What is it that you sing of?

September 28, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
(Psalms 59:16 (NIV))

It is said that everyone has a song in their heart and that it is a direct reflection of what matters most to you. That makes perfect sense when you consider your heart reflects your treasure.

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

The song in your heart is about what makes you happy. It is about what brings you joy in life. It is always about the thing that you place as number one in your life. Just as radio stations are categorized by different genre and play many songs in that genre, our hearts can have multiple songs all related to what brings you joy. For some, this is family. For others, this is worldly matters. Sadly, for many, this is themselves. The greatest song that you can place in your heart is the song where you proclaim your love for the Lord and the power of the Lord over your life. When this is your greatest song, everything that is within your heart will reflect this treasure. You will be filled with such an amazing joy. You will also have peace!

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

One more point to consider.

If you are angry at the world, what song comes out of your heart? Have you ever noticed that when you have joy and peace, you always seem to have a song in your heart that reflects the joy that you feel? What happens when the true reason for that joy and peace is the Lord?

What is it that you sing of?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you possess wisdom and understanding?

June 4, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 (NIV))

The world seems to have knowledge and wisdom confused. The world bases its understanding of these concepts all on the limited understanding that humanity has been able to achieve. In the grand scheme of things, humanity still has very limited knowledge of everything that we encounter. Knowledge is growing rapidly, but we still have much to learn. Sadly, the more knowledge that we acquire, or think that we acquire, the less wisdom we show as a result.

If you truly stop to look at the root meanings of the two words, things start to make sense.

Knowledge basically means possessing the facts or details about something or possessing an understanding about how it works.

The next definition is what seems to go away when we start acquiring more facts. Wisdom, at the core of its meaning, implies good sense or common sense.

What is it about humanity that makes us lose good sense when we think we gain a little understanding? A good case in point is the idea that some people have that they can explain away the parting of the Red Sea. They think that they possess enough knowledge to know how it was accomplished, and therefore, it wasn’t an event caused by God. These individuals lack the wisdom to realize that God made everything, so He is going to use what He made to have it do whatever He wants it to do. They also lack wisdom in other areas. What these individuals fail to acknowledge is that this event didn’t happen when someone was sitting on one shore and simply observing the waters. They fail to possess the wisdom to realize that this event took place just at the right time to allow the Israelites to cross on dry ground. Most even fail to have enough wisdom to acknowledge that God even exists!

I have known people who possess knowledge about the world, but have no wisdom or good sense. I have known people who are wise beyond their years, yet they possess no worldly knowledge. The people that truly stand out to me are the ones who possess wisdom because they fear the Lord and they also possess understanding because they have spent the time to get to know the Lord. Is this the type of wisdom and understanding that you seek?

Do you possess wisdom and understanding?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you preserve Godly knowledge?

July 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction–because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty.
(Malachi 2:7-8 (NIV))

This makes my heart hurt and my spirit groan!

I realize that this is Old Testament, but it brings something to light that has always been a problem. That problem is that some people who claim to be priests, preachers or teachers are not preaching and teaching the truth. As a result, many people have been led astray.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
(James 3:1 (NIV))

What is it about human nature that makes us think that we can change God’s Word and have it mean what we want it to mean? Why do some people think that the Bible is no longer relevant in this day and time? Truth is truth no matter when and where it is spoken. Sadly, too many people no longer speak the truth. They preach and teach what man wants to hear and not what God wants us to hear. Too many people preach a feel good theology that cannot save.

What did Jesus preach and teach when He walked among us?

Did He preach social justice? Did He preach good works? Did He preach legalism? Did He preach prosperity?

Jesus did not preach any of these things, so why do so many stray from the true message of the Gospel? He preached the good news of salvation through repentance of sins. He preached that He is the only way to the Father. He taught us that there would be false teachers. His disciples taught that there would be false teachers.

It saddens me to the point where my spirit groans to think that someone could take such a fantastic gift of grace and distort it so that people are caused to stumble. It is a sad reflection on society when so many of those who are supposed to preserve Godly knowledge are the very ones who are perverting it.

We, as the Body of Christ, must study and understand God’s Word. We must hold each other accountable. It is often said that the members of the Body of Christ are to be priests to one another. What does that say to you with respect to preserving Godly knowledge?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give thanks every minute of every day of your life!

November 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV))

If we can’t be thankful for the things that this passage tells us about, then what can we be thankful for?

Do you believe that God is good?

Give thanks!

Do you believe that God’s love endures forever?

Give thanks?

Do you believe that God is faithful?

Give thanks!

Do you believe that God sent His only begotten Son to this earth so that we could have redeeming grace?

Give thanks!

Have you accepted that redeeming grace as your own?

Give thanks!

I find only one thing that I believe that we, as the Body of Christ, can do. We are to give thanks! We are to give praise! We are to give God the glory for the great things that He has done. Don’t just give thanks on the one day a year that our country has set aside as Thanksgiving. Give thanks every minute of every day of your life!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can man do to me?

August 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:6 (NIV))

Do you share this attitude with the author of this passage?

With what is rapidly unfolding in this nation and in this world, we may be looking at some things where the Body of Christ must fervently believe this.

I know that no one can know the hour or the day, but there appears to be an urgency among those who earnestly seek to know God. Can you feel this urgency? Can you feel the need to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

My heart is heavy with the things that I see, yet, I know that my Savior will see me through the tribulations that will come. I see wars and rumors of wars. I see countries holding military exercises where they are stopping inches away from an actual war. I see threats being made. I see hatred. I see killing. I see things that are despicable to any person with any sense of morality.

In this midst of all this that I see, there is one that I long to see!

I long to see Jesus!

He is my helper. He is my redeemer. He is my salvation. Nothing that any man can do will take this from me. I just pray that I have the faith to realize this when I face the enemy. I pray that I keep site of the fact that the Lord is my helper.

What can man do to me?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

August 6, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then say to him, `The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.
(Exodus 7:16 (NIV))

Have you ever wondered what happens to people when they don’t listen to God?

Ask Pharaoh.

He and his country endured plagues, locusts, and a river of blood because Pharaoh refused to listen to God. God eventually got his attention, but it cost Pharaoh and his country a tremendous toll. It cost them their first-born sons.

God doesn’t always work like this. He started off with smaller miracles, but Pharaoh was not inclined to listen. God racheted up the intensity of the miracles, yet, Pharaoh still would not listen.

Are we like Pharaoh? Do we ignore God when He desires to get our attention with His still, small voice? Does He have to rachet up the visibility a bit when we ignore Him? If we are not careful, our circumstances get to the point where we ask God how it could have gotten so bad. Isn’t it interesting that we blame God for making things bad when, all along, He was trying to get our attention so that He could lead us out of where we were heading?

We will never know what would have happened to Pharaoh and to Egypt if the Pharaoh had softened his heart and listened to God. We do have the opportunity to know what will happen in our lives if we will only listen to that still, small voice when He is trying to guide us through and away from our hard times.

Don’t be like Pharaoh. Listen for God!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your understanding of God’s truth?

June 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
(Mark 16:19-20 (NIV))

Right after Jesus gave us the great commission, He was physically taken up into heaven. Can you imagine the reaction of the people who were fortunate enough to have witnessed this awesome sight? If they were like most people, they were probably left dumbfounded at the sight of this event, for nothing had ever happened like it before this time, and nothing has ever happened like it since then.

Let’s take a look at this from a different aspect. One that almost all of us have heard, but do not truly understand. The aspect that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, the Father.

From a human point of view, would you expect anything less from someone who was physically taken up into heaven right before your eyes? Even in today’s society in which we see special effects and stunt people performing all kinds of theatrical stunts, no one besides Jesus has ever been physically taken up into heaven right before our eyes. Even those who had never seen death in the Old Testament did not go to heaven in such a manner. This indicated a devine presence.

This served many purposes. The first one was to show that Jesus was truly the Son of God. The second purpose was motiviational in that the disciples, who had been timid and unwilling to follow Jesus to the cross, now preached boldly everywhere they went. They did this with authority that could only come from knowing that what they spoke of is absolutely true.

Do you possess that same knowledge of the truth that empowered the people who witnessed Jesus’ ascension? Does Jesus work through you in the same manner that He worked through these disciples?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you still living in sin?

June 17, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.
(Deuteronomy 18:10-13 (NIV))

Today’s society draws a fine line when it comes to these practices. Some people say “as long as it is intended for good, it is okay.” God did not say do them only for Him or only for good! He said that they are detestable in His sight. This means no matter what the intentions are. The old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions is true. Everyone thinks that they can do things their way or better than what God had planned. God has given us explicit instructions that these things are not from Him and are detestable to Him. Nowhere does it say that these practices are good.

When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”
“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
(2 Kings 9:22(NIV))

He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
(2 Chronicles 33:6(NIV))

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21(NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you forsaken God?

May 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:14-16 (NIV))

We may forget God, but He will never forget us.

Isaiah was given the words that bring comfort to all who belong to the Lord. It is not possible for God to forget us or forsake us. When we depart slightly from the ways that God wishes for us, He does not cast us off. He waits patiently for us to return to Him, and when we do, all of heaven rejoices. The promise that He gave to Zion (Israel) also holds true for believers.

Jesus said that He is the vine and that we are the branches. We, as Gentile believers, have been grafted into the vine that is Jesus. We are a part of Him. We have a big brother interceding for us at the right hand of God. How can God forget us or forsake us? We are better off today than when Isaiah was given these words. Jesus had not yet come to earth or ascended back to the Father.

Today, both of these have happened, and Jesus does sit at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding in our behalf. The only thing that could be better is to have direct access ourselves, but that time has not come yet. Jesus must return again for His faithful and establish His kingdom on earth.

Will you be among the faithful?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where do you place your trust?

April 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalms 20:7 (NIV))

With the state of the economy, where do you place your trust?

With the state of the government, where do you place your trust?

With the state of society, where do you place your trust?

Is it just me, or does it seem like everything is falling apart? It is acceptable to kill unborn children but it is a profoundly intolerable crime to kill an animal. It is acceptable to embrace sin, but to confess that you are a follower of Jesus is socially unacceptable. It is okay to teach our children about Islam in schools, but if we mention Jesus we are told to be tolerant. It is okay to allow someone who very publicly states they want to destroy us to have the very weapons that would allow it to happen, yet we cannot have weapons to defend ourselves. It is okay to be homosexual, transgender or whatever else someone’s mind tells them that they should be, yet if we say we disagree with their choices, we are labeled as haters.

In the midst of all that is going wrong in the world, where do you place your trust?

Every man-made organization is falling apart. Sinful man cannot create anything that will last.

Even the church is having issues. Let me clarify this. Society thinks of the man-made aspects of the church and not the true church. Man-made traditions are falling apart. God’s truths last forever and no amount of societal pressure can change that. Think about that last statement and then decide where you will place your trust. Would you place your trust in the fallen systems created by a sinful, fallen humanity or would you trust a perfect Creator who has a perfect plan?

Take a long, hard look at all that is going on in the world and tell the Lord our God that you place your trust solely in Him?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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