What do you pursue?

April 23, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
(1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV))

There are so many things in this world that vie for our attention and our time. Too many of us pursue things that we shouldn’t, and it shows.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

We chase after things of this world. We chase after riches. We chase after power and we chase after whatever feels good. Most people don’t care about the consequences of any of their actions. All that they are concerned about is themselves!

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NIV))

Don’t fall into the trap of pursuing things of this world, for this world is in a sinful, fallen state. Anything that you pursue, by its very nature, will also be in a sinful, fallen state. It will not last. Thieves can steal and moth and rust will destroy it. It will lead to destruction. When you die, these things that you felt that you have to pursue now will soon belong to someone else. Your wealth that you seek, that you pursue in this world will not save you from the consequences of your sins in this world.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV))

What do you pursue?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you possess?

February 21, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
(Psalms 37:16 (NIV))

What is it that you desire?

Do you seek after the riches of the world or the righteousness that is only available from the Lord?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Human nature is such a strange thing. To be honest with you, I am surprised that we can even begin to say that we long for the righteousness of the Lord when we are so self centered by nature. The fall from grace in the Garden of Eden really placed us in a no win situation. We say that we want to be righteous in God’s eyes, but we do so many things that take us in the exact opposite direction. That has been our lot in this sinful, fallen world ever since we disobeyed God in the garden. Even the strongest of us fail to do what we know that we should do. Paul, who is credited with spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles, fought with this.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(Romans 7:15 (NIV))

Thankfully, we have a God who knows that we are not capable of overcoming this on our own. He has provided His Son as a Savior to those who truly desire to overcome human nature and seek after righteousness. Even so, we all face the wickedness of the world. We all face the glitter of the gold.

I have read studies that show the most generous group of people by income levels are those who we consider the middle class, and some studies actually say the lower middle class. On average, they give so much more as a percentage than those who are considered wealthy. People whom you would think can afford to be generous are actually the least generous. Have they been blinded by wealth to the point that it has become their god? How sad it is to see people place their priorities and faith in something that can be gone in an instant.

I have come to the conclusion that there are two possible scenarios in this life. We can have and use possessions, or they can have and use us!

What is it that you possess?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I pray that you encounter the riches of God’s grace!

December 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
(Ephesians 1:7 (NIV))

The riches of God’s grace!

Grace came into the world one night long ago in the little town of Bethlehem. Grace escaped wrath at the hand of Herod. Grace returned unassuming and grew wise, finding favor in the eyes of God and man. Grace performed miracles. Grace offered salvation. Grace died on the cross to redeem us from the consequences of our sins. Grace rose again and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

Grace has a name. Grace comes only through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God!

We are just a few days away from the day we celebrate as the birth of Jesus. This is the day that we celebrate as the beginning of hope. It is hope in the life that brought grace and mercy. It is the celebration of the moment that God stepped out of time to redeem us to Himself.

Even though it is widely agreed that Jesus was born in the springtime, the day that we celebrate is symbolic. It marks in our hearts the culmination of waiting for our Lord and Savior. It sets a point in our lives that we can look to and proclaim that our salvation is here!

Contrary to what the world may say, Christmas is not about the presents and the decorations. It is about the birth of a baby who was and is like no other baby ever born. It is about the birth of the one who came to set us free. It is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

What is Christmas to you?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What wisdom do you seek – man’s or God’s?

January 28, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
“Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
(Job 28:18-20 (NIV))

All of the riches of the world are nothing compared to the wisdom of knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. There is only one wisdom or treasure that matters in eternity. Gold will have no value. Intellect will hold no special place. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ will be saved and stand before the throne of God as a member of the Body of Christ.

There will be no difference in the eyes of God regarding intellect or treasure. There is only one thing that will matter. Have you made that decision?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are your needs being met?

July 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19 (NIV))

God does not wish for us to ever need anything. He will supply everything that we need. It does not say that He will supply everything that we want or desire. A true need is different from a desire or a want. God knows what is best for us.

How many times have you wished that God would give you something that you thought you needed? If you are like everyone else, it probably happens more than we wish to admit. Looking back at one of those times, we can often see that if we had received what we wanted, we would not be where we are today in our walk with God.

God will supply all of our needs. Make sure that what you ask for is truly a need and not a human desire.

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

February 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
(Revelation 3:17-18 (NIV))

Do you need anything?

The world has so many distractions, so many things that we consider to have great material value. We spend all of our lives struggling to accumulate these material possessions and we call them wealth. We look at gold and long for its accumulation. We look at fancy cars and long to own and drive the ones that make people turn their heads as we go by. We want big homes so that we can impress people, and then we have to build a wall and put up a gate to keep out the very people whom we want to impress.

In all of this, we focus on things that are of this world and can easily be taken away from us. We focus on what will make us look better than our neighbor. We focus on what will cause our family, friends and neighbors to devise plans to take what we have.

What good will a big bank account do you when you are standing before God? What good will a huge home do you when you are standing before God?

What is truly important to God? Does God care about your riches or does He care about your eternal salvation? He did not send Jesus to die on the cross so that we can accumulate more earthly wealth. God sent Jesus to show us how to attain true wealth, a wealth so great that it lasts all of eternity.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
(Mark 8:36 (NIV))

What is truly important to you?

What do you truly need?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Time for a personal inventory

March 22, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
(Luke 16:10-12 (NIV))

It’s time to take stock, to do a personal inventory.

What are the things that God has blessed you with?

Have you been given worldly wealth? Have you been entrusted with a spiritual gift, or perhaps a talent? Perhaps you have been entrusted with friendships that give you an opportunity to witness. It is even possible that you are a public figure who has the capability of impacting many people through your actions.

What have you done with the things that God has blessed you with? Have you used them to further His kingdom, or have you used them to further your own? Have you used the trust that has been given to you to in such a way that it is given to others? Do you hoard the wealth or do you use it for His glory? Do you embrace the influence that you have and welcome the accolades of the people, or do you use your position to influence others for Christ?

Worldly wealth seems to come in all different forms, from actual wealth to fame and power. What we do with what we have been given is vital in our walk with God. Think about that for a moment. Suppose your father gave you some money to pay off bills. What happens if you use the money for other things and he finds out? What happens if you need to ask your father for another sum of money?

The gifts and the worldly wealth that we have been given are gifts from God. We are to use them to further His kingdom.

Time to complete that personal inventory.

Are there things on your list that you need to be more honest about? Are there things that need to change with respect to your priorities? Wordly wealth is fleeting.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV))

Godly riches are eternal.

Are we willing to give up the eternal because we can’t be trusted with the things that the moth and rust will destroy?

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