How do you see others? How do you see yourself?

January 28, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
(Luke 6:41-42 (NIV))

Isn’t it typical human nature to see the minor faults in others while we overlook the major faults within ourselves?

We simply like to point out the faults in others and exaggerate them so that our own faults are not noticed. We make others look worse than they really are so that we can make ourselves look better in the eyes of others.

How did Jesus handle this?

He simply pointed out the fact that we cannot be in any shape spiritually to “assist” others with their faults if we completely ignore all of ours. Jesus came into the world to teach and be an example of what we should be and how we should act. He never ridiculed or accused people of things. He simply taught by example. His example was flawless. He was perfect. He could point out someone else’s flaws and be justified in doing so publicly, yet, He chose to treat others with love, grace and mercy.

How can we, who are sinful, treat others as if we are sinless when He who was truly sinless treated others as if He were one of them?

How do you see others? How do you see yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do we still look at things from the same perspective?

September 19, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
(1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV))

Our ability to understand things changes as we mature and grow.

Looking back at your childhood, did you fully understand how things were in the world? Did you know about such things as death and taxes? Did you fully understand the grace and mercy that God showed the world through His Son, Jesus Christ, or did you spend your days thinking about playing and what happens to tadpoles to make them change into frogs?

Just as that tadpole changed, God has planned for us to change and to grow, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Are you the same as you were when you were six years old? Do you expect to be the same when you are sixty? Do you expect to be the same when you are with Jesus?

Our ability to understand changes just as our bodies change. Perhaps it is this change that makes us more and more grateful for what God has given to us through Jesus! Hopefully, we no longer look at sin through the understanding of a child. Hopefully, we realize the full ramifications of our sin and the eternal consequences that it brings.

Do we still look at things from the same perspective?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your body and your mind?

May 8, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:1-2 (NIV))

We like to think that we are the ones in charge, that we are the masters of our own destiny, but in all honesty, are we?

It is human nature to rebel against submission to others, for it sounds too much like slavery to us.

Think about those statements and then think about the fallen, sinful nature that we, as humanity, have inherited. We believed a lie from the father of lies, and now, if God says one thing, our deceived nature automatically tells us to believe the opposite. In order to break this trend, we must make a conscious effort to do so. We must decide to not follow the world, but follow God. We must decide to offer God all of ourselves. That means physically and spiritually. We must deliberately make a choice to go against the world for the world has become the domain of the enemy. The world is very good at calling good evil and evil good. In order to break out of this mindset, we must transform our minds. We must spend time in God’s Word. We must seek God in all things and break the bonds that hold us captive to the lies of the enemy.

We must be willing to sacrifice our natural selves and offer up ourselves to God in humility and sincerity. We must humble ourselves and admit that we are nothing without God. We must seek only what makes us righteous in the eyes of God. That means removing anything that tempts us in body or in mind.

How is your body and your mind?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you thirst for?

May 3, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
(Psalms 42:1-2 (NIV))

We all know what it is like to be physically thirsty!

You long for a cool, refreshing drink that will quench an unbearable thirst. You go out of your way to get something to quench your thirst. Many times you long to not only drink of the refreshing water, you long to immerse yourself in it as well. You want to fully quench the longing and desire for a refreshing and a renewing of both body and spirit.

It is amazing how something so simple as water can be such a driving force for refreshing and renewal.

Just as God created water to refresh us physically, He created us to be refreshed by Him spiritually. This concept has been expressed as the Lord being or providing living water.

Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.
(Jeremiah 17:13 (NIV))

We can freely drink of this living water. It is offered to all who will drink.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:13-14 (NIV))

Have you accepted the offer of living water?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In our weariness, we must turn to Jesus!

April 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NAS))

There are two types of weariness that we, as humans, experience. We can be weary physically and we can be weary spiritually and emotionally. No matter how strong we may be, our physical bodies can only handle so much before we reach a point where we are too tired, too broken, to do anything else. We need to rest! I am sure that all of us have experienced this in our lives.

What about emotional and spiritual weariness?

I realize that this could be considered two separate instances, but have you ever seen someone who is emotionally drained who is not spiritually drained? Have you ever seen someone who is spiritually exhausted who is not emotionally drained? The two go hand in hand. When we are like this, we also need rest!

What are the things in this life that beat you down, make you tired, and leave you feeling exhausted and drained? Is it finances? Is it addiction? Is it the state of the world? Is it a loved one’s lack of a relationship with Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?

I know that we all have them, I know that we all need to find a shelter from these things. I know that we need a safe and secure place where we can find rest from the things in this world that make us weary.

We can find physical rest in many different ways and places. Some go to the mountains. Others go to the beach. Some go fishing, while others will simply become a semi-permanent fixture on their couch. In all of creation, there is only one place where we can find rest from the things that weigh heavily on us spiritually and emotionally.

That one place is at the feet of Jesus! That one place is in the presence of the one who has taken all of our burdens upon Himself. Only Jesus can lift the burdens that our sinful nature weighs us down with.

In our weariness, we must turn to Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you dressed and ready to serve God?

April 7, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
(Luke 12:35-40 (NIV))

We can not always be physically dressed and waiting for Jesus to return. We can be spiritually dressed, though. We can put on the full armor of God and be prepared to face whatever the enemy may send our way. We will also be prepared to receive Jesus when He returns, for we will know of His impending return and will wait to greet Him just as in the parables retold by Luke.

Jesus often spoke in symbolism. Being dressed and ready for service is a symbol of being spiritually prepared for service in the army of God. Are you spiritually dressed and ready to do what God would have you do?

Every day I see things that cause my heart to hurt and my spirit to moan. I know that I have to pray about what I see, and I do, but it is so overwhelming at times. I know that we are told to put on the full armor of God so that we will be ready?

I have seen many things recently that have me trying to do my best to be ready. One such thing is hard to believe that it is actually going to happen in just a few days. Baal was a false god that deceived the Israelites into practicing all kinds of sexual immorality and child sacrifice. As of April 19 of this year, a replica of the temple to Baal will be put up in Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London.

Christians are sued and jailed over their beliefs while our society erects a temple to a pagan god!

No matter what we may face, we need to be ready for service. We must keep our lamps burning. Are we ready to serve the one true God? Are we still on fire for sharing the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Jesus is our refuge. He is our stronghold!

February 24, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

What do you think of when you hear the word oppressed?

Many of us think of someone being treated cruelly or unfairly. But did you know that it also means to burden spiritually or mentally? In simpler terms, it means to weigh heavily on your mind or spirit.

Let’s face the truth. As sinful humanity, there is always something that causes us to feel oppressed. Think about that for a moment and then think about the things in life that we all experience. Things like family issues, money problems, car repairs, home repairs, health related issues, and many other things that have a habit of keeping our minds in despair and away from God.

These are the very things that the enemy uses to trouble us. They are the very things that the enemy uses to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the relationship with God that both we and God want. The enemy knows that we are frail and will become distracted by the troubles of this life, and he uses it all too often.

Sadly, too many of us seem to turn to the troubles when it looks like we will escape them.

Stay strong!

Stay focused on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 (NIV))

Why should we feel oppressed? Why should we feel trapped by and in our troubles? Why should we feel forsaken when we have Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior?

Jesus is our refuge, He is our stronghold!

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