Do you love the Lord like this?

October 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
(Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV))

I love how God’s Word can say something different each time you read it. Perhaps I should say that differently. I love how God’s Word can speak to you in a different way each time you read it. To clarify, there is a difference between saying something different and having something speak to you differently. Is it God’s Word or is it our hearts and our ability to understand that is different?

Two days ago I read this passage and quickly moved on to Deuteronomy 6:6. Two days ago, that passage caught my attention. Today, I feel the need to be reminded, and to remind, how we are to love God.

Does the Lord have all your heart?

Your heart is what keeps you alive in the physical world. It is representative of the moment. Does God have you in this very moment?

Does the Lord have all your soul?

Your soul is the eternal. It is what will continue after the physical is gone. It represents your long term love for God. Does God have you for eternity?

Does the Lord have all your strength?

Your strength represents your abilities, even though they are very little when you consider all that God can do. Giving God all your strength means that you are giving everything you are to His Will. You surrender and rely on His strength. Do you fully rely on God?

I honestly do not know how many times that I have read this passage, but today, the Lord spoke to me in a way that opened my eyes, my heart and my mind to the depth of the love that we should feel toward Him. Without Him, we are nothing. Everything that we do should lift up His name. Everything we do should show the love that we have for our Lord, our God!

Do you love the Lord like this?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t waste the talents that God has given you!

October 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
(Matthew 25:15-18 (NIV))

I find it interesting that the word for an amount of money was a talent. Have you ever stopped to think of this with the meaning that we associate with the word talent?

Both forms are valuable. Both forms are meant to be put to use.

What talents have you been given?

Are you using them?

If God gives you talents, He intends for you to use them to His glory. God has given each of us unique talents to fulfill His plan for our lives. If you do not use them, they will be taken away and your life will be unfulfilled.

Have you ever felt that God is asking you to use your talents beyond what you are currently doing? Have you ever had someone ask you to use your talents?

Think about that last question for a moment.

Does God work through people? If He is calling you to use your talents, do you think that He will place people in your life who will confirm that request? Do you think that the request can come through people? Do you ignore when people ask you to use your talents?

You may be missing out on the very thing that God has planned for you. Are you thinking that because the request came through a person it couldn’t be from God?

God uses people to accomplish His will. If we are not responsive, He will use someone who is responsive to His call.

Don’t waste the talents that God has given you!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you ask of God?

August 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ”
(Mark 11:22-26 (NIV))

Prayer is the foundation of our faith. Prayer is more than just asking God for what you want in this world. It is a conversation with The Father. You can tell Him all of your concerns, ideas, and doubts just as you would your best friend. The more that you talk to God in prayer, the closer you become to Him in your thoughts and actions. Then, when you petition God for something in your prayers, it will be within His Will to grant it.

All too many people believe wrongly that God sits in heaven waiting to grant us whatever we want. God will give us good things, but He will not give us something that goes against His nature.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

God can only grant good things to His children. He is not capable of granting evil things. When you petition God, petition for things that are of God and from God, and not for things that are of this world. Remember Solomon. God told him that he could have whatever he wanted in this world. He asked for wisdom and God granted him this, plus much more.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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His compassions never fail!

August 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
(Lamentations 3:22-25 (NIV))

Seventy times seven! That is the number of times that God says we must forgive others when they sin against us. When that was written, that was considered a large number and was intended probably to mean that we are to forgive unlimited times.

If we, who are not perfect, are to forgive unlimited times, how much more can God forgive if His compassions never fail? If we place our trust in God, He will forgive those who earnestly seek after His Will.

Look at two different scenarios. If you had a son who constantly disobeyed and did not wish to take Godly counsel, you would want to change his attitude, but would not help him until he did. If you had a son who wished to do what is Godly and right, but constantly fell short, you would assist him in his struggles. It is his desire to do what is right, but he needs guidance. One son you would stop helping until he changed his heart, the other son you would continually help because his heart is right.

God is the same way. If you earnestly seek after God, then He will assist you immeasurably to achieve His Will for your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you placed God in a box?

February 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

Many people say that God is dead. On the contrary! They only are ignoring what is right before their eyes. Just because His actual works are not yet recorded in the Bible, people fail to see the obvious. If they would only attempt to understand the prophecy that God has placed in the Bible, they would see that God is not dead. He is alive and in control.

Sometimes, even believers need to be reminded that God is faithful. We tend to put God in a box and expect Him to live up, or should I say “down”, to our expectations. God has a plan for His Creation, and His plan does not waiver. God is faithful to those who call upon Him in His Will, not their will.

Have you placed God in a box, or is God the God of Creation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you found favor with God?

April 2, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The angel said to Mary, ‘Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’
(Luke 1:30-33 (NIV))

Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when she heard the words “You have found favor with God?” Take a moment to thing about these word. Too many people simply read them without realizing the ramifications of their meaning.

All throughout the history of man since the creation, we do not hear these words any other time where they are spoken to a person. We read of people asking God to show favor to them, but we do not read of it going from God. Mary was truly blessed to have been chosen to be the mother of Jesus, yet, it appears from these words that she was blessed in many other ways before this. She was also a blessing, for it is difficult to be blessed without sharing that blessing with others.

When you find favor with God, you are doing His Will in your life. You are honest, righteous and Godly in all manner of situations. You do not sway with the wind, but are steadfast in your faith and in your fulfillment of your faith. Nothing can make you swerve from your destination. You are, as Paul wrote, a runner in a race. A runner who has a focus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2(NIV))

Have you found favor with God?

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

February 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
(1 John 5:14 (NIV))

For the last several years I have been asking for what I wanted with no results. Don’t get me wrong. What I was asking for was not something bad or totally wrong. I was just being selfish and focused on my desire to be with my family. Every time that I asked something along these lines, it was a resounding “No!” I don’t know if it was my lack of faith in my situation or if it was simply a pity party of one.

Somewhere along the way, I started to transition my requests to make them more in line with God’s Will. Every time that I started to ask for things in that manner, progress was made, but it was often progress of “two steps forward and one step back.” I would start to ask for my personal will and this would slow down God’s Will.

Does this sound familiar?

We all do it. Perhaps we go through periods like this simply to teach us a lesson in what we ask for. Just as a little child will continually ask for that one toy they are fixated upon, we often ask God for the same thing over and over again without relenting. We only see our immediate desires. We do not see that there is so much more to ask for that we can have if we will only change our focus.

Lately, I have been asking God to give me His WIll as my will. Strange things are happening. I don’t know where His Will is leading me, but I am trying to prepare myself to follow.

Instead of asking repeatedly for the things that God does not want us to have, we need to look for the blessings in His possession that He does want us to have. I can guarantee that those blessings from His Will will far outweigh what we ask for from our will.

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