Don’t be ashamed to praise His name!

February 5, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
(Psalms 108:3 (NIV))

Do you and I have the faith to praise the Lord among the nations?

Think about that for a moment. Are we willing to step outside of our comfort zones and risk the ridicule of people that we don’t know if we take a stand for God? Are we willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world and speak out in praise of the God of creation? Are we willing to tell the world, or even only the people that we know, the great things that the Lord has done?

Think about those questions and then answer a few simple questions about whether you praise the Lord when gathered with other believers.

Do you lift you hands in praise or do you sit there with arms folded? Do you lift your eyes to the Lord or do you look around the room trying to see who is doing what? Do you lift you voice in song or do you refuse to utter a single sound? Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit or do you feel the call of you watch?

We were created to praise God. We were created to acknowledge the Lord before others.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32 (NIV))

Have you ever heard the saying “dumb as a box of rocks?”

If we don’t have the common sense and intelligence to give praise where praise is due, then we are told exactly what will happen.

I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.
(Luke 19:40 (NIV))

In other words, if we are ashamed to acknowledge the Lord and praise Him, then God will make the rocks cry out in His praise. Can you imagine how you will be received in heaven if God has to make the rocks cry out because you failed to lift Him up in praise among the people? I honestly don’t think that you will hear the following words.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

There is one thing that we must faithfully remember.

Don’t be ashamed to praise His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you consider yourself?

August 21, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
(Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are special, that you are of greater value than other people? Do you feel this way about other members of the Body of Christ? Do you find yourself thinking that because someone is not on a certain church committee that you are of more importance than they are? Do you find yourself thinking that because you give more that you are more important than anyone else?

What does that say about your understanding of the Gospel? What does that say about you?

It is human nature to brag and to gloat, but that is not a Christlike nature. We are to overcome the world and do as Jesus taught us. If anyone has a right to brag and to gloat and to be prideful, it would be Jesus. Did he brag about being the Son of God? Did He gloat about being the Word made flesh? Did He ever respond with an attitude of arrogance and pride by claiming to be the Son of God? Jesus, who had every right if anyone ever had a right, was humble and willingly took on the nature of a servant. Why do we, the creation, feel that we have to elevate ourselves and try to make ourselves something that we are not, something that we could never be? Why do we feel that we have to feel superior to everyone else when we are far from righteous.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Most days I hate being human!

I know that I need to explain this statement. I will start by saying that I love life for it is a wonderful gift. I love family, friends and people in general. It is the fallen, sinful nature of being human that I hate. I see things in the world that I know break God’s heart. I see things in my life that I know break God’s heart.

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))

When we see ourselves as more important than someone else, do you think that it breaks God’s heart?

How do you consider yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you a servant of Christ or a people pleaser?

April 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
(Galatians 1:10 (NIV))

On its own, it appears that Paul is asking himself if what he was doing was to please people or to serve Christ?

I realize that he was writing to the church at Galatia and was asking them why they had deserted what he had taught as the true Gospel of Jesus. He wanted to know why they started believing something that apparently had been created to sound pleasing to people. His letter reprimanded the church at Galatia for following a false teaching and was trying to convince them to repent and return to the truth.

In this setting, Paul asks those who have strayed if what he is doing is pleasing to them or pleasing to God?

Think about that for a moment! He was asking them if what he was saying made them feel good or if it made them feel guilty. Was it pleasing to their ears to hear his words or was it pleasing to God to hear Paul say these words in the hope of their repentance?

Human nature and God’s nature are polar opposites. They are as far apart as possible. It is impossible to please both God and man. Paul knew this and in the light of this, he made sure that the church at Galatia knew it as well.

Do you know it?

When God’s Word calls something a sin, do you call it a sin? Do you sugar coat the truth in order to make it more palatable and pleasing to those who hear it?

I want you to think about this next statement with respect to Paul’s letter. When people used to leave a church service years ago, they would feel convicted and possibly guilty with a desire to repent. Is this what happens today? Too many churches are more concerned about making people feel good about themselves and some even about their relationship to Jesus. Don’t get me wrong! We should feel good about our relationship to Jesus, but we are still sinners. We must be given solid food in order to mature. We are not going to grow in Christ if all we ever do is come away with a feeling of being pleased. There is a fine line that we must be careful not to cross.

We must serve Christ in truth and not change His truth to make it pleasing to people.

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love the Lord and keep His commandments?

January 5, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
(Joshua 22:5 (NIV))

Even though these words were spoken through Joshua, they still hold true today!

About two thousand years before Jesus came to this world to teach us, and to die for us, these words of truth were spoke to the nation of Israel and to all who would listen. Have you listened to what Joshua has written? They do not differ from what Jesus has taught us.

Take a long, hard look inside your heart. What is it that you love most?

Money? Fame? Power? Family? Worldly possessions?

Or is it something that has an everlasting value?

Do you hold fast to God and desire to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul?

The world can assault us in many different ways. There is the direct attack and then there is the sneak attack where we do not even realize that we are being attacked. It is these attacks that can slowly divert our love from God. We come under attack daily. We should be renewed by God’s Word daily. Loving God and obeying his commands is a daily desire.

What is your desire today?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you recognize your salvation?

December 27, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:28-32 (NIV))

What do you do now that you have seen your salvation?

We just celebrated the birth of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Unlike Simeon, we don’t have to wait our entire lives to see God’s promise fulfilled. We can see it every single day of our lives. We should see it in everything that we do. We have grace and mercy given to us in all circumstances of our lives. All that we have to do is repent and seek forgiveness for our sinful actions.

Have you ever thought that this is why we have things in our lives that we shouldn’t have? Let me ask this in a slightly different approach. Have you ever had something so readily available to you that you took it for granted? Have you ever gone to the extreme and waited until it was too late to realize just what you had available to you?

It is human nature to miss what is right before us. We do it with missed relationships, missed job opportunities, missed witnessing opportunities, and so many more. I have seen people, and I have also been one to miss opportunities. We all do it. Why do we miss things right in front of us while we long for the very things that we miss? Do we think things have to be complicated and because of this, miss the simple things that will have the most meaning and impact?

Simeon knew what he and the whole world were missing. He had prayed for salvation all of his life. He knew what it was that he was expecting and he knew it when he saw it. Why don’t we know God’s grace and mercy when we see it? Why do so many people look right at Jesus and see something else than what He truly is?

Do you recognize your salvation?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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If Jesus can humble Himself, why can’t we?

December 22, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:5-7 (NIV))

If you had been alive when Jesus was born, would you have expected the King of kings to have been born in such lowly conditions? God did. He knew that man and Satan had turned God’s order completely upside down. Man was looking for the Messiah to make a grand entrance in fitting style with all of the kings of the world.

God had other plans. God knew and wanted the world to know that a king should be willing to humble himself for his people. He showed this through the humblest of beginnings and through the life of Jesus. God sent Jesus to be King of kings, yet to be a servant, too.

Do you expect to be served or to serve.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the strength to face adversity?

September 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God– the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
(Romans 1:1-6 (NIV))

With these words, Paul was able to tell the Gentiles in Rome of the lineage of Jesus, His deity, and His plan for their salvation.

They had probably heard of the Jews being the “chosen” people by their God. They were used to worshipping multiple gods through their Roman society. Paul came to let them know that God’s promise was not only for the Jews, but for them also. The Jews were, and still are, the chosen people. But, they were chosen not to be above everyone else, but to deliver God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, a Jew of the lineage of the House of David.

Today, we, as believers, are to do what Paul did and tell the “Gentiles” of God’s love for us and His plan for our salvation through Jesus Christ. In Paul’s day, doing such a thing often lead to the eventual death of the messenger since the message went against everything that the world believed at the time. Today, we do not face death for delivering this message in our country. Yet, as individuals, we do not do as much as Paul did. In some parts of the world, people still face imprisonment and death for delivering the Gospel to others. They do it regardless of the consequences.

Does God give us strength in the face of adversity? I believe so. I pray that if we ever face the adversity to the point of death, that God will give us the strength to face it, for we will not face it alone. He will be with us.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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