It is my prayer that everyone finds true rest in Jesus.

October 4, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NAS))

At this very moment, I feel extremely heavy-laden. I am weary in body and mind, but my spirit still knows that I have a place of strength to which I can turn and I do turn. The world has a way of beating each of us down, no matter how much we desire to stay focused on Jesus. We must never forget that He is our source of strength when the world oppresses us in any manner.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
     a stronghold in times of trouble.
(Psalms 9:9 (NIV))

It has taken me a long time to grasp this simple, yet profound truth. I know that I still have a long way to go in fully claiming this truth as my own, for in my humanity, I have times of weariness where it is difficult to stay focused. To be honest with you, I know that everyone does. It is only human nature. Rejoice, for we can overcome our nature if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Even in times of trouble, He is with us.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:20b (NIV))

It is comforting to know that we have a place of refuge where we can go; that we have a friend who stays closer than a brother. We can always turn to Jesus, and I pray that we always do. Isn’t it good to know that He is always there when we feel that we are weary. We can rest in His grace and mercy. We can rest in His love. We can rest in the assurance that He has overcome the world.

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))

It is my prayer that everyone finds true rest in Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you truly turned to Jesus?

September 27, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

I don’t know a single person who professes a faith in Jesus that does not know and love this passage. In fact, we rely on the truth of these words when the world gets us down. We love the fact that we can turn to Jesus and He will not forsake us, but most people stop there. They don’t connect the proverbial dots with what is written in the next two sentences.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV))

The rest that we seek is not a transitory rest. It is not a pit stop where we get recharged and then go do our own thing. We are to take His yoke and learn from it. I started to say that we are to take His yoke as a way of life, but in all honesty, we are to take His yoke as the way of life!

I have read in the past that a rabbi’s teachings were called a yoke. The Pharisees and the Sadducees created a heavy burden, a heavy yoke, for their followers to carry. They were burdened with legalism and teachings that were of man’s traditions instead of God’s Word. Jesus never placed this type of burden, this type of yoke, on those who follow Him. He simply calls us to repent and acknowledge Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Instead of a vast number of man’s traditions, He calls us to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we are able to do this, everything else falls into place.

In essence, when you look at Matthew 11:28-30 in context, we are invited to come to Jesus and abandon man’s religious traditions, accept the grace and mercy that is freely given at the cross, and follow His teachings that call us to love God and each other. We don’t have to worry about sacrifices, for He has paid the price as the perfect Lamb of God!

I realize that Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Matthew recorded these words, but I see a direct relationship, a direct result of taking the yoke of Jesus as our own.

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

We will find rest. We will have the joy of carrying the burden that Jesus spoke of. We will rejoice in the Lord. We will renew our strength, for our strength will be found in Him. We will learn to soar above the sins of this world because He has overcome this world, and we will walk through this world knowing that our strength comes from Jesus!

Have you truly turned to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you seek rest?

September 6, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Are you weary from all that you burdened with in this world?

In this country, we celebrate people who work, but is work different than labor? Is this different than a burden? Work implies fulfilling duties in exchange for compensation whether a pay check or a harvest of some kind. Labor implies hard work or compulsory work without the proportional reward. A burden implies some hardship or oppression that must be carried. With that in mind, do you work or do you labor? Do you have any burdens that you carry?

Are you weary from your efforts? Are you exhausted physically and spiritually? Do you feel that you can endure nothing else in this world?

Do you long for peace? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

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

Do you long for rest? It can be yours! Turn to Jesus!

Do you seek rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

September 1, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that I have sent this before, but with what is going on in the world, we have a great need to be reminded that we can truly rest in Jesus!

This world piles burden upon burden on us in our daily lives. Our jobs, our obligations, our financial needs, and sometimes even our families and our church become burdens. We must step back and focus on the words of Jesus.

Rest! Everyone desires it, but in this world, true rest cannot come. Rest only comes when one is at peace. Peace is a concept that the world wants but can not grant. True peace only comes from the source of all creation through His Son Jesus Christ. Trade burdens with Jesus and gain peace and rest.

The burden that Jesus bore has paid in full your burden of sin and death. Whatever you are carrying now, He carried to the cross almost two thousand years ago.

Give Him your burdens and He will give you rest.

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We all need rest daily!

May 24, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NAS))

I have sent this before, but I feel that it bears repeating. I am sure that you will agree that there are some days where the world just seems to overwhelm you even when you know that you have a Savior who is there for you and will give you rest. Jesus did not tell us that we can only turn turn to Him once. In fact, we are often told that we need to repent daily, so why should we not be able to turn to Jesus on a daily basis for rest?

At this very moment, I feel extremely heavy-laden. I am weary in body and mind, but my spirit still knows that I have a place of strength to which I can turn and I do turn. The world has a way of beating each of us down, no matter how much we desire to stay focused on Jesus. We must never forget that He is our source of strength when the world oppresses us in any manner.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
(Psalms 9:9 (NIV))

It has taken me a long time to grasp this simple, yet profound truth. I know that I still have a long way to go in fully claiming this truth as my own, for in my humanity, I have times of weariness where it is difficult to stay focused. To be honest with you, I know that everyone does. It is only human nature. Rejoice, for we can overcome our nature if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Even in times of trouble, He is with us.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28:20b (NIV))

It is comforting to know that we have a place of refuge where we can go; that we have a friend who stays closer than a brother. We can always turn to Jesus, and I pray that we always do. Isn’t it good to know that He is always there when we feel that we are weary. We can rest in His grace and mercy. We can rest in His love. We can rest in the assurance that He has overcome the world.

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))

It is my prayer that everyone finds true rest in Jesus.

We all need rest daily!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Trust in Jesus to give you rest!

January 28, 2021

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Sometimes it seems that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

How about you?

Do you ever feel that you bear more than it seems possible to manage?

Life in this world is full of burdens. Every day presents each of us with troubles and pressures that seem to grow bigger and bigger as time goes on. It seems that we have no escape from what the world sends our way.

Fortunately, we have someone to turn to. We have someone who understands the burdens and will walk with us through them.

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))

Jesus told us to come to Him and bring all of our burdens and troubles with us. He will make our path more joyful. He will make our path have a light that guides us. He will make our path to have a destination that is truly restful as we rest in the presence of God.

The next time that you feel overwhelmed, remember that Jesus bore the weight of the world for our sins when He was sin free. Can you imagine how weary He was during this ordeal – the physical weight of the cross and the emotional weight of all of the sins of all time?

Are you struggling under your own power, or are you resting in the assurance that Jesus will do as He says He will do?

Trust in Jesus to give you rest!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you taken His yoke?

December 2, 2020

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

When was the last time that you truly felt rested?

Was it when you got away to your favorite vacation spot and did only what you wanted to do? Was it a rest that lasted beyond the few days away from the hectic pace of everyday life? Chances are very good that even this rest left you empty and soon feeling weary once again.

The rest that Jesus speaks of is far more than simply doing nothing. The rest that Jesus speaks of leaves you refreshed deep within your spirit. It leaves you with a peace. Even in the midst of this hectic life that society says we have to live, we can find rest. We can find a perfect rest. Jesus will refresh us and restore us. He will exchange our burdens for His grace, mercy and peace.

When I first read this passage many years ago, I felt perplexed. My understanding of a yoke was a heavy piece of farm equipment used to keep oxen in line to pull a plow. How could this be restful? Later, I learned that when Jesus spoke these words, a rabbi’s interpretation of the scriptures was called his yoke. When you studied under a particular rabbi, you took his yoke upon yourself. All of the rabbi’s yokes placed a strong emphasis on the Law and keeping God’s Laws. Jesus’ yoke was different. He came to give us the intent or the heart of the Laws, and not the letter of the laws. He freed us from the heavy burden of the Law. He offered us grace and mercy.

Jesus gives us rest in more ways than one. It is true that He walks with us and guides us and gives us peace when we face tough times. He also gives us joy in our lives because He has lifted the heavy yoke of the Law. He bore that burden for us. We do not need to.

Have you learned to rest under Jesus’ yoke? The burden has been lifted. Accept His grace and mercy. Have you taken His yoke?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your strength?

November 13, 2020

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He gives strength to the weary
     and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
     and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
     will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but I am weary in my own strength. I don’t have the ability to face the world on my own. I am tired! Perhaps I could even go so far as saying that I am exhausted.

The world in which we live has become so polarized. People rage against anything and everything that God considers good. They openly embrace anything that God considers evil. They mock anyone who clings to the sole source of truth. They censor the name of Jesus who is the source of this truth because they don’t want to offend those who do evil. They don’t want to offend the enemy!

Do you understand why I am weary?

I, like every single person who has ever lived, do not have the strength to face the enemy on my own. Thankfully I can turn to the ultimate source of strength. I can rely on the strength of someone much greater than I. I can rely on the strength of my Lord and Savior. I can rely on the strength of my God! With this strength, I have the ability to face whatever the world may send my way. I have the strength to face whatever the enemy may send my way.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
     my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
     and with my song I praise him.
(Psalms 28:7 (NIV))

He gives us strength by letting us rest in His presence. He gives us strength when we need shelter from the world. He gives us strength by equipping us with His truth. He gives us strength when we are still. When we desire to live out His truth, He fights the battles.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

When you are on the side of the Lord, that should be enough to give you the strength to overcome the weariness caused by the evil in the world!

How is your strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you found rest?

November 5, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
    for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
    in the land of the living.
(Psalms 116:7-9 (NIV))

The Lord gives us rest. In a world where uncertainty is the way, one thing is certain. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we rest in His presence, then we can truly be at rest.

God is in control!

With everything that is going on in this world this year, this is very comforting. It is very reassuring to know that the Creator of all things is still in complete control. Even when it seems like the world is in total chaos, He is in complete control. It is all part of His plan. It is unfolding just as He told us that it would so that we would be aware of what is going on.

I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
(John 14:29 (NIV))

Do you believe?

With everything that is happening in the world, do you believe?

With good being called evil and evil being called good, do you believe?

Belief and faith go hand in hand. By placing our faith in Him, all the worldly matters no longer are important. We rest in the knowledge that God will guide us in His will and if we keep focused on Him, He will guide our paths so that no matter what the world sends our way, we can have peace and rest in Him.

Have you found rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a member of God’s household?

August 31, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
(Ephesians 2:19 (NIV))

Think about this passage for a moment.

When darkness falls and the doors to the home are locked, who remains inside the home when the homeowner turns out the lights? Who relies on the head of the household to provide security and rest?

I don’t know about you, but I have never seen someone who had the lives of family and friends under the safety of their roof leave doors unlocked so that the enemy could attack. By professing a faith in Jesus, we have been welcomed into the household of God. We have been given not only grace and mercy. We have been given a home that is far more secure than anything we can ever imagine. This world is not our home! We must never forget that we are only passing through on our way to a place that the Lord has prepared for us. We are to be citizens of heaven and we are to be called children of God. Human nature is sinful, but most of us love and provide for our children. How much more will the Lord do for us?

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:11 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to truly think about what actually happens when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior? I realize that there is so much more, but the symbolism of these are represented very eloquently in Ephesians 2:19.

We trade being foreigners and strangers with God to being His children.

We trade being children of sin to being foreigners and strangers to the sinful world.

With all that is happening in this world, we must remember to not be a stranger to God. Are you a member of God’s household?

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