This a a fantastic reason to be thankful!

August 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
     his love endures forever.
(Psalms 118:1 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world. give thanks to the Lord!

To those who do not profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, that may sound completely counter to what you would expect. If you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when prices are high; if you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when people are still reeling from the global pandemic; if you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when there are wars and rumors of wars, and when evil is called good and good is called evil, and when there are more extremes in the world than you can count, then it is time to give thanks to the Lord!

He is good!

His love does endure forever!

For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, we know that all of this has been foretold. We have a loving God who has told us from the beginning the things that would happen at the end. He does not want us to be alarmed. He does not want us to be caught off guard. He wants us to be vigilant and prepared for the things that He has told us would happen so that when they happen we will know that He is in control.

If you have been led to this devotional and do not know Jesus, I want to ask you a few questions.

Do you have a feeling that something is just not right in the world?

Do you see moral depravity on the increase and wonder what is going on?

Do you have a feeling that what we used to know as normal will never return?

You are not alone. The members of the Body of Christ are feeling it too. We know that the Lord is unfolding His plans and that the time is rapidly approaching when He will judge the world. I don’t have the time to explain in detail just how this happens. Just know that it will happen. There has never been a more urgent time to repent and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior than now. Do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you think that you are a good person. No one is good except God.

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))

Give thanks to God for sending us His Son to bring us salvation.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

God loves us enough to offer us eternal life through His love that endures forever.

This a a fantastic reason to be thankful!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn to the Lord!

August 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

God is our refuge and strength,
     an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalms 46:1 (NIV))

How true this is!

We have a refuge from the storms of this life. God is always there to turn to no matter what our life is bringing to us or what the sinful, fallen world is sending our way. Whether we need to turn to God for safety and refuge or whether we turn to God in celebration, He is always there to turn to. He will never abandon those who earnestly seek Him and call upon His Son, Jesus Christ for salvation.

God is good all the time!

Do you earnestly seek Him? Do you truly desire the things that He promises over the things of this world?

If you simply look at the things of this world and have no other point of reference, there are some things that look appealing. I know that you have looked. What person hasn’t looked? What are the things that initially caught your attention in this world? There are things that we all like such as nice homes, nice cars, enough money to do what you want when you want, and the respect of those around you, but are these things the source of your strength or have they caused you more trouble than you care to admit? Even those who have these things still have troubles. In fact, I remember talking to someone about these things when I was in my mid-twenties. His reply to me was that having these things didn’t make your troubles go away. They just got bigger. A nice house and nice cars just lead to the same thing – headache! The only difference is the size of the headache, the size of the trouble.

With that in mind, no matter the size of your trouble, simply remember that God is our refuge. He is our strength. He alone is our help in trouble, and at this moment in time, the whole world is facing trouble. Pandemics, weather issues, extreme temperatures, supply chaine problems, food shortages, wars and rumors of wars are all signs of the troubles that the whole world is facing. We have had times of great wars and times of pandemics. We have had times of localized food shortages and weather, but we have never had things worldwide with the prospect of things of Biblical proportion. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I rest assured that I have placed my faith and trust solely in the Lord.

When things in life are tough, take refuge in the Lord.

When things in life are tough, find strength in the Lord.

When things in life are tough, seek help from the Lord.

It is often said that life is tough, so that only leaves one possible conclusion.

Turn to the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you truly taken refuge in the Lord?

July 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
(Psalms 18:30 (NIV))

Have you truly taken refuge in the Lord?

Think about that question, for your eternity lies in your answer.

Do the ever-increasing number of events unfolding in this world have you worried, or are you at complete peace that defies all worldly logic? Do you see the extremes that people will go to when things don’t go as they desire, even when their desires are far from godly? Do you find yourself heartbroken because these people have believed the lie from the enemy? Are you saddened when someone curses God? I recently saw a video that had a segment where a man about fifty years old got right in the lens of the camera and in a very demonic voice proudly proclaimed that he liked killing babies!

We are told that the wheat and the tares will grow up evenly. We are told that good will be called evil and evil will be called good. We are told that a great delusion will fall over those who do not fear the Lord. We are told that there will be wars and rumors of wars. We are told that people will be lovers of themselves!

I personally believe that my last sentence is the root cause of everything since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. We want to do what we want to do and we want everyone to accept what we want to do. We have come to the point where we love ourselves so much that we fail to even have any glimmer of love for anyone else. I don’t know about you, but this sounds just like the enemy when he was cast out of heaven. Satan wanted to be in control and he wanted to do things his way. Does this sound familiar to you?

There are two very distinct ways that we can be in respect to a relationship with the Lord. We can deny, despise, reject, and curse Him, or we can run to His open arms and find love, redemption, grace, mercy, and refuge. Now is the time to run to His open arms with a repentant heart. Do it before it is too late!

Once again I need to ask one very important question.

Have you truly taken refuge in the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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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Will this be changing soon?

May 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
(Matthew 5:45b (NIV))

I truly love the fact that God shows His mercies to everyone whether we deserve them or not. Based on this passage, He uses everything in His creation to draw people to Himself. Sadly, too many people simply ignore Him, or even worse, they curse Him. He even sent His Son, Jesus, to live in this world as a teacher and to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice. He even resurrected Jesus from the dead to overcome the power of sin and death, and still, people ignore Him or curse Him.

We are told that a time will come at the end when His wrath will be poured out on the world!

What do you believe will happen with the righteous at this time?

I am sure that someone has drawn this conclusion before, but I want to present a passage that I believe tells us of God’s heart toward the righteous. It comes from the parable of the ten virgins.

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
(Matthew 25:1-5 (NIV))

We know all too well God’s definition of a fool.

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

I believe that we can interchange righteous with wise and unrighteous with foolish. Based on that, I believe that we see the next obvious step in the process with those who are ready and waiting for Jesus will be taken to be with the bridegroom!

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
(Matthew 25:10 (NIV))

I have never heard anything about Jewish wedding traditions that say those waiting for the bridegroom would undergo suffering. I have never heard anything about these traditions that indicate they would miss the joyous celebration. If Jesus is coming for His bride, His bride would be spotless!

We see the sun rising on both the evil and the good. We see rains falling on both the righteous and the unrighteous. I believe that this is in the process of changing.

Will this be changing soon?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How is God working things in your life?

March 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 (NIV))

There are so many things that I could ask based on this passage, but they all hinge upon a single question.

Do you love God?

If your answer is that you love God, then have you been called according to His purpose? Have you answered His call?

Contrary to what many people believe, if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and you rely on this profession to show that you love God, then you have a calling. We don’t just simply sit back and do whatever we want while reaping the blessings. We are each called to share those blessings with the world. We are called to share Jesus!

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
(Mark 16:15-16 (NIV))

These words were spoken to the disciples after His resurrection and at His ascension, but they still apply to you and I today. The disciples passed that responsibility to others, who passed it to others, who passed it to others as it eventually made it to you and I. The instructions haven’t changed. We, as professing members of the Body of Christ, are all called to preach the gospel. That calling hasn’t changed since it was given, but what has changed are the people who are the ones who should now be responding to that calling. Those people are you and I! What has changed are the individuals who have been gifted with unique abilities to reach people that only they can reach.

Think about that!

There are lost people in your circle of influence who need to know Jesus.

Have you ever shared the Gospel? Have you ever felt a burden for a lost individual? Have you ever prayed for God to show you how to tell someone about Jesus? Have you ever asked God to specifically show you His will and His call upon your life? Perhaps you are simply content going through life thinking that you have your salvation and that someone else will take the responsibility of sharing with the people whom you are called to shared Jesus with?

If you truly love God, then you should want to tell everyone about what He has done.

Think about that in terms of a worldly relationship. When you were dating someone new, you told everyone you know about that person. You probably talked on and on about the cute way that they smiled and how they made you smile. Think about what God has done for you through His Son, Jesus. Isn’t it something far greater than a cute smile? Do you love the Lord? Do you have something so wonderful to share because of this new relationship?

Do you love God enough to share Him with others? Do you simply sit back and allow His calling to go unanswered? If you don’t answer His call, what does that say about your love for Him?

How is God working things in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

February 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
     abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
(Psalms 86:5 (ESV))

What do you tell people who claim that God won’t send them to hell because He is love, and why would a loving God do such a thing?

Let that question sink in!

Do you know anyone who professes this belief? Have you ever professed this belief? On the surface, it sounds so appealing and accurate, but is it accurate?

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 it is accurate, then why did God send His one and only Son? Why did He have to go to the cross? Why did He have to die in order to pay for our transgressions, for our sins?

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

Too many people have accepted the lie propagated by the enemy that says that since God is love, He accepts you just as you are and that you do not have to change. They forget one important fact that clearly modifies those with whom God shares His steadfast love.

“to all who call upon you.”

Too many people ignore the fact that we have to call on the Lord to save us, and then His love is poured out upon us. He does love everyone, but He desires for you to repent, accept His gift of grace and mercy, and then follow Him. There is nothing in His Word that says that He will show His redeeming love to those who rebel against Him. All that you have to do is read about Adam and Eve, the flood, the Tower of Babel and many others to see what happens to those who rebel. Countless times, He pleads with those who are in rebellion to turn to Him and live! That is why He sent His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (ESV))

Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fulfilling His requirements?

January 5, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
     And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
     and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 (NIV))

Sometimes we get so caught up in what the world calls good that we lose sight of what is truly good.

Lately, we have seen things in this world that no one in their right mind would call good. In fact, many would say that the world is calling evil good and good is being called evil. Where do you stand on the things that have been happening in this world? Do you think that they are escalating in frequency and intensity? Do you long for things to return to some type of normalcy or have you started looking up?

If you love the world, you are probably focused on being able to return to the things that you used to know. How does that appear to be going? Do you see any signs of this happening in the near future?

If you love the Lord, you are probably looking around at what is going on and, as a result, your gaze has shifted. Have you started looking for the Lord? I honestly believe that many who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are doing just that. We see signs and know that the time is close. Still, what do we do while still in this world? What do we do when we encounter those who have fallen for the delusion and believe that good is evil and that evil is good?

That is a very tough question, but it has a very simple answer!

We are to treat them in the same manner that we long to be treated. We are to act justly.

We are to show mercy when our human nature eggs us on to fall back into our depraved, sinful nature. We are to love mercy even when we are not shown mercy by this world, for we have been shown the greatest mercy of all.

We are to live out our lives in humility for we are all sinners in need of a Savior. We must not allow our ego and pride to be the stumbling block that prevents someone from coming to a saving relationship with Jesus.

Only God knows what tomorrow will bring. We must allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit in such a way that we are being obedient to His calling no matter what the circumstances. We must always keep our eyes on Jesus!

Are you fulfilling His requirements?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we truthfully say why we are thankful?

November 24, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
        and his courts with praise;
        give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalms 100:4 (NIV))

Have you ever wondered why we give thanks to the Lord? The very next passage tells us why the psalmist chose to give thanks.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
        his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalm 100:5 (NIV))

His reasons should be our reasons, but are they? Can we go deeper? Can we truthfully say why we are thankful?

Have you ever found yourself stopping what you were doing and lifting up a heartfelt thank you to God? Have you ever simply told the Lord that you are thankful for all that He has done for you? Have you ever faced something so overwhelming that you had no idea how you would make it through those circumstances only to find that He had gotten your through it? I could go on and on asking questions about different scenarios that should elicit thankfulness to the Lord, but I believe that I can stop. Hopefully you understand that there are so many different reasons to give thanks to the Lord. The psalmist chose to say that the Lord is good. He chose to tell us that His love endures forever. He chose to tell us that His faithfulness will never end. I honestly believe that there are some things within these three characteristics that we should focus on.

How has the Lord been good to you? Chances are good that they are too numerous to ever mention all of them.

How has the Lord shown you His enduring love? Besides the obvious one where He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins, there are probably far too many instances to count.

How has the Lord been faithful to you? Has He ever turned His back on you when you called out to Him? There is a much better chance that we have turned our backs on Him far more times than we care to admit. If we repent, He is faithful to forgive!

I would like to challenge you to personalize your reasons for entering His gates with thanksgiving.

Can we truthfully say why we are thankful?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you meeting these requirements?

November 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 (NIV))

We are required to do three things. I started to say that we are required to do three simple things, but with the history that humanity has, these three things are not simple to do. Humanity has failed miserably at these three things ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.

How do you do with respect to these three requirements?

Do you act justly one hundred percent of the time or do you find yourself showing favoritism or even selfishness at times? Do you think of others or do you only look out for yourself? Take a long hard look at your motives and your actions before you say whether you act justly.

Do you love mercy at all times or do you find yourself only desiring mercy when it is applied to you? Do you hold a grudge against someone for something that they did to you? Are you willing to forgive?

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
(Matthew 6:14 (NIV))

Do you walk humbly with your God at all times or do you sometimes forget the relationship that you have with God as the Creator while you are the creation? Do you try to tell God how He should do things? Do you try to convince God that you should be His priority because everyone around you is not worth His time? Do you suffer from the dreaded human characteristics of ego and pride?

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:8 (NIV))

Based on these three requirements, every single one of us has very severe shortcomings. If we were undergoing a performance evaluation for our employment based on these three requirements, what type of evaluation would be recorded for you? Isn’t God’s evaluation of us based on these three requirements so much more important than a job evaluation? If we can’t successfully pass a worldly evaluation, how can we expect to pass God’s evaluation of us?

I know that we have been given grace through the atoning blood of Jesus, but that does not excuse us from continuing to do poorly on these three requirements. We are called to mature in our faith, in our walk with Jesus, so that we begin to take on the very characteristics of Christ. In this world, we will never be perfect, but we are called to be continually perfected in order to reflect Jesus in all that we do.

Are you meeting these requirements?

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