Do you have the faith to not be afraid?

June 20, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 (NIV))

Every single one of us, at some point, liked to think that we were capable of handling whatever may come our way.

How’s that going for you?

The world can be a pretty fearful place once everything starts hitting the fan! Chances are, if you are like me, you have run into far too many things in your life that have left you helpless, hopeless and lost. We have found out the hard way that we are not capable of handling things on our own. We soon grow to fear the unknown. We fear the possibilities that are beyond our control. We fear uncertainty, and we end up fearing fear itself!

What is it about human nature that has us so afraid? Do we fear the realization that we honestly don’t have the control over our lives like we want to have? On our own, we make wrong decisions and wrong turns every single day of our lives. It doesn’t help that the enemy and the sinful, fallen world are constantly distracting us so that we don’t make the right decisions.

Even through all of this, there is hope where there is faith!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Have you placed your faith in Jesus? If so, then you have been made a part of the family of God. God is our Father. He will stand with you when you face the enemy. He will ease our fears.

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

Do you have the faith to not be afraid?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t follow the crowd. Answer for yourself!

August 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
(Luke 9:18-20 (NIV))

Do you tend to follow the crowd?

Sometimes it is easy to simply follow the crowd. You don’t really have to think for yourself. You simply go along with whatever everyone else is doing. In today’s world, following the crowd seems to mean that you deny Jesus. Following the crowd seems to mean that you mock Jesus and anyone who proclaims a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. If that is the case, is following the crowd something that you truly want to do.

I have heard it said that a person can be intelligent but people are mindless. There is something about the crowd mentality that makes intelligent individuals cast aside all appearances of intelligence. What is it about human nature that makes us want to belong to a group, even if that group goes against everything that we think is true?

I love the way that Jesus started speaking to His disciples at the crowd level and then focused in on them at the individual level. Was Jesus telling them, and us, to break free of the crowd mentality and to embrace Him on an individual level. Everyone knows that we cannot be saved because our mother was a believer, or because everyone else in our family is a believer. Salvation requires a personal commitment. It requires a personal realization that Jesus is the Messiah and that salvation comes only through proclaiming faith in Him.

Don’t go along with the world. Don’t go along with the crowd. Don’t go along with your friends. Stop and listen to your heart. Stop and listen to that still small voice that is gently calling you.

Jesus is asking you, “Who do you say I am?”

How will you answer Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready for Jesus?

September 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
(Revelation 22:12 (NIV))

I don’t know if you have been keeping up with all of the things going on in the world. The Shemitah, the blood moons, the harbingers, the papal visit, the dreams and visions that are running rampant, the world financial crisis, ISIS, CERN and many other things all point to something happening. Things are reaching a boiling point very rapidly.

I realize that the Bible says that no man knows the hour or the day, but I want to ask you a simple question, If Jesus were to return for His true church this very day, would you be ready?

Let’s look at this with a few quick questions.

Are you fearful of what may happen in this world and in your life, or do you have peace in knowing that God is in control?

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV))

Are you timid? Are you fearful, or do you stand firm on the promises that are yes in Christ?

Do you love the world? Do you cling to your possessions and your position?

Here comes the big question. Are you afraid of death? Nobody in their right mind wants to die, but are you confident in knowing what will happen to you when the time comes?

No one knows what tomorrow may hold, but we can rest assured that we know who holds tomorrow.

Are you ready if tomorrow brings something that you don’t expect?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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He knows my name!

June 5, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
(John 10:14-15 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of a shepherd?

Do you have visions of a poorly educated person who is rough and not pleasant to be around? Do you think of someone who cares little about their life and is relegated to tending to the smelly sheep?

Sadly, our mental image of a shepherd is something that is not one hundred percent accurate. In this profession, just like in every profession, there are those who are excellent and then there are those who are not so great. When you think of a good shepherd, that narrows the range. A good shepherd cares about the flock. He knows each one individually and He knows how each one will act. He is capable of calling each one by name.

Jesus is that good shepherd!

He knows my name!

What I find even more astounding is that He knows the name of every single person throughout history who has called upon Him as their personal Lord and Savior.

I don’t know about you, but I have problems calling my children by the right name sometimes.

Jesus will never call us by the wrong name. He knows us intimately and He loves each of us intimately.

Does Jesus know your name?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I am the Alpha and the Omega

October 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(Revelation 22:13 (NIV))

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

Are you starting to get the picture? Perhaps one more scripture will help to solidify the concept and make it a concrete reality for you.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Genesis 1:1 (NIV))

God is the one to whom we owe our existence. He is the one to whom we owe our lives.

“This is what the LORD says–
your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
(Isaiah 44:24 (NIV))

In our frail human nature, we all too often forget this simple, yet profound truth. We try to elevate ourselves to the position of creator. We try to assume authority over our lives. Can an automobile take credit for the gas mileage that it gets? Can a house boast about the shelter, safety and comfort it provides to its occupants? In the same manner, we cannot take credit for anything that we have, for we are simply part of the creation. We are not the creator.

Long before we were, God was! Long after we are gone, He will still be! We have a definite beginning. Only through His grace and mercy do we have the option of not having a definite end. Through His grace and mercy we can spend the rest of eternity with Him.

What is the first thing that you remember? God was there!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 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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He is with you through your troubles

September 20, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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. 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 6:28-34 (NIV))

Lately, if you are like me, that last statement is definitely true – “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

How many of you had a day that you wish you could forget? I want to let you in on a little secret. Tomorrow will have its share of troubles, too. They don’t ever really go away, but with the promises that God has made, we will see them through if we place our faith and trust in those promises.

Think about Jesus when He walked this earth. Many of His days had troubles. The crowds wanted to throw Him off a cliff. The chief priests wanted to keep Him quiet and later they wanted to kill Him. He was beaten, scourged and crucified. He died. In my opinion, these are all major troubles, yet, He overcame His troubles so that He could be there for us so that we can overcome ours. In fact, He overcame the biggest trouble that anybody could ever have. He overcame death by arising on the third day.

If we place our faith in Jesus, then we will overcome all of our troubles as well. Jesus did not promise to remove our troubles.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

He is with us as we go through our troubles. He is guiding us and teaching us. Through our troubles, we are being made more perfect, more mature. If you are like me, sometimes you may wish that we could mature a little slower, but by keeping your faith firmly rooted in Jesus, you will endure.

Keep in mind how God defines Himself.

“I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
(Isaiah 42:8 (NIV))

You have probably heard that God is not called “I was” because He is alive today. He is not called “I will be,” for He is now and forever. He is firmly rooted in your today. He will be there even when you do not feel that He is. He is “I am” and He is with you through your troubles.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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