Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

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

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

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

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

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))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is 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.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Going into all the world!

September 8, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 28:19 (NIV))

Please bear with me while I do two things that I hate to do.

1. Toot my own horn, sorta!
In all honesty, I am tooting God’s horn for what He has done through me.
2. Ask for help.
This ministry has been a passion of mine and it is not done for the money.
Unfortuantely, there are expenses.

Daily Living Ministries exists to allow people to stop and reflect on their relationship with the Lord and how to live out that relationship in this world.

This year, like the last several years, has been interesting. I am seeing more people being reached, with the latest country count showing in blue in the Google Analytics image map above. Many of these visitors are coming from countries where expressing a faith in Jesus can bring severe persecution and even death. This map only reflects the visitors to the main web site. It does not take into account these emails, the backup blog site, or the social media platforms that these devotional are shared on.

Daily Living Ministries is a small ministry that is having an impact. The budget is small, but the impact far exceeds the money spent.

However, recent events have presented an opportunity. A storm managed to take out the computer that belongs to the ministry. This computer was on a battery backup, but it still managed to make it nonfunctional. I have an automated backup system, so nothing was lost. I just don’t have complete access to my 25 years of notes since I don’t have a computer with enough capacity to restore the backup. I have been able to hobble together the very basics to keep writing and sending the devotionals, but nothing else.

Lord, You are faithful. Help me to be faithful. Help me to be obedient!

It is my prayer, Lord, that you draw me closer to you! I only want to know your heart.

Lord, if you don’t lead me to it, I don’t want to do it!

If you have been touched by Daily Living Ministries, please reply and let me know.

I also prayerfully ask that if you can contribute to assist with the unexpected expenses, please help to keep Daily Living Ministries going into all the world!

In Jesus’ Holy Name,
Dennis Smock

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fully devoted to Jesus?

May 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42 (NIV))

They had something to be thankful for. They had something to share. They had something to celebrate!

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:17 (NIV))

They had recognized and accepted God’s gift of salvation and they were not lukewarm in their faith. In fact, the early church felt that their faith required their full devotion and not just for a weekly twenty minute sermon. Why do we fail to do the same?

What have we lost?

It is common thinking that today we are far more intellectual, far more studied and educated than at any other time in history. Are we? We turn on a screen to keep us entertained. We click a button to play our favorite music. We scroll through endless amounts of mindless chatter and think that we are smarter and that we are far more educated on subjects than our ancestors. What we fail to realize is that now we are being spoon fed what someone else wants us to know. If something doesn’t fit into our way of thinking, we tend to brush it off and move on. If something does catch our attention, we don’t put an extended effort into anything because we think that it is too difficult. We think that if we need to know it, we can simple ask Google. Is this the more abundant life that Jesus died on the cross to give us?

When was the last time that you spent any time in God’s Word? Do you have a consistent time that you set aside for God’s Word and for prayer? It is said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. If that is true, then if we profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we should be hopelessly devoted to the One who loves us enough to save us from our sins. We should be hopelessly devoted to getting to know our Lord and Savior. We should be devoted to the apostles’ teaching. We should be devoted to fellowship with other believers. We should break bread with other believers, and we should pray individually and collectively.

Today, if someone is totally devoted to Jesus, if they do these things, people call them various different names including Bible thumper. Do you care what people call you? Do you care what the world thinks of you or do you long to be like Paul?

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
(1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV))

Are you fully devoted to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Your answer has eternal consequences!

March 28, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

‘What about you?’ Jesus asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
(Matthew 16:15 (NIV))

How important is this question in your life?

Perhaps I should ask in this manner. How important is your answer to this question that Jesus asked Simon Peter? How important is your answer to the question that He is asking each and every one of us since that day? There are many different answers that people will give in response to this question.

Do you deny that Jesus ever walked this earth and believe that all of the accounts of His life are simply made up stories? If this is you, I earnestly hope and pray that there are people in your life who are praying for your eyes to be open and your heart to be receptive to the amazing grace offered through Jesus.

Are you one who simply admits that Jesus was a good teacher and nothing more? Is it possible for someone who is only a good teacher to be raised from the dead? Is it possible for someone who is only a good teacher to offer grace and salvation through His death, burial and resurrection? Are you denying the power simply because you find it difficult to believe that someone who was dead is now truly alive? Are you denying the power because you don’t see it being manifested in the world today? His miraculous power is all around us. It simply requires a willingness to see what is right before your eyes.

Are you unfortunately like many people and have put off your answer because you don’t feel that it is important in your life at this moment in time? Don’t fall victim to the lie that you have all the time in the world. You are not guaranteed your next breath!

Are you counted in the numbers of those who have answered as Simon Peter answered?

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
(Matthew 16:16 (NIV))

If you have made this profession, was it because you read all of the accounts and found the evidence to be overwhelmingly in support of this decision? Was it due to a spiritual intervention from the Holy Spirit? Was it the result of a moment of desperation when you truly realized that you are a sinner in need of a Savior? Was it the result of the realization of the following truth?

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))

With all of the uncertainty in this world, now is the time to truly seek out the truth and answer this question for yourself. If you are ready to tell Jesus that you truly believe that He is the Christ and that He is the Son of the living God, do it without delay!

Who do you say that Jesus is?

Your answer has eternal consequences!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you free indeed?

March 9, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:36 (NIV))

This passage came to mind while I was having a conversation with a friend. The subject came up about people questioning their salvation because of their past being too much for God to forgive. Sadly, there are always people who believe that they have done so much wrong that God can’t forgive them. They feel that they are above God’s thresh hold of forgiveness.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
     nor his ear too dull to hear.
(Isaiah 59:1 (NIV))

In essence, they can’t forgive themselves even when God freely gives grace and mercy to all who will simply accept.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

Do you know someone who needs to come into the light? Are they afraid to come into the light for fear of what will be exposed? It seems that even Paul wrote about such people when he wrote to the church at Corinth.

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV))

He went into detail about the sinful past of the members of the church at Corinth, but he didn’t stop there. He went on to remind them that that is what they were and not what they are due to the saving grace freely given through the blood of Jesus.

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV))

If you think, or someone you know thinks that they are too far gone for grace, remind them that we are all sinners in need of a savior, and His name is Jesus. I don’t often start and end with the same scripture passage, but in this case, I feel that it is merited.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(John 8:36 (NIV))

Are you free indeed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is this how you see His love?

February 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 (NIV))

What good does it do to love someone if that love is not returned?

If you have trouble with this question, then all that you need to do is remember back to middle school and high school. I am sure that every single person has had such a thing happen to them during this tumultuous time in your life. We have all experienced what we thought was love only to be ignored by the one whom we expressed feelings for.

Is God like that?

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

God reached out to us first! He showed His love for us and gave us something amazing if we would only repent and love Him in return. Everything that we have is because God loves us enough to not leave us where we are. We were sinners in need of a Savior, so He sent His Son. There is no record of anyone ever being able to go to God and make a deal with Him. There is a record of God coming to us and making a deal with us. God’s deal bring salvation. God’s deal bring life and love. God’s deal is readily available to anyone who will accept. Accepting God’s deal means accepting His love. It means accepting His grace and mercy. It means accepting His plan of salvation for you.

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.

Our love for God could never do what His love for us has first done. Out of love, He reached down to lift us up. Out of love, He calls us His children. Out of love, He gives us something that we cannot get for ourselves.

Is this how you see His love?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

February 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
     abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
(Psalms 86:5 (ESV))

What do you tell people who claim that God won’t send them to hell because He is love, and why would a loving God do such a thing?

Let that question sink in!

Do you know anyone who professes this belief? Have you ever professed this belief? On the surface, it sounds so appealing and accurate, but is it accurate?

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))

If it is accurate, then why did God send His one and only Son? Why did He have to go to the cross? Why did He have to die in order to pay for our transgressions, for our sins?

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

Too many people have accepted the lie propagated by the enemy that says that since God is love, He accepts you just as you are and that you do not have to change. They forget one important fact that clearly modifies those with whom God shares His steadfast love.

“to all who call upon you.”

Too many people ignore the fact that we have to call on the Lord to save us, and then His love is poured out upon us. He does love everyone, but He desires for you to repent, accept His gift of grace and mercy, and then follow Him. There is nothing in His Word that says that He will show His redeeming love to those who rebel against Him. All that you have to do is read about Adam and Eve, the flood, the Tower of Babel and many others to see what happens to those who rebel. Countless times, He pleads with those who are in rebellion to turn to Him and live! That is why He sent His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (ESV))

Have you called upon the name of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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And His name is Jesus!

December 13, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For to us a child is born,
     to us a son is given,
     and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
     Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of a child being born?

What do you think of when a son comes into a family?

There was a time in history, and it is still this way in many cultures, where a child, especially a son, meant a new beginning. It meant an inheritance. It meant that authority would soon be passed from the father to the son. It was a right of passage and a transition from the old to the new. The son was to be groomed to assume all authority at an appointed time.

We have been given a Son and His name is Jesus!

He came as a child, but He was not like any other child. He was God with us. He grew into a man and taught the truth about God’s Law. Law comes from the authority of the government and His authority was final. He did away with the man-made rituals and interpretations that had corrupted God’s Law. He taught that it was more important to fulfill the intent of the Law and not the letter of the Law.

He turned the religious authority upside down. He turned the world upside down.

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV))

Does it go against your limited human understanding to comprehend, to accept the fact that God stepped out of heaven into the world that He created to save the world that He created? The God of all creation did not come into the world to be served, to be worshipped, but to serve by showing us how He intended for us to live! He stepped down from His eternal throne surrounded by angels into a manger in a stable! If that doesn’t blow your mind, then nothing will. He loves us that much!

We all love when a child comes into a family. How much more should we love that the child has come to redeem us to Himself?

And His name is Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you fully comprehend the majesty of our Lord?

December 3, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
(Colossians 1:1 (NIV))

At this time of year it is easy to think of Jesus as the firstborn, as a baby, but too many of us fail to go beyond that miracle to embrace all of the other miracles and wonders that are Jesus!

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
(Colossians 1:16-20 (NIV))

If I try to expound on what Paul wrote, I will fail miserably. All that I will say is that we must look at Jesus as so much more than the baby in the manger. We must look at Jesus as so much more than a great teacher. We must look at Jesus as so much more than a man. I realize that it is beyond our human understanding to fully grasp that Jesus was fully man and that He was also fully God. The human side we understand, but we have no way of truly knowing what fully God means. We have no way of truly putting into words what that means simply because we do not understand what it means to be God!

Do you fully comprehend the majesty of our Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you rejoice that the Word became flesh?

November 30, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

What do you think of when you read this passage?

Without a point of reference, without a back-story that defines why glory, grace and truth were needed, this passage, even though it tells of His glory, doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell why we need grace and truth.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17 (NIV))

What do you think of when you think of the law? Do you think of man-made laws that recently seem to change with no rhyme or reason, or do you think of God’s law that is never changing? Do you think of the failure of Adam and Eve to keep God’s commands thus allowing sin into the world? Do you think of a righteous God who can not associate with sin? Do you think of a loving God who wants to restore us to a relationship with Himself?

Through Moses, God told us how He expected us to live. Through Moses, we have been shown how we are to love God, how we are to treat each other, and how we are to respect each other. Any deviation from God’s perfect plan is sin.

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))

God took a look at the world and had a plan to redeem us. He knew that there was not a single person who could fulfill the letter of the Law perfectly, so He decided to take matters into His own hands and become a man so that He could live a perfect, sinless life for us. Through this perfect life, we are no longer under the law of sin and death. We are under the redemptive power of grace and truth through the atoning blood of Jesus! Is this what you think of when you read John 1:14? Do these two sentences cause you to reflect on your sinful nature and your inability to do anything about it? Do they give you reason to rejoice because you have accepted what God did for you when you couldn’t do anything for yourself?

Do you rejoice that the Word became flesh?

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