How is your hearing?

June 30, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 (NKJV))

How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I realize that this is a rhetorical question, since someone had to tell you about the saving grace that could be yours through the atoning blood of Jesus. I do not know anyone who simply woke up one morning with a newfound faith in Jesus. I do realize that Jesus has made appearances to people in countries where the Gospel is banned, but even these newfound believers heard the Gospel before coming to faith.

In essence, someone had to share the Gospel in order for someone else to receive it! They had to explain that we are all born sinners and that the wages of sin is death. They had to explain that God loved the world and sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. Someone had to explain that because that price was paid by a sinless man, we have the ability to have our sins forgiven so that we can stand in God’s presence with our sin debt fully paid! That is how someone comes to faith in Jesus!

But, what is faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

When you think of something of substance, you think of truth. You think of solidness. You think of something that is satisfying. When you think of evidence, you think of undeniable facts.

Another translation states it like this.

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

When you think of confidence, you think of undeniable truth and strength. You might even say that it borders on assuredness. I love how this translation ties that together in the next part of the passage. We have assurance, a firm foundation built upon a promise, that what we believe is true.

Faith is built upon the hope that we have in Jesus. There is evidence to support what we profess. It is documented in the Gospels. It is documented by other historians. We are confident in what we profess. We have placed ourselves squarely and solely on the promises that God has given to us. We have a firm foundation with Jesus as our cornerstone!

How is your hearing?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Why are you still carrying your burdens?

June 27, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. If there is one thing that this sinful, fallen world is good at, it is good at creating anxiety in those who call this world home. Professing a faith in Jesus does not mean that the world will not do all within its power to burden you and to give you stress, it just means that we have an assurance that the anxiety that we feel can be lifted, that it can be carried by the One who created this world. And, no, He did not create it in it’s current state. This world was created as perfection. It is we who have turned it into the mess that it has become.

For the second time in as many days, I find myself singing the refrain from a hymn that says it better than anything I have ever heard or could possibly ever write.

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
(Helen Howarth Lemmel)

When we cast all of our anxiety upon Jesus, this is exactly what happens!

The key word in that last sentence is “when,” for we have a tendency to hold onto our burdens and our anxieties far too long. We let them weigh us down. We let them control us. We let them drag us deeper into the very thing that we are burdened with. We don’t have to be burdened. We don’t have to carry anxiety. We don’t have to live according to the world. We have a risen Savior who has defeated the world and has willingly taken our sins, our burdens and our anxieties upon Himself. All that we have to do is surrender them up to Him.

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))

Why are you still carrying your burdens?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Has your hope in the Lord renewed your strength?

June 24, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But those who hope in the Lord
      will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
      they will run and not grow weary,
      they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

How have you been the last few years?

Do you find yourself growing weak, weary and faint because of all of the things going on in the world?

To be honest with you, I personally do not understand how someone who doesn’t have a faith in Jesus can keep their sanity in all that has happened and continues to happen in this world. Perhaps that is why we see an increase in suicides and an increase in other choices that go against anything Godly and righteous. When things go badly in this world, too many people look for comfort in all of the wrong places. They should turn to Jesus!

I remember immediately after 9/11 and the massive influx of people into churches. They were looking for sense to be made out of the events that had transpired. I don’t know the percentage of people who quickly fell away, but they did turn to God for a while. Today, if people aren’t already in a church, if anything happens, they seem to ignore God completely, or even blame Him for the events. It is sad to see just how the attitudes towards God have changed in just a little over twenty years.

Hold fast to your faith!

Stand firm in the promises of God!

We must recognize that our hope is built on the rock, on the firm foundation that is our Lord Jesus. When we have accepted Jesus and fully rely on the hope that we have placed in Him, He will renew our strength. No matter what we may face in this world, we will not grow weary. We will not faint in the face of the enemy as he tries everything in his feeble power to turn the world away from God. I don’t often quote hymns, but this should be our anthem in times of worldly trouble, for we have a risen Savior who has overcome the world.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

I bet that you started singing this as you read it. It should be so ingrained in the hearts and minds of those who profess a faith in Jesus that we sing it loudly and proudly as He renews our strength; as He lifts us up to soar on wings like eagles; as He gives us strength to run and not grow weary; and as He gives us strength to walk and not be faint.

Has your hope in the Lord renewed your strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

June 21, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
     and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
(Revelation 18:23c (NIV))

The original passage was written in Greek, and the word that has been translated as sorcery in most of the English translations is the word “pharmakeia.” Pharmakeia means the use of medicine, drugs or spells. In essence, it is drug-related or drug-enhanced sorcery. What caught my attention is that all nations are to be deceived by this practice. In other words, could this be a worldwide deception based on pharmaceutical drugs?

Is that possible?

Can the whole world be deceived in such a manner?

I don’t know what your thoughts are on the recent global pandemic, but at present, it appears that the whole world is in unison when it comes to the recommended treatments for the pandemic. If we measured this response using a tachometer, we went from zero to red lined in a matter of a little over a year. Are the nations being deceived by the pharmakeia? Are the nations being deceived by the great merchants of the earth? To be honest with you, only time will tell, but I do not believe that we have much time left to be deceived. You will either place your faith in the things of this world or you will place your faith in Jesus. If you place your faith in the things of this world, you will face a seven year period of time that has many names, but it all comes down to the fact that those who reject Jesus will be the ones who face this period of time.

You may disagree with the concept of the rapture, but I have a few questions for you. Why is there no mention of the church after a certain time in Revelation? Why is this period of history referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble, especially when you understand that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel? Many people try to say that the church has replaced Israel. We are not Israel. No matter how you look at it, most of the people who profess a faith in Jesus today would be considered Gentiles. Many people try to say that the church has been grafted into Israel. If you look at the history of Israel, you see rebellion against God after rebellion against God. Why would God graft those who made a conscious decision to love and follow Jesus into a lineage of people who have constantly rebelled against Him?

I am only making speculations based on what I have studied for the last twenty plus years, and I admit that I may be wrong. No one alive today knows God’s plans with enough accuracy to say exactly what will happen and when it will happen. All that we have are signs. All that anyone can do is study God’s Word and watch as things unfold. Will we be one hundred percent accurate in our understanding? We are only human, so the answer to that question is a “No!”

One thing that I can say with complete certainty is that there has never been a better time to repent and follow Jesus!

Only Jesus will lead you through the deceptions!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

June 20, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

Do you treat Jesus as if He has all authority in heaven and on earth, or do you treat Him as your personal servant – a servant who bows to your authority?

Sadly enough, too many people treat Jesus as their personal servant. They treat Him as if His only reason for existence was to take care of their every whim and desire. They have no understanding of who Jesus truly is and, therefore, they have no desire to do what He asks of us. They simply expect Him to do what they ask of Him. They will not relinquish the authority.

Who has authority in your life?

Do you follow Jesus or do you expect Him to follow you?

Do you tell others about Jesus and what He has done in your life, or do you tell others about “your” accomplishments and never mention Jesus?

Do others see Jesus in you, or do they express astonishment when someone tells them that you are a Christian?

Do you make disciples for Jesus or do you have to be reminded that you are a disciple?

Do you follow His teachings, or do you only acknowledge them for an hour on Sunday?

I know that these are tough questions, but they are questions that we must constantly ask ourselves. It is so easy to begin to believe that we are the ones in charge of our lives.

We have no authority.

Can we, by our own doing, extend the number of our days? Can we create life out of nothing? Can we stop the sun from rising or the winds from blowing?

If we are to truly fulfill the task that Jesus gave us in this passage, we must recognize that He is in authority and not us. He is not ours. We are His. I know that I have failed many times, but it is my desire to place Jesus in authority. I do not want to stand before Him and hear Him say that he does not know me.

Lord, help us to surrender all authority to you!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Do you love the world or do you love Jesus?

June 15, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
(Philippians 3:20 (NIV))

Are you eagerly awaiting Jesus?

Your answer to that question is a direct result of how you look at the world and how you look at Jesus.

If you are focused on the world and look to the world for answers, then you are not eagerly awaiting Jesus even if you claim to believe. If you believe that everything is going to get better because you trust those in power, then your faith is not in Jesus, but in fallen humanity.

If you look at the world in disbelief as each ungodly decision is made as it falls deeper and deeper into complete rebellion against God, then you know beyond any doubt that your citizenship is firmly rooted in your faith in Jesus.

To put it simply, do you trust man or do you trust Jesus? Do you believe what the world tells you or do you believe what God told us long ago? If your answers are not what you expected, now is the time to repent and change your priorities. Don’t wait! Tomorrow may be too late!

Do you love the world or do you love Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What does God see in you?

June 3, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Pride goes before destruction,
     a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:18 (NIV))

We have seen a lot about pride in recent years, and it seems to be on the increase in just the last few years. Add to this a haughty spirit and we should be expecting something that will bring the unbelieving world to it’s knees.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word “haughty”? You may be in for an awakening once you realize the depth of the meaning of the word. According to Merriam-Webster, haughty is being blatantly and disdainfully proud : having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior.

Does this sound anything like our society and our world today? We see the “in your face” attitudes and utter contempt and hatred for anything or anyone related to Jesus.

Basically, if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you are looked upon as inferior and you are looked upon with contempt. The prideful spirit of this world looks upon anything that is contrary to what they desire as inferior. What they desire is sin and if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, what you desire is completely contrary to what the world desires.

I find it interesting that we know that the ways of this world are always completely opposite of what God desires. We are told to humble ourselves. The world says to be proud of who you are. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. The world tells us to hate those who are different from us, to hate those who don’t believe as we do. We are told to see others first and ourselves last. The world tells us to go for it because we deserve it.

Sadly, I believe that the non believing, sinful world has become exceedingly prideful and haughty to the point that we are seeing what was written of in 2 Timothy.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV))

It is God’s desire that we are blatantly humble and righteous in His eyes.

What does God see in you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

June 1, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Do you like to be blamed or held accountable when things go wrong?

That is exactly what condemnation is. We are blamed and held accountable for the sins that we commit. We are all guilty. We are all sinners.

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

No descendants of Adam and Eve can escape the fate that we inherit due to the fall from grace. We are all born sinners and we inherit, we deserve, the consequences of our sins. There is none righteous on our own!

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, God . . .

God had another plan to redeem us, to restore us unto Himself. God has a plan to remove all condemnation from us as far as the east is from the west.

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))

If you profess a faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven. You do not stand condemned. That is the greatest news that anyone could ever receive. With all that is happening in the world at this time, many people believe that His return is coming very soon. We do not want to be found still condemned by our sin when He does return. It’s 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.

It is your choice!

You don’t have to stay under condemnation!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Turn to Jesus for He is the bread of life!

May 20, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
(Revelation 6:6 (NIV))

like this as they become a reality for far more people than isolated instances. Two years ago it was toilet paper and other paper products. Recent events see us facing infant formula shortages. A large number of large food processing plants have burned. International trade is uncertain with many of the countries that are the leading producers of grain unable to yield a crop. When was the last time that you actually walked through a grocery store that was fully stocked? When was the last time that you filled up your cars? Everyone is experiencing sticker shock and there appears to be no end in sight!

When this was written, wheat and barley were the basis of the diets for the common people. Oil and wine were a necessity, but many scholars believe this reference to mean that the wealthy will not be as impacted as everyone else. Still, shortages and prices are going up. I don’t believe that we are truly at the point that this passage speaks of, but just how close are we?

What do you see unfolding right before our eyes?

Are we having first hand experience of the beginnings of the events foretold of in this passage?

No one truly knows the exact unfolding of the events that God has planned. All that we can do is keep our eyes focused on Jesus! He is our rock. He is our fortress. He is our firm foundation no matter what we may face.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
(Matthew 4:4 (NIV))

When it takes all that you have to simply survive, look up!

Turn to Jesus for He is the bread of life!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


What is your greatest treasure?

May 12, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal
(Matthew 6:19 (ESV))

What type of person do you think of when you think of someone who lays up treasure for themselves?

Most people think of someone who is greedy, miserly and selfish. Does that fit your mental image of someone who lays up treasure for themselves? Do you know anyone like this? Is it a joy to be around them?

Is it possible for someone to do this and still profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

Everything that we think of when we think of someone who seeks treasure goes against what we know to be our calling as followers of Jesus. This type of treasure is worldly. This type of treasure is fleeting. This type of treasure leads to conceit and envy. I think that I can safely say that it does not lead to love and kindness.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV))

As I see more and more things unfolding in this world, we must not focus on the world! We must not focus on the treasure that is fleeting. We must focus on the one true treasure that is eternal. We must focus on the greatest treasure that has ever existed or will ever exist. We must focus on Jesus, for He is our greatest treasure. Ironically, what we treasure is not to be hoarded. It is to be shared.

Do you like to share your greatest treasure?

Do you lay up treasures for yourself on earth?

What is your greatest treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


%d bloggers like this: