Has the Lord established your plans?

September 27, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
(Proverbs 16:3 (NIV))

Why is it so difficult to turn your life over to someone else, even if that someone is the Creator of all things?

When each of us are just a single individual in the vastness of human history, why do we think that we are any different from anyone else? Why do we think that we can achieve what we want when others have not been able to do this? Why do we strive to be greater than our neighbors? Why do we strive to be greater than our friends? Why do we try to establish plans for ourselves without truly understanding who God is and who we are in His creation?

Human nature makes us look at life as if it is ours to do with as we please. We think that we can go here and there without any ramifications. We think that we are free to make decisions and then expect everything to turn out just as we planned. Have any of us truly ever asked God to tell us His reason, His purpose for creating us? Would you be surprised to find that you are racing down a path that you were never intended to travel?

God did create us to have free will. We do have the option of doing with our lives as we please, but how does that make you feel? Do you still have an emptiness inside? Do you feel as if your life has no purpose?

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

We all need to spend time in God’s presence. As we get to know God, He will give us insight into ourselves. He will give us insight into His plans for us. As we get to know God, we will find that we want to align our lives, we will want to commit whatever we do to the Lord. He will then establish His plans for our lives.

Has the Lord established your plans?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who or what do you have?

March 17, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
(Psalms 73:25 (NIV))

Do the words of the psalmist echo what is in your heart?

Take a serious look at what is being said in these words.

If heaven is the perfect place and the goal that most people have for their eternity, then proclaiming “Whom have I in heaven but you?” is basically proclaiming that heaven is nothing without that individual in it. That individual is the Lord, our God. If the Lord is not there, then it is no longer heaven. The very presence of the Lord makes it perfect. He makes it heaven. He is the Creator. He is perfection. Nothing compares to His greatness!

What is the earth from this point of view?

It is merely a part of His creation.

Is there anything that has been created that is greater than the Creator?

This passage proclaims that there is nothing in the created order that is desired above the Creator. We all have stuff in our lives. Some people have the right perspective and keep God above all others. Some have made a very bad trade and have placed a part of creation, some of their stuff, above the one who created it. They have traded God for the world.

Who or what do you have?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you perish?

September 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
(Psalms 10:16 (NIV))

Look back at your life and think about how many times you have heard of nations changing their boarders. Have you ever heard of a nation that used to exist when you were younger and doesn’t exist now? Are there any nations that didn’t exist when you were younger that do exist now?

We have a tendency to think that the nations of the world are fairly constant, yet, boarders change all of the time. Some nations go away and others come into existence. Nothing in this world is constant. Even the seas change the shoreline over a period of time. Rivers change course and erosion takes its toll on mountains.

There is only one constant in this world. There is only one constant in this universe.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
(John 14:9-10 (NIV))

Nations will come and go. People will live and die. Only the Lord will remain.

We, as part of His creation, have been blessed to be given an option to spend eternity with Him. Grace and salvation can be your if you will simply repent of your sins and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Do this so that you do not perish.

Will you perish?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you let God forget all that you have done?

May 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalms 103:11-12 (NIV))

God is amazing! He is the creator of all the universe, the ultimate repository of all knowledge, yet, He is more than willing to completely forget all of our transgressions if we will only call on His name in sincerity and fear. God wants nothing more than for us, His creation, to turn to him of our own free will. If we will do that, there is nothing that God will not forgive us of if we are honestly seeking His face.

Have you let God forget all that you have done?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been paying attention?

January 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalms 19:1 (NIV))

Have you been paying attention?

God, in all of His majesty, has created a spectacular universe in which we live. He has set things in motion from the beginning of time. When we are young, we look up at the night sky and are amazed at the stars. We are amazed with the moon. As we grow older, we soon stop looking up and spend all of our time looking down. We look down to avoid the pitfalls of this world. We look down to hide our eyes from the gaze of others. We look down to shield our eyes from the truth.

Look up!

The stars are still spectacular. The moon is still amazing. The timing of alignments and events is something that we should pay attention to. If the heavens declare God’s glory and the skies proclaim the work of His hands, shouldn’t we look to them as a means of understanding God and His plans?

I am sure that you have at least read about the four blood moons and how they all coincide with Jewish holy days and festivals. I find it amazing that four blood moons is a very rare occurrence with the next four occurring about 500 years from now. In all of time, what are the odds that four such events will line up perfectly with the Jewish calendar and fall on the same days in consecutive years?

I know that sometimes things do happen, but with the timings of these events and the other things that are going on in the world, I honestly believe that these are not accidental alignments.

God is doing something!

To make things even more interesting, according to some of my research sources, today is the midpoint of the four blood moons. I am not professing any knowledge of something happening, but I do know that God is up to something and that He uses the heavens to provide insight. And, no, this is not some astrological mumbo-jumbo.

Is God the Creator?

Is God in control?

If you answered “Yes” to both of these questions, then what is stopping God from using His creation to declare what He is about to do?

I think that it is time that we pay attention to God’s word and His creation!

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

December 15, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
(Psalms 18:25-27 (NIV))

God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

As we face the prospect of an uncertain new year, it is nice to remember that God is unchanging. What we read about in Psalms is true even in this time when truth is relative and what is sin is now considered okay by society. It is His creation that is changing the rules. God, as Father and Creator, has not changed.

When we read about God’s unchanging character, we must ask ourselves how we would measure up to His standards. Would we be the faithful one? Would we be considered pure? Would God find us to be crooked? Would we be humble or haughty? What would your answers be?

If we find our answers are opposite of what God desires, we have a plan of salvation. He has sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Even believers sin. We all need a Savior. As we face the uncertain prospects of another year, we can rest assured that one thing is constant. God’s love, grace and mercy will never change. We must make a resolution, or perhaps I should say a promise to God, that we will strive to be more like Jesus in all that we do in this new year.

What is your plan?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We need each other in our faith!

November 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(Colossians 3:16 (NAS))

There are those who say that they do not need to go to church, that their belief is a personal issue.

Belief is a personal issue, yet, when all of the world is against what you believe in, it requires strength to survive and maintain those beliefs.

What if you want to grow your faith? All throughout history, people have taken comfort from others. When we teach our children, we do it in groups so that they may have the benefit of not only learning from the teacher, but also learning from each other. Why do we treat learning about God any different than we treat learning about anything else?

It is true that it is a relationship between the Creator and His creation, but the creation is a fallen entity and needs external support in order to stay focused. That is one reason why schools have class-rooms; to keep an order and a focus. Without that external support, our focus tends to stray. We need each other in all aspects of life, not just social. We must gather together as believers to help each other keep our focus on God and to help us grow.

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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The truth is that God loves us!

December 12, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalms 8:3-4 (NIV))

Isn’t it amazing that the Creator of all that we know, and all that is beyond our imagination, cares for us unconditionally?

All of the splendor and majesty that is God’s creation pales in comparison to the love that God has for us, part of His creation. In all of creation, we, as humans, are uniquely loved. We, after all, were created in God’s image.

Those who believe in evolution claim that we are descendants of apes. Isn’t it interesting that there is evidence that Charles Darwin denounced his own theory and professed a faith in Jesus Christ? Isn’t it interesting that many of the same scientists who were claiming that everything can be explained scientifically are now saying that the odds of everything happening are so astronomical that the universe had to have been designed?

Man can try to say that we are gods, or that we are no more than evolved apes, yet, the truth is that God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. There are skeptics who do not wish to admit this. They say that Jesus was not a real person. They choose to ignore the fact that there is more evidence that says Jesus lived and did what the Bible says than there is evidence that they exist! When you look at the facts, the facts don’t lie.

The truth is that God loves us and does not wish for any of us to perish.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to walk with God?

June 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
(Revelation 21:2-4 (NIV))

Do you like the way the world is today? Do you think that the bad things that happen in this world are God’s desires for His creation? Do you think that God simply sits back and lets anything and everything happen? More importantly, do you think that God just doesn’t care what happens to His creation?

We must take heart, for the words written in Revelation tell of a time when God will restore His creation to the glory that He intended from the beginning. God did not create the world and everything in it to be separated from Him. He created this world and us to have fellowship with Him.

Do you find it hard to believe that God created this world and us so that He could fellowship with us?

When Jesus came to earth, that was not the first time that God chose to walk with man and to seek out those who would follow Him.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
(Genesis 3:8-9 (NIV))

God’s original order will be restored. The old order that we know where sin runs rampant will be replaced. Once again, God will walk among His creation!

Are you ready to walk with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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