Oh, what a day that will be!

March 25, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

What are your thoughts on this passage?

In all honesty, how you view the day that this speaks of depends completely on how you view Jesus. Zechariah speaks of those who will fight against the Lord at His return. It also speaks of those who will flee from the Lord at His return. If you have truly accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then this day will be one of great rejoicing, for the Lord will establish His authority, His kingship, over all of the earth.

Do you long for this day or do you fear this day? Do you eagerly watch and wait for His return or do you go about your life as if His return to deliver justice is only a fairy tale? Do you believe in heaven or do you simply hope that there is no hell? Do you believe that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the only way to salvation, or do you think that all of this is simply the ravings of people who are uneducated?

There are many things that are unfolding in this world that bear a striking similarity to events foretold in God’s Word. If you met someone who had a perfect track record when it came to telling events years before they happened, you would probably believe their every word. Why do so many fail to believe when that timeframe is extended to hundreds of years. Think about all of the prophecies in God’s Word that have come true. All of them, so far, have been one hundred percent accurate. The chances of all of these occurring by coincidence are staggeringly astronomical, yet they all happened just as foretold. The only ones in question are those that have not been fulfilled as of yet.

Are you looking for the fulfillment of the ones that have not been fulfilled yet?

We should be, for they are the ones that appear to be the beginnings of the birth pains that we have been told of. Are you ready for the birth pains? Are you ready to be on the right side when the Lord returns? 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 as your Lord and Savior!

Are you truly ready to make this proclamation? “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

Oh, what a day that will be!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you looking for the Lord?

December 7, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
(Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV))

Have you ever had anything happen that was right under your nose but you failed to see it? How did you react when someone else pointed the things out to you that they had seen that you had missed?

All of Jerusalem was so caught up in the politics of the day and the petty issues that we all get so involved in that they missed the very prophecies that foretold of the Messiah as they came to life in their very presence. They were so involved in their daily lives that they had all but forgotten about the promises that God had made. To be honest with you, I think it is safe to say that most people weren’t even considering that God would do anything in their midst.

They had to have outsiders come and ask them about the Messiah!

We are rapidly coming up on the day that we celebrate as the birth of Jesus our Messiah, but would we have recognized the signs when He first came? We know that He is coming again. Will we recognize the signs when He comes again? Are we paying attention to the things going on around us and in the world, or are we so engrossed in our own lives and in our own problems that we are failing to recognize what is under our noses? Will we be caught by surprise in much the same way that King Herod and the people of Jerusalem were caught by surprise two thousand years ago?

As believers, as followers of Jesus, we like to think that we will not react as others have reacted in the past. We like to think that we have better insight and are better educated, but are we? Are we expecting this world to get better or are we expecting Jesus to return because the things of this world are getting worse?

We are at a time in history when those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior must not focus on the things of this world. We must focus on Jesus. We must lift our eyes to the Lord. We must recognize what is happening according to God’s plan!

Are you looking for the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When the Lord returns, will He find you faithful?

September 17, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Do you look forward to this day?

Did you answer with an emphatic and enthusiastic “Yes” or did you find yourself thinking that there are things that you want to do and see in this world before this happens? What did your answer tell you about your priorities?

I realize that I just asked a string of questions, but these questions are designed to get you to take an honest look at your life, your faith, and your relationship to the Lord. If you find yourself hoping that the day spoken of in Zechariah doesn’t happen anytime soon, what does that say about your priorities? Do you love the world more than you love the Lord? Are you holding out hope that things will get better in this sinful, fallen world, or do you truly desire to see the Lord?

It is time to commit! It is time to stand firm in your faith. It is time to focus on the Lord. Don’t be lukewarm!

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
(Revelation 3:15-17 (NIV))

Stop looking to the world!

Start looking only to Jesus!

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:21-22 (NIV))

When the Lord returns, will He find you faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The King of glory is coming!

January 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Lift up your heads, you gates;
     be lifted up, you ancient doors,
     that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
     The Lord strong and mighty,
     the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
     lift them up, you ancient doors,
     that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
     The Lord Almighty—
     he is the King of glory.
(Psalms 24:7-10 (NIV))

Are you looking up?

Or, are you acting like the rest of the world and looking down because you have lost all hope and you see no end in sight?

Is that the correct attitude for someone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? Is that the correct attitude for someone who has direct access to the throne room of God? If we have this hope, this access, and this assurance, then why are we downcast? Why do we hang our heads in desperation?

We have been told that when things look bad we are to look up!

We may not be able to know the day and the hour, but we can know the season. We must lift our heads and lift our eyes in anticipation of the fulfillment of His promises. Are you waiting? Are you looking?

The King of glory is coming!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is this continually on your lips?

September 8, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
(Psalms 40:16 (NIV))

Do you proclaim the greatness of the Lord at all times?

Think about that question with respect to these situations. Are you able to proclaim the greatness of the Lord when you’ve just lost your job? What about when you have no money left and you still need food? What about when someone whom you love passes away? Is it easy to still proclaim the greatness of the Lord in these situations?

I realize that these are extreme examples and that everyone has times that they can think of when it was difficult to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Have there been specific times in your life when you found this difficult to do? Did you ever get to the point where you could proclaim this again? Perhaps you are in a situation at this moment in time that you simply feel that the Lord has forsaken you. You are not alone!

Even David had these times in his life where he felt that the Lord had forgotten him or forsaken him. Let’s put this in perspective. David was the young man who faced and killed Goliath. David was the young man whom God anointed to be king over all of Israel. David was the man who defeated all the enemies of Israel. David purchased the land for the location of the Temple. David was called a man after God’s own heart. Still, in all the ways that the Lord blessed him, there were times when David felt that God had turned His back on him. We can read this in the Psalms that he wrote. He goes from praising God to asking why He has been forsaken. In all instances, David quickly comes full circles and praised God in the midst of the troubles because he has a history with the Lord. He knows that the Lord will do once again what He has done in the past. He knows that the Lord will not leave him in the situations that he found himself in.

In essence, David knew to praise the Lord for what He has done. He also knew to turn to the Lord and seek His blessing when the enemy was closing in, even when it appeared that the enemy was winning. David knew that he needed to lift up praise to the Lord for the greatness of the next thing that the Lord would do. It could easily be said that David’s praise could be broken down into two categories.

David praised the Lord for what He has done.

David praised the Lord for what He would do.

Do we have the faith to praise the Lord in this manner? Are we able to say “Great is the Lord” even when we don’t see what He is doing?

We must rejoice at all times for Great is the Lord!

Is this continually on your lips?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is this our attitude?

September 3, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
(2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV))

David knew that giving to the Lord meant sacrifice!

How many people today share this attitude and are willing to give even when they may not have an abundance from which to give? This is a difficult lesson to learn, and it is one that I personally struggled with for a long time as a new believer. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the concept that if I give, then I won’t have enough for myself. Did David have that attitude? David was king and probably did not lack for money. As king, he was probably used to people giving him gifts to honor his position. This was one such instance where the owner of the threshing floor probably offered it to David for that reason. Still, David realized that the gift and the sacrifice wasn’t truly from him if someone else gave it for him to use. Even though David was used to receiving gifts, he knew that he had to make a sacrifice out of his own resources in order to truly give to the Lord.

If we were in this situation, would we have accepted the offer and then tried to justify this in our own hearts and minds by trying to claim that they gave it to me so, therefore, it is mine? If I am giving it to the Lord, it is coming from me!

Did it cost you anything?

Perhaps a better question to ask is would you have given it if it had cost you something?

Everyone seeks to receive something from God, and rightly so, for He is a loving God who wishes to do good things for those who call upon His name. In fact, each one of us can receive eternal salvation if we will only accept it. Think about that for a moment. We are not willing to sacrifice when we give to the Lord, but when He gives to us, we think that it didn’t cost us anything so we can’t accept. We expect to sacrifice when we receive, but not when we give. We have accepted the lie that we must work for and pay for anything that is good. We have accepted the lie that says nothing is free.

David knew the cost of giving to the Lord. He knew that a true gift came from a personal sacrifice that reflects the heart of the giver.

Is this our attitude?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you know the Lord well enough to know that He will be exalted?

March 16, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NKJV))

As most of you know, my ministry is built upon this passage. For the most part, I have focused on the first part of Psalm 46:10, for this is where we are called to be still and know God. This focus was to remind us that we can truly learn to be still in His presence, for it is only when we can truly be still and acknowledge Him do we truly understand His love, power and authority. When we are still in His presence is also when we learn to hear from the Lord. It is when we experience the intimacy that our spirit yearns for. It is when we experience the Lord as Abba, Father.

How is your relationship with the Lord? Do you proclaim that He is your Father? Are you able to spend time completely still in His presence?

Are any of us able to completely stop the cares of this world and focus on God? Perhaps if we go beyond the first part of this passage we can begin to see the results, for what is truly happening in this passage is much different than most people realize. This passage was written immediately after a time of extreme panic by the people of Israel. They were surrounded by a vast army that had never been defeated. They were facing certain defeat and perhaps annihilation at the hands of this enemy. The king humbled himself before the Lord, and to make a long story short, the Lord defeated the army over night. Those who were not killed fled for their lives. Through this, we learn another aspect of God. We learn that He is a mighty warrior who will protect those who love Him and call upon His name. We learn that He will do mighty things in the sight of the nations that will glorify Him as He saves those who believe!

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
(Psalm 46:10 (NKJV))

Are you fearful because of the things in this world that are surrounding you at this very moment?

Be still!

Are you so full of panic that you only see the enemy and not the Savior?

Be still!

If we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, it is time to sit at the feet of the Lord and remember what He has already done and what He promises that He will do. We are not on our own! We must remember that we don’t have to handle things by ourselves. If you are concerned about anything, be still and allow God to handle it. If you stop and let Him manifest His plan, you will see that He will be exalted. Do not be afraid! Be still!

Do you know the Lord well enough to know that He will be exalted?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Celebrate Jesus!

December 23, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14 (NIV))

What an honor it must have been to be the first to hear the good news! The shepherds must have been terrified by the presence of the angels, after all, angels were not, and are still not an every day occurrence.

Luckily for us, God’s plan does not discriminate against us for not being there. In fact, it is probably with mixed blessings that we are embraced as part of God’s Kingdom. We do not have the first hand experience of having seen the angels, the star, or Jesus’ life. Sometimes, I wonder if I would have believed if I lived at the time of Jesus!

On the other hand, we have the faith of millions of people who have gone before us. We have the New Testament, the hundreds of years of prophesy study that proves Jesus is King of kings, the Messiah. It may be easier for someone today to come to faith than it was in Jesus’ day. Yet, through all of this “historical proof”, I sometimes feel empty. I think it is the desire of every believer to be able to go back in time and be a witness to the miracles and hear the teachings of Jesus firsthand.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus and look back in awe to the miracles. At the same time, we should look around us in awe of what God is doing today and look to the not-to-distant future and know what God is going to do. We celebrate the First Coming. Some tomorrow we will celebrate the Second Coming.

Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Nothing is too difficult for our Lord!

December 12, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
    The LORD strong and mighty,
    the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?
    The LORD Almighty–
    he is the King of glory.
(Psalms 24:7-10 (NIV))

David gave us a look into the future when Jesus returns not as Savior, but as a mighty warrior reclaiming what is God’s. It is amazing that God gave this message to us through David, when Jesus was several generations from being born. Yet, God gave David this psalm describing exactly what would happen not at Jesus’ first coming, but at His second coming. If David, who was looking at this as if looking through a telescope, could have the faith to believe God, then we, who have the advantage of being able to look back at Jesus’ first coming, should have all the more faith that what God said through David will come to pass.

True, David was a man after God’s own heart, yet, David was not free from sin. God used David in all his human failings to not only give us these words, but to also give us Jesus himself.

If God can use David, who was a sinner, to give us a sinless Savior, how can God use you? Nothing is too difficult for our Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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