Where am I in the harvest?

October 6, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
(Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV))

There is one thing about a harvest that most people fail to realize. Eventually, anything and everything that can be harvested has been brought in and the rest is either plowed under or burned. In other words, the harvest will come to an end!

This is true of a physical harvest as well as a spiritual harvest. You can only pick so many apples before all of the good ones are taken. You can only pick so many ears of corn before all that is left is only worthy of feeding to the pigs. You can harvest only the wheat that is ready before you end up with chaff. Eventually, what is being harvested is all taken!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you are part of that harvest. It doesn’t end there. God doesn’t want anyone to perish, so He has an assignment for you and for I. We are also called to work the harvest, but we know that God has hardened the hearts of those who only desire their sinful nature. We know that He has given them a delusional spirit because of their desires. They have rebelled against God for so long that He has given them exactly what they wanted. We know that in the end days, both the wheat and the weeds will grow up evenly. We know that at harvest time, the wheat will be brought into the barn and the weeds and chaff will be burned. This can only happen when the harvest is complete. This can only happen when the Lord of the harvest looks upon the harvest field, the earth, and sees that the harvest is complete.

Many people believe that the harvest is rapidly coming to an end. Once that end arrives, the field will be completely stripped of the wheat that was gathered during the harvest. Farmers throughout history have burned off the stubble and the chaff after a harvest. They have collected what was offered up and they have burned the rest to dispose of it. If we, as sinful humanity, are the harvest field, why would anyone choose to be left behind? Why would anyone choose to face the fires?

You need to ask yourself one very important question.

Where am I in the harvest?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Always keep your eyes on Jesus!

October 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV))

Do you believe that this is true?

Do you look forward to the day that this will happen?

According to a recent article posted on a large news network’s site, if you fear this, then you are suffering from rapture anxiety. The article states that this is recognized by “some” faith experts and mental health experts as a type of religious trauma.

Do you feel traumatized?

The article equates this to a “scary campfire story.”

Do you feel scared?

They even tried to equate this with fear and rejection!

Are you fearful? Do you feel rejected?

The article proceeded to say that many feel that the church no longer matches their personal values!

There is so much wrong with this on so many levels. I am not even going to dig into these comments and provide a Biblical rebuttal. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and you hold fast to Biblical truths, then you can draw your own conclusions. My concern, and the concerns of many others as well, is that this is just a precursor to persecution of those who hold fast to Biblical truths. If someone who rejects Biblical teaching can claim that they suffered mental health issues because of the truth, then that opens things up for who knows what, including persecution of anyone who professes a faith in Jesus and His return! Many countries are now saying that sharing the Gospel is a hate crime!

We definitely are living in some very interesting times. Don’t let the world sway you. Don’t let the fear of persecution make your faith falter. We have nothing to fear. If we profess a faith in Jesus, we are made sons and daughters of the Living God! He doesn’t change for us. We approach Him in humble repentance! His truth is eternal. We approach Him only through the cross and Him crucified!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Always keep your eyes on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Everything is pointing to Jesus!

September 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
(Colossians 2:17 (NIV))

With this sentence, Paul was telling the church at Colossae that all of the things in this world all point to Jesus. He had just stated that they were not to be judged based on human traditions or on limited human understandings of the things that God had put in place, for these things that God has put in place are all pointing to Jesus.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
(Colossians 2:16 (NIV))

Do we, as the “modern” church, believe that everything that God has ordained points to Jesus? Do we truly understand how the Jewish festivals are all foreshadows of events that have been or will be fulfilled by the Lord on the exact day that the festival represents? We are told that His ways are not our ways, and that His ways are far above our ways. If God can make a bright star appear at the birth of Jesus, why do we fail to recognize that He can do amazing things again? If God can give us the perfect Passover lamb at Passover, and then raise Him from the dead on the feast of First Fruits, why do we think that the rest of God’s holy days will not bring the same powerful results? Why do we think that God is not following His timing according to His planned festivals? Why do we think that God is not following His timing as we see and often fail to even recognize the events that are happening all around the world, and at a rate that is ever increasing in frequency and intensity?

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:6-8 (NIV))

What happens with birth pains?

They increase in frequency and intensity!

Does this sound familiar?

We are told that no man knows the hour or the day, but that we can recognize the season. If you stopped your daily life long enough to sit and watch, to sit and wait on the Lord, what do you think that you would recognize? Would you see birth pains? Would you see everything increasing in frequency and intensity? Would you see that everything is converging on one promise, on one person, on one Lord and Savior? I honestly believe that now, more than ever, what Paul wrote to the church at Colossae is closer than we may realize.

Are you looking to where everything is pointing?

Everything is pointing to Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

September 26, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
(Zechariah 2:13 (NIV))

Does this frighten you or does this bring you joy?

It is all a matter of perspective!

If you delight in the things of this world, then at best, this frightens you. However, if you are delighted by the things of this world, then you have probably denied the very existence of the Lord. This results in the simple conclusion that you are probably complacent. Either way, your encounter with the Lord will be the same. The Lord is rousing himself from His holy dwelling to put a stop to sin once and for all. Just because you don’t believe in the laws of gravity does not mean that you can jump off of a tall building with no consequences. The very same thing is true with you denial of the Laws of God. Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But, . . .

On the flip side of that perspective is the personal recognition that what these two passage profess is true and that it applies to you!

That is where the “But, God!” actions comes into play.

If you follow the ABCs, then your perspective on the Lord rousing Himself from His holy dwelling is completely different.

A is admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

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

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

If you follow the ABCs, then you understand. You long for His return. You long for His righteousness to rule. You long to be in His presence. As you see the things that are unfolding in the world, we are to have faith in His Word. We are to be still before the Lord. We are to remember what the Israelites were told by Moses in Exodus and be obedient to these instructions today.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

As the Lord unfolds His plans, we are to simply be still and rejoice. We are to watch in amazement as we truly see just how good that our God is! In all honesty, we are simply sitting on the sidelines. The only thing that we are called to do is invite others to join in on the side of the Lord.

Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

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

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How are you at waiting?

September 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
(Psalms 27:14 (NIV))

How long has it been since you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Has your faith matured since your first profession? Have you grown in your understanding of what a faith in Jesus actually means? Have you come to the realization that the enemy hates you because you love Jesus? Do you understand that God is unfolding His timeline and that those who profess a faith in Jesus are seeing what all of humanity has longed to see since the fall from grace. We are seeing a loving God who has given people so many chances to repent and accept the grace freely given through the blood of Jesus closing that door. We are seeing the enemy doing his best to vilify anything righteous.

Are you tired of waiting for God’s righteousness to return to the earth? Are you watching and waiting for the Lord to gather His church? According to the events transpiring in the world today, we are closer than ever. In fact, I just saw the following bullet points that made me stop and reflect. We are seeing some things that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

* The Abrahamic Family Center, which is a house of worship combining facilities for Christians, Jews and Muslims is set to open next month. This is one of many such facilities throughout the world. Some believe that this is an indicator of the coming one world religion.
* The required red heifers for the purification rituals for the 3rd Temple are here!
* Enemies are surrounding Israel on all sides and there are plans to divide Jerusalem.
* Almost every country is implementing digital currency, with plans to link them all together rapidly coming.
* Food shortages are increasing due to various issues.
* Technology has been developed and is in place, or being put in place, to be able to track everyone.
* There is an increase in lawlessness.
* There is an increase in wars and rumors of wars.
* There has been an ever increasing number of earthquakes.
* There has been an ever increasing number of plagues and pestilences.
* The whole world has been deceived by the pharmekia to fight these health issues.
* The generation that has lived to see Israel return to their homeland, the Fig Tree Generation, is now mature. We are told that the generation that sees this shall not pass away before these things come to pass!

If you are waiting for the Lord, stand firm in your faith. If you are still a sinner in need of a Savior, don’t put it off another moment. Don’t wait until it is too late!

I have come to the conclusion that everyone is waiting. They are either waiting for the Lord, or they are waiting for a reason to give their life to the Lord. Sadly, too many are waiting for the evil that they desire to be in complete control.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, 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))

I choose to wait for the Lord.

How are you at waiting?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must never forget this!

September 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When you pass through the waters,
     I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
     they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
     you will not be burned;
     the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Isaiah 43:2 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are being led down a path and you have to stop and reflect on where you are being led?

For the last several years I have been led to scripture passages that tell us we have nothing to fear as long as we put our faith and trust in the Lord! This all started long before the pandemic. I firmly believe that this is true, and if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I pray that you believe this as well. There is something within me that knows that this world will never return to what we considered to be normal just a few short years ago. We are on a path that was set out before us long ago. This is a path that God has had planned ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. He knew that we had fallen into sin. The Lord knew that we could not save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. He knew that we needed a Savior to step in and fully take the consequences of our sin upon His shoulders. He knew that people would believe in faith. He also knew that the enemy would do all in his power to thwart His plan.

Old Testament prophets knew this. The Disciples knew this. Paul knew this.

Do we, as the modern church, still know this?

There is power in the name of Jesus. A time is coming where at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Why do we go about our daily lives as if we don’t have a powerful Savior? Why do we go about our daily lives thinking that our salvation is only powerful to save us from hell when we die? Why do we think that we are to have a comfortable life because we have professed a faith in Jesus?

We have been told that calling upon the name of the Lord comes with a cost. We are told that family members will turn against you. We are told that we will face persecution. We are told that we will face trials and troubles because the world hates Jesus.

“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))

What other options do we have? I pray that your answer will be the same as Simon Peter’s when the Disciples were asked if they wanted to leave.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
(John 6:67-69 (NIV))

We can rest assured that our faith in Jesus is the only thing that will save us in times of trouble, both now and whatever may be coming. Are you fully secure in your faith? Do you know beyond any doubt that the Lord will see you through anything and everything that you may encounter. It is who He is. It is as He has promised.

We must never forget this!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

September 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“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))

For years I have not only studied God’s Word, but I have also watched the news and have found pastors who have studied prophecy. I watch multiple different sources and weigh each source’s material against God’s Word. I recently became aware of a video that I feel that I need to share. This video was put together by the underground church in Iran. We know that the church in Iran is facing severe persecution, yet they felt that they needed to warn the church in America and in other parts of the western world! They see the signs even when we fail to recognize what is happening in our own back yard!

In America, we think that we are the ones going into all the world, but when believers in persecuted parts of the world reach out to warn us because they have been given insight by the Lord, we MUST listen. We must prepare. We must stop thinking that nothing like this could ever happen where we live. We must realize that the enemy is angry at those who profess a faith in Jesus no matter where we may live. We must be ready and willing to stand firm in our faith in Jesus even if it means persecution or death.

Are you prepared?

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

We have been told that troubles will come.

Are you prepared?

Do you follow Jesus?

Are you prepared?

Are you at peace even in the midst of chaos?

Are you prepared?

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be deceived because of your preconceived ideas!

September 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
(Matthew 24:24 (NIV))

How well do you know God’s Word?

Can you tell the difference between the truth and a lie?

Do you think that you could be deceived by false messiahs and false prophets?

We think that we know Jesus, but does sitting in church for an hour a week bring you close enough to the Lord to be able to discern His voice over the many voices vying for your attention?

If a bank teller is taught how to recognize counterfeit money by becoming very familiar with the real thing, doesn’t it stand to reason that the only way for someone to truly recognize false messiahs and false prophets is to get to know the real Jesus, the true Messiah? In much the same way that money has a very distinguishable feel, Jesus has a very distinguishable truth to Him. You just need to take the time to know Jesus and not simply know a few sound bites that most people can relate to. Do you know why Jesus came into the world? Do you know what He taught about sin? Do you know what He taught about human traditions masquerading as worship? Do you know why He went to the cross? Do you know that the enemy knows God’s Word and will twist it to deceive you? Do you know that the enemy fears someone who truly relies on Jesus and who knows the power that is contained within the name of Jesus? Do you truly know Jesus?

There have been many false messiahs and false prophets throughout history. There will be a time when the ultimate false messiah will enter onto the world stage. Will you be able to recognize him when he performs his great signs and wonders?

We have all grown up hearing Bible stories. We have all heard preachers who put a twist to what they preach. Do you have any preconceived ideas because of these teachings? No one likes to be deceived. Now is the time to truly get to know Jesus. You must know Him as your personal Lord and Savior. You must know Him as the Lamb of God. You must know Him as the Mighty Warrior and the Prince of Peace. You must know that He hates sin but grace and mercy are freely given to all who will call upon His name and turn away from their sin. If someone or something does not call you to repent and turn away from your sin, then it is false. If someone or something doesn’t point to Jesus as the only way to the Father, then it is false. Do you have any preconceived ideas that are contrary to these two truths? It is time to know the real Jesus and not the sound bites.

Don’t be deceived because of your preconceived ideas!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you appropriately dressed?

September 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have an assignment. You have been given marching orders. We are to go into all the world and share the Gospel. We are also told that we will face tribulation in this world, but to rely on Jesus because He has overcome the world.

We are also told to dress for battle!

If you believe that God is love and accepts everyone no matter what their lifestyle and the sin that they practice, then this doesn’t make sense. But, if you hold fast to the truth that Jesus came to set the captives free, to deliver the sinner from bondage, and to offer hope to a sinful, dying world by calling sinners to repentance, then you fully understand why we are to dress for battle. We will be facing the enemy. We will be facing the father of all lies. We will be facing an entity who utterly hates those who profess a faith in Jesus and in God the Father. In all of this, Jesus is our protector. He is our champion. He is our armor. He is THE full armor of God!

We are to fully clothe ourselves in Jesus, who is the Word made flesh!

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:14-17 (NIV))

In light of the events that are transpiring in this world, we need to fully clothe ourselves with Jesus. We are to recognize and clothe ourselves with the armor that only He can provide. When we do this, we no longer fight the battles. The battle then belongs to the Lord!

With this truth, are you still fighting the battles based on your abilities or have you allowed the Lord to fight for you and to protect you? Are you trying to stand in your strength or are you standing in His strength?

It is time that you answered one very important question.

Are you appropriately dressed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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