Are you willing to answer the call?

January 19, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Matthew 9:38 (NIV))

Have you truly stopped and given this passage thought?

Let me explain my question.

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we have been given instructions. We have been given a job assignment that is supposed to be our primary task as believers in Jesus.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

In other words, we are supposed to be working the harvest field!

If we ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers, we are asking Him to send us! The most important question that we must then ask ourselves is how will we answer. Will we be as willing to go as Isaiah was?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

It is said that God loves a cheerful giver. That is true for so much more than just our finances. It involves our time! God longs for us to be willing to work the harvest field. He longs for us to tell others about the amazing grace that is available to anyone who will simply repent and receive. Are you willing to give of your time so that others may know of God’s great love? Are you willing to share the Gospel to a world desperately in need of salvation? Are you willing to work the harvest? Are you willing to put yourself out there in a world that is becoming more and more hateful of anything to do with the Gospel, with Jesus?

Are you willing to answer the call?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you sharing forgiveness with others?

December 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
(John 20:23 (NIV))

These words were spoken by Jesus to His disciples after His resurrection. They had just received the Holy Spirit and were being sent out into the world to spread the Gospel. We are called to do the very same thing!

But, . . .

Did you realize that this power was given to the disciples? Did you realize that as believers in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we are supposed to have this very same power. To clarify, we can’t simply walk down the road telling people that their sins are forgiven. They have to take action toward wanting to be forgiven. What we do have is the power to tell people about the redeeming grace that is freely given to all who believe. When they repent and profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, we have the authority and power to confirm that their decision has indeed resulted in the forgiveness of their sins!

In all of the Old Testament, not a single person had the power and authority to forgive sins. In fact, if these words were spoken, people where accused of blasphemy. Even when Jesus walked the earth, He was accused accordingly.

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
(Mark 2:7 (NIV))

Think about that.

Who can forgive sins but God alone?

There is so much truth in these words, but the truth was spoken out of misunderstanding, out of arrogance and ignorance. To be honest with you, if I had lived at that time and raised in that tradition, I would probably think the very same thing. They never imagined that the man who was saying your sins are forgiven was truly God among us. Little did they know that a birth about thirty years earlier saw the Lord step into His creation to offer forgiveness of sins. That birth forever changed human history, in fact, it is said that it divided history. As we look forward to Christmas, we must remember that it is not about some jolly fat man bringing presents. It is not about family and friends. It is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Only through that birth and His obedience to the cross, we have forgiveness. The best thing about that forgiveness is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you accept it, you can offer it to others and the value never decreases.

Are you sharing forgiveness with others?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What did Jesus teach?

October 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

When Jesus walked the earth, did He spend His time forming social justice rallies? Did He spend His time plotting the overthrow of the Romans? Did He spend His time organizing food pantries? Did He spend His time organizing environmental cleanups?

No!

He spent His time doing something far more important! In His own words, He told us exactly why He came and what He was doing.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
(Luke 19:10 (NIV))

He was fulfilling the task set before Him by His Father.

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))

He was calling people to repent and to believe in Him. He was offering redemption and mercy that allows people to have eternal life. We are told to go and make disciples of all nations. Are we doing that? Are we reaching out to the lost with the love of Jesus and offering them the greatest gift of all?

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Are we doing what Jesus did? Are we seeking the lost? Have we become too afraid of the consequences of sharing the Gospel? Think about that question in relation to what Jesus told us.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 10:21-22 (NIV))

Have we, the modern church, watered down the teachings of Jesus to the point where we no longer know what He taught?

With this in mind, I have but one more question to ask.

What did Jesus teach?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Going into all the world!

September 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 28:19 (NIV))

Please bear with me while I do two things that I hate to do.

1. Toot my own horn, sorta!
In all honesty, I am tooting God’s horn for what He has done through me.
2. Ask for help.
This ministry has been a passion of mine and it is not done for the money.
Unfortuantely, there are expenses.

Daily Living Ministries exists to allow people to stop and reflect on their relationship with the Lord and how to live out that relationship in this world.

This year, like the last several years, has been interesting. I am seeing more people being reached, with the latest country count showing in blue in the Google Analytics image map above. Many of these visitors are coming from countries where expressing a faith in Jesus can bring severe persecution and even death. This map only reflects the visitors to the main web site. It does not take into account these emails, the backup blog site, or the social media platforms that these devotional are shared on.

Daily Living Ministries is a small ministry that is having an impact. The budget is small, but the impact far exceeds the money spent.

However, recent events have presented an opportunity. A storm managed to take out the computer that belongs to the ministry. This computer was on a battery backup, but it still managed to make it nonfunctional. I have an automated backup system, so nothing was lost. I just don’t have complete access to my 25 years of notes since I don’t have a computer with enough capacity to restore the backup. I have been able to hobble together the very basics to keep writing and sending the devotionals, but nothing else.

Lord, You are faithful. Help me to be faithful. Help me to be obedient!

It is my prayer, Lord, that you draw me closer to you! I only want to know your heart.

Lord, if you don’t lead me to it, I don’t want to do it!

If you have been touched by Daily Living Ministries, please reply and let me know.

I also prayerfully ask that if you can contribute to assist with the unexpected expenses, please help to keep Daily Living Ministries going into all the world!

In Jesus’ Holy Name,
Dennis Smock

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you be like Caleb and Joshua and enter into God’s promises?

August 5, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
(Numbers 14:30 (NIV))

I was given a history lesson that I feel that I need to share with you from a perspective that most of us are not aware of.

We all know the story of how Moses sent people into the land that God had promised to give them so that they could spy out the land. When they returned, all but Caleb and Joshua report that the land is unconquerable. As a result, the people rebelled and cried out to be taken back to Egypt. What we read in Numbers 14:30 is part of God’s response to this rebellion, to this very public display of their distrust of God. What we don’t know as part of the Gentile world is the historical date that this happened on. Here is where I started to learn something of extreme interest. This event occurred on the 9th of Av in the Hebrew calendar.

We all know about Solomon’s Temple which is also known as the First Temple. It was destroyed in 423 BC by an invading army. Israel had rejected God and would not repent. They had fallen into sin. If you made the assumption that Solomon’s Temple was destroyed on the 9th of Av, you would be correct.

The Second Temple, the one present at the time of Jesus, was destroyed by the Romans in 69 AD after Israel had rejected Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus called them hypocrites for doing all of the right things for the wrong reasons. Once again, this happened on the 9th of Av.

There are numerous other events that have all happened on the 9th of Av.
– The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 AD.
– The Jews were banished from Spain in 1492 AD.
– World War I began in 1914 AD. Some historians believe that WWII and the holocaust were actually a continuation of WWI.

It is said that once you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you become a temple for the Holy Spirit. Please don’t twist this. I am trying to convey a point without going into all of the details. In essence, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
(John 14:15-21 (NIV))

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(John 14:25-27 (NIV))

Based on the history of the importance of this date and the proposed explanations of the Temples:
– Solomon’s Temple was destroyed because of the Jews rejecting or turning away from God the Father,
– The Second Temple was destroyed because the Jews rejecting Jesus as the Son,
– It has been speculated that the temple to the Holy Spirit, the true church, will be removed, Harpazoed, Raptured, on the 9th of Av because those who don’t profess a faith in Jesus have not only rejected Jesus, they have rejected the Holy Spirit!

Just for reference, a day in the Jewish tradition is marked from sundown of one day to sundown, or nightfall, of the next day. I find it interesting that many people believe the phrase “in the twinkling of an eye” is accurately used to indicate nightfall. This is when the sun vanishes and a last twinkle of light is seen! Think of that in terms of when Jesus said that we are the light of the world!

I am not setting dates, only presenting what I have recently seen. It is a very intriguing series of events that God has unfolded all on the same day in the Hebrew calendar. No matter what the date may be, we must be ready. If you are not ready, it is as simple as ABC.

Admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Are you ready? Will you be like Caleb and Joshua and enter into God’s promises?

Click here if you are curious as to when the 9th of Av falls in our calendar for the next few years.

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you relying on the true source of strength?

July 6, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 (NKJV))

As I sit here tonight, this passage caught my attention. I feel weary. I feel like I have been beat up. I feel like I am swimming upstream against a current of unrighteousness and down right evil in this world. Everything that I see appears so far from what God desires that it breaks my heart. I can only imagine what it does to the very heart of God.

Do you find yourself like this? Do you look at the events unfolding in this world and all that you can do is muster a groan from your spirit? You are not alone in this. I often feel the same way. Take heart because this is the Holy Spirit working inside of us.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
(Romans 8:26 (NIV))

We should find strength in our weariness. We should find strength in our trials. We should find strength in our groanings, for they are all indicators that we do not belong to the world. We belong to the Lord! He doesn’t call us to rely on our strength. We are to trust and follow Him.

Does that change your perspective on Philippians 4:13?

Are you relying on the true source of strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you excited about the coming of Jesus?

December 16, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
(Luke 1:41 (NIV))

Am I the only person who took this to mean that the power and authority of Jesus was so strong that even as an unborn child, He radiated this power and authority through Mary?

Think about that for a moment.

No matter how you try to explain it, it all comes down to the simple fact that Jesus manifested Himself even from the womb. Those who longed for His presence felt the power and the authority that was His and is His alone. An unborn child leaped for joy at the presence of his Creator. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. They glorified the Lord by their actions. This was not the beginning of such awe and wonder, for the conception was the beginning of the miracles. This was special in that it was still based on the promise being fulfilled by the birth of Jesus, and it was special because it was the first incident that involved more than Mary. At His birth we see such things as the star, the Magii, and the shepherds, but the first time that the power and authority of Jesus manifested itself to others was before His birth.

People had been looking for His promised coming for a long time. Today, we look back through history and read about these events, but we must never lose sight of the awesome power and authority that actually transpired. We must never lose sight of the fact that what we celebrate as the birth of Jesus is only the beginning of God’s plan of redemption. We are given a little glimpse of the power and authority through this passage. If you look at the life of Jesus, His power and authority increases with each step that is recorded. Look at the miracles. Look at the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Look at the crucifixion. Lift up praises for the resurrection and read in awe as the disciples see Jesus ascend into heaven!

If you love all of this, just wait for His return!

Are you excited about the coming of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hope, joy and peace come from trusting the Lord!

July 22, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 (NIV))

With the current state of the world, we need hope. We need joy, and we need peace!

Can you imagine how people who don’t profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are coping with what we have been facing? Even members of the Body of Christ can sometimes begin to feel the weight of the world crashing down on us, and we have the hope we have been given through Jesus to cling to! Can you imagine the weight that others are feeling when they have no hope to cling to?

We are all familiar with the often used saying that when things are looking down, look up. To be honest with you, I see more and more people boldly proclaiming their faith through social media than I have ever seen. It may just be the algorithms that are used, but it appears that over fifty percent of what I see is people sharing faith based content. I take this as an indication that people are spending more time in God’s Word and are clinging to the truth that it contains. People are looking up! Or, should I say that they are looking down into the pages of their Bibles? Can we take this as a sign that people are lifting their hearts and their hands to heaven? Can we take this as a sign the people are lifting up prayers to the Lord?

For those of us who cling to the promises that are “yes” in Jesus, we have hope. We have joy, and we have peace. We also have an assignment!

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

And, the harvest fields are ripe to hear the Gospel!

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

There has never been a better time to share the Gospel of Jesus. The time may be short and for those who don’t trust in the Lord, we may be the only people who will share. We must tell them the truth!

Hope, joy and peace come from trusting the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you possess the Spirit?

October 26, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV))

When you take a look at the world today and you see the things that are going on, it is easy to draw assumptions that the Holy Spirit is not within the people who are rioting and looting. It is easy to see that the Holy Spirit is not within the people who call good evil and evil good. It is easy to see those who truly follow Jesus as opposed to those who follow the world.

If things are this bad when the Holy Spirit and the true church are still on this earth doing all that can be done to restrain the enemy, can you imagine just how bad things will be once the Lord declares that it is time for His Holy Spirit and His church to be removed? God will soon decide that time is up and when He does, the rest of His plan will unfold. It will start with the very rapid removal of the Holy Spirit and the church and all of the restraining influence on society. There will be nothing standing in the way of the enemy and his plans. Evil will run rampant. Every sick and perverted thing that humanity has ever desired will be commonplace.

Today, a person without the Holy Spirit is a lost individual. As the Body of Christ, we must pray for those who are lost so that they can avoid the time that is coming when the whole world will be without the Holy Spirit. The whole world will mock God and everything that He calls good.

In essence, a world without the Holy Spirit is hell on earth!

Do you possess the Spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you found the Lord?

October 6, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
(Isaiah 55:6 (NIV))

Do you take the Lord for granted? Do you think that He will always be there for you to turn to if and when you decide to turn to Him? Why do you think that Isaiah wrote to seek Him while he may be found? Why do you think that it is written to call on Him while He is near? Will there be a point in time when it will be too late?

We know that at some point in what appears to be the not too distant future God will remove His Holy Spirit along with the true church. The Holy Spirit restrains the enemy and provides that still small voice that haunts the hearts, minds and souls of those who have not accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Seeking the Lord before this happens will result in finding Him and His promises fulfilled. Once this event happens, will it be possible to seek the Lord? Will He be able to be found? Will anyone be able to call on Him?

Repent and seek the Lord today before it is too late! Isaiah understood that there will come a time when it is too late. The Lord had him record instructions for those who have not turned to Him in repentance and what awaits them when they do.

Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
(Isaiah 55:7 (NIV))

Have you found the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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