Are you able to stand your ground?

October 18, 2017

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))

The phrase “Stand your ground” means to not give up even if it looks like all is lost. It usually implies that you dig in and brace yourself for all that the enemy has to throw your way. In essence, it can be taken to mean that you are in for a major battle and casualties will be severe. When you are facing this type of a battle, it is important to be prepared. It is important to take every precaution and make sure that your defenses are impenetrable.

If we have professed a faith in God’s only begotten son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior, then we must be prepared for the attack of the enemy! We must be prepared. We must make sure that our defenses are impenetrable. It is important to remember that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags, so any defense that we put together on our own will be useless. We must rely on God! We cannot stand our ground on our own. We must totally surrender to God in order to stand our ground in the face of the enemy.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
(Ephesians 6:14-18 (NIV))

Too many people falsely believe that they will not have to face the attacks of the enemy. Professing a faith in Jesus does not mean that the attacks won’t come. It means that we have Jesus in our corner to fight the enemy for us. We still need to stand our ground.

Are you able to stand your ground?`

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you keep within your sight?

August 23, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;
(Proverbs 3:21 (NIV))

Is it just me, or has the world lost wisdom, understanding, sound judgment and discretion?

I realize that these things still exist, but it appears that they exist in far less abundance than they used to when I was younger. If you don’t believe me, all that you have to do is look at the warnings that manufacturers are putting on products as a result of people not using common sense. Everyone knows that coffee is hot, so why do we have to have cups emblazoned with “CAUTION! Contents are hot” in large type? Perhaps this example is a good thing to consider when you look at the other three characteristics. Understanding that coffee is hot leads to wisdom so that you are careful. You use sound judgment so that you don’t do something that will result in you spilling the hot coffee. You use discretion as to when and how you open or drink so you don’t hurt yourself.

Is it my imagination, or do all of these characteristics actually imply, actually require personal responsibility?

Now that I have come to this understanding, I believe that I now know why there is a decreasing amount of Godly wisdom, understanding, sound judgment and discretion. There is a dwindling number of people who are willing to accept personal responsibility for any of their actions, so why should spiritual characteristics and actions be any different?

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is a choice!

Following Jesus is a choice!

Accepting and understanding the truth in God’s Word is a choice!

We will keep things in our sight that we choose to keep in our sight.

What do you keep within your sight?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Deliberate sin is harmful to your eternity!

April 26, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
(Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV))

Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

Do you still sin?

If you are human, the answer to that question is going to be a resounding yes.

Perhaps I should ask if you deliberately sin? Do you make a conscious decision and tell yourself, “I think that I will go and commit this sin!” None of us want to admit that we do this, but is it something that we do anyway?

We are all human and we will always make mistakes. We will always miss the mark. Even on our best day, we will sin. Even when we don’t intend to, we will sin!

Did you pick up on that concept?

Intention.

Did we set out to do it? Did we do it deliberately? What is the difference between doing something deliberately one time versus doing something deliberately every day? What is the difference between deliberately sinning once and when we deliberately keep on sinning? Is one a simple matter of a human mistake and the other a matter of open rebellion against the one whom we profess as Lord and Savior? One we can repent while the other is a direct flaunt of our rebellion.

Is this why we are told that if we deliberately keep on sinning we have no hope of grace?

It all comes down to a matter of the heart. You either have a repentant heart or a sinful heart.

What’s in your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you yoked by the burden of slavery to sin?

April 3, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1 (NIV))

If you are caught in a trap and will surely die, how do you react if someone rescues you?

Do you turn away from the trap and promise to never go back there again, or do you fight the one who rescues you and jump right back into the trap?

Human nature is a funny thing!

When the dangers are physical and immediate, we have a tendency to thank the one who rescues us. We have a tendency to embrace the rescue and turn away from the danger, but we seem to be blinded when the danger is not immediate. The danger may be just as real, but because it is not immediately life threatening, we think that we have time to address the issue before it takes its toll.

We also seem to be blinded when the danger is spiritual.

Many times it is a spiritual danger that temps us into the physical dangers. The enemy knows that if he can trick us into believing that the spiritual side of things are not important at the moment then he can subject us to the physical dangers. He knows all too well that the physical dangers can lead to death. He knows that if we have not accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, then our physical death will also mean our spiritual death.

The enemy knows that sin leads to death!

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
(Romans 6:16 (NIV))

Are you yoked by the burden of slavery to sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you honor Jesus?

January 19, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
(Romans 12:1 (NIV))

Paul is known for encouraging the Body of Christ in addition to spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. In this passage, we see sound advise even for today.

Think about these words from Paul.

Do you profess that Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior?

We all think of Jesus as our salvation, as our Savior, but do we truly think of Jesus as our Lord? If we truly have turned over lordship of our lives to Jesus, then our bodies, our very lives, are no longer ours. If you were asked to baby-sit, would you treat the child badly? Would you give the child things that were bad for it’s health? Would you put the child in danger?

For the people who have asked Jesus to be their Lord, we are only custodians, caretakers, of our bodies. In essence, we are baby-sitting our bodies. We are to treat them as if they belonged to Jesus. Would you commit sinful behavior? Would you allow Jesus to be compromised and endangered?

We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices in response to and in honor of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us!

Do you honor Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you perish?

September 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
(Psalms 10:16 (NIV))

Look back at your life and think about how many times you have heard of nations changing their boarders. Have you ever heard of a nation that used to exist when you were younger and doesn’t exist now? Are there any nations that didn’t exist when you were younger that do exist now?

We have a tendency to think that the nations of the world are fairly constant, yet, boarders change all of the time. Some nations go away and others come into existence. Nothing in this world is constant. Even the seas change the shoreline over a period of time. Rivers change course and erosion takes its toll on mountains.

There is only one constant in this world. There is only one constant in this universe.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
(John 14:9-10 (NIV))

Nations will come and go. People will live and die. Only the Lord will remain.

We, as part of His creation, have been blessed to be given an option to spend eternity with Him. Grace and salvation can be your if you will simply repent of your sins and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Do this so that you do not perish.

Will you perish?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you profess an intimacy with God?

June 2, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
(Psalms 139:1-4 (NIV))

Do you think that God knows you?

I can hear people saying something like “Of course He knows me. He’s God. He knows everything.”

Does He really know you?

Do you really know Him?

What I am talking about is a familiarity, a personal relationship in which two people are aware of the inner-most aspects of the other.

Do you know God in this manner?

Have you allowed God to know you in this manner or are there things that you hide from Him?

Professing a faith that Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior is one thing, but having a relationship that is truly personal is another. This type of relationship allows intimacy and understanding.

Can you claim the words of David as your own? Can you profess an intimacy with God?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the return of Jesus your biggest hope or biggest fear?

May 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
(Revelation 22:12 (NIV))

This either is a blessed hope or a cause of extreme fear. How you look upon it is how you look upon Jesus Christ.

Even though these words speak of His return to bind Satan and judge those left on the earth or who have died without accepting Him, it is still a cause of fear or denial for many. True followers of Jesus will not have to face the judgement that He will dish out. Their judgement has been one of complete pardon by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. All others who will face the judgement will have no where to turn to escape the consequences of what they have done in their lives, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Knowing that no one has lead a perfect, sinless life, how do you want to be judged? Do you have the hope and assurance of a complete pardon or do you have the fear of damnation?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are your expectations?

May 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

What did you do yesterday?

Did you end the day with expectations for today?

Do you have big plans for tomorrow?

Are you planning something special for next week, next month or next year?

Everyone has expectations for the future, but how often do your expectations actually come true? With that in mind, there is one thing that I need to ask. What are your expectations with respect to salvation? Have you professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you confident in your faith? Do you live out your faith as if your life could end at any moment and eternity depended on Jesus acknowledging you as a faithful follower?

Are you confident that you would not hear these words from Jesus?

`I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:23b (NIV))

Let’s face the truth. None of us want to hear these words. None of us want to face the consequences of these words. Can you honestly look at your life in relation to what God has written and what Jesus has taught and find yourself righteous in the eyes of God? No one can!

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

It is for this reason that Jesus came into the world. It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross. It is for this reason that Jesus died. It is for this reason that Jesus was resurrected. It is through the acceptance of this gift that anyone can be saved. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All that we can know is that we have called upon Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior. We must live for Him. We must commune with Him. We must seek His face in all that we do. We cannot simply call upon Jesus only when we need rescuing.

What are your expectations of your relationship with Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can you add to your faith?

April 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.
(Mark 3:35 (NAS))

Are you an only child? Do you ever feel lonely with no one to turn to?

Take heart!

When you call upon the name of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you not only receive grace and mercy and salvation, you also become a member of the family of God. Instantly, you have an unbreakable bond with believers from all over the world and from every time period in history. In addition to all of the millions of believers that you can call your brother or sister, you become a brother or sister of Jesus himself! I can’t think of anything better than being able to say that Jesus is my brother,

who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
(1 Peter 3:22 (NIV))

Not only do we get a huge family that shares the same passion, we also receive as a brother, the one who takes away our sins. Jesus is that brother who has all power.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
(2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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