Are you ready to soar and not grow weary?

September 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

Have you ever actually seen an eagle soar?

It is graceful and effortless in flight. It is beauty in motion. The eagle soars over all of the trouble below. It observes but does not involve itself in the mess that is below. It is master of its domain.

How can we, as believers, mount up with wings like eagles?

If we wait upon the Lord, we will seek after His heart. We will know His heart. We will be guided through the ordeals of this life. We will soar through above the troubles.

Think about that. How we experience life is a matter of perspective. If we find ourselves living among those who do not follow God, we will have troubles. We may even find ourselves struggling to maintain our faith. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we have the assurance that he will carry us through all tribulations and trials that this world sends our way. When we walk with Jesus, we walk above the trials and tribulations.

Take a look at Peter.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:25-31 (NIV))

When Peter waited on the Lord, he was able to do something amazing. When he started to look at what he was doing through his eyes, he started to fail.

Our assurance comes from Jesus!

Our effortless movements come from Jesus. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to labor. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to grow weary. It is at that time that we faint.

Our actions are labored. God’s actions through us are effortless. We do not grow weary. Through God, we will mount up with wings like eagles. God will direct our efforts and He will keep us above the sins of the world.

Are you ready to soar and not grow weary?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you laboring in vain?

September 10, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
(Psalms 127:1 (NIV))

Based on this passage and the events transpiring in this world, have we kicked the Lord out and tried to do things on our own?

I know that there are still many people who profess a faith and who long for His righteousness to prevail, but is this what we can expect based on the parable of the wheat and the weeds.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”
(Matthew 13:24-30 (NIV))

As the weeds mature, we know that they will do all within their power to blot out the wheat. They will do all within their power to destroy whatever the Lord builds.

What do we do?

We still need to share the good news of Jesus. We still need to tell the world that they need to abandon hope in the weeds that only destroy what is good. We still need to praise the Lord for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that we know that He will do, for we know that the ultimate victory belongs to the Lord. We must remember that the Lord is building His Kingdom and as His plan unfolds, nothing will stop it. The only thing that we must decide is whether we are building against the Lord or laboring for Him.

Are you laboring in vain?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call collect. He will accept all charges!

September 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:13 (NIV))

Do you know someone who feels that they are too far gone for God to care about them? Are you trying to share the grace and mercy that is freely given and their reply is that you don’t know what they have done? Do they think that what they have done is so bad that God could never forgive them? Perhaps that someone is you and you were given this to read. Rest assured that the only thing that God cannot forgive is a hardened heart. His forgiveness requires that you soften your heart and turn to accept His offer of grace and mercy.

God loves you. He never left you. It is we, in our sinful nature, who have left Him. Each of us have tried to fill that void where God should be with what the world has to offer. Nothing in this world will work! He has provided a way for this void to be filled with Himself. He has provided a way to return to Him. In fact, He is calling us to return to Himself.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

As you can see, God’s offer is on the table. It is up to us whether we accept it or reject it. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior. Soften your heart and turn to the Lord.

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.

Something else for you to think about. He wants you to call on Him.

Call collect. He will accept all charges!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been blessed?

August 31, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV))

Do you feel blessed?

I realize that this is a loaded question, and if you are like all of the rest of humanity, there are definitely times when you just don’t feel that you are blessed. Think about that for a moment in relation to the ultimate gift, to the ultimate blessing that you have been freely given through the atoning blood of Jesus, and then think about just how truly you have been blessed by the Lord. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have already been blessed with salvation. You have been blessed with grace and mercy. You have been blessed with the redeeming love of God.

This blessing keeps you from the consequences of your sins and keeps you in the protective arms of the Lord.

This blessing allows you to enter into the throne of God and seek His grace and mercy.

This blessing allows you to approach the throne without fear of retribution.

This blessing gives you a peace because you know that you are a beloved child of God.

This was such an unusual concept. A king had complete authority. If you were in the presence of the king, it meant bad things would result. He was the ultimate authority and controlled life and death. If he didn’t like you, the results were not good. If he liked you and lifted his face to you, it meant life. These words from these passages were used to describe the best possible encounter with the one who was in ultimate authority. Not only did this type of encounter make your day, it possibly even saved you from a harsh punishment.

Does that sound familiar?

As believers, as members of the Body of Christ, we can rest assured of our Lord’s blessing because of all of the things that He has done for us. He has kept us from eternal separation from the Father. He has looked upon us with grace and mercy. He looks upon us with love, and He has given us a peace that passes all understanding!

Have you been blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you seek the stability and love of the Lord?

August 24, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
(Psalms 94:18-19 (NIV))

Have you ever been in a situation like this? Have you ever felt like this? There is a very good chance that not only have each of us experienced things like this, but we have probably experienced them in recent history.

What makes your foot slip? What gives you great anxiety?

It is probably a very safe assumption to say that both of these occur when we take our eyes off of Jesus. It is at that time when we look at the world and our circumstances in the world. When you are walking, most slips and falls occur because you have diverted your eyes and your attention from the path in front of you. It is at these very moments that you falter and possibly even fall to the ground simply because you lost focus on what lie ahead. Isn’t this just like what happens in your spiritual walk when you take your eyes off of Jesus? It is at these moments that you fail to follow the path in front of you. When this happens, our spiritual footing slips. We falter and fall into something that we don’t really desire to be in. When this happens, human nature seems to remind us of our shortcomings. The enemy drives the point home and we soon find ourselves in great anxiety.

What has made you take your eyes off of Jesus?

You are either lucky or lying if you say that you only have one thing that distracts you from Jesus! Even the most mature of us have too many things to place into this list. The good thing about this is that no matter your spiritual maturity level, the Lord walks with you and waits patiently for you to repent and return to Him. Just as He was waiting for us with open arms when we accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him on a daily, and possibly even on an hourly basis. Some of us may even need to repent and return each minute of the day. He will be there! He will take us in His arms and wipe away the tears caused by our failures and our anxiety? He will pick us up and place us back on the path that leads to Him. He will walk hand in hand with us if we simply ask Him to!

I truly understand why the psalmist wrote that His consolation brought joy to his soul.

Do you seek the stability and love of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you need to tell about the Son?

August 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:12 (NIV))

If you ever go shopping, you are familiar with the concept of buying one, getting one free. I have to tell you that no matter what type of deal you may get when you do this, it is nothing compared to the amazing deal that you get for free by accepting God’s Son, Jesus, as your personal Lord and Savior! You get someone who is closer than a brother and you also get eternal life with Jesus in the presence of the Father. This is the ultimate deal considering our sinful nature.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

To summarize, we are all sinners and the penalty for our sin is death, but God…

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))

This message never gets old, especially if you have the Son and life. It is also a reminder to those who profess a faith in Jesus that this gift is too precious, too great to keep to ourselves. When we read about God loving the world, we must not forget the consequences for those who do not have the Son of God. They do not have life! Is that what we want to have on our conscience? Do we want to forever realize that because we did not share the Son with someone, they are lost for all eternity?

Having the Son and having life is by far the very best deal that anyone can ever make. 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.

Who do you need to share the ABCs with?

Who do you need to tell about the Son?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Instead of looking inward, we must look up!

August 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
(Proverbs 3:5 (NIV))

Recent events should have me flabbergasted and extremely worried, To be honest with you, there was a time in my life when I would have been beyond worried as I witness and experience the ever increasing uncertainty and evil in this world.

But, now!

But, God!

With all of the events transpiring in the world, I am at peace!

With the never-ending saga of the pandemic, I am at peace!

When the state of the nation and the world seems to be rapidly declining, I am at peace!

When things are on uncertain ground with finances, jobs, health, and whatever else may arise, I am at peace!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭(NIV‬‬))

Do you worry? Do you find yourself in situations where you just can’t see any resolution? As prideful humans, we look inward to find solutions. We think that we can fix anything. We think that we are the masters of our own domains and our own destinies. As a result, we worry. We panic. We lash out at those we love, and nothing gets fixed. Nothing we can do will reduce our worry and give us peace. There is an answer! There is a source for true peace. We just need to look in the correct place.

Instead of looking inward, we must look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you find yourself boasting about?

August 18, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
(2 Corinthians 10:17 (NIV))

What do you think of people who always boast and brag about their accomplishments?

I could probably stop right there and just let you think about that for a while, but I want to ask you one more question, and you may not like your answer.

Have you ever been one of those people who always boasts and brags about the things that you have done?

We all are guilty of being human with a sinful, fallen nature, so I think that I can safely say that we have all done this at one point in our lives. We like to toot our own horn. We like to draw attention to ourselves. We like to feel important. We like to have others think that we are important, but we all know that this is a lie.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
     and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
     and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

In other words, we are nothing in the grand scheme of things. For most of us, time will only remember us for one or two generations after we are gone. We can do nothing, and therefore, we can boast of nothing that will matter fifty years from now.

The life of mortals is like grass,
     they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
     and its place remembers it no more.
(Psalms 103:15-16 (NIV))

What have we that we can boast about?

Truly the only thing that we can boast of is that we are loved by God even in our sinful, fallen state!

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))

What do you find yourself boasting about?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you belong to the Lord?

August 16, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
(Romans 14:8 (ESV))

What is your outlook on life?

Do you think that the world owes your because you are in it? Do you think that the world belongs to you and everything in it is yours for the taking? Do you live your life for yourself and everybody else is just in the way? If your heart is this hardened, are you even capable of love?

Perhaps you aren’t quite that bad in your eyes.

Do you live your life ignoring God and only commit an hour to the Lord on Sunday? Do you sit in the congregation and think that you are better than everyone else there because your sins aren’t that bad? Do you think that you are a good person because you sit in church? Just as sitting in a garage does not make you a car, sitting in a church pew does not make you a Christian!

When Paul wrote these words in his letter to the Romans, he called for one hundred percent commitment to the Lord! Are you capable of having this type of outlook on life? This outlook calls for repentance. It calls for sharing the Gospel. It calls for trust. It calls for love. It calls for surrender. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior means that you not only look to Jesus for you salvation. It also means that you look to Jesus to be the Lord of your life.

Jesus has full authority!

Does He? Do you truly live for the Lord, or do you only try to surrender part of your life? We are called to surrender everything to His authority?

Do you belong to the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you trust in the Lord?

August 13, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

How true this is!

Our understanding of what happens in this physical world is only a small portion of what really happens. Now, consider that all events in the physical world have a corresponding event or series of events in the spiritual realm, and you soon realize that our understanding is practically nothing.

I once heard a commentary in which T.S. Elliot asked God why his wife had been taken from him in death. God told him that he could explain it to him, but he would not understand it. Think about that in the context of education and comprehension. Can you imagine a nuclear physicist telling an infant how things work at the atomic level. He could explain it all he wants, but the capability to understand is not there. The same is true of how things happen in this world. God could explain them, but we are as infants and lack the capability to understand. We are limited by our current state.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV))

Consider how an infant must trust his or her parents for everything that they need. When we realize that we are truly infants in the faith and in our understanding, we soon come to the conclusion that all things work together if we simply trust in the Lord.

We must be as infants and trust in God to lead us and guide us in His truth just as an infant loves and trusts their parents. We learn as we go. We take a step and look back to see if God is still there. We take a few more steps and realize that He is walking at our side. We take a few more steps and realize that He is leading and guiding us.

It all starts with trust!

Do you trust in the Lord?

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