 (NIV))

Just what do you find joy in? Is it your family? Is it your job? Is it how you serve God? Perhaps your joy truly comes from desiring to know God’s heart and to fulfill His joy! When you desire to fulfill God’s plan for your life, you experience great joy for His joy has become yours. When you seek after God’s heart, then you can ask God anything that fits within the boundaries of that joy. When we truly find this, then we are complete for we have found what God created us for. When you know what God created you for, then the things that you ask will fit within His plan for you and He will provide.

What is God’s plan for your life? Are you confident of that plan? Have you asked God to provide?

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
(1 John 5:14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are your thoughts true and noble, right and pure in the eyes of God?

November 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise-worthy, think about such things.
(Philippians 4:8 (NIV))

What do you find yourself thinking about?

With the state of the world it is easy to find yourself thinking about such things as terrorism, warfare, hunger, school shootings, and just about any other so-called news worthy event that transpires. It seems that the world is no longer interested in anything that remotely resembles what is written of in Philippians 4:8.

Whatever happened to the good things that used to occur in this world?

They are still there. As long as the Body of Christ stands determined to not give in to the pressures and the sins of our world, then things that are true and noble will remain. The problem seems to be that we don’t spend enough time within God’s Word, which is the ultimate truth. We spend more time reflecting upon the wrongs of our society and not enough time searching God’s Word for ways to fix our society. I am guilty of this. News events upset me to no end, but I don’t stop and earnestly pray. I don’t seek God’s heart and wisdom as I should.

If I am not part of the solution, then I am part of the problem.

God has a plan for this world. He has a plan for you and I. In order for us to fulfill God’s perfect plan, we must learn to focus on His Will. We must learn to recognize that this world is not our home. It is a battlefield between the forces of God and the forces of the enemy. We must stay true to our calling. We must think about what God would have us to do. We must pray. We must listen for God’s still, small voice for guidance. We must not think of things that are detestable to God.

Are your thoughts true and noble, right and pure in the eyes of God?

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