Are you thankful for unmerited divine favor?

November 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

What do you have in your life that you consider to be good?

Where did it come from?

If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that everything that you have that you consider to be good did not come from anything that you may have done. You did not cause your life. You did not create your salvation. You did not earn your family. You did not earn God’s love.

It is so interesting and sad that too many people still feel that they can earn God’s love and salvation. They see God as someone that they have to impress and work to earn whatever He gives to them. They simply do not understand grace.

Grace has been defined as unmerited divine assistance.

Unmerited – unearned. In other words, we can do nothing to earn God’s grace and mercy. All that we have to do is accept it. It is free!

Once we realize that God’s grace is free, we begin to realize that all things that are good come from God. God is the creator of life. Life is good. God is the creator of love. Love is good. You never hear of someone who is dying say that they wish they could have a new car. It is not important. You never hear them say that they wished they could have lived life alone. They long for love. Love is important.

This Thanksgiving, reflect upon your life and count your blessings. Give thanks to the one who gave you those blessings. Let those around you know of your thankfulness.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe in praise?

November 17, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
(Psalms 92:1-2 (NIV))

Praise!

Some people do not think that it is good to sing and shout to the Lord. We have something to be very thankful for and it is hard not to praise God for what He has done for us. Grace is an amazing thing. We have not earned it. We cannot buy it. We can only accept it for what it is: the unmerited favor from God. If this is not something to sing and shout about, then we have nothing to sing and shout about.

We should proclaim God’s love from the time that we get up to the time that we go to sleep, for without God’s love, we would be lost in a world of sin and death. God, in all of His mercy, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the atoning sacrifice for our sin so that we would not have to face the death that is the punishment for sin. All we have to do is accept this gift and then praise God for His love, grace and mercy.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The unending, unfailing love of God

April 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.
(Psalms 103:17 (NAS))

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

Both verses tell of the unending, unfailing love that God has for His creation, especially those who call upon His name in love and righteousness.

Don’t get this wrong! God loves everyone, and He does not wish any to perish. He shows unsaved people His love, but in many times that love goes unrecognized by the intended recipient. He does show His love to those who show Him their love. Perhaps it is the fact that they wish to express love in return that allows them to see the love that God pours out on them. He wants to bless us.

God’s love is not limited to only those who are on His “good side.” Anyone can receive God’s love. If anyone turns to Him and repents, then He will be waiting for them with love, grace and mercy that will never end. Isn’t that amazing?

We are limited by human knowledge and capacity and probably every single one of us has trouble grasping the infinite capacity that God has to love us. We cannot comprehend the unlimited love that God has for us and how that love manifested itself for our salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Just as the human mind has trouble with understanding the vastness of the mathematical concept of infinite, we are also limited in understanding the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love.

God is good! Have you accepted the vastness of that goodness and love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s perfect love!

March 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that you loved someone but spent most of your time afraid that you would lose the love of that person?

I think that all of us have had that type of experience when we started dating.

Fear is a force that all too often we find at the center of our lives. We fear the loss of a job. We fear the loss of a home. We fear the loss of our wealth. We fear the loss of our fame. Fear is a major weapon used by Satan against us. It causes us to cling tightly to something that is delicate. Love is delicate. Love is the thing that the enemy frequently attacks through fear.

I often think that fear and love are close to polar opposites. Fear is often one step away from hate and often leads to hate. Think back on your early dating. Was there a situation where love was fearful and eventually lead to hate?

Human love is a frail thing.

When we love, often we want to possess what we love. This love is a selfish love and is only interested in the proverbial what’s in it for me. We fear losing the possession and punish each other because of our selfish motives.

Be thankful that God does not have a love like this toward us!

It is true that He longs for us to rejoice, but He does not force us to do anything. God’s love is patient. Is our love toward God as patient? Do we fear God’s love? Do we try to keep God’s love in the same type of confining box as we have tried to put our love?

God is much more than our feeble attempts at love can comprehend. He is capable of so much more than we can understand. He is capable of so much more love than we can understand.

Would you send your only son to die so that others may live? Would you willingly give something so precious with no guarantee that the gift would be accepted? God loves us unconditionally. He loves us far beyond our ability to comprehend. His love is perfect. We, are His creation, had fallen into sin. God, out of His perfect love for us, reached out to us in our sin and offered us salvation from the death that is the consequences of sin. He did not cause us to sin. He did not need to do anything to offer us salvation, He did not need to reach out to us in our sin. We had placed ourselves in that predicament. God did not do it to us.

Even so, God’s love is perfect. He had a plan. He had a perfect love!

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

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you stand?

June 18, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(1 Peter 3:17 (NIV))

What do you call good? What do you call evil?

Does society agree with you?

Does society do things that you would consider evil?

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))

There may come a day when those who choose to follow God will be looked upon as evil. I know that some would say that this has already started. I like to think that I would willingly suffer for doing what God calls me to do, yet, I am only human. I have human frailties and weaknesses.

Would I be like Peter and deny Jesus?

Would I be forgiven?

Would I hold fast to the faith that I profess to have?

Would my faith be proven to be as great as a mustard seed?

When you hear the word “evil,” what do you think of? Is it murder? Is it stealing? Is it something much bigger than these? Evil can get a small foothold and grow into something that can completely destroy all it touches.

God’s love restores all that it touches. It is good, yet our society seems to want to label this is hatred and evil.

What do you think?

Where do you stand?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Take your faith further!

April 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
(Jude 1:20-21 (NIV))

Not many people quote from Jude. It is a small book. It is the book right before Revelations. With that in mind, these words take on a whole new meaning.

They are a warning to the body of believers to stay fast in the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, for only through this faith will you be able to see the mercy that God has promised.

The message does not stop there. Having faith in Jesus is important, but, we are told to take that further, just as Jesus told us when He gave us the Great Commission.

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
(Jude 1:22-23 (NIV))

We must show mercy as we have been shown mercy. We must do all that we can do to rescue those who do not know Jesus. We must be His hands and feet. We must let His light shine through us. If we do not do these things, are we truly keeping the faith? Perhaps we are – we are keeping it to ourselves, and are not willing to share it with others!

To use a phrase that probably is overused, we must love the sinner and hate the sin. We must not forget this simple fact, for if we start to lose sight of the fact that we hate the sin, we will find ourselves overcome by sin through indifference.

Take your faith further!

What are you doing to build up your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Godly radiance illuminates us!

November 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
(Isaiah 60:19-20 (NIV))

There will come a day when the “light” as we now know it will no longer shine, for it is imperfect and will be replaced by perfection. One day, the radiance that is God will be the only light that we will need. God has given us a glimpse of this light through Jesus Christ.

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
(John 9:5(NIV))

Jesus came into this world so that we could know God and fellowship with Him without the burdens of our sin and shame to keep us from God. Those who call upon the name of Jesus have the light of the Lord within them and we are called to share this “Light” with the world.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16(NIV))

We do not have the awesome radiance that God’s presence will shine, but we have been given the Light of the Lord, Jesus Christ ,within us. If Jesus is the light of the world and we ask Jesus into our hearts, then our hearts should shine with the love of Jesus and the love of God, after all, Jesus told us that those who love Him would do the things that He did.

Jesus brought the light of God’s love into this world and let it shine for anyone who would see! Are you shining your part of the “Light” until God’s radiance illuminates us all?

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