Are you living your life in this manner?

September 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 (NIV))

The world has a tendency to throw things at us that make us do things that we wish we wouldn’t do!

How you react during these times is viewed as a reflection of all of Christianity by the non-believing world. The world sees us at these times and judges all believers based on our shortcomings and then they call us hypocrites. What they fail to realize is that everyone is human and we will all make mistakes. The only difference between believers and the world is that we, as the Body of Christ, get judged quite harshly and ridiculed by the world while the rest of the world gets a much lesser judgment from their own.

Think about that for a moment!

The world receives some semblance of grace from those who follow the world, while those who follow Jesus receive judgment from the world. Those who follow Jesus will receive the ultimate grace from God while those who follow the world will receive the ultimate judgment from God. Personally, I prefer to receive grace from God. With this in mind, I don’t mind if the world judges me and ridicules me. I know that I am far from perfect. I know that I will make mistakes, but, I also know that my mistakes, my sins, are covered by the redeeming blood of Jesus. My hope lies solely with Jesus. Because of this, I know that whatever I face in this world is only temporary. I also know that prayer will keep me focused. I do my best to remain joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

Are you living your life in this manner?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your reaction times like?

April 20, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
(James 1:19 (NIV))

It seems that we are always being judged on our reaction times. What I find interesting is the things that we are being measured for. Some of them are important, such as how quickly you can apply the brakes in a car if an emergency arises. Some of them are just ridiculous such as how fast someone can eat a hot dog. Other reaction times can determine your life’s direction and your career choices, such as how fast you can run 40 yards. In the grand scheme of things, we face many things in our lives that are used to measure us for some aspect or another.

For what things do you wish your reactions times to be measured?

Are they the things of this world or are they something different?

If someone were to give us an evaluation based on the things in James 1:19, how would we be rated? Would we be considered quick to listen? Do we honestly hear what is being said? Do we understand and give our undivided attention? Do we hold our tongues? Do we quickly become angry? These are all things where we should strive to improve our reaction times, for when we do, it reflects not only on us, but on the one that we claim to follow.

What are your reaction times like?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you seek first?

December 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV))

What is it that you seek first?

With Christmas almost here, many people turn ino materialistic animals. They think that they have to give the perfect gift. They think that they have to have the latest gadget because it will make their life complete. They think that they have to give more expensive gifts because they are being judged by their gift.

I pray that people will come to the realization that it is not about bigger and better gifts. It is not about finding the perfect clothes to wear. It is not about preparing the perfect meal or making sure that the supply of drinks does not run out. It is simply a matter of priorities.

I pray that people will come to the realization that all that they truly need is found in a manger and at the foot of the cross!

Focus on Jesus and seek His righteousness as your priority. When you find yourself aligning your life along God’s plan and His grace, then everything else will slowly come into focus. What better time to realign your priorities than at the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Birth represents a new beginning. The birth of Jesus gives each of us that opportunity for a new beginning – a beginning without the baggage of the failed priorities of the world.

Again, I ask the simple question. What is it that you seek first?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are your eyes open to the birth of Jesus?

December 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
(John 9:39 (NIV))

Do you think of judgment when you think of Christmas?

You should!

For it is through the birth of Jesus that we, who are guilty of sin, have the promise of redemption from the judgment that we should face. Christmas is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise where the death on the cross and the resurrection is the completion of the promise. Without the birth, we would have no hope of redemption. Without the birth, we would have no hope of a life free from the consequences of sin.

We would be judged based on what we truly deserve and not on the grace that God so freely gives to any and all who will simply accept that grace!

Grace required that an atoning sacrifice be made by someone who was without sin. Only God could fulfill that, so Jesus came to earth to live as one of us and to take upon Himself the sins of the world.

Jesus came for judgment!

To those who call Him Lord and Savior, they are judged righteous in the eyes of God. To those who reject Him, they will be judged according to their deeds.

How do you want to be judged?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you preserve Godly knowledge?

July 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction–because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty.
(Malachi 2:7-8 (NIV))

This makes my heart hurt and my spirit groan!

I realize that this is Old Testament, but it brings something to light that has always been a problem. That problem is that some people who claim to be priests, preachers or teachers are not preaching and teaching the truth. As a result, many people have been led astray.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us think that we can change God’s Word and have it mean what we want it to mean? Why do some people think that the Bible is no longer relevant in this day and time? Truth is truth no matter when and where it is spoken. Sadly, too many people no longer speak the truth. They preach and teach what man wants to hear and not what God wants us to hear. Too many people preach a feel good theology that cannot save.

What did Jesus preach and teach when He walked among us?

Did He preach social justice? Did He preach good works? Did He preach legalism? Did He preach prosperity?

Jesus did not preach any of these things, so why do so many stray from the true message of the Gospel? He preached the good news of salvation through repentance of sins. He preached that He is the only way to the Father. He taught us that there would be false teachers. His disciples taught that there would be false teachers.

It saddens me to the point where my spirit groans to think that someone could take such a fantastic gift of grace and distort it so that people are caused to stumble. It is a sad reflection on society when so many of those who are supposed to preserve Godly knowledge are the very ones who are perverting it.

We, as the Body of Christ, must study and understand God’s Word. We must hold each other accountable. It is often said that the members of the Body of Christ are to be priests to one another. What does that say to you with respect to preserving Godly knowledge?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you try to keep things hidden from God?

March 17, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
(Luke 12:2 (NIV))

Have you honestly stopped to let these words sink in to your inner most being?

Do they give you reason to shudder at the thought of some of your secrets being revealed?

If you are human, this is a very scary concept, for we all have things that we would rather no one ever find out about. Still, human nature in its sinful state has us do things that we would rather not do. No one is immune. Even Paul, the man whom Jesus called to preach the Gospel to the gentiles, faced the very same dilemma.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(Romans 7:15 (NIV))

How do you think that Paul’s secrets will be treated when they are revealed? Do you think that he will be treated any different than anybody else who calls upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? What Paul has repented of will be forgiven. What you and I have repented of will be forgiven.

Take another deep look at the passage. Look for what is not said. The passage does not say that what is hidden will not be forgiven. It also does not say that it will be forgiven. Each person will be judged according to one simple truth – have they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. If you can honestly answer “Yes” to that question, then you will be judged as Paul will be judged.

“Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

If you answer “No” to that question, you will be judged and found guilty.

Do you desire forgiveness, or do you want to face the punishment of the guilty?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The Book of Life!

June 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV))

The book of life!

God’s book of every name that has ever called upon His Son, Jesus, as their personal Lord and Savior. What a book this must be. The simple act of having your name recorded in this book saves you from an eternity cast in the lake of fire for an eternity with God.

Revelation makes it clear what happens to those whose name is not in the book of life. Is this something that we can accept for our family and friends who have not accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? Can you honestly look at them without feelings of urgency and despair? Can you sit idly by while they continue to make a decision to make no decision for Jesus? Can you look at them the same way knowing that if something were to happen to them, they would be included in the group who is cast into the lake of fire?

Look at these people, and yourself, with eternal eyes. What can you do to portray Jesus to them in a way that they will show them the grace and mercy that is available if they will only accept it?

Jesus gave us a commandment to go into all the world and spread the good news. What can we do to get people to understand that Jesus offers salvation when they do not know the consequences of no salvation? We must be able to convince them of the need for salvation. We must not forget the fate of those who are not in the book of life.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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