Is sharing the good news of Jesus your priority?

November 16, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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

What is your biggest priority in your life?

Some people might answer that their biggest priority is family. To be honest with you, that is a good priority to have. but is it the biggest priority?

Some people might answer that their biggest priority is to leave their mark in the world. Do you think that whatever mark they may try to leave will even be remembered one hundred years from now?

Some people might answer that their biggest priority is to make lots of money. This, in and of itself, is not bad. What is bad is the love of money. If you want to make lots of money simply because of greed, what does that get you?

No matter what your priorities are in life, if you are a believer in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then everything pales in comparison to placing the Lord first.

You shall have no other gods before me.
(Genesis 20:3 (NIV))

Is there any priority in your life where placing the Lord first would not be a better option? If you place your family as a priority, imagine how much better it would be if you, and your family, placed the Lord first. What if leaving your mark on the world meant that you shared the Gospel with those around you and you lead many to a saving grace in Jesus? You would be remembered for all eternity by those whom you led to Jesus. If you desire to bring in lots of money, what if it was a priority to bring in lots of money to buy Bibles to distribute to those who desperately want God’s Word.

What we place as a priority is only bad if that priority is not Christ centered. Each of us have a different calling. Each of us have a unique way to share the Gospel. Our gifts and our desires should not be our priorities. How we use them to testify to the good news of God’s grace should be the utmost priority.

Is sharing the good news of Jesus your priority?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hold on!

February 15, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
(Hebrews 10:23 (NIV))

Does this world make your weary? Do you ever simply want to give up, to throw in the towel?

That is what the enemy wants us to do, but we are called to persevere in our faith.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 (NIV))

The weight of the world and the pressures, trials and troubles that it can bring are an extreme burden, but we do not have to carry that burden alone. Jesus has overcome the world and He walks with us through this life to give us joy, strength, courage, hope and faith. He is calling us to complete the journey before us. He is calling us to stay strong and reach for the goal that He has set before us.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 (NIV))

That goal is to live a life of faith in Jesus. That goal is to keep our eyes on Jesus even when things are tough. That goal is to finish the race of faith that has been set out before us.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV))

Are you still running your race of faith? Are you holding on to the hope that we profess?

Hold on!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you allow God’s deep call to sweep over you?

May 19, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
(Psalms 42:7 (NIV))

Do you like to play it safe and stay in the shallow end of the pool? When you go to the beach, do you stay in the shallow waters? Are you afraid of letting yourself be totally immersed?

Do you ever allow anything to totally sweep over you?

Too many people are afraid. Just like the feeling you get when you jump off of a diving board into a pool, allowing yourself to be totally immersed goes through phases. When you first stand there, you feel the fear trying to keep you from taking that first step. When you finally do take that step, your first reaction is what have I done. As you dive further in, your heart begins to race as you realize you are still going in deeper. You open your eyes and look around as you realize that it is peaceful. Soon, you find yourself beginning to surface and when you do you feel exhilarated and refreshed as a result of what has just washed over you.

Answering God’s call to go deep with Him is the same way. You go through the same fear, questions and realizations. When you come through your deep calling with God you emerge exhilarated, refreshed and empowered. Sadly, too may people are afraid to go beyond the shallow, to go beyond the first step. They are content with just a little bit of God, after all, they have to keep Him in the box that they have designed. It is so wonderful to experience the fullness of God as He sweeps over you!

Do you allow God’s deep call to sweep over you?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Let God fill you with His Spirit in the coming year!

December 31, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
(Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV))

With the new year rapidly approaching, what are we going to fill ourselves with?

Society looks at the new year as a chance to make a clean start. We make resolutions about things that we plan on doing differently. We tell ourselves and others that we will lose weight, that we will exercise, that we will go to church more, that we will . . .

I could go on and on and list the things that we say we are going to do. Have you ever stopped to think that what we say we are going to do is comparable to the new wine and that we are the old wineskins? We cannot handle the new things without changing ourselves first. It is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of priorities.

If you go into an activity to lose weight and get in shape and you try to start full throttle, it usually doesn’t last long. We must start slowly and build up to what we long to do. The same is true of our spirituality and our relationship with Jesus. We must learn to crawl before we can walk. We must learn to walk before we can run. To use the concept that we are familiar with, we must be fed milk until we are mature enough for solid food.

Walking with Jesus, just like anything in this life, is not an activity that we can achieve perfection instantly. We will stumble. We will fall, and we will all have times when we will think that Jesus must really be shaking His head because of all of our failures.

Don’t give up!

A life spent walking with Jesus is just that. It is a life long event. It is a journey and not a destination. You can’t simply arrive at a point where you are perfect in your walk. You will be made new every single day of your life. You will be filled with new wine as your old wineskin is made anew.

I pray that we go in to this new year with the attitude that we will stand firm and stay the course that is laid out before us.

I like the way that Paul described it as a race and that he was in it to win it!

Happy New Year!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What prize do you really seek?

May 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV))

What is the prize that you seek in this race that we call life? Is it fame, fortune, wealth, power? Or is it something of far greater value?

If you look at life through the eyes of the world, you may be asking yourself what is of greater value than these things. Look inward! God has created something of far greater value that He watches it daily.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
(Matthew 6:26 (NIV))

What value do birds have? How could that be more valuable than fame, fortune, wealth or power?

God looks at things very differently than the world does. He can make gold if He desires. He can perform miracles that bring fame if He desires. God does not love these things. He loves the birds of the air and He feeds them. The good news is that He loves each of us more than He loves the birds.

With this in mind, the prize that we seek should not be of this earth. It should be an earnest and sincere faith in God, in Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. This faith will get you the ultimate prize – eternal life. What prize could compare with that?

What prize do you really seek?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must pray!

June 29, 2012

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))

No matter what side of the political fence you may sit, today was a day that had many feeling the ramifications of something that just doesn’t feel right. Christians being stoned by Muslims – in America. Contempt charges. Supreme Court rulings. Heated and bitter discussions using language that all of us should know better, yet it happened.

This verse came to mind.

Today seemed to have a heaviness that surpasses basic human differences. Today, I saw humanity reduced to name calling and finger pointing, while ignoring the real battle that we are facing. Something is dividing us and it is using anything and everything that it can bring to bear as a tool.

Race. Religion. Social status. Financial status. Government.

You name it, it divides us.

It is said that actions that happen in the physical world are mirrored, or start, in the spiritual world. If that is true, and I believe that it is, then something is brewing that we, as the Body of Christ, need to be prepared for.

How do we prepare?

We must seek God’s Word. We must seek to do His will. We must be willing to take a stand for what God is calling His church to do while we are in this world.

We must be that light upon the hill. We must be the lamp that lights the way.

We must pray!

I realize that this verse has become cliché lately, but I feel that it applies more and more each day.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:13 (NIV))

We, as the Body of Christ, must pray without ceasing. We must pray, not for our will as we see things unfolding, but for God’s Will. Our will is clouded by our limited understanding.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV))

Pray for God’s Will in this battle against the spiritual forces.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you seek your refuge?

June 8, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
(Psalms 118:8-9 (NIV))

It seems like the world is looking for someone to save us from all of the issues that we now face, and we do face countless issues that seem to be ever increasing.

The world is facing economic uncertainty. Many regions are facing political uncertainty. The whole world is facing escalated violence due to race, religion, crime, and sheer evil. In this country, we are facing issues that seem to be polarizing us as a nation. We are choosing sides due to various different reasons and nobody is willing to meet in the middle and discuss the differences. We are placing our trust in men instead of relying on God for guidance. And, in the process, we are destroying ourselves.

We need to turn to God. We need to place our trust in Him.

Man will fail.

Take a look at the history of humanity.

We failed miserably in the Garden of Eden. We turned to murder within one generation. We were so sinful, that God chose to start over through one man, Noah, and his family. We tried to elevate ourselves to God at the tower of Babel. We kill each other over money and power. We will kill each other over religion. We will kill each other over race. It was God’s plan, carried out by human hands, to have His Son, Jesus, die for our sins.

No human is perfect. No prince of this world can save us. In fact, the Bible refers to Satan as the prince of the air. We turned over authority to him in the Garden of Eden. Satan cannot save us. Man cannot save us, no matter how the media may spin it.

Don’t trust the spin. Don’t trust the princes. Don’t trust the men who claim to know how to save us.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalm 20:7 (NIV))

Where do you place your trust?

Where do you seek your refuge?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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