This is the job of all believers!

August 15, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
(Matthew 28:19 (NIV))

Do you realize that you have a written job description as a believer in Jesus?

It is the same for everyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, but, unfortunately, too many fail to perform this one assignment. Our primary responsibility after accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior is to share the good news of salvation with all whom we encounter. Every single one of us is a unique creation. Just as we realize that no two individuals are created the same, our abilities are unique as well. Some of us are eloquent in speech. Some are better with the written word. Some are better with actions. Some are more suited for expressing what Jesus has done through music, while others are visually creative and can convey God’s grace through eye catching artwork. If none of these describe you, then you may be gifted as a teacher or blessed as a caregiver. No matter what you talents may be, all of us can utilize our talents to fulfill our job description as followers of Jesus. We are to use what we have to reach our neighbors. We are to use what we have to reach the world!

This is the job of all believers!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who are we to judge if God does a new thing?

January 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV))

What does this verse have to do with the following?

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17)

I’m going to throw still one more curve ball into the mix and ask how do these two passages tie into the saying that I am sure we are all familiar with and that is, “That’s not how we do things around here!”

I heard something today that I think will tie all of these together and also satisfy a little bit of human nature in the process.

Have you ever stopped to think about why God has to do a new thing? Have you ever stopped to think about the old wineskins and new wine in a different light? Have you ever wondered why people are so set in their ways that they will say things like “That’s not how we do things?”

We are creatures of habit!

God knows this and He has let us know that He does things differently with different groups of people. He does things differently with different ages of people. If God tried to reach someone who likes contemporary music with old hymns, it would drive them away. If God tried to reach someone who is an intellectual type with a feelings based approach, it would not work. If God tried to reach someone whose heart has been hardened by using an overwhelming emotional appeal of love, that person would not be able to handle it. They have to be prepared. They have to be made new in order to handle the love that God wants to pour out.

I am going to go out on a limb and ask that we try to withhold our judgmental human nature and look at the deeper issues, look at the deeper reasons that things are different. The only thing that we should be concerned with is whether the new things are true to God and to God’s Word. We don’t need to worry about whether they are the way that we have always done things!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you rejoice when you think of God?

June 23, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
(Psalms 95:1-2 (NIV))

Do you rejoice when you think of God?

I believe that our human traditions have made it almost impossible to truly rejoice before God. Our worship services follow a set sequence and many of our churches sit quietly during the whole service. Don’t take this wrong. I am not against reverence. What I am suggesting is that we have lost our ability to shout, after all there is a time for both reverence and rejoicing.

I honestly believe that we can show reverence and rejoice at the same time. Unfortunately, the same person who shouts for their favorite college team on Saturday will not even clap on Sunday. Have we, as the Body of Christ, lost the ability to rejoice over what Jesus has done for us? Can we act in reverence and joy just as the early church did at Pentecost?

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine. ”
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
” `In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
(Acts 2:13-17 (NIV))

They were not ashamed. They did not squelch their joy. God sent His Holy Spirit and they embraced the Holy Spirit with reverence, joy and awe. Being Godly does not mean that you sit there with your nose up in the air. It means that you welcome and fully embrace God in His Triune Glory and allow Him to move in you and through you.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
(Philippians 4:4 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The greatest event of all eternity

September 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV))

I get chills every time I read this passage.

Close your eyes and let the Holy Spirit guide you. What do you see? Is it possible for human imagination to even come close to the majesty that this passage tries to describe?

Why would anyone deliberately do something to miss out on what will in all honesty be the biggest praise event of all time? All worldly, human efforts are nothing in comparison to what awaits those who are redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus.

Think about this for a moment.

What events do you like to take part in?

Sports? Music? Drama?

Now, I want you to remember the feelings that you had when everything went well. Did you feel elated and overjoyed? Did you feel so excited that you shouted praises? How long did that feeling last?

The ultimate elation and joy that we, as believers, can ever feel is in the presence of God. This is a God who loves us. This is a God who redeemed us. This is a God who claims us as His own. To put it in sports terms, each and every one of us are first round draft picks in the eyes of God. He offered us something that should cause us to be forever grateful and forever in praise of His name.

Think back to the most moving experience that you have ever had. As great as that experience was, just imagine how much greater it will be to be in the presence of God. When I close my eyes and try to envision this scene, I am filled with an overwhelming peace. I am filled with a reverence and an awe. Mostly, I am filled with a tremendous joy. Now I know why we cannot see God face to face in our earthly bodies. The joy would overwhelm us. The majesty would overwhelm us. God’s love would overwhelm us.

Perhaps that is why we need faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

If we saw it in our earthly state, we would not be able to handle it. Faith gives us the eyes to see what our imperfect bodies cannot handle. Faith allows us to see this glorious event from a fantastic perspective.

Are you ready for the greatest event of all eternity?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Music

February 21, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord, and I obey your law because of this.
(Psalms 119:54-55 (NLT))

How do we use music today?

It entertains us. It fills our minds and our hearts with visions of something different than what we know. It is an expression of the longings of our soul. It comforts us when we are sad. It encourages us when we are in need.

Think about the role that music plays in your life.

Now, think about how David spent the early years of his life. He grew up as a shepherd, which meant long lonely days and nights with no one around him. When he became older, he had to run for his life from King Saul. He spent many years in camps and in caves. He was away from the things that would have been popular in his life. He had to fill his mind and heart with something. He chose God’s Word and communion with God to fill the longings of his soul. David chose God’s Word to comfort him when he was sad. He chose God’s Word to encourage him when he was in need.

We have so many things in our lives, yet, I often feel that we are spiritually bankrupt because we use these things as distractions. We use them to fill the void that God desires for us to fill with Him.

David chose to fill his heart and mind with the Word of God, instead of the music of the world. Today, we read of the songs that David wrote as a result of his reflection. Would we read of David’s exploits and his devotion to God if he had chosen something else to be his “music ?”

What is your music that you reflect upon?

Like the music of David, will others know of it as well?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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