Are you ashamed to tell others about Jesus?

July 18, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
(Romans 1:16 (NIV))

If Paul, who was originally persecuting followers of Jesus, can truthfully claim that he is not ashamed of the gospel, why do so many people today claim that they can’t tell anyone about Jesus?

Think about that question in relation to this passage from Matthew.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

If we aren’t willing to tell others about Jesus, what does that sound like to you? Is there a difference between not sharing Jesus and disowning Jesus? How does this relate to what we have been given as our instructions as followers of Jesus?

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.
(Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV))

Is not sharing the gospel with others the same as denying Jesus? If we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, then how can we justify not sharing the grace and mercy and love that Jesus offers with those who are our neighbors? It seems to me that this is denying Jesus before men!

Are you ashamed to tell others about Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is God’s grace sufficient for you?

May 25, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV))

Is His grace sufficient for you?

I don’t know anyone who actually likes to admit that they are weak. It goes against everything in our human nature, but that is exactly what we are called to do. In our sinful, fallen nature, we like to elevate ourselves. We like to make it look like we have it all under control. We like to think that we are the captains of our own destiny and that we are in complete control of everything.

In other words, we like to toot our own horn!

Paul had a different opinion.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9b (NIV))

Based on Paul’s status in Jewish society, he probably had tooted his own horn many times. He was a Pharisee and was well on his way to high position, prestige and authority, but his Damascus Road experience changed all of that. He realized that his understanding was wrong. He realized that his studies had taken him down the wrong path. He realized that it wasn’t about his strength, but that it was about the strength of the one who was in him.

Paul realized that he needed to submit to the authority that was far greater than he. He realized that he needed to humble himself. He realized that he needed to become weak in the eyes of the world so that the Lord could become his strength.

Is God’s grace sufficient for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you strong in the Lord?

March 23, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
(Ephesians 6:10 (NIV))

Do you consider yourself to be strong?

I realize that is a very vague question, especially when you consider that you can be physically strong, emotionally strong, spiritually strong, and financially strong, just to name a few. With that in mind, perhaps the better question is where do your strengths lie? Did you find yourself thinking that you are pretty good at this or that, only to be reminded that what you were thinking of is not something that you can do at full perfection, at full strength, every single moment of your life? Did this lead to a life altering conclusion in which you admitted to yourself that you are not as strong as you thought you were?

Keep in mind that it takes a strong person to admit that they are weak!

Have you truly considered that in order to be strong in the Lord, you have to admit that you are weak and in need of His strength? I honestly believe that this works the exact same way as when we admitted that we were a sinner in need of a Savior. We can’t do it on our own. Our strength is not sufficient! We must come to the conclusion that we must rely on a power that is far greater than we could ever be.

Our strength comes when we admit that we must fully rely on the Lord for everything that we do. Our strength comes when we admit that we truly are a sinner in need of a Savior. Our strength comes when we admit that we cannot face this world without Him.

“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))

Do you fully rely on the Lord to overcome this world?

What else do you fully rely on the Lord for?

Do you cling to the words that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV))

Are you strong in the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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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.
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We must remember what God has given us!

March 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
(2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV))

I realize that I have referenced this passage at least once a year for the last few years. Can you blame me?

Every time that we turn around, something new has shown up on the world stage that appears to have the potential to be worse than the previous things that we thought were of great concern. If you have not professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, all of the events that seem to be escalating in intensity and frequency probably have you very concerned if not completely scared. If your only perspective is this world and the current state of this world, then it would scare most people to death. Sadly, I have seen recent statistics that point this out. It appears that death rates have risen significantly over the last two years with the majority of this increase coming from what we have labeled as the millennials. They see no hope for the future and are taking measures into their own hands. The majority of this generation was not raised to trust in God or even to believe that He exists, so when things get tough, they have no firm foundation on which to place their trust. They fear the future and see no way for anything good to come out of it.

I could fill up page after page of events detailing the ramifications of these events and what could be coming next. If you study Biblical prophesy, then Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation possibly come to mind as the events unfold right before us. I do not profess to know more than the people who recorded these books, but I do know that we are living in interesting times. On any given day, it is possible to see God’s timeline unfolding just from the news that we see.

Thankfully, we know the outcome. We know God’s plans. We may not know the exact details, but He has given us enough to recognize His Hand at work. He has told us beforehand what will transpire so that we can overcome, so that we can have peace.

“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))

Most people face the world in fear, but if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have nothing to fear. We can rely on His power and His love to see us through whatever the enemy sends our way as he faces his last days before Jesus returns. That should truly give us a sound mind, for we can rest assured that we are in Christ and that He is in us!

We must remember what God has given us!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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There truly is great power in His name!

February 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
(Mark 13:26 (NIV))

I just watched a live sermon from a tent meeting. The focus of the sermon was on the power and authority that Jesus possessed and that He still possesses. Sadly, today’s church focuses on Jesus as love and they ignore the power. How do you think that Jesus was able to cast out demons? How do you think that Jesus was able to heal the sick? How do you think that Jesus was able to raise the dead?

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
(Luke 8:1-2 (NIV))

Mary Magdalene followed Jesus because He had saved her from seven demons. She followed Him because she was grateful. She followed Him because she had been forgiven much through His actions!

Jesus exhibited great power and authority with His miracles, but I think it is safe to say that when you think of any of the healing miracles, you fail to recognize the fact that demons, in many cases, were cast out first and then the healings took place. Why do we only focus on the fact that Jesus has power and authority over the physical world and completely ignore the fact that He also has power and authority over the spiritual world? Why do we ignore the fact that the two worlds are closely linked and that He is Lord over all?

I did a search for the word “power” and I was surprised to find that in the NIV, some variation of the word was found 335 times. I realize that not every occurrence refers to the power of the Lord, but most instances do. What saddens me is the fact that we have sugarcoated these instances, or we have completely ignored them.

What do you think of when you think of the power of the Lord?

How do you think that this power will manifest itself when He returns?

How can this power manifest itself now?

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))

Did this passage come to mind? It should! If we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have the power to take on the enemy. We have the power to conduct spiritual warfare. We have the power to call upon the name of Jesus to drive out the enemy!

There truly is great power in His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We must proclaim that only Jesus is the truth!

March 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
(John 8:32 (NIV))

If you truly stop to think about this passage, it completely destroys the concept that truth is relative. How can anything that is relative, that constantly changes, have the power to set you free. If truth is relative, then the one who espouses a relative truth is not constant. They change with the seasons. They change with the winds. They change with whatever crowd and whatever lie is most popular at the moment. What they say is their truth one day will not be their truth the next day. In fact, all that they proclaim is a lie. The last that I looked, a lie cannot set you free. In fact, all lies come from satan who is the father of all lies. His lies didn’t get him set free. His lies led to him being cast out of heaven and will lead to being cast into the lake of fire.

Does this sound like any “truth” that you want to be associated with?

Does that sound like freedom to you?

We only need to turn to the words of Jesus to find the real truth. We only need to turn to Jesus to find a truth that is not relative and constantly changing. We only need to turn to Jesus to find the absolute truth that can only come from God!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Too many people simply do not understand or they choose to reject what this means. These are the people who proclaim that there are many ways to God and that Jesus is only one of those ways. If they had actually read and understood this passage, along with many others, they would not be able to make such a claim. They do not see the God of the Bible. They see a god of their own personal designs. They have bought into the lie that God is relative and that He is whatever you wish Him to be!

We, as the Body of Christ, know that only Jesus, as the only begotten Son of God, is the truth. With this concept firmly rooted in Scripture, let’s paraphrase John 8:32 with a simple word replacement.

Then you will know Jesus, and Jesus will set you free.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:36 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world, we must pray for people to come to the realization that there is only one truth and His name is Jesus! We must do all that we can to show that truth is not relative and that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior know the truth and that they have indeed been set free!

We must proclaim that only Jesus is the truth!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Keep your mind soundly aware of God’s power and love!

March 16, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
(2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV))

What is your reaction when you look at the current state of the world?

If you are like me, you are probably shaking your head in disbelief as common sense has become more uncommon as each day passes. Even in the midst of all of the current events in this world, we must not lose hope as we continually focus on what we have been told will happen.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(Matthew 24:6-8 (NIV))

When you read these words from Matthew, did you read them in fear or did you have a peace from knowing that we have been told about the very things that are unfolding right before us? For those who have been with me for a while, you may remember that at one point I mentioned that when these words were written a nation referred to a people group and a kingdom referred to what we today now call a nation. In other words, nation will rise against nation refers to what we are seeing today with all of the racial strife. Kingdom against kingdom refers to all of the tensions between countries. Even in the midst of all of this and so much more, we must rely on Jesus.

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

No matter what we may see as things unfold right before our eyes, we must not lose sight of the fact that we can face all things if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith! Through Jesus, we have nothing to fear. We can fully rely on His power and His love as assurances of what has been promised. We can boldly face anything when our minds are firmly and soundly focused on Jesus.

It is a matter of focus.

As humans, we have the ability to choose what we see. We can cast our gaze upon the text in a book and still see the surrounding room, but the details of that room are not clear. If we choose to shift our focus to the details in the room, the text in the book becomes lost in our periphery. In much the same manner as we can choose to focus on what is right in front of us, we can choose what to focus on when it comes to peace or fear. We can look at the world and fear comes into focus or we can look to the Lord and fear goes away!

What do you see when you see the world?

If you are not seeing the power and love of God, then change your focus!

Keep your mind soundly aware of God’s power and love!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We have no reason to be timid!

March 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV))

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt timid and intimidated?

Do you remember details about that situation and why you felt like that?

According to Merriam-Webster, we feel this way because we lack courage or self-confidence. We lack boldness or determination. In other words, we feel inferior and because of this we want to retreat and hide.

Does this sound like an attitude that anyone should have who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

We have a hope and a faith that should spur us on because our hope and faith are placed in the only One who has the power and authority to back up the claims.

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
(2 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV))

It all comes down to a simple question that Jesus asked long ago and is still asking each of us to this day.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
(Matthew 16:15 (NIV))

Your answer will determine so much. The wrong answer will leave you doubting. The right answer will give you assurance and boldness. It will give you confidence. It will give you a peace that passes understanding. It will give you the power and the authority to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. It will prove beyond any doubt that you are loved by God. It will prove that you are a redeemed child of God!

We have no reason to be timid!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Faith requires a willingness to action!

February 1, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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. 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 saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

No soldier in history has ever won a battle by not being prepared to face the enemy. We are in a battle. We either choose to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior, or we reject Him. By rejecting Him, we have allowed the enemy to have victory.

Even if we accept the gift that God has given us, we must be prepared to face the attacks of the enemy. A good soldier will ready his weapons and his body for combat.

We are in spiritual combat. How do we prepare ourselves for this combat? By embracing the sword that is the Word of God. The more that we read and study, the more that we will be prepared to determine what is from God and what is from the enemy.

Soldiers have instructions on how to maintain and use their physical weapons. We also have instructions on how to use our spiritual weapons. Read the Bible and meditate on the meanings that the words have even today, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Are you strong in the Lord? Are you prepared?

Faith requires a willingness to action!

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