What did Jesus teach?

October 27, 2022

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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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

When Jesus walked the earth, did He spend His time forming social justice rallies? Did He spend His time plotting the overthrow of the Romans? Did He spend His time organizing food pantries? Did He spend His time organizing environmental cleanups?

No!

He spent His time doing something far more important! In His own words, He told us exactly why He came and what He was doing.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
(Luke 19:10 (NIV))

He was fulfilling the task set before Him by His Father.

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))

He was calling people to repent and to believe in Him. He was offering redemption and mercy that allows people to have eternal life. We are told to go and make disciples of all nations. Are we doing that? Are we reaching out to the lost with the love of Jesus and offering them the greatest gift of all?

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Are we doing what Jesus did? Are we seeking the lost? Have we become too afraid of the consequences of sharing the Gospel? Think about that question in relation to what Jesus told us.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 10:21-22 (NIV))

Have we, the modern church, watered down the teachings of Jesus to the point where we no longer know what He taught?

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

What did Jesus teach?

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.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been praying?

September 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
     “May those who love you be secure.
(Psalms 122:6 (NIV))

Do you love Jesus?

Do you love what Jesus loves?

What do you think of Jerusalem? Does it match what the Lord has said?

but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there,
(2 Chronicles 6:6a (NIV))

Even when the people rebelled, He still looked on in love.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
(Matthew 23:37 (NIV))

Jerusalem is important to God. Jerusalem is crucial to God’s plans. Jerusalem, and Israel, were supposed to be the beacon shining God’s light to the world. They were chosen to serve this purpose and no matter how many times they rebelled against God, He still has a purpose for Israel and Jerusalem. Many scholars believe that prophetic events that we know as the end times, even though they will impact the whole world, are God’s call for Israel to accept their Messiah. Everything that happens during the end times are focused in and on Jerusalem and Israel. We know that they will be attacked and miraculously saved. We know that the antichrist will allow the temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. We know that the antichrist will go into the temple and declare himself to be God. We know that all nations of the world will turn on Israel, and we know that the battle in the valley of Har Megido, otherwise known as Armageddon, will take place in the land of Israel.

There is also one other thing that we must be aware of. God set the land aside for Israel as an inheritance.

for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
(Genesis 13:15 (NIV))

I realize that they did not possess the land for centuries, but it still belongs to the offspring of Israel. If you find this difficult to comprehend, all that we have to do is consider this passage and how Israel became a nation again after almost two thousand years. This basically transpired with the stroke of a pen!

Who has ever heard of such things?
     Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
     or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
     than she gives birth to her children.
(Isaiah 66:8 (NIV))

It is clear that the Lord loves Israel and Jerusalem. We know that He has warned against dividing the land since they returned.

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land,
(Joel 3:2 (NIV))

He does not like anyone to divide what He has given. In fact, many of the natural disasters and attacks that have happened in this country have happened on the very same days that plans we presented or agreed to that divided up Israel. We have to stop trying to take what God has declared as His and giving it away. Why are we, as humanity, so arrogant that we think that we can do whatever we want?

We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Have you been praying?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved!

August 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And everyone who calls
     on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
(Acts 2:21 (NIV))

As believers, we love this passage for it means so much to our faith, but have you truly stopped to look at this passage in its complete context?

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 people 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.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
     I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
     and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
     and signs on the earth below,
     blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
     and the moon to blood
     before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
     on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
(Acts 2:14-21 (NIV))

It is the closing remark that Peter referenced from Joel. It defines a time that has not come yet, but may be drawing closer than anyone knows. The last days are clearly defined as terrible times and we truly understand that calling on the name of the Lord will save us.

But, . . .

We don’t have to wait until the last days to call on the name of the Lord!

Don’t wait! Tomorrow may be too late, for none of us are promised tomorrow. It is better to trust in the saving grace of the Lord before you face troubles, for you may not survive the troubles. You may not have a chance to make that profession of faith by calling upon His name as your Lord and Savior. Life is precious, yet it can end in an instant. It can end before you have a chance to even think the words.

I realize that most people who read these devotionals have already accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Please excuse me while I address those who have not yet made that profession of faith.

Are you willing to gamble all of eternity on your ability to perfectly time you profession of faith in the last seconds of your life? I am not trying to be macabre, but there are numerous ways that this life can end before you can even process a single thought. Don’t delay in accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you look forward to this day?

July 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Even in the days of Zechariah, God let it be known that one day His plan would come to fruition and He would restore His order to His creation. Everything that has come about in the unveiling of history has proven that God keeps His promises. Every event in the history of the world that has had a significant impact in the events of society had been prophesied hundreds of years before it came to pass.

One of these days, the words spoken of in Zechariah will also come to pass and then we will be able to see God in a creation that He intended before man suffered the fate of the fall from grace. What a glorious day that will be. It will also be a sad day for those who do not know the grace and mercy that God has freely given through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a shame that too many people will see this event as a sad day of punishment instead of a glorious day of salvation. We must tell all that we see of the grace that is freely theirs if they will only receive it. Only by accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will they see these events as a glorious day of salvation.

How do you see the words of Zechariah?

Do you look forward to this day?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Now is the time to run to Jesus!

March 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

No other name but Jesus!

Do you know anyone who has tried to replace Jesus with someone else? Perhaps I should ask with something else, after all, many of the things that humanity looks to as having the power to protect and to save them are not people, but things. Money and power are just a few of these things that come to mind.

So, what’s in a name?

You’ve heard the old saying that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but it still possesses all of the qualities of a rose at the end of the day. Its very essence is and will always be that of a rose. In essence, what I am getting at is that we only have one person in all of human history who has the power to save. At the end of the day, His name will still be Jesus. His power and authority will still be that of the only begotten Son of God. Each language has a different way of saying His name, but each name references the very same Lord and Savior. There is no other. He is just as sweet!

Sadly, too many people look to anyone and anything else to save them. For them, the results will be the same as for those who rejected Him when He walked the earth.

Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
(Acts 4:11 (NIV))

Now is the time to turn to Jesus. Do not reject the salvation that is found in no one else. No one knows what tomorrow may bring. In fact, it is possible that either you or I will not live to see tomorrow. Do you know where you will be if that were to happen? Does that thought haunt you? Do you want to do something now to guarantee a different eternal outcome? 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 as your Lord and Savior!

Now is the time to run to Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have any reason to trust in anything else?

March 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
      but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalms 20:7 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world, do you still trust in the name of the Lord?

Perhaps I should ask that in a different way.

Have the events of the last few years made you trust in the name of the Lord even more?

I realize that the last question may sound odd, but when you consider that things are unfolding exactly like we are told that they would unfold, it should make you trust in Him even more. He even told us that they would happen so that we would believe.

I have told you before it happens so that when it happens you will believe.
(John 14:29 (NIV))

When we believe in something, we accept it as true and honest. Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God? When we trust in something, we are assured of the reliability of what we believe. Do you trust in Jesus? Do you believe and do you trust in the name of the Lord to fulfill all that He has promised? With everything that is happening, do you believe? Do you trust?

When all around you is falling apart, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

When all of the events of the world make you want to cry, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Do you have any reason to trust in anything else?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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A new name!

January 24, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
(Revelation 3:12 (ESV))

“and my own new name.”

If you are like me, you have probably read this passage before and did not comprehend the meaning of the word recorded to the Church in Philadelphia.

There are three distinct names that will be written on those who hold on to what they have, who hold on to their faith in Jesus and the truth that comes from that faith.
1. The name of my God
2. The name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem
3. Jesus’ new name

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

I am only speculating, but does this mean that once everything has unfolded and we are in heaven with Jesus, He will have a new name because there will be no one left for Him to save? Yeshua, His Hebrew name, means a savior or a deliverer. It stands to reason, and inferred from this passage in Revelation, that this means that once this part of His persona is complete, He will take upon Himself a new name to reflect His new status in much the same manner that those who are victorious will be given a new name.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
(Revelation 2:17 (NIV))

There are so many things contained within God’s Word that we read and will only completely understand once they have unfolded according to His plan. They are the things that will probably happen just when we think that nothing could get any better. I don’t profess to know what His new name will be, but I do know that it will be magnificent. I also know that I long to be in His presence when this day occurs for I love the current name, the name by which we are saved.

A new name!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you invited Jesus to be part of your gatherings?

January 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
(Matthew 18:20 (NIV))

Do you love to gather in His name?

Most of us think of church when we think about this, but why do we limit our fellowship with Jesus to the walls of a church building? Why don’t we invite Jesus to be with us when we gather socially with friends or family? Why don’t we invite Jesus to be with us when it is only our immediate family and we are at home? We need to get in the habit of asking Jesus to be in our midst at all times, and not just when we gather at a church. One day, we may find that such a gathering is no longer an option. We must take responsibility for our relationship with Jesus and with others. We should never simply rely on a local church to spoon-feed us our weekly dose of spirituality. We need Jesus each and every moment of each and every day!

We know that a time is coming when the antichrist will target anyone who will not worship him. We know that a time is coming where people will face death if they profess a faith in Jesus. If we are part of that generation that will see this unfold, we must be prepared to rely on Jesus. We must be prepared to stand firm in our faith even if we can only gather with a few other believers. We must truly understand what it means to gather in His name!

Can you pray powerful and effective prayers? Can you offer encouragement in the face of adversity? Can you discern truth and call evil exactly what it is? Can you focus on eternity when all around you is falling apart? Can you keep your eyes focused on Jesus?

Only God knows what tomorrow may bring. If His plan unfolds in our lifetimes, and we have to rely on other believers, will you be ready to invite Jesus into your midst even if you are in chains? I realize that this sounds doom and gloom, but we must remember that we are told that it will happen. We are also told that those who persevere will be given a crown. We know who wins.

Have you invited Jesus to be part of your gatherings?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When the Lord returns, will He find you faithful?

September 17, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
(Zechariah 14:9 (NIV))

Do you look forward to this day?

Did you answer with an emphatic and enthusiastic “Yes” or did you find yourself thinking that there are things that you want to do and see in this world before this happens? What did your answer tell you about your priorities?

I realize that I just asked a string of questions, but these questions are designed to get you to take an honest look at your life, your faith, and your relationship to the Lord. If you find yourself hoping that the day spoken of in Zechariah doesn’t happen anytime soon, what does that say about your priorities? Do you love the world more than you love the Lord? Are you holding out hope that things will get better in this sinful, fallen world, or do you truly desire to see the Lord?

It is time to commit! It is time to stand firm in your faith. It is time to focus on the Lord. Don’t be lukewarm!

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
(Revelation 3:15-17 (NIV))

Stop looking to the world!

Start looking only to Jesus!

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:21-22 (NIV))

When the Lord returns, will He find you faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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