Are you willing to answer the call?

January 19, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
(Matthew 9:38 (NIV))

Have you truly stopped and given this passage thought?

Let me explain my question.

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we have been given instructions. We have been given a job assignment that is supposed to be our primary task as believers in 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV))

In other words, we are supposed to be working the harvest field!

If we ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers, we are asking Him to send us! The most important question that we must then ask ourselves is how will we answer. Will we be as willing to go as Isaiah was?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

It is said that God loves a cheerful giver. That is true for so much more than just our finances. It involves our time! God longs for us to be willing to work the harvest field. He longs for us to tell others about the amazing grace that is available to anyone who will simply repent and receive. Are you willing to give of your time so that others may know of God’s great love? Are you willing to share the Gospel to a world desperately in need of salvation? Are you willing to work the harvest? Are you willing to put yourself out there in a world that is becoming more and more hateful of anything to do with the Gospel, with Jesus?

Are you willing to answer the call?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

January 17, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Are you tired of waiting?

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then there are several things that you know will happen because we have been told that they would happen. Still, waiting is never easy, especially when you see the things that are happening in this world, and you know that the only hope that this world has is Jesus!

If you were taken in the rapture at this very moment, would you be upset? Are there things in this world that you don’t want to let go of? Take a good look at your priorities and be completely honest with yourself when you answer.

Most believers long to be with Jesus., yet, we are torn. We desire to be with Jesus in the presence of the Father, yet, we all have someone whom we love who has not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. For this, I am willing to wait. For this, I am praying for friends and family to repent and come to salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

I realize that I am being selfish when I long for the appointed time. I am guilty of seeing this promise through the eyes of someone who has already accepted their salvation. I need to open my eyes and see this as Jesus sees it. I need to realize that the Father does not wish for any to perish. If that is the Father’s wish, then it must be mine as well.

Still, there is coming a time, an appointed time, that will not delay. We must be prepared for that time as it rapidly approaches. We must also be diligent in our assignment, for we have not been given a reprieve.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 28:18-20 (NIV))

We are to continue to make disciples. We are to continue baptizing. We are to continuing teaching.

We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be led astray!

November 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
(Matthew 24:5 (ESV))

Have you ever stopped to count the number of people in your lifetime who have claimed to be a messiah, if not the messiah?

From the likes of Jim Jones to David Koresh, we have seen many people who claim to be from God. Some people have even made statements about political leaders being the messiah. One even went so far where his followers called him their lord and savior on a nationally televised event. And now, recent events in Israel have rabbis saying that their messiah is alive and that they are now meeting with him.

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you know that all of these individuals are not the real thing. There is only one Messiah, and His name is Jesus! He was born of a virgin. He taught. He performed so many miracles that they couldn’t all be recorded. He willingly went to the cross to die for our sins. On the third day, He was resurrected and walked among us once again. He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, and to all who will believe in Him, He intercedes for us and gives us eternal life in the presence of the Father. He will come again!

Are you ready to recognize the one true Messiah?

Will you be able to stand firm when others are being lead astray?

For those of you who are married, if you are put in a room full of people who claim to be your spouse, how do you recognize the true person that you are married to?

I realize that the answer to that last question is rather obvious, but I felt that it needed to be asked. The same way that we recognize our spouse is also the same way that we will recognize Jesus. Familiarity! This familiarity only comes from spending time together. It only comes from a familiarity that comes from an intimacy, a closeness, that is only found in that one relationship. It is found in no one else!

We know that Jesus will tell those who have not built that relationship to get away because He never knew them. I venture to say that this intimacy can go in the other direction. Put these false messiahs to the test, and don’t be afraid to tell them to get away because you don’t know them. This will require that you get to know Jesus and He gets to know you. Spend time in His Word. Spend time in prayer. Gather with other believers who are also seeking that intimacy with the Lord.

Can you recognize Jesus?

Don’t be led astray!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Believe!

October 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
(Romans 10:10 (NIV))

You have a choice!

Once you make that choice, your life will continue to be a series of choices. Some times you will make the right choice and follow Jesus. There will be many times that you will make the wrong choice and do what you know is not according to His will. Even then, you have a choice! You can recognize your sin and repent. Don’t make the choice that leaves you arrogant and unrepentant!

Following Jesus is not easy. We have His words telling us what we should expect.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 10:34-39 (NIV))

The reason for this is simple. Jesus calls us out of this world. He sets us apart from the sin in this world. As a result of this, we know how the world will react. We know that even family and friends who are of the world will hate the choice that has been made.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:18-19 (NIV))

You have a choice!

You can choose to be loved by the world, or you can choose to follow Jesus.

Like I previously stated, following Jesus is not easy. Once you make the choice to follow Him, the world will try to do all within it’s power to cause you to fall. The world, and the prince of this world, will hate you because you have chosen to follow Jesus.

Personally, every day that I live, I choose to believe. Every breath that I take, I choose to believe. Every word that I type, I choose to believe in prayerful hope that you will make that same choice!

The choice is yours!

Believe!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you appropriately dressed?

September 12, 2022

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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))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have an assignment. You have been given marching orders. We are to go into all the world and share the Gospel. We are also told that we will face tribulation in this world, but to rely on Jesus because He has overcome the world.

We are also told to dress for battle!

If you believe that God is love and accepts everyone no matter what their lifestyle and the sin that they practice, then this doesn’t make sense. But, if you hold fast to the truth that Jesus came to set the captives free, to deliver the sinner from bondage, and to offer hope to a sinful, dying world by calling sinners to repentance, then you fully understand why we are to dress for battle. We will be facing the enemy. We will be facing the father of all lies. We will be facing an entity who utterly hates those who profess a faith in Jesus and in God the Father. In all of this, Jesus is our protector. He is our champion. He is our armor. He is THE full armor of God!

We are to fully clothe ourselves in Jesus, who is the Word made flesh!

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.
(Ephesians 6:14-17 (NIV))

In light of the events that are transpiring in this world, we need to fully clothe ourselves with Jesus. We are to recognize and clothe ourselves with the armor that only He can provide. When we do this, we no longer fight the battles. The battle then belongs to the Lord!

With this truth, are you still fighting the battles based on your abilities or have you allowed the Lord to fight for you and to protect you? Are you trying to stand in your strength or are you standing in His strength?

It is time that you answered one very important question.

Are you appropriately dressed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Now is the time to strengthen your resolve to boast only in the Lord!

August 18, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
(2 Corinthians 10:17 (NIV))

The time is upon us when we must stop trying to rely on our own strength. Even those of us who profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior still try to rely on our own strength. We boast and brag about what we are capable of doing, but in the grand scheme of things, what we can do is absolutely nothing.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
     and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
     and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Can a filthy rag clean itself? Can a filthy rag clean up other filthy rags?

Only the Lord is capable of anything righteous. Only the Lord is capable of cleansing the filthy rags that come to Him seeking salvation. Only the Lord is capable of cleansing the filthy rags that come to Him because He is the way, the truth and the light. We must cling to His truth! We must cling to His light!

If you have paid any attention to the things happening in this world, you know that something is not right. There are things that are transpiring that are rapidly fulfilling the prophecies of the end times. We see wars and rumors of wars. We see good being called evil and evil being called good. We see God’s truth being slandered and rejected while they openly embrace the lies of the enemy.

I saw something today from a source that I trust, and it made me sad for those who are drinking the kool-aid. At the same time, I was happy for the implications of what was unveiled to me.

Do you trust the media? Do you trust social media? Do you trust big banks? Do you trust large corporations? Do you trust the U.N.?

Let’s pause on the U.N. for a moment. You will not find this in the media, for it is all part of the plans of the enemy. They are calling for people in all countries to turn in those who don’t drink the kool-aid. They are calling for those of us who don’t blindly accept what is being fed to us to be turned in. They are saying that the only “truth” that you can accept is the information that comes from big media, the governments and the so-called fact checkers.

This makes me want to boast all the more in the Lord. I love the way that David boasted.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalm 18:2 (NIV))

Living in this world is not easy. Living in this world without Jesus is impossible.

Now is the time to strengthen your resolve to boast only in the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you do?

August 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

Are you content to hear a twenty minute sermon once a week and then profess to know how God desires for you to live?

If you want to learn how to be a better musician, you practice your instrument often. If you want to be a better tennis player, you practice and play often. If you want to run a marathon, you train and you run often. If you want to be good at your job, you go to school to learn the details about your chosen profession. Why do we think that we can do any different when it comes to living our lives according to God’s Word? Why do we think that we’ve got this “Christianity thing” down pat when we can’t even go one minute without failing miserably at putting our faith into action?

James tells us to do what the Word says, but how many of us actually spend enough time alone in God’s Word to know what it says? How many of us truly understand the concept of taking up our cross daily and following Him daily?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
(Luke 9:23 (NIV))

If we don’t do what His Word says, if we don’t take up our cross daily, if we don’t follow Him daily, are we doing anything more than giving lip service to something that we truly don’t understand? Are we guilty of simply being a poser?

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I long to hear completely different words when I stand before Jesus!

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

We know that only by professing a faith in Jesus will we be saved. Works will not do it. Associating with someone who professes a faith will not do it. Only by professing a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will bring you the gift of salvation, but we are called to put our faith into action. We are called to live according to God’s Word. We are called to emulate Jesus in all that we do. We are called to walk with Jesus and imitate what we see in Him. If we profess a faith in Jesus, then our heart should desire to do what He calls us to do, but we must do it only as He directs. It is so easy to see things that we think we should be doing and go off and do them without Jesus in our lives. If you consider Jesus in context to the passage from James, it bring clarity. Jesus was God with us, yet, He didn’t do what He wanted to do. He only did what God’s Word instructed.

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
(John 5:19 (NIV))

What is it that you do?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you keeping His commands?

April 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If you love me, keep my commands.
(John 14:15 (NIV))

Is it just me, or are the last three words extremely difficult to achieve?

If you truly profess a faith in Jesus, then you should truly love Jesus for who He is and for what He has done, but human nature always creeps into the picture!

Ever since the fall from grace, human nature has been incapable of perfectly following God’s instructions. We always miss the mark. We always sin. Even after the grace and mercy freely given to us at the cross, we are incapable of perfectly following God’s instructions. But, if you truly stop to think about this, that is exactly why we were given the gift of grace and mercy. Even after acknowledging our sinful nature, we still sin. Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior does not make you perfect on your own merit. It makes you perfect because you have exchanged your imperfections and sin for His perfection and righteousness in the eyes of God.

What does change is the desire to keep His commands!

What does change is the understanding that you will constantly fail.

What does change is your realization that He died to save you from the consequences of your sins.

What does change is your sinful, selfish attitude to a thankful, loving attitude.

What does change is your desire to strive to follow Him in all that you do.

Keeping His commands is not easy. If it were easy, Jesus would not have come into this world to die for our sins. What is easier is repenting when we fall short. What is easier is having a thankful heart for His grace and mercy. As I stated, keeping His commands is not easy, but striving to follow Jesus is the ultimate sign of your love for Him.

Are you keeping His commands?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The struggle is all too real!

November 2, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

How do you see the world?

Perhaps I should ask it in this way. What is your world view?

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then your world view should reflect that in all that you do. It should not be limited or confined to the hour or so that you spend in church on Sunday. It should not be something that you decide to leave at home when you go to work. It is not something that you can turn off and on to suit you. It is not something that you hide when the circumstances are not favorable. It is a choice that you must make every single minute of every single day of your life!

If you choose to leave your faith behind because of your environment, how do you think that you will be rewarded by Jesus? I venture to say that you will not be rewarded, for rewards are for those who are faithful.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV))

It is time to take stock of your life. It is time to take stock of your actions and your choices. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior but repeatedly choose to do something that is contrary to what Jesus desires, are you truly walking in His will? Emotions have nothing to do with it. Personal desires and likes have nothing to do with it. Our emotions, our desires and likes are sinful, yet far too many of us who proclaim Jesus as Lord still choose to follow our sin instead of submitting to the authority and Lordship that is only in Jesus. We submit to the powers of this dark world!

Think about that the next time you decide to watch something on television. Think about that the next time you choose to get mad at other drivers. Think about that when you make a decision to go along with anything that you know goes against what Jesus would desire for you to do. Think about that when you vote for someone who supports anything that goes against God’s Word!

We must stand firm in our faith!

The struggle is all too real!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you support those who support Israel and Jerusalem?

October 30, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
(Ezra 1:1 (NIV))

We know that God used Nebuchadnezzar as His servant to bring His judgment upon Jerusalem. Then at the appointed time, after the exiles had repented, He used Cyrus to bring about the return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple. Both men had a part in God’s plans. Even though they did completely opposite things, they both fulfilled God’s plans. They were both servants of the Lord whether they knew it or not. God moves people to fulfill His will for the specific period in history. Nebuchadnezzar brought punishment and Cyrus brought restoration. Cyrus returned Jerusalem to the descendants of Israel. Cyrus also committed to rebuilding the Temple.

Jerusalem is the key!

But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;
(Deuteronomy 12:5 (NIV))

That place is Jerusalem!

Cyrus knew this. That is why he listened to the Lord.

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.'”
(Ezra 1:2-4 (NIV))

Everything hinges on Jerusalem.

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

On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
(Zechariah 12:9 (NIV))

If we profess a faith in Jesus, who is the Jewish Messiah, then we should also stand firm in God’s Word when it comes to Jerusalem. The Body of Christ hasn’t replaced Israel. We are grafted into amazing grace. We should not do anything to bring destruction upon the city where God has placed His name! We must support the proclamation that Jerusalem is His city where His Temple shall be.

Do you support those who support Israel and Jerusalem?

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