Find refuge in the Lord!

August 6, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

God is a God of hope, not despair!

When we are faced with the troubles that the world brings upon us, look up. God gives us hope. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for justice. Hope for eternity. He is our refuge in times of trouble.

Yet, He is more than that. He is our rock, our foundation. Through Jesus Christ, He has given us hope of salvation for the world. He has given those who believe a knowledge of peace that those who don’t believe do not have. If this is not a place of refuge, then we have no place to truly take refuge. God knows what we need and what we seek. It is a place of safety and hope. That place is provided through Jesus Christ.

Sing praises to God and tell everyone you know what God has done for you. Let them know that what you have been given they can have.

Find refuge in the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How does that camel taste?

March 13, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
(Matthew 23:23-24 (NIV))

Everyone likes to pick and choose, especially when it comes to following instructions. We all have things that we are good at following. We also all have things that we tend to ignore. We focus on our strengths while we tend to ignore our weaknesses and the things that we aren’t interested in. We think that we can replace our weaknesses with other aspects of our personal traits, but is this really how it works? Can we sit in church and give money while ignoring what Jesus is really calling us to give?

It takes more than sitting in a pew for an hour a week!

In today’s society, if we are aren’t interested in doing something personally, we have a tendency to ignore it or we give a little money to ease our minds. Don’t take the giving of money comment incorrectly. If we give with a true desire to help, then our gifts are true. If we give out of guilt or ignorance, God can and will use these gifts, but our motives are not true. Sadly, we can easily see what we perceive as the motives of others, but we fail to see our own. We give money, but we fail to give justice, mercy and faithfulness.

If all that we do as the Body of Christ is to sit in church and write a check, we are missing the calling that Jesus left us with.

We are to go into the world and make disciples!

We are to love our neighbors!

We are to show justice and mercy!

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
(Matthew 7:5 (NIV))

We are to be faithful to the things that we are called to do in our own lives. We are to be faithful to all of the things that we are called to do for the sake of the Gospel, and not just the ones that man has said are the priorities! When we do what we normally do, are we straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel?

I have just one question for you,

How does that camel taste?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have we sunk to the point where this is all true?

April 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
Penalties are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
A king’s wrath is like the roar of a lion;
he who angers him forfeits his life.
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
(Proverbs 19:27 – 20:3 (NIV))

I want you to do something. I want you to read this passage again and stop to think about the society and the world in which we live. Is it just me, or do you see all of these traits running rampant in the world today?

We no longer listen to instruction. Knowledge has become whatever we want it to be whether it is true or not. Corruption mocks the very fabric of our society and wickedness abounds. Foolishness has become the normal way of thinking and acting. Anger and wrath have taken he place of love and patience. Speaking of love, the true meaning of love, God’s love, has become lost in the chaos of the world. It has come to mean that because God loves us we can do whatever we want. Is there honor in the things that we see in the news? One group of lives is more important than another group of lives.

And now the biggest and most foolish thing in the world is that if you believe in God, Jesus and the Word of God, then you are a bigot and close minded.

I know that Jesus told us that we would face these troubles, but I still find it disheartening, not for myself, but for those who don’t realize the proverbial error of their ways.

It is my prayer that everyone learn how to listen to Godly instruction and seek after the true knowledge that only comes from God.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you fear the return of Jesus?

November 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
(Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV))

Are you afraid of this scene?

To me, this is a scene that I long to take part in!

I don’t mean to sound like I have an escapist attitude, but I am so weary of the things that are going on in this world. I long to be in His presence!

Many people will call me weak. Many will laugh at me and mock me.

I don’t care!

My eyes are focused on Jesus!

Do you long to be in His presence?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must embrace the good that is our God!

April 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.
(Amos 5:14-15 (NIV))

Is it just me, or has society lost any understanding of what is good and what is evil? I hate to say this, but I have even seen it in the churches in this country as well.

I know that I am going to get some people mad at me. When you have denominations voting to allow things that God calls an abomination, I can’t sit by and accept it. I would prefer to have people mad at me instead of God.

With that said, we are to hate evil. What is evil in the eyes of God? What causes the heart of God to break? Do you truly know the heart of God? Do you earnestly seek to know the heart of God?

If you know the heart of God, then you know what He calls evil and what He calls good. It is not as the world calls things. The world sees a rich man and wants to be like him. God sees a rich man and sees someone who, in most cases, worships their riches. The world sees things as a choice and that we have a right to make that choice. God sees a person who chooses to sin and step even further away from His grace.

Perhaps the best way to define evil in the eyes of God is anything that keeps a person from His redeeming gift of grace and mercy and goes against the fruits of the Spirit. If that is the case, then we, as the Body of Christ, must pray. We must seek God’s face. We must desire to turn from evil.

We must embrace the good that is our God!

We must embrace our God who is our good!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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This promise WILL come to pass!

December 9, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV))

This promise WILL come to pass! Man has made a shambles of all forms of government since the fall from grace. Satan sold Adam and Eve a lie and the world has paid the price ever since.

Only once Jesus returns and establishes His authority over the world will there be true justice. All government will be God’s. We will know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit intimately and will do what is righteous in God’s eyes. This will not be done out of fear, but out of love. All things are God’s and that includes us.

He is the creator. He created us to be in relationship with Him. A relationship is built on love. There will be no deception, but truth. God will be the ultimate Father. Jesus will be the ultimate big brother, and the Holy Spirit will be the ultimate comforter. Three in One. Just as a man can be husband, father and friend, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Do you look forward to relinquishing control to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you decided to walk humbly with your God?

September 26, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 (NAS))

If it were only that simple!

We, as fallen humanity, cannot follow this simple truth without the world trying to distract us. All too often, it succeeds no matter what we do. Still, we must strive to keep these truths as the central focus of our lives.

It is made easier since Jesus came to suffer and die for our sins. Since His resurrection, we have had the Holy Spirit in the world to guide us and keep us in touch with God’s plan for our lives. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us. Even before we became believers, God, through His prevenient grace, worked through the Holy Spirit to bring us to Him. Now that the Holy Spirit is within us, we have an “internal, eternal” guide to listen to in order to help us fulfill the words from Micah.

But, we must desire to listen. The Holy Spirit is a “gentleman” and will not force us to do anything. He will guide us, but the decisions are ours alone. Every day is a new decision. Every minute of every hour of every day.

What is your decision?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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