Jesus saves from eternal adversity!

October 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17 (NIV))

How do you describe the bond between friends? How do you describe the bond between brothers? How are they the same and how are they different? Which one do you feel is stronger?

I realize that I just asked a bunch of questions that require more than a yes or no answer. They require thought, honesty and time to truly answer.

How did you answer?

Do you still have any of the same friends that you had when you were a child? How about the friends you had from when you were in high school? If you have lived very long at all, you know that friends come and go. People move into our lives for a season and then they move on. Even the closest of friends rarely stay that way for a whole lifetime. People find themselves on different paths and soon even the best of friends find that they are only a distant memory.

How many of you have a brother or a sister? You know that the bonds of family are not as easily put away and dismissed as the bonds of friendship. Once a brother, always a brother. You may not be the best of friends, but you know that if it ever came down to needing someone to turn to, to pick you up in times of adversity, that brother, that sister, that family will be there for you even when all of your friends have abandoned you.

   but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24b (NIV))

Closer than a brother?

Closer than your family?

There is someone who will never abandon you even in the midst of your worst moments. When friends leave you and family says that they don’t know what else to do, Jesus is waiting there for you! Have you accepted His friendship? It is as easy as ABC.

A is for 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.

We don’t know what tomorrow may hold, but we do know who holds tomorrow. Put your trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior before it is too late!

Jesus saves from eternal adversity!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Come Lord Jesus! Come!

October 11, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

With God we will gain the victory,
     and he will trample down our enemies.
(Psalms 60:12 (NIV))

Do you believe this?

I know that with all that is going on in the world, sometimes it may be difficult to believe this. What is fundamentally wrong with this thought process is the simple fact that we don’t rely on what is going on in the world. We, as the Body of Christ, should only rely on God’s promises and not on the fallen nature of the world around us.

I know that this is a hard thing to do especially since humanity has fallen and is sinful by nature. In our sinful nature we rely on what we can see instead of relying on the promises that God has given to us.

Lord, I pray that You will open our spiritual eyes so that we can see Your grace, Your mercy and Your power as it readies to defeat the enemy once and for all. Jesus came to conquer sin and death. When He returns, He will come as a mighty warrior who will defeat the enemy and his followers.

Come Lord Jesus!

Come!

Your bride is growing tired of the conditions that have been unleashed in Your world. We long for Your return and the righteousness that You will bring!

The victory is Yours!

Come Lord Jesus! Come!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Never stop glorifying God!

October 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
(Luke 23:46 (NIV))

We read these words and marvel at the control that Jesus had as He faced the cross. Even unto the point of death He remained in control. Even unto death He remained a model for how we should live our lives.

He set the bar quite high. Can any of us achieve what Jesus achieved? Can we face our lives and even our deaths as Jesus did? Can we walk with the faith that no matter what may happen, God is right there with us just as He was with Jesus?

I just realized one very important thing that many people ignore. In order for Jesus to fulfill God’s plan, God had to turn His back on Jesus when Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself. For that period of time, Jesus was alone. We never have to be alone. God will never turn His back on us for the price has been paid in full. Jesus paid that price, and even when He was all alone, He still returned glory to where it belonged.

Human nature is so frail. Even with the assurances that God is with us and the Jesus died for us, all too often we fail to acknowledge God’s presence in our lives. We need to take a lesson from Jesus’ last words on the cross and fully embrace God’s glory and presence no matter what we may be facing.

I love the life that God has blessed me with, but, when it comes to be my time, I pray that I remember to glorify God as Jesus did. Life is a great gift. Grace is a great gift. Fully embrace both and live your life as God intended. Don’t allow anything to take it away from you.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Never stop glorifying God!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you believe?

September 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s world, deceit is everywhere. The prince of this world tries to deceive the faithful by wrapping his deception in a cloak that imitates the Truth.

Be careful in what you allow into your heart. Test everything. Satan can also appear as an angel of Light. If something does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, run from it.

All of God’s Truth throughout the history of the Bible has pointed to one man through many prophecies. If something professes to be from God, yet does not acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son, it is not from God.

Jesus foretold of this and left us a warning.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:22-23 (NIV))

Do not be deceived, but keep your eyes focused on God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

What do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you still dealing with fear?

September 16, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
(1 John 4:18 (ESV))

Do you fear the future?

Exactly what do you fear?

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, is fear really a part of that profession of faith? We know that it shouldn’t be, but are you truly able to claim that you have no fear because of what Jesus did for you on the cross? We are supposed to look to Jesus and leave everything at the foot of the cross, but our human nature makes us look back. Why do we take our eyes off of the single best thing that gives us eternal grace and look back at what is decaying and dying? What makes us cling to our sin and this world when we should cling only to Jesus?

I can understand how someone can be fearful at this time in history. For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and who faithfully spend time in God’s Word, the events transpiring in the world sound all too familiar to the beginnings of what is foretold in Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation. If we spend time in God’s Word, the events occurring around us should give us hope of His soon return. The sad truth is that very few people who profess a faith in Jesus hear or read anything from God’s Word except for what they are spoon fed on Sunday morning.

How can we grow in our faith if we are still being spoon fed? How can we mature in our understanding if we don’t read and study on our own? How can we test whether something is true if we don’t examine the Scriptures to seek the truth? Each of us should take a lesson from the Berean Jews.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
(Acts 17:11 (NIV))

Are there certain parts of God’s Word that you avoid because you don’t like what they say? Do they make you feel uneasy? That is called conviction! We simply can’t ignore parts of God’s Word because it makes us feel uneasy.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

Are you thoroughly equipped for every good work?

Are you thoroughly equipped with the knowledge that is contained within God’s Word?

Are you thoroughly equipped so that you have nothing to fear?

Are you still dealing with fear?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you resting in the confidence of these promises?

September 14, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
(John 10:28 (NIV))

This passage comes near the end of a discourse where Jesus identifies Himself as the good shepherd. To paraphrase, He describes the difference between a hired hand who will abandon the sheep at the first sign of trouble and the good shepherd who knows and loves his sheep. The good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep. That is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He willingly laid down His life so that we could have life! In fact, by professing a faith in Jesus and His authority as the good shepherd, we have a far greater reward than we could have ever hoped for. He has given us a hope far great than anything that we could have ever hoped for.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
(John 10:29 (NIV))

We have the assurance that we are in God’s hands and no one is greater than God. No one can steal us away from the love of the Father. No one can rip us out of the Father’s arms and no one can do anything to lessen His love for us.

No matter what the enemy may send your way, you are in the hands of God. You have nothing to fear.

No matter what the world may do to you tomorrow, you are in the hands of God. You shall not perish.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Do not look at the world. It has nothing to offer of eternal worth.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
   In the light of His glory and grace.

In this world where events get stranger and stranger all of the time, we must turn our eyes upon Jesus. We must confidently hold fast to the promises of Jesus as the good shepherd. We must confidently hold fast to the promises of eternal life, for there is no other name by which we may be saved.

Are you resting in the confidence of these promises?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you struggling with?

September 7, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

Do you ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle? Do you feel that no matter what you do, nothing ever goes your way? Do you ever feel like you do all the work and everyone else gets ahead? Do you see evil triumphantly defy all that you struggle to do?

Every person who has ever lived has faced struggles, but some seem to face more than others. If this is you, how do you respond?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
‭‭(James‬ 1:2-4‬ (NIV‬‬))

Do you face your struggles with joy?

I realize that this is an unusual question, but that is exactly what anyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is called to do. We must remember that we have changed our citizenship. We are no longer part of this world. We are just passing through on our way to our ultimate home with Jesus. Because of this, the world hates us.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
‭‭(John‬ 15:18-19‬ (NIV‬‬))

Who do you belong to?

What are you struggling with?

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

September 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Are you weary from all that you burdened with in this world?

In this country, we celebrate people who work, but is work different than labor? Is this different than a burden? Work implies fulfilling duties in exchange for compensation whether a pay check or a harvest of some kind. Labor implies hard work or compulsory work without the proportional reward. A burden implies some hardship or oppression that must be carried. With that in mind, do you work or do you labor? Do you have any burdens that you carry?

Are you weary from your efforts? Are you exhausted physically and spiritually? Do you feel that you can endure nothing else in this world?

Do you long for peace? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
‭‭(Philippians‬ 4:7‬ (NIV‬‬))

Do you long for rest? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

Do you seek rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

September 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that I have sent this before, but with what is going on in the world, we have a great need to be reminded that we can truly rest in Jesus!

This world piles burden upon burden on us in our daily lives. Our jobs, our obligations, our financial needs, and sometimes even our families and our church become burdens. We must step back and focus on the words of Jesus.

Rest! Everyone desires it, but in this world, true rest cannot come. Rest only comes when one is at peace. Peace is a concept that the world wants but can not grant. True peace only comes from the source of all creation through His Son Jesus Christ. Trade burdens with Jesus and gain peace and rest.

The burden that Jesus bore has paid in full your burden of sin and death. Whatever you are carrying now, He carried to the cross almost two thousand years ago.

Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you need to tell about the Son?

August 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:12 (NIV))

If you ever go shopping, you are familiar with the concept of buying one, getting one free. I have to tell you that no matter what type of deal you may get when you do this, it is nothing compared to the amazing deal that you get for free by accepting God’s Son, Jesus, as your personal Lord and Savior! You get someone who is closer than a brother and you also get eternal life with Jesus in the presence of the Father. This is the ultimate deal considering our sinful nature.

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))

To summarize, we are all sinners and the penalty for our sin is death, but God…

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))

This message never gets old, especially if you have the Son and life. It is also a reminder to those who profess a faith in Jesus that this gift is too precious, too great to keep to ourselves. When we read about God loving the world, we must not forget the consequences for those who do not have the Son of God. They do not have life! Is that what we want to have on our conscience? Do we want to forever realize that because we did not share the Son with someone, they are lost for all eternity?

Having the Son and having life is by far the very best deal that anyone can ever make. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for 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.

Who do you need to share the ABCs with?

Who do you need to tell about the Son?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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