Have you been born of the Spirit?

September 16, 2019


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
(John 3:5-6 (NIV))

More people are aware of the verse just a few short sentences before this passage.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
(John 3:3 (NIV))

In fact, even nonbelievers are familiar with this passage to the point where they have created bumper stickers saying that they were born okay the first time. Ironically, their comments support the words that Jesus spoke about flesh gives birth to flesh. They either don’t understand the concept of being born again or they choose to rebel against the idea out of ego and pride. Think about that for a moment. When do we see the very first rebellion against God and what was the cause of this rebellion? Ever since Satan declared that he wanted to be God, pride has become a major issue. Pride became such an issue that it caused the fall from grace. It caused all the sins of the world. If you look at the Ten Commandments, everything that the Lord God told us to obey are things that lead us to Him and away from pride. We are to honor only God and His Name. We are not to pick part of His creation and worship it. We are to obey the Lord and live according to His desires and laws. Anything short of that is a sin.

All flesh has been corrupted by the fall from grace. That is why our ancestors were driven from the Garden of Eden. They had corrupted God’s perfect creation. As descendants of Adam and Eve, we are just as guilty.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
(John 4:24 (NIV))

We cannot approach God in sin. We must be cleansed. We must be made anew. We must accept the grace and mercy given to us on the cross. We must accept the Spirit of God and allow Him to work in us from the inside out and make us people who are focused on things of the Spirit instead of things of this earth. We must allow God’s Spirit to be birthed in us!

Have you been born of the Spirit?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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I have had 20 Years of Blessings!

November 14, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV))

Do you like to give?

I realize that this is a touchy subject for many people. Our finances are probably the most divisive element in our lives. Money problems lead to all kinds of issue including divorce, yet money is something that we all need. Sadly, people can become obsessed with money to the point that it becomes the treasure that they hide in their hearts.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

Money is simply a tool. It is the means of trade. It is the means of doing business, but when it becomes the treasure that you seek, it is the downfall of many.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV))

Personally, I have never made money a priority. It is not what I seek. There is a far greater treasure that I have found and that I have been sharing. 2018 will mark the 20th year that I have been writing and sharing these devotionals. I pray that they have touched your lives in ways that only the Lord knows. I pray that they have drawn you closer to Jesus in your daily walk. I pray that they have been able to deposit things into your lives that have allowed you to store up treasures in heaven.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6:20 (NIV))

Your continued encouragement and support has truly been a blessing to me. I treasure the feedback that is received. I treasure the questions that are asked. I treasure the times when I have questioned whether I should continue with this ministry, only to have someone tell me that what I had sent out was exactly what they needed to hear.

It is with humble heart that this is being sent out.

If the devotionals have touched your life and have allowed you to spend time with God, please prayerfully consider financially supporting Daily Living Ministries, Inc.

Your support will enable the devotionals to continue to be sent.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

Contributions are tax deductible.

In Jesus’ name,
Dennis Smock

Do you let yourself be sharpened?

May 11, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27:17 (NIV))

Do you like to be held accountable?

Do you like to have your feet held to the fire?

Each and every one of us have a set of expectations placed on us by our families, our friends and our employers. Have you ever stopped to think about the expectations that the Body of Christ has for you? Have you ever stopped to think about your responsibility to other members of the Body of Christ?

As members of the Body of Christ, we are to hold each other accountable. We are also called to support each other in times of need. We are called to keep each other accountable not only to each other, but also to God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son. We do this by getting involved in the lives of each other. We can’t simply just gather together for an hour on Sunday and possibly think that this is all we need.

We are called to be community. We are called to be the Body of Christ!

Does a body only exist together for a short time and then go separate ways? Does a hand get up and leave the body? Each member is there to provide support and to be supported.

We get our strength from each other. As one member grows, all members grow. As one member is sharpened, all members are sharpened. All of this occurs because we learn from each other. We mature in our faith when in community.

We are told to fellowship with other believers. We are told that fellowship is part of the Gospel.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 (NIV))

Do you let yourself be sharpened?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How strong are your roots?

October 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.
(1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV))

God tells us that we are like grass. We are here for a short time and then we are gone. We will be cut down and cast away just like the grass under our lawn mowers. Only God and His Word last forever. It is unchanging and constant. It is truth when all around us is a lie. It has depth.

Have you ever looked at the roots of grass? They are shallow. It is easy to pull up grass if you get a good hold on it. Sometimes it breaks. Sometimes it gets pulled up. Either way, it does not last. Consider the roots again. Some grass, even though it has shallow roots, sends out its roots in all directions so that they intertwine with the roots of other grass, giving it strength. If we are grass, then we should send out our roots of faith to other believers so that we can have the strength to withstand the times when we will wither. A single blade of grass is easy to destroy. A well manicured lawn takes more to destroy it.

Perhaps we should think of the church as the lawn. We, as the Body of Christ, get and give strength to an from each other. All men are like grass, but we have a choice as to the type and location of our planting and maturing. If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and feed on the Word of God and spread out our roots to one another, then when our physical aspects wither, our spiritual aspects will be allowed to exist with God forever.

How are your roots? Do they help support others or do they have trouble supporting you?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Like learning to ride a bicycle

March 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Yes, your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NLT))

Samuel had something that most people do not have. Can you figure out what that something was?

Samuel had someone who was experienced at hearing God!

Eli gave Samuel the benefit of his experience and helped Samuel realize that God was calling. How many of us are called by God only to miss the calling. We do not realize that it was the Lord who called? Perhaps this is why we need to establish a relationship with a mentor; someone who is more mature in the ways of the Lord. This mentor will guide us and provide a confirmation to what God is speaking.

Have you ever heard that if it is truly God, then He will provide confirmation. Sometimes it will come from complete strangers, but He will provide it. The confirmation is not the problem, for once we learn to hear God, then it is easier to accept His commands. What is difficult is learning to hear and recognize Him to begin with. Perhaps this requires someone with experience to assist us to recognize Him. Perhaps it takes adherence to Psalms 46:10 (Be still, and know that I am God.). Perhaps it takes more commitment than we can initially do on our own.

Let’s face facts. When you first learned to ride a bicycle, you needed help. You needed support. Once you discovered the secrets to riding, you started to solo. You eventually became proficient at riding. You no longer need that support.

I would venture to say that learning to hear God also requires some initial support.

Do you have your support? Do you have an Eli, or perhaps you have learned to “solo?”

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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February 2, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 (NIV))

The body of believers is not to go through this world in a vacuum, with no interaction with other members of the body. We are to lift each other up. We are to support each other. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to each other as well as to those who are not part of the body of believers.

Can the feet stop carrying the arms? Can the hands stop feeding the stomach? Can the eyes stop guiding the legs? Just as the physical parts of our bodies rely on other parts of our own bodies, the Body of Christ relies on each member to be the best that it can be. If we stumble in our faith, then we hurt those who rely on our strengths to keep them in line. If we completely abandon our faith, we leave holes that have a very drastic impact on those left on their edges.

Consider our physical jobs. Each of us has a certain responsibility where we are employed. If we do not perform that responsibility, then others feel the impact. They either must assume duties that they may not be ready to assume, or the duties are left unattended. Imagine what would happen in a business if that were to happen without anything being done to correct it. Imagine what would happen in our physical bodies if your heart decided it was no longer going to provide blood to the rest of the body.

What roles do you play in your walk of faith? Do you give encouragement to others? Do you pray for those around you? Are you always available to give godly counsel? Are you willing to give someone your last dollar so that they will not go hungry? Do you step up and fill a void in your church and in your family? Each of us impact countless lives around us. We are responsible to more than just ourselves. We do not exist to simply rely on others. We are responsible to each other to be a supportive member of the Body of Christ.

Are you a vital and supportive member of the Body of Christ? What is God calling you to do in order to help carry the burdens of others?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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