Do you live you life as a contradiction to the world?

August 8, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV))

Contradictions!

According to the world view, we are totally wrong in our faith, yet, according to God’s Laws we are totally right in all that we believe. Even though we are right in our faith, we must be humble and willing to endure whatever is presented to us for the sake of those who may be able to be reached. We should never act in such a manner as to give anyone cause to criticize us for making others stumble or fall in their faith. Paul was an excellent example of what we are to do when faced with hardships because of our faith and our witness. Most of us will never have to face even a portion of the circumstances that Paul had to face for the Gospel. Still, in our everyday lives, we must strive to follow Paul’s example no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what we may face today, tomorrow, or whenever, we must always “REJOICE” for the grace and mercy of God has redeemed us!

Do you live you life as a contradiction to the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you made heaven rejoice?

August 7, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
(Luke 15:7 (NIV))

God does not wish for any to perish. He rejoices when one who is lost is found!

If you have something of value, and you know where it is, you have no reason to rejoice. If that prized possession is lost, you earnestly and fervently seek to find it so that you can return it to its rightful place. You become extremely happy when it is found. You rejoice over the fact that the thing of great worth has been restored!

God is the same when it comes to sinners who repent and turn to Him!

To God, each and every one of us is that prized possession. Each of us are a thing of great worth to Him for He created each of us in His image, yet each of us are unique. In all of creation and in all of history, there is no one like you! Each of us are special in God’s eyes. Each of us is that thing of great worth to God. Because we are of great importance to God, then we are of great importance to all of heaven.

Sadly, we are all lost!

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

Because of our sin, we are lost to God. Even through all of this, He had a plan to redeem us, to restore us to Himself. When we accept His plan, when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are no longer lost. We have repented and have been found. This makes all of heaven rejoice!

Have you made heaven rejoice?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you look at acceptance and rejection?

July 16, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
(Romans 11:15 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of rejection?

Is it a cause for tears and sadness? Is it a cause for depression and anxiety? Or is it a cause for rejoicing?

That last option sounds extremely strange!

Who in their right mind would rejoice over rejection?

When Paul wrote these words to the believers in Rome, he was speaking of the rejection of Jesus by the nation of Israel. Jesus, who was sent first to the Jew and then to the Gentiles.

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

Sometimes rejection is not as bad as it may seem on the surface. Often, it is simply a delay of what is to come until you are better prepared to deal with it. Other times, it is a simple redirection into something that is much better. The rejection of Jesus by the Jews is a good example. Through this rejection, which many throughout history have used to condemn the Jews, we, as Gentiles, have been given an opportunity to receive salvation.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
(Romans 11:25 (NIV))

Rejection often brings about unforeseen opportunities. It is a matter of perspective. If you take rejection and let it control you, you will miss out on what God has in store for you. If you stop to think about it, rejection is merely a redirection of acceptance. If you look at your own salvation, this becomes evident, especially if you consider what would have happened if the Jews accepted Jesus two thousand years ago.

How do you look at acceptance and rejection?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can we claim to have such faith?

March 26, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
(Matthew 9:18-19 (NIV))

What faith this man had! Even when, according to all human knowledge, he had no hope for his daughter, he stepped out in faith. Some people say that he took that step of faith because he had no other options and that he was desperate.

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Would you have a need to take such a step of faith if there was no pressing circumstance that gave you no other option? Would you take that option or would you simply give up and accept what the world says must happen?

What if this man had not gone to Jesus?

What if this man had not boldly approached the Son of God with the faith that Jesus could give him what he longed for? What if he simply gave up and accepted the fact that his daughter was dead?

Instead of rejoicing, there would be mourning. Instead of grace, there would be grief. Instead of life, there would be death.

Isn’t it in our desperation that we reach out to God?

Desperation!

The loss of all hope!

I love the way that God works. When we lose all worldly hope, we have the hope that overcomes the world. This hope comes from faith, and faith from knowing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

This man had faith. Can we claim to have such faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is the God of the living!

April 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
(Luke 20:37-38 (NIV))

God is the God of the living!

We have a tendancy to associate God with people who have died, but is that really an accurate association?

He is called the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. We know that these poeple died, but, exactly what is death?

When we think of death, we think of the cessation of physical life. We think of only what we can see. To be honest, we have a tendancy to think that death is not reversable. I am sure that each of us can think of a few instances where this is not the case, however, physical death eventually wins out.

Are we simply the sum of our physical bodies and nothing more?

Think about that from this perspective.

If someone is in an accident and lose an arm or a leg, they are still alive. What makes them the unique and indiviual creation is not the physical body. It is the unique spark of life that God has placed in them. That unique spark is the human soul.

Can a person who has been dealt a tremendous physical condition still have a lively soul?

Can a person who has a perfect body have a dead soul?

Life is not simply about breathing! Life is about rejoicing in the blessings of God. It is about rejoicing in the fact that God has created us to be eternal beings. Our bodies are frail. They are temporary. Long after they have gone, we will be. For those who profess that Jesus is Lord and Savior, we willbe rejoicing in the presence of God. We will be living as God intended. We will not be dead in His presence. We will be more alive than we can possibly imagine in our current, limited understanding.

All that you have to do is read the accounts that we are given in Revelation of the things that are going on in the presence of God to know that God is a God of the living. Just look at the elders. Look at the great multitudes. Death is not what God is God of.

God is the God of the living!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must remember those who have gone before

May 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Also at your times of rejoicing–your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.
(Numbers 10:10 (NIV))

It is good to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty to country. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that others may know the freedoms that we enjoy and all too often that we take for granted.

Do you know someone who has laid down their life for you? Whether we know them personally or we only know of them, they have done this for each of us. They have laid down their lives out of a sense of duty, responsibility, gratitude, and love.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

We owe these people our respect and our thanks for what they have selflessly given. I don’t profess to say that each person gave with perfect intentions, yet, if man, who is sinful can give and we praise them for it, why can’t we praise God for His sacrifice. This sacrifice, through Jesus, bought so much more than physical freedoms. It brought spiritual freedom through grace and mercy. Jesus died so that all may come to salvation. Our country men who have fallen have done so to bring freedom so that we may have the freedom to worship and to profess our faith.

Freedom is a valuable thing to possess. It is so valuable that One died so that all may possess it and others die to defend it.

We must remember. We must never forget!

Freedom is to be cherished and those who bring it are to be remembered. Honor those who have defended our freedoms, but don’t forget who brings ultimate freedom and honor Him.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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According to your faith will it be done to you

December 12, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”;
(Matthew 9:29 (NIV))

Think about that passage. The words that Jesus spoke cut right to the heart!

“According to your faith will it be done to you”

What type of faith do you have? Is it a faith that will leave you desolate and barren or is it a faith that will leave you rejoicing and thankful? It is up to you. Your faith is your decision. You can decide to have little faith or a great faith. You will also reap the rewards for your type of faith.

In our world today, it is very easy to allow the world and its problems into our lives. When this happens, it is very easy for faith to falter. Sometimes it will even fail. Even when this happens, faith is resilient. It can grow back from almost nothing into something mighty.

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
(Luke 17:6 (NIV))

Faith truly is like the mustard seed. It can start out small, but with time and attention, it will grow. Each time you see faith at work, it will feed upon itself. Faith grows faith. Soon it will be like the mustard seed.

Be careful, because just like any physical thing that grows, faith can also be killed. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus in all things. If bad things happen, don’t let that kill your faith. Focus on Jesus and use your faith and His strength to see you through it. Perhaps faith is a matter of perspective. If you choose to see it and use it, it will grow. If you choose not to see it, then it will die.

If you ask something of Jesus, what will you receive when He says, “According to your faith will it be done to you”?

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