Do you long for this day?

August 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Some people dream of wealth. Some people dream of fame. Others dream of power. There are many more things, much darker things, that people keep hidden in their hearts.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

There are those who long to see what is described in Zechariah. They long to stand before the Lord and to be forever in His presence. Above all else, they pray for the day that the Lord will return. The things of this earth, wealth, fame, power and other things, mean nothing to them. Their one and only desire is to be with Jesus!

Do you fear the day that the Lord will return or do you desire it with all of your heart? Perhaps you fall somewhere in between. You think that you don’t fear it, but at the same time, you don’t want it to happen because you are afraid that you will miss out on all of the things that a life in this physical world has to offer. What are your thoughts on the return of Jesus? Are you ready to leave this sinful world and spend eternity in God’s presence or are you enjoying the things of this world? One day sooner than we might expect, Jesus will return for those He calls His own. He will establish His kingdom and we will be with Him.

Is this what you pray for?

Do you long for this day?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be careful what you try to offer!

February 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
(Acts 8:18-23 (NIV))

OUCH !!!

Unfortunately, Simon is not the only one who has tried to buy the grace and power of God. The only difference is that most people try to barter with God instead of offering money to those who come in God’s name.

How do you barter with God?

Have you ever heard someone say that if God will do something for them, then they will commit their life to God? The only thing that seems to vary in this equation is what each person wants as their part of the bargain. Some want to live. Some want fame and fortune. Some even want to blessed with the power that Simon was seeking.

What is the difference between those who barter with God and what Simon did?

I honestly believe that there really isn’t a difference. In both scenarios, the one who is seeking is willing to do whatever it takes for them to get what they want. Did you catch that? For what they want! They are trying to gain something to further their kingdom and God is only the provider of the means. They fail to realize that God gives gifts to whom He pleases. They also fail to realize that God looks at the heart. He knows who is sincere and humble. He knows who will turn what God has given into a situation that cries out “Look at what I have done,” instead of “Look at what God has done!”

There is a difference between eagerness and selfishness. Be careful that you do not make the mistake that Simon made. Pray for guidance. Pray for wisdom. Pray for insight. Pray for patience. In time, God will reveal to you the gifts that He desires to give you for use in His kingdom. Just remember that they are for His kingdom and not yours!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does your future look like?

September 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever–yes, for ever and ever.’
(Daniel 7:18 (NIV))

God gave this promise to Daniel long before it will come to be. Daniel was speaking about a vision that he was given concerning the end of days, yet all of us can hold fast to that promise no matter when God will end the Age of the Gentiles.

All throughout the Bible, God gives us foresight into what will happen, and guess what? He wins. God does not wish for any to perish, but one day He will bring about an end to the evils of this world and establish His Kingdom. Those who believe and keep God’s commandments will inherit the Kingdom as Children of God.

What does your future look like? Will you receive and possess the kingdom as a saint or will you receive God’s punishment for refusing His love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the resolve to not defile yourself?

October 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
(Daniel 1:8 (NIV))

It was only food, but Daniel stood his ground. He knew that what he was being given to eat was not what he was supposed to put into his body. He could have very easily told himself that he had no choice and that it was the only thing that he had to eat. He could easily have justified doing what he was told to do.

How many times have you found yourself in a situation in which you thought you did not have any other option but to do what was right in front of you? We justify it by telling ourselves things like “just this once won’t hurt,” or “nobody will know.” What if Daniel had followed this philosophy? Would God have honored him with the strength and insight that He gave him? Daniel chose to stand his ground with respect to his faith. He did not waiver when things did not allow him to be obedient. He found ways to obey what God asked. This even carried through to later in his life when it was a royal decree to only pray to the king. Did Daniel waiver in his faith then? He did what he knew to be right with the food and he did what he knew to be right with prayer. If we give in to our circumstances, will we be faithful? Will we be held righteous in the eyes of God if we falter during these moments.

Through the atoning blood of Jesus, God will forgive us, however, will He use us? He longs for us to be faithful in our hearts and in our actions. If we justify our choices and give in to things that we shouldn’t, will God be able to trust us in fulfilling what He has called us to for His Kingdom?

What are the things that you know you shouldn’t do? How do you justify them to yourself? How do you try to justify them to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How would you react if someone said that they are the Son of God?

May 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
(Matthew 26:62-66 (NIV))

How would you have reacted if someone said that they are the Son of God?

Now, put yourself into Jerusalem some two thousand years ago and imagine that you do not have the perspective of history. You don’t know about the resurrection because it hasn’t happened yet. You can simply base all of your decisions and reactions upon the traditions that have been taught to your fathers and to you. Based on these traditions and interpretations of the scriptures, you and everyone you know expects the Messiah to be a strong military leader who will establish His kingdom. With this in mind, you realize that this man does not fit your expectations of what the Messiah is supposed to be.

But that is not the complete picture!

Would you have been wise enough to recognize that God never does things in an expected way? I can only pray that I would recognize that.

Looking back, we have the ability to see that God had told Israel that the Messiah would come to this earth twice. The very scriptures that they read and thought that they understood also pointed out their very actions.

We celebrate the crucifixion and the resurrection, but would our hearts have been open, would our eyes have been open to what God was doing right before us? I often wonder about this and then I become thankful that I have the perspective of history. I may never know how I would have reacted. I may never know if I would have recognized Jesus as the Messiah. I only know that because of the plan that God put into action from the beginning of time, I can, at this very moment praise God for the grace and mercy given to me through the cross.

We may never know how we would have reacted if we were alive then, but we can know how we react today. Does His name bring anger like it did to the high priest, or does His name bring you the greatest joy?

How do you react to Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

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

November 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV))

What causes worry?

I bet that your mind instantly thought of several things that cause you to worry. Let’s face the truth. We all have things that we worry about, and nothing that we do in our limited abilities can change any one of these things.

Only seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness will allow us to have the peace and keep us from worrying. As my wife keeps reminding me, we must have faith and stop worrying about tomorrow. We must praise God for the life that He has given us today!

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
(Matthew 6:30-32 (NIV))

God has told us to place our faith and trust in Him and He will remove our worries, for we are more important to Him than the grass of the fields.

Do you see yourself as grass or as God’s son or daughter? How you answer also determines whether you worry.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t fear what the enemy may bring

November 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV))

If I were to bet that you worry about such things as money for tomorrow, food for tomorrow, time for tomorrow, I would probably win that bet. Most of us are caught up in that trap. We overlook the blessings of today while we worry about things that may or may not happen tomorrow.

According to Matthew, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” How can this be a blessing?

There is a little story about a man looking for God in the past and God telling Him that His name is not “I was.” He then looks for Him in the future and God tells him that His name is not “I will be.” He then settles into the present and finds God is with him. God then tells him that His name is “I am.” Please note that God is in the present tense. He is with us now!

The blessing is that in the midst of the troubles of the day, God is with us. He is not in tomorrow hiding from us. He is not in the past dragging up old sins. He is in the present and He is walking with us. If we worry about tomorrow, that implies that we don’t trust God and that we are not walking with Him in our present. When we accept that God is with us in our present day, then we will realize that when tomorrow becomes today, we will still find God right there with us. We have no reason to worry.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

If the Creator of all of the universe is walking with us in our present day and He is for us, what do we have to worry about? Worry is from the enemy. Don’t fear what the enemy may bring. Rely on what God has already delivered.

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