Which relationship do you desire?

March 1, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21 (NIV))

Each of us has things in our life that seem to take priority no matter what the circumstances we may find ourselves in.

For the most part, no one who professes a faith in Jesus intends to do evil, but Satan is deceitful. He gets us to fall for a little lie and then when we get comfortable with that small departure from the truth, he sends another lie! The key to standing firm in your faith is to know the truth so well that you instantly recognize the lies that the enemy uses to try and trip us up. If we fall for the lies of the enemy, we have missed the mark that God has established for His creation.

In essence, we have sinned!

We have been overcome by evil!

Thankfully, we have been given a way to overcome evil with good. It is not of our own doing, for we we are as filthy rags. All of us are unclean. All of us are sinners in need of a Savior, and that is the key to how we who are sinful can overcome evil with good. We can place our faith in the one whom God has sent to redeem us from our sins.

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))

That is how you overcome evil with God’s goodness. Believe in the name of Jesus!

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4:12 (NIV))

Currently, I am seeing many things going on in the world that are evil and seem to be pointing to God’s plans unfolding right before our eyes. I am also seeing a huge increase in things that point to the Lord, and they are having massive impacts on the lives of those who are involved in or are witnessing these events. I will probably have some people claim that we have to wait and see what the long term outcome of these events will be, but college campuses all across the nation are seeing revival. Many nations are seeing large numbers of people professing a faith in Jesus. We have movies out about the life of Jesus, and we have movies out about previous revivals that are changing the lives of the actors involved as well as the lives of those who see the movies.

We have a choice to make even after we profess a faith in Jesus. Each day we either choose to follow Jesus and draw closer to Him or we choose to follow this sinful, fallen world. We must choose which commitment, which relationship that we desire to base our life upon. We can walk in relationship with the Lord or we can walk in sin.

Which relationship do you desire?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you alert and of a sober mind?

November 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5:8 (NIV))

If you take the time to research things that are happening in the world, then you are probably just as saddened by the overwhelming lack of sober minds as I am. It is very obvious that the enemy has not only been looking, he has been finding many to devour!

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(1 Peter 5:9 (NIV))

I know many people who claim to possess a faith in Jesus, yet they have abandoned the very things that Jesus said to do. They have abandoned the very reason, to seek and to save the lost, that Jesus said is why He came to this earth. They have replaced it with a social agenda. Is this being alert to the truth of the Gospel and keeping a sober mind in the midst of societal pressures? If we are called to be salt and light to a dying world, shouldn’t we be having an impact on the world instead of the world having an impact on us?

Is this how the devil is able to select who he will devour? Does he select people who don’t know scripture well enough to know what is truth and what is a lie?

How do you become alert and attain a sober mind?

I would venture to say that both of these come from an in-depth relationship with the Lord; one in which you dive deeply into God’s Word and meditate on it day and night. It also comes from a very active life of prayer in which you seek His heart first. Once you know these things, then you will be able to spot the lies of the enemy. You will have put on the full armor of God and will be able to stand firm!

Are you alert and of a sober mind?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Be very careful not to lose your focus!

July 28, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
(1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV))

How secure are you in your faith? How confident are you that you can resist temptation? Are you capable of standing firm in the face of the sin that used to hold you captive?

When answering these questions, it is essential that you don’t forget that you are human and have inherited a sinful, fallen nature. It is a nature that is hard to overcome on your own. Even if you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, it is still possible to fall back into the very sins that you seek forgiveness for. It takes discipline. It takes focus. It takes the grace and mercy that was freely given through Jesus!

No one is perfect. We may desire to walk in the confidence that we will always do what Jesus calls us to do, but we are only capable of claiming our righteousness because Jesus is righteous. Without Jesus, we are nothing.

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))

Walking with Jesus takes effort. It is not easy.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

The wide gate and the broad road are easier to travel than the narrow road and the small gate. Think of the difference between an interstate highway and a narrow and winding country road. Which is easier to travel on? Which gets you there faster? Which has the twists and turns that build your driving skills? Which holds surprise blessings along the way? If you are traveling the narrow road, you must maintain your focus or you can find yourself in danger of running off of the road. An interstate highway leads you rapidly to where you think you want to go, but is it truly the best way to go? It takes you on a journey that bypasses all of the great things that you would encounter if you focused on traveling the narrow road.

I realize that I took a small detour with the driving comparison. This is a prime example of just how easy it is to fall for a diversion. It shows us just how easy it is to lose our focus.

Be very careful not to lose your focus!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Faith, servanthood and humility

April 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(1 Peter 5:1-9 (NIV))

Words to live by! Words to model our lives after!

We must remember that we are not the ones who have made our salvation possible. All of us who serve God are in the same position: that of humble servants. Not a single one of us was righteous in God’s eyes without the Grace and Mercy bestowed upon us by the gift of Jesus Christ.

Those of us who are infants in the faith must have role models. Those of us who are to be role models do not need to be arrogant in our positions, for the positions were once reversed. The people in positions of role models were, at one time, infants in the faith.

All who are believers must take it upon themselves to strive to be all that Jesus wants us to be in this world:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16)

Light does not fight with light. Light fights against darkness. Light always wins!

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who do you rely on?

April 25, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
(Luke 21:12-19 (NIV))

How many times have you been in a situation where you felt you needed to defend your faith?

At times like these we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to provide us with our defense. All too many times we rely on our own understanding to defend ourselves. We need to let go and let God. God is in control. He will provide for us even in times of need. This includes our own defense. We say that we believe in God and that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, yet do we really trust that God will deliver us?

It is human nature to rely on ourselves. We must break this nature and fully rely on God.

Who do you rely on?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your faith armor ready?

September 13, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV))

Stand firm!

We cannot apologize for our faith. We cannot apologize for our convictions. We must be alert for the world is becoming more and more a place where the enemy runs rampant. Evil abounds when the Body of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, does not stand firm.

What keeps the enemy and his evil in check?

It is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit cannot work if the Body of Christ is not earnestly seeking God’s Will and seeking to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy has worked through world events in the past and he is definitely working in world events today. God has a plan that will counter the enemy, but we must be self-controlled and alert so that we do not fall for the lies and the tricks.

Believers are being persecuted and killed in various parts of the world simply because they will not submit. They are standing firm in their faith. They have the backbone to stand up against the enemy even if it means that they will lose their earthly life. They know that their reward is not of this earth.

What are we willing to stand firm for?

The generation of Americans that lived during World War II are often referred to as The Greatest Generation. They had the conviction to resist evil. They stood firm in that resolve. I feel that we are facing a greater evil. Satan has regrouped and is working through all parts of the world. Will the Body of Christ be prepared for what we may face?

I know that there is heated theological debate about the Rapture and when it will happen. Some people say that God has always delivered His people “through” troubles and not “from” troubles. How did God deliver Noah and his family? Was it through the flood or from the flood? How did God deliver the Israelites from bondage? Was it through the Red Sea or from the Red Sea? I have come to the conclusion that God delivers His people through things so that they can be delivered from something far worse. God delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea to deliver them from Pharaoh’s army. God delivered Noah and his family through the ark to deliver them from the flood.

We are facing uncertain times, but take heart. God will not forsake the Body of Christ in these times. We are called to be prepared. We are not called to be gullible and unaware.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

Are you self-controlled and alert? Are you strong in the Lord?

Is your faith armor ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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