Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

September 26, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
(Zechariah 2:13 (NIV))

Does this frighten you or does this bring you joy?

It is all a matter of perspective!

If you delight in the things of this world, then at best, this frightens you. However, if you are delighted by the things of this world, then you have probably denied the very existence of the Lord. This results in the simple conclusion that you are probably complacent. Either way, your encounter with the Lord will be the same. The Lord is rousing himself from His holy dwelling to put a stop to sin once and for all. Just because you don’t believe in the laws of gravity does not mean that you can jump off of a tall building with no consequences. The very same thing is true with you denial of the Laws of God. Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent.

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))

But, . . .

On the flip side of that perspective is the personal recognition that what these two passage profess is true and that it applies to you!

That is where the “But, God!” actions comes into play.

If you follow the ABCs, then your perspective on the Lord rousing Himself from His holy dwelling is completely different.

A is 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.

If you follow the ABCs, then you understand. You long for His return. You long for His righteousness to rule. You long to be in His presence. As you see the things that are unfolding in the world, we are to have faith in His Word. We are to be still before the Lord. We are to remember what the Israelites were told by Moses in Exodus and be obedient to these instructions today.

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

As the Lord unfolds His plans, we are to simply be still and rejoice. We are to watch in amazement as we truly see just how good that our God is! In all honesty, we are simply sitting on the sidelines. The only thing that we are called to do is invite others to join in on the side of the Lord.

Are you ready for what the Lord is planning?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Why do You still love us?

September 23, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him,”
(Job 7:17 (ESV))

It is often said that the Bible is actually God’s love letter to His creation.

Is that how you see it?

It sounds like Job saw it this way. He knew that the Lord loves those who love Him. He knew that God wants people to come to Him of their own free will. He knew that God desires nothing more than a personal relationship with each and every person who has ever or will ever walk this earth. From this passage, it is clear that Job was amazed that God cared so much for His creation. To be honest with you, God created everything from the planets and the stars to the microscopic single cell animals and plants. In all of this vast creation, man is the greatest love of God’s. Everything that He has done or ever will do is for His creation.

I have often stated that I love to read and compare various translations, for the subtleties truly bring things to life. The Complete Jewish Bible translates this passage in this manner.

“What are mere mortals, that you make so much of them? Why do you keep them on your mind?”
(Job 7:17 (CJB))

We are told that where our treasure is there our heart will be also. We are also told that what we think about is what we treasure. In reading these two translations, we are clearly told that we are in God’s heart and on His mind. We are His treasure!

With all that humanity has done, God still loves us.

With all the rebellion that is in our hearts, God still loves us.

In fact, He loves us so much that He devised a plan to bring us to redemption.

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))

All that we have to do is accept this amazing grace for ourselves!

We know that God’s ways are far above our ways, yet, I often wonder what motivates God to do such an amazing thing for us even when we don’t deserve it.

Why do You still love us?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you paying attention?

September 20, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times:
(Leviticus 23:4 (NIV))

I love the fact that the Lord has given us things to look at that represent His perfect plan. The sad thing is that we, as the church, as the Body of Christ, do not fully understand the meanings of the events that are second nature to the Jewish community. In reciprocal nature, the Jewish community does not understand the symbolism of their events and how they point to Jesus as the one and only Messiah.

We look at the passage that says that no man knows the hour or the day and perhaps we miss the symbolism in that phrase. The next Jewish festival that is to occur is Rosh Hashanah. That festival, which means head of the year, is different every year for it depends on the moon to be just right. It is known as the festival that no man knows the hour or the day. For reference, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

I could probably go into many of the festivals and their symbolism, especially the ones that represent the events that transpired when Jesus walked the earth. Just suffice it to say that Jesus, as the Passover Lamb, went to the cross at Passover! He arose from the dead on First Fruits!

There are also many things within non-festival events, such as weddings, that point to Jesus. In a Jewish wedding, the bridegroom goes to prepare a place for his bride. Only when he is finished can the wedding take place. No one knows the day or the hour that he will return for his bride. Could this be a coincidence? For your information. this is where we get the parable of the ten virgins. I don’t want to digress and go into that, for that is not what I am trying to convey. What is important is that when the bridegroom does return for his bride, she is lifted up into the air to meet her bridegroom!

We, as the Body of Christ, must realize that we have been grafted into a lineage and history that is completely Jewish. We must watch and learn. God is unfolding things according to His timing and His calendar. He has given us hints as to what He is doing. No one person has the complete understanding for the time is not yet come when God will sound the last trumpet!

But, . . .

We must watch!

Are you paying attention?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you at waiting?

September 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
(Psalms 27:14 (NIV))

How long has it been since you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Has your faith matured since your first profession? Have you grown in your understanding of what a faith in Jesus actually means? Have you come to the realization that the enemy hates you because you love Jesus? Do you understand that God is unfolding His timeline and that those who profess a faith in Jesus are seeing what all of humanity has longed to see since the fall from grace. We are seeing a loving God who has given people so many chances to repent and accept the grace freely given through the blood of Jesus closing that door. We are seeing the enemy doing his best to vilify anything righteous.

Are you tired of waiting for God’s righteousness to return to the earth? Are you watching and waiting for the Lord to gather His church? According to the events transpiring in the world today, we are closer than ever. In fact, I just saw the following bullet points that made me stop and reflect. We are seeing some things that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

* The Abrahamic Family Center, which is a house of worship combining facilities for Christians, Jews and Muslims is set to open next month. This is one of many such facilities throughout the world. Some believe that this is an indicator of the coming one world religion.
* The required red heifers for the purification rituals for the 3rd Temple are here!
* Enemies are surrounding Israel on all sides and there are plans to divide Jerusalem.
* Almost every country is implementing digital currency, with plans to link them all together rapidly coming.
* Food shortages are increasing due to various issues.
* Technology has been developed and is in place, or being put in place, to be able to track everyone.
* There is an increase in lawlessness.
* There is an increase in wars and rumors of wars.
* There has been an ever increasing number of earthquakes.
* There has been an ever increasing number of plagues and pestilences.
* The whole world has been deceived by the pharmekia to fight these health issues.
* The generation that has lived to see Israel return to their homeland, the Fig Tree Generation, is now mature. We are told that the generation that sees this shall not pass away before these things come to pass!

If you are waiting for the Lord, stand firm in your faith. If you are still a sinner in need of a Savior, don’t put it off another moment. Don’t wait until it is too late!

I have come to the conclusion that everyone is waiting. They are either waiting for the Lord, or they are waiting for a reason to give their life to the Lord. Sadly, too many are waiting for the evil that they desire to be in complete control.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

I choose to wait for the Lord.

How are you at waiting?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must never forget this!

September 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When you pass through the waters,
     I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
     they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
     you will not be burned;
     the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Isaiah 43:2 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are being led down a path and you have to stop and reflect on where you are being led?

For the last several years I have been led to scripture passages that tell us we have nothing to fear as long as we put our faith and trust in the Lord! This all started long before the pandemic. I firmly believe that this is true, and if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I pray that you believe this as well. There is something within me that knows that this world will never return to what we considered to be normal just a few short years ago. We are on a path that was set out before us long ago. This is a path that God has had planned ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. He knew that we had fallen into sin. The Lord knew that we could not save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. He knew that we needed a Savior to step in and fully take the consequences of our sin upon His shoulders. He knew that people would believe in faith. He also knew that the enemy would do all in his power to thwart His plan.

Old Testament prophets knew this. The Disciples knew this. Paul knew this.

Do we, as the modern church, still know this?

There is power in the name of Jesus. A time is coming where at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Why do we go about our daily lives as if we don’t have a powerful Savior? Why do we go about our daily lives thinking that our salvation is only powerful to save us from hell when we die? Why do we think that we are to have a comfortable life because we have professed a faith in Jesus?

We have been told that calling upon the name of the Lord comes with a cost. We are told that family members will turn against you. We are told that we will face persecution. We are told that we will face trials and troubles because the world hates Jesus.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

What other options do we have? I pray that your answer will be the same as Simon Peter’s when the Disciples were asked if they wanted to leave.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
(John 6:67-69 (NIV))

We can rest assured that our faith in Jesus is the only thing that will save us in times of trouble, both now and whatever may be coming. Are you fully secure in your faith? Do you know beyond any doubt that the Lord will see you through anything and everything that you may encounter. It is who He is. It is as He has promised.

We must never forget this!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

September 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2 (NIV))

When you take a look around at the world, what do you see?

I realize that this is a very loaded question, for the world is a sinful, fallen place that just keeps getting further and further away from what God created it to be. People are doing whatever pleases themselves and the depravity of these actions is sad to the point of being sickening.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
(Romans 1:28 (NIV))

God sees the depravity. People have turned, and more are still turning away from God, and doing whatever their depraved minds can imagine. I believe that we are at the point in human history, in God’s timeline, where the Lord is saying if that is what you want, then you will get exactly what you desire. People want perversion. God allows their minds to lead them deeper and deeper into what they desire. People want rebellion. God allows people to rebel to the point where they have dug their own proverbial pit to fall into. People want sin over righteousness. God is allowing them to go down the path that they have chosen. He allows them to go down the path that they think is comfortable to them.

All the while, He is calling them to repent. He is calling them to return to Himself and to His righteousness.

Sadly, too many are completely comfortable in their sin. They enjoy their sin. They are to the point where they feel that they can kick back, relax and enjoy their depravity, but, . . .

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

Are you ready to accept your wages? Are you ready to accept the consequences of your sin?

The choice is yours.

Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you laboring in vain?

September 6, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Unless the LORD builds the house,
     its builders labor in vain.
  Unless the LORD watches over the city,
     the watchmen stand guard in vain.
(Psalms 127:1 (NIV))

What is it that you wish to accomplish in your lifetime?

Based on this passage, do you labor in vain? Are you going against what the Lord desires? Are you trying to tell the Lord that you know better than He does?

I have one more question for you, and that is have you ever thought about your life’s ambitions from this perspective?

Human nature is a strange thing. Even though we may think that we know what we should be doing, most of us miss the mark so badly that we never truly build what the Lord intended for us to build. We chase after things that bring us joy when we should be doing things that bring God glory. We chase after things that could bring us wealth when we should be chasing after the greatest riches of all, the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior. We chase after anything and everything that we think will fill the God-shaped hole that we have in our hearts when we should be trying to fill our lives with the Lord.

Take a serious look at your life. Are you laboring in vain? Are you struggling because you are going against what the Lord is trying to build in and through your life?

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))

We are told to be still in His presence. We are told to be still in order to know God. We are told to be still so that we can learn His heart! We are also told why we should be still. In our stillness, we learn what exalts God. We learn what He longs for us to do so that His name will be exalted. Do your ambitions exalt the Lord or do they exalt you? Are your efforts in vain or are they achieving the results that the Lord has set before you?

Are you laboring in vain?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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This a a fantastic reason to be thankful!

August 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
     his love endures forever.
(Psalms 118:1 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world. give thanks to the Lord!

To those who do not profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, that may sound completely counter to what you would expect. If you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when prices are high; if you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when people are still reeling from the global pandemic; if you find yourself asking why you should give thanks when there are wars and rumors of wars, and when evil is called good and good is called evil, and when there are more extremes in the world than you can count, then it is time to give thanks to the Lord!

He is good!

His love does endure forever!

For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, we know that all of this has been foretold. We have a loving God who has told us from the beginning the things that would happen at the end. He does not want us to be alarmed. He does not want us to be caught off guard. He wants us to be vigilant and prepared for the things that He has told us would happen so that when they happen we will know that He is in control.

If you have been led to this devotional and do not know Jesus, I want to ask you a few questions.

Do you have a feeling that something is just not right in the world?

Do you see moral depravity on the increase and wonder what is going on?

Do you have a feeling that what we used to know as normal will never return?

You are not alone. The members of the Body of Christ are feeling it too. We know that the Lord is unfolding His plans and that the time is rapidly approaching when He will judge the world. I don’t have the time to explain in detail just how this happens. Just know that it will happen. There has never been a more urgent time to repent and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior than now. Do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you think that you are a good person. No one is good except God.

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))

Give thanks to God for sending us His Son to bring us salvation.

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))

God loves us enough to offer us eternal life through His love that endures forever.

This a a fantastic reason to be thankful!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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And His name is Jesus!

August 26, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord has made his salvation known
     and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
(Psalms 98:2 (NIV))

If you haven’t noticed, the last several devotionals have all been about passages from Psalms. I have a Bible app on my ipad and I have read multiple different translations. Currently, I am reading through the English translation called the Complete Jewish Bible where I am in Psalms. I cross reference between multiple different translations as I go, and as a result, I have come to a much deeper appreciation of these passages. I have found that my eyes have been opened by reading these different translations. I have alluded to this before, but sometimes the choice of words that the translators use can shed a completely different light on a passage. It can provide a much deeper understanding.

When this passage was written, it was long before Jesus walked the earth, yet, people were prophesying that He would come. No matter what translation you read, this passage clearly points to God’s amazing grace and mercy.

Adonai has made known his victory;
revealed his vindication in full view of the nations,
(Psalms 98:2 (CJB))

I love the way that the CJB translated this passage. Victory is the Lord’s! Vindication is the Lord’s!

If you look up the word “vindication,” it means justification against denial. Satan thought that he had won when he tricked Adam and Eve in the Garden, but God’s salvation, God’s victory is through the atoning blood of Jesus. God’s vindication, God’s righteousness is revealed through the resurrection of Jesus! In other words, God will not deny humanity the option to return to Him in a relationship as it was before the fall from grace. He will be vindicated and Satan has been defeated. All that we have to do is claim that victory for ourselves. Don’t wait another moment. If you have not already made this claim for yourself, it is a simple profession of faith. 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.

This victory, this vindication, this salvation that returns us to His righteousness all came about because of God’s plan through one who is fully God and is fully man!

And His name is Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Now is the time to strengthen your resolve to boast only in the Lord!

August 18, 2022

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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))

The time is upon us when we must stop trying to rely on our own strength. Even those of us who profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior still try to rely on our own strength. We boast and brag about what we are capable of doing, but in the grand scheme of things, what we can do is absolutely nothing.

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))

Can a filthy rag clean itself? Can a filthy rag clean up other filthy rags?

Only the Lord is capable of anything righteous. Only the Lord is capable of cleansing the filthy rags that come to Him seeking salvation. Only the Lord is capable of cleansing the filthy rags that come to Him because He is the way, the truth and the light. We must cling to His truth! We must cling to His light!

If you have paid any attention to the things happening in this world, you know that something is not right. There are things that are transpiring that are rapidly fulfilling the prophecies of the end times. We see wars and rumors of wars. We see good being called evil and evil being called good. We see God’s truth being slandered and rejected while they openly embrace the lies of the enemy.

I saw something today from a source that I trust, and it made me sad for those who are drinking the kool-aid. At the same time, I was happy for the implications of what was unveiled to me.

Do you trust the media? Do you trust social media? Do you trust big banks? Do you trust large corporations? Do you trust the U.N.?

Let’s pause on the U.N. for a moment. You will not find this in the media, for it is all part of the plans of the enemy. They are calling for people in all countries to turn in those who don’t drink the kool-aid. They are calling for those of us who don’t blindly accept what is being fed to us to be turned in. They are saying that the only “truth” that you can accept is the information that comes from big media, the governments and the so-called fact checkers.

This makes me want to boast all the more in the Lord. I love the way that David boasted.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalm 18:2 (NIV))

Living in this world is not easy. Living in this world without Jesus is impossible.

Now is the time to strengthen your resolve to boast only in the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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