Happy New Year!

December 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Do you long for rest?

I long for true rest where all of my cares and worries are wiped away never to return!

Do you long for peace?

I long for true peace that passes all understanding.

I realize that these are difficult things to actually have, but I want to tell you that these, and so much more, can be yours if you simply place your faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Through Jesus, I have found true rest. Through Jesus, I have found true peace, and I can confidently claim that there is nothing better!

At the chance of sounding simplistic, which it is, all that you have to do is come to Jesus!

The world that we live in is falling further and further into a deprived, sinful state. Are you tired of the things that you see happening in the world? Does your heart break when you see the evil that permeates the thoughts and actions of those who are rebelling against God? Do you have a sense that society has lost its mind, and that what is good is now called evil and what is evil is now called good? You are not alone. More and more people are recognizing that God’s plans are unfolding right before us. We may not know the hour or the day, but we can recognize the season, and that season is upon us.

If you have not professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, do not wait another minute! It is time to make that profession of faith now!

No one knows what the future holds, but we can know who holds the future. Trust in the Lord and I can guarantee that your future will be an eternity with the Father in paradise! I can’t think of a better way to end a year and to start a new year than resting in the assurance that your eternity rests safely in the loving arms of Jesus!

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you prepared for?

October 20, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
(Ephesians 6:1 (NIV))

How good are you at facing the things of this world on your own strength?

I can almost hear your thoughts on this. Everyone likes to put on a false front and tell the world that they have everything covered, while inside they are falling apart.

Are you like most people and tell everyone that you have everything covered? Do you tell yourself that as well? Do you honestly believe the lies that you tell yourself? What happens at the first sign of trouble?

I realize that I am asking a lot of questions, but in all honesty, what good is reading God’s Word if you don’t feel uncomfortable. It is intended to make you reflect, to make you stop and take a good, long, hard look at your life in relation to the passage in question.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NIV))

With that in mind, are you tired of trying to face things on your own strength? You don’t need to do this. You don’t need to rely on what you can do. You don’t need to lie to the world and to yourself. You don’t need to sacrifice your joy for a false facade. You don’t need to listen to the lies of the enemy. Turn your eyes toward Jesus!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Just how do you have life to the full? How do you rely on the strength of the Lord? How do you rely on His mighty power?

I am sure that you have thought of these questions yourself, but there is something else that came to my mind. The following words are often seen on bumper stickers, on social media, and many other places, but they hold true.

No Jesus. No peace.
Know Jesus! Know peace!

To be strong in the Lord means that you truly know Him. It means that you cling to His every word and to His every promise. It means that you know Jesus so well that you know without a doubt that all of His promises are Yes and Amen! You may recognize that Ephesians 6:1 is the beginning of the passages where we are told to put on the full armor of God. We are to surround ourselves with His Word. We are to understand that His Word is power. We are to understand that His Word is our protection against the enemy. We are to understand that His Word will defeat the enemy. We are to know His Word and His truth so well that we are prepared for anything that the enemy may try to send our way!

What are you prepared for?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

October 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 (NIV))

I have been battling diabetes for far too many years to even count. Every once in a while my blood sugar drops dangerously low. Most of these instances seem to happen at night. So far, I have always woken up and been able to take measures to raise my blood sugar. It happened again and I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning as I wait for the side effects of a very low blood sugar to go away. As I often do when this happens, I start to pray. Tonight, I remember saying something to the effect that Lord, I wish that you would find another way to wake me up, but I do enjoy our time together, so it is okay!

I reached over and grabbed my iPad and opened up one of my Bible apps. I instinctively went to the verse of the day and clicked to read the full chapter.

This passage stood out!

It gave me peace and assurance that even if I didn’t wake up, everything would be okay.

I am His and He is mine!

My sins are forgiven and I am at peace! I rest confidently in the knowledge that the one who created the universe knows my name. I rest confidently knowing that I am loved, that my sins are forgiven, and that one day I will see Him face to face!

All of this because I chose to accept His love, mercy and grace that is freely given through His atoning sacrifice that was done once for all. All that you have to do is accept before it is too late!

Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

September 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“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))

For years I have not only studied God’s Word, but I have also watched the news and have found pastors who have studied prophecy. I watch multiple different sources and weigh each source’s material against God’s Word. I recently became aware of a video that I feel that I need to share. This video was put together by the underground church in Iran. We know that the church in Iran is facing severe persecution, yet they felt that they needed to warn the church in America and in other parts of the western world! They see the signs even when we fail to recognize what is happening in our own back yard!

In America, we think that we are the ones going into all the world, but when believers in persecuted parts of the world reach out to warn us because they have been given insight by the Lord, we MUST listen. We must prepare. We must stop thinking that nothing like this could ever happen where we live. We must realize that the enemy is angry at those who profess a faith in Jesus no matter where we may live. We must be ready and willing to stand firm in our faith in Jesus even if it means persecution or death.

Are you prepared?

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))

We have been told that troubles will come.

Are you prepared?

Do you follow Jesus?

Are you prepared?

Are you at peace even in the midst of chaos?

Are you prepared?

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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What will you gain when you die?

August 19, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 (NIV))

I haven’t written about this passage much before, but today I was going through my files and this particular passage and devotional caught my attention. I found myself reading it and I believe that someone needs to hear this at this point in their life.

I want you to carefully reread these words from this passage. Do they have a sound that is contrary to what we, as a society, tend to think about this world, life and “religion?”

Most people think of Jesus as a safety net for when we die, not as a way in which we can live in freedom.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We are told that Jesus gives us life to the full, yet, we ignore Him until we face dying. Isn’t it just like human nature to have our priorities turned around. We look to the promise of life when we are dying and look to sin and death when we are alive. For those who understand the truth behind these words, life is better with Jesus. There is hope. There is peace and there is grace.

Without Jesus, death is to be feared. We end up eternally separated from God and eternally cast away with Satan. With Jesus, death is not to be feared, for we will see the reward for our faith. We will walk with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven where we will be eternally at peace and in God’s presence. When we look at it like this, death for a believer is gain. It is not to be feared. It is a reward for our faith and our priorities in this life. We have all heard that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If we are present with the Lord at our death, then we have “gained” eternal life through grace and mercy. This is truly gain.

What will you gain when you die?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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His plans are out of this world!

July 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV))

Do you feel like you have hope and a future?

Your answer to that question is all a matter of perspective.

Do you look at your life in relation to how things are in the world around you or do you look at your life in relation to whose you are?

You can feel helpless, hopeless and lost if you focus on the things of this world, especially when the things of this world are progressing as they have been for the last few years. If your hope is based on worldly things, then you truly are helpless, hopeless and lost for the things of this world are rapidly turning evil and depraved. We can focus on the troubles that we are walking through, or we can focus on the promises that are at the end of those troubles and we can focus on the one who is with us even in the midst of those troubles. Even the disciples of Jesus knew that they would face troubles. They also knew that they had placed their faith in the one who has overcome the troubles of this 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))

The words from Jeremiah were recorded when many had been carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. In essence, they were taken captive and taken to another country. Babylon was not a country you went to for a vacation. They took captives from all of the lands that they had defeated in war. They attacked the other countries in order to extend their kingdom! The words recorded within Jeremiah were a promise to those who were in the midst of very difficult times. They were a promise from the Lord that He still had plans for them. He still knew what the future held even though the people in captivity could see no possible reason to have any hope.

The Lord is still saying this today to those who call upon His name!

He has plans for us. He has given us a hope far greater than the promise of the hope that He gave to the exiles. They were looking for freedom in the physical world. We have been given freedom from the consequences of our sins. He has such amazing plans for those who call upon His name. We should know a peace that passes all understanding even in the midst of the chaos of this world. Our peace comes from the One who has overcome the world by defeating sin and death. Our true prosperity is coming as we are given an eternity in His presence.

His plans are out of this world!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be a fool in the eyes of God!

June 17, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

Who would consider you to be a fool? Would the world say that of you or would God?

You cannot appease both. Either you throw your faith with God and the world thinks you a fool or you stand with the world and God knows you for what you are. Either way, we make a decision that leaves us a fool in the eyes of someone.

Each of us is born with a void inside of us. That void can only be filled by God. Many people try to fill it with other things, but they can never be satisfied. To those who say that there is no God, they have attempted to fill that void with worldly things and have found no peace. Since they cannot find peace in this manner, they assume that God does not exist. They reason that how could a being who created us leave us with such an emptiness? Since we have an emptiness, then there must be no God. They marvel at their reasoning.

The way of a fool seems right to him,
   but a wise man listens to advice.
(Proverbs 12:15 (NIV))

They lack the very peace that they seek.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

Peace comes from only one source. It is that source that can also fill the void within us. When that void is filled with God, then we have a change of heart. We realize that there is a God and that He loves us. He guides us in our deeds. We learn to walk in His ways. We realize that we have been the very fools that we claimed others to be.

If you have to chose who will label you as a fool, who will it be?

Don’t be a fool in the eyes of God!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your attitude through all of the world’s troubles?

April 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
(James 1:2 (NIV))

I think that the enemy is testing our ability to find joy under trial. Perhaps I should rephrase that to say that I know that the enemy is testing our ability to find joy under trial. Personally, I do not see how anyone who does not profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior can make it through what we have been through and what I am certain that we will be going through in the not too distant future.

When we face trials of many kinds, we must have joy.

When we face worldly uncertainty, we must have joy.

When we face persecution, we must have joy.

In all circumstances, whether good or bad, as believers in Jesus, we must have joy, for He is our joy.

“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))

If we profess a faith in Jesus and we do not have joy, what does that say about our faith? What does that say about our relationship with Jesus? Jesus told us to rejoice and be glad! Jesus told us that if we follow Him, we would face persecution. Thankfully, we have His promises to stand firm in.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV))

How is your attitude through all of the world’s troubles?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We should pay it forward in prayer!

April 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
(Romans 12:17-20 (NIV))

When Jesus was being beaten before His crucifixion, He could have been angry and vengeful. In the world’s point of view, He had every right to want to repay what He was receiving. Yet, Jesus did not exact revenge. Even though He was and is the Son of God, God With Us, He left the revenge to God the Father. It was not time. Jesus came to be a sacrifice so that many could live. If he had exacted vengeance at that time, it would have voided the reason that He came. If Jesus, who is Emmanuel, God with Us, can leave vengeance for God the Father, then we can too.

We need to treat our enemies as Jesus would treat them, for God loves everyone and He does not wish for any to perish, but when God’s vengeance does come, it will come swiftly. With that in mind, we must pray for our enemies. We must pray that they receive the same grace and mercy that we received when we accepted what Jesus did on the cross.

We should pay it forward in prayer!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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