Will you be watching to see what God does?

June 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
(Revelation 12:1-2 (NIV))

Do you believe in signs and wonders in the heavens? God does!

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

He planned it that way!

How many noticed that they are to serve as signs for three distinct things? The first, and most prominent, is for marking sacred times. If that is the case, then when we are told that there will be a great sign, how should we react? How should we approach such an event?

For those who don’t know, there is a direct correlation between what is described and certain stars and planets in the zodiac. The woman is Virgo. The king planet, Jupiter, is the child that she carries. The crown is a combination of stars and planets, and the moon is under her feet. According to various sources, this has never happened before, will only happen once, and will never happen again. That one time that it will happen is later in 2017 and many are calling it the convergence. Everything lines up perfectly for this great sign to appear. It also lines up with the next Jewish feast in God’s timeline.

I, for one, will be watching this great sign with much fascination. I am not date setting. I am being observant, for as a follower of Jesus, we are to know the seasons. When God tells us that there will be a great sign, and we are also told by scientists and astronomers that this sign will only happen once in all of eternity, then we should pay attention. We should really pay attention since it will happen in our lifetimes. I just love how, as time passes, God unveils Himself and presents Himself just as He foretold. With that in mind, I will be watching the heavens as God’s plan unfolds.

He is giving us a great sign.

Will you be watching to see what God does?

(If you wish to study this for yourself, I recommend doing a search for Revelation 12 on YouTube as a starting point.)

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Could you pass this test of temptation?

May 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.’ ”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

” `He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus answered, “It says: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
(Luke 4:1-13 (NIV))

Satan tried everything that he could do to tempt Jesus!

Fortunately, Jesus did not fall prey to any of the temptations.

How did He face these temptations and walk away from them? How can we face them and walk away from them? Jesus was able to rebuke Satan and his temptations by knowing and using the Word of God to provide support during the temptations.

We can do the same!

True, Jesus was the Son of God, yet, He gave us an example that we can use to avoid temptation in our lives. We must rely on God. We must rely on the grace and mercy that God gave us through Jesus. We must turn to Jesus in honesty and sincerity.

Could you pass this test of temptation?

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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Are you serving with Jesus or are you waiting to be served?

March 14, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
(Mark 10:45 (NIV))

What a powerful message! Too bad that too many believers seem to have forgotten this.

How can we serve if our only reason for believing is prosperity? How can we serve if we continually seek what is best only for us? How can we serve if we will not step outside of our comfort zone? How can we serve if we are afraid to trust in the God whom we proclaim as Father?

There are so many things that can distract us from our true calling in faith that it is not funny. The sad thing about this is that I believe a majority of them contradict the words that Jesus spoke as reported in Mark. All of the things that distract us are the very things that we desire when we seek to be served. We seek prosperity. We seek what is best for us. We seek to stay within our comfort zone. Sadly enough, we seek to place our trust in things that make us desire to be served.

Do any of these things sound familiar? It is an easy step into this type of thinking. This is exactly what Satan wants us to do. He wants us to turn from desiring to serve because Jesus came to serve, to desiring to be served. Serving is selfless. Being served is selfish.

Jesus came to serve. He came to be selfless. We are called to do what He did.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:12 (NIV))

Are you serving with Jesus or are you waiting to be served?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you pray that you will be found faithful?

January 23, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
(1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV))

How do you react when you are asked to do something?

Typically, human nature can be boiled down to just a few basic types of responses. You get angry and proclaim that you already have too much to do. You run from the question. You say yes with the intent of not fulfilling your word. You say no and feel bad about your answer and do it anyway. You say yes and willingly step up to the task.

How do you typically respond to someone asking you to do something?

How do you respond when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach and you have a feeling that God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit is calling you to service?

Saul, in his Damascus Road experience and his ultimate conversion to Paul, could possibly have responded with all typical human responses. Fortunately for us, the Gentile believers, Paul ultimately accepted that calling and responded. If Jesus can take someone who was persecuting the Body of Christ and turn him into the person who would be responsible for spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles, then why do we limit what Jesus can do in our lives?

We should proclaim our trust in Jesus. We should acknowledge that Jesus has given us strength to do the things that He has called us to do. We should be faithful in our calling as we serve Him!

Do you thank Jesus for the strength and the faith to be of service to Him?

Do you pray that you will be found faithful?

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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Stand firm in serving the Lord!

November 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15 (NIV))

My spirit is sending me mixed signals. I rejoice in the grace and mercy that are mine, yet I am saddened at the current state of our nation and the world. Over the last several years I have watched the world sink deeper into depravity and corruption. I have seen human life become meaningless and of no value. I have seen intolerance to such a degree that those who practice it don’t even recognize that they are guilty of the very same thing that they claim of everyone else. I have seen things transition rapidly to the point where good is called evil and evil is called good.

If you are anything like me, then all of this weighs heavily on your spirit. Sadly, those who don’t understand this will condemn myself and those who feel like this as bigoted and narrow-minded just because we choose to follow Jesus and live according to Biblical principles. We are at a tipping point and no matter which way the election ends, the Body of Christ must be resolute in our faith. We must not allow the world to change what we know as the absolute truth. We must not allow ourselves to lose hope, for when hope is lost, faith soon follows.

God is in control. I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future. We know that we will have troubles. Even if the world completely falls apart tomorrow, I will rejoice in the knowledge that all of God’s promises are yes through Jesus Christ!

“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))

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4 (NIV))

Stand firm in serving the Lord!

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