Have you forgotten how to follow this command?

January 24, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
(John 13:34 (NIV))

Let’s take a look at how Jesus loved when He walked this earth so that we can better understand how we are to love each other.

Jesus called people to repent, to turn from their selfish, sinful natures. He did this out of compassion for those caught in sin and the consequences of sin. He did not antagonize or mock sinners. He called to them out of a true love, a true desire to see them come to a saving knowledge of Him. He loved people because that is why He came!

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))

It is true that Jesus did get angry, but His anger was only manifested when God’s Temple was defiled or the religious leaders were making a mockery out of what God had intended. His anger was never focused on those whom He came to save. In fact, even in His anger, I think that it is safe to say that, just as a father’s heart breaks when his children misbehave, His heart broke for those who were doing the things that caused His anger.

Even in our darkest moments, He loves us!

Can we say that of each other? Can we love each other as Jesus loves us? Loving each other is part of loving God! It is part of our calling!

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
(1 John 4:20 (NIV))

Jesus has commanded that we love one another.

Have you forgotten how to follow this command?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your faith strong enough for this?

January 16, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(Matthew 5:44 (NIV))

This goes against everything that our sinful human nature desires!

We instinctively only love those who love us in return. We only want to pray for those whom we love, yet, we are called to break with our sinful human nature and do what we don’t desire to do.

Have you ever stopped to reflect on why we are called to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us? Perhaps the answer is so simple that we don’t want to see it.

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))

If you have come to the realization that our enemies are part of the world that God loves, then you begin to understand why we are called to love our enemies. God loves them just as He loves you and I. In fact, the only difference in God’s eyes are whether they have accepted the gift of grace freely given through the cross. The cross is the ultimate example of love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

If you stop to consider that you were once an enemy of God, then you realize that God showed you love when you were His enemy. As the Body of Christ, we are called to do the very same thing. We are called to show love to those who are our enemies, for it is through love and prayer that an enemy is lost and a friend is won. This takes a faith that goes far beyond what our sinful human nature can comprehend. It takes a faith firmly grounded in God’s word and in His promises. It takes a faith strong enough to realize that through God’s love anything is possible, even turning an enemy into a brother or sister in Christ! Do you possess a faith strong enough to surrender to God’s Will as He calls you to embrace your enemies with love?

Today’s society is uncertain. Evil is called good and good is called evil. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know one thing – Jesus will come again! When He walked the earth, He called people to repent. He called them to this action out of love. If you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have shown a faith strong enough to accept that gift. Now, we are called to show a faith strong enough to share that gift even with our enemies.

Is your faith strong enough for this?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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))

There will never be a greater gift that can be given!

To those who have accepted this gift of grace, we use this passage to convey exactly what God has done. We use it to explain to others what can be theirs if they will only accept. We use it to explain the magnitude of God’s love for His creation, but, I think that we use it to remind ourselves of the mercy that we have been given. We use it to remind ourselves that we were all sinners in need of a Savior. We us it to remind ourselves that we were helpless, hopeless and lost as a result of our sin. We use it to remind ourselves that we are not worthy to receive such a great gift, but, God gave it to us in spite of ourselves.

In just a few days, we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. We will celebrate Jesus stepping out of eternity and into this world so that we could be ransomed by His great love. For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, you truly have something to celebrate. Do you need to join the celebration? For those who have not made that profession of faith as of yet, 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.

The greatest gift of all time is yours. All that you must do is accept.

I have referred to this before. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

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

November 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
(John 13:7 (NIV))

You may not recognize this passage immediately, but think about Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room. Peter was about to rebuke Jesus for washing his feet. It is true that Peter did not understand what Jesus was doing. In fact, most people don’t fully grasp the symbolism of this action. It was a hint of a much bigger “washing” that Jesus was about to undertake.

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
(John 13:8-9 (NIV))

Thankfully, Peter realized what was going on and fully embraced it. In fact, he wanted more!

Think about that for a moment.

Do you want more of what Jesus came to offer? Do you want to be washed white as snow? Do you want to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, Well done, good and faithful servant”? Do you want to know Jesus intimately?

It all starts with a simple act. It all starts with us allowing Jesus to wash us clean!

What Jesus did in the Upper Room symbolizes what He does for all of us if we will simply believe.

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))

We, as sinful humanity, can be washed clean of our sins simply by believing in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. That is the most powerful cleansing that we will ever experience. This is the plan as spoken of in Isaiah. This is the plan that settles God’s redemption of those who believe.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
     says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
     they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
     they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

I believe that Peter understood this connection.

Do you understand?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready?

October 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Luke 12:40 (NIV))

Preparation is essential in just about any undertaking.

It means that you have an understanding of what is needed to succeed at what you desire to do. It means that you have done your best to get ready. It means that you are prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action. It means that you are available and willing. It means that you are anticipating what you have prepared for!

Are you anticipating the coming of the Son of Man?

Are you currently available and willing?

Are you prepared mentally, physically, but most importantly, spiritually for the coming of Jesus?

Are you eager to see Jesus face to face? Do you long to sit at His feet? Do you hunger and thirst for His righteousness? Are you ready to say goodbye to this sinful, fallen world and spend eternity in His presence?

God loves us so much that He has made it easy to get ready!

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))

Have you believed in Jesus?

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

October 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
(Revelation 14:11 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but this does not sound very pleasant. It is not something that I would desire, nor can I even imagine anyone wanting this for themselves, their friends or their family. Still, because people reject Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, they will suffer this fate. The sad thing is that no one has to suffer the eternal consequences of their sins.

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))

If you have been following these devotionals for very long, you have probably noticed a shift from living according to God’s Word to a more urgent nature. There is something unsettling in my spirit and the events of the world support what I, and many others, are sensing. I have numerous trustworthy sources that I read and watch every day. What I am seeing is not being reported, and it is amazing. If I did not know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I would be completely and utterly scared of what I see. It is my desire to “fly under the radar” so that my posts are not blocked on social media. For this reason, I will not provide sources for these comments, but rest assured that the comments are legitimate. With this in mind, I want to present some of the things that I have recently read or heard.

  • The culling of humanity is about to accelerate taking many children and young adults, as the doctors, politicians and preachers remain silent.
  • History began with humans inventing gods and will end when humans become gods.
  • The resurrection of Jesus is fake news.
  • Humans are now hackable animals no longer subject to the intelligent design of some fictional god above the clouds but our intelligent design.
  • The idea of humans having free will is over. Today, we have the technology to hack human beings on a massive scale.
  • You will own nothing and be happy.

Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe in the prophecies that foretold of Jesus’ first appearance on this earth? If you say that you believe the Bible, then you have to believe the prophecies that it contains. It is said that somewhere between 20-30% is prophecy. God’s track record is perfect when you look at what has been fulfilled so far. Why do we even venture to think that what has not been fulfilled will be any different?

God created us to have free will. Once we take the mark, based on the comments above, our free will is gone forever! There is no turning back. If the few comments that I have included do not unsettle your spirit, then perhaps you need to take a long, hard look at your priorities. You should also take a long, hard look at the 20-30% of the Bible that you have ignored before it is too late. Just for reference, just in case you did not know, digital tracking technology is already in place! If you don’t believe me, take a look at the face recognition on your phone. Do you honestly believe your face scan stays on your phone? Do a search for something and then log into one of your social media accounts. I am positive you will immediately see ads for what you just searched for. If this can be done, what will this technology be used for in the hands of the antichrist?

Keep your eyes open to the world. We are told to watch and recognize the signs.

There is even one more important thing that we are told to do.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

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

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

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 . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

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.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

February 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
     abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
(Psalms 86:5 (ESV))

What do you tell people who claim that God won’t send them to hell because He is love, and why would a loving God do such a thing?

Let that question sink in!

Do you know anyone who professes this belief? Have you ever professed this belief? On the surface, it sounds so appealing and accurate, but is it accurate?

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))

If it is accurate, then why did God send His one and only Son? Why did He have to go to the cross? Why did He have to die in order to pay for our transgressions, for our sins?

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

Too many people have accepted the lie propagated by the enemy that says that since God is love, He accepts you just as you are and that you do not have to change. They forget one important fact that clearly modifies those with whom God shares His steadfast love.

“to all who call upon you.”

Too many people ignore the fact that we have to call on the Lord to save us, and then His love is poured out upon us. He does love everyone, but He desires for you to repent, accept His gift of grace and mercy, and then follow Him. There is nothing in His Word that says that He will show His redeeming love to those who rebel against Him. All that you have to do is read about Adam and Eve, the flood, the Tower of Babel and many others to see what happens to those who rebel. Countless times, He pleads with those who are in rebellion to turn to Him and live! That is why He sent His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (ESV))

Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 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.
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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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