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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What is the condition of your heart and spirit?

February 13, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(Psalms 51:10 (KJV))

Is that your desire? Do you wish for God to create a clean heart within you? Do you long for the things that are of God, or do you only pay “lip service” to God and do whatever you want to the rest of the time.

Acknowledging God does not make you righteous. Acknowledging that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God does not make you a Christian. Satan and his legions acknowledge both of these facts, yet, they continue to do whatever they desire in their sinful, arrogant and prideful hearts. You could even say that they have dirty hearts, for they do exactly opposite of what God desires. Their spirits are evil and bad.

Take a look at yourself. Do you follow after God in all things? Do you desire what God desires? What is the condition of your heart and spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Rejoice in your weakness, for God will give you strength!

February 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV))

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

We definitely have something to rejoice about. We have a God who loves us and gives us His peace, a peace that passes all understanding. He will protect us, and He will answer our prayers. His peace comes from His grace. This is a grace that is capable of handling any obstacle that it encounters.

God did not promise that He would protect us from temptation and hardship. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, even when tormented by a messenger of Satan, God simply responded that His grace was all that is required. He did promise us that He would deliver us through weakness. This recures throughout His Word. “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” (Psalms 37:11)

When the world says that you must be strong in order to survive, we, as believers, know that our strength does not lie within us. It comes to us and through us from God. It is through our weaknesses that God can show His strength in a way that those who witness the results will know that it did not happen of our doing.

Rejoice in your weakness, for God will give you strength!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay firmly rooted in God’s Word

January 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
(Revelation 13:16-17 (NIV))

Control . . . and on a global scale.

In order for this to happen, several things must occur. The most important one with respect to this prophecy being able to happen is the adoption of a global currency or a global banking system. It is so much easier to control things when everyone is forced to use the very same thing. Something was pointed out to me that made me stop in my tracks. It sent chills up my spine. It was a news article that reported the world’s top financial experts are urging the adoption of a global standard for currency. Their reasoning is that it would help to overcome the economic issues that the world is facing if everyone was on the same standard.

Think about what is being proposed. If we were told that our national identity was going to be taken and replaced with a global identity, would we accept it? I don’t think that we would. If we were told that Satan’s master plan would come closer to being fulfilled if we went to a global currency, would we allow it to happen? I honestly pray that we wouldn’t.

Satan is the father of lies. He is maneuvering to have humanity do exactly what is told of in Revelation.

Watch the things of this world closely, for many lies are being told and many are believing them as truth. History is being re-written. God’s Word is being ridiculed. Israel is being accused of war crimes for defending themselves. Our own government is about to do something in the guise of making people safer that will actually pave the way for great confrontations. Nothing can be taken at face value.

Deception is the key to what is currently unfolding. Stay firmly rooted in God’s Word. Study so that you may know what the events in the world actually mean. Test everything by God’s Word. Do not accept anything espoused by man as the truth. Only God’s Word is true.

Don’t fall into the traps that are being laid. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Will you be changed?

January 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
(1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (NIV))

Too many people still think in the natural when it comes to heavenly matters. We will all stand before God as either redeemed believers in His Son, Jesus Christ, or as fallen sinners who are to be cast into the lake of fire with Satan.

If we are to be there as redeemed believers, then we must be transformed from our current natures. God cannot associate with sin, and since Adam and Eve let sin into the world, our physical bodies are corrupted by sin. We must be made new in a body that has not been corrupted by sin. All things will be transformed when we, as believers, stand before God as His redeemed. Those who are not transformed will be judged according to their sin in this world.

Moses was not allowed to see the face of God when he was on Mount Sinai because it would have meant instant death for him in his earthly body. If our earthly bodies cannot handle the glory of God, then those who are to spend eternity with God must be given a new body that will be pure and holy.

Will you be changed so that you can spend eternity with God, or will you face God in your earthly rags and die?

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