Is this how you know the Lord?

March 6, 2018

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
(Psalms 88:15 (NIV))

Everyone in the world has an image of how they see God!

Some see an angry old man. Some see a vindictive character. Others see someone who just doesn’t care about us, while others see Him as someone who takes great joy in each of us. Even atheists, who claim that He doesn’t exist, have a mental image of Him, or should I say the absence of Him, for it takes a very vivid imagination to claim that He doesn’t exist.

What is your image of God?

Is you image of God distorted by the characteristics that your earthly father displayed?

Do you find it difficult to believe that someone who created everything that exists knows you intimately? We are told that He does!

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
(Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV))

When you think of God, do you see Him in this manner?

Is this how you know the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessings to all in the new year!

January 2, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

” ` “The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” ‘
(Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV))

I honestly don’t think that there is a better prayer to pray for someone than these words.

Think about that for a moment.

There is absolutely nothing in these words except asking for God to bless. There is nothing in these words that is self-centered. Contrary to today’s societal norms, it all focuses on someone else. There is absolutely nothing in these words that asks for anything for the person who is praying.

All too often our prayers are self-centered. We claim that we are believers in Jesus, yet, we still focus only on ourselves in our prayers lives. Is this what Jesus taught us? Is this what Jesus would do?

“This, then, is how you should pray:
” `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. ‘
(Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV))

Jesus taught us to focus on God. If we focus on God, it only makes sense that we will seek to have God bless those around us, for we will already have experienced God’s blessings. We will have seen the world through His eyes, and, like David, we will hopefully become a man after God’s own heart. We will not see the world through selfish eyes, but through eyes that long to see God’s Glory manifested in the lives of everyone in the world.

For this coming year, and every year, it is my prayer that God will turn His face toward you and bless you. Are you ready to be blessed? Are you ready to have God bless others through you?

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you returned? Are you still returning?

March 20, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:12-13 (NIV))

Are you ashamed of where you have been?

Perhaps I should ask if you are ashamed of where you are?

Let’s face the hard, unadulterated truth. We are all human, and human nature means that we are not perfect. We have all done things that are far from what Jesus calls us to do. Most of us like to think that this is all in our past, after all, we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! In reality, we still sin. Our human nature doesn’t go away. We must allow the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, to control the sinful nature that lies within all of us.

We must repent daily!

When we repent, we turn away from our sin and return to God. It is an act of obedience that we must do daily, if not more often, for our sinful, human nature will try to make us return to our sin.

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is not the end of your walk with Jesus. It is only the beginning! When you go for a walk, do you ever find yourself making mid-walk corrections and adjustments to make sure that you end up at your ultimate destination. Sometimes you must turn left. Other times you must turn right. Along the way you may have to step over or around obstacles. Sometimes you must turn around or return. Walking with Jesus is much the same way. Our sinful nature will start to lead us down a path that is not right. We must be sure to listen for the call to return to the path that Jesus desires for us to walk.

Have you returned to the Lord to be able to begin anew? Are you returning to Him on a daily basis?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You are uniquely created for a purpose!

June 10, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.
(Genesis 21:1 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that God is not going to keep a promise to you?

Take a look at Sarah.

If you remember, Sarah was very old. She was too old to have children, yet, God promised her that she would have a son. Sarah even laughed at God. Still, He kept His promise.

What is it in your life that God has promised you? Be honest. Don’t look at your life from a selfish perspective, but look at the things that have been tugging at your heart. The things that you know are impossible. The things that would glorify God if they came to be. These are the promises. God calls each of us to be a unique creation. If He created us to be that unique creation, then we each have a promise from God that He will fulfill that unique purpose if we will let Him. It takes faith. It takes patience. Sometimes, it may even take laughter. We can laugh at the impossibilities as the world sees it, and rejoice.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

God has given us a gift of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus. He has also given us a promise. He will keep His promise to each and every one of us when His timing is perfect.

When it seems that God has forgotten you and His promises to you, remember Sarah and rejoice.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How long do you think that God will wait?

September 25, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:12-13 (NIV))

How long do you think that God will wait?

He wants us to return to Him, yet with each passing day the world gets further and further from His Truth.

Where do you stand?

Are you getting further away from God?

Are you still in the same place you were when you first believed?

Are you taking two steps toward Him and one step back?

Are you running in His direction?

Or, are you walking by His side?

There are days when I feel that I can claim to be actively doing all of these. There are things that just seem to make me question what I am doing, and then something wonderful happens and I find myself closer than I could ever imagine.

Even so, I find myself wondering how God can be so patient with me. I just know that I am glad that He is.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you accept this gift?

July 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV))

That is all that we can hope for. All that we can pray for. This is what our hearts long for.

When this was first given to Aaron as a means of blessing Israel, it was their prayer as well. God wants to bless us and give us peace. The children of Israel had God with them for a long time in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They experienced God’s presence on a daily basis, yet, they rebelled against His love by not obeying God’s commands. As a result, it took them forty years to enter the Promised Land, and those who originally rebelled did not live to enter.

Today, we have the grace and mercy given to us through Jesus. It is this grace and mercy that allows us to approach the throne of God completely righteous in the eyes of God.

When this was written, God came to us and we rebelled. Now, through Jesus, we can approach God if our heart desires it. Today, the message is the same as it was when Numbers was written. God wants to bless you and give you peace.

It is God’s gift to each of us. It is given through Jesus.

Will you accept this gift through Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you covering up?

June 1, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
(Proverbs 17:9 (NIV))

Do you tend to forgive and forget or do you continually bring up the wrongs that have been done?

I know that this requires a close inward scrutiny that most of us do not like to endure, but it is something that we must endure. We must examine our actions and our intentions and repent if necessary.

But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
(Matthew 6:15 (NIV))

Covering up an offense is a necessary step in forgiving others. How do you think God can forgive our sins if He does not cover them up? If He continually repeated them in His mind, He would continually find reasons not to extend grace.

God is gracious!

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5 (NIV))

We are forgiven!

Just as we are forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus, we should forgive others.

What are you covering up?

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