Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

August 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
(John 6:29 (NIV))

What do you think of this passage?

Today we read this passage as a standalone verse and realize that Jesus is telling us to believe in Him. However, we must not take things completely as a standalone verse. We must know the context of why something was said, for it is very easy to take things out of context and twist the meaning. In this particular case, this passage was the answer that Jesus gave to a question that was asked of him.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
(John 6:28 (NIV))

When this was recorded, the society was very tradition oriented. They had the Law, the Prophets, and the feasts that they all knew by heart. In their minds, they were doing the works of God, but they failed to realize that these were all outward expressions of what should have come from their hearts. They felt that they had been doing the works that God requires, after all, God had chosen their ancestors as His people. They had become prideful. They thought that they had it all, yet Jesus told them that what they really needed to do was to believe in Him.

What if you walked into your church and found someone preaching that all of the things that you are doing because of tradition are all wrong and that all you must do is believe in the one that God has sent?

Would you be able to separate your man-made traditions from the true worship of Jesus?

Think about that!

What if the church is outlawed and you must not meet in public?

What if your church can no longer have the committees that you belong to?

What if your church can no longer have the social events that you like to go to?

What if there is a global pandemic that shuts down all church activities? Oh, wait! Been there! Done that! But what do you do if it happens again, or worse, if it happens and is permanent?

If you strip away all of the external things that we do as the church, would we still be the church? Would we still realize that everything that we do is because we believe in the one that God has sent? Would we still be confident in our faith to say that Jesus is Lord of all?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Is you faith strong enough to believe even if all of the things that we do as part of the church are no longer legal? Would we be able to stand firm in our faith like the early church did? Would we be willing to face our “lions” instead of denying Jesus? It takes a strong faith to hold fast to Jesus when all around you is trying to force you to stop. It takes a strong belief in the one whom God has sent.

Do you believe in the one whom God has sent?

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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Oh, what a day that will be!

March 25, 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))

What are your thoughts on this passage?

In all honesty, how you view the day that this speaks of depends completely on how you view Jesus. Zechariah speaks of those who will fight against the Lord at His return. It also speaks of those who will flee from the Lord at His return. If you have truly accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then this day will be one of great rejoicing, for the Lord will establish His authority, His kingship, over all of the earth.

Do you long for this day or do you fear this day? Do you eagerly watch and wait for His return or do you go about your life as if His return to deliver justice is only a fairy tale? Do you believe in heaven or do you simply hope that there is no hell? Do you believe that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the only way to salvation, or do you think that all of this is simply the ravings of people who are uneducated?

There are many things that are unfolding in this world that bear a striking similarity to events foretold in God’s Word. If you met someone who had a perfect track record when it came to telling events years before they happened, you would probably believe their every word. Why do so many fail to believe when that timeframe is extended to hundreds of years. Think about all of the prophecies in God’s Word that have come true. All of them, so far, have been one hundred percent accurate. The chances of all of these occurring by coincidence are staggeringly astronomical, yet they all happened just as foretold. The only ones in question are those that have not been fulfilled as of yet.

Are you looking for the fulfillment of the ones that have not been fulfilled yet?

We should be, for they are the ones that appear to be the beginnings of the birth pains that we have been told of. Are you ready for the birth pains? Are you ready to be on the right side when the Lord returns? 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!

Are you truly ready to make this proclamation? “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

Oh, what a day that will be!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you one in Christ?

January 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28 (NIV))

How do you see yourself?

How do you think the world sees you?

Based on this passage, how do you think the Lord sees you?

Out of these three questions, which one really matters in the final outcome? We can see ourselves as invaluable, but the Lord knows our value. He died on the cross because we are of value to Him. The world can see us as invaluable, but, again, the Lord knows our value. The world weighs us down, but He has overcome the world.

“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))

In essence, when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, all of your past sins are washed white as snow. He sees us as His. He sees us as someone worthy of saving. It doesn’t matter what your background may be, He loves you. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, He loves you. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, He loves you. There is an invitation to all who will come, but you must respond. What is your response?

Are you ready to put your past behind you and walk into the light?

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.

Are you one in Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Rejoice in that gift every single day!

April 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:19 (NIV))

Easter is just about upon us. It is the day that we celebrate how the obedience of one perfect man made many righteous.

Have you ever played team sports? Each team sport allows for substitutions. Take a look at baseball. You can have someone take your place and run the bases for you. Basketball allows substitutions for various reasons, including the simple reason of giving someone a much needed rest.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. God perfected the substitution idea and allowed His only begotten Son, Jesus, to take our place so that we would not have to face the ultimate penalty. Jesus took it all upon Himself. He went into the game so that we could face life without the penalty of sin and death.

Friday will soon be upon us. It is the anniversary of when Jesus bore the cross and died as a substitute for us.

Rejoice!

That is not the end of the story. On the third day, Jesus arose and forever changed the rules. Grace abounds because God sent Jesus to substitute Himself and bear the burdens of our sins.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:1-4 (NIV))

One man made many righteous. Rejoice in that amazing gift this coming Easter Sunday. Don’t stop there. Rejoice in that gift every single day!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you still serving your idols?

September 30, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.
(2 Kings 17:41 (NIV))

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word “idol”?

I would venture to say that a majority of people know what the word means, but sometimes seeing it written out before you makes you realize just what a word does mean and the full implications of that word. In this particular case, idol means an object or representation of extreme devotion or worship whether a person or a false god. One of the definitions for the word shows that it can also mean a pretender or impostor. With these definitions staring you in the face, why would anyone place a pretender, a false god, an impostor above the one true God?

Do you focus on your job? Do you focus on your house and you cars? Do you focus on the trips that you take? Do you focus on your possessions? Are you glued to your phone even when you are with other people?

Does your life revolve around anything besides the Lord?

Basically, anything that we elevate above our relationship with the Lord is a false god. It is an idol. It is a pretender! Take a serious look at your life. There is an old saying that says where you spend your money tells you what you choose to worship.

Are you still serving your idols?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you truly prepared?

August 10, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
(1 Peter 3:15 (NIV))

Can you truly say that you have placed your hope in Jesus?

Can you explain why you answered as you did?

Two simple questions, but do they have simple answers? Hopefully, you can say a resounding “Yes” to the first question. This question is the most important for you, for it determines your salvation status with God. God sees your heart and He knows if this is true. He also knows your reasons without you having to put them into words. But, that does not mean that we are off the hook when it comes to being able to explain why we answered as we did to the first question!

Think about that. If God knows our heart, then who are we giving an answer to?

If you read the passage again, you see that we are to be prepared to give an answer to everyone. In essence, our answer is our testimony. It is our witness. It is the story of how the Lord has saved us told in such a way that it draws others to Jesus!

We are to share the Gospel. We are to share Jesus in such a way that it is personal, after all, Jesus doesn’t save us by nation, or by state, or by city. He saves us individually, one heart and one life at a time. We must be prepared to share Jesus in such a way that others can understand what He has done for us, He can do similar for them.

Are you truly prepared?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How do we see each other?

May 28, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28 (NIV))

I long for the day that we truly see each other as Jesus sees us!

I have lived long enough to honestly say that I am tired of people treating each other differently simply because we may not look the same. I want it to end, but since we live in a sinful, fallen world, we are going to continue to see these types of things happen. It breaks my heart just as I am certain that it breaks the very heart of God. What is it about human nature that makes us want to lash out at someone because of our shortcomings, our sins? Ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, humanity has had to struggle with a vast array of sins including ego, pride and selfishness.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV))

The world is upside down. We are seeing things that our ancestors never saw. We also are doing things that our ancestors would have never dreamed about doing. This goes both ways. Some things are better while some things are worse. We, as the Body of Christ, recognize the intolerance and hatred. We also know that there is truly only one solution to this sinful nature. Unfortunately, not everyone will accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. It is also sad to realize that not everyone who professes a faith in Jesus is mature enough to embrace what the author of Acts recorded for us.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
(Acts 20:24 (NIV))

We must all come to the realization that each person is a unique creation and is loved by God. We must treat each individual with this in mind. For those individuals whom we see who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, we can embrace them as part of the family. For those who haven’t yet accepted Jesus, we can show them the love of Jesus and invite them into the family.

How do we see each other?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you ready to stand with the Lord?

May 14, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

It is my prayer that all believers have not only put on the full armor of God, but that they have also been reviewing the battle plans that we have been given. In all honesty, the full armor of God and His battle plans are one and the same. The full armor is the protection that we have been given through His Word, but we must also realize that His Word is also the battle plans for facing the enemy. Battle plans require a much deeper insight and knowledge than simply putting on armor. Battle plans require knowing the heart and mind and desires of the one whom we follow.

What are His objectives?

How can we achieve those objectives?

As members of the Body of Christ, we have been given a mission.

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))

I am sure that everyone has seen movies in which there is an alert and all military personnel scramble to get to their stations. In some cases it appears that they have been caught off guard and don’t know what to do.

Is that the Body of Christ?

Have we grown too comfortable and have we let the armor tarnish? If we have allowed our armor to tarnish, how do we expect to be prepared? How do we expect to know what the Lord is doing in response to what the enemy is doing in the world? Are we prepared?

Are you ready to stand with the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you made your move?

March 30, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
(James 4:8a (NIV))

I am sure that you have heard that God is everywhere and that He will never leave you, so how do you understand and comprehend this passage? If He is everywhere, isn’t He already near us?

God is everywhere, but sadly, too few people realize that He will not force Himself on anyone. We have to turn to Him out of a choice that we make, especially since we, as humanity, chose to turn away from Him as a result of the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. We thought that we had been given knowledge, but instead, we lost all hope. Until God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the penalty for sin and death, we only knew the wages of our sin even if we chose good. Thankfully, God had a plan that would bring an end to this.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Each of us must make a decision to come near to God. This is only accomplished by believing in Jesus as God’s one and only Son. Through the gift of grace freely given on the cross, the veil that separated God from humanity has been torn in two. God had set in motion a plan to bring us back to Him and the veil symbolized that completion of that plan. Jesus declared this culmination of God’s redemptive plan with His final words.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(John 19:30 (NIV))

God used these events to unfold His perfect plan to draw each of us near to Him. God may use circumstances to get our attention, but He cannot make the decision for us. Our families and friends cannot make the decision for us. We have to be willing to put aside our pride and move closer to God. When we make that move, we will find that He is already closer than we could ever imagine.

Have you made your move?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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