This is the best new years resolution ever!

January 2, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Did you make a new years resolution?

If you are like many each year who do just that, I hope that you know the probability of those resolutions being kept. I don’t have the official stats, but I know that they are not good. Too many people simply give up far too soon!

If you want to make a resolution that will benefit you far greater than the proverbial exercise more, lose weight, find love, or change jobs, then I recommend that you do what the Lord told us to do in Psalm 46. I challenge you to take time each day and be still in the presence of God.

You don’t have to buy a gym membership. You don’t have to update your resume. You don’t have to go on some fad diet, and you don’t have to be someone whom you are not in order to find someone to spend time with. All that it takes is a Bible or Bible app, and a commitment to spend time getting to know the very heart of God. I realize that this sounds scary, but it is anything but scary. When you spend time diving deeper into His Word, you will find that it is actually a loving message from a Father to His children. I urge you to recall when you were young and your father or grandfather would have you climb up on their lap and then shower you with love. Getting to know God will give you the same type of feeling.

When you are still in the presence of God, it is a matter of reading His Word, talking to Him, and listening for His still, small voice.

In today’s hectic world, this can mean many different things for different people. It can mean getting up earlier and opening up your Bible before anyone else is up. It can mean staying up after everyone else is in bed and diving into His Word. It can mean changing what you listen to in the car on your daily commute to an audio Bible. There are no right or wrong ways if you are truly earnest about your desire to know God. Don’t think that you don’t have the time. Take a serious look at your day and where you can make a few adjustments to be still in His presence.

Don’t miss out on what He has in store for you!

This is the best new years resolution ever!

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Set the world aside and focus on the Lord!

November 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

This has been my life verse for over twenty-five years. I have been on a faith journey, and it has been one that I have documented with those who are willing to read. I do this because I have been given a calling, and I do this because what I write is not solely for me. Everyone goes through things in their lives that we can all relate to. I have been called to be open and to share my faith journey in anticipation that God will use these writings to reach people in their time of need, their time of curiosity, or their time of seeking. Even so, I am only human, and I am subject to human limitations and human frailties.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
(Mark 14:38b (NIV))

I have chosen to leave out the first part of this passage, for it was not temptation that sidelined me. A family pet turned on me and rendered me incapable of doing much of anything. I know that thumbs are important to our daily lives, but you never truly understand how important until you have lost the ability to use either thumb for almost two weeks. I couldn’t even hold my Bible without pain, or read on my phone or tablet in one of the many Bible apps that I have. Add to that the IV antibiotics on a schedule that seemed to be every two hours for almost five days, and I was left with only my prayer time. I had to learn to be still in His presence all over again. All of my normal quiet time that I spend daily in prayer, reading, studying, and writing had to be set aside. All that I had was my time to just talk to the Lord. To be honest with you, I did not spend as much time as I should have in prayer, but it was a start. I have come away with a renewed sense of peace.

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

I came away completely knowing that whatever happens to me, He is there.

This is only the second time that I have had to be admitted to the hospital, and both times I was in complete peace. Six years ago as I laid in the cardiology ICU with sever blood clots, I never once feared what could have happened. The same held true for this time as well. It is such a comforting feeling to have complete peace in and through your faith in Jesus even when your world is being completely turned upside down.

Do you have that complete peace in your life?

It starts with admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and that Jesus is that Savior. Once you do this, I highly recommend spending time in His presence. Take the time to be still and get to know the one who already knows you intimately. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Set the world aside and focus on the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you know this great hope?

November 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
(Ephesians 1:18 (NIV))

What do you see when you see the state of the world?

Unless you cling to the hope that we have in Jesus, what most people see in this world is dark and foreboding. To be honest with you, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world, especially when prices are escalating while the availability of resources seems to be plummeting. In many parts of the world, governments are expecting large numbers of deaths this winter due to shortages. We see the wars that are still raging and we see false peace being pushed. We see unstable governments all around the world, and we see evil being called good and good being called evil.

In the physical, when I see the state of the world, I am saddened. I am angry, and I am at a loss for what to do!

Thankfully, I know beyond any doubt that this world is not my home. I am a citizen of heaven, and I know that when things look bad here in this world, we are to look up for our redemption is near! As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I can rest confidently in the hope that I have in the promises of my Lord and my Savior. I don’t know what I will personally face in this world, but I do know one thing.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:18 (NIV))

I long to reveal the glory of the Lord in all that I do. Some days I do okay. Other days I fail miserably. Fortunately, since I am not capable of being perfect, I do not have to be perfect. All that I have to do is place my faith in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. There are times that I will fail miserably, but when that happens, I can seek His face, repent and pray for guidance. I am on a journey. Every step that I take is not going to be perfect, but as long as I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, my destination is clear. He is my hope. He is all the riches and glory that I need. He is my inheritance!

Do you know this great hope?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we too busy to be still and listen?

October 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

I realize that I use this passage quite often. In fact, everything that I do has a basis in the first part of this passage, for we must learn to be still in His presence in order to subdue our sinful nature and place ourselves completely at His feet and in His will.

How are you at being still in His presence?

I realize that is what is often referred to as a loaded question, but it is a question that we all must learn to truthfully answer. We must then learn to take steps to humble ourselves and submit to His authority. Better yet, we must learn to submit to His great love!

Have you ever given any thought as to why we are told to be still, to listen for that still, small voice, and to be still and let God fight for us?

We are facing something far greater than what our limited minds can fathom. We are facing something that requires us to place our complete faith and trust in the very one who is planning it. Many people simply believe that the Bible is “basic instructions before leaving earth,” and that it provides us insight into how we are called to live out our walk of faith. That is true, but there is so much more. God’s Word is a love letter from a loving Creator to His creation outlining how He created everything, how Adam and Eve fell from grace, how humanity has tried everything to bridge that grace gap, how God devised a plan to do just that, and how He sent Jesus to seek and to save the lost.

But, if that was all that there was for us in God’s Word, it would have ended with the ascension of Jesus, after all, Jesus taught us all that we needed to know in order to live a Godly life!

We know that God’s plan of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus is something that is beyond amazing, for we were all sinners in need of a Savior. However, we overlook the parts that are still unfolding. We overlook the parts that have not happened yet. We are so engrossed in our daily lives that we miss the big picture. We live in a microcosm of our own creation. Our lives only interact with just a few hundred, perhaps even a few thousand people out of the vast numbers of individuals who are alive now, let alone those who have ever or will ever live. God is doing something far greater than our limited circle of influence. He is doing something far greater than just our nation. He is doing something that reaches out of heaven and addresses sinful humanity and the one who tricked us into falling for the lie.

When you take the time to be still and sit in His presence, what is your spirit telling you? What is the Holy Spirit telling you?

God is definitely up to something that will exalt Him among the nations. He will be exalted in the earth! Only in our humility will we truly understand. Only in our humility will we be able to know the very heart of the Father who is trying to tell us to fix our eyes upon Jesus! With all of the gadgets and distraction that our world sends our way, we must learn to turn them off and tune them out. We must learn to not spend so much time in facebook, but rather we must spend our time seeking His face!

God is trying to tell us something!

Are we too busy to be still and listen?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you need to learn to be still?

August 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

This goes against everything that we know as sinful, fallen humanity. It is human nature to take matters into our own hands. When things don’t go as we want, we inherently get all puffed up and ready to go to battle to get what we feel we deserve. In essence, it all comes down to ego and pride. To put it simply, we are all too willing to go to battle without waiting for the Lord. We don’t stop to think about if what we want is what is wanted for us by the Lord.

We need to learn to be patient.

We need to learn to listen.

We need to learn to recognize that our desires are not always the right choice!

We need to learn to be still and wait for the Lord no matter what may happen in this world. He has His timing and we can’t rush it, even though we may try.

Be still before the Lord
     and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
     when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:7 (NIV))

Do you have trouble waiting for the Lord? You are not alone. I am constantly reminded to do just that. In fact, for anyone who knows me, or has followed these devotionals for very long, you will know that everything is predicated on the following passage.

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

In order to trust that the Lord will fight for you, you must know Him. In order to wait patiently for Him, you must trust Him. In order to be still in His presence, you must desire what only He can offer.

What is it that you desire?

Do you need to learn to be still?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you do?

August 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

Are you content to hear a twenty minute sermon once a week and then profess to know how God desires for you to live?

If you want to learn how to be a better musician, you practice your instrument often. If you want to be a better tennis player, you practice and play often. If you want to run a marathon, you train and you run often. If you want to be good at your job, you go to school to learn the details about your chosen profession. Why do we think that we can do any different when it comes to living our lives according to God’s Word? Why do we think that we’ve got this “Christianity thing” down pat when we can’t even go one minute without failing miserably at putting our faith into action?

James tells us to do what the Word says, but how many of us actually spend enough time alone in God’s Word to know what it says? How many of us truly understand the concept of taking up our cross daily and following Him daily?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
(Luke 9:23 (NIV))

If we don’t do what His Word says, if we don’t take up our cross daily, if we don’t follow Him daily, are we doing anything more than giving lip service to something that we truly don’t understand? Are we guilty of simply being a poser?

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I long to hear completely different words when I stand before Jesus!

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

We know that only by professing a faith in Jesus will we be saved. Works will not do it. Associating with someone who professes a faith will not do it. Only by professing a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will bring you the gift of salvation, but we are called to put our faith into action. We are called to live according to God’s Word. We are called to emulate Jesus in all that we do. We are called to walk with Jesus and imitate what we see in Him. If we profess a faith in Jesus, then our heart should desire to do what He calls us to do, but we must do it only as He directs. It is so easy to see things that we think we should be doing and go off and do them without Jesus in our lives. If you consider Jesus in context to the passage from James, it bring clarity. Jesus was God with us, yet, He didn’t do what He wanted to do. He only did what God’s Word instructed.

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
(John 5:19 (NIV))

What is it that you do?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you desire to be still in His presence?

July 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

This passage begins with two of the hardest words for anyone to do, especially in today’s world.

Be still!

When was the last time that you were able to be still in this hectic world in which we live? When was the last time that you were able to be still in the midst of the chaos that permeates our lives?

The enemy has come up with so many distractions. We walk around with our eyes glued to our mobile phones. We sit in public places and ignore those around us. We live our lives as if we have to be entertained at all times. We don’t leave any time to sit in silence and listen for that still, small voice.

God is still there. He has not abandoned us. It is we who have abandoned Him. We look at our education, our jobs, our homes, and our bank accounts as what matters the most while we ignore the very thing that we truly need.

We need a relationship with God!

We have been given a way for that relationship to come to fruition, even though we are sinners who don’t deserve the love that the Father wants to give us.

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))

Have you accepted this free gift of grace and mercy?

It’s time to shut off the devices. It’s time to turn off the game. It’s time to stop concentrating on work or finances. We must learn to sit at the feet of Jesus. We must learn to listen to that still, small voice that is lovingly calling to us. We must come to the realization that God is in control and that we are not.

We must learn to be still in His presence! It is something that we must desire!

Do you desire to be still in His presence?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

July 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

Most of the time that you see any reference to this passage, it is only the following words – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Most people read these words and interpret them to mean that we are to slow down and spend time with God. They take these words to mean that by doing so, we will come to a better understanding of who God is, and who we are in His creation. This is true. In fact, most of the time that I reference this passage, it is also the same select words with this very understanding and meaning. I have used these words from this passage as my calling to slow down and spend time with the Lord. As a result of my time being still with God, I have learned much about who He is and I am still learning. In fact, I read this passage again today and a different understanding was given to me that draws heavily on the current situations, the current events transpiring in this world in which we live.

With all the chaos that is going on in this world, He is telling us to be still. We do not need to panic. We do not need to fear. He is God and He is in control. He is allowing the enemy to set the stage in such a way that when God’s timing is perfect, He will be exalted in such a way that all the nations will see Him. He will be exalted in such a way that the whole earth will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
     and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
     to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV))

I encourage you to expand you understanding of Psalm 46:10 beyond the few words that most of us can recite from memory. We must take comfort not only in the words that tell us to slow down and spend time with the Lord, for we are given a powerful promise in the rest of the passage that tells us that the Lord our God will prevail. He will be exalted!

When the chaos seems to be so overwhelming, we must be still. When the evil attacks from the enemy seem to come at a greater frequency, we must be still. When the world calls evil good and good evil, we must be still. We are to be still and place our faith wholly and firmly on the promises that we have been given through Jesus! When the chaos is overwhelming from a human perspective, we must remember that we have been given instructions on what to do. We have been given a promise of what will soon transpire.

No matter what the world may send our way, we must continue to sit at the feet of Jesus!

Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you think you know?

May 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

As you do not know the path of the wind,
     or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
     the Maker of all things.
(Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV))

Humanity has come a long way since this was written. We think that we may know how to track the path of the wind and we think we know how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, but have we mistaken human knowledge for Godly wisdom? We know enough about these two subjects to be dangerous. The sad and dangerous part of this is that we have taken human knowledge, which is very limited, and used that to say that we no longer need God.

Can we trace the complete path of the winds since the beginning of creation? God can!

Can we bring together two unique strands of DNA and form still another unique individual and nurture and protect that individual as he or she grows? Can we create DNA? God can!

Even with the family genealogy softwares that are available, can we trace the lineage of each unique person who has ever lived? God can!

Human nature is so narcissistic that we think we have all the answers. We can’t even answer the biggest question of all: Why do we still sin?

Regardless of what you may think you know, your knowledge is just a grain of sand in comparison to the eternal wisdom that is our God.

What do you think you know?

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

December 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
(Matthew 2:12 (NIV))

Do you believe that the Lord speaks to people?

Perhaps I should ask if you believe that the Lord still speaks to people today, for we are told that He either spoke directly, sent angels, or gave people dreams all throughout the Old Testament and even in the account of the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. So, why do so many who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior believe that the Lord doesn’t speak to people today?

Have we become so overwhelmed by the distractions of this world that we don’t allow His still, small voice to penetrate into our lives? Are we afraid to sit in silence because we are afraid of what we will hear? Are we afraid that we will have to change something that we don’t want to change, so we don’t even try to listen.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

If we want to hear from the Lord, we have to be prepared. We have to sit at His feet and be receptive to what He is saying. If you look at the story of the Magi from this perspective, things start to make sense. They had already been searching to see God. That is how they knew to follow the star. It only makes sense that God would then communicate with them by sending them a dream, after all, they had gone considerably out of their way to find Him. It also fit into His plan to protect Jesus, Joseph and Mary. This touches on another aspect of hearing from the Lord. When you ask God for things that are selfish in nature, you have the wrong focus. When you ask God for things that are according to His Will, you have the right focus and have positioned yourself to be receptive to whatever the Lord may say or do.

Are you open to the leading of the Lord?

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