What do you see being produced in your life?

May 30, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:5 (NIV))

Sadly, too many people have twisted this concept around to mean that if you believe in Jesus, then you are surely to be blessed with worldly treasures and positions. This concept has slowly invaded our churches as many people flock to those who claim the fruit is of this world. The last time I read anything about fruit, it had nothing to do with riches or worldly attributes. If you stop to think about physical fruit, you think of a food group that doctors always tell us to eat more of. Fruit is healthy. Fruit builds you up. It helps to make you stronger, just as the fruit you will bear if you remain in Jesus!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))

Do you see anything in this passage that says that we will bear fortune or fame? Do you see anything in this passage that says that we will be promised worldly riches? God does not measure things as the world measures them. In fact, with recent history in mind, if the world claims that something is good, run as far and as fast as you can away from it, for it will be opposed to the true goodness that comes only from God. What the world claims as good is not healthy. It does not build you up. It only serves to destroy.

When you look at your life, what do you see? Perhaps I should ask this another way. When others look at your life, what do they see? Do they see love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control or do they see things of the world?

What do you see being produced in your life?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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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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Is God’s Word your honest measure?

November 17, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
(Deuteronomy 25:15 (NIV))

I recently saw something that makes a lot of sense. It was a comparison of honest weights and measures to societal changes as society goes away from Biblical truths. It made me look at God’s standards once again.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

I am saddened by the fact that far too many people who profess a faith in Jesus fail to accept God’s Word as the unwavering and honest truth and the accurate measure that it is. Think about that in relationship to the following.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

If Jesus is the Word made flesh, that means that the Word is the same yesterday and today and forever. How can people claim that God’s Word is no longer relevant in today’s world? Have we started applying different ways to measure when we should be applying the same way that God originally intended?

Differing weights and differing measures— the Lord detests them both.
(Proverbs 20:10 (NIV))

Based on this, how do you think God looks upon our current society? How do you think God looks upon those who claim to be a part of the Body, yet do not apply the same standards that He has mandated through His Word?

With this in mind, I have one tough question to ask.

Is God’s Word your honest measure?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give freely and it will return to you measure upon measure!

March 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
(Mark 4:24-25 (NIV))

This doesn’t sound very fair, does it? It sounds like those who are rich will be greatly rewarded while those who are poor will be stripped of what little they do possess.

Think about that concept, though, from a different perspective and not from a worldly perspective.

If you have compassion, you will be given compassion. If you have love, you will be given love. If you have joy, you will be given joy. If you have peace, you will be given peace.

If you do not show compassion, what little you do have will eventually be taken and none will be shown to you. If you do not show love, what love that may be around you will soon be withdrawn and replaced with contempt and hatred. If you do not have joy, what joy that may be around you will also be chased away the minute that you enter a room. If you do not have peace, your presence will soon take the peace of others.

There is an old saying that you reap what you sow. If you want a bountiful harvest, sow graciously. Be willing to freely give away that which you desire to possess. There is something about this concept that draws measure upon measure. If you want to be loved, then freely love all that you see. If you desire to surround yourself with great joy, be extremely joyful in all that you do. Do not allow yourself to be beaten down by the world. Turn to Jesus and let Him keep full the measure that you are able to give. Do this by giving freely of what He has given to you. Don’t hoard what He has given to you, for how can He give you more if you don’t use it wisely and you don’t make room for it?

What do you desire to be blessed with? Give it freely and it will return to you measure upon measure.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God doesn’t have double standards!

January 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Differing weights and differing measures–
the LORD detests them both.
(Proverbs 20:10 (NIV))

Do you hold up one standard for some things and a different one for others? Do you measure your friends differently than you measure people whom you do not know? Do you want to be held accountable to a less severe set of laws than you are willing to hold others accountable to? We are all guilty of this to some extent. We fail to give the same leniency that we long for ourselves. Perhaps we even fail to forgive others when we seek forgiveness for ourselves.

Another translation says it differently.

The Lord despises double standards of every kind.
(Proverbs 20:10 (NLT))

Just what is a double standard? It is anything that treats the person you see in the mirror differently than the person you see on the street.

We seek mercy and grace, but are we willing to give it? We seek forgiveness, but are we willing to offer it to others?

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 (NIV))

We are told that we will be forgiven in the way that we forgive others. Do you weigh out forgiveness with a different set of weights and measures than you expect to be used for you? Adjust your standard to those that God uses.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love Jesus?

January 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you love me, you will obey what I command.
(John 14:15 (NIV))

We are told not to judge others. 2 Timothy 4:1 tells us “of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead.” It is only He who shall rightfully judge.

Even so, we have the right and responsility to take a look at our lives and measure ourselves based on John 14:15. Do we honestly obey what Jesus commands? Do we desire to do what He would have us to do? If that is the measure of our love for Jesus, where does it place our relationship?

It is human nature to judge others based on what we are supposed to be doing ourselves. We need to take a long and serious look at ourselves before we look at others. We also need to pray that others will take the same long and serious look at themselves. Perhaps, if everyone took John 14:15 as the benchmark of all of their activities and relationships, we would truly show the love of Jesus in all that we do.

Do you love Jesus?

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