Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

May 10, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
(Romans 8:1 (NIV))

Have you ever truly given thought to the meaning of condemnation?

It means blame!

To put it simply, we are not blamed for our sin if we are in Christ Jesus! We are not found at fault. We are not held responsible. We are not found guilty.

I realize that this sounds like we can get away with anything, but it actually means that we are forgiven for what we have done. It does not mean that we can continue to willfully sin. The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was not a free pass to continue sinning. It was and still is an offer of a way to escape the life of sin and the consequences of sin.

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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Do you like the idea of no condemnation?

Do you like the idea of a fresh start in the eyes of God? With everything that is going on in the world, time to accept this fresh start may be running out. Don’t wait!

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.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2 (NIV))

Have you been set free from the law of sin and death?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your attitude through all of the world’s troubles?

April 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
(James 1:2 (NIV))

I think that the enemy is testing our ability to find joy under trial. Perhaps I should rephrase that to say that I know that the enemy is testing our ability to find joy under trial. Personally, I do not see how anyone who does not profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior can make it through what we have been through and what I am certain that we will be going through in the not too distant future.

When we face trials of many kinds, we must have joy.

When we face worldly uncertainty, we must have joy.

When we face persecution, we must have joy.

In all circumstances, whether good or bad, as believers in Jesus, we must have joy, for He is our joy.

“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))

If we profess a faith in Jesus and we do not have joy, what does that say about our faith? What does that say about our relationship with Jesus? Jesus told us to rejoice and be glad! Jesus told us that if we follow Him, we would face persecution. Thankfully, we have His promises to stand firm in.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV))

How is your attitude through all of the world’s troubles?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus loves me this much!

April 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

With just a few days left before we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, there is not a better passage to explain why Jesus went to the cross. We were lost in our sin and in need of a Savior, so God sent Jesus to save us by paying the debt owed for our sin. Our sinful nature separated us from God, so the Lord devised a plan to take all the sin upon Himself so that we could be free from the bondage of sin and death. There is no greater love that has ever been shown than this act of loving redemption and salvation.

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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

When you were a child, did you ever stretch your arms way out to the side and tell someone that you loved them this much? That is exactly what Jesus did when He hung on the cross for you and I. He was telling the whole world that He loves us this much. His outstretched arms also tell us that He is waiting with open arms to embrace us as we embrace the grace and mercy that He freely gives to all who will simply accept. His open arms welcome us into the family of God as brothers and sisters and not as servants or slaves.

The next time that you need to remind yourself of just how much the Lord loves us, simply stretch out your arms like you did when you were a child and simply say, “Jesus loves me this much!”

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you truly desire to see His face?

February 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the Lord is righteous,
      he loves justice;
      the upright will see his face.
(Psalms 11:7 (NIV))

Do you see yourself in this passage? Do you truly desire His righteousness, His justice and to see His face? Is this your priority or do you desire the opposite of what the Lord desires? If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then it should be your desire to see Jesus, to follow Jesus, and to be washed in His blood so that you are imparted His righteousness. It is my prayer that you truly desire these things, for we are blatantly told what will happen to those who are false believers.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I pray that you truly understand that missing the Lord’s definition of righteousness is considered sin. Falsely knowing Jesus is a sin. To claim His righteousness, we must claim Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior and cling to Jesus in all that we do. We must desire Him!

The Lord is in his holy temple;
      the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
      his eyes examine them.
The Lord examines the righteous,
      but the wicked, those who love violence,
      he hates with a passion.
On the wicked he will rain
      fiery coals and burning sulfur;
      a scorching wind will be their lot.
(Psalm 11:4-6 (NIV))

We know that the Lord sees everything. We know that He sees our hearts. He knows our thoughts. Left to our own thoughts, we are wicked, and as such, we are helpless, hopeless and lost. But when we believe in our heart and profess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, then we will be saved. It takes more than lip-service. We must truly believe that Jesus is Lord, then we can rest assured in the best promise that has ever been made.

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:13 (NIV))

Do you truly desire to see His face?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It is time to come to Jesus!

December 29, 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))

There is never a bad time to turn to the Lord, but now is the best time if you haven’t already accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior!

With all that is going on in the world, turn to Jesus!

Are you weary and burdened because of evil being called good and good being called evil? Are you overwhelmed by the never-ending variants and lock downs? Are you uncertain about your income? Are you concerned about the shortages that just don’t seem to go away?

No one knows what the future will bring, but, as followers of Jesus, we know who holds the future. We have been given insight into what will transpire in the end of days and it looks all to similar to the things that we have been seeing and are seeing unfold right before our eyes. A line from a song by the Atlanta Rhythm Section comes to mind. “The world is in an uproar and I see no end in sight” is very fitting at this time in history. If you look to the world, then you will be in an uproar, but if you look to Jesus, you will have peace and rest no matter what the world may send your way.

Do you long for rest?

The world has false hopes that a new year will bring about better days, but without turning to Jesus, the world will still be in an ever increasing uproar until the time comes when Jesus returns for His Bride, His church! Once that happens, what we are experiencing today will seem like a walk in the park.

The only way to insure that you will have a happy new year is to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior today!

It is time to come to Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you recognize the spotless lamb?

December 21, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
(Luke 2:8 (NIV))

We all know the story. Angels appear to the shepherds, but is there more to this than angels appearing to whom we think of as the lowest rungs on the ladder of society?

I have read articles and I have seen video accounts that speculate that these shepherds had a special flock to attend to. There is historical evidence that indicates that the flocks for the temple sacrifices were the animals that these shepherds were watching over. If that is the case, then they were watching over the very animals that would be offered as atoning sacrifices for the sins of Israel. I have not had an opportunity to validate this next statement, but think of the implications if this is true. I recently read that when a spotless lamb was born, it was wrapped in cloth and placed in a manger to separate it out from the rest of the flock. It was set aside to be the sin offering for the people of Israel. If that is true, then these shepherds knew the meaning of what the angel told them. They knew that the child was the perfect, spotless lamb of God!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:11-12 (NIV))

Is it any wonder why the shepherds left their flocks? Is it any wonder why they instinctively knew what was transpiring?

We are separated by over two thousand years since these events took place, but it seems that we are also separated by much more than that. The things that we read have so much more behind them than just a set of circumstances, a set of events that unfold as we read the words. If we truly knew and understood the Jewish society, the Hebraic Laws, the traditions and the geography of the area, we would have so much more understanding. Our eyes would be opened and our faith would soar!

The shepherds knew!

They left their jobs where they looked after the sheep that would be used as a method to temporarily atone for sins to go see the perfect lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.

Do you recognize the spotless lamb?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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What is the Lord to you?

November 17, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
(2 Samuel 2:22 (NIV))

We know that David was a very prolific writer when it came to things that lifted praise to the Lord. To put it succinctly, David gave credit where credit was due. He knew that all that he had was from the Lord. He knew exactly what the Lord meant to him and he wasn’t afraid to express it.

     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
     from violent people you save me.
(2 Samuel 22:3 (NIV))

Most of us are not as prolific with words as David was. Most of us have trouble stringing together a coherent sentence that expresses our thanks, our praise, our joy, and our commitment to the One who created us. What words do you use to describe the Lord? Do you find yourself relying on the very words that David wrote? Do you find yourself at a loss for words? Do you find yourself simply groaning in your spirit because words cannot be found?

I want to challenge you to try to put into words, your own words, exactly what the Lord is to you. Is He your rock? Is He your fortress? Is He your deliverer? Is He your stronghold? What has He done for you?

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
(2 Timothy 4:2-3 (NIV))

Think about that for a moment. There is probably coming a time in your life where you will be put into a situation where you will have to give a testimony about what the Lord is to you and what He has done for you. Will you be ready to lay it on the line or will you cower in fear because you never truly stopped to think about all that the Lord has done for you? Are you prepared to give an answer?

What is the Lord to you?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you say that Jesus is?

October 26, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

     At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
     But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
(John 10:19-21 (NIV))

It is interesting that all throughout history people have been so divided by Jesus. You either acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior or you vehemently deny Him and claim Him to be insane. It happened when He walked the earth. It happens to this day.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
     and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
     to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV))

One day soon, everyone will know exactly who He is. One day soon, those who claim His Lordship will rejoice. One day soon, those who claim Him to be insane will weep.

Why are the hearts of some people closed to the idea that Jesus is the Son of God? Do they reject God or do they reject the idea that God came to earth as one of us? If they reject God, then we must pray for them, for they are truly lost. If they reject the idea of God coming to earth, then they don’t understand the very nature of God. Too many people see God as the ultimate in corporal punishment and not the ultimate in grace and mercy. Only grace and mercy would be willing to live, suffer and die as one of us.

How do you see God? That will play a big part in how you see Jesus. Is Jesus a man possessed by a demon or does He have all authority over everything, including demons?

Who do you say that Jesus is?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you need to tell about the Son?

August 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:12 (NIV))

If you ever go shopping, you are familiar with the concept of buying one, getting one free. I have to tell you that no matter what type of deal you may get when you do this, it is nothing compared to the amazing deal that you get for free by accepting God’s Son, Jesus, as your personal Lord and Savior! You get someone who is closer than a brother and you also get eternal life with Jesus in the presence of the Father. This is the ultimate deal considering our sinful nature.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

To summarize, we are all sinners and the penalty for our sin is death, but God…

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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

This message never gets old, especially if you have the Son and life. It is also a reminder to those who profess a faith in Jesus that this gift is too precious, too great to keep to ourselves. When we read about God loving the world, we must not forget the consequences for those who do not have the Son of God. They do not have life! Is that what we want to have on our conscience? Do we want to forever realize that because we did not share the Son with someone, they are lost for all eternity?

Having the Son and having life is by far the very best deal that anyone can ever make. 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.

Who do you need to share the ABCs with?

Who do you need to tell about the Son?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you eagerly waiting for Jesus?

June 15, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
(Philippians 3:20 (NIV))

Are you like the large group of people who are waiting for things in this world to return to normal?

The world’s version of normal is highly overrated. Everything that the world calls normal, even when it is based in God’s plan, has been polluted by sin. In fact, even those of us who profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior are not capable of making it through a single day without missing the mark that God has set for us. Add to this sinful nature the current state of the world where good is called evil and evil is called good and you end up with a rapidly deteriorating state of affairs that is getting further and further away from God’s perfect creation.

Do you love this world?

I realize that this world is our home, but is it worthy of our love? There are aspects of this world that still hint at God’s majesty, but sinful humanity, under the power and influence of the enemy, has found a way to corrupt everything. With everything that is going on, most people who study Bible prophecy are in agreement that what we used to know as normal is a thing of the past and that things will rapidly get much worse. We are already seeing outright attacks on anything that is based on Christian principles. We are seeing outright hatred of anyone who professes a faith in Jesus.

Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Mark 13:13 (NIV))

Are you standing firm?

Israel is under constant attack. They have had four elections trying to seat an official government and now they have a government that is a coalition comprised of what many people believe is a facade for those who seek to destroy Israel. Every nation is turning against Israel, and our current government has made some rather unusual choices to side with those who seek to destroy what God has claimed as His own.

If you are like me, you probably are looking at the current state and asking how much worse it can get. I pray that you are also asking Jesus how much longer it will be before He comes for His church. I know that we currently live in this world, so therefore it is our home, but is it truly the place that your heart longs for? We have a promise of something so much better.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
(John 14:2-3 (NIV))

Our eternal home is with Jesus. Our eternal citizenship is in heaven. All that is missing is His return for us.

Are you eagerly waiting for Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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