Are you an active worker in the harvest?

July 6, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
(Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV))

What do you see when you look around?

Do you see what the world has to offer, or do you see a world of lost souls who need Jesus? Do you see an urgency to get the next big raise and promotion, or do you see an urgency to bring as many people as possible into God’s Kingdom?

Each of us will target our efforts based on what we see, which is a direct result of what is in our hearts. Sadly, it is often the world that is truly in our hearts. Even if we profess a faith in Jesus, many of us are still so caught up in the worldly task of living and making that almighty dollar, that we fail to see the world as Jesus sees it. We don’t truly see the lost because we are thinking of ourselves. We don’t see the needy because we are too worried about our own wants. We don’t make an effort to rescue the dying because we are too worried about the splinter in our finger that has demanded all of our attention!

I often wonder if we have come to look at God’s harvest the same way that we look at grocery stores. When we go into a grocery store, we see all of the things that have been harvested and prepared for our consumption, yet we fail to recognize the work that was required to get everything there. We fail to see the time spent in preparing the soil. We fail to recognize the care that was taken to nurture the plants as they grew. We don’t ever think about the long days spent cultivating the crop and we definitely don’t think of the effort that goes into harvesting the crop. We simply look at the options and find ourselves thinking that the price we must pay is too high!

Do we think that the price that we must pay to work the harvest is too high?

Are we willing to prepare the soil of the heart to receive the seed? Are we willing to nurture that seed in the lives of those who have seen it sprout? Are we willing to cultivate that seed in the lives of those who are growing in their faith? Are we willing to step out in faith and join in the harvest? Have you been sent into the harvest field? Have you been obedient and have you gone?

Are you an active worker in the harvest?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you confident of your rescue?

January 30, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he had already been through many trials for his work in spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. Even in the midst of the troubles that he faced, he was confident that he was in good hands. In all of his travels, Paul faced being run out of town. He had been thrown in jail. He had been beaten and stoned. He had been shipwrecked. He faced starvation and would eventually be thrown in a Roman prison. It was from this prison that Paul reached out to Timothy. His words speak of the faith that was used to reach the Gentiles with the Gospel.

I want you to put yourself into Paul’s situation as he sat in the Roman prison.

How would you feel, how would your attitude hold up if you spent what many believe to have been two years locked away in a dungeon? It is believed that where Paul was kept was simply a cold, dark room under the main building. The only access into this room was to be lowered by rope through a hole. Even the Roman guards had to enter and exit in this manner. Would you be able to express the faith that Paul displayed? Would you be able to hold onto the promise that the Lord would rescue you from every evil attack?

Far too many people hold fast to the promise that these words contain, yet when they are faced with any hardship, they quickly lose all faith.

Would we be reading the letters that Paul wrote if he had decided to throw a pity party for himself? What if the letters that he wrote had been self reflections and full of “Why did this happen to me?” Paul was confident in his faith. Paul was an excellent example of faith under pressure. He knew that no matter what the enemy may send his way, the Lord would rescue him and bring him into his heavenly kingdom.

Perhaps you are going through trials in your life. Is you faith strong enough to face what Paul faced?

Are you confident of your rescue?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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There are no limitations to God’s grace!

October 16, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
(Isaiah 59:1 (NIV))

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed grace and mercy? Have you ever come to the false conclusion that you are so far gone that God cannot help you? Do you think that your sins are so great that God cannot rescue you?

All too often I hear people say that God couldn’t possible love them because of all of the things that they have done. I hear people say that God would not want to rescue them because of these very same things. I hear them say, “How could He love me after all that I have done?”

Luckily, grace knows no limitations for none of us are worthy!

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))

Thankfully, grace is not based on our righteousness. It is based on God’s love. Think about God’s love based on these words from John 3.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

If God was willing to offer His only Son, what does that say about His love for us? With this in mind, I pray that you come to the realization that there are no limitations to God’s grace!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Will God reward you for your integrity?

May 10, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.
(Psalms 25:20-21 (NIV))

God rewards integrity! Do what is right in the sight of the Lord, and you will not go wrong. Our hope is built on the faithfulness of God. He has proven that faithfulness through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. His promise was kept, just as all of His promises are kept. We must strive to keep all of the promises that we make. We must not make these promises in vain. We must carefully consider what we promise. We must weigh our promises against God’s Word and if it fits within God’s Word, we should say that we will do it.

Simply let your `Yes’ be `Yes,’ and your `No,’ `No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:37)

Integrity comes when we do what we say we will do. Do not try to emphasize something by drawing attention to it. Simply, do what is right in God’s eyes and do it without drawing attention to yourself. Do it to reflect the fact that you are a child of God, and you have the Holy Spirit within you reflecting the Light of the Father.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you possess God’s gift of grace and peace?

June 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Galatians 1:3-5 (NIV))

Grace and peace! What a wonderful concept! I did not fully understand how wonderful until I sat down this morning.

I have the NIV Bible on my computer and I am capable of doing searches for words and phrases. I performed a search for “grace” and “peace” so that they must appear in the same passage together. It returned 18 different verses. What was surprising to me was the fact that all 18 verses are from the New Testament. No where in the Old Testament (at least in the NIV version) are grace and peace mentioned together.

This was a concept that was not known to people before Jesus came to walk on this earth! Yet, after Jesus came to die for our sins, God gave us grace and peace through Him, and people spoke freely of this grace and peace that is from God and Jesus.

When was the last time someone gave you something that you considered precious? Take a look at what that gift was. No matter how fantastic it may be, it cannot compare to the gift that was given to all who would receive it freely – grace and peace. Grace for the forgiveness of sins. Peace for the inner realization that your sin debt will not have to be paid by you!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you love, fear and respect God?

January 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the Lord in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears. For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear him, and he rescues them.
(Psalms 34:4-7 (NLT))

Everybody longs for what this passage describes. We all want God to answer our prayers. We all want God to come to our rescue. We all want God to bless us.

Did you catch the caveat in this passage?

There are four words that most people have a tendency to overlook. They see the words and think that it could not be as written, after all, God is love. They falsely think that God will answers our prayers and come to our rescue no matter what we do. They think of God as a genie who is there to grant our every wish. They fail to recognize the two way relationship that four little words bring to the table.

All who fear Him!

God is not going to answer the prayers of those who mock Him. He is not going to come to the rescue of those who rebel against Him. It is true that God does not wish for any to perish, but it is up to us. He has given us free will. If we choose to turn from Him, then He will not bless us. He will still be there hoping that we will repent and turn to Him, but He cannot do for us if we do not accept His grace and mercy. With that acceptance comes a fear of Him. Perhaps that fear is better understood as a respect.

Think about that concept.

Do you love you earthly father? When you were growing up, how many times did you hear your mother tell you, “Just wait till your father gets home!” Did you fear your father at these times? You knew he loved you, but you also knew that he was capable of dealing with your bad behavior, your sins.

Why do people have such a different view of God, our heavenly Father, than they do of their earthly father? Even for those who profess a faith and actively strive to be righteous in the eyes of God, we have a tendency to look upon God in ways that we shouldn’t.

Do you love, fear and respect God?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Love is a choice!

March 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
(Psalms 91:14 (NIV))

Does God protect you? Think about your answer. The psalmist tells us that God will rescue and protect those who love Him.

What is love?

Do you think of the emotional feeling that you get when you are around that special someone when you are dating? Is it the way your heart skips a beat when you hear the voice of your sweetheart? Is it the commitment that you have made to love and to cherish … until death do you part? Perhaps it is the attachment that you feel when you become a parent.

Godly love is a choice, for all of the other types of love will come and go. Some days you may feel in love and other days you will not. Some days you will love your children and then some days you will wonder what planet that they are from.

God longs for us to love Him because we are committed to His awesome authority and majesty even on the days that we don’t feel that We are His children. When we can honestly call upon the name of the Lord even on days that we don’t feel like we want to, then we can truly say that we love God. We are willing to acknowledge His glorious name even though we may not have the feelings that we rely on to tell us when we are in love.

Love is a choice.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

If Jesus had done what He felt instead of what He knew was right in the eyes of God, I would venture to say that He would have said, “I don’t feel like being crucified today.” Thankfully, He loved us with a godly love and not a worldly love.

Love is a choice. Who do you love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Take your faith further!

April 22, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
(Jude 1:20-21 (NIV))

Not many people quote from Jude. It is a small book. It is the book right before Revelations. With that in mind, these words take on a whole new meaning.

They are a warning to the body of believers to stay fast in the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, for only through this faith will you be able to see the mercy that God has promised.

The message does not stop there. Having faith in Jesus is important, but, we are told to take that further, just as Jesus told us when He gave us the Great Commission.

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
(Jude 1:22-23 (NIV))

We must show mercy as we have been shown mercy. We must do all that we can do to rescue those who do not know Jesus. We must be His hands and feet. We must let His light shine through us. If we do not do these things, are we truly keeping the faith? Perhaps we are – we are keeping it to ourselves, and are not willing to share it with others!

To use a phrase that probably is overused, we must love the sinner and hate the sin. We must not forget this simple fact, for if we start to lose sight of the fact that we hate the sin, we will find ourselves overcome by sin through indifference.

Take your faith further!

What are you doing to build up your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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