Do you humble yourself and bow to the Lord?

December 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
(Psalms 138:2 (NIV))

Awe and reverence!

Two characteristics that clearly manifest themselves in people who truly understand God’s power, majesty, grace, mercy and love. How can anyone who truly understands these godly traits do anything except bow down and praise God for what He has done?

No one else is capable of doing what God has done. Only God could have offered us grace and mercy that is eternal. Only God could have sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our iniquities.

We did not ask Him to do it. He volunteered to do it because of His great love for us! How can we do any less that bow down and praise Him for what He has done, after all, He did not have to do any of it, for He is God. No one forces Him to do anything. No one can ever say that God has done something that goes against His very nature. If God cannot do anything that goes against His nature and He sent us Jesus to be our atoning sacrifice for our sins, then we have a Creator who truly loves us in spite of ourselves.

Have you bowed down in reverence and respect before God lately? Have you praised God for all that He has done for you? Have you actually thought about the grace and mercy that was freely given to you at the cost of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ?

Do you humble yourself and bow to the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

October 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 (NIV))

I have been battling diabetes for far too many years to even count. Every once in a while my blood sugar drops dangerously low. Most of these instances seem to happen at night. So far, I have always woken up and been able to take measures to raise my blood sugar. It happened again and I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning as I wait for the side effects of a very low blood sugar to go away. As I often do when this happens, I start to pray. Tonight, I remember saying something to the effect that Lord, I wish that you would find another way to wake me up, but I do enjoy our time together, so it is okay!

I reached over and grabbed my iPad and opened up one of my Bible apps. I instinctively went to the verse of the day and clicked to read the full chapter.

This passage stood out!

It gave me peace and assurance that even if I didn’t wake up, everything would be okay.

I am His and He is mine!

My sins are forgiven and I am at peace! I rest confidently in the knowledge that the one who created the universe knows my name. I rest confidently knowing that I am loved, that my sins are forgiven, and that one day I will see Him face to face!

All of this because I chose to accept His love, mercy and grace that is freely given through His atoning sacrifice that was done once for all. All that you have to do is accept before it is too late!

Have you accepted the love that He has shown for you?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is this how you see His love?

February 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 (NIV))

What good does it do to love someone if that love is not returned?

If you have trouble with this question, then all that you need to do is remember back to middle school and high school. I am sure that every single person has had such a thing happen to them during this tumultuous time in your life. We have all experienced what we thought was love only to be ignored by the one whom we expressed feelings for.

Is God like that?

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))

God reached out to us first! He showed His love for us and gave us something amazing if we would only repent and love Him in return. Everything that we have is because God loves us enough to not leave us where we are. We were sinners in need of a Savior, so He sent His Son. There is no record of anyone ever being able to go to God and make a deal with Him. There is a record of God coming to us and making a deal with us. God’s deal bring salvation. God’s deal bring life and love. God’s deal is readily available to anyone who will accept. Accepting God’s deal means accepting His love. It means accepting His grace and mercy. It means accepting His plan of salvation for you.

It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Our love for God could never do what His love for us has first done. Out of love, He reached down to lift us up. Out of love, He calls us His children. Out of love, He gives us something that we cannot get for ourselves.

Is this how you see His love?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you give thanks to the Lord?

November 23, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
          And call upon the name of the LORD.
(Psalms 116:17 (NAS))

Do you look at our Thanksgiving holiday as a sacrifice to the Lord?

Far too many people look at Thanksgiving as a day to overeat and watch football. They don’t look at Thanksgiving as an act to be performed unti the Lord.

Are you truly thankful for what God has given to you, or do you take it for granted?

Are you more concerned with thanking the cooks than you are for thanking God for providing the blessings that sit before you?

Are you more thankful for the physical possessions that you have than you are for the gift of grace that was freely given to you?

Just what are your priorities? What are you thankful for? Are you more thankful for the things that will rust and decay than you are for grace that never goes away?

I pray that each of us truly recognize where our thanks should be directed.

Do you give thanks to the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If you don’t turn to Jesus, there is no other option!

September 28, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
(Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV))

I recently heard this passage explained in a way that I had never thought of, and it makes perfect sense!

When we read this passage, we come to the conclusion that if we continue to sin after accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we will have no recourse, no way to redeem ourselves. Is that truly what this passage means? If we choose to follow Jesus, we will still sin because we are only human. We will still make mistakes. We will still sin. The key to this is that we have professed a faith in Jesus and we are striving to walk in His ways. We have not only received the knowledge of the truth, but we have accepted it as well. We can repent and return to what is right.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is to clarify that there is a difference between receiving the knowledge of the truth and accepting the knowledge of the truth. To use an example, if someone gives you a Bible, you have received the knowledge of the truth, but until you open it and understand that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, you have not personally accepted the life giving message that it contains. If you go so far as to make a proclamation that the message of the cross is foolishness and that it could never be how God plans on offering grace, then you have rejected the knowledge of the truth. God has established one way to receive salvation and if you reject that one way that He created, there is absolutely nothing else that you can do. We can’t tell God that our way is better!

The old covenant required continual sacrifices. We could never be made eternally clean by these sacrifices. The new covenant requires us to accept the perfect sacrifice of Jesus as our single and eternal way to redemption.

If we reject God’s plan of redemption that replaced the continual sacrifices with a single, perfect Lamb, then nothing can ever be used to replace Jesus. Nothing more can ever be used redeem us. Jesus is the only way to the Father!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

If you don’t turn to Jesus, there is no other option!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you acknowledge such great love?

May 31, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

I know that this is a repeat, but some things are worth repeating.

It is that time of year when we remember those men and women who have given their lives for our country. I can’t attest to the relationships that each of these people had with Jesus, but I know one thing is certain. They valued the principles that placed the lives and well being of others above their own needs. Thankfully, I still see this in many people today.

There is a quote that I feel summarizes this willing sacrifice quite well.

“Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you; Jesus Christ and the American G. I. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.”
Author: Unknown

Today, like every other day of the year, I am truly thankful for each type of sacrifice that has been made. I am prayerfully thankful for the grace and mercy that was freely given through the atoning blood of Jesus on the cross. For this I am eternally grateful.

I am also thankful for the men and women who have answered the call to defend the freedoms that we, as American citizens, have. It is through their sacrifice that we have the great opportunity to choose to worship Jesus as well as when, where and how. Sadly, there are people who reject both sacrifices. It is with humble heart that I present this request to the Body of Christ. The times are urgent. The need is great. We must be bold and do what we are called to do to spread the Gospel. We must be willing to lay down our lives so that others may know the freedoms that we know.

Do you acknowledge such great love?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you willing to pay the full price?

October 13, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
(1 Chronicles 21:24 (NIV))

Is this your attitude?

King David wanted to create an alter to the Lord at the site of the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Just a few verses before this, we learn that the angel of the Lord had appeared at this very site and was visible to David, to Araunah and to Araunah’s sons. Araunah did something that I am not sure too many today would do. He offered to give the property to David and to also provide David with all of the animals, the wood and the grain for the offering. In essence, David would not have had to make any personal sacrifice to build the alter on what would become the location of the Temple. By today’s standards, David would have been considered a shrewd businessman if he had agreed to these terms.

David was not there to get all that he could for little or nothing!

He knew the importance of personal sacrifice when worshipping the Lord. He knew that everything that he had been given and had attained belonged to the Lord. He was not about to approach the Lord to make a sacrifice when he wasn’t making a sacrifice at all. He wasn’t going to lie to the Lord and make a sacrifice of someone else’s property. David knew that the sacrifice, the gift to the Lord, had to come from himself.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV))

Do you give to the Lord? Do you sacrifice or do you give when someone gives to you or for you?

Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.
(Deuteronomy 17:1 (NIV))

In other words, we are to give our best to the Lord! David understood this. He knew that if it was to be considered his best, then it actually had to come from him. David knew that he had to pay the full cost.

Are you willing to pay the full price?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Is this our attitude?

September 3, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
(2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV))

David knew that giving to the Lord meant sacrifice!

How many people today share this attitude and are willing to give even when they may not have an abundance from which to give? This is a difficult lesson to learn, and it is one that I personally struggled with for a long time as a new believer. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the concept that if I give, then I won’t have enough for myself. Did David have that attitude? David was king and probably did not lack for money. As king, he was probably used to people giving him gifts to honor his position. This was one such instance where the owner of the threshing floor probably offered it to David for that reason. Still, David realized that the gift and the sacrifice wasn’t truly from him if someone else gave it for him to use. Even though David was used to receiving gifts, he knew that he had to make a sacrifice out of his own resources in order to truly give to the Lord.

If we were in this situation, would we have accepted the offer and then tried to justify this in our own hearts and minds by trying to claim that they gave it to me so, therefore, it is mine? If I am giving it to the Lord, it is coming from me!

Did it cost you anything?

Perhaps a better question to ask is would you have given it if it had cost you something?

Everyone seeks to receive something from God, and rightly so, for He is a loving God who wishes to do good things for those who call upon His name. In fact, each one of us can receive eternal salvation if we will only accept it. Think about that for a moment. We are not willing to sacrifice when we give to the Lord, but when He gives to us, we think that it didn’t cost us anything so we can’t accept. We expect to sacrifice when we receive, but not when we give. We have accepted the lie that we must work for and pay for anything that is good. We have accepted the lie that says nothing is free.

David knew the cost of giving to the Lord. He knew that a true gift came from a personal sacrifice that reflects the heart of the giver.

Is this our attitude?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Does the Lord have all your heart, soul and strength?

June 17, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
(Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV))

Do you love the Lord?

Let me ask this in a different way. What are you willing to give up for the Lord? Status? Career? House? Cars? Family? Friends?

Did you cringe at any of these things? Did you find yourself thinking something like, “As long as I don’t have to give up _______!”

What if God called you to sacrifice the thing that you loved most in order to follow Him? Would you respond like Abraham did with Isaac or would you respond like the rich young ruler?

Many people associate the words from Deuteronomy 6:5 with how Jesus responded in the following passage from Matthew.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV))

If you truly love the Lord, you realize that everyone is made in the image of God. The way that we treat each other is indicative of how we treat the Lord and ourselves. Unfortunately, society’s definition of love means that we embrace their sins. Is this true love? Would you validate your sinful behavior to the point where you are killing yourself with alcohol or drugs and still claim to love yourself? How can we embrace the sins of others when we know that the same sin in our lives leads to death?

We must love as Jesus loved!

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.
(John 3:16-17 (NIV))

Perhaps we should look at this concept through these words. Love the Lord your God as He first loved us – with all of His heart, with all of His soul and with all of His strength. He had the love and commitment to sacrifice His Son to save us! Doesn’t this merit the gratitude and unfailing love of thankfulness?

Does the Lord have all your heart, soul and strength?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you serving Jesus?

May 25, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:23-26 (NIV))

This may seem off target for this verse since it speaks of Jesus telling His disciples that His time has come. However, the words that Jesus uses speak to all of us.

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:25 (NIV))

Memorial Day started back in the 1860s as a way to remember those who had given their lives in battle. Originally it was called Decoration Day since the way that people honored the fallen was to decorate their graves. Regardless of what it is called, we owe these men and women a debt of gratitude and honor for their sacrifice. Many people do not agree with war, but the truth is that these people stepped up to take the responsibility of righting something that they did not agree with and they were willing to give their lives for that calling.

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

Most of us never knew these people throughout our history, yet we owe them so much. I can honestly say that it is a certainty that not all were believers in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, still, I believe that they carried a spark of the Light that Jesus brought to this world. You cannot be exposed to the Light without having some of it take root.

Jesus laid down His life so that we could have life. These men and women did the same thing in their own ways.

We must never forget to honor those who have gone before us and stood for the truths that we, as the Body of Christ, hold fast to. They answered the call when an answer was needed. Would we be willing to answer a similar call today? Would we rely on the Light of Jesus to guide us in that answer?

Are you serving Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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