Do you possess the Spirit?

October 26, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV))

When you take a look at the world today and you see the things that are going on, it is easy to draw assumptions that the Holy Spirit is not within the people who are rioting and looting. It is easy to see that the Holy Spirit is not within the people who call good evil and evil good. It is easy to see those who truly follow Jesus as opposed to those who follow the world.

If things are this bad when the Holy Spirit and the true church are still on this earth doing all that can be done to restrain the enemy, can you imagine just how bad things will be once the Lord declares that it is time for His Holy Spirit and His church to be removed? God will soon decide that time is up and when He does, the rest of His plan will unfold. It will start with the very rapid removal of the Holy Spirit and the church and all of the restraining influence on society. There will be nothing standing in the way of the enemy and his plans. Evil will run rampant. Every sick and perverted thing that humanity has ever desired will be commonplace.

Today, a person without the Holy Spirit is a lost individual. As the Body of Christ, we must pray for those who are lost so that they can avoid the time that is coming when the whole world will be without the Holy Spirit. The whole world will mock God and everything that He calls good.

In essence, a world without the Holy Spirit is hell on earth!

Do you possess the Spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is in the business of miracles!

September 22, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me.
(Galatians 1:23-24 (NIV))

We all know someone who has lived a life completely contrary to God’s Word. In fact, we probably all know someone who goes out of their way to torment, mock and ridicule anyone who professes a faith in Jesus. We have all heard of fairly recent professions of faith from very public people in entertainment. These are also people whom most of us would never have thought it possible for such as change.

What is your reaction when you hear of someone like that who suddenly starts sharing the very Gospel that they have mocked in the past? Do you find yourself saying things like it must be a publicity stunt? Do you find yourself thinking that it must be a facade and that they are up to something? Why do we, as the Body of Christ, pass judgment on those who have made such as drastic change in their lives? I realize that human nature is skeptical, and sometimes it is warranted, but how often do we do tremendous harm to the faith of a new believer because of our failure to accept that someone could have such a drastic change of heart? How long would Paul have put up with people with this type of attitude? How long would God have put up with this type of attitude toward Paul?

I pray that we learn a lesson from this passage and learn to praise God for working in the lives of those whom we thought were beyond reach. Think about this next question for a moment. How many people did you surprise when they found out that you had accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

We need to learn to praise God when He reaches someone whom we thought was completely lost, after all, God is in the business of miracles!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I will patiently wait as His plan unfolds!

September 11, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
(Psalms 74:10 (NIV))

Have you ever let out a spiritual groaning in agony and asked God how much longer before those who hate Him will be dealt with?

I will say that even though I am at peace with God’s plans as they unfold, I have often asked something very similar. It is human nature to want to fix a problem as quickly as possible, and the amount of evil in the world is a huge problem. Since it is beyond our abilities, we still seek a quick remedy, but God does not work on our timetable. He will deal with the evil when His perfect time has come. He will complete His plan and bring judgment when it is the right time.

It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
    In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
    and their doom rushes upon them.
(Deuteronomy 32:35 (NIV))

Why does the church avoid this topic? Why have we allowed society to fill the minds of people with the false teachings that the Lord loves and accepts everyone just as they are? Why do we believe that we can stay in our sin and still have salvation? We are told to leave our life of sin. We are told to follow Jesus. We are told to live our lives in such a way that we turn from our sin and not embrace our sin. We are also told one more thing that most of the world ignores.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

Jesus calls us to leave our life of sin. He calls us to take up our cross. He calls us to a true relationship with Him as we grow in spiritual maturity. He calls us to learn the very heart of God! When we learn the very heart of God, our heart begins to change. When our hearts change, it creates a complex relationship with the world. We long for God’s judgment, yet, at the same time, we long for those who will be judged to repent and accept salvation.

Even though I long for His return for His church, I will patiently wait as His plan unfolds!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you find yourself among the scoffers?

January 31, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
(2 Peter 3:3 (NIV))

Just for the sake of clarity, the word “scoff” means to have contempt, to scorn or to mock. I realize that members of the Body of Christ are to be in the world, but we are not to be of the world. With this in mind, can any of us go through a single day without hearing about or witnessing firsthand the very things that we are told will happen toward God, Jesus and God’s word? Do we, as the Body of Christ, escape the mocking? Do we feel the urge to mock those who mock God or do we feel the need to pray for these individuals?

Think about that last question for a moment from the perspective of the cross.

When Jesus was arrested and scourged, the soldiers mocked Jesus. How did He respond? When He was taken to Pilate, the crowds mocked Him. How did He respond? When He was hung upon the cross, the soldiers, the crowd and one of the thieves mocked Him. How did He respond?

When we are under attack, it is so easy to fall back upon our human nature and lash out at those who are attacking us. Did Jesus do this in any of the previously mentioned situations? If we all agree that Jesus lived a perfect life as an example for how we should live, what do His actions during these situations tell us about our own lives?

What would Jesus do?

This phrase may be greatly over used, but it is valid in this situation. When we are facing hardship, when we are facing mocking, we must remember how we are to act. We are to follow the example that Jesus set before us.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
(Matthew 5:38-40 (NIV))

Don’t allow the world to make you become as they are. Don’t allow the world to make you react, to make you mock and scoff at the things you know to be true. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus so that you don’t find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be.

Do you find yourself among the scoffers?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be foolish!

October 5, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
(Proverbs 17:28 (NIV))

With all that is going on in this country and the world right now, it seems that everyone has an opinion. The sad thing about that is that far too many people feel that they need to voice their opinions even if they know absolutely nothing about the topic. Everyone thinks that they are right and those who possess an opinion contrary to theirs is the enemy. Sadly, the number of people who remove all doubt about being a fool is skyrocketing rapidly.

Not many are keeping silent. Not many are holding their tongues.

We have all been guilty of saying things that we wish we had never said, but it appears that remorse is no longer an emotion that is capable of being felt by many. Instead of being able to accept differing opinions and the truth, far too many people rebel. They get angry. They mock the ones who bring the truth.

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
(Proverbs 9:7 (NIV))

Unfortunately, we see this increasing with every passing day. We also find it hard to truly distinguish what is the truth in the moment. I honestly believe that this is a direct result of the concept put forward in recent years which states that truth is relative. This concept is built upon the false idea that what is true for me is not the same thing that is true for someone else. I believe that those who are so vehemently vocal and angry have been taught that there is no absolute truth and that their version is just as viable as someone else’s version of truth. In particular, they oppose God’s truth, or the idea that God even exists, because they feel that His truth is not their truth.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
(Psalm 14:1 (NIV))

It is clear how God defines a fool.

Don’t be foolish!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we have a right to be angry at the world?

October 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
(John 2:15-16 (NIV))

Do you ever get mad at those who ridicule and mock God?

I can hear the wheels turning inside the heads of many people right about now. It is believed that if you follow Jesus that you are not supposed to get mad. It is believed that you are supposed to just let people run over you and your faith because that is what Jesus would do. After reading the passage above, do I need to remind you what Jesus would actually do?

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
(Galatians 5:12 (NIV))

Did you ever read this passage that was written by Paul? He got mad at people twisting God’s word, too. He never went so far as to do what Jesus did, but he did get extremely mad. He got so angry that he wished that those people would emasculate themselves.

If Jesus, who is God’s only begotten Son, and Paul, who spread the Gospel to the Gentiles, could both get mad at those who abused God’s temple and His Word, why do we sit back and take what society sends our way? I am not saying that we should be violent, but what I am saying is that the events of this world should make us extremely angry. If they don’t make us angry, what does that actually say about our faith? Do we lack the faith to stand up to the world for what we know to be true? Do we simply look at the events of this world and say to ourselves that Jesus must be coming for us at any moment, so why do we bother? Have we been so conditioned by the world that we believe that we can’t do anything about it?

I will say this. The things that I see in this world do make me angry. They make my spirit groan. At what point do we, as the Body of Christ, fall to our knees in earnest prayer because the things of this world make us extremely angry?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are we doing?

February 11, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

Who do you get angry at when you see the state of the world?

Do you get angry at those who mock Jesus?

Do you get angry at those who try to take away your way of life?

Do you get angry with those who try to kill you because of your faith?

Where do you think that these people got the ideas from? Did they just come to them one day, or were they planted by the enemy and slowly matured by the enemy until they had lost all signs of anything righteous in their lives?

I honestly believe that these people have been lied to! In fact, I know that the they have been deceived.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:3-7 (NIV))

Did you catch that?

At one time in our lives, we, as members of the Body of Christ, were just like those who are currently deceived. Our battle is not with the deceived, but with the deceiver. We must pray for those who are deceived. We must pray that their hearts will be opened to what Jesus offers. We must pray that they will be able to break the bondage placed upon them by the deceiver. We must be willing to go into battle with our Lord and Savior and confront the deceiver, the powers of this dark world. We must be willing to see those who are lost in the clutches of the enemy as Jesus sees them. Do you see them as the source of the problem or do you see them as pawns in Satan’s grand scheme?

Don’t be too fast to judge. In fact, we are not called to judge. We are called to bring them to repentance. To use the terminology of warfare, we do not want to inflict casualties, for that would mean that someone has been lost to all eternity. We want to take prisoners! We want to make converts! We want to get as many as possible to switch sides in this battle.

How are we doing?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stand firm in your faith

October 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
(Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV))

Deception seems to run rampant lately.

Are you able to discern what is the truth and what is a lie?

Think about that in context of the words from Galatians. God cannot be mocked! When all else fails, use this simple statement to guide you. All else will fall into place if this is your guiding thought.

If someone sows to please their sinful nature, this mocks God. Anger, jealousy, vengeance, hatred, aggression, and a mean spirit all mock God. Judging by other passages, there are many other things that mock God. Sexual immorality, lying, stealing, murder and anything that goes against His Word are all things that please the sinful nature.

I am sure that you have heard the old saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Look at the recent events in the world. Dictators who ruled with an iron hand have been brought down in just the same way that they ruled. There is also another saying that I firmly believe in, and that is “If you do not study history, you are bound to repeat it.” We, as a nation and a world, are reaping what has been sown. History books have been rewritten. We have found ourselves in a bad predicament.

It is said that you can put a frog in a pot of water and then slowly bring the water to a boil. The change is so gradual that the frog does not notice it until it is too late. Have we seen our society and institutions change in the same way that the frog found the water changing? We no longer hold true to the basic moral principles that helped to build this nation. Ironically, it is these very principles that have been under attack.

We need to sow to please the Spirit. We need to turn to God and pray, both as individuals and as a nation. We have become so divided that there is a widening gap between those who profess a faith in Jesus and those who do not.

There is a feeling within me that things will get worse before they get better. I do not wish to sound like I am spreading doomsday fear, but rather I hope that I am able to call upon the Body of Christ to stand firm in your faith. Do not waiver in the face of sinful nature, whether that sinful nature is internal or external. The world can and will send much our way, and if we do not stand firm in who we are and in whose we are, then the world will tell us.

If the world tells you who you are, I know that you will not like what it tells you.

Stand firm in your faith and tell the world that you belong to Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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