Are you effective and productive?

March 15, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV))

Are you increasing? Are you growing? Are you maturing in your faith?

Looking back on my own faith journey, I can unequivocally say that I have grown, that I have matured in my faith over the course of my lifetime. I can also attest to the concept that we will never reach complete maturity while we are on this earth. I learn so much each and every day. I can read the very same passage that I read yesterday and discover new insight in the very same words. Nothing has changed in the words. The only thing that has changed is my comprehension of God’s ability to open up His Word into a whole new revelation.

Think about that in relationship to your faith and maturity. Think about your understanding in relationship to God’s unlimited understanding!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Doesn’t it make sense that we, in our limited understanding, would need to increase in our ability to understand? Doesn’t it make sense that we increase in our ability to understand by increasing our faith? After professing our faith, we increase our faith by striving to increase our righteousness, our goodness, in the eyes of God. We accomplish this by seeking His knowledge and by learning righteous self-control. We learn to persevere even in the face of adversity as we strive to mature into the likeness of Christ, who embodied true love in order to offer salvation.

None of us are there, yet, but we, as members of the Body of Christ, must strive to be effective and productive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Are you effective and productive?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does the Lord go with you wherever you go?

February 23, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9 (NIV))

There will be many journeys that we will travel during our lifetime. There will be many perilous circumstances that we will encounter along those journeys. Do you have someone to travel with you? Do you have someone whom you can trust to never leave you and to never forsake you?

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 (NIV))

With all that the world and the enemy will send our way during our lifetimes, we are not capable of making it through this life on our own. We are encouraged to not forsake the fellowship of other believers, for the Body of Christ offers encouragement. It offers fellowship. It offers prayer, and it offers truth when the world offers lies. One thing that the Body of Christ has to offer is constant reminders of God’s grace and mercy and His unfailing love for us. The Body of Christ can and will remind us to be strong in our faith. In our life, we are called to be faithful to the Lord. We are called to be faithful to God’s Word. When we know God’s Word, we have a constant reminder of all things as they were written in Joshua. The more that we know of God’s Word, the more that we know of His promises are true!

If we are told that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, then we can count on that for every day of our lives!

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV))

We are told many times that the Lord goes with us. Simply seek His heart and learn to walk with Him. Think about that for a moment. How would you like to invite the Lord to go with you wherever you go? How would you like for the Lord to guide your every step? How would you like to rest in the assurance that the Creator of the universe loves you and watches out for you?

It is so simple to have this for yourself. Simply pray something like the following.

Lord, Jesus, I am a sinner who is in need of a Savior. Without you, I am nothing. With you, all things are possible. I am tired of being nothing. I am tired of being a sinner without hope. Come into my heart and walk with me all the days of my life. Guide me in your ways. Protect me from the attacks of the enemy. I surrender all to you, Lord. Lead me and I will follow!

Does the Lord go with you wherever you go?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Never stop studying God’s Word!

November 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
(Matthew 22:29 (NIV))

I know that Jesus spoke these words to the Sadducees when they were trying to trick Him with a question about the resurrection, but I often wonder if He looks at me and thinks that of me?

Let’s face facts. We have all had these feelings and thoughts, for the more we study God’s Word, the more we realize that we don’t know. I often wonder about this aspect of God. We are told that His ways are not our ways and that our understanding is as if we were looking through a dark glass. Just when we think we understand what we see through the dark glass, God turns up His light just a little and He shows us more about Himself. After this had happened to me a few times, I realized that I knew nothing of God’s infinite wisdom and His power.

All that I was seeing was the proverbial tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to truly knowing God. It takes a lifetime of studying God’s Word. It takes a lifetime of prayer. It takes a lifetime spent in His presence to ever begin to fathom the depth and breadth of God and His love for us.

I want you to promise me something. Actually, I want you to promise yourself something, and that is that you will never stop studying God’s Word, that you will never stop praying, and that you will never stop seeking to be in God’s presence. I pray that as we all do these things, that there will eventually be fewer times where Jesus will tell us that we are in error because we do not know the Scriptures. I also want you to promise that your study will not simply be for gaining head knowledge. Let the power of God’s Word permeate your thoughts and the wisdom settle in your heart!

I long to truly know the Scriptures and the power of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you run out of hope?

September 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
(Romans 4:18 (NIV))

Against all hope!

I want to ask a very deep question. This is a question that I have asked myself before and I am sure that many of you have asked it in your lifetime.

What do you hold on to when you have no hope left?

Think about that for a moment.

How do you count hope? Is it as the world defines it based on so called logic and the evidence of things that you can see? If that is how you define hope, then Abraham was a foolish old man. He and his wife were without children and they were already close to beginning three digits in their age. According to the world, there was no hope that they would ever have a child, let alone be placed into a situation where Abraham would be called the father of many nations.

Against all hope Abraham still hoped! Actually, he did one better than hope. He believed! He believed that God would fulfill His promises. He believed that Sarah would bear him a son. He believed that God would provide. Even when, according to worldly standards, none of this could have happened, Abraham believed!

Abraham had faith! In fact, his faith is the perfect example of the definition of faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Abraham was sure even when the world said that he had no hope.

Is it possible for someone who earnestly seeks to follow the Lord to never have any hope left?

Take a look at your life. Take a look at the situations that you have begun to believe are hopeless. Now, I want you to rethink your answer to my previous question. I want you to answer that question with a bold statement.

I will still hold on to Jesus when all worldly hope is gone!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t wait too late to seek God!

March 3, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
(Isaiah 55:6 (NIV))

Don’t wait until it is too late to earnestly seek God. There will come a time that it will be too late and no matter how much you may want to call upon the Lord, He will not be there!

Just when will it be too late to call upon the Lord?

We have been given a mortal lifetime to seek and find God, or should I say, to recognize that God is always there. Once we have passed beyond our physical mortality, it will be too late to call upon God. We must make that decision while we are still alive. Since no one knows when they will face death, it is imperative that we seek God today.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
(James 4:14 (NIV))

We are not promised tomorrow. We are only promised the moment in which we live. During this very moment, God is near you, for He is always near. He is waiting for us to turn to Him and accept the grace and mercy that He has freely given to all who will simply call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Are you seeking God? Have you already found Him, or have you put off for tomorrow what must be done today?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Fight the good fight. Keep the faith!

May 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
(Psalms 147:10-11 (NLT))

All of our accomplishments are nothing. We strive and strive for a whole lifetime in hope of making a strong name for ourselves. We want this strong name so that we will be remembered by men.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
(Psalm 103:15-16 (NIV))

How foolish is the strength that we seek. We will not be remembered for very long. Even if we are remembered, the memory will change or it will be questioned as time wears on. All that we have to do is take a look at the history of this nation. What once was accepted as fact, is now bitterly argued as a lie. What am I speaking of? The recent and vehement removal of any reference to God in our government because some people alive today are reinventing the memory of why this country was founded and upon what principles.

Only one strength will have eternal meaning. That strength is the inner strength to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Once we do this, we must be prepared to fight in His strength and tell all who will listen of His grace and His mercy.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV))

If we accept Jesus, then God will remember us through Jesus’ strength. Then we will be able to proclaim:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV))

Rely on the strength of Jesus and proclaim that you have kept the faith.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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While we wait, we must serve. While we serve, we must be alert.

February 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
(Revelation 13:16-17 (NIV))

I want to ask you a serious question.

Do you think that this could happen within your lifetime?

What are the reasons for your answer?

I may come across as someone who is looking for prophecy to come true, yet, I still feel that I need to share this with you. I know that there are many different sources of information now available and not all of them are trustworthy. Even so, we need to pay attention to what is going on and weigh it against God’s Word. With that said, I saw something earlier that makes me honestly wonder if we are closer than any of us have ever considered.

What would you do if you were told that you have to have an implant in your right hand to track your medical and banking information? Would you comply or would you reject this implant? There are people who are developing microchip implants similar to those used by veterinarians to track animals. The technology is already there. The technology is neither good nor bad, but it is a symbol of the power that the enemy can and will hold over people.

Prophecy is an interesting topic. For those who study prophecy, there are things that are unfolding every day that seem to be fulfilling aspects of it. There are some who have cited the recent announcement of the retirement of the pope as a prophetic fulfillment. setting the stage for the false prophet to enter the world.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
(Mark 13:2-34 (NIV))

I do not profess to know who, what, when or where, but I do know that things are very interesting. All that I do know is that, just as Jesus told us, we must be on guard. We must be alert. We do not know when the Master will return.

While we wait, we must serve. While we serve, we must be alert. We do not want to be fooled into something that we should know to stay away from.

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