Do you endure or do you give in?

October 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12 (NKJV))

Temptation is everywhere. Is it really possible for anyone to resist the temptation that they see everywhere they look? Even those who follow God have given in to temptation at some point in their lives.

Take a look at David. The Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart, yet, in a moment of weakness, he did something that was a direct result of temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. When he was in the desert, Satan tempted Him, yet, Jesus held firm. What was the difference then between David and Jesus?

Only Jesus, as God’s Son, could perfectly resist all temptation. Frail humanity does not have the wisdom and insight that Jesus had due to His direct communication with God the Father. Jesus was perfect. No one else can ever be perfect in this world because of the sin introduced through Adam and Eve.

But, we have the power of forgiveness! God, through His infinite wisdom and mercy gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as a way to wash away the sins of this world. All we have to do is call upon the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the sin results of temptation will be as far from us as the east is from the west.

Do you endure or do you give in?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your faith led anyone to God?

June 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
(Daniel 2:20-22 (NIV))

Daniel was a strong servant of God. He is an example of what we should strive to be. We may never be placed in an environment such as Daniel faced, but we must always strive to keep our faith in God as Daniel kept his faith in God.

Daniel lived in the time of what history and the Bible have called the evilest dictatorship in all of history, yet Daniel kept his faith in the face of adversity and possible death. God rewarded Daniel and his friends for this faithfulness by giving them wisdom, insight and protection that would be remembered throughout all of history.

Everyone is familiar with the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream by Daniel; the fiery furnace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced; the handwriting on the wall that Daniel interpreted; and who can forget the lion’s den that God delivered Daniel through? Daniel and his friends kept their faith in God even though all around them was from Satan and his kingdom. Their faith led even Nebuchadnezzar to recognize the power of God.

Has your faith led anyone to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Resist the world and keep your eyes on the eternal

June 6, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:6-11 (NIV))

Remember that the world says to exalt yourselves and that the world does the opposite of what God would do, for it is ruled by Satan. Therefore, we must do opposite of what the world would do, for it is Godly and righteous.

We must not let the enemy sneak up on us, for he is cunning and crafty and the father of all lies. We must keep our eyes focused on God and Jesus and do the will of the Father in all that we do. We are called to become like Christ.

Jesus resisted the temptations of the world in the desert. Satan offered Him everything that is considered good in the eyes of the world, yet Jesus kept His eyes on God and rebuked Satan. Now, Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us. If He had accepted Satan’s offer, His glory would have come on this earth and not in heaven. We would not have a Savior, and we would not have a Redeemer.

Resist the world and keep your eyes on the eternal.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

June 5, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
(Psalms 39:6 (NIV))

How easy it is for us to forget these simple, yet, profound truths. It is human nature to think of ourselves as much more than we truly are – to think of ourselves as invincible and in control of everything that we touch.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning–
though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.
(Psalms 90:5-6 (NIV))

Our time on this earth is short, just as the grass is for this earth for a short time. We should not take our lives too seriously or take our relationships too lightly. What we amass as worldly possessions and authority will soon be forgotten for it is not eternal. What will be remembered is the way that we either embraced eternal life through Jesus Christ or the way that we rejected this salvation to embrace the world. We cannot embrace both, for the authority over the earth has been given to Satan. If we embrace the world, we embrace Satan and reject God.

How do you think of yourself? Are you eternally minded or are you distracted by the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Innocence or sin?

May 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
(Matthew 19:14 (NIV))

Innocence and innocence betrayed! We were once little children in the eyes of God, innocent and very willing and eager to climb onto the lap of “Abba, Father.” Our innocence also lead to our fall from this peaceful existence into a life of sin and death. Our innocence was used against us by Satan in order to get back at God. Satan wanted to be God, and in his attempt at getting his desires, he was cast down from heaven. In his anger, he deceived humanity in our created innocence and now we are no longer innocent in the eyes of God. We are no longer those children who could sit on the lap of our “Abba, Father.”

Reading the words written in Matthew 19:14, I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was trying to tell us to come back to God as we were before the fall from grace, innocent and naive about the deceiving nature of sin. Deceit and distrust are a learned characteristic, as are honesty, truth and righteousness. We can be taught either characteristic, but, it is an attitude that actually makes us turn towards one direction or another. Little children are trusting by nature and have not learned to be wary of anything. When it comes to God, we need to trust wholeheartedly as a little child. When it comes to Satan, we must be wary of all things and have the wisdom of his ways so that we can avoid him.

Which attitude do you wish to have? Do you desire to have the innocence that God desires for you, or do you desire the wisdom of sin that Satan uses to trap? It is your choice!

Innocence or sin?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s plan is beautiful!

April 15, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called `woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
(Genesis 2:19-24 (NIV))

God’s plan is beautiful!

My only nephew was united in marriage over the weekend.

Nothing could be simpler. Nothing could be more beautiful. One man and one woman just as God intended.

Will everything be smooth and trouble free? Will following God’s plan mean that they will not have trials?

We are only human. They, like every couple, will face issues that Satan will throw at them. It is a matter of faith in God and in each other. It is a matter of priorities. A successful relationship requires three – the man, the woman, and God. Without God, we are left to our own limited understanding. With God, we have a hope of something better. Sadly enough, too many people think that they can ignore what God is saying through His Word and still call upon God to be with them in other areas.

What happens when someone in a relationship begins to ignore the other person?

What happens if one person in the relationship ignores one or two issues that will anger the other person?

What happens in our relationship with God when we begin to ignore Him? What happens when we ignore things that will anger God?

God’s plan for marriage is simple and beautiful. God’s plan for salvation is simple and beautiful. Both take an understanding and a willingness to listen and obey each other. I know that the word “obey” may cause shudders in some people, but if you stop and think about it, perhaps the word could be looked at more as an act of love than an act of submission. Who among us would willingly do something that would hurt your spouse? We “obey” because of love. We do not want to bring pain. If we love God, shouldn’t we do the same?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Come out stronger

April 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
(James 1:16-18 (NIV))

God is only capable of doing good. If something bad happens in your life, it is not from God. God will take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it into good. Satan steals and destroys. God takes what Satan attempts and, if your heart is right, can turn that evil into good.

How many times have you gone through some hardship only to come out stronger for having gone through it. God did not desire for you to go through it, but since you did, He used it to teach you and to mature you in your faith. This is a true test of your faith. If you can be placed in Satan’s path of hatred and come out stronger in your faith in God and Jesus Christ.

Do not feel that God is causing evil in your life. It is not possible. Jesus spoke of this very concept.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
(Luke 11:17-20)

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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