Are you able to help share?

August 22, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:15-18 (NIV))

The Great Commission!

These are the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ before He ascended into heaven. They are so important that He saved them for last. It is always the last words or deeds that someone remembers.

How well have we, as believers, followed these important instructions? Have we gone to the ends of the earth? Jesus knew that not everyone who needed to hear the good news would be halfway around the world. He knew that many who would need to hear would be in our own back yards. Do not feel that because you do not go on missions to foreign lands you cannot be a valuable tool for the kingdom.

Jesus never left His geographic area during His three year ministry. He shared the Gospel with people who shared it with people who shared it with people. Wherever we are we must share the good news of Jesus Christ.

We, as the Body of Christ, have an assignment. We are to take the good news and spread it throughout the world. Jesus did not stay a baby. He matured into the fulness that God had planned for Him. We have been given an assignment to share the good news so that the world will come into its fulness.

Are we following Jesus or are we still stuck at the manger?

Are you able to help share?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where are you in this arrangement?

August 14, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
(Matthew 19:30 (NIV))

It’s time for a little self examination!

Exactly how do you see yourself in this passage? How do you interpret this to show where you will be when this happens? Are you the type of person who always has to be first in everything? Is your well being your number one priority even when it means that others will suffer? Are you the type of person who asks “What’s in it for me?” before you decide if you want to participate in anything? What are your priorities? Are you selfish and self-centered?

It is human nature to be like this. Sadly, far too many people seem to have an overabundance of this trait and very little humility.

We like to look out for ourselves while forgetting that those whom we trample under foot are also part of God’s creation. We are no better than they are, and if we act like I described above, we are probably worse. Putting others first is not a natural instinct. We are born with a character flaw that is best described by one of two phrases uttered by any child in their terrible twos. “Mine” or “I do it” are the battle cry for many who are only interested in placing themselves above everyone else. Learning how to share and how to place the well being of others first is a difficult thing for people to do. Perhaps that is why Jesus responded in this manner.

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
(Luke 10:27 (NIV))

Learning to love others is hard. It is one of the things that Jesus told us that we must do. Who said that following Jesus would be easy?

Where are you in this arrangement?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I never ceased to be amazed by our God!

November 5, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 (NIV))

The Alpha and the Omega!

The beginning and the end!

The first and the last!

I am sure that there are other ways to say this, but I hope that you get the picture. God always has been and He always will be. He was here long before anything else and He will be here long after everything is gone. To keep things in perspective, we are but a small blip in time to God, yet, He loves us so much that He knows each of us intimately.

He knows our thoughts.

He knows our deepest desires.

He knows every hair on our head!

And, He loves us enough to have done something amazing for each of 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 he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

I never ceased to be amazed by our God!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I am the Alpha and the Omega

October 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
(Revelation 22:13 (NIV))

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1:1 (NIV))

Are you starting to get the picture? Perhaps one more scripture will help to solidify the concept and make it a concrete reality for you.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Genesis 1:1 (NIV))

God is the one to whom we owe our existence. He is the one to whom we owe our lives.

“This is what the LORD says–
your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
(Isaiah 44:24 (NIV))

In our frail human nature, we all too often forget this simple, yet profound truth. We try to elevate ourselves to the position of creator. We try to assume authority over our lives. Can an automobile take credit for the gas mileage that it gets? Can a house boast about the shelter, safety and comfort it provides to its occupants? In the same manner, we cannot take credit for anything that we have, for we are simply part of the creation. We are not the creator.

Long before we were, God was! Long after we are gone, He will still be! We have a definite beginning. Only through His grace and mercy do we have the option of not having a definite end. Through His grace and mercy we can spend the rest of eternity with Him.

What is the first thing that you remember? God was there!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you hide in your heart?

February 7, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
(Psalms 119:11 (NIV))

What do you hide in your heart?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

It is true that people will place what they treasure within their hearts. It is what you think of first, last and most often. What is in your heart is your treasure, and typically people will hide what they do not wish for others to find. We hide our treasures!

What is it that you hide within your heart? What is it that you think of first, last and most often? If you are like every other person on this planet, then you are probably ashamed of your answer. Is it wealth? Is it power? Is it lust? Is it your family? Is it your job? Just what is it that you treasure?

What is it that God wants you to treasure and to hide in your heart?

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV))

We are to treasure God’s Word. We are to think of it first, last and most often.

What have you hidden in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Fair and equal compensation

April 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, `You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
“He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, `Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

” `Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, `You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, `Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. `These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, `and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, `Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
(Matthew 20:1-16 (NIV))

What do you think of when reading the above scripture? Do you think of honesty and “fairness,” or do you think of generosity and grace? From the workers who were first hired, it does not seem that they were treated fairly by the landowner. They worked much longer than those who came later, but were paid the same for what they had done.

Think of it from a kingdom standpoint. These workers who were hired early in the day are those people who have believed from an early age. The workers who were hired mid-day are those people who have believed from a later point in their lives. The workers who were hired at the eleventh hour are those people who came to be believers late in life. Now take a look at the wages that they were paid. A denarius represents eternal life with God. How can that be divided for the different groups of people? No matter when the decision was made, the results are the same!

Isn’t it good to know that God freely gives His grace to all who ask for it with no stipulations or punishments for when they asked!

There are other interpretations of the above passage. But, based on God’s grace and mercy, reflection must be made regarding our attitude towards others when they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Do we rejoice or are we angry because they will receive the same blessings and rewards as those of “us” who have accepted Jesus much earlier in life?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your reward?

July 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
(Mark 9:35 (NIV))

In today’s society, everybody wants to be served and no one wants to serve. No one wants to wait for anything.

Be honest. How many of you would take a job at a fast food restaurant if something else was available? Even the fast food restaurants are playing up the fact that people want to be served and served in their own way. We get upset if we have to wait for anything. What does that say about us, as a society? We have become self-centered and lazy. We are willing to be a part of something only if we get something out of it. The saying “What’s in it for me” is all too common.

Does this sound like the words of Jesus are having an impact on the lives of the people today? What is your attitude about being a servant and not being first?

I once knew a man whose 12 year old son did not like living where they lived. His complaint was that nothing came out first there and that he deserved to be first. This sounds typical of our society. Through various different aspects of our society, we have quickly become self focused. I hate to say that even some believers have fallen prey to this attitude.

Closely examine your life. Are you doing anything to be a servant to others? Are you willing to allow others to be placed before you without getting upset? If we follow the words of Jesus, our reward is in heaven. Remember that we are told that the Pharisees got their reward in this world for placing themselves above others.

Where is your reward?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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