Don’t be ashamed to praise His name!

February 5, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
(Psalms 108:3 (NIV))

Do you and I have the faith to praise the Lord among the nations?

Think about that for a moment. Are we willing to step outside of our comfort zones and risk the ridicule of people that we don’t know if we take a stand for God? Are we willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world and speak out in praise of the God of creation? Are we willing to tell the world, or even only the people that we know, the great things that the Lord has done?

Think about those questions and then answer a few simple questions about whether you praise the Lord when gathered with other believers.

Do you lift you hands in praise or do you sit there with arms folded? Do you lift your eyes to the Lord or do you look around the room trying to see who is doing what? Do you lift you voice in song or do you refuse to utter a single sound? Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit or do you feel the call of you watch?

We were created to praise God. We were created to acknowledge the Lord before others.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32 (NIV))

Have you ever heard the saying “dumb as a box of rocks?”

If we don’t have the common sense and intelligence to give praise where praise is due, then we are told exactly what will happen.

I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.
(Luke 19:40 (NIV))

In other words, if we are ashamed to acknowledge the Lord and praise Him, then God will make the rocks cry out in His praise. Can you imagine how you will be received in heaven if God has to make the rocks cry out because you failed to lift Him up in praise among the people? I honestly don’t think that you will hear the following words.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

There is one thing that we must faithfully remember.

Don’t be ashamed to praise His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does your intelligence get in the way of wisdom?

October 25, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 (NIV))

I honestly believe that a growing percentage of the world does not fear the Lord. How else do you explain the foolishness that is going on everywhere that you turn? Contrary to what the world may think, it is not wisdom. It is complete and utter garbage and the sad thing is that many people are believing the lies. The only ones that they are fooling are themselves.

I am asking this and I don’t want to offend anyone in the process, but what makes people think that what has been considered wise and true for the last several thousand years is now completely wrong? Do you think that because we have become technologically advanced we are wiser than those who came before us? Technology does not equal wisdom. Technology equals knowledge. It is possible to have all of the knowledge in the world and still not be wise. Wisdom is not knowing how to do something. Wisdom is understanding the reasons for doing something or following certain teachings and then doing it the way that wisdom dictates. I have seen some very intelligent people who did not have the wisdom to punch their way out of a wet paper bag. They could tell you about the physical properties of the bag and the tensile strength of the material in both the dry and wet states, but did not have the common sense or wisdom to know what to do.

Sadly, our world has confused knowledge and wisdom. In the process, many have rejected the Lord because anyone who believes is looked down upon as not intelligent.

I have something for you to consider. Do you think that Solomon could engineer an automobile? could he have written a software program? Could he have created a marketing campaign to sell the latest and greatest gadget? I believe that it is safe to say that he could not do any of these things, yet Solomon was the wisest man to ever live.

Our society has confused knowledge with wisdom and in the process, we have gained ways to increase our intelligence at the great cost of losing our wisdom.

Don’t allow your intelligence to keep you from the greatest wisdom that there is!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 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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Just how much wisdom can the clay possess?

May 21, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,
“He did not make me”?
Can the pot say of the potter,
“He knows nothing”?
(Isaiah 29:16 (NIV))

We think that we possess so much knowledge. We think that we can think and reason and overcome anything. Society has gotten to the point where too many people look at flawed reasoning and accept it simply because it is professed as scientific. These same people who claim scientific reason are the very same ones who reject faith because it can’t be explained by science. Even when there is no scientific evidence to support their position, they claim that human intelligence will eventually be able to unlock the scientific explanation for everything. It appears to me that they have placed their faith in the wrong place. They have placed it in the ability of the creation to know more than the Creator.

We have become the very essence of the words written of in Isaiah. I know that not each and every one of us is like that, but our society has become much more human-centric in the grand scheme of things. We have become a society that is saying that we, as the clay, know more than He who cast the clay and created these earthen vessels that we inhabit. How can humanity, which cannot even determine how many hairs are on our head, claim to know more than God, or even claim that there is no God?

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
(Matthew 10:30 (NIV))

Our so called wisdom has made us foolish in the eyes of God. Our wisdom and our ways are nothing close to the truth.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

It appears that we have come to the point where we must pray earnestly that we do not get so wrapped up in our own so-called intelligence that we forget who created us. True wisdom is knowing God and knowing your relationship to Him through Jesus, His Son.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
(Isaiah 5:21 (NIV))

Spend time daily within God’s Word and your wisdom and understanding of the ultimate truth will grow.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you see foolishness?

April 9, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
(1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (NIV))

I pray that you had a wonderful and joyous Easter celebration.

I have some questions to ask of you.

Do you think that the message of Easter and the cross is foolishness? Do you have faith to claim the saving grace that is found at the foot of the cross?

It is such a shame that we, as individuals, can become so educated and wise that we try to over analyze everything in this life. Where is the amazement and wonder that life can hold if you over analyze everything? I know that our curiosity causes us to seek answers, but what happens when the answers we seek keep us from seeing the beauty that was intended? What happens to society when we are able to twist things around and make words mean something different than they should or we try to redefine things? What happens when we utter statements like “That depends on what you definition of ‘is’ is”?

What do you consider wisdom? What do you consider intelligence?

We are taught that we need wisdom and intelligence in order to have a wordily career. We are told that this wisdom will help us to live successful lives. We are told that this wisdom will help us to make decisions that will help us to be better citizens. I agree that we need this wisdom and intelligence, however, there is much more that we need.

Have you ever seen someone who is very intelligent and they seem to be lost in their own little world? They are so focused on gaining knowledge for the sake of gaining knowledge that they have no practical life experiences in order to firmly ground themselves. They over estimate their own abilities and look down upon anyone who does not understand as they do. Sadly enough, it is they who have the limited scope of things. They miss the simple concepts in trying to understand the complex.

The message of the cross is foolishness to some, but that is the beauty of God’s plan. God created a simple way for each and every single person to receive salvation. It is because of this simplicity that it is looked upon as foolishness.

I want you to think about a few things.

Do you think that the concept of ‘hot’ is foolish? It is a simple thing to understand. Do you think that the knowledge that we must breathe is foolishness? Do you think that the law of gravity is foolishness? That is simple. It can be express in one sentence – What goes up must come down.

What happens when you spend too much time acquiring knowledge about any of these things? If you are not careful, you start to miss the simple beauty that is within each.

There is a simple beauty in the cross, even though the events on the cross were horrible. That beauty can be summed up with just a few words.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

When you look at the cross, do you see foolishness or do you see power and beauty?

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