Are your eyes open to see the harvest in front of you?

January 29, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
(John 4:35 (NIV))

Every member of the Body of Christ is guilty of this in one form or another. We pray that God will use us to further His kingdom. When we pray this, we expect it to come at some point in the future and to be a great service that we can offer up to God. Our intentions are good, yet, we miss the opportunities that God places in our very presence each and every day because we have our eyes focused on a “grand” mission at some point in the future.

We need to open our eyes and see the opportunities that God has already placed in our midst. He is trying to use us where we are and we are ignoring it because we have focused on what we think we should be doing. When this happens, we miss out on the opportunities that God really desires to use us in.

This bring to mind the parable of the talents. The opportunities that God places in front of us are the talents that He has entrusted to us. If we use those talents wisely, He will give us more. In other words, we must open our eyes and trust God where we are and not where we want Him to take us. If we can’t trust Him where we are, what makes you think that He is willing to trust us where we want to be?

Are your eyes open to see the harvest in front of you?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The prophets foretold of His coming!

December 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
(Isaiah 42:6-7 (NIV))

The words written in Isaiah hundreds of years before His birth pretty much summarize God’s plans for Jesus. These and many other words written by the prophets all tell of the coming of Jesus and every prophecy about His first coming was fulfilled at His coming.

I have read various different counts about prophecies that pointed to Jesus, and no matter what count is presented, every single one of them came true during the birth, life, crucifixion or resurrection of Jesus. I realize that there are always skeptics and doubters who will say that the prophecies are vague and can be interpreted in different ways. When I think of this, I remember the fact that you will find what you are looking for. In other words, if your heart is hardened to Jesus, then nothing will sway you. You will find room for argument in any proof that is presented to you. If that is you, it is my prayer that your heart be softened before it is too late!

This time of year is a wondrous time for it is when the Body of Christ celebrates the birth of Jesus. It is the time when we choose to remember God’s plan unfolding through the birth of a little baby. It was not the beginning of the plan. God had it planned long ago. In fact, He even told us how it would happen. He declares His intentions long before they begin to unfold.

Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.
(Isaiah 45:21 (NIV))

God always tells us what He is going to do before He does it. For over two thousand years people have been rejoicing because He sent His Son to this world to fulfill the promises given.

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))

How do we know that Jesus is His one and only Son?

The prophets foretold of His coming!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you commit to be a new creation in the new year?

January 2, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV))

Did you make any resolutions for this new year?

Most of us have the best of intentions when we make resolutions, but how many of us actually follow through with them? We all have made the resolutions to lose weight, find a new job, find love, or to start exercising, but how many of us actually make a resolution to be a better follower, a better disciple, of Jesus?

Is that a resolution that we can all get behind? Can we commit to seeing this resolution through?

Can we do the things that are required to be a better disciple of Jesus? Can we spend time in God’s Word on a daily basis? Can we spend time in prayer on a daily basis? Can we slow down our hectic lives and spend time in God’s presence? Can we make a commitment to get to know the Creator of all things?

Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

Can we make a commitment to spend five minutes a day, each and every day, getting to know the Creator of all things? I would venture to say that you will soon find that five minute commitment growing into more. You will find yourself building a relationship, and as the relationship grows, so will your understanding.

Are you ready to be still, to cease striving, and spend time with God in the new year?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t lose sight of God’s grace and accept a lie

March 20, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
(Revelation 14:9-12 (NIV))

This may sound strange, but do you trust technology?

Perhaps I should word that question differently.

Do you trust technology to be used for good and truthful reasons?

It all comes down to a matter of trust in the motives and intentions of other people and in the unseen events in the physical and the spiritual realms.

Most of us like our cell phones with built-in GPS and the convenience of using credit or debit cards to make purchases. What would you think if a major electronics manufacturer introduced a device that would never leave your body and you could make purchases or be located by anyone no matter where you may be? Would you stand in a long line to buy this latest gadget?

What if you were forced to take this gadget?

Would you?

What is the difference?

Free will!

Do you freely accept it when it is promoted as the latest and greatest way to do things?

I want you to think about this concept and then think about who will be marking people on their forehead or on the hand. Satan is the father of all lies. What better way to get people to accept his “mark” than to “market” it as the latest and greatest way to track your medical history, to make purchases or to simply “streamline” your life? Just imagine the key marketing points. You will never have to worry about losing your wallet ever again. You will never have to worry about being robbed again. You will never have to worry about being somewhere and your medical history is not available in an emergency. You won’t have to worry about your loved ones, because you can always know where they are.

On the surface, all of this does have some market appeal, but to the wise consumer, it is filled with red flags that should alert someone to avoid this.

What does this mean to the Body of Christ?

We must test everything against God’s Word, no matter how beneficial it may seem. The old saying that “It’s too good to be true” is sound advice, especially when you consider the father of all lies. Satan wants to deceive you. He has a course of action. He wants to keep as many people as he possibly can from receiving the grace and mercy freely given through the Blood of Jesus.

Don’t lose sight of God’s grace and accept a lie.

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

June 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You shall not murder.
(Exodus 20:13 (NIV))

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
(Matthew 5:21-22(NIV))

God clearly defined for us that to take another life is a sin, yet, how many times have we said things in anger that could convict us just the same? We may have learned to put up a front to society and to ourselves, yet, our thoughts can be just as sinful, if not more so, than our actual actions.

Sin is a matter of the heart. A heart that longs to do the Will of God will still sin, but it will not be as sinful as someone who does not long to be like God. Their thoughts will focus on God and the things that are righteous in nature. Someone who does not focus on God focuses on themselves. I have heard it said that sin has as its basis the human desire to be at the center of all things. Sin focuses on “me” and what “I” can get from things quickly. It is this type of an attitude that makes a person’s thoughts stray from what God would have you think about. “Me” turns to anger and anger into actions. The only difference is the physical act, yet, the heart still had the very same intentions. Perhaps it is the intention that convicts us of our sins.

What thoughts have you had recently? Would you be convicted?

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

May 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
(John 5:19-23 (NIV))

He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him!

Think about that statement. It has so many implications that I don’t know where to start.

With that said, I suppose the obvious place to start is what this means to those who do not profess Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Countless numbers of people believe that they can get to heaven and the Father through ways other than Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:6-7 (NIV))

Now, for the painful examination of ourselves, as believers.

Do we always honor Jesus?

Be honest.

Are there times in our lives when we do things that do not honor Jesus? Do our every actions reflect the teachings that we profess to believe? Do we honor God the Father when we fall short of honoring Jesus the Son?

If you are like me, then there are numerous times each and every day that you fail at what you intend to do. I fall short far too many times to even want to think about it. I know that I am covered by grace through the atoning blood of Jesus, still, my shortcomings make me feel extremely sad, for it is at those times that I realize that I caused Jesus’ pain and suffering.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
(John 5:20 (NIV))

The sadness of these words means that the Father showed the Son the pain that He feels because of our sin. If our shortcomings cause pain to the Son, then our sins also cause pain to the Father.

Once again, I realize the primary difference that God looks for in each of us. He looks at the heart. If we earnestly seek Him and profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we do honor the Father because we honor His Son. We may stumble and we may falter, but we do not seek to do harm and to live in sin.

Intentions.

God looks at the heart. He knows whether we are striving to do His Will, or whether we are seeking to honor ourselves. It is a matter of free will. It is a matter of priorities. It is a matter of your heart.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Smoke and Mirrors

October 13, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.
(1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NLT))

Do you give your weekly “sacrifice” to God by attending church on Sunday morning or do you praise Him with every breath that you take?

Are you so set in your ways that you refuse to listen to the will of God or have you been able to place ego, stubbornness and pride behind you?

What we give to God is a very good measure of where our heart truly lies. If we “give” to God reluctantly when we do give to Him, are we truly able to give what He desires from us? Does this make sense? God desires for us to give Him our all. He wants us to place all of our faith and our trust within His capable hands. When we give Him our “burnt offerings,” could we actually be guilty of the old illusionist trick of smoke and mirrors where we offer God something to distract Him from what we are keeping from Him?

Let’s face facts!

Not a single one of us is an illusionist with skills so great that we can deceive the God who created everything! It is a sin to think otherwise.

Are you still trying to play “smoke and mirrors” with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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