Are you able to praise God through the tough times?

November 9, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
(Psalms 42:11 (NIV))

I realize that it may seem like the whole world is out to get you at times, but there is one key thing that we need to remember as members of the Body of Christ.

“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))

With hope and assurance like this, how can we ever be downcast, even in the face of trouble? We need to remember Paul’s words. We need to do more than remember them. We need to make them our own. We need to fully embrace the very realistic truth that Paul shared in Romans.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

God is so “for us” that He sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world as an atoning sacrifice so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God. For those who earnestly repent and call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, God is now on your side. Perhaps I should phrase that differently. For those who earnestly repent and call upon the name of Jesus, you have realized that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. You have turned from your way to following God’s way. When you chose to follow Jesus, you became a member of the Body of Christ. Your past sins are no longer held against you. If you have been able to be called out of the tough times when you were lost in sin, what makes you think that the Lord of all creation will not be with you and see you through the tough times that you face after you chose to follow Jesus?

If you look at life from this perspective, we have been called to be God’s chosen people.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

If we are exactly as described, then why would God abandon us during the tough times. He will not leave us nor forsake us!

It is a matter of our attitude!

Are you able to praise God through the tough times?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How difficult do you make this?

November 6, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
(Romans 12:16 (NIV))

This passage is taken out of a section that many translations refer to as “Love in Action.”

Think about that concept for a moment. Are you able to put these words into action?

Do you strive to live in harmony with others, both believers and nonbelievers? I realize that it is easier to do this when you are dealing with someone who shares your beliefs, but we are called to show love to everyone. How do you live in harmony with someone who takes great pleasure in taunting and tormenting you because of your faith?

Then there is pride! It is a nasty human trait. We can’t even get a job without having to convince someone that we are better than anyone and everyone else. What happens if you start to act like you truly believe this about yourself? Do you begin to develop tendencies to elevate yourself at the expense of others? Is this how we are called to show love?

As a member of the Body of Christ, we must remember that we were shown love when we didn’t deserve it. We must remember that we were shown grace and mercy when we didn’t deserve it. All too often, we do not show love as were are called to show love. Sadly, many times we show the exact opposite and we make it difficult for others to see Jesus in us or through us.

How difficult do you make this?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you desire to be above reproach?

October 29, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
(1 Timothy 3:2-3 (NIV))

The word overseer implies someone in a position of authority in the church. Typically, this is translated as pastor, elder or deacon, but if you stop to think about it, everyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is in a position of authority. We are all able to minister to each other and to those around us. We are all called to tell the world about Jesus. We are all able to lead someone to eternal salvation, and, sadly enough, we can all fall short of our calling.

Everyone who professes to be a member of the Body of Christ is in the spotlight. We are being watched by those who do not believe. Every action and every word is under constant scrutiny by an unbelieving world. We should all strive to be above reproach. We should all be faithful, temperate and self-controlled. We should all be respectable and hospitable. Everyone who professes a faith in Jesus should be able to teach others about the one who has set them free. We must set a good example, a high benchmark, for others to follow as we strive to follow Jesus.

Our actions should reflect the character of Christ! We should strive to fulfill the instructions put forth for an overseer.

Think about that.

Have you ever lost your temper, even in the privacy of your own home? Have you ever lost self-control? Do those who live with you and work with you think that you are respectable and above reproach? Have you ever been less than gentle? Have you ever participated in or started a quarrel? Do you treat those around you with respect and dignity even when you are in a position of authority over them?

If we are human, the answer to these will probably be a yes, for we are all far from perfect.

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

Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our lack of ability to be perfect. We never will be perfect on our own. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus and look to ourselves, or the world, that we fail miserably. Only when we keep our eyes on Jesus are we able to begin to come close to possessing these characteristics. We may never hold a position of pastor, elder or deacon, but we can all strive to fulfill these Godly characteristics in our lives. We can all strive to be above reproach!

Do you desire to be above reproach?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Which spirit have you received?

June 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
(1 Corinthians 2:12 (NIV))

Sadly, too many people who claim to be a member of the Body of Christ still cling tightfisted to the spirit of the world. We have become afraid to let go of the sin that we have embraced in our lives. Is this due to familiarity with the world or is it due to the simple fact that we are comfortable in our sin?

Are you conformable in your sin?

Are you afraid to let it go because you don’t know if you can face your life without it? Are you afraid to see what God has in store for you if you do leave your sin? I once heard a story of a little monkey who reached into a jar to get what was in it. Unfortunately, when he tried to pull his hand out of the jar, his closed fist was too big to fit through the opening. Instead of letting the object go, he clung to his prize and remained stuck in the jar. Are we like that monkey? Do we cling to things even though they entrap us?

Take a long, hard look at your life. Is there anything that you refuse to let go of even though it has you trapped in sin? Sin is of the enemy. Sin is of the spirit of the world. In order to truly follow Jesus, we must be willing to let go of anything and everything that will keep us from Him? We cannot be a vessel for both the spirit of the world and the Holy Spirit!

Which spirit have you received?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you think about most of the time?

August 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
(Colossians 3:2 (NIV))

What do you think about most of the time? Are you worried about finances? Is it health concerns that have you in thought? Is there a loved one who has strayed and you desire for them to return? Do you find yourself worried about the state of our politicians and their direction or lack of direction? If you are like me, there are countless things that can distract you from thinking about what you should contemplate.

Don’t get me wrong! We need to think of these things. We can’t focus only on heaven and ignore the world in which we live. Have you ever heard someone described as being so heaven minded that they are no earthly good. Jesus called us to be salt and light to the world. He did not call us to accept Him and shut out the world.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
(Matthew 5:13 (NIV))

We cannot turn our backs on the things of this world. We must be a part of this world. We need to do it in a manner that brings glory to God and not in a manner that brings worry to ourselves. We must show people that they too have an opportunity for hope. We must set our minds on Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we become active members of the Body of Christ. Each member of a body has a function. We must perform our function so that others may see Jesus. We are not to shut ourselves up and ignore the world. What good do we do when this happens? What good will our salt be to the people around us?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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